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Book ^_-^^- 







From the discovery of the Mississippi valley to the year 
eighteen hundred and forty five. 

compiled from the most authentic sources. 


CI N CI N N A'rl^' ^^'tSi? 



EntereJ according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by James R. Albach, in the 
Clerk's OfEce of the District Court of the United States for the District of Ohio. 


An attempt has been made in this vohame to present the outlines 
of Western History in a form easy of reference, and drawn from 
the best authorities: those authorities are in ahnost every case 
referred to, and a list of the works consulted may be found on 
pages xviii, xix, and xx. Whenever it could be done, with a 
proper regard to conciseness, the words of eye-witnesses have 
been used in the accounts given of important events. 

The limits of this volume have made it necessary to state most 
matters with great brevity, and, with the exception of the Indian 
wars in 1790-95^ no subject has received a full developement ; 
upon that portion of our history the Compiler dwelt longer than 
upon any other, because the conduct of the administration of 
Washington toward the Aborigines is believed to be among the 
most honorable passages of American Annals. The events of the 
last war, and those which have occurred since, are given in a few 
words comparatively, — as many volumes are in circulation which 
state their details. 

A Chronological Table, an Index which it is believed wull be 
found sufficiently full, and three Maps, illustrating the early settle- 
ments, are added to the Annals, making in all a volume of 612 
pages, — one hundred more than the Publisher promised in his 

Notwithstanding great care has been taken in preparing this 
work, many mistakes have been made, a list of those noticed is 
on page 592 ; and it is not supposed that it is free from other 
important errors and omissions: if any one will point out these, 
or any of them to the Compiler by letter or otherwise, it will 
be regarded as a favor, as his wish is to make any future editions, 
if called for, as full and exact as possible. 

Hoping that this volume may prove of some service to the 
Student of Western History, and of some interest to the in- 
habitants of the Great Valley, it is 





1512. Ponce de Leon discovers Florida. 

1516. Diego Miruelo visits Florida. 

1526. Pamphilo de Narvaez goes to Florida. 

1538. De Soto asks leave to conquer Florida. 

1539. May, De Soto reaches Tampa bay. 

November, De Soto reaches Appalachee bay. ' 

1540. De Soto in Georgia. 

October, De Soto reaches Mavilla on the Alabama. 

1541. May, De Soto reaches Mississippi. 

De Soto crosses it and goes to Washita. 

1542. De Soto descends Washita to Mississippi. 
May 21, De Soto dies. 

His followers try to reach Mexico by land and fail. 

1543. July, De Soto's followers reach Mexico by water. 

1544. De Biedma presents his account of De Soto's expedition to King of Spain. 
1616. Le Caron explores Upper Canada. 

1630. Charles 1st grants Carolana to Sir Robert Heath. 

1634. First mission founded near Lake Huron. 

1641. French at Falls of St. Mary, Lake Superior. 

1660. First missionary station on Lake Superior. 

1664. Colonel Wood's alledged travels previous to this year. 

1665. Allouez founds first permanent station on Lake Superior. 
1668. Mission at St. Mary's Falls founded. 

1670. Perrot explores Lake Michigan. 
La Salle first goes to Canada. 
Alledged travels of Captain Bolt. 

1671. French take formal possession of the northwest. 
Marquette founds St. Ignatius on Strait of Mackinac. 

1673. May 13, Marquette and his companions leave Mackinac to seek the Mississippi. 

June 10, Marquette and his companions cross from Fox river to Wisconsin. 

June 17, Marquette and his companions reach Mississippi. 

June 21, Marquette and his companions meet Illinois Indians. 

July, Marquette and his companions reach Arkansas. 

July 17, Marquette and his companions leave on return to Canada. 
September, Marquette and his companions reach Green Bay. 

1675. May 18, Marquette dies. 

La Salle goes to France to see the King. 

1676. La Salle rebuilds Fort Frontenac. 

1677. La Salle visits France a second time. 

1678. July 14, La Salle and Tonti sail for Canada. 
Sept. 15, La Salle and Tonti arrive at Quebec. 
Nov. 18, La Salle and Tonti cross Lake Ontario. 

Persons from New England said to have explored the southwest. 

1679. January, La Salle loses his stores. 
August 7, The Griffin sails up Lake Erie. 
August 27, The Griffin at Mackinac. 




The Griffin sent back to Niagara. 

La Salle at St. Joseph's river, Lake Michigan. 

La Salle crosses to Kankakee. 

La Salle in Peoria Lake. 

Fort Crevecu'iir built. 

Hennepin sent to explore Mississippi. 

La Salle returns to Canada. 

Hennepin on the Mississippi. [Illinoig. 

Tonti after commencing Fort St. Louis (Rock fort,) forced to leave the 

La Salle returns to the Illinois. 

Hennepin returns to Canada. 

La Salle and Tonti meet at Mackinac. 
La Salle a third time goes to the Illinois. 
La Salle at St. Joseph's again. 

1679. Sept. 18, 
Nov. 1, 
Dec. 3, 

1680. Jan. 4th, 

Feb. 28, 
April &May, 
Oct. 6: Nov. 

16S1. June, 
Nov. 3, 

1682. Jan. 5 or 6, La Salle goes from Chicago westward. 
Feb. 6, La Salle on banks of the Mississippi. 
Feb. 13, La Salle descends Mississippi. 

March 6, La Salle discovers mouths of Mississippi. 
September, La Salle returns to St. Joseph's of Michigan. 

1683. Dec. 13, La Salle reaches France. 

1684. July 24, La Salle sails from France for mouth of Mississippi. 
Sept. 20, La Salle reaches St. Domingo. 

Nov. 25, La Salle sails from St. Domingo for mouth of Mississippi. 
Dec. 28, La Salle discovers the main land. 

Iroquois place themselves under England. 

1685. January, La Salle in Gulf of Mexico. 

February 4, La Salle sends party on shore to go eastward for mouth of Mississippi, 

Feb. 13, La Salle reaches Matagorda Bay. 

March 15, La Salle left in Texas. 

July, La Salle building in Texas : unfortunate. 

August, La Salle building in Texas : unfortunate. 

Dec. La Salle goes to look for Mississippi. 

1686. March, La Salle returns to Matagorda Bay. 
April, La Salle goes again to seek the Mississippi. 
April, Tonti goes down ISIississippi to meet La Salle. 
August, La Salle returns unsuccessful. 

1687. Jan. 12, La Salle leaves for Mississippi the third time. 
March 15, La Salle sends men to look for stores. 
March 17, La Salle follows and is killed by those men. 

May, His murderers quarrel ; seven go on toward Mississippi. 

July 24, The seven reach the Arkansas. 

Sept. 14, The seven reach Fort St. Louis on Illinois river. 

1688. La Hontan's travels to the " Long river." 

1693. Before this time Gravier, the founder of Kaskaskia, was among the 

Kaskaskia founded, date unknown. [Illinois. 

Cahokia founded, date unknown. 
Peoria founded, date unknown. 

1698. Oct. 17, D'Iberville leaves France for Mississippi. 

Dr. Coxe sends two vessels to the Mississippi. 

1699. Jan. 31, D'Iberville in Bay of Mobile. 
March 2, D'Iberville enters Mississippi. 

D'Iberville returns to France- 
September, Bienville sounds Mississippi and meets English. 

1700. January, D'Iberville returns from France. 

D'Iberville goes up the Mississippi. 
D'Iberville sends Le Sueur for copper. 

1701. De la Motte Cadillac founds Detroit. 
D'Iberville founds colony on Mobile river. 
Iroquois again place themselves under England. 

1707. First grants of land at Detroit. 

1708. D'Artaguette in Louisiana. 


1710. Governor Spotswood of Virginia explores the Alleghanies. ■ \r 

1712. Louisiana granted to Crozat. , '"^/Ut/tV'v. * , 

1714. Fort Rosalie commenced. 

1717. Crozat resigns Louisiana. 

September, Louisiana trade granted to Company of West. 

1718. Colonists sent to Louisiana and New Orleans laid out. 

1719. Company of the West made Company of the Indies. 

1720. January, Law made minister of finance. 

April, Stock of Company of the Indies worth 2050 per cent. 

May, Company of Indies bankrupt. 

1722. Charlevoix visits West. 

1726. Iroquois a third time place themselves under England. 

1729. Nov. 28, French among the Natchez murdered. 

1730. Jan. &Feb., Natchez conquered and destroyed. 

Alleged travels of Sailing in the West. 

1731. Previous to this Governor Keith wishes West secured to England. 

1732. Company of Indies resign Louisiana to King. 
July 14, Daniel Boone born. 

1735. Vincennes settled according to some, (see pp. 40 and 41.) 

1736. May, Expedition of French against Chickasavs. 
May 20, D'Artaguette conquered. 

May 27, Bienville fails in assault on Chickasaws. 
May 31, Bienville retreats. 

1739. French collect to attack Chickasaws. 

1740. March, Peace between French and Chickasaws. 

1742. John Howard goes down Ohio. 

1744. Treaty of English and Iroquois at Lancaster. 

Vaudreuil fears English influence in West. 

1746. Illinois makes large exports. 

1748. Chickasaws attack French post on Arkansas. 
Conrad Weiser sent to Ohio. 

Ohio Company formed. 

1749. Grant of land to Loyal Company. ' 
Celeron sent to bury medals along Ohio. 

English fort built on Great Miami. 
English traders seized on Maumee. 

1750. Five French villages in Illinois. 
Forty vessels at New Orleans. 
Dr. Walker explores Kentucky. 

1751. Christopher Gist explores Ohio and Great Miami. 
November, Gist surveys lands south of Ohio, east of Kanawha. 

General Andrew Lewis surveys for Greenbriar Company. 

1752. French build forts on French creek. 
French attack English post on Great Miami. 

June, Treaty of Logstown. 

Families settle west of Alleghanies. 

1753. May, Pennsylvania Assembly informed of French movements. 
June, Commissioner sent to warn French. 

Trent sent with arms for friendly Indians. 
August, Colonies authorized to resist French by force. 
September, Treaty of Winchester. 

Treaty with Iroquois ordered by England- 
October, Treaty of Carlisle. 

Ohio Company open line of " Braddock's road." 
Nov. 15, Washington leaves Will's creek for Ohio. 
Nov. 22, Washington reaches Monongehela. 
Dec. 4, Washington reaches Venango. 
Dec. 11, Washington reaches French Commander. 



1754 Jan. 6, Washington returns to Will's creek. 

Troops called out by Virginia. 
April, French fort at Venango finished. 

April, Virginia troops moving westward. 

April 17, Fort at the Fork of the Ohio taken by French. 
May, Washington crosses Allcghanies. 

May 28, Washington attacks and kills Jumonville, 
June, New York sends £5000 to Virginia. 

July 1, Washington at Fort Necessity. 

July 3, Washington capitulates. 

October, Washington retires to Mount Vernon. 
French hold the whole West. 

1755. January, 
Feb. 20, 
April 20, 
May 20, 
July 8, 
July 9, 
July 13, 

1756. January, 


June 29, 


July 15, 
August 2i, 
Sept. 21, 
Nov. 5, 
Nov. 25, 


1760. Sept. 8, 

Sept. 13, 
Nov. 19, 

France proposes a compromise. 

Braddock lands in Virginia. 

France and England send fleets to America. 

Braddock marches westward. 

JLxpcdition against Nova Scotia leaves Boston. 

Braddock reaches Monongehcla. 

Braddock defeated, 

Braddock died. 

Lewis commands an expedition against the Ohio Indians, and fails. 

Indians fill the Valley of Virginia. 

War declared between France and England. 

Armstrong attacks Indians at Kittaning. 

First treaty of Easton. 

Massacre of Fort William Henry. 
Pitt returns to office. 

Louisbiirg and Fort Frontenac taken. 

Post leaves for the Ohio river to conciliate the Indians. 

Post confers with Indians at Fort Pitt. 

Grant defeated. 

Washington opening a road over the mountains. 

Washington at Loyalhanna. 

Washington at Fort Du Quesne, which the French left on the 24th. 

Second treaty of Easton. 

Post's second mission to Ohio Indians. 

Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Niagara, and Quebec yield to English. 

The French yield Canada. 

Cherokee War, 

General Monkton treats with the Indians at Fort Pitt for land. 

Settlers go over the mountains. 

Rogers goes to Detroit. 

Rogers reaches Detroit. 

December, Rogers returns across Ohio to Fort Pitt. 

1761. Alexander Henry visits northwest. 

Christian Post goes to settle on the Muskingum. 


Nov. 3. 

Bouquet warns settlers off of Indian lands. 

Post and Hcckcwelder go to Muskingum. 

Preliminaries to peace of Paris settled, Louisiana transferred to Spain. 

1763. Feb, 10, Treaty of Paris concluded. 
May 9, Detroit attacked by Pontiac. 
June 4, Mackinac taken by Indians. 
June, Presqu'ile (Erie) taken by Indians. 
Juneto Aug. Fort Pitt besieged and relieved by Bouquet. 
October, Proclamation to protect Indian lands. 

/ Nov. 3, M. Laclede arrives in St. Genevieve. 

'/December, M. Laclede selects site of St. Louis. 

1764. June to Aug. Bradstreet makes peace with northern Indians. 
November, Bouquet makes peace with Ohio Indians. 

April 21, French ofiicers ordered to give up Louisiana to Spain. 

1765. April, Sir William Johnson makes treaty at German Flats. 
May, June, George Croghan goes westward. 

Captain Stirling for England takes possession of Illinois. 



1766. Settlers cross mountains. 
Walpole Company proposed. 
Colonel James Smith visits Kentucky. 

1767. Western Indians grow impatient. 
Franklin labors for Walpole Company. 
Finley visits Kentucky. 

Zeisberger founds mission on the Alleghany. 

1768. Oct. 24, Treaty of Fort Stanwix by which the title of the Iroquois to all south 

of the Ohio is purchased. 

1769. March, Mississippi Company proposed. 

May 1 , Boone and others start for Kentucky. ' 

June 7, Boone and others reach Red river. 
Dec. 22, Boone taken by Indians. 

1770. October, Treaty of Lochaber. 

Ohio Company merged in Walpole Company. 

Washington visits the West. 

The Long Hunters explore the West. 

The Zanes found Wheeling. 

Moravians invited to Big Beaver. 

Captain Pittman in Illinois. 

Spain obtains possession of St. Louis. 

1771. March, The Boones return to North Carolina. 

1772. Indians killed by whites on Lower Kenawha. 

May 3, Moravians invited by Dela.vares, found Shoenbrun on the Muskingum. 

April, General Gage's proclamation against settlers on Wabash. 

1773. Sept. 25, Boone and others start to settle Kentucky. 

Oct. 10, Boone and others are attacked by Indians and turn back. 

Bullitt, McAfee, &c., descend the Ohio. 

Bullitt, McAfee, &c., survey at Falls, and on Kentucky river. 

General Thompson surveys in the valley of the Licking. 

General Lyman goes to Natchez. 
July, Purchase by Illinois Company in Illinois. 

1774. James Harrod in Kentucky. [within Virginia. 
January, Dunmore sends Connolly to take possession of Pittsburgh as being 
Jan. 25, Connolly calls out the militia; he is arrested by St. Clair; his follow- 
ers are riotous, and fire on the Indians. 

March 28, Connolly, released on parole, comes to Pittsburgh with an armed force. 

He rebuilds the fort and calls it Fort Dunmore. 
April 16, Cherokees attack a boat on the Ohio. 
April 2] , Connolly writes to the settlers to beware of the Indians. 

Cresap, having Connolly's letter, attacks Indians. 

Greathouse murders several Indians. 

Preparations for war. 

Logan revenges his family. 
June, Boone sent for surveyors in Kentucky. 

June 10, Friendly Shawanese attacked by Connolly. 

Traders murdered. 
July, McDonald attacks Wappatomica. 

Sept. 6 & 12, Troops under Lewis march down Kenhawa. 
Oct. 6, Troops under Lewis reach Point Pleasant. 

Oct. 10, Battle of Point Pleasant. 
November, Dunmore makes peace. 

1775. March 17, Treaty of Wataga; purchase by Transylvania Company. 
April 1, Boone goes to Kentucky and founds Boonesboro'. 
April 20, Henderson reaches Boonesboro'. 

May 23, Henderson calls representatives together. 

May 27, Legislature adjourns. 

April, Massachusetts Council try to prevent hostility by Iroquois. 

May, Guy Johnson influences Iroquois against Americans. 

June 28, Oneidas and Tuscaroras adhere to America. 

June, Boone and several families move to Kentucky. 

July, Congress forms three Indian Departments. 

August, Meeting of Commissioners and Indians at Albany. 

October, Meeting of Commissioners and Indians at Pittsbio'. 

Connolly arrested in Maryland. 

October, Purchase by Wabash Company on Wabash. 


1776. April 29, An attack on Detroit proposed in Congress. 

April 19, Washington advises tlie employment of the Indians. 
May, Indians incline to British. 

June 3, Congress authorises the employment of Indians. 

July 7 to 21, Indians attack Kentuckians ; settlers leave. 

George Rogers Clark moves to Kentucky. 
June 6, Kentuckians petition Virginia for admission as citizens, and choo3€- 

Clark and Jones members of Virginia Assembly. 
Augustus, Clark procures powder from Council of Virginia. 
Dec. 7, Virginia admits Kentucky among her counties. 

Clark and Jones return by Pittsbro' with powder. 
Dec. 25, Jones killed wliile going for powder to Limestone. 

Clark reaches Harrodsburg. 

1777. Summer, Cornstalk murdered at Point Pleasant. 

Congress of Indians and British at Oswego. 
Spring, Kentucky infested with savages. 

April, Kentucky chooses Burgesses. 

May, Logan's station attacked. 

April 20 to June 22 — Clark-s spies in Illinois. 
August, Logan crosses the mountains for powder. 

Colonel Bowman and 100 men come from Virginia. 
Sep.26&27,Fort Henry (Wheeling) attacked. 
September, First Court at Harrodsburg. 
Oct. 1, Clark leaves for Virginia. 

Nov. 20, The attack on Detroit urged in Congress, 
Dec. 10, Clark opens his plan for conquering Illinois to Governor of Virginia. 

1778. January 2, Orders issued to Clark to attack Illinois. 
February 7, Boone taken prisoner at Blue Lick. 
March 10, Boone carried to Detroit. 

June 24, Clark passes Falls of Ohio. 

June 16, Boone escapes. 

May, Mcintosh commands at Fort Pitt. 

Fort Mcintosh built. 
June 25, New Jersey objects to land claims of Virginia. 
July 4, Clark takes Kaskaskia. 

July 6, Clark takes Cahokia. 

Aug. 1, St. Vincents joins the American cause. 
Aug. 1, Boone goes to attack Paint creek town. 
Aug. 8, Boonesboro' besieged. 

Fort Laurens built. 
September, Clark holds council with the Indians. 
Sept. 17, Treaty with Delawares at Pittsbro'. 

October, Virginia grants Henderson and Company 200,000 acres on Green river. 
December, Governor Hamilton takes Vincennes. 

1779. Jan. 29, Clark hears of capture of Vincennes. 
January, Delaware objects to land claims of Virginia. 
Feb. 7, Clark starts against Hamilton. 

Feb. 24, Hamilton surrenders. 

Hamilton is sent to Virginia. 
April 1, Americans suspect and attack Iroquois. 

Lexington Kentucky settled. 
May, Virginia passes land laws. 

May 21, Maryland objects to land claims of Virginia. 
July, General Sullivan devastates Iroquois country. 

July, Bowman's expedition against Indian towns on Miamies. 

August, Fort Laurens abandoned. 

September, Indians treat with Brodhead at Fort Pitt. 
October, Rogers and Bcnham attacked by Indians. 
Oct. 13, Land Commissioners open their sessions in Kentucky. 
Oct. 30, Congress asks Virginia to reconsider land laws. 

1780. Hard winter — great suffering. 

Feb. 19, New York authorises a cession of western lands. 

Spring, Fort Jefferson built on Mississippi. 

Spring, Great emigration to Kentucky. 

May, Virginia grants lands in Kentucky for education. 

May, St. Louis attacked by British and Indians. 

Louisville established by law. 

June, Byrd invades Kentucky. 



1780. July, Clark prepares to attack Shawanese. 
July, He destroys British store on Miami, &c. 

Sept. 6, Resolution of Congress relative to western lands. 

October, Connecticut passes first act of cession. 

October, Fort Pitt threatened by savages. 

November, Kentucky divided into three counties. 

December, Clark prepares to attack Detroit. 

1781. Jan. 2, Virginia makes her first act of cession. 
January, Spaniards take St. Joseph's. 

Feb. 15, Mr. Jay instructed that he may yield the navigation of the Mississippi. 
March 1, New York cedes her western lands. 

Brodhead attacks Delawares on Muskingum. 
April 16, Mary Heckevvelder born ; first white child in Ohio. 

Americans begin to settle in Illinois. 

Chickasaws attack fort Jefferson. 
■ September, Colonel Floyd rescued by Wells. 
September, Moravians carried to Sandusky by British and Indians. 
October, Moravian missionaries taken to Detroit. 

Williamson leads a party against the Moravians, but finds the town 

Kentucky organized. [deserted. 

Great emigration of girls to Kentucky. 

1782. March, Moravians murdered by Americans. 
March, Moravian missionaries taken to Detroit. 
March 22, Estill's defeat. 

June, Crawford's expedition. 

June 11, Crawford burnt. 

Aug. 14, Attack on Bryant's station, 

Aug. 19, Battle of the Blue Licks. 

September, Clark invades the Miami valleys the second time. 

November, Land ofiices opened. 

Nov. 30, Provisional articles of peace with Great Britain. 

1783. Jan. 20, 
April 18, 
AprO 19, 

July 12, 

Sept. 3, 
Sept. 7, 
Sept. 13, 
Sept. 22, 
Oct. 15, 

Dec. 20. 
Nov. 25, 

1784. Jan. 4, 

March 1, 
March 4, 

April 9, 
June 22, 
Oct. 22, 

Dec. 27, 

1785, Jan. 21, 
May 20, 
May 23. 
August 8, 

Hostilities of United States and Great Britain cease. 

Kentucky formed into one District. 

Congress calls on States to cede lands. 

Peace proclaimed to the army. 

English propose to carry away negroes. 

Washington protests against course of English. 

Rufus Putnam applies for lands in west. 

Baron Steuben sent to receive western posts. 

Cassaty sent to Detroit. 

Virginia withdraws Clark's commission. 

Definitive treaty of peace. 

Washington writes to Duane about western lands. 

Congress proposes terms of cession to Virginia. 

Congress forbids all purchases of Indian lands. 

Congress instructs Indian Commissioners. 

Virginia grants Clark and his soldiers lands. 

Virginia authorises cession on terms proposed. 

British leave New York taking negroes; 

Daniel Brodhead opens a store in Louisville, 

Treaty of peace ratified by United States. 
James Wilkinson goes to Lexington Kentucky, 
Virginia gives deed of cession. 
Indian Commissioners reinstructed, 
Pittsburgh re-surveyed. 
Treaty of peace ratified by England, 
Virginia refuses to comply with treaty. 
England refuses to deliver up western posts. 
Treaty with Iroquois at Fort Stanwix. 
Logan calls meeting at Danville. 
First Kentucky Convention meets. 
Kentucky receives many emigrants. 

Treaty with Delawares, &c., at Fort Mcintosh. 
An attempt to settle at mouth of Scioto. 
Ordinance for survey of western lands passed. 
Second Kentucky Convention meets. 
Don Gardoqui comes from Spain. 
Third Kentucky Convention meets. 



S5. August, 

1786. January, 
Jan. 10, 
Jan. 31, 
March 1, 
May 16, 
May 26, 
June 30, 
July 29, 
Sept. 14, 
October 8, 

Dec. 22, 

1787. Jpnuary, 
March 8, 
July 27, 
July 13, 

August 18, 
August 29, 

Sept. 17, 
Oct. 27, 
Oct. 2, 
Oct. 3, 
Oct. 5, 
Nov. 23, 
Nov. 26, 

1788. Summer, 

Feb. 29, 
April 7, 
July 2, 
July 3, 
July 9, 
July 28, 
July 25, 

Sept. 2, 
Sept. 22, 

Nov. 4, 
Nov. 18, 
Dec. 24, 
Dec. 28, 
Dec. 29, 

1789. Jan. 9, 




Indians threaten hostility. 

Great confederacy of northwestern Indians formed by Brant. 

Fort Harmar built. 

Brant visits England to learn purposes of ministers. 

Virginia agrees to independence of Kentucky. 

Putnam and Tupper call meeting to form Ohio Company. 

Treaty with Shawanese at Fort Finney, (mouth of Great Miami.) 

Ohio Company of Associates formed. 

Governor of Virginia writes to Congress respecting Indian invasions. 

The negotiations as to Mississippi before Congress. 

Resolution of Congress produces cession by Connecticut. 

Congress authorises the invasion of northwestern territory. 

Pittsburgh Gazette first published. 

Mr. Jay authorized to yield navigation of Mississippi for a term of years. 

Clark and his troojjs .it Vincennes. 

Connecticnt makes second act of cession. 

Clark's troops leave him. 

Clark seizes Spanish -^-ropcrty at Vincennes. 

Virginia protest.! n gainst yielding navigation of Mississippi. 

Great dissatisfaction in the west. 

Governor of Virginia informed as to Clark's movements^ 

Great Indian Council in northwest ; they address Congress. 

Fourth Kentucky Convention meets. 

Ohio Company chooses Directors. 

Meeting in Kentucky relative to navigation of Mississippi. 

Wilkinson goes to New Orleans. 

Dr. Cutler negotiates with Congress for lands for Ohio Company. 

Congress make order in favor of Ohio Company. 

Ordinance passed for government of northwestern territory. 

Harry Innis refuses to prosecute invaders of Indian lands. 

Kentucky Gazette established. 

Symmes applies for land. 

Entries of Virginia Military Reserve, north of Ohio, begin. 

Fifth Kentucky Convention meets. 

Ohio Company completes contract for lands. 

Symmes' application referred to Board of Treasury. 

Troops ordered west. 

St. Clair appointed Governor of northwestern territory. 

Preparations made by Ohio Company to send settlers west. 

Symmes issues proposals for settlers. 

John Brown, first western representative goes to Congress. 

Indians expected to make treaty at Marietta. 

Great emigration ; 4,500 persons pass Fort Harmar. 

Denman purchases Cincinnati. 

The admission of Kentucky debated in Congress. 

Ohio Company settlers land at Muskingum. 

Marietta named. 

The admission of Kentucky refused by Congress. 

St. Clair reaches northwestern territory. 

Si.\th Kentucky Convention meets. 

First law of northwestern territory published. 

Symmes starts for the west 

Losantiville (Cincinnati) laid out. 

First court held at Marietta. 

Symmes reaches his j)urchase. 

Great Indian Council in northwest to forbid treaties with separate nations. 

Seventh Kentucky Convention meets. 

Columbia settled by Stites. 

Dr. Connolly in Kentucky as a British agent. 

The founders of Cincinnati leave Maysville. 

Cincinnati reached according to McMillan. 

Virginia passes third act to make Kentucky independent. 

George Morgan removes to New Madrid. 

Treaties of Fort Harmar concluded. 

Wilkinson goes to New Orleans again. 

Daniel Story, first teacher and preacher, in Ohio Company's purchase. 

Symmes' settlements tlireatnned by Indians. 

Major Doughty arrives at Symmes' purchase and begins Ft. Washington. 


1789. July, Western scouts withdrawn by Virginia. 
July 20, Eighth Kentucky Convention meets. 
September, Governor Miro of New Orleans writes Sebastian. 

Sept. 29, Congress empowers President to call out western militia. 
Oct. 6, President authorises Governor St. Clair to call out militia. 

Dec. 29, General Harmar reaches Cincinnati with 300 troops. 

1790. Jan. 1 or 2, Governor St. Clair at Cincinnati, which name is then given it. 
Spring, St. Clair goes west to Kaskaskia. 

April, Gamelin sent to Wabash Indians. 

May, Indian hostilities take place. 

July 15, St. Clair calls out western militia. 

July 26, Ninth Kentucky Convention meets. 

Sept. 15, Troops gather at Fort Washington. 

Sept. 30, Harmar leaves Fort Washington. 

Oct. 15, Colonel Hardin with the advance reaches Miami villages. 

^ Oct. 17, Main army reaches Miami villages. 

Oct. 18, Trotter goes after Indians. 

Oct. 19, Hardin's first defeat. 

Oct. 22, Hardin's second defeat. 

December, Kentuckians petition Congress to fight Indians in their own way. 

^ December, Admission of Kentucky to United States brought before Congress. 

December, Massie and others contract to settle Manchester. 

1791. Jan. 2, Big Bottom settlement destroyed by Indians. 
Feb. 4, Congress agree to admit Kentucky. 
March 3, Excise laid on spirits. 

March 9, Scott of Kentucky authorised to march against Indians. 

March 12, Procter starts on his western mission. 

April 27, Procter reaches Buffalo creek. 

May 5, Procter is refused a vessel to cross Lake Erie. 

May 15, St. Clair at Fort Washington preparing his expedition. 

May 21, Procter abandons his mission. 

May 23, Scott marches up Wabash. 

July 27, Meeting at Brownsville against excise. 

August 1, Wilkinson marches against Eel river Indians. 

Sept. 6, Collector of Alleghany and Washington counties (Penn.) attacked. 

Sept. 7. Meeting at Pittsburgh against excise. 

Sept. 17, St. Clair commences his march. 

Oct. 12, Fort Jefferson commenced. 

October, Wilson maltreated in west of Pennsylvania. 

Nov. 4, St. Clair's defeat. 

Nov. 8, The remainder of the army at Fort Washington. 

December, Convention elected to form Constitution for Kentucky. 

1792. January 7, Peace offered by the U. States to the Indians, through the Senecas. 
January 9, Pond and Stedman sent west. 

Feb. Brant invited to Philadelphia. 

Feb. 1, Wilkinson sends to field of St. Clair's defeat. 

Gallipolis settled. 

March, Iroquois chiefs visit Philadelphia. 

Aprils, Instructions issued to Trueman. 

April 3, Kentucky Constitution prepared. 

May 8, Excise laws amended. 

May 8, Captain Hendrick sent west. 

May 22, Instructions issued to Rufus Putnam. 

May 22, Trueman leaves Fort Washington--Hardin also. 

June General Wayne moves westward. 

June 20, Brant visits Philadelphia. 

Fire lands given to suflerers, by Connecticut. 

July 7, Indians seize O. M. Spencer, &c. 

Aug. 21, Great anti-excise meeting at Pittsburgh. 

Sept. 15, Washington issues proclamation on Lxcise law. 

Sept. '27, R. Putnam makes a treaty at Vincennes. 

Nov. 6, Adair attacked near Fort St. Clair. 

Nov. 6. Opposition to excise law dnninishes. 

December, United States troops at Legionville, on the Ohio. 

1793. March 1st, Lincoln, Randolph and Pickering, appointed to treat with Indians. J 
April, United States legion goes down to Cincinnati. 

Aprils, Genet reaches United States. 

May 17, Commissioners reach Niagara. 

May 18, Genet is presented;to WasTiington. 

May 30, First Democratic society in Philadelphia. 



1793. June, 

July 15, 
July 21, 
July 31, 
Aug. 16, 
Oct. 7, 
Oct. 13, 
Oct. 24, 
Oct. 17, 
Dec. 25, 
Dec. 25, 

1794. January, 
June 30, 
July 16, 
July 17, 
July 23, 
July 26, 
July 26, 
Aug. 1, 
Aug. 7, 
Aug. 8, 
Aug. 13, 
Aug. 18, 
Aug. 20, 
Aug. 21, 
Sept. 11, 
Sep). 25, 
Sept & Oct 
Dec. 28, 

1795. Jan. 24, 

June 16, 
Aug. 3, 
Aug. 10, 
Sept 5 or 9 
Oct. 27, 
Nov. 4, 











Commissioners correspond with Governor Simcoe. 

Commissioners meet ]3rant and hold a council. 

Commissioners at Elliott's house, mouth of Detroit river. 

Commissioners meet Indian delegates. 

FinaPaction of the commissioners and Indians. 

Wayne leaves Cincinnati with his legion. 

Wayne encamps at Greenville. 

Wayne is joined by Kentuckians under Scott. 

Lowryand Boyd attacked. 

French emissaries sent west. 

Field of St. Clair's defeat taken possession of by Wayne's troops. 

Dissatisfaction in the West. 

Opposition to e.xcise feebler. 

Whiskey riots recommence. 

Lord Dorchester's speech to Indians. 

The Mingo Creek Association formed. 

Wayne prepares for his campaign. 

General Simcoe builds a fort on the Maumee. 

Democratic society formed at Pittsburgh. 

Spaniards offer help to Indians. 

French emissaries forced to leave west. 

Contest respecting Presqu'isle. 

Indians attacked Fort Recovery, 

Suits commenced against whiskey rioters. 

First gathering about Neville's house. 

Neville's house burnt. 

Meeting at I\Iingo Creek. 

Mail robbed by Bradford. 

Scott, with 1600 men, joins Wayne. 

Great gathering at Braddock's field. 

Washington issues proclamation against whiskey rioters. 

Wayne near Maumee. 

Wayne sends his last peace message to Indians. 

Wayne builds Fort Deposit. 

Wayne meets and conquers Indians. 

Commissioners of government meet committee of rioters. 

British try to prevent Indians making peace. 

Vote taken upon obedience to the law in Pennsylvania. 

Washington calls out militia. 

Fort Wayne built. 

Indians ask for peace of Colonel Hamtramck. 

Indians sign preliminaries of a treaty. 

Prisoners are interchanged. 

Connecticut prepares to sell her reserve. 

Council of Greenville opens. 

The Baron de Carondelet writes Sebastian. 

Jay's tfeaty formed. 

Treaty of Greenville'signed. 

Council of Greenville closed. 

Grant by Congres.^ to Gallipolis settlers. 

Connecticut sells Western Reserve to Land company. 

Pinckney concludes treaty with Spain. 

Dayton laid out. 

Chillicothe founded. 

M. Adet, French IMinister, sends emissaries to disaflfect the west to 

the union. 
Sebastian visits the southwest. 
Cleveland laid out and named. 
British give up posts in northwest. 
Difficulties with Spain begin. 
General Wayne died. 
First paper mill in the west. 

Power visits Kentucky, and writes to Sebastian. 
Daniel Boone moves west of Mississippi. 
Occupying claimant law of Kentucky passed, 

W. H. Harrison appointed secretary^of Northwest territory. 

Alien and sedition laws passed. 

Nullifying resolutions in Kentucky. 

Death abolished in Kentucky, e.xcept for murder. 

Representatives for Northwest territory first chosen. 



1799; Feb. 4, Representatives of Northwest territory meet to nominate candidates 
for Council. 
February, Kentucky constitution amended. 
February Internal improvements talked of in Kentucky. 
Sept. 24, Assembly of Northwest territory organizes at Cincinnati. 
Oct. 6, W. H. Harrison appointed delegate in Congress for N. West territory. 

1800. May 7, 
May 30, 

Oct. 1, 
Nov. 3, 
Nov. 3, 






April 30, 

Oct. 16, 

Nov. 1, 

Nov. 29, 






Oct. 21, 

Dec. 20, 


March 26, 

May 14, 


Jan. 11, 

June 11, 






July 29, 


Aug. 21, 



Dec. 6, 

Dec. 10, 

Dec. 14. 



Jan. 17, 







Feb. 17, 







Nov. 7, 

Dec. 16, 


June 1, 

June 28, 

Indiana territory formed. 

Connecticut yields jurisdiction.'of her reserve to the U. States, and U. 

States gives her patents for the soil. 
Treaty of St. Ildefonso. 

Assembly of Northwest' territory meets at Chillicothe. 
First missionary in Connecticut Reserve. 

W. H. Harrison appointed Governor of Indiana territory. 

St. Clair re-appoinled Governor of Northwest territory. 

Cincinnati, in place of Chillicothe, again made seat of government for 

Northwest territory. 
Thomas Worthington goes to Washington to procure the erection of 

Ohio into a state. 

University at Athens, Ohio, established. 

First Bank in Kentucky. 

Congress agree that Ohio may become a state. 

The Spanish Intendant forbids the use of N.Orleans by the'Americans 

Convention meets to form a constitution for Ohio. 

Constitution formed. 

New Orleans opened to Americans again. 

Livingston and Munroe in France — purchase Louisiana. 

Lands located for Miami University. 

Miami Exporting Company chartered. 

The Senate ratily the purchase of Louisiana. 

Louisiana given up to the Americans. 

Louisiana organised. 

Lewis and Clarke start on their expedition. 

Michigan territory formed. 

Detroit burned to the ground. 

Burr visits the west. 

General Assembly meet in Indiana territory. 

Tecumthe and the Prophet begin to influence the Indians. 

Steps taken to make National road. 

Burr's letter to Wilkinson. 

Spaniards cross the Sabine. 

Burr goes west ; is at Pittsburg. 

Lewis and Clarke return from Oregon. 

Davies tries to arrest Burr. 

Sebastian found guilty by Kentucky House of Representatives. 

Burr's men go down the Ohio. 

Burr's boats and stores arrested. 

Burr meets his men at the mouth of the Cumberland. 

Burr yields to civil authority of Mississippi. 

Burr escapes and is seized. 

Burr's trial at Richmond. 

Slavery finally forbidden in Indiana. 

Bank of Marietta chartered. 

Bank of Chillicothe chartered. 

Tecumthe and the Prophet remove to Tippecanoe. 

Illinois territory formed. 
Miami University chartered. 

Meeting of Tecumthe and Harrison at Vincennes. 

Tecumthe goes to the south. 

Harrison proposes to visit Indians. 

Harrison marches toward Tippecanoe. 

First steamer (New Orleans) leaves Pittsburg. 

Battle of Tippecanoe. 

Great earthquakes begin. 

General Hull marches from Dayton. 

British at Maiden hear of the declaration of war. 


1812. July 1, Hull sends men and goods by water to Detroit. 
July 2, Hull hears of the declaration of war. 

July 12, Americans at Sandwich. 

July 17, Mackinac taken by the British. 

Aug. 7, Hull retires to Detroit. 

Aug. 13, Brock reaches Maiden. 

Aug. 14, Brock at Sandwich. 

Aug. 16, Brock before Detroit. 

Aug. 16, Hull surrenders. 

Aug, 15, Massacre of troops near Chicago. 

Sept. 8, Fort Harrison attacked. 

Sept. 17, W. H. Harrison appointed Commander in Northwest. 

Oct. General Hopkins attacks the Indians on the Wabash. 

Oct. Governor Edwards attacks the Indians on the Illinois. 

Dec. Colonel Campbell attacks the Indians on the Missisinncway. 

1813. Jan. 10. Winchester reaches the rapids of Maumeu. 
Jan. 17, Sends troops to Frenchtown. 

Jan. 18, British at Frenchtown defeated. 

Jan. 22, Americans defeated at Frenchtown, with great loss. 

Jan, 23, Massacreof the wounded. 

Jan. 24, Harrison retreats to Portage river. 

Feb. ], Harrison advances to Maumee, and builds Fort Meigs. 

April 28, Fort Meigs besieged. 

May 5, General Clay reaches Fort Meigs ; Dudley's party lost. 

May 9, British return to Maiden. 

July 18, British fleet prepare to attack Erie. 

July 31, Fort Stephenson besieged. 

Aug. 2, Siege of Fort Stephenson raised. 

Aug. 4, Perry's vessels leave Erie. 

Sept. 10, Victory by Perry, on lake Erie. 

Sept. 27, American army at Maiden. 

Sept. 29, American army at Sandwich. 

Oct. 5, Battle of the Thames. 

1814. Feb. Holmes's expedition into Canada. 
Feb. J. C. Symmes died. 

July, Expedition under Croghan against Mackinac. 

July, Fort Shelby, at Prairie du Chien, taken by the British. 

July 22, Treaty with Indians at Greenville. 

Oct. Nov. McArthur's expedition into Canada. 

Dec. 24, Treaty of Ghent. 

1815. Various treaties with Indians. 
Feb. Ohio taxes the Banks. 

1816. March, Pittsburgh incorporated. 
March, Columbus made capital of Ohio. 
Dec. Bank of Shawneetown chartered. 
Dec. General Banking law of Ohio passed. 
Dec. 11, Indiana admitted to the Union. 

1817. September, Northwest of Ohio bought of Indians. 

Jan. & Oct. United States bank opens branches in Cincinnati and Chillicothe. 

1818. Aug. 26, Illinois becomes a State. 

1819. The first steamer on Lake Erie. 
September, Conest of Ohio and the United States bank. 

1820. December, Nullification resolutions of Ohio. 
Nov. 23, Missouri admitted to United States. 
May, Cass visits Lake Superior, &c. 

1822. Jan. 31, Ohio moves in relation to canals. 
Jan. 31, Ohio moves in relation to schools. 

1823. Feb. 14, Illinois moves in relation to canals. 

1825. Feb. 4 & 5, Ohio passes canal and school laws. 

1826. The first steamer on Lake Michigan. 

1830. Treaty by Keokuk at Prairie du Chien. 

1831. Blackhawk driven west of Mississippi. 

1832. First steamer at Chicago. 
Blackhawk crosses Mississippi again. 


1832. February, Great flood in Ohio. 
May 14, Stillman's defeat. 

Indian creek settlement destroyed. 
Blackhawk defeated on Wisconsin. 
Blackhawk defeated on Mississippi. 
Blackhawk delivered to United States. 
Cholera among Scott's troops and along Lakes. 
Treaty with Indians. 
Cholera at Cincinnati and along the Ohio. 

Michigan asks admission to United States. 
Congress offers her conditions. 

Terms offered Michigan rejected. 
Terms in a second Convention agreed to. 

Michigan admitted. 

Alton riots, Lovejoy killed. 

Contest with Mormons in Missouri. 

Bank Commissioners appointed in Ohio. 

Nauvoo founded. 

Cincinnati Astronomical society founded. 

Illinois banks closed by Legislature. 
Corner stone of Cincinnati Observatory laid. 

Joe Smith killed. 

Banking law of Ohio creating a State bank with branches, and 
independent banks. 
April, Observatory at Cincinnati finished. 

May 21, 
July 21, 
Aug. 2, 
Aug 27, 

















June 27, 




Ameiican State Papers. 21 vols. Washington. 

Vols. r. to IV. are ForeiRn Afl'airs, I. to IV. 

" V. and VI. " Indian Affairs. I., II. 

" VII.. VIII., IX. are Finance, I., II., III. 

" X., X!., are Commerce, &c., I., II. 

'• XII., XIII., are Military Affairs, I., 11. 

" XIV. is Naval Affairs, I. 

" XV. is Post Office, I , 

" XVI.. XVII., XVIII. are Public Land?, I,, II., III. 

" XIX. is Claims, I. 

" XX. XXI. are Miscellaneous, I., II. 
American Archives. Fourth Series. 5 Vols. Washington. 1837 to 1844. 
American Pioneer. Cincinnati. 1842. 1843. 
Atwater'e History of Ohio. Cincinnati. No date. 
Account of the First Discovery of Florida, London. 1763. 
Account of the French Settlements in North America. Boston. 174G. 
Account of Conferences and Treaties between Sir William Johnson, and Indians, at Fort Johnson: 

in 1755, '56. London. 1756. 
Almoii's Rememlirancer ; from 1775 to 1784. London. Publislied from year to year : with an intro- 
ductory volume, frivini,' mailer previous to 1775. 
American Remembrancer, giving matter in relation to Jay's treaty, 1795. 3 Vols. Philadelphia. 

Armstrong's Notices of the War of 1812. 2 vols. New York. ISiO. 
Allen's American Biographical Dictionary. Boston. 1832. 

Bancroft's History United States. Boston, 1834 to 1840. 

Butler's Kentucky. Second edition. Cincinnati, 183G. 

Brown's History of Illinois. New York. 1844. 

Butler"s History of Kentucky. Cincinnati. 1830. 

Burk's History ol Virginia. 

Bouquet's E.i£pedilion, 1764. London, 1766. 

Barbe Marbois' History of Louisiana. Translation. Philadelphia. 1830. 

Brackenridge's Incidents of the Whiskry Insurrection. Philadelphia. 1795. — N. B. This is one 

volume in three parts, each paged as, and called, a srparate volume. Vol. I. gives the incidents 

from July to September. 1794. Vol. II. those which followed. Vol. IIL those which preceded. 

There is also an appendix. 
Brief State of the Province of Pennsylvania : in which the conduct of the As.'jembly is examined. 

liOndon, 1755. 
Answer to the above. London, 1755. 

Brief View of the conduct of Pennsylvania in 1755. London. 1756. 
Brown's Views of the Campaign of the Northwest Army. Troy, N. Y. 1814. 
Brown's History of the Second War of Independence. 
Boone's Adventures. N. Y. 1844. 
Beecher's Account pf Alton Riots. Alton. 1838. 
Blackhawk's Account of Himself. Cincinnati. 1833 
Butler's Western Chronology. Frankfort, Ky. 1837. 
Burgess' Account of Perry's Victory, with strictures on the conduct of Captain Elliott. Boston. 1839. 

Charlevoix's New France. Paris. 1744. 1774. 

'• Journal. " " ,' 

Carver's Travels. London. 1780.— Philadelphia. 1789 —New York. 1838. 
Contest in America between England and France. (Said to be by Dr. Mitchell.) London. 1757. 
Colden's History of the Iroquois. London. 1755. 

Correspondence of Genet, &c. Phila(leli)hia. 1793. [N. B.— This gives hia secr2t instructions.] 
Coxe's Description of Carolana- London. 1722. 
Carey's American Museum, Sec. Philadelphia. 1789, &.C. 
Cincinnati Directory. 1819. 
Cist's Cincinnati. Cincinnati. 1841. 
Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany. 2 Vols. 1844. 1845. 
Chase's Laws. 3 Vols. Cincinnati. 1835. 

" Sketch of History of Ohio. Cincinnati. 1833. 
Campbell's Remains. Columbus. 1838. 

Drake's Indian Captivities. Boston. 1839. 

Doddridge's Notes. Wcllsburgh, Va. 1824. 

Dillon's History of Indiana. Vol.1. Indianapolis. 1843. 

Drake's Picture of Cincinnati. Cincinnati. 1815. 

Drake's Life of Tecumseh. Cincinnati. 1841. 

Drake's Life of niackhawk. Cincinnati. 1846. 

Dalliba's Narrative of the Battle of Brownstovvn, Aucust 9, 1812. New York. 1816. 

Davis's Memoirs of Burr. 2 Vols. New York. 1837. 

Dawson's Life of Harrison. Cincinnati. 1824. 

Expedition of Braddock; being extracts of letters from an officer. London. 1755. 
Enquiry into causes of the Alienation of the Delaware and Shawantse Indians from the British in- 
terest. TakCQ from Public Documents. London. 1759. 


EIIlcoU's Journal. &:c. Philadelphia. 1603. 

Executive Journals of the Senate. 3 Vols. Washington, 1828. 

Pilson's Account of Kentucky. London. 1793. 

Findley's History of the Whiskey Insurrection. Philadelphia. 17S6. 

Filson's Account of Kentucky in French. Paris. 1785. [N. B.— This is a P.S. to Crevecceur a 

Letters of a Planter.] 
Flint's Recollections ot Last Ten Years in Mississippi Valley. Boston. 1826. 
Flint's Geography. Cincinnati. 1832. 

Gibbs' Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and John Adams. 2 vols. N. Y. 184C. 
Greene's Facts relative to the Mormons. Cincinnati. 1839. 

Hennepin's Louisiana. Paris. 1684. 

" New Discovery. Utrecht. 4697. 

Hall's Sketches of the West, Philadelphia, 1835. 
Holmes Annals. 2 Vols. Cambridge. 1829. 
Hall's Statistics of the West. Cincinnati. 1836. 
Histoire General des Voyages. Paris. 1757. 
Harrison's Address, 1837, in Ohio Historical Transactions. 
Heckewelder's Narrative. Philadelphia. 1820. 

Hull'sTrial. Boston. 1814. [N. [3.— This volume does not give the evidence.] 
Hull's Memoirs. Boston. 1824. 
Hull's Defence. Boston. 1814. 

Historical Register of United States. Edited by T. H. Palmer. 4 Vols. Philadelphia. 1814. 
History of Louisiana. By M. Le Page du Pratz. 2 veils. Paris. 1758. 

" Translated. Loudon. 1763. ■'' 

Historical Collections of Pennsylvania. By Sherman Day. Philadelphia and New Haven. _Nodate. 
Hutchins' Geographical Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, &c. London. 1778. 

'' Historical Narrative and Topographical Description of Louisiana, &c. Philadelphia. 1784. 
History of the conquest of Florida by De Soto. Paris. 1685 —London. 16t6. 
Hall's Memoir of Harrison. Philadelphia and Cincinnati. 1836. 
Hunt's History of the Mormon War. St. Louis. 1844. 
Hesperian. (Periodical.) Columbus and Cincinnati. 
Hall's Wilderness and War-path, in Wiley and Putnam's Library. New York. 1846. 

Independent Chronicle and General Advertiser. Boston. [N. B.— Democratic] 
Imlay's Topograohical Description of the Western Territory of North America. Published in one 
volume in London, in 1792, 1793 and in 1797.— The edition of 1797 contains Pownal's Topo- 
graphy ; Filson's Kentucky ; the two works of Hutchins, and ten other additions. It was repub- 
lished in 2 vols, at N. Y., 1793. 
Indian Treaties from 1778 to 1837. Washington. 1837. 

Jefferson's Memoirs and Correspondence. Boston and New York. 1830, 

•' Notes on Virginia. London. 1787. 

Journal of the Federal Convention. Boston. 1819. 

Kercheval's Valley of Virginia. 

Kentucky Resolutions on798. Richmond, V. 1832. 

Kilbourn's Gazetteer of Ohio. Columbus. 1837. 

La Salle, Sparks' Life of. Boston. 1844. 

Land Laws of United States. Washington. 1828. 

Lettres Edifiantes.* Paris. 1781. 

" Original edition published from year to year. 

Lanman's His'ory of Michigan. New York. 1843. 

Letter to a Friend, giving an account of Braddock's Defeat. Boston. 1755. 
Letters from an American Farmer, &e. Bv Hector St. John de Crevecceur. First published In 

French. 3 Vols. Pari 

do. of Big Beaver from ' 

eyes. A fourth volume gives Filson's Account of Kentucky.] 
Loskiel's History of Moravian Missions. London. 1791. 
Land Laws affecting Ohio. Columbus. 1825. 
Latrobe's Rambler in America. New York. 1835. 
Laws of Missouri. Jefferson City. 1842. 
" Indiana, revised. 
" Ohio, " Columbus. 1841. 

Law's Historical Address at Vincennes. Louisville. 1839. 

Marquette's Journal in Thevenot.f Paris. 1681. 

Marquette, Life of by Sparks. Boston. 

Marshall's History of Kentucky. 2 Vols, Frankfort. 1824. 

McClung's Western Adventure. Cincinnati. 1839. 

Morehead's Address. Frankfort, 1841. 

Meraoires Historiques sur la Louisiane. Paris. 1753. 

Massachusetts Historical Collections. 29 Vols. 3 Series. Boston. 1806 to 184C. 

Mante's History of the War of 1754-63. 1772. Probably published at London. 

Minutes of the Treaty of Carlisle in 1753. No date of publication. 

Mac Afee's History of the War of 1812. Leiuigton, Ky. 1816. 

* Since this work went to press, a translation of the Letters referred to in It has been published in 
New York, in a couple of volumes entitled " Early Jesuits in North America. Translated by Kev. 
William Ingraham Kip." 

t Since this work went to press, a volume called " Notes on the Northwest by Wm. J. A. Bradford," 
has reached us, in which an attempt is made to throw discredit upon Marquette's alleged discovery. 
The attempt is, however, based upon an error, viz. that Marquette's account was not published till 
1687, after La Salle's Vo>a2e, whereas it appeared in 1C81, ihe year before La Salle reached the 
Mississippi. Mr. Bradford had never seen the original edition of Thevenot. See his " Notes," p. 68 

ris. 17B7. r\. B.— Contains map of Scioto, from General Richard (Butler : 
n" White Mingo :" do of Muskingum from Bouquet, Hutchins, and White- 


Memoirs on the Last War In North America. 3 Vols. Yverdon. 1781. [N. B.— This work is in 

Freiicli. 'J'lie Scioto is licre written Sonliioto.] 
Minutes of tlie rrovinclal Council of rennsylvania. Tublisheil by the State. 3 vols. Harrisburg, 

J838an(l 1810. 
Marshall's Life of Washinston. 5 Vols. Philadelphia. 1804 and 1807. 
Martin's History of Louisiana. 2 Vols. New Orleana. 1829. 
McDonald's Sketches. Cincinnati. 1838. / 

Nicollet's Report to the Senate. Washington. 1S43.'' 

North American Review. Boston. 

New York Historical Collections. 3 Vols. New York. IBIL 1814. 1821. 

Niles' Weekly Rcf^ister. Baltimore. 

Observations on the North American Land Company, &c. London. 1796. 

Old Journals of Congress, from 1774 to 1788. 4 Vols. Way & Gideon. Washington. 1823. 

Ohio Journals, published yearly. y 

Ohio Canal Documents. Columbus. 1828. 

Pownall's Memorials on Service in North America. London. 1767. 

Present State of North America. London. 1755. 

Proud's History of Pennsylvania. 2 Vols. PJiiladelphia. 1797. 

Plain Facts. Philadelphia. 1781. 

Proofs of the Corruption of James Wilkinson. By Daniel Clark. Philadelphia. 1809. 

Plea in vindication of the Connecticut 'J'iile to contested lands west of New York. By Benjamin 

Trumbull. New Haven. 1774. 
Present State of Virginia, &c. By Hugh Jones. London. 1724. 

Present Slate of European Settlements on Mississippi. By Captain Philip Fittman. London. 1770, 
Pitkin's History of the United States. New Haven. 1828. 

Revised Statutes of Virginia. Richmond. 1819. 

Report of the Committee to inquire into the conduct of General Wilkinson, February, 1811. Wash- 
ington. 1811. 

Review of the Military Operations in North America, from 1743 to 175G. By Governor Livingston, 
of New Jersey. I.ond' ii. 1757. 

Ramsay's History ol ihe V\ ar from 1755 to 17G3. Edinburgh. 1779. 

Relations de la Louisiaue, &c. 2 Vols. Amsterdam. 1720. N. B.— Vol. second contains the 
documents relative to Law's Mia^issippi Company. 

Rogers' Journals. London. 1765. 

Renwick on the Stenm Engine. New York. 1839. 

Silliman's Journal. Vol. 31. New Haven. 1837. 

Sparks' Washington. 12 Vols. Boston. 1837. 
" Franklin. 10 Vol, Boston, 1840. 
" Life of Morris. Boston. 1832. 

Stuart's Memoirs of Indian Wars. 

Stone's Life Urandt. 2 Vols. New York. 1838. 

Smollett's History of England. 

Stoddard's Sketches of Louisiana. Philadelphia. 1812. 

Set of Plans and Forts in North America, reduced from actual survey. 1763. Probably published at 

State of British and French Colonics in North America. In two letters to a friend. London. 1755. 

St. Clair's Narrative of his campaign. Philadelphia. 1812. 

Smyth's Travels in America. 3 Vols. London. 1784. See p. 135 of this volume. [N. B.— Ly- 
man C. Draper, of Baltimore, who has tested Dr. Smyth's work by original documents in his posses- 
sion, pronounces it full of entire falsehoods; not mere exagerations, but shameless lies. — Manu- 
script letter to Cincinnati Historical Society.] 

Secret Journals of Congress. 4 Vols. Boston. 1820. 

Stipp's Miscellany. Xenia, Ohio. 1827. 

State of the case relative to United States Bank in Ohio. Cincinnati. 1823. 

Thatcher's Lives of the Indians. 2 vols. N. Y. 1822. 

Transactions of American Antiquarian Society. Worcester, Mass. 1820. 

Tonti's Account of La Salle's Discoveries. Paris IC87. [Spurious.] 

Todd & Drake's Life of Harrison. Cincinnati. 1840. 

Travels in North America in 179.% '96 and '97, by Isaac Weld. 2 Vols. London. 1799. 

Travels in Louisiana. By Bossu. Translated by J. R, Forster. London. 1771. 

Transactions of Ohio Historical Society, containing Burnet's Letters. Cincinnati. 1839. 

Universal Modern History. London. 1763. 

United States Gazette, edited by John Fetino. Published at New York from April 15, 1789 to Nov- 
ember, 3, 1790 ; then transferred to Philadelphia. It was Federal. 

VoIney'sView of the Climate and Soil of the United States. London. 1804. 

View of the Title to Indiana, a tract of country on the river Ohio. Philadelphi.1. 1776. [N. B.— 
Sec page 107 of this volume. This contains the treaty of Fort Stanwix of 1768.] 

Voyages, ikc. relative to the Discovery of America. Paris, 1841. 

Whittlesey's Discourse on Lord Dunmore's Expedition. Cleveland. 1842. 

" Life of Fitch. (In American Biography, New Series, vi.) Boston 

Withers' Chronichs of Border Warfare. Clarksburg h, Va. 1821. 

Western Monthly Magazine. Cincinnati. 1832, &c. Periodical. 

Washington's Journal. Published at VVilliamsburgh, Va. Republished London, 1754, with a map. 
[N. B.— On this map the Scio;o is called " Sikoder," and lake Erie " Erri or Okswego.' ' This last 
name is also given lake Erie on the map to Coldcn's history of Die Iroquois. London, 1755. On 
the Cumberland is marked " Walker's Settlement, 1750.'' See page 111 and note of this volume,] 

Wctmnre's Missouri Gazetteer. St. Louis. 1837. 

Wilkinson's Memoirs. 3 Vols. Philadelphia. 1816. 

Western Messenser. Periodical. Cincinnati. 

Western Garland, Periodical. Cincinnati. 


In the year 1512, on Easter Sunday, the Spanish name for 
which is Pascua Florida ; * Juan Ponce de Leon, an old com- 
rade of Columbus, discovered the coast of the American con- 
tinent, near St. Augustine ; and, in honor of the day, as well 
as because of the blossoms which covered the trees along the 
shore, named the new-found country Florida. Juan had been 
led to undertake the discovery of strange lands, partly by the 
hope, common to all his countrymen at that time, of finding 
endless stores of gold, and partly by the wish to reach a fountain 
that was said to exist, deep within the forests of North America, 
which possessed the power of renovating the life of those who 
drank of, or bathed in, its waters. In return for his discovery 
he was made Governor of the region he had visited, but various 
circumstances prevented his return thither until 1521, and then 
he went only to meet with death at the hands of the Indians. 

In the mean time, in 1516, a roving Spanish sea captain, 
Diego Miruelo, had visited the coast first reached by Ponce de 
Leon, and in his barters with the natives had received con- 
siderable quantities of gold, with which he returned home, and 
spread abroad new stories of the wealth hidden in the interior. 

Ten years, however, passed before Pamphilo de Narvaez 
undertook to prosecute the examination of the lands north of the 
Gulf of Mexico ; the shores of which, during the intervening 
years, had been visited and roughly surveyed. Narvaez was 
excited to action by the late astonishing success of the conqueror 
of Montezuma, but he found the gold for which he sought, fly 
constantly before him; each tribe of Indians referred him to 
those living still farther in the interior, and from tribe to tribe 

* Pascua, the old English « Pasch" or Passover; "Pascua Florida" is the "Holy- 
day of Flowers." 

2 De Soto in Florida. 1540, 

he and his companions wandered, weary and disappointed, 
during six months; then, having reached the shore again, naked 
and famished, they tried to regain the Spanish colonies; but of 
three hundred only four or five at length reached Mexico. And 
still these disappointed wanderers persisted in their original 
fancy that Florida* was as wealthy as Mexico or Peru; and 
after all their wanderings and sufferings so told the world, f 

Among those to whom this report came, was Ferdinand de 
Soto, who had been with Pizarro in the conquest of Peru, and 
who longed for an opportunity to make himself as rich and noted 
as the other great Captains of the day. He asked leave of the 
King of Spain to conquer Florida at his own cost. It was given 
in 1538; with a brilliant and noble band of followers, he left 
Europe; and in May 1539, after a stay in Cuba, anchored his 
vessels near the coast of the Peninsula of Florida, in the bay 
of Spiritu Santo, or Tampa bay.:]: 

De Soto entered upon his march into the interior with a deter- 
mination to succeed. He had brought with him all things that 
it was supposed could be needful, and that none might be 
tempted to turn back, he sent away his vessels. From June till 
November, of 1539, the Spaniards toiled along until they reached 
the neighborhood of Appalachee bay, finding no gold, no foun- 
tain of youth. During the next season, 1540, they followed the 
course suggested by the Florida Indians, who wished them out 
of their country, and going to the north east, crossed the rivers 
and climbed the mountains of Georgia. De Soto was a stern, 
severe man, and none dared to murmur. Still finding no cities 
of boundless wealth, they turned westward, towards the waters 

* By Florida the Spaniards of early times meant at least all of North America south 
of the Great Lakes. 

t For facts in relation to Florida see Bancroft's Hist. U. S., Vol. I. 

\ The original authorities in relation to De Soto, are an anonymous Portuguese writer^ 
a gentleman of Elvas, who claims to have been an eye-witness of what he relates ; and 
Luis Hernandez de Biedma, who was also with the expedition, and presented hia 
account to the Spanish King in 1544. We have also a letter from De Soto, to the 
authorities of the city of Santiago, in Cuba, dated July 9, 1539. These authorities in 
the main agree, though the Portuguese account is much the fullest, and the Governor's 
letter of course relates but few events. The Portuguese narrative was published ia 
1557 ; Hakluyt gave it in English in 1609, and it was again published in London in 
1686; a French translation appeared in Paris in 16S5. Its credibility is questioned. 
See Sparks in Butler's Kentucky, 2d Ed. 498; also, Bancroft's U. S. I ; 66. note. The 
account by Biedma and De Soto's letter arc in a work published in Paris, called " Voy- 
ages, Relations, et 3Iemoins origi?iaux pour servir a Vhistoirc de la decouverle de 
VAmcrique.^' One volume of this collection relates to Florida, and appeared in 1841. 
We have epitomised the account as given by Bancroft in his first volume. 

1542. Death of De Soto. 3 

of the Mobile, and following those waters, in October (1540,) 
came to the town of Mavilla on the Alabama, above the junction 
of the Tombecbee. This town the Europeans wished to occupy, 
but the natives resisted them, and in a battle which ensued, the 
Indians were defeated. 

Finding himself, notwithstanding his victory, exposed to con- 
stant attacks from the redmen at this point, De Soto resumed his 
march towards the Mississippi, and passed the winter, probably, 
near the Yazoo. In April 1541, once more the resolute Spaniard 
set forward, and upon the first of May reached the banks of the 
Great River of the West, not far from the 35th parallel of lati- 
tude. A month was spent in preparing barges to convey the 
horses, many of which still lived, across the rapid stream. Hav- 
ing successfully passed it, the explorers pursued their way north- 
ward, into the neighborhood of New Madrid ; then turning west- 
ward again, marched more than two hundred miles from the 
Mississippi to the highlands of White river. And still no gold, 
no gems, no cities ; only bare prairies, and tangled forests, and 
deep morasses. To the south again they toiled on, and passed 
their third winter of wandering upon the Washita. In the fol- 
lowing spring (1542,) De Soto, weary with hope long deferred, 
descended the Washita to its junction with the Mississippi, wish- 
ing to learn the distance and direction of the sea. He heard, 
when he reached the mighty stream of the West, that its lower 
portion flowed through endless and uninhabitable swamps. — 
Determined to learn the truth, he sent forward horsemen; in 
eight days they advanced only thirty miles. The news sank 
deep into the stout heart of the disappointed warrior. His men 
and horses were wasting around him; the Indians near by 
challenged him, and he dared not meet them. His health 
yielded to the contests of his mind and the influence of the 
climate; he appointed a successor, and upon the 21st of May 
died. His body was sunk in the stream of the Mississippi. 

Deprived of their energetic though ruthless leader, the Span- 
iards determined to try to reach Mexico by land. They turned 
West again therefore, and penetrated to the Red river, wander- 
ing up and down in the forests, the sport of inimical Indians. 
The Red river they could not cross, and jaded and heartless, 
again they went eastward, and reached in December 1542, the 
great Father of waters once more. Despairing of success in 

4 French in the West. 1671. 

the attempt to rescue themselves by land, they proceeded to pre- 
pare such vessels as they could to take them to the sea. From 
January to July 1543, the weak, sickly band of gold-seekers, 
labored at the doleful task ; and in July reached, in the vessels 
thus wrought, the Gulf of Mexico, and by September, entered 
the river Panuco. One-half of the six hundred* who had dis- 
embarked with De Soto, so gay in steel and silk, left their bones 
among the mountains and in the morasses of the South, from 
Georgia to Arkansas. 

Such was the first expedition by Europeans, into the great 
Western Valley of North America. They founded no settle- 
ments, left no traces, produced no effect unless to excite the 
hostility of the red against the white men, and to dishearten such 
as might otherwise have tried to follow up the career of dis- 
covery to better purpose. As it was, for more than a century 
after the expedition of De Soto, the West remained utterly 
unknown to the whites. In 1616, four years before the Pilgrims 
"moored their bark on the wild New England shore," Le Caron, 
a French Franciscan, had penetrated through the Iroquois and 
Wyandotsf to the streams which run into Lake Huron ; and in 
1634, two Jesuits had founded the first mission among the rivers 
and marshes of the region east of that great inland sea; but it 
was 1641, just one hundred years after De Soto reached the 
Mississippi, that the first Canadian envoys met the savage nations 
of the Northwest, at the falls of St. Mary, below the outlet of 
lake Superior. This visit, however, led to no permanent result, 
and it was not till 1659 that even any of the adventurous fur- 
traders spent a winter on the frozen and inhospitable shores of 
the vast lake of the North, nor till 1660 that the unflinching 
devotion of the Missionaries caused the first station to rise upon 
its rocky and pine-clad borders. But Mesnard, who founded 
that station, perished in the woods in a few months afterward, 
and five more years slipped by before Father Claude Allouez, in 
1665, built the earliest of the lasting habitations of white men 
among the kindly and hospitable Indians of the Northwest. 
Following in his steps, in 1668, Claude Dablon and James 
Marquette founded the mission at St. Mary's Falls; in 1670, 

* De Biedma says there landed 620 men. 

+ The VVyandots are the same as the Hurojns. Heckewelder's Narr. 336, note : see 
their traditionary history by J. Badger, a Missionary among them. — Cist's Cincinnati 
Miscellany I. 153. 

1673. Marquette leaves Green Bay. 5 

Nicholas Perrot, as agent for Talon, the intendant of Canada, 
explored lake Michigan as far as Chicago; in 1671 formal pos- 
session was taken of the Northwest by French officers in the 
presence of Indians assembled from every part of the surround- 
ing region, and in the same year Marquette gathered a little flock 
of listeners, at Point St. Ignatius, on the main land north of the 
island of Mackinac* During the three years which this most 
excellent man had now spent in that country, the idea of explor- 
ing the lands yet farther towards the setting sun, had been grow- 
ing more and more definite in his mind. He had heard, as all 
had, of the great river of the West, and fancied upon its fertile 
banks, — not mighty cities, mines of gold, or fountains of youth — 
but whole tribes of God's children to whom the sound of the 
Gospel had never come. Filled with the wish to go and preach 
to them he obeyed with joy the orders of Talon, the wise inten- 
dant of Canada, to lead a party into the unknown distance ; and 
having received, as companions on behalf of the government, a 
Monsieur Joliet, of Quebec, together with five boatmen, in the 
spring of 1673, he prepared to go forth in search of the much 
talked of stream. f 

Upon the 13th of May, 1673, this little band of seven left 
Michillimacinac in two bark canoes, with a small store of 
Indian corn and jerked meat, bound they knew not whither. 

The first nation they visited, one with which our reverend 
Father had been long acquainted, being told of their venturous 
plan, begged them to desist. There were Indians, they said, on 
that great river, who would cut off their heads without the least 
cause; warriors who would seize them; monsters who would 
swallow them, canoes and all; even a demon, who shut the way, 
and buried in the waters that boiled about him, all who dared 
draw nigh ; and, if these dangers were passed, there were heats 
there that would infallibly kill them. "I thanked them for their 
good advice," says Marquette, "but I told them that I could 
not follow it; since the salvation of souls was at stake, for which 
I should be overjoyed to give my life." 

Passing through Green Bay, from the mud of which, says our 
voyager, rise " mischievous vapors, that cause the most grand 

"This was the first town of Michillimacinac. The post and station north of the 
Btrait were afterward destroyed, and others with the same name, St. Ignatius, built on 
the southern shore, at the extremity of the peninsula of Michigan — Charlevoix'' s Journal, 

fFor the above dates, &c., see Bancroft's U. S., Vol. III. 

6 Marquette reaches the Mississippi. 1673. 

and perpetual thunders that I have ever heard," they entered 
Fox river, and toihng over stones which cut their feet, as they 
dragged their canoes through its strong rapids, reached a village 
where lived in union theMiamis, Mascoutens,:j: and " Kikabeux" 
(Kickapoos.) Here Allouez had preached, and behold! in 
the midst of the town, a cross, {une belle d'oix,) on which 
hung skins, and belts, and bows, and arrows, which "these 
good people had offered to the gi-eat Manitou, to thank him 
because he had taken pity on them during the winter, and had 
given them an abundant chase." 

Beyond this point no Frenchman had gone; here was the 
bound of discovery; and much did the savages wonder at the 
hardihood of these seven men, who, alone, in two bark canoes, 
were thus fearlessly passing into unknown dangers. 

On the 10th of June, they left this wondering and well-wish- 
ing crowd, and, wuth two guides to lead them through the lakes 
and marshes of that region, started for the river, which, as they 
heard, rose but about three leagues distant, and fell into the 
Mississippi. Without ill-luck these guides conducted them to 
the portage, and helped them carry their canoes across it; then, 
returning, left them "alone amid that unknown country, in the 
hand of God." 

With prayers to the mother of Jesus they strengthened their 
souls, and committed themselves, in all hope, to the current of 
the westward-flowing river, the "Mescousin" (Wisconsin;) a 
sand-barred stream, hard to navigate, but full of islands covered 
with vines, and bordered by meadows, and groves, and pleasant 
slopes. Down this they floated until, upon the 17th of June, 
they entered the Mississippi, "with a joy," says Marquette, 
"that I cannot express." 

Quietly floating down the great river, they remarked the deer, 
the buffaloes, the swans, — " wingless, for they lose their feathers 
in that country," — the great fish, one of which had nearly 
knocked their canoe into atoms, and other creatures of air, earth, 
and water, but no men. At last, however, upon the 21st of 
June, they discovered, upon the western bank of the river, the 
foot-prints of some fellow mortals, and a little path leading into 
a pleasant meadow. Leaving the canoes in charge of their 
followers, JoUet and Father Marquette boldly advanced upon 

i In Charlevoix's time these occupied the country from the Illinois to the Fox river, 
and from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi. — See his Map. 

5673. Marquette reaches Arkansas. 7 

this path toward, as they supposed, an Indian village. Nor 
were they mistaken; for they soon came to a little town, to 
which, recommending themselves to God's care, they went so 
nigh as to hear the savages talking. Having made their pres- 
ence known by a loud cry, they were graciously received by an 
embassy of four old men, who presented them the pipe of peace, 
and told thera, that this was a village of the "Illinois." The 
voyagers were then conducted into the town, where all received 
them as friends, and treated them to a great smoking. After 
much complimenting and present-making, a grand feast was 
given to the Europeans, consisting of four courses. The first 
was of hominy, the second of fish, the third of a dog,* which 
the Frenchmen declined, and the whole concluded with roast 
buflfalo. After the feast they were marched through the town 
with great ceremony and much speech-making; and, having 
spent the night, pleasantly and quietly, amid the Indians, they 
returned to their canoes with an escort of six hundred people. 
The Illinois, Marquette, like all the early travellers, describes as 
remarkably handsome, well-mannered, and kindly, even some- 
what effeminate. 

• Leaving the Illinois, the adventurers passed the rocks upon 
which were painted those monsters of whose existence they had 
heard on Lake Michigan, and soon found themselves at the 
mouth of the Pekitanoni, or Missouri of our day; the character 
of which is well described; muddy, rushing, and noisy. — 
"Through this," says Marquette, "I hope to reach the Gulf of 
California, and thence the East Indies," This hope was based 
upon certain rumors among the natives, which represented the 
Pekitanoni as passing by a meadow, five or six days' journey 
from its mouth, on the opposite side of which meadow was a 
stream running westward, which led, beyond doubt, to the South 
Sea. "If God give me health," says our Jesuit, "I do not 
despair of one day making the discovery." Leaving the 
Missouri, they passed the demon, that had been portrayed to 
them, which was indeed a dangerous rock in the river,t and 
came to the Ouabouskigou, or Ohio, a stream which makes but 

* A dog feast is still a feast of honor among the savages. See Fremont's Report of 
Expeditions of 1842, '43, and '44, printed at Washington, 1845 ; p. 42. Fremont says 
the meat is somewhat like mutton. See, also, Dr. Jarvis's discourse before the N. York 
Historical Society in 1819, note R.j Lewis and Clark's Journal, II. 165) Godman'e 
Natural History, I. 254. 

i The grand Tower. 

8 Marquette returns. 1675. 

a small figure in Father Marquette's map, being but a trifling 
water-course compared to the Illinois. From the Ohio, our 
voyagers passed with safety, except from the musquitocs, into 
the neighborhood of the " Akamscas," or Arkansas. Here they 
were attacked by a crowd of warriors, and had nearly lost their 
lives; but Marquette resolutely presented the peace-pipe, and 
some of the old men of the attacking party were softened, and 
saved them from harm. "God touched their hearts," says the 
pious narrator. 

The next day the Frenchmen went on to " Akamsca," where 
they were received most kindly, and feasted on corn and dog till 
they could eat no more. These Indians cooked in and eat from 
earthen ware, and were amiable and unceremonious, each man 
helping himself from the dish and passing it to his neighbor. 

From this point Joliet and our writer determined to return to 
the North, as dangers increased towards the sea, and no doubt 
could exist as to the point where the Mississippi emptied, to 
ascertain which point was the great object of their expedition. 
Accordingly, on the 17th of July, our voyagers left Akamsca ; 
retraced their path with much labor, to the Illinois, through 
which they soon reached the Lake; and "nowhere," says 
Marquette, "did we see such grounds, meadows, woods, stags, 
buffaloes, deer, wildcats, bustards, swans, ducks, parroquets, 
and even beavers," as on the Illinois river. 

In September the party, without loss or injury, reached Green 
Bay, and reported their discovery ; one of the most important of 
that age, but of which we have now no record left except the 
brief narrative of Marquette, Joliet, (as we learn from an abstract 
of his account, given in Hennepin's second volume, London, 
1698,) having lost all his papers while returning to Quebec, by 
the upsetting of his canoe. Marquette's unpretending account, 
we have in a collection of voyages by Thevenot, printed in 
Paris in 1681.* Its general correctness is unquestionable ; and, 
as no European had claimed to have made any such discovery 
at the time this volume was published, but the persons therein 
named, we may consider the account as genuine. 

Afterwards Marquette returned to the Illinois, by their request, 

* This work is now very rare, but Marquette's Journal has been republislied by Mr. 
Sparks, at least in substance, in Butler's Kentucky, 2J Ed. 492 ; and in the American 
Biography, 1st scries. Vol. X. A copy of the map by Marquette, is also given by Mr. 
Bancroft, Vol. III. Wc have followed the original in Thevenot, a copy of which is ia 
Harvard Library. 

1674. La Salle rebuilds Fort Frontenac. 9 

and ministered to them until 1675. On the 18th of May, in that 
year, as he was passing with his boatmen up Lake Michigan, he 
proposed to land at the mouth of a stream running from the pen- 
insula, and perform mass. Leaving his men with the canoe, he 
went a little way apart to pray, they waiting for him. As much 
time passed; and he did not return, they called to mind that he 
had said something of his death being at hand, and anxiously 
went to seek him. They found him dead ; where he had been 
praying, he had died. The canoe-men dug a grave near the 
mouth of the stream, and buried him in the sand. Here his 
body was liable to be exposed by a rise of water; and would 
have been so, had not the river retired, and left the missionary's 
grave in peace. Charlevoix, who visited the spot some fill}' 
years afterward, found that the waters had forced a passage at 
the most difficult point, had cut through a bluff, rather than 
cross the lowland where that grave was. The river is called 

While the simple-hearted and true Marquette was pursuing his 
labors of love in the West, two men, differing widely from him, 
and each other, were preparing to follow in his footsteps, and 
perfect the discoveries so well begun by him and the Sieur 
Joliet. These were Robert de la Salle and Louis Hennepin. 

La Salle was a native of Normandy, and was brought up, as 
we learn from Charlevoix, f among the Jesuits; but, having 
lost, by some unknown cause, his patrimony, and being of a 
stirring and energetic disposition, he left his home to seek for- 
tune among the cold and dark regions of Canada. This was 
about the year 1670. Here he mused long upon the pet project 
of those ages, a short-cut to China and the East; and, gaining 
his daily bread, we know not how, — was busily planning an 
expedition up the great lakes, and so across the continent to the 
Pacific, when Marquette returned from the Mississippi. At once 
the hot mind of La Salle received from his and his companion's 

* Charlevoix's Letters, Vol. II. p. 96. New France, Vol. VI. p. 20. Marquette 
spells the name of the great western river, " Mississipy ; " Hennepin made it " Mes- 
chasipi;" others have written " Meschasabe," &c. &c. There is great confusion in 
all the Indian oral names; we have " Kikabeaux," "Kikapous," "Quicapous;" 
" Outtoauets," " Outnovas ; " " Miamis," " Oumamis ; " and so of nearly all the 
nations. Our " Sioux," Charlevoix tells us, is the last syllable of " Nadouessioux," 
which is Written, by Hennepin, " Nadoussion" and "Nadouessious," in his "Lou- 
isiana," and " Nadouessans," in his " Nouvelle Decouverte." The Shawanese are 
always called the "Chouanons." 

t Charlevoix's New France, Paris edition of 1744, Vol. II. p. 263. 

10 La Salle goes to France. 1678. 

narrations, the idea, that, by following the Great River north- 
ward, or by turning up some of the streams which joined it from 
the westward, his aim might be certainly and easily gained. 
Instantly he went towards his object. He applied to Frontenac, 
then governor-general of Canada, laid before him an outline of 
his views, dim but gigantic, and, as a first step, proposed to 
rebuild of stone, and with improved fortifications. Fort Frontenac 
upon Lake Ontario, a post to which he knew the governor felt 
all the affection due to a namesake. Frontenac entered warmly 
into his views. He saw, that, in La Salle's suggestion, which 
was to connect Canada with the Gulf of Mexico by a chain of 
forts upon the vast navigable lakes and rivers which bind that 
country so wonderfully together, lay the germ of a plan, which 
might give unmeasured power to France, and unequalled glory 
to himself, under whose administi'ation he fondly hoped all would 
be realized. He advised La Salle, therefore, to go to the King 
of France, to make known his project, and ask for the royal 
patronage and protection; and, to forward his suit, gave him 
letters to the great Colbert, minister of finance and marine. 

With a breast full of hope and bright dreams, in 1675, the 
penniless adventurer sought his monarch ; his plan was approved 
by the minister, to whom he presented Frontenac's letter ; La 
Salle was made a Chevalier; was invested with the seignory of 
Fort Catarocouy or Frontenac, upon condition he would rebuild 
it; and received from all the first noblemen and princes, assu- 
rances of their good-will and aid. Returning to Canada he 
labored diligently at his fort till the close of 1677, when he again 
sailed for France with news of his progress. Colbert and his 
son, Seignelay, now minister of marine, once more received him 
with favor, and, at their instance, the King granted new letters 
patent with new privileges. His mission having sped so well, 
on the 14th of July, 1678, La Salle, wdth his lieutenant, Tonti, 
an Italian, and thirty men, sailed again from Rochelle for Quebec, 
where they arrived on the 15th of September; and, after a few 
days' vStay, proceeded to Fort Frontenac* 

Here was quietly working, though in no quiet spirit, the rival 
and co-laborer of La Salle, Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan friar, 
of the Recollet variety; a man full of ambition to be a great 
discoverer; daring, hardy, energetic, vain, and self-exaggerating, 

•Charlevoix's New France, 1744, Vol. TT. p. 264, 266. Sparks' life Ox'' La Salle. 
American Biography, new series, I. 10 to 15. 

1678. La Salle at JVtagara. 11 

almost to madness ; and, it is feared, more anxious to advance 
his own holy and unholy ends than the truth. He had in Europe 
lurked behind doors, he tells us, that he might hear sailors spin 
their yarns touching foreign lands; and he profited, it would 
seem, by their instructions. He came to Canada when La Salle 
returned from his first visit to the court, and had, to a certain 
extent, prepared himself, by journeying among the Iroquois, for 
bolder travels into the wilderness. Having been appointed by 
his religious superiors to accompany the expedition which w^as 
about to start for the extreme West, under La Salle, Hennepin 
was in readiness for him at Fort Frontenac, where he arrived, 
probably, some time in October, 1678.* 

The Chevalier's first step was to send forward men to prepare 
the minds of the Indians along the lakes for his coming, and to 
soften their hearts by w^ell-chosen gifts and words ; and also, to 
pick up peltries, beaver skins, and other valuables ; and, upon 
the 18th of November, 1678, he himself embarked in a little 
vessel of ten tons, to cross Lake Ontario. This, says one of his 
chroniclers, was the first ship that sailed upon that fresh water 
sea. The wind was strong and contrary, and four weeks nearly 
were passed in beating up the little distance between Kingston 
and Niagara. Having forced their brigantine as far towards the 
Falls as was possible, our travellers landed ; built some maga- 
zines with difficulty, for at times the ground was frozen so hard 
that they could drive their stakes, or posts, into it only by first 

* Hennepin's New Discovery, Utrecht edition of 1697, p. 70. — Charlevoix's New 
France, "Vol. II. pp. 266. We give the names of the lakes and rivers as they appear 
in the early travels. 

Lake Ontario was also Lake Frontenac. 

Lake Erie, was Erike, Erige, or Erie, from a nation of Eries destroyed by the Iroquois ; 
they lived where the State of Ohio now is (Charlevoix's New France, Vol. II. p. 62;) 
it was also Lake of Conti. 

Lake Huron, was Karegnondi in early times [3Iap of 1656 ;) and also, Lake of 

Lake Michigan, was Lake of Puans {Map of 1656 ;) also, of the Illinois, or Illinese, 
or Illinouacks ; also Lake Mischigonong, and Lake of the Dauphin. 

Lake Superior was Lake Superieur, meaning the Upper, not the Larger Lake — also, 
Lake of Conde. 

Green Bay, was Bale des Puans. 

Illinois river, in Hennepin's Louisiana, and Joutel's Journal, is River Seignelay; 
and the Mississippi river, in those works is River Colbert; and was by La Salle, called 
River St. Louis. 

Ohio river was Ouabouskigou, Ouabachi, Ouabache, Oyo, Ouye, Belle Riviere. 

Missouri river, was Pekitanoni, Riviere des Osages et Massourites ; and by Coxe 
is called Yellow River. 

12 La Salle in Lake Michigan. 1679. 

pouring upon it boiling water ; and then made acquaintance with 
the Iroquois of the village of Niagara, upon Lake Erie. Not 
far from this village, La Salle founded a second fort, upon which 
he set his men to work; but, finding the Iroquois jealous, he 
gave it up for a time, and merely erected temporary fortifications 
for his magazines ; and then, leaving orders for a new ship to be 
built, he returned to Fort Frontenac, to forward stores, cables, 
and anchors for his forthcoming vessel. 

Through the hard and cold winter days, the frozen river lying 
before them "like a plain paved with fine polished marble," 
some of his men hewed and hammered upon the timbers of the 
Grijiny as the great bark was to be named, while others gathered 
furs and skins, or sued for the good-will of the bloody savages 
amid whom they were quartered ; and all went merrily until the 
20th of January, 1679. On that day, the Chevalier arrived from 
below ; not with all his goods, however, for his misfortunes had 
commenced. The vessel in which his valuables had been 
embarked was wrecked through the bad management of the 
pilots ; and, though the more important part of her freight was 
saved, much of her provision went to the bottom. During the 
winter, however, a very nice lot of furs was scraped together, 
with which, early in the spring of 1679, the commander returned 
to Fort Frontenac to get another outfit; while Tonti was sent 
forward to scour the lake coasts, muster together the men who 
had been sent before, collect skins, and see all that was to be 
seen. In thus coming and going, buying and trading, the sum- 
mer of this year slipped away, and it was the 7th of August 
before the Griffin was ready to sail. Then, with Te-Deums, and 
the discharge of arquebuses, she began her voyage up Lake Erie. 

Over Lake Erie, through the strait beyond, across St. Clair, 
and into Huron, the voyagers passed most happily. In Huron 
they Avere troubled by storms, dreadful as those upon the ocean, 
and were at last forced to take refuge in the road of Michilli- 
mackinac. This was upon the 27th of August. At this place, 
which is described as one " of prodigious fertility," La Salle 
remained until the middle of September, founded a fort there, 
and sent men therefrom in various directions to spy out the state 
of the land. He then went on to Green Bay, the "Bale des 
Puans," of the French ; and, finding there a large quantity of 
skins and furs collected for him, he determined to load the 
Griffin therewith, and send her back to Niagara. This was 

1680. La Salle at Peoria Lake. 13 

done with all promptness; and, upon the 18th of September, she 
was despatched under the charge of a pilot, supposed to be com- 
petent and trustworthy, while the Norman himself, with fourteen 
men, proceeded up Lake Michigan, paddling along its shores in 
the most leisurely manner; Tonti, meanwhile, having been sent 
to find stragglers, with whom he was to join the main body at 
the head of the lake. 

From the 19th of September till the 1st of November, the 
time was consumed by La Salle in his voyage up the sea in 
question. On the day last named, he arrived at the mouth of 
the river of the Miamis, or St. Josephs, as it is now called.* 
Here he built a fort and remained for nearly a month, when 
hearing nothing from his Griffin^ he determined to push on before 
it was too late. 

On the 3d of December, therefore, having mustered all his 
men, thirty working men and three monks, he started again upon 
his "great voyage and glorious undertaking."! 

By a short portage they passed to the Illinois, or Kankakee, 
and "falling down the said river by easy journeys, the better 
to observe that country," about the last of December, reached 
a village of the Illinois Indians, containing some five hundred 
cabins, but, at that moment, no inhabitants. The Sieur La Salle, 
being in great want of bread-stuffs, took advantage of this 
absence of the Indians to help himself to a sufficiency of maize, 
of which large quantities were found hidden in holes under the 
huts or wigwams. This village was, as near as we can judge, 
not far from the spot marked on our maps as Rock Fort, in La 
Salle county, Illinois. The corn being got aboard, the voyagers 
betook themselves to the stream again, and toward evening on 
the 4th of January, 1680, fell into a lake, which must have been 
the lake of Peoria. Here the natives were met with in large 
numbers, but they were gentle and kind, and having spent some 
time with them, La Salle determined in that neighborhood to 
build another fort, for he found that already some of the adjoin- 
ing tribes were trying to disturb the good feeling which existed ; 
and, moreover, some of his own men were disposed to complain. 
A spot upon rising ground, near the river, was accordingly 

* See on this point, North American Review, January 1839, No. CII. p. 74. 

+ Charlevoix, JVew France, (Vol. II. p. 269,) tells us, that La Salle returned from the 
fort of the Miamis to Fort Frontenac ; but Hennepin, and the journal published as 
Tonti's, agree that he went on, and tell a more consistent story than the historian. 
See, also, Sparks' life. 


14 La Salle returns to Canada. 1680. 

chosen about the middle of January, and the fort of Creveccsur 
(Broken Heart,) commenced; a name expressive of the very 
natural anxiety and sorrow, which the pretty certain loss of his 
Griffin, and his consequent impoverishment (for there were no 
insurance offices then,) the danger of hostility on the part of the 
Indians, and of mutiny on the part of his own men, might well 
cause him. 

Nor were his fears by any means groundless. In the first 
place, his discontented followers, and afterwards emissaries from 
the Mascoutens, tried to persuade the Illinois that he was a 
friend of the Iroquois, their most deadly enemies; and that he 
was among them for the purpose of enslaving them. But La 
Salle was an honest and fearless man, and, as soon as coldness 
and jealousy appeared on the part of his hosts, he went to them 
boldly and asked the cause, and by his frank statements pre- 
served their good feeling and good will. His disappointed ene- 
mies, then, or at some other time, for it is not very clear when,* 
tried poison; and, but for "a dose of good treacle," La Salle 
might have ended his days in his Fort Crevecceur. 

Meanwhile the winter wore away, and the prairies were getting 
to look green again; but our discoverer heard no good news, 
received no reinforcement; his property was gone, his men were 
fast deserting him, and he had little left but his own strong heart. 
The second year of his hopes, and toils, and failures, was half 
gone, and he further from his object than ever; but still he had 
that strong heart, and it was more than men and money. He 
saw that he must go back to Canada, raise new means, and enlist 
new men ; but he did not dream) therefore, of relinquishing his 
projects. On the contrary, he determined that, while he was on 
his return, a small party should go down to the Mississippi and 
explore that stream towards its sources ; and that Tonti, with the 
few men that remained, should strengthen and extend his rela- 
tions among the Indians. 

For the leader of the Mississippi exploring party, he chose 
Father Lewis Hennepin ; and, having furnished him with all the 
necessary articles, started him upon his voyage on the last day 
of February, 1680. 

Having thus provided against the entire stagnation of discovery 

* Charlevoix says it was at the close of 1679 ; Hennepin, that they did not reach the 
Illinois, till January 4th, 1680. We have no means of deciding, but follow Heunepin, 
who is particular as to dates, and was present. 

1681. Hennepin on Mississippi. 15 

during his forced absence, La Salle at once betook himself to 
his journey eastward : a journey scarce conceivable now, for it 
was to be made by land from Fort Crevecceur round to Fort Fron- 
tenac, a distance of at least twelve hundred miles, at the most 
trying season of the year, when the rivers of the lakes would be 
full of floating ice, and offer to the traveller neither the security 
of winter, nor the comfort of summer. But the chevalier w^as 
not to be daunted by any obstacles ; his affairs were in so pre- 
carious a state that he felt he must make a desperate effort, or all 
his plans would be for ever broken up; so through snow, ice 
and water, he won his way along the southern borders of Lakes 
Michigan, Erie and Ontario, and at last reached his destination. 
He found, as he expected, every thing in confusion : his Griffin 
was lost; his agents had cheated him; his creditors had seized 
his goods. Had his spirit been one atom less elastic and ener- 
getic, he would have abandoned the whole undertaking ; but La 
Salle knew neither fear nor despair, and by midsummer we behold 
him once more on his way to rejoin his little band of explorers on 
the Illinois. This pioneer body, meanwhile, had suffered greatly 
from the jealousy of the neighboring Indians, and the attacks of 
bands of Iroquois, wiio wandered all the way from their homes 
in New York, to annoy the less warlike savages of the prairies. 
Their sufferings, at length, in September, 1680, induced Tonti 
to abandon his position, and seek the Lakes again, a point 
which with much difficulty he effected. When, therefore. La 
Salle, who had heard nothing of all these troubles, reached the 
posts upon the Illinois in December 1680, or January 1681, he 
found them utterly deserted ; his hopes again crushed, and all his 
dreams again disappointed. There was but one thing to be done, 
however, to turn back to Canada, enlist more men, and secure 
more means: this he did, and in June, 1681, had the pleasure to 
meet his comrade. Lieutenant Tonti, at Mackinac, to whom he 
spoke, as we learn from an eye-witness, with the same hope and 
courage which he had exhibited at the outset of his enterprise. 

And here for a time we must leave La Salle and Tonti, and 
notice the adventures of Hennepin, who, it will be remembered, y 
left Fort Crevecceur on the last of February, 1680. In seven 
days he reached the Mississippi, and, paddling up its icy stream 
as he best could, by the 11th of April had got no higher than the 
Wisconsin. Here he was taken prisoner by a band of northern 
Indians, who treated him and his comrades with considerable 

16 La Salle goes down Mississippi. 1682. 

kindness, and took them up the river until about the first of May, 
when they reached the Falls of St. Anthony, which were then so 
christened by Hennepin in honor of his patron saint. Here they 
took to the land, and travelling nearly two hundred miles toward 
the north-west, brought him to their villages : these Indians w^ere 
the Sioux. Here Hennepin and his companions remained about 
three months, treated kindly and trusted by their captors : at the 
end of that time, he met with a band of Frenchmen, headed by 
one Sieur du Luth, who, in pursuit of trade and game, had pene- 
trated thus far by the route of Lake Superior; and, with these 
fellow countrymen the Franciscian returned to the borders of 
civilized life, in November, 1680, just after La Salle had gone 
back to the wilderness as we have related. Hennepin soon after 
went to France, where, in 1684, he published a work narrating 
his adventures.* 

To return again to the Chevalier himself, he met Tonti, as we 
have said, at Mackinac, in June, 1681 ; thence he went down 
the lakes to Fort Frontenac, to make the needful preparations for 
prosecuting his western discoveries ; these being made, w^e find 
him, in August, 1681, on his way up the lakes again, and on the 
3d of November at the St. Josephs, as fvdl of confidence as ever. 
The middle of December had come, however, before all were 
ready to go forward, and then, with twenty-three Frenchmen, 
eighteen eastern Indians, ten Indian W'omen to wait upon their 
lazy mates, and three children, he started, not as before by the 
way of the Kankakee, but by the Chicago river, travelling on 
foot and with the baggage on sledges. It was upon the 5th or 
6th of January, 1682, that the band of explorers left the borders 
of Lake Michigan ; they crossed the portage, passed down to 
Fort Crevecceur, which they found in good condition, and still 

* This volume, called " A Description of Louisiana," he, thirteen years afterwards, 
enlarged and altered, and published with the title, " New Discovery of a Vast Country 
situated in America, between New Mexico and the Frozen Ocean." In this new pub- 
lication, he claimed to have violated La Salle's instructions, and in the first place to 
have gone down the Mississippi to its mouth, before ascending it. His claim was very 
naturally doubted ; and examination has proved it to be a complete fable, the materials 
having been taken from an account published by Le Clercq in 1691, of La Salle's suc- 
cessful voyage down the great river of the West, a voyage of which we have presently 
to speak. This account of Le Clercq's was drawn from tlie letters of Father Zenobe 
Membrc, a priest who was with La Salle, and is the most valuable published work in 
relation to the final expedition from Canada, made by that much-tried and dauntless 
commander. The whole subject of Hennepin's credibility, is presented by Mr. 
Sparks, in his life of La Salle, with great fairness and precision, and to that we refer 
all curious readers. 


1682. La Salle at mouth of Mississippi. 17 

going forward, on the 6th of February, were upon the banks of 
the Mississippi. On the thirteenth they commenced their down- 
ward passage, but nothing of interest occurred until, on the 26th 
of the month, at the Chickasaw Bluffs, a Frenchman, named 
Prudhomme, w^ho had gone out with others to hunt, was lost, a 
circumstance which led to the erection of a fort upon the spot, 
named from the missing man, who was found, however, eight 
or nine days afterwards. Pursuing their coursCj they at length, 
upon the 6th of March, 1682, discovered the three passages by 
which the Mississippi discharges its waters into the Gulf; and 
here we shall let La Salle himself tell his story, as it is given in 
the " Proces-verbal" which Mr. Sparks has translated from the 
original in the French archives. It thus proceeds : 

" We landed on the bank of the most western channel, about 
three leagues from its mouth. On the 7th, M. de la Salle went to 
reconnoitre the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonty 
likewise examined the great middle channel. They found these 
two outlets beautiful, large and deep. On the 8th, we reascended 
the river, a little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry 
place, beyond the reach of inundations. The elevation of the 
North Pole was here about twenty-seven degrees. Here we pre- 
pared a column and a cross, and to the said column were affixed 
the arms of France, with this inscription ; 


The whole party, under arms, chaunted the Te Denm, the Exau- 
diat, the Domine salvum fac Begem; and then, after a salute of 
firearms and cries of Vive le Roi, the column was erected by M. 
de la Salle, who, standing near it, said, with a loud voice in 
French ; — 

" ' In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victo- 
rious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God, King of 
France and of Navarre, Fourteenth, of that name, this ninth day 
of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, I, in virtue of 
the commission of his Majesty which I hold in my hand, and 
which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken, and 
do now take, in the name of his Majesty and of his successors to 
the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, har- 
bors, ports, bays, adjacent straits; and all the nations, people, 
provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, 


18 La Salle at mouth of Mississippi. 1682. 

streams, and rivers, comprised in the extent of the said Louisiana, 
from the mouth of the great river St. Louis, on the eastern side, 
otherwise called Ohio, Alighin, Sipore, or Chukagona, and this 
with the consent of the Chaounons, Chichachaws, and other peo- 
ple dwelling therein, with whom we have made alliance; as also 
along the River Colbert or Mississippi, and rivers which discharge 
themselves therein, from its source beyond the country of the Kious 
or Nadouessious, and this with their consent, and with the consent 
of the Motantees, Illinois, Mesigameas, Natches, Koroas, which are 
the most considerable nations dwelling therein, with whom also we 
have made alliance either by ourselves, or by others in our be- 
half;* as far as its mouth at the sea, or Gulf of Mexico, about the 
twenty-seventh degree of the elevation of the North Pole, and also 
to the mouth of the River of Palms ; upon the assurance, w^hich we 
have received from all these nations, that we are the first Europe- 
ans who have descended or ascended the said River Colbert; 
hereby protesting against all those, who may in future undertake 
to invade any or all of these countries, people, or lands, above 
described, to the prejudice of the right of his Majesty, acquired 
by the consent of the nations herein named. Of which, and of all 
that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, 
and demand an act of the Notary, as required by law.' 

" To which the whole assembly responded wdth shouts of Vive 
le Roi, and with salutes of firearms. Moreover, the said Sieur de 
la Salle caused to be buried at the foot of the tree, to which the 
cross was attached, a leaden plate, on one side of which were 
engraved the arms of France, and the following Latin inscription. 


After which the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majest}^-, as eldest 
son of the Church, would annex no country to his crown, without 
making it his chief care to establish the Christian religion therein, 

* There is an obscurity in this enumeration of places and Indian nations, wliicli may 
"be ascribed to an ignorance of the geography of the country ; but it seems to be the 
design of the Sieur de la Salle to take possession of the whole territory watered by the 
ISIississippi from its mouth to its source, and by tlie streams flowing into it on both sides. 


1.683. La Salle saUsfor France. 19 

:and that its symbol must now be planted ; which was accordingly 
done at once by erecting a cross, before which the Vexilla and the 
Domine salvumjcic Regem were sung. Whereupon the ceremony 
was concluded with cries of Vive h RoL 

" Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle 
having required of us an instrument, we have delivered to him the 
^same, signed by us, and by the undersigned witnesses, this ninth 
■day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two. 

" LA METAIRE, JYotary. 
De LA Salliv, Pierre You. 

P. Zenobe, Recollect, Missionary, Gilles Meucret, 
Henry de Tonty, Jean Michel, Surgeon^ 

Frakcois de B01SROJVDET5 Jean Mas. 

Jean Bourdon. Jean Dulignon. 

Sieur d'Autray, Nicholas de la Salle. 

Jaques Cauchois," 

Thus was the foundation fairly laid for the claim of France to 
the Mississippi Valley, according to the usages of European powers. 
But La Salle and his companions could not stay to examine the 
land they had entered, nor the coast they had reached. Provisions 
witli them were exceedingly scarce, and they were forced at once 
to start upon their return for the north. This they did without 
serious trouble, although somewhat annoyed by the savages, until 
they reached Fort Prudhomme, where La Salle was taken vio- 
lently sick. Finding himself unable to announce his success in 
person, the Chevalier sent forward Tonti to tlie lakes to communi- 
cate with the Count de Frontenac : he himself was unable to reach 
the fort at the mouth of the St, Joseph's, until toward the last of 
September. From that post he sent with his despatches, Father 
Zenobe, to represent him in France, while he pursued the more lu- 
crative business of attending to his fur trade in the north-west, and 
completing his long projected fort of St. Louis, upon the high and 
commanding bluff of the Illinois, now known as Rock Fort; a bluff 
two hundred and fifty feet high, and accessible only on one side. 
Having seen this completed, and the necessary steps taken to pre- 
serve a good understanding with the Indians, and also to keep up 
a good trade with them, in the autumn of 1683, the Chevalier 
sailed for his native land, which he reached, December 13th. 

At one time he had thought probably of attempting to establish 
a colony on the Mississippi, by means of supplies and persons sent 

20 La Salle in France. 1684^ 

from Canada ; but farther reflection led him to believe his true 
course to be to go direct from France to the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi, witli abundant means for settling and securing the country; 
and to obtain the necessary ships, stores, and emigrants, was the- 
main purpose of his \dsit to Europe. But he found his fair fame in 
danger, in the court of his king. His success, his wide plans, and 
his overbearing character were- all calculated to make him ene- 
mies; and among the foremost was La Barre, Avho had succeeded 
Frontenac as governor of Canada. 

But La Salle had a most able advocate in France, so soon as 
he was there in person ; and the whole nation being stirred by the 
story of the new discoveries, of which Hennepin had widely pro- 
mulgated his first account some months before La Salle's return,, 
our hero found ears open to drink in his words, and imaginations 
warmed to make the most of them. The minister, Seignelay, 
desired to see the adventurer, and he soon won his way to what- 
ever heart that man had ; for it could not have required much talk 
wath La Salle to have been satisfied of his sincerfty, enthusiasm, 
energy, and bravery. The tales of the new governor fell dead, 
therefore, and the king listened to the prayer of his subject, that a 
fleet might be sent to take possession of the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi, and so that great country of which he told them be secxired 
to France. The king listened ; aipd soon the town of RochelTe 
was busy with the stir of artisans, ship-riggers, adventurers, soT- 
diersy sailors, and all that varied crowd which in those days looked 
into the dim West for a land where wealth was to be had for the 

On the 24th of July, 1684, twenty-four vessels sailed from 
Rochelle to America, four of which were for the discovery and 
settlement of the famed Louisiana. These four carried two hund- 
red and eighty persons, including the crews ; there were soldiers, 
artificers, and volunteers, and also "some young women." There 
is no doubt that this brave fleet started full of light hearts, and 
vast, vague hopes; but, alas! it had scarce started when discord 
began ; for La Salle and the commander of the fleet, M. de Beau- 
jeu, were well fitted to quarrel one Math the other, but never to 
work together. In truth La Salle seems to haA'e been nowise 
amiable, for he was overbearing, harsh, and probably selfish to 
the full extent to be looked for in a man of worldly ambition. 
However, in one of the causes of quarrel which arose during the 
passage, he acted, if not with policy, certainly with boldness and 

1685. La 'Salle in Gulf of Mexico. 21 

humanity. It was when they came to the Tropic of Cancer, where, 
in those times, it was customary to baptize all green hands, as is 
still sometimes done under the Equator. On this occasion, the 
sailors of La Salle's little squadron promised themselves rare sport 
and much plunder, grog, and other good things, the forfeit paid 
by those who do not wish a seasoning; but all these expectations 
were stopped, and hope turned irito hate, by the express and 
emphatic statement on the part of La Salle, that no man under 
his command should be ducked, whereupon the commander of the 
fleet was forced to forbid the ceremony. 

With such beginnings of bickering and dissatisfaction the 
Atlantic was slowly crossed, and, upon the 20th of September, 
the island of St. Domingo was reached. Here certain arrange- 
ments were to be made with the colonial authorities; but, as they 
were away, it became necessary to stop there for a time. And a 
sad time it was. The fever seized the new-comers; the ships 
were crow^ded with si<;k; La Salle himself was brought to the 
verge of the grave ; and, when he recovered, the first news that 
greeted him, was that of his four vessels, the one wherein he had 
embarked his stores and implements, had been taken by the Span- 
iards. The sick man had to bestir himself thereupon to procure 
new supplies ; and while he was doing so, his enemies were also 
bestirring themselves to seduce his men from him, so that what 
with death and desertion, he was likely to have a small crew at 
the last. But energy did much ; and, on the 25th of November, 
the first of the remaining vessels, she that was "to carry the 
light," sailed for the coast of America. In her w^ent La Salle, 
and the historian of the voyage, Joutel. 

For a whole month were the disconsolate sailors sailing, and 
sounding, and stopping to take in water and shoot alligators, and 
drifting in utter uncertainty, until, on the 2Sth of December, the 
mainland was fairly discovered. But "there being" as Joutel 
says, " no man among them who had any knowledge of that Bay," 
and there being also an impression that they must steer very much 
to the westward to avoid the currents, it was no wonder they 
missed the Mississippi, and wandered far beyond it, not knowing 
where they went ; and so wore away the whole month of January, 
1685. At last. La Salle, out of patience, determined to land 
some of his men, and go along the shore toward the point where 
he believed the mouth of the Mississippi to be, and Joutel was 
appointed one of the commanders of this exploring party. They 

22 La SalTe in Matagorda Bay,. 1685. 

started on the 4th of February, and travelled eastward, (for it was- 
clear that they had passed the river) during three days, when they 
came to a great stream which they coadd not cross, having nO' 
boats. Here they made fire signals, and, on the 13th, two of the 
vessels came in sight; the mouth of the river, or entrance of the 
bay, for such it proved to be, was forth^vith sounded, and the 
barks sent in to be under shelter. But„ sad to say. La Salle's old 
fortune was at work here again ; for the vessel which bore his 
provisions and most valuable stores, was run upon a shoal by the 
grossest neglect, or, as Joutel thinks, with malice prepense; and, 
soon after, the wind coming in strong from the sea, she fell to- 
pieces in the night, and the bay was full af casks and packages, 
which could not be saved, or were worthless w^hen drawn from 
the salt water. From this untimely fate our poor adventurer res- 
cued but a small half of his second stock of indispensables. 

And here, for a moment, let us pause to look at the Chevalier's 
condition in the middle of March, 1685. Beaujeu, with his ship,, 
is gone, leaving his comrades in the marshy wilderness, with not 
much of joy to look forward to. They had gims, and powder, 
and shot; eight cannon, too, "but not one bullet," that is, can- 
non-ball, the naval gentlemen having refused to give them any. 
And here are our lonely settlei-s, building a fort upon the shores of 
the Bay of St. Louis, as they called it, known to us as the Bay of 
St. Bernard, or Matagorda Bay, in Texas. They build from the 
wreck of their ship, we cannot think with light hearts; every 
plank and timber tells of past ill luck, and, as they look forward, 
there is vision of irritated savages (for there had been warring 
already,) of long search for the Hidden River* of toils and dan- 
gers in its ascent w^hen reached. No wonder, that " during that 
time several men deserted." So strong was the fever for deser- 
tion, that, of some who stole a^^^*y and were retaken, it was found 
necessary to execute one. 

And now La Salle prepares to issue from his nearly completed 
fort, to look round and see where he is. He has still a good force, 
some hundred and fifty people ; and, by prompt and detennined 
action, much may be done between this last of March and next 
autumn. In the first place, the river falling into the Bay of St. 
Louis is examined, and a new fort commenced in that neighbor- 
hood, w^here seed is planted also ; for the men begin to tire of 
meat and fish, with spare allowance of bread, and no vegetables. 

* So the Spaniards called the Mississippi. 

1685. La Sulk in Texas. ^% 

But the old luck is at work still. The seed will not sprout; men 
desert ; the fort goes forward miserably slow ; and at last, three 
months and more gone to no purpose, Joutel and his men, who 
are still hewing timber at the first fort, are sent for, and told to 
bring their timber with them in a float. The float or raft was 
begun "with immense labor," says the wearied historian, but all 
to no purpose, for the weather was so adverse, that it had to be 
all taken apart again and buried in the sand. Empty-handed, 
therefore, Joutel sought his superior, the effects being left at a post 
by the way. And he came to a scene of desolation ; men sick, 
and no houses to put them in ; all the looked-for crop blasted ; 
and not a ray of comfort from any quarter. 

"Well," said La Salle, "we must now muster all hands, and 
build ourselves ' a large lodgment.' " But there was no timber 
within a league ; and not a cart nor a bullock to be had, for the 
buffaloes, though abundant, were ill broken to such labor. If 
done, this dragging must be done by men ; so, over the long grass 
and weeds of the prairie-plain, they dragged some sticks, with 
vast suffering. Afterwards the carriage of a gun w^as tried ; but 
it would not do ; "the ablest men were quite spent." Indeed, 
heaving and hauling over that damp plain, and under that July 
sun, might have tried the constitution of the best of Africans; and 
of the poor Frenchmen thirty died, worn out. The carpenter was 
lost; and, worse still. La Salle, wearied, worried, disappointed, 
lost his temper and insulted his men. So closed July; the Che- 
valier turned carpenter, marking out the tenons and mortises of 
what timber he could get, and growing daily more cross. In 
March he thought much might be done before autumn, and now 
autumn stands but one month removed from him, and not even a 
house built yet. 

And August soon passed too, not without results, however ; for 
the timber that had been buried below was got up, and a second 
house built, "all covered with planks and bullock's hides over 

And now once more was La Salle ready to seek the Mississippi. 
First, he tliought he would try with the last of the four barks with 
which he left France; the bark La Belle, "a little frigate carrying 
six guns," which the King had given our Chevalier to be his 
navy. But, after having put all his clothes and valuables on 
board of her, he determined to try with twenty men to reach 
bis object by land. This was in December, 1685. From this 

24 La Salle in Texas. 1686. 

expedition he did not return until March, 1686, when he came to 
his fort again, ragged, hatless, and worn down, with six or seven 
followers at his heels, his travels having been all in vain. It was 
not very encouraging ; but, says Joutel, " we thought only of mak- 
ing ourselves as merry as we could." The next day came the 
rest of the party, who had been sent to find the little frigate, which 
should have been in the bay. They came mournfully, for the 
little frigate could not be found, and she had all La Salle's best 
effects on board. 

The bark was gone ; but our hero's heart was still beating in 
his bosom, a little cracked and shaken, but strong and iron-bound 
still. So, borrowing some changes of linen from Joutel, toward 
the latter end of April, he again set forth, he and twenty men, 
each with his pack, " to look for his river," as our writer aptly 
terms it. Some days after his departure, the bark La Belle came 
to light again ; for she was not lost, but only ashore. Deserted 
by her forlorn and diminished crew, however, she seems to have 
been suffered to break up and go to pieces in her own w^ay, for 
we hear no more of the little frigate. 

And now, for a time, things went on pretty smoothly. There 
was even a marriage at the fort ; and " Monsieur le Marquis la 
Sabloniere" wished to act as groom in a second, but Joutel abso- 
lutely refused. By and by, however, the men, seeing that La 
Salle did not return, " began to mutter." There were even pro- 
posals afloat to make away with Joutel, and start upon a new 
enterprise ; the leader in w^hich half-formed plan was one Sieur 
Duhaut, an unsafe man, and inimical to La Salle, who had, proba- 
bly, maltreated him somewhat. Joutel, however, learned the 
state of matters, and put a stop to all such proceedings. Know- 
ing idleness to be a root of countless evils, he made his men 
work and dance as long as there was vigor enough in them to 
keep their limbs in motion ; and in such manner the summer 
passed away, until in August La Salle returned. He had been as 
far as the sources of the Sabine, probably, but had suffered greatly; 
of the twenty men he had taken with him, only eight came back, 
some having fallen sick, some having died, and others deserted 
to the Indians. He had not found " his river," though he had 
been so far in that direction ; but he came back full of spirits, 
"which," says our writer, " revived the lowest ebb of hope." 
He was all ready, too, to start again at once, to seek the Missis- 
sippi, and go onward to Canada, and thence to France, to get new 

1687. La Salle starts for the Mississippi. 25 

recruits and supplies; but, "it was determined to let the great 
heats pass before that enterprise was taken in hand." And the 
heats passed, but with them our hero's health, so that the pro- 
posed journey was delayed from time to time until the 12th of 
January, 1687. 

On that day started the last company of La Salle's adventurers. 
Among them went Joutel, and also the discontented Duhaut ; and 
all took their " leaves with so much tenderness and sorrow as if 
they had all presaged that they should never see each other more." 
They went northwest along the bank of the river on which their 
fort stood, until they came to where the streams running toward 
the coast were fordable, and then turned eastward. From the 
12th of January until the 15th of March did they thus journey 
across that southern country, crossing " curious meadows," through 
which ran " several little brooks, of very clear and good water," 
which, with the tall trees, all of a size, and planted as if by 
aline, "afforded a most delightful landskip." They met many 
Indians too, with whom La Salle established relations of peace 
and friendship. Game was abundant, " plenty of fowl and par- 
ticularly of turkeys," was there, which was " an ease to their suf- 
ferings" ; and so they still toiled on in shoes of green bullocks' 
hide, which, dried by the sun, pinched cruelly, until, following the 
tracks of the buffaloes, who choose by instinct the best ways, they 
had come to a pleasanter country than they had yet passed through, 
and were well on toward the long-sought Father of Waters. 

On the 15th of March, La Salle, recognising the spot where 
they then were as one through which he had passed in his former 
journey, and near which he had hidden some beans and Indian 
wheat, ordered the Sieurs Duhaut, Hiens, Liotot the Surgeon, and 
some others, to go and seek them. This they did, but found that 
the food was all spoiled, so they turned toward the camp again. 
While coming campward they chanced upon two bullocks, which 
were killed by one of La Salle's hunters, who was with them. 
So they sent the commander word that they had killed some meat, 
and that, if he would have the flesh dried, he might send horses 
to carry it to the place where he lay ; and, meanwhile, they cut up 
the bullocks, and took out the marrow-bones, and laid them aside 
for their own choice eating, as was usual to do. W^hen La Salle 
heard of the meat that had been taken, he sent his nephew and 
chief confidant, M. Moranget, with one De Male and his own 
footman, giving them orders to send all that was fit to the camp at 

26 Death of La Salle. 1687. 

once. M. Moranget, when he came to where Duhaut and tlie rest 
were, and found that they had laid by for themselves the marrow- 
bones, became angry, took from them their choice pieces, threat- 
ened them, and spoke harsh words. This treatment touched these 
men, already not well pleased, to the quick ; and, when it was 
night, they took counsel together how they might best have their 
revenge. The end of such counselling, where anger is foremost, 
and the wilderness is all about one, needs scarce to be told ; "we 
will have their blood, all that are of that party shall die," said 
these malcontents. So, when M. Moranget and the rest had 
supped and fallen asleep, Liotot the surgeon took an axe, and 
with few strokes killed them all ; all that were of La Salle's party, 
even his poor Indian hunter, because he was faithful ; and, lest 
De Male might not be with them (for him they did not kill,) they 
forced him to stab M. Moranget, who had not died by the first 
blow of Liotot's axe, and then threw them out for the carrion -birds 
to feast on. 

This murder was done upon the 17th of March. And at once 
the murderers would have killed La Salle, but he and his men 
were on the other side of a river, and the water for two days was 
so high that they could not cross. 

La Salle, meantime, was growing anxious also ; his nephew so 
long absent, what meant it? and he went about asking if Duhaut 
had not been a malcontent ; but none said. Yes. Doubtless there 
was something in La Salle's heart, which told him his followers 
had cause to be his foes. It was now the 20th of the month, and 
he could not forbear setting out to seek his lost relative. Leaving 
Joutel in command, therefore, he started with a Franciscan monk 
and one Indian. Coming near the hut which the murderers had 
put up, though still on the opposite side of the river, he saw car- 
rion-birds hovering near, and to call attention if any were there, 
fired a shot. There were keen and watching ears and eyes there ; 
the gun told them to be quick, for their prey was in the net; so, 
at once, Duhaut and another crossed the river, and, while the 
first hid himself among the tall weeds, the latter showed himself 
to La Salle at a good distance off. Going instantly to meet him, 
the fated man passed near to the spot where Duhaut was hid. 
The traitor lay still till he came opposite; then, raising his piece, 
shot his commander through the head ; after lingering an hour, 
he died. 

Thus fell La Salle, on the threshold of success. No man had 

1687. Death of La Salle, 27 

more strong-Iy all the elements that would have home him safe 
through, if we except that element Miiich insures affection. "He 
had a capacity and talent," says Joutel, one of his staunchest 
friends, "to make his enterprise successful; his constancy, and 
courage, and extraordinary knowledge in arts and sciences, which 
rendered him fit for any thing-, together with an indefatigable body, 
which made him surmount all difficulties, would have procured a 
glorious issue to his undertaking, had not all those excellent quali- 
ties been counterbalanced by too haughty a behavior, which some- 
times made him insupportable, and by a rigidness toward those that 
were under his command, which at last drew on him an implaca- 
ble hatred, ^d was the occasion of his death." 

La Salle died, as far as can be judged, upon a branch of the 

And now, the leader being killed, his follower toiled on mourn- 
fully, and in fear, each of the others, ^ — Duhaut assuming the 
command, — until May. Then there arose a difference among 
them as to their future course ; and, by and by, things coming to 
extremities, some of La Salle's murderers turned upon the others, 
and Duhaut and Liotot were killed by their comrades. This 
done, the now dominant party determined to remain among the 
Indians, with whom they then were, and where they found some 
Avho had been with La Salle in his former expedition, and had 
deserted. These were living among the savages, painted, and 
shaved, and naked, with great store of squaws and scalps. But 
Joutel was not of this way of thinking; he and some others still 
wished to find the Great River and get to Canada. At last, all 
consenting, he did, with six others, leave the main body, and take 
up his march for the Illinois, where he hoped to find Tonti, who 
should have been all this while at Fort St. Louis. This was in 
May, 1687. 

With great labor this little band forced their heavy-laden horses 
over the fat soil, in which they often stuck fast; and, daring 
countless dangers, at length, upon the 24th of July, reached the 
Arkansas, where they found a post containing a few Frenchmen 
who had been placed there by Tonti. Here they stayed a little 
while, and then went forward again, and on the 14th of Septem- 
ber, reached Fort St. Louis, upon the Illinois. At this post, 
Joutel remained until the following Mai'ch, — that of 168S, — 

* Sparks, 158. 

28 Tontiin Illinois. 1687. 

when he set off for Quebec, which city he reached on the last of 

July, just four years having passed since he sailed from Rochelle. 

Thus ended La Salle's third and last voyage, producing no 

/permanent settlement; for the Spaniards came, dismantled the 
fort upon the Bay of St, Louis, and carried away its garrison, and 
the Frenchmen who had been left elsewhere in the southwest 
intermingled with the Indians, until all trace of them was lost. 

And so closed his endeavors, in defeat. Yet he had not worked 
and suffered in vain. He had thrown open to France and the 
world an immense and most valuable country; had established 
several permanent forts, and laid the foundation of more than one 
settlement there. Peoria, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, to this day, are 
monuments of La Salle's labors; for, though he founded neither 
of them, (unless Peoria, which was built nearly upon the site of 
Fort CreveccEur,) it w^as by those whom he led into the West, 
that these places were peopled and civilized- He was, if not the 
discoverer, the first settler of the Mississippi Valley, and as such 
deserves to be known and honored,* 

Tonti, left by La Salle when he sailed for France after reach- 
ing the Gulf Mexico in 1682, remained as commander of that 
f^ Rock Fort of St. Louis, which he had begun in 1680. Here he 
stayed, swaying absolutely the Indian tribes, and acting as viceroy 
over the unknown and uncounted Frenchmen who w^ere beginning 
to wander through tliat beautiful country, making discoveries of 
which we have no records left. In 1686, looking to meet La 
Salle, he went down to the mouth of the Mississippi ; but discov- 
ering no signs of his old comrade, turned northward again, and 
reaching his fort on the Illinois, found work to do ; for the Iro- 
quois, long threatening, were now in the battle-field, backed by 
the English, and Tonti, with his western wild allies, was forced 
to march and fight. Engaged in this business, he appears to us 
at intervals in the pages of Charlevoix; in the fall of 1687 we 
have him with Joutel, at Fort St. Louis; in April, 1689, he sud- 
denly appears to us at Crevecceur, revealed by the Baron La 
Hontan; and again, early in 1700, D'Iberville is visited by him 
at the mouth of the Mississippi. After that we see him no more, 
and the Biographie Universelle tells us, that, though he remained 

* The authorities in relation to La Salle are Hennepin ; a narrative publislied in the 
name of Tonti in 1697, but disclaimed by him ; (Charlevoix iii. 365. — Letlres edifantes 
letter of Marest, xi. 308, original edition. Introduction to Sparks' Life of La Salle :) the 
work of Le Clercq, already mentioned ; Joutel's Journalj and Sparks' Life; the last is 
especially valuable. 

IG87. Adventures of La Hontan. 29 

many years, in Louisiana, he finally was not there ,' but of hi's 
death, or departure thence, no one knows. 

Next in sequence, we have a glimpse of the above-named Ba- 
ron La Hontan, discoverer of the Long' River, and, as that disco- 
very seems to prove, drawer of a somewhat long bow. By his 
volumes, published a la Haye, in ]706, we learn, that he too 
warred against the L-oquois in 1687 and 1688; and, having gone 
so far w^estward as the Lake of the Illhiois, thought he would con- 
tribute his mite to the discoveries of those times. So, with a suf- 
ficient escort, he crossed, by Marquette's old route Fox River and 
the Wisconsin, to the Mississippi; and, turning up that stream, 
sailed thereon till he came to the mouth of a river, called Long 
River, coming from the West. This river emptied itself (as ap- 
pears by his map) nearly where the St. Peter's does in our day. 
Upon this stream, one of immense size, our Baron sailed for eighty 
and odd days, meeting the most extensive and civilized Indian 
nations of which we have any account in those regions; and, after 
his ei^ty and odd days' sailing, he got less than half-way to the 
head of this gi-eat river, which was, indeed, not less than two 
thousand miles long, and, as he learned from the red men, who 
drew him a map of its course above his stopping-point, led to a 
lake, whence another river led to the South Sea ; so that at lasl 
the great problem of those days w^as solved, and the wealth of 
China and the East thrown open by the Baron de la Hontan.* All 
this was of course false ; and, even in his own day, though a man 
of some station, he was thought to be a mere romancer; and yet 
it may be that the Baron entered the St. Peter's when filled with 
the back waters of the Mississippi, and heard from the Indians 
of the connection by it and the Red River with Lake Winnipeg, and 
the communication between that lake and Hudson's Bay, by Nel- 
son River, and, looking westward all the while, turned Hudson's 
Bay into the South Sea.f 

After La Hontan's alleged discoveries we have few events worth 
recording in the annals of the north-west previous to 1750. " La 
Salle's death," says Charlevoix, in one place, "dispersed the 
French who had gathered upon the Illinois ;" but in another, he 
speaks of Tonti and twenty Canadians, as established among the 

* Voyages de La Hontan, vol. i. p. 194. 

t See map in Long's Second Expedition up the St. Peter-s, and La Hontan-s maps. 
Also, Nicollet's Report to Congress, in 1843. Nicollet thinks the Cannon River, which 
he calls " River La Hontan/' was the one entered by the Baron, 

30 Kaskaskia Founded. 1693. 

Illinois three years after the Chevalier's fate was known there.* 
This, however, is clear, that befbre 1693, the reverend Father 
Gravicr began a mission among the Illinois, and became the foun- 
der of Kaskaskia, though in what year we know not; but for some 
time it was merely a missionary station, and the inhabitants of the 
village consisted entirely of natives, it being one of three such 
villages, the other two being Cahokia and Peoria. This we learn 
from a letter written by Father Gabriel Marest, dated " Aux Cas- 
caskias, autrement dit de Plmmaculee Conception de la Sainte 
vierse, le 9 Novembre 1712." In this letter the writer after tell- 
insf us that Gravier must be regarded as the founder of the Illinois 
Missions, he having been the first to reduce the principles of the 
lantruao-e of those Indians to grammatical order, and so to make 
preaching to them of avail, — goes on near the close of his epistle 
to say, "These advantages (rivers, &c.) favor tiie design which 
some French have of establishing themselves in our village. * * 
If the French who may come among us will edify our Neophytes 
by their piety and good conduct, nothing would please us bmer than 
their coming; but if immoral, and perhaps irreligious, as there is 
reason to fear, they would do more harm than we can do good."f 
Soon after the founding of Kaskaskia, though in this case 
also we are ignorant of the year, the missionary Pinet gathered 
a flock at Cahokia ;:j: while Peoria arose near the remains of 
Fort Creveca;ur.|l An unsuccessful attempt was also made to 
found a colony on the Ohio,§ it failed in consequence of sickness. 
In the north De la Motte Cadillac, in June, 1701, laid the foun- 
dation of Fort Pontchartrain on the Strait, (le Detroit :)1I while in 

* New France, vol. iii. pp. 395, 383. 

t Bancroft, iii. 195. LeUres Edifiantes, (Paris 17S1,) S2S, 339, 375. Hall and others 
speak of the Kaskaskia records as containing deeds dated 1712; these may have been to 
the French referred to by Marest, or perhaps to converted Indian.s'; 

\ Bancroft, iii 196. 

II There was an Old Peoria on the northwest shore of the lake of that name, a mile and 
a half above the outlet. From 1778 to 1796 the inhabitants left; this for New Peoria, 
(Fort Clark,) at the outlet. American State Papers, xviii. 476. 

§ Judge Law, in liis Address of February, 1839, before the Vincennes Historical So- 
ciety, contends that this post was on the Wabash, and at Vincennes, (p. 1-1, 15, and note 
B.) Charlevoix, (ii. 266, edition 1744,) says it was "a Ventree de la Eiviere Oiinhnrhc, 
qui se (hchaifrp dafis le JMicissipi, ifc." — "At the entrance (or mouth) of the River 
Ouabachc which discharges itself into the Mississippi." The name Ouabache was ap- 
|)lied to the Ohio below the mouth of what we now call the Wabash. See all the more 
ancient maps, &.c. 

H Charlevoix, ii. ;84. — Le Detroit was the whole Strait from Eric to Huron. (Cliarlc- 
voix, ii. 269, note: sec also his Journal) The first grants of land at I>:troit, i, c. Fort 

1699. DUberville at mouth of Mississippi. 31 

the southwest efforts were making to realize the dreams of La 
Salle. The leader in the last named enterprise was Lemoine 
d'Iberrille, a Canadian officer, who, from 1694 to 1697, distin- 
guished himself not a little by battles and conquests among the 
icebergs of the " Baye d'Udson" or Hudson's Bay.* He having, 
in the year last named, returned to France, proposed to the 
minister to try, what had been given up since La Salle's sad fate, 
the discovery and settlement of Louisiana by sea. The Count of 
Pontchartrain, who was then at the head of marine affairs, w^as 
led to take an interest in the proposition ; and, upon the 17th of 
October, 1698, D'Iberville took his leave of France, handsomely 
equipped for the expedition, and with two good ships to forward 
him in his attempt. f 

Of this D'Iberville we have no very clear notion, except that 
he was a man of judgment, self-possession, and prompt action. 
Gabriel Marest presents him to us in the " Baye d'Udson," his 
ships crow^led and almost crushed by the ice, and his brother, a 
young, bright boy of nineteen, his favorite brother, just killed by 
a chance shot from the English fort which they were besieging;^ 
and there the commander stands on the icy deck, the cold October 
wind singing in the shrouds, and his dead brother waiting till their 
lives are secured before he can receive Christian burial, — there he 
stands, " moved exceedingly," says the missionary, — but giving 
his orders with a calm face, full tone, and clear mind. " He put 
his trust on God," says Father Gabriel, " and God consoled him 
from that day ; the same tide brought both his vessels out of dan- 
ger, and bore them to the spot where they were wanted. "f 

Such was the man who, upon the 31st of January, 1699, let go 
his anchor in the Bay of Mobile. Having looked about him at 
this spot, he went thence to seek the great river called by the 
savages, says Charlevoix, " Malbouchia," and by the Spaniards, 
" la Palissade," from the great number of trees about its mouth. 
Searching carefully, upon the 2d of March, our commander found 
and entered the Hidden River, whose mouth had been so Ions: 
and unsuccessfully sought. As soon as this was done, one of the 
vessels returned to France to carry thither the news of D'lber- 
ville's success, wdiile he turned his prow^ up the Father of Waters. 

Poi.tchartrain, v.-ere made in 1707. — (See American State Papers, xvi. 263 to 284 Lan- 
inan's History of Michigan, 336.) 

* New France, vol. iii. pp. 215, 299.— Lettres Edif antes, vol. x. p. 2^0. 

t New France, vol. iii. p. S77. 

:j; Lettres Edifantes, vol. x. p. .300. 

32 The English claim the Mississippi. 1700. 

Slowly ascending the yast stream, he found himself puzzled by 
the little resemblance which it bore to that described by Tonti and 
by Hennepin. So great were the discrepancies, that he had begun 
to doubt if he were not upon the wrong stream, when an Indian 
chief sent to him Tonti's letter to La Salle, on which, through 
thirteen years, those wild men had been looking with wonder and 
awe. Assured by this that he had indeed reached the desired 
spot, and wearied probably by his tedious sail thus far, he returned 
to the Bay of Biloxi, between the Mississippi and the Mobile 
■waters, built a fort in that neighborhood, and, having manned it 
in a suitable manner, returned to France himself.* 

While he was gone, in the month of September, 1699, the lieu- 
tenant of his fort, M. De Bienville, went round to explore the 
mouths of the Mississippi, and take soundings. Engaged in this 
business, he had rowed up the main entrance some twenty-five 
leagues, when, unexpectedly, and to his no little chagrin, a British 
corvette came in sight, a vessel carrying twelve cannon, slowly 
creeping up the swift current. M. Bienville, nothing daunted, 
though he had but his leads and lines to do battle with, spoke up, 
and said, that, if this vessel did not leave the river without delay, 
he had force enough at hand to make her repent it. All which 
had its effect; the Britons about ship and stood to sea again, 
growling as they went, and saying, that they had discovered that 
country fifty years before, that they had a better right to it than 
the French, and would soon make them know it. The bend in 
the river, where this took place, is still called "English Turn." 
This was the first meeting of those rival nations in the Mississippi 
Valley, which, from that day, was a bone of contention between 
them till the conclusion of the French war of 1756. Nor did the 
matter rest long with this visit from the corvette. Englishmen 
began to creep over the mountains from Carolina, and, trading 
with the Chicachas, or Chickasaws of our day, stirred them up to 
acts of enmity against the French. 

When D'Iberville came back from France, in January, 1700, 
and heard of these things, he determined to take possession of the 
country anew, and to build a fort upon the banks of the Missis- 
sippi itself. vSo, with due form, the vast valley of the West was 
again sworn in to Louis, as the whole continent through to the 
South Sea had been previously sworn in by the English to the / 
Charleses and Jameses; and, what was more effectual, a little fort i 

* New France vol. iii. p. rSO, el. scq. 

1712. Louisiana granted to Crozat. 33 

was built, and four pieces of cannon placed thereon. But even 
this was not much to the purpose ; for it soon disappeared, and 
the marshes about the mouth of the Great River were again, as 
they had ever been, and long must be, uninhabited by men. 

D'Iberville, in the next place, having been visited and guided 
up the river by Tonti in 1^00, proposed to found a city among 
the Natchez, — a city to be named, in honor of the Countess of 
Pontchartrain, Rosalie. Indeed, he did pretend to lay the corner- 
stone of such a place, though it was not till 1714 that the fort 
called Rosalie was founded, where the city of Natchez is standing 
at this day. 

Having thus built a fort at the mouth of the Great River, and 
designated a choice spot above for a settlement, D'Iberville once 
more sought Europe, having, before he left, ordered M. Le Sueur to 
go up the Mississippi in search of a copper mine, which that person- 
age had previously got a clue to, upon a branch of the St. Peter's 
river;* which order was fulfilled, and much metal obtained, 
though at the cost of great suffering. Mining was always a Jack- 
a-lantern with the first settlers of America, and our French friends 
were no wiser than their neighbors. The products of the soil 
were, indeed, scarce thought valuable on a large scale, it being 
supposed that the wealth of Louisiana consisted in its pearl- 
fishery, its mines, and the wool of its wild cattle. f In 1701 the 
commander came again, and began a new establishment upon the 
river Mobile, one which superseded that at Biloxi, w^hich thus 
far had been the chief fort in that southern colony. After this 
things went on but slowly until 1708 ; D'Iberville died on one of 
his voyages between the mother country and and her sickly 
daughter, and after his death little was done. In 1708, however, 
M. D'Artagnette came from France as commissary of Louisiana, 
and, being a man of spirit and energy, did more for it than had 
been done before. But it still lingered ; and, under the impression 
that a private man of property might manage it better than the 
government could, the king, upon the 14th of September, 1712, 
granted to Crozat, a man of great wealth, the monopoly of Louisi- 
ana for fifteen years, and the absolute ownership of whatever 
mines he might cause to be opened. | 

* Charlevoix, vol. iv. pp. 162, 164, In Long's Second Expedition, p. 318, may be 
seen a detailed account of Le Sueur's proceedings, taken from a manuscript statement 
of them. 

t Charlevoix, vol. iii. p. 389. 

;f The grant may be found Land Laws 944. 


34 Mississippi Company. 1717. 

Crozat, witli whom was associated Cadillac, the founder of 
Detroit and governor of Louisiana, relied mainly upon two things 
for success in his speculation; the one, the discovery of mines; 
the other, a lucrative trade with New Mexico. In regard to the 
first, after many years' labor, he was entirely disappointed ; and 
met with no better success in his attempt to open a trade with the 
Spaniards, although he sent to them both by sea and land. 

Crozat, therefore, being disappointed in his mines and his trade, 
and having, withal, managed so badly as to diminish the colony, 
at last, in 1717, resigned his privileges to the king again, leaving 
in Louisiana not more than seven hundred souls. 

Then followed the enterprises of the far-famed Mississippi Com- 
pany or Company of the West, established to aid the immense 
banking and stock-jobbing speculations of John Law, a gambling, 
wandering Scotchman, who seems to have been possessed with 
the idea that wealth could be indefinitely increased by increasing 
the circulating medium in the form of notes of credit. The pub- 
lic debt of France was selling at 60 to 70 per cent, discount ; Law 
was authorized to establish a bank of circulation, the shares in 
which might be paid for in public stock at par, and to induce the 
public to subscribe for the bank shares, and to confide in them, 
the Company of the West was established in connection with the 
Bank, having the exclusive right of trading in the Mississippi 
country for twenty-five years, and with the monopoly of the 
Canada beaver trade. This was in September, 1717; in 1718 
the monopoly of tobacco was also granted to this favored creature 
of the State; in 1719, the exclusive right of trading in Asia, 
and the East Indies; and soon after the farming of the public 
revenue, together with an extension of all these privileges to the 
year 1770 ; and as if all this had been insufl[icient, the exclusive 
right of coining, for nine years, was next added to the immense 
grants already made to the Company of the West.* Under this 
hotbed system, the stock of the Company rose to 500, 600, 800, 
1000, 1500, and at last 2050 per cent. ; this was in April, 1720. 
At that time the notes of the bank in circulation exceeded two 
hundred millions of dollars, and this abundance of money raised 
the price of every thing to twice its true value. Then the bubble 
burst ; decree after decree was made to uphold the tottering fabric 
of false credit, but in vain ; in January, 1720, Law had been 

• After 1719, called the Company of the Indies. 

1718. JVew Orleans laid out. 35 

made minister of finance, and as such he proceeded first, to forbid 
all persons to hare on hand more than about one hundred dollars 
in specie, any amount beyond that must be exchanged for paper, 
and all payments for more than twenty dollars were to be made in 
paper ; and this proving insufficient, in March, all payments over 
two dollars were ordered to be in paper, and he who dared at- 
tempt to exchange a bill for specie forfeited both. Human folly 
could go no farther; in April the stock began to fall, in May the 
Company was regarded as bankrupt, the notes of the bank fell to 
ten cents on the dollar, and though a decree made it an ofTence 
to refuse them at par they were soon worth little more than waste 

Under the direction of a Company thus organized and controll- 
ed, and closely connected with a bank so soon ruined, but little 
could be hoped for a colony which depended on good manage- 
ment to develop its real resources for trade and agriculture.* In 
1718, colonists were sent from Europe, and New Orleans laid out 
with much ceremony and many hopes; but in January, 1722, 
Charlevoix writing thence, says, *' if the eight hundred fine houses 
and the five parishes that were two years since represented by the 
journals, as existing here, shrink now to a hundred huts, built 
x^dthout order, — a large wooden magazine, — two or three houses 
that would do but little credit to a French village, — and half of 
an old store-house, which was to have been occupied as a chapel, 
but from which the priests soon retreated to a tent as preferable, — 
if all this is so, still how pleasant to think of what this city will 
one day be, and instead of weeping over its decay and ruin to 
look forward to its growth to opulence and power."! And again, 
*' The best idea you can form of New Orleans, is to imagine two 
hundred persons, sent to build a city, but who have encamped on 
the river-bank, just sheltered from the weather, and waiting for 
houses. — They have a beautiful and regular plan for this metropo- 
lis, but it will prove harder to execute than to draw."| Such, not 
in words precisely but in substance, were the representations and 
hopes of the wise historian of New France, respecting the capital 
of the colony of Law's great corporation ; and we may be sure 
that with the chief place in such a condition, not much had been 

* A set of regulations for governing the Company, passed in 1721, may be found in 
Dillon's Indiana, 41 to 44. 

t Charlevois, iii. 430— ed. 1744. 
\ Charlevois, iii. 441 — ed. 1744. 

36 Massacre by JVatchez^ 1729. 

done for the permanent improvement of the country about it. 
The truth was, the same prodigahty and folly which prevailed in 
France during the government of John Law, over credit and 
commerce, found their way to his western possessions; and though 
the colony then planted, survived, and the city then founded be- 
came in time what had been hoped, — it was long before the in- 
fluence of the gambling mania of 1718, 19 and 20, passed away. 
Indeed the returns from Louisiana never repaid the cost and 
trouble of protecting it, and, in 1732, the Company asked leave 
to surrender their privileges to the crown, a favoi- wdiich was 
granted them. 

But though the Company of the West did little for the enduring 
welfare of the Mississippi valley, it did something ; the cultivation 
of tobacco, indigo, rice and silk, was introduced, the lead mines 
of Missouri were opened, though at vast expense and in hope of 
finding silver ; and, in Illinois, the culture of wheat began to 
assume some degree of stability, and of importance. In the 
neighborhood of the River Kaskaskias, Charlevoix found three 
villages, and about Fort Chartres, the head quarters of the Com- 
pany in that region, the French were rapidly settling. 

All the time, how^ever, during which the great monopoly lasted, 
was, in Louisiana, a time of contest and trouble. The English, 
who, from an early period, had opened commercial relations with 
the Chickasaws, through them constantly interfered with the trade 
of the Mississippi. Along the coast, from Pensacola to the Rio 
del Norte, Spain disputed the claims of her northern neighbor : 
and at lenglh the war of the Natchez struck terror into the hearts 
of both white and red men. Amid that nation, as we have said, 
D'Iberville had marked out Fort Rosalie, in 1700, and fourteen 
years later its erection had been commenced. The French, placed 
in the midst of the natives, and deeming them worthy only of 
contempt, increased their demands and injuries until they required 
even the abandonment of the chief town of the Natchez, that the 
intruders might use its site for a plantation. The inimical Chicka- 
saws heard the murmurs of their wronged brethren, and breathed 
into their ears counsels of vengeance ; the sufferers determined 
on the extermination of their tyrants. On the 28th of November, 
1729, every Frenchman in that colony died by the hands of the 
natives, with the exception of two mechanics : the women and 
children were spared. It was a fearful revenge, and fearfully did 
the avengers suffer for their murders. Two months passed by. 

1736, TrencJi attack Chickasaws. 37 

and the French and Chocktaws in one day took sixty of their 
scalps ; in three months they were driven from their country and 
scattered among the neighboring tribes; and within t^'o years 
the remnants of the nation, chiefs and people, w^ere sent to St. 
Domingo and sold into slavery. So perished this ancient and 
peculiar race, in the same year in which the Company of the West 
yielded its grants into the royal hands. 

When Louisiana came again into the charge of the government 
©f France, it was determined, as a first step, to strike terror into 
tlie Chickasaws, who, devoted to the English, constantly inter- 
fered with the trade of the Mississippi. For this purpose the 
forces of New France, from New Orleans to Detroit, were ordered 
to meet in the country of the inimical Indians, upon the 10th of 
May, 1736, to strike a blow which should be final. D'Artaguette, 
:governor of Illinois, with the young and gallant Vincennes, lead- 
ing a small body of French and more than a thousand northern 
Indians, on the day appointed, was at the spot appointed ; but 
Bien"vdlle, who had returned as the king's lieutenant to that 
southern land which he had aided to explore, was not where the 
commanders from above expected to meet him. During ten days 
they waited, and still saw nothing, heard nothing of the forces 
from the south. Fearful of exhausting the scant patience of his 
red allies, at length D'Artaguette ordered the onset ; a first and a 
second of the Chickasaw stations were carried successfully, but 
in attacking a third the French leader fell ; when the Illinois 
saw their commander wounded, they turned and fled, leaving him 
and de Vincennes, who would not desert him, in the hands of the 
Chickasaws. Five days afterwards, Bienville and his followers, 
among whom were great numbers of Choctaws, bribed to bear 
arms against their kinsmen, came creeping up the stream of tlie 
Tombecbee ; but the savages were on their guard, English traders 
had aided them to fortify their position, and the French in vain 
attacked their log fort. On the 20th of May, D'Artaguette had 
fallen ; on the 27th, Bienville had failed in his assault ; on the 
31st, throwing his cannon into the river, he and his white com- 
panions turned their prows to the south again. Then came the 
hour of barbarian triumph, and the successful Chickasaws danced 
round the flames in which were crackling the sinews of D'Arta- 
guette, Vincennes, and the Jesuit Senat, who stayed and died of 
his own free will, because duty bade him. 

Three years more passed away, and again a French army of 

38 . West in 175a. 1750. 

nearly four thousand white, red and black men was gathered upon 
the banks of the INIississippi, to chastise the Chickasaws. From 
the summer of 1739 to the spring of 1740,( this body of men 
sickened and wasted at Fort Assumption,, upon the site of ^Nlemi- 
phis. In March of the last named year,, without a blow struck, 
peace was concluded, and the province of Louisiana once more 
sunk into inactivity.* 

Of the ten years which followed,, we know but little that is 
interesting in relation to the West; and of its condition in 1750,, 
w^e can give no better idea than may be gathered from the follow- 
ing extracts of letters written by Vivier, a missionary among the 

Writing " Aux Illinois," six leagues from Fort Chai'tres, June 
8th, 1750, Vivier says: "We have here Whites, Negroes and 
Indians, to say nothing of cross-breeds. There are live French 
villages, and three villages of the natives, within a space of 
twenty-one leagues, situated between the Mississippi and another 
river called the Karkadiad (Kaskaskias.) In the five French vil- 
lages are, perhaps, eleven hundred whites, three hundred blacks, 
and some sixty red slaves or savages. The three Illinois towns 
do not contain more than eight hundred souls, all told.f Most o.f 
the French till the soil ; they raise wheat, cattle, pigs and horses^ 
and live like princes. Three times as much is produced as can 
be consumed; and great quantities of grain and flour are sent 
to New Orleans." In this letter, also^ Vivier says that which 
shows Father Marest's fears of French influence over the Indian 
neophjies to have been well founded. Of the three Illinois 
towns, he tells uSj one was given up by the missionaries as 
beyond hope, and in a second but a poor harvest rewarded their 
labors; and all was owing to the bad example of the French, and 
the introduction by them of ardent spirits. | 

Again, in an epistle dated November 17, 1750, Vivier says: 

* In reference to Crozat, Law, and events in Louisiana, we refer to Bancroft iii.; 
Penny Cyclopedia, articles '* Law," " Mississippi Company ;'' Charlevoix, vol. ii. ; Du 
Pratz's Louisiana; Niles's Register, ii. 161, 189; and the collection of documents 
(mostly official) relative to the Company of the West, published at Amsterdam, in 1730, 
in the work called " Relations de la Louisiane, et du Fleuve Mississippi," 2 vols. 

t There was a fourth, (Peoria probably,) eighty leagues distant, nearly an large as the 
three referred to ; this is stated in another part of the same letter. 

■^ Criminals, vagabonds and strumpets, were largely exported to Louisiana, when the 
first settlements were made. — Father Poisson in Lettrcs EdiliantCF, (Paris^. 17S1,) vi.. 
393, &c. 

1750. West in 1750. 39 

"For fifteen leagues above the mouth of the Mississippi, l5ne sees 
no dwellings, the ground being too low to be habitable. Thence 
to New Orleans the lands are only partially occupied. New 
Orleans, contains, black, white and red, not more, I think, than 
twelve hundred persons. To this point come all kinds of lumber, 
bricks, salt-beef, tallow, tar, skins and bear's grease ; and above 
all, pork and flour from the Illinois. These things create some 
commerce, forty vessels and more have come hither this year. 
Above New Orleans, plantations are again met with ; the most 
considerable is a colony of Germans, some ten leagues up the 
river. At Point Coupee, thirty-five leagues above the German 
settlement, is a fort. Along here, within five or six leagues, are 
not less than sixty ' habitations.' Fifty leagues farther up is the 
Natchez post, where we have a garrison who are kept prisoners 
by their fear of the Chickasaws and other savages. Here and at 
Point Coupee, they raise excellent tobacco. Another hundred 
leagues bring us to the Arkansas, %vhere we have also a fort and 
garrison, for the benefit of the river traders. There were some in- 
habitants about here formerly, but in 1748, the Chickasaws attacked 
the post, slew many, took thirteen prisoners, and drove the rest, 
into the fort. From the Arkansas to the Illinois, near five hun- 
dred leagues, there is not a settlement. There should, however, 
be a good fort on the Oubache, (Ohio,) the only path by 
which the English can reach the Mississippi. In the Illinois are 
numberless mines, but no one to work them as they deserve. 
Some individuals dig lead near the surface, and supply the 
Indians and Canada. Two Spaniards now here, who claim to be 
adepts, say that our mines are like those of Mexico, and that if 
we would dig deeper, we should find silver under the lead ; at 
any rate the lead is excellent. There are also in this country 
copper mines beyond doubt, as from time to time large pieces are 
found in the streams."* 

• Lettres Edifiantes, (Paris, 1781,) vii. 79 to 106, 


We have now sketched the progress of French discovery in the 
valley of the Mississippi. The first travellers reached that river 
in 1673, and when the new year of 1750 broke upon the great 
wilderness of the West, all was still wild except those little spots 
upon the prairies of Illinois, and among the marshes of Louisiana, 
which we have already named. Perhaps we ought also to except 
Vincennes, or St. Vincent's, on the Wabash*, as there is cause to 
believe that place was settled as early as 1735, at least. But the 
evidence in relation to this matter is of a kind which we think 
worth stating, not from the importance of the matter itself, but to 
illustrate the difficulty which besets an inquirer into certain points 
of our early western history. Volney, by conjecture, fixes the set- 
tlement of Vincennes about 1735 rf Bishop Brute of Indiana, 
speaks of a missionary station there in 1700, and adds, *' The 
friendly tribes and traders called to Canada for protection, and 
then M. de Vincennes came with a detachment, I think, of Carig- 
nan, and was killed in 1735; "| Mr. Bancroft says a military 
establishment was formed there in 1716, and in 1742, a settlement 
of herdsmen took place. || Judge Law regards the post as dating 
back to 1710 or 1711, supposing it to be the same with the Ohio 
settlement noticed on page 30, and quotes also an Act of Sale, 
existing at Kaskaskia, (if we understand him aright,) which, in 
in January, 1735, speaks of M. de Vinsenne, as " Commandant 
au Poste de Ouabache.§" Again, in a petition of the old inhabi- 
tants at Vincennes, dated in November, 1793, we find the settle- 
ment spoken of as having been made before 1742 ;1I and such is 
the general voice of tradition. On the other hand, Charlevoix, 
who records the death of Vincennes, which took place among the 

• Also called Post St. Vincent's and Au Poste or O'Post. 

t Volney's View, p, 336. 

^ Butler's Kentucky, Introduction, xix., note. 

J History United States, iii. 346. 

§ Law's Address, 1839, p. 21. 

■% jVmerican State Papers, xvi. 32. 

1750. Founding of Vincennes. 41 

Chickasaws, (see ante p. 37,) in 1736, makes no mention of any 
post on the Wabash, or any missionary station there ; neither does 
he mark any upon his map, although he gives even the British 
'forts upon the Tennessee and elsewhere. Vivier, a part of whose 
letters we have already quoted, says in 1750 nothing of any 
mission on the Wabash, although w-riting in respect to western 
missions, and speaks of the necessity of a fort upon the " Oua- 
bache ;" by this, it is true, he meant doubtless the Ohio, but how 
natural to refer to the post at Vincennes, if one existed. In a 
volume of " Memoires" on Louisiana, compiled from the minutes 
of M. Dumont and published in Paris, in 1753, but probably pre- 
pared in 1749,* though we have an account of the Wabash or St. 
Jerome, its rise and course, and the use made of it by the traders, 
not a word is found touching any fort, settlement or station on it. 
Vaudreuil, when Governor of Louisiana, in 1751 mentions even 
then no post on the Wabash, although he speaks of the need of a 
post on the Ohio, near to where Fort Massacf or Massacre was 
built afterwards, and names Fort Miami, on the Maumee.| The 
records of Vincennes, Judge Law says, show no mission earlier 
than 1749.11 Still farther, in "The Present State of North Ame- 
rica," a pamphlet published in London, in 1755, with which is a 
map of the French posts in the West, we have it stated that in 
1750 a fort was founded at Vincennes, and that in 1754, three 
hundred families were sent to settle about it.§ 

* Memoires Historiques sur la Louisiane, &c. 

t Thirty-five or forty miles from the Mississippi. It received its name, as the common 
tale goes, from the slaughter of its garrison by the Indians, who decoyed the French sol- 
diers to the river side, by covering themselves with bear skins. The story may be found 
in Hall's Sketches of the West, i. 181. Nicolet, however, in his Report to Congress, 
(p. 79,) says it was not named Massac or Massacre, but Marsiac : while the writer of 
Bouquet's Expedition in 1764, calls it Massiac or Assumption, built in 1757. (Appendix 
ii. p. 64.) This last is probably the best authority. 

I Quoted by Pownall, in his Memorial on Service in North America, drawn up in 1756. 
It forms an appendix to his" Administration of the Colonies," 4th edition, London, 1768. 
There is also an English map published in 1747, by Kitchen, purposely to show the 
French settlements, which does not name Vincennes. See also Sparks' Fratikli?i, iii. 2S5. 

II Address, p. 17. 

§ p. 65. The French forts mentioned in this work, (Present State, &c.) as north of the 
Ohio, were, 

Two on French Creek, (Riviere des Bffiufs.) 

Du Quesne. 

Sandusky. ' 

Miamis on Maumee. 

St. Joseph's on the St. Joseph's of Lake Michigan. 

Pontchartrain at Detroit. (over) 

42 * Spotswood crosses the Allegheny. 1710. 

Such is the state of proof relative to Vincennes : one thing, 
however, seems certain, which is, that the AV abash was very early 
frequented. Hennepin, in 1663-4, had heard of the "Hohio"; 
the route from the lakes to the Mississippi, by the Wabash, was 
explored in 1676;* and in Hennepin's volume of 1698, is a jour- 
nal, said to be that sent by La Salle to Count Frontenac, in 1682 
or 3, which mentions the route by the Maumeef and Wabash, as 
the most direct to the great western river. 

In 1749, therefore, when the English first began to move seri- 
ously about sending men into the West, there were only the Illi- 
nois and the lower country settlements, and perhaps Vincennes ; 
the present States of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, being still 
substantially in the possession of the Indians. From this, how- 
ever, it must not be inferred that the English colonists were ignor- 
ant of, or indifferent to, the capacities of the West, or that the 
movements of the French were unobserved up to the middle of 
the eighteenth century. Governor Spotswood of Virginia, as early 
as 1710, had commenced movements, the object of which was to 
secure the country beyond the Alleghenies to the English crown. 
He caused the mountain passes to be examined, and with much pomp 
and a great retinue, undertook the discovery of the regions on their 
western side. Then it w^as that he founded " The Tramontine 
Order," giving to each of those who accompanied him a golden 
horse-shoe, in commemoration of their toilsome mountain march, 
upon which they w^ere forced to use horse-shoes, which were sel- 
dom needed in the soft soil of the eastern vallies. In Pennsylva- 
nia, also. Governor Keith and James Logan, Secretary of the 
Province, from 1719 to 1731 represented to the powers in Eng- 


Fox River of Green Bay. 

Crevecoeur. ' ) 

T, , T- . v . e. T • ? on the Illinois. 
Rock Fort, or Fort St. Louis,} 


Mouth of the Wabash. 
Mouth of the Ohio. 
Mouth of the Missouri. 
At the mouth of the Scioto, (called in the work just named, the " Sikoder") the French 
had a post during the war of 1756 ; see Rogers's Journal, London, 1765 ; Post's Journal 
in Proud's Pennsylvania, vol. ii. App. p. 117. See also Holmes' Annals, ii. 71, 72. 
* Histoire General dcs Voyages, xiv. 75?. 

t Until this century, usually called the Miami, and sometimes the Tawa or Ottawa 

1664. Colonel WoocPs Travels. 43 

land, the necessity of taking steps to secure the western lands.* 
Nothing, however, was done by the government of the mother 
country, except to take certain diplomatic steps to secure the 
claim of Britain to those distant and unexplored wildernesses. 

Eno-land, from the outset, claimed from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, on the ground that the discovery and possession of the 
seacoast was a discovery and possession of the country ; and, as 
is well known, her grants to Virginia, Connecticut, and other colo- 
nies were through to the South Sea. It was not upon this,, how- 
ever, that Great Britain relied in her contest with France ; she had 
other grounds, namely, actual discovery, and purchase or tide of 
some kind from the Indian owners. 

Her claim on the score of actual discovery was poorly supported 
however, and little insisted on. 

"King Charles the First, in the fifth year of his reign (1630^) 
granted unto Sir Robert Heath, his attorney-general, a patent of 
all that part of America," which lies between thirty-one and 
thirty-six degrees north latitude, from sea to sea. Eight years 
afterwards. Sir Robert conveyed this very handsome property to 
Lord Maltravers, who was soon, by his father's death. Earl of 
Arundel. From him, by we know not what course of conveyance, 
this grant, which formed the Province of Cai-olana (not Carolina,) 
came into the hands of Dr. Daniel Coxe, who was, in the opinion 
of the attorney-general of England, true owner of that Province 
in the year of D 'Iberville's discovery, 1699.1 

In support of the English claim, thus originating, we are told 
by Dr. Coxe, that, from the year 1654 to the year 1664, one 
" Colonel Wood in Virginia, inhabiting at the Falls of James 
river, above a hundred miles west of Chesapeake Bay, discovered 
at several times, several branches of the great rivers, Ohio and 
Meschasebe." Nay, the Doctor affirms, that he had himself pos- 
sessed, in past days, the Journal of a Mr. Needham, who was in 
the Colonel's employ, which Journal, he adds, "is now in the 
hands of," &c. The Doctor also states, that about the year 1676, 
he had in his keeping a Journal, written by some one who had 
gone from the mouth of the Mississippi, up as far as the Yellow 
or Muddy river, otherwise called Missouri; and he says, this 

* Bancroft, iii. 354; Jones's Present State of Virginia, (1724,) 14; Universal History, 
xl. 192. 

+ A Description of the English Province of Carolana, &c., by Daniel Coxe, Esquire. 
London 1722. pp. 113 et seq. 

44 English Discovenes. 1699. 

Journal, in almost every particular, was confirmed by the late 
travels. And still further, Dr. Coxe assures us, that, in 1678, 
" a considerable number of persons went from New England upon 
discovery, and proceeded so far as New Mexico, one hundred and 
fifty leagues beyond the river Meschasebe, and, at their return, 
rendered an account to the government at Boston ;" for the truth 
of all which he calls Governor Dudley, who was still living, as 
witness. Nor had he been idle himself; " apprehending that the 
planting of this country would be highly beneficial," he tried to 
reach it first from Carolina, then from " Pensilvania, by the Sus- 
quehannah river," and "many of his people travelled to New 
Mexico." He had also made discoveries through the great river 
Ochequiton, or, as we call it, Alabama; and "more to the north- 
west, beyond the river Meschasebe," had found " a very great 
sea of fresh water, several thousand miles in circumference," 
w^hence a river ran into the South Sea, about the latitude of forty- 
four degrees, and "through this," he adds, "we are assured the 
Eno;lish have since entered that great lake." 

These various statements are, it must be owned, somewhat 
startling; but, leaving them undisturbed for the present, we can 
see clearly the bearing of what follows, namely, that the Doctor, 
in 1698, fitted out two vessels, well armed and manned, one of 
which (when, we hear not) entered the Mississippi and ascended 
it above one hundred miles, and then returned, — wherefore, is 
not specially stated. This was, doubtless, the corvette which M. 
Bienville turned out of what he considered French domains ; as 
Charlevoix tells us, that the vessel which Bienville met, was one 
of two which left England in 1698, armed with thirty-six guns, 
the same number which Daniel Coxe, the Doctor's son, tells us, 
were borne by his father's vessels. The English, having thus 
found their way to the Meschasebe, wished to prosecute the mat- 
ter, and it was proposed to make there a settlement of the French 
Huguenots, who had fled to Carolina; but the death of Lord 
Lonsdale, the chief forwarder of the scheme, put an end to that 
plan, and we do not learn from Coxe, whose work appeared in 
1722, that any further attempts were made by England, whose 
wars and woes nearer home kept her fully employed. 

And now, what are we to say to those bold statements by Coxe ; 
statements contained in his memorial to the King in 1699, and 
such as could hardly, one would think, be tales a la Hontan^ 
Colonel Wood's adventures are recorded by no other writer, so 

1742. John Howard taken by the French. 45 

far as we have read ; for, though Hutchins, who was geographer 
to the United States when the western lands were first surveyed, 
refers to Wood, and also to one Captain Bolt, who crossed the 
Alleghanies in 1670, his remarks are very vague, and he gives us 
no one to look to, as knowing the circumstances. Of the Boston 
expedition we know still less ; the story is repeated from Coxe by 
various pamphlet waiters of those days, when Law's scheme had 
waked up England to a very decided interest in the West ; but all 
examinations of contemporary writers, and the town records, have 
as yet failed to lend a single fact in support of this part of the Doc- 
tor's tale. While, therefore, there is no doubt that the English, at 
an early day, had visited the South West, and even had stations on 
the Tennessee and among the Chickasaws, (see Charlevoix's map,) 
we cannot, on the other hand, regard the statements made by 
Coxe as authenticated.— Then we have it also from tradition, that 
in 1742, John Howard crossed the mountains from Virginia, sailed 
in a canoe made of a buffalo skin down the Ohio, and was taken 
by the French on the Mississippi ; * and this tradition is confirmed 
by a note, contained in a London edition of Du Pratz, printed in 
1774, in which the same facts as to Howard are substantially 
given as being taken from the oflScial report of the Governor of 
Virginia, at the time of his expedition. But this expedition by 
Howard, could give England no claim to the West, for he made 
no settlement, and the whole Ohio valley had doubtless long be- 
fore been explored by the French f if not the English traders. It 
is, however, worthy of remembrance, as the earliest visit by an 
Englishman to the West, Avhich can be consiHered as distinctly 
authenticated. Soon after that time, traders undoubtedly began 
to flock thither from Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 1748, Con- 
rad Weiser, an interpreter, was sent from Philadelphia wath pres- 
ents to the Indians at Logstown, an Indian town upon the Ohio, 
between Pittsburgh and the Big Beaver creek, and we find the 
residence of English traders in that neighborhood referred to as of 
some standing, even then.| 

* Kercheval's Valley of Virginia, p. 67. 

+ Trees have been found in Ohio bearing marks of the axe, which, if we may jndge 
by the rings, were made as far back as 1660. — Whittlesey's Discourse 1840, p. 8. 

% Butler's History of Kentucky, vol. i. second edition, (Introduction xx.) gives the 
adventures of one Sailing in the West, as early as 1730, but his authority is a late work, 
{Chronicles of Border Warfare,) and the account is merely traditional, we presume ; 
Sailing is named in the note to Du Pratz, as having been with Howard in 1742. There 
are various vague accounts of English in the West, before Howard's voyage. Keating, 

46 Lord Howard held a treaty with the Six J^ations. 16S4. 

But the great ground whereon the English claimed dominion 
beyond the Alleghanics, was that the Six Nations* owned the 
Ohio valley, and had placed it, with their other lands, under the 
protection of England. As early as 1684, Lord Howard, Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, held a treaty with the Six Nations, at Albany, 
when, at the request of Colonel Dungan, the Governor of New 
York, they placed themselves under the protection of the mother 
country.! This was again done in 1701; and, upon the 14th of 
September, 1726, a formal deed was drawn up, and signed by the 
chiefs, by which their lands were conveyed to England, in trust, 
"to be protected and defended by his Majesty, to and for the use 
of the grantors and their heirs." | If, then, the Six Nations had 
a good claim to the western country, there could be little doubt 
that England w^as justified in defending that country against the 
French, as France, by the treaty of Utrecht, had agreed not to 
invade the lands of Britain's Indian allies. But this claim of the 
New York savages has been disputed. Among others General 
William H. Harrison has attempted to disprove it, and show, that 
the Miami confederacy of Illinois and Ohio could not have been 
conquered by the Iroquois, j] We shall not enter into the contro- 
versy ; but will only say, that to us the evidence is very strong, 
that, before 1680, the Six Nations had overrun the w^estern lands, 
and were dreaded from Lakes Erie and INIichigan to the Ohio, 

in Long's Expedition, speaks of a Colonel Wood, who had been there, beside the one 
mentioned by Coxe. In a work called " The Contest in America between England and 
France. By an Impartial Hand, London 1757," we find it stated, that the Indians at 
Albany, in 1754, acknowledged that the English had been on the Ohio for thirty years. 
And in a memorial by the British ministry, in 1755, they speak of the West as having been 
cultivated by England for "above twenty t/eory." (Sparks' Frmiklin, vol.iv. p. 330.) 
Clearer proof still is found in the fact that the Government of Pennsylvania recalled its 
traders from the Ohio as early as 1732, in consequence of apprehending trouble with the 
French and Indians. (Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, iii.-476. 

* When we first hear of the great northern confederacy, there were five tribes in it ; 
namely, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. Afterwards the Tusca- 
roras were conquered and taken into the confederacy, and it became the Six Nations. 
Still later, the Nanticokcs, and Tutclocs, came into the union, which was, however, still 
called the Six Nations, though sometimes the Eight United Nations. This confederacy 
was by the French called the " Iroquois," by the Dutch "Maquas," by the other In- 
dians "Mengive," and, thence, by the English, •'Mingoes." These varied names have 
produced countless errors, and endless confusion. By many writers we are told of the 
Iroquois or Mohawks ; and the Mingoes of the Ohio are almost always spdven of as a 
tribe. We have used the terms " Six Nations," and " Iroquois," and now and then 
" Mingoes," always meaning the whole confederacy. 

t Flain Facts, &c. Philadelphia, 17S1. pp. 22, 23. 

^ This may be found at length in Pownall's Administration of the Colonies, fourth 
edition, London, 1768, p. 269. 

fl See Harrison's Historical Address, 1837. 

1744. Western Lands claimed by the British. 47 

and west to the Mississippi. In 1673, Allouez and Dablon found 
the Miamis upon Lake Michigan, fearing a visit from the Iroquois,* 
and from this time forward we hear of them in that far land from 
all writers, genuine and spurious, as may be easily gathered from 
what we have said already of Tonti and his w^ars.f We cannot 
doubt, therefore, that they did overrun the lands claimed by 
them, and even planted colonies in what is now Ohio ; but that 
they had any claim, which a Christian nation should have recog- 
nized, to most of the territory in question, we cannot for a moment 
think, as for half a century at least it had been under the rule of 
other tribes, and, when the differences between France and Eng- 
land began, was, with the exception of the lands just above the 
head of the Ohio, the place of residence and the hunting-ground 
of other tribes. | 

But some of the western lands were also claimed by the British, 
as having been actually purchased. This purchase was said to 
have been made at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1744, when a 
treaty was held between the colonists and the Six Nations relative 
to some alleged settlements that had been made upon the Indian 
lands in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland ; and to this treaty, 
of which we have a very good and graphic account, wTitten by 
"Witham Marshe, who went as secretary with the commissioners 
for Maryland, we now turn, dwelling upon it somewhat, as a 
specimen of the mode in which the Indians were treated with. 
The Maryland, commissioners reached Lancaster upon the 21st of 
June, before either the governor of Pennsylvania, the Virginia 
commissioners, or the Indians, had arrived ; though all but the 
natives came that evening. 

The next forenoon wore wearily away, and all were glad to sit 
down, at one o'clock, to a dinner in the court-house, which the 
Virginians gave their friends, and from which not many were 
drawn, even by the coming of the Indians, who came, to the 

•George Croghan, the Indian agent, took an oath that the Iroquois claimed no farther 
on the north side of the Ohio than the Great Miami or Stony river ; (called also Rocky 
river, Great Mineami ; and Assereniet. Hutchin's Geographical Descriptions, 25. The 
purport of this oath has been misunderstood, it says nothing of what the Iroquois trans- 
ferred to England in 1768. See Butler's Kentucky, — 5. 6. — Hall's Statistics of the West, 
Preface, viii. Butler's Chronology, 9. — The oath is given American State Papers, xvii. 

+ See Charlevoix, La Hontan, Hennepin, Tonti, &c. 

^ " In 1744, when the Lancaster treaty was held with the Six Nations, some of their 
number were making war upon the Catawbas." — 3Iarsh^s Journal, Massachusetts His- 
torical Collections, vol. vii. pp. 190^ 191. 

48 Treaty of Lancaster. 1744. 

number of two liundred and fifty-two, with squaws and little 
children on horseback, and with their fire-arms, and bows, and 
arrows, and tomahawks, and, as they passed the coust-house, in- 
"vited the white men with a song to renew their fisrmer treaties. 
On the outskirts of the town, vacant lots had been chosen for the 
savages to build their wigwams upon, and thither they marched 
on with Conrad Weiser, their friend and interpreter,* while the 
Virginians " drank the loyal healths," and finished their enter- 
tainment. After dinner they went out to look at their dark allies, 
who had few shirts among them, and those black from wear, and 
who were very ragged and shabby; at all which the well-clad 
and high-fed colonists bit their lips, but feared to laugh. That 
afternoon the chiefs and commissioners met at the court-house, 
" shaked hands," smoked a pipe, and drank " a good quantity of 
wine and punchy The next day, being Saturday, the English 
went " to the Dunkers' nunnery," and the Indians drank, and 
danced, and shrieked. Monday, the speaking began, to the satis- 
faction of all parties, and ended merrily with dancing, and music, 
and a gi-eat supper. On Tuesday and Wednesday, also, speeches 
were made, varied by dances, in which appeared some very disa- 
gi-eeable women, who " danced wilder time than any Indians." 
On Thursday the goods were opened, wherewith the Maryland 
people wished to buy the Indian claim to the lands on which set- 
tlements had been made. These goods were narrowly scanned 
by the red men, but at last taken for j£220 Pennsylvania money, 
after which they drank punch. Friday, the Six Nations agreed to 
the grant desired by the Marylanders, and punch was drunk again ; 
and, on Saturday, a dinner was given to the chiefs, "at which," 
says Marshe, " they fed lustily, drunk heartily, and were very 
greasy before they finished." At this dinner, the Indians bestowed 
on the governor of Maryland the name of Tocaryhogon, meaning 
" Living in the honorable place." Jljler this caine much drinking, 
and when that had gone forward some time, the Indians were 
called on to sign the deed which had been drawn up, and the 
English again ^^ put about the glass, pretty briskly. ^^ Next, the 
commissioners from Virginia, supported by a due quantity of wine 
and bumbo,] held their conference with the Indians, and received 
from them " a deed releasing their claim to a large quantity of 

*For some idea of Weiser, see Proud's History of Pennsylvania, vol. ii., p. 316, 
where a long letter by him is given. Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 134. 
+ Rum and water. 

1748, Ohio Company proposed, 49 

land lying in that colony ;" the Indians being persuaded to " re- 
cognise the king's right to all lands that are, or by his majesty''s 
appointment shall be, within the colony of Virginia." For this 
they received j£200 in gold, and a like sum in goods, with a pro- 
mise that, as settlements increased, more should be paid, which pro- 
mise was signed and sealed. We need make no comment upon 
this deed, nor speculate upon the probable amount of bumbo 
which produced it. The commissioners from Virginia, at this 
treaty of Lancaster, were Colonel Thomas Lee and Colonel Wil- 
liam Beverly.* 

On the 5th of July, every thing having been settled satisfactori- 
ly, the commissioners left " the filthy town" of Lancaster, and 
took their homeward w^ay, having suffered much from the vermin 
and the water, though when they used the latter would be a curi- 
ous enquiry. 

Such was the treaty of Lancaster, upon which, as a corner-stone, 
the claim of the colonists to the west, by purchase, rested ; and 
upon this, and the grant from the Six Nations, Great Britain relied 
in all subsequent steps. 

As settlements extended, and the Indians murmured, the pro- 
mise of further pay w^as called to mind, and Weiser was sent 
across the Alleghanies to Logstown, in 1748, f wdth presents, to 
keep the Indians in good humor ; and also to sound them, pro- 
bably, as to their feeling with regard to large settlements in the 
west, which some Virginians, with Colonel Thomas Lee, the Lan- 
caster commissioner, at their head, were then contemplating. J The 
object of these proposed settlements w^as not the cultivation of the 
soil, but the monopoly of the Indian trade which, with all its 
profits, had till that time been in the hands of unprincipled men, 
half civilized, half savage, who, through the Iroquois, had from 
the earliest period penetrated to the lakes of Canada and com- 

• Plain Fads, bei7ig an Examination, c^c, oTid a Vindication of the Grant from the 
Six United Nations of Indians to the Proprietors of Indiana vs. the Decision of the 
Legislature of Virginia. Pp. 29-39. Philadelphia : R. Aitken. 1781. Sparks' IFasA- 
ington, vol. ii. p. 4S0. Marshe's Journal. The whole proceedings may be found in 
Colden's History of the Iroquois, given with proper formal solemnity. 

+ Plain Facts, pp. 40, 119, 120. 

I Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 478. Scarce any thing was known of the old Ohio 
Company, until Mr. Sparks' inquiries led to the note referred to ; and even now so little 
is known, that we cannot but hope some Historical Society will prevail on Charles Fenton 
Mercer, formerly of Virginia, who holds the papers of that Company, to allow their pub- 
lication. No full history of the West can be written, until the facts relative to the great 
land companies are better known. 


60 Companies for Western Trade. 1749, 

peted everpvhere with the French for skins and furs.* It was 
now proposed in Virginia to turn these fellows out of their good 
berth beyond the mountains, by means of a great company, which 
should hold lands and build trading-houses, import European goods 
regularly, and export the furs of the west in return to London. 
Accordingly, after Weiser's conference with the Indians at Logs- 
town, which was favorable to their views, Thomas Lee, with 
twelve other Virginians, among whom were Lawrence and Augus- 
tine, brothers of George Washington, and also Mr. Hanbury of 
London, formed an association which they called the " Ohio Com- 
pany," and in 1748, petitioned the king for a grant beyond the 
mountains. This petition was approved by the monarch, and the 
government of Virginia was ordered to grant to the petitioners 
half a million of acres within the bounds of that colony, beyond 
the Alleghanies, two hundred thousand of which were to be loca- 
ted at once. This portion was to be held for ten years free of 
quitrent, provided the company would put there one hundred 
families within seven years, and build a fort sufficient to protect 
the settlement ; all which the company proposed, and prepared to 
do at once, and sent to London for a cargo suited to the Indian 
trade, which was to come out so as to arrive in November, 1749. 

Other companies were also formed about this time in Virginia, 
to colonize the west. Upon the 12th of June, 1749, a grant of 
800,000 acres, from the line of Canada, north and west, was 
made to the Loyal Company ; and, upon the 29th of October, '57, 
another, of 100,000 acres to the Greenbriar Company. f 

But the French were not blind all this while. They saw, that, 
if the British once obtained a strong-hold upon the Ohio, they 
might not only prevent their settlements upon it, but must at last' 
come upon their lower posts, and so the battle be fought sooner or 
later. To the danger of the English possessions in the west, Vau- 
dreuil, the French governor, had been long alive. Upon the 10th 
of May, 1744, he wrote home representing the consequences that 
must come from allowing the British to build a trading-house 
among the Creeks ;| and, in November, 1748, he anticipated their 

* See Charlevoix, first and second vol. in many places ; especially i. 502, 515, ii. 133, 
269, 373. The English were at Mackinac as early as 16S6. 

t Revised Statutes of Virginia, by B. W. Leigh, ii. 347. 

j^ Pownall's Mcmoriul on Service in America, as before quoted. Vaudreuil came out 
as Governor of Canada in 1755. — Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. vii., p. 105. 
See also Holmes' Annuls, vol.ii. p. 23. 

1749, Celeron sent to Ohio. 51 

seizure of Fort Prudhomme, which was upon the Mississippi be- 
low the Ohio.* Nor was it for mere sickly missionary stations 
that the governor feared ; for, in the year last-named, the Illinois 
settlements, few as they were, sent flour and corn, the hams of 
hogs and bears, pickled pork and beef, myrtle wax, cotton, tallow, 
leather, tobacco, lead, iron, copper, some little buffalo wool, veni- 
son, poultry, bear's grease, oil, skins, and coarse furs, to the New 
Orleans market. Even in 1746, from five to six hundred barrels 
of flour, according to one authority, and two thousand according 
to another, went thither from Illinois, convoys annually going 
down in December with the produce. f Having these fears, and 
seeing the danger of the late movements of the British, Galli- 
soniere, then governor of Canada, determined to place, along 
the Ohio, evidences of the French claim to, and possession of, 
the country; and for that purpose, in the summer of 1749, sent 
Louis Celeron, with a party of soldiers, to place plates of lead, on 
which were written out the claims of France, in the mounds, and 
at the mouths of the rivers. J Of this act, William Trent, who 
was sent out in 1752, by Virginia, to conciliate the Indians, heard 
while upon the Ohio, and mentioned it in his Journal ; and, within 
a few years, one of the plates, wath the inscription partly defaced, 
has been found near the mouth of the Muskingum. Of this plate, 
the date upon which is August 16th, 1749, a particular account 
was sent, by De Witt Clinton, to the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety, in whose second volume (p. 535-541) the inscription may 
be found at length. By this step, the French, perhaps, hoped to 
quiet the title to the river, " Oyo" ; but it produced not the least 
result. In that very year, we are told, a trading-house was built 
by the English, upon the Great Miami, at the spot since called 
Loramie's Store ;|| while, from another source we learn, that two 

* Pownall's Memorial. 

+ Ibid. Representations to Earl of Hillsborough, 1770, quoted in Filson's Kentucky, 
1784 : also, in Hutchins' Geographical Description, p. 15. 

% Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 430. — Atwater's History of Ohio, first edition, p. 109. 
— Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. ii. pp. 535-541. De Witt 
Clinton received the plate mentioned in the text from Mr, Atvvater, who says it was found 
at the mouth of the Muskingum, though marked as having been placed at the mouth of 
tlie Venango (Yenangue) River, (French Creek, we presume.) Celeron wrote from an 
old Shawanee town on the Ohio, to Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania, respecting the 
intrusion of traders from that colony into the French dominions. — ^Minutes of the Cotmcil 
of Pennsylvania, quoted in Dillon's History of Indiana, i. 66. 

I Contest in America, by an Impartial Hand. Once this writes speaks of this post as 
npon the Wabash, but he doubtless meant that on the Miami. 

52 Gist visits Tivighvees. 1751. 

traders were, in 1749, seized by the French upon the jNIaumee. 
At any rate, the storm was gathering ; the Enghsh company was 
determined to carry out its plan, and the French were determined 
to oppose them. 

During 1750, we hear of no step, by either party ; but in Fe- 
bruary, 1751, we find Christopher Gist, the agent who had been 
appointed by the Ohio Company to examine the western lands, 
upon a visit to the Twigtwees or Tuigtuis, who lived upon the 
Miami River, one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth.* In 
speaking of this tribe, Mr. Gist says nothing of a trading-house 
among them, (at least in the passage from his Journal quoted by 
Mr. Sparks,) but he tells us, they left the Wabash for the sake of 
trading with the English ; and we have no doubt, that the spot 
which he visited was at the mouth of Loraime's Creek, where, as 
we have said, a trading-house was built about or before this time. 
Gist says, the Twigtwees were a very numerous people, much 
superior to the Six Nations, and that they were formerly in the 
French interest. Wynne speaks of them as the same with the 
Ottowas ; but Gist undoubtedly meant the great Miamis confede- 
racy ; for he says that they are not one tribe, but " many different 
tribes, under the same form of government,"! Upon this journey 
Gist went as far down the Ohio as the Falls, and was gone seven 
months, though the particulars of his tour are yet unknown to us ; 
his Journal, with the exception of one or two passages published 
by Mr. Sparks, and some given in the notes to Imlay and Pownall's 
account of the West, still resting in manuscript. J 

Having thus generally examined the land upon the Ohio, in 
November Gist commenced a thorough survey of the tract south 

■* Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 37. 

-}• See Harrison's Discourse, already quoted. — Franklin, following a Twigtwee chief 
present at Carlisle, in 17.53, (Minutes of that Council, p. 7. Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. 
p, 71,) speaks of the Piankeshaws, a tribe of the Twigtwees ; and again, of the Jliamis 
or Twigtwees (ibid. vol. iii. p. 72.) The name is spelt in the Minutes of the Provincial 
Council of Pennsylvania, Twechtwese, and they are described as those Indians, called 
by the French, Miamis, (iii. 470 ) On Evans' map, of 1755, they arc called Tawixtwi, 
and are mentioned among the confederated nations, of the west. — See also General 
Harrison's letter of March 22, 1814, in McAfee, p. 43. 

^ Pownall's typography is in Imlay, edition of 1797, London, from p. 82 to 129. From 
Evans' map, first published in 1755, and republished in 1776, we learn that Gist crossed 
the mountains near tlie heads of the Cumberland, went down the Kentucky River 
some distance, thence crossed to the mouth of the Scioto, which stream he followed up, 
and afterwards turning east, went across the Muskingum to Fort Pitt : the year in which 
he did this is not given, nor do wo know whether the route is laid down in Evans' first 
edition of 1755. 

1752. French begin their Forts. 53 

of the Ohio and east of the Kanawha, which was that on which 
the Ohio Company proposed to make their first settlement. He 
spent the winter in that labor. In 1751 also, General Andrew 
Lewis, commenced some surveys in the Greenbriar country, on 
behalf of the company already mentioned, to which one hundred 
thousand acres of land had been granted in that region;* but 
his proceedings, as well as Gist's, were soon interrupted. Mean- 
while no treaty of a definite character had yet been held with the 
western Indians ; and, as the influence both of the French and of 
the independent English traders, was against the company, it was 
thought necessary to do something, and the Virginia government 
was desired to invite the chiefs to a conference at Logstown, 
wdrich was done. 

All this time the French had not been idle. They not only 
stirred up the savages, but took measures to fortify certain points 
on the upper waters of the Ohio, from which all lower posts might 
be easily attacked, and, beginning at Persqu'Ile, or Erie, on the 
lake, prepared a line of communication with the Alleghany. Tliis 
was done by opening a wagon-road from Erie to a little lake lying 
at the head of French Creek, where a second fort was built, about 
fifteen miles from that at Erie. When this second fort was fortified 
we do not clearly learn ; but some time in 1752, we believe. f 
But lest, while these little castles were quietly rising amid the 
forest, the British also might strengthen themselves too securely 
to be dislodged, a party of soldiers was sent to keep the Ohio 
clear; and this party, early in 1752, having heard of the trading- 
house upon the Miami, and, very likely, of the visit to it by 
Gist, came to the Twigtwees and demanded the traders, as unau- 
thorized intruders upon French lands. The Twigtwees, how- 
ever, were neither cowards nor traitors, and refused to deliver up 
their friends. | The French, assisted by the Ottawas and Chip- 
pewas, then attacked the trading-house, which was probably a 

• Stuart's Memoir of Indian War. Border Warfare, 4S. 

t Washington's Journal, of 1753. — Mante, in his History of the War, says, early ia 

1753 , but there was a post at Erie when the traders were taken, before June, 1752. 

% Sparks' FranMin, vol. iv. p. 71. — vol. iii. p. 230. PlainFactg,p. 42. — Contest in 
North America, &c. p. 36. — Wester7i Monthly Magazine, 1833. — This fort was always 
referred to in the early treaties of the United States with the Indians ; see Land Laics 
and treaties, j)ost. — Several other captures beside this are referred to by Franklin and 
others. The attack on Logstown, spoken of by Smollett and Russell, was doubtless this 
attack on the Miami post. Smollett; George IL chap, is. See also Burk's Virginia^ 
vol. iii. p. 170. 

54 Post on Miami destroyed. 1752. 

block-house, and after a severe battle, in which fourteen of the 
natives were killed,* and others wounded, took and destroyed it, 
carrying the traders away to Canada as prisoners, or, as one 
account says, burning some of them alive. This fort, or tradmg- 
house, was called by the English writers Pickawillany.f 

Such was the fate of the first British settlement in the Ohio 
valley, of which we have any record. It was destroyed early in 
1752, as we know by the fact, that its destruction was referred 
to by the Indians at the Logstown treaty in June. What traders 
they were who were taken, w^e do not know wnth certainty. Some 
have thought them agents of the Ohio Company ; but Gist's pro- 
ceedings about the Kenhawa do not favor the idea, neither do the 
subsequent steps of the company; and in the " History of Penn- 
sylvania," ascribed to Franklin, we find a gift of condolence 
made by that Province to the Twigtwees for those slain in defence 
of the traders among them, in 1752, which leads us to believe 
that they were independent merchants from that colony. | 

Blood had now been shed, and both parties became more 
deeply interested in the progress of events in the west. The 
English, on their part, determined to purchase from the Indians 
a title to the lands they washed to occupy, by fair means or 
foul; and, in the spring of 1752, Messrs. Fry,|| Lomax, and Pat- 
ton, were sent from Virginia to hold a conference with the na- 
tives at Logstown, to learn what they objected to in the treaty 
of Lancaster, of which it was said they complained, and to settle 
all difficulties. § On the 9th of June, the commissioners met the 
red men at Logstown: this was a little village, seventeen miles 

* Among them a king of the Piankeshaws. (Minutes of the Council of Carlisle, 1753.) 
From those Minutes we learn also that the Ottawas and Chippewas aided the French. 

t Washington's Journal (London, 1754) has a map on which the name is printed " Pik- 
kawalinna." — A memorial of the king's ministers, in 1755, refers to it as " Pickawillancs, 
in the centre of the territory between the Ohio and the Wabash." (Sparks' prawi/m, 
vol. iv. p. 330.) The name is probably some variation of Piqua or Pickaway in 1773: 
written by Rev. David Jones " Pickaweke." (Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 265.) 

:j: The Twigtwees met the Pennsylvanians at Lancaster, in July, 1748, and made a 
treaty with them. (Dillon's Indiana, i. 63.) Croghan also (Butler's Kentucky, 471,) 
speaks of them as connected with Pennsylvania. The Shawnese, from the west, went to 
Philadelphia to make treaties, in 1732. (Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsyl- 
vania, iii. 491.) 

H Afterwards Commander in Chief over Washington, at the commencement of the 
French war of 1755— 63 ; he died at Will's Creek, (Cumberland) May 31, 1754. (Sparks' 
Washington, ii. 27. note.) 

§ Plain Facts, ■p. 40. — Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 4S0. 

1752. Treaty of Logstown. 55 

and a half below Pittsburgh, upon the north side of the Ohio.* It 
had long been a trading-point, but had been abandoned by the 
Indians in 1750. f Here the Lancaster treaty was produced, and 
the sale of the western lands insisted upon ; but the chiefs said, 
*'No; they had not heard of any sale west of the warrior's road, | 
which ran at the foot of the Alleghany ridge." The commis- 
sioners then offered goods for a ratification of the Lancaster treaty ; 
spoke of the proposed settlement by the Ohio Company ; and used 
all their persuasions to secure the land wanted. Upon the 11th 
of June, the Indians replied. They recognised the treaty of Lan- 
caster, and the authority of the Six Nations to make it, but denied 
that they had any knowledge of the western lands being conveyed 
to the English by said deed ; and declined, upon the whole, having 
any thing to do %vith the treaty of 1744. " However," said the 
savages, " as the French have already struck the Twigtwees, we 
shall be pleased to have your assistance and protection, and wish 
you would build a fort at once at the Fork of the Ohio."|[ But 
this permission was not what the Virginians wanted ; so they took 
aside Montour, the interpreter, who was a son of the famous 
Catherine Montour,§ and a chief among the Six Nations, being 
three-fourths of Indian blood, and persuaded him, by valid argu- 
ments, (of the kind which an Indian most appreciates doubtless,) to 
use his influence with his fellows. This he did ; and, upon the 13th 
of June, they all united in signing a deed, confirming the Lancaster 
treaty in its full extent^ consenting to a settlement southeast of the 
Ohio, and guarantying that it should not be disturbed by them.H 

* Croghan, in his Journal says, that Logstown was south of the Ohio. ( Butler's Ken- 
tucky, App.) The river is itself nearly north and south at the spot in question ; but we 
always call the Canada side the north side, having reference to the general direction of 
the stream. 

+ Bouquet's Expedition. London, 1766. p. 10. — Logstown is given on the map accom-' 
panying the volume. 

\ Washington (Sparks' ii. 526,) speaks of a warrior's path coming out upon the Ohio' 
about thirty miles above the Great Kenhawa; — Filson and Hutchins (see map) make the 
one referred to by them terminate below the Scioto. — One may have been a branch used 
by the Muskingum and Hocking tribes, the other by those of the Scioto Valley- 

1 Plain Facts, p. 42. 

§ For a sketch of this woman, see Massachusetts Historical Collections, First Series, 
vol. vii p. 189, or Stone's Life of Brant, vol. i. p. 339. She had two sons, Andrew and 
Henry. The latter was a captain among the Iroquois, the former a common interpreter, 
apparently. Andrew was taken by the French in 1749. Which of them was at Logstown 
we are not told ; but, from his influence with the Indians, it was probably Henry. 

f Plain Facts, pp 38 — 14. The Virginia commissioners were men of high character, 
but ti-fiated with the Indians according to the ideas of their day. 

56 Settlers a-oss the Mountains. 1752, 

By such means was obtained the first treaty Avith the Indians in 
the Ohio valley. 

All this time the two powers beyond the Atlantic were in a 
professed state " of profound peace ;" and commissioners were at 
Paris trying to out-manoeuvre one another with regard to the dis- 
puted lands in America,* though in the West all looked like 
war. We have seen how the English outwitted the Indians, and 
secured themselves, as they thought, by their politic conduct. 
But the French, in this as in all cases, proved that they knew best 
how to manage the natives; and, though they had to contend with 
the old hatred felt toward them by the Six Nations, and though 
they by no means refrained from strong acts, marching through 
the midst of the Iroquois country, attacking the T\^'igtwees, and 
seizing the English traders, nevertheless they did succeed, as the 
British never did, in attaching the Indians to their cause. As an 
old chief of the Six Nations said at Easton, in 175S; "The Indi- 
ans on the Ohio left you because of your own fault. When we 
heard the French were coming, we asked you for help and arms, 
but we did not get them. The French came, they treated us 
kindly, and gained our affections. The Governor of Virginia set- 
tled on our lands for his own benefit, and, when we wanted help, 
forsook us.f" 

So stood matters at the close of 1752. The English had 
secured (as they thought) a title to the Indian lands south-east of 
the Ohio, and Gist was at work laying out a town and fort there 
on Shurtees (Chartier's) Creek, about two miles below the Fork.J 
Eleven families also were crossing the mountains to settle at the 
point W'here Gist had fixed his own residence, west of Laurel Hill, 
and not far from the Youghiogany. Goods too had come from 
England for the Ohio Company, which, however, they could not 
w^ell, and dared not, carry beyond Will's Creek, the point where 
Cumberland now stands, W'hence they were taken by the traders 
and Indians ; and there w^as even some prospect of a road across 
the mountains to the Moriongahela. 

On the other hand, the French were gathering cannon and 
stores upon Lake Erie, and, without treaties or deeds for land, 
were gaining the good will of even inimical tribes, and preparing, 
when all was ready, to strike the blow. Some of the savages, it 

• Sec Smollett : George II., chapters viii. and ix. 

+ Flu'm Fuels, p. 5i3. — Pownall's Memoir on Service in North America. 

I Sparks' Washington, vol- "- PP- "ISS, 4S2j and map, p. ^S. 

1753. Treaties of Winchester and Carlisle. 57 

is true, remonstrated. They said they did not understand this 
dispute between the Europeans, as to which of them the western 
lands belonged to, for they did not belong to either. But the 
French bullied when it served their turn, and flattered when it 
served their turn, and all the while went on with their prepara- 
tions, which were in an advanced state early in 1753.* 

In May of that year, the governor of Pennsylvania informed the 
Assembly of the French movements, a knowledge of which was 
derived, in part at least, from Montour, who had been present at 
a conference between the French and Indians relative to the inva- 
sion of the West.f The assembly thereupon voted six hundred 
pounds for distribution among the tribes, besides two hundred for 
the present of condolence to the Twigtwees, already mentioned. 
This money was not sent, but Conrad Weiser was despatched in 
August to learn how" things stood among the Ohio savages.:]: Vir- 
ginia was moving also. In June, or earlier, a commissioner was 
sent westward to meet the French, and ask how they dared invade 
his Majesty's province. The messenger went to Logstown, but 
was afraid to go up the Alleghany, as instructed. ][ Trent was 
also sent off with guns, powder, shot and clothing for the friendly 
Indians ; and then it was, that he learned the fact already stated, 
as to the claim of the French, and their burial of medals in proof 
of it. While these measures were taken, another treaty with the 
wild men of the debatable land was also in contemplation ; and in 
September, 1753, William Fairfax met their deputies at Winches- 
ter, Virginia, where he concluded a treaty, with the particulars of 
which we are unacquainted, but on which, we are told, was an 
indorsement, stating that such was their feeling, that he had not 
dared to mention to them either the Lancaster or the Logstown 
treaty ;^ a most sad comment upon the modes taken to obtain 
those grants. In the month following, however, a more satisfac- 
tory interview took place at Carlisle, between the representatives of 
the Iroquois, Delawares, Shawanese, Twigtwees and Owendeats, 
and the commissioners of Pennsylvania, Richard Peters, Isaac 
Norris, and Benjamin Franklin. At this meeting the attack on the 

* See in Washington-s Journal, the Speech of Half-king to the French commander 
and his answer. — Sparks's Washington, vol. ii. p. 4S4. 
t Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 2 '9. 
I Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 230. 
I Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 430. 
§ Plain Facts, p- 44. 

58 Washington sent West. 1753. 

Twigtwees was talked over, the plans of the French discussed, and 
a treaty concluded. The Indians had sent three messages to the 
French, warning them away; the reply was, that they were coming 
to build forts at " Wenengo," (Venango,) Mohongialo forks, 
(Pittsburgh,), Logtown, and Beaver Creek. The red men com- 
plained of the traders as too scattered, and as killing them with 
rum ; they wished only three trading stations, viz. niouth of 
"Mohongely," (Pittsburgh,) Logtown, and mouth of "Canawa."* 
Soon after this, no satisfaction being obtained from the Ohio, 
either as to the force, position, or purposes of the French, Robert 
Dinwiddle, then Governor of Virginia, determined to send to them 
another messenger, and selected a young surveyor, who, at the 
age of nineteen, had received the rank of major, and whose previ- 
ous life had inured him to hardship and woodland ways, while his 
courage, cool judgment, and firm will, all fitted him for such a 
mission. This young man, as all know, was George Washington, 
who was twent}'-one years and eight months old, at the time of 
the appointment.! With Gist as his guide, Washington left 
Will's Creek, where Cumberland now is, on the 15th of Novem- 
ber, and, on the 22d, reached the Monongahela about ten miles 
above the Fork. Thence he went to Logstown, where he had long 
conferences with the chiefs of the Six Nations living in that neigh- 
bourhood. 5: Here he learned the position of the French upon the 

* Minutes of Treaty at Carlisle in Oct. 1753, pp. 5 to 8. 

t Sparks' Washington^ vol. ii. pp. 32S-447. 

\ A passage of Washington's Diary is worth extracting as showing the condition of the 
French, in tlie Far West at that time. 

''25th. — Came to town four of ten Frenchmen, who had deserted from a company at 
the Kuskuskus, which lies at the mouth of this river. I got the following account from 
them : — They were sent from New Orleans with a hundred men and eight canoe-loads of 
provisions to this place, where they expected to have met the same number of men, from 
the forts on this side of Lake Erie, to convoy them and the stores up, who were not 
arrived when they ran off. 

" I inquired into the situation of tlie French on the Mississippi, their numbers and 
what forts they had built. They informed me, that there were four small forts between 
New Orleans and the Black Islands, garrisoned with about thirty or forty men, and a few 
small pieces in each. That at New Orleans, which is near the moulh of the Mississippi, 
tliere are thirty-five companies of forty men each, with a pretty strong fort mounting eight 
carriage-guns ; and at the Black Islands there are several companies and a fort with six 
guns. The Black Islands arc about a hundred and thirty leagues above the mouth of the 
Ohio, which is about three hundred and fifty above New Orleans. They also acquainted 
me, that there was a small palisadoed fort on the Ohio, at the mouth of the Obaish, about 
sixty leagues from the Mississippi. The Obaish heads near the west end of Lake Erie, 
and affords the communication between the French on the Mississippi and those on the 
lakes. These deserters came up from the lower Shannoahtown with one Brown, an 
Indian trader, and were going to Philadelphia." 

1753. Washington on French Creek. 59 

Riviere aux Bceufs, and the condition of their forts. He heard also 
that they had determined not to come down the river till the fol- 
lowing spring, but had warned all the Indians, that, if they did 
not keep still, the whole French force would be turned upon them ; 
and that, if they and the English were equally strong, they would 
divide the land between them, and cut off all the natives. These 
threats, and the mingled kindness and severity of the French, had 
produced the desired effect. Shingiss, king of the Delawares, 
feared to meet Washington, and the Shannoah (Shawanee) chiefs 
would not come either.* 

The truth was, these Indians w^ere in a very awkward position. 
They could not resist the Europeans, and knew not w^hich to side 
with; so that a non-committal policy was much the safest, and 
they were w^ise not to return by Washington (as he desired they 
should) the wampum received from the French, as that would have 
been equivalent to breaking with them. 

Finding that nothing could be done with these people, Wash- 
ington left Logstown on the 30th of November, and, travelling 
amid cold and rain, reached Venango, | an old Indian town at the 
mouth of French Creek, on the 4th of the next month. Here he 
found the French ; and here, through the rum, and the flattery, 
and the persuasions of his enemies, he very nearly lost all his 
Indians, even his old friend, the Half-king. Patience and good 
faith conquered, however, and, after another pull through mires 
and creeks, snow, rain, and cold, upon the 11th he reached the 
fort at the head of French Creek. Here he delivered Governor 
Dinwiddie's letter, took his observations, received his answer, 
aud upon the 16th set out upon his return journey, having had to 
combat every art and trick, "which the most fruitful brain could 
suggest," in order to get his Indians away with him. Flattery, 
and liquor, and guns, and provision were showered upon the Half- 
king and his comrades, while Washington himself received bows, 
and smirks, and compliments, and a plentiful store of creature- 
comforts also. 

From Venango, Washington and Gist went on foot, leaving 
their Indian friends to the tender mercies of the French. Of their 
hardships and dangers on this journey out and back we need only 

• Shingiss, or Shingask, was the great Delaware warrior of that day, and did the British 
much mischief. — See Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 64. 

t A corruption of Innungah; (Day's Hist. Collections of Pa. 636, note.) The French 
fort there was called Fort Machault. (Memoires sur la Derniere Guerre, iii. ISl.) 

60 Preparations against the French. 1754. 

to say that, three out of five men who went with them were too 
badly frost-l)itten to continue the journey.* In spite of all, how- 
ever, they reached Will's Creek, on the Cth of January, well and 
sound. f During the absence of the young messenger, steps had 
been taken to fortify and settle the point formed by the junction 
of the Monongahela and Alleghany; and, while upon his return, 
he met " seventeen horses, loaded with materials and stores for a 
fort at the Fork of the Ohio," and, soon after, "some families 
going out to settle." These steps were taken by the Ohio Com- 
pany ; but, as soon as Washington returned with the letter of St. 
Pierre, the commander on French Creek, and it was perfectly 
clear that neither he nor his superiors meant to yield the West 
without a struggle. Governor Dinwiddle wrote to the Board of 
Trade, stating that the French were building another fort at 
Venango, and that in March twelve or fifteen hundred men would 
be ready to descend the river with their Indian allies, for which 
purpose three hundred canoes had been collected; and that Logs- 
tow'n was then to be made head-quarters, wdiile forts w^ere built in 
various other positions, and the whole country occupied. He also 
sent expresses to the Governors of Pennsylvania and New York, 
calling upon them for assistance ; and, with the advice of his 
council, proceeded to enlist two companies, one of which was to 
be raised by Washington, the other by Trent, who was a frontier 
man. This last was to be raised upon the frontiers, and to pro- 
ceed at once to the Fork of the Ohio, there to complete in the 
best manner, and as soon as possible, the fort begun by the Ohio 
Company; and in case of attack, or any attempt to resist the set- 
tlements, or obstruct the works, those resisting w^ere to be taken, 
or if need were, killed.:]: 

While Virginia was taking these strong measures, which were 
fully authori/ied by the letter of the Earl of Holdernessc, Secretary 
of State, II written in the previous August, and which directed the 
Governors of the various provinces, after representing to those 
who were invading his Majesty's dominions the injustice of the 
act, to call out the armed force of the province, and repel force 

* Sparks' W'ashington, ii. 55. 

t Gist's Journal of this Expedition may be found in the Massachusetts Historical Col- 
lections, tliird scries, vol. v. (1836,) 101 to lOS. 

\ Sparks' Wash'inirton, vol. ii. pp. 1, 431, 416. — Sparks' FranMin,\o\. iii. p. 254. 

[ Sparks' FranMin, vol. iii. p. 251, where the letter is given. 

1754. JVew York conferring with the Six JVations. 61 

by force ; while Virginia was thus acting, Pennsylvania was dis- 
cussing the question, whether the French were really invading his 
Majesty's dominions, — the Governor being on one side, and the 
Assembly on the other,* — and New York was preparing to hold 
a conference with the Six Nations, in obedience to orders from the 
Board of Trade, written in September, 1753. f These orders had 
been sent out in consequence of the report in England, that the 
natives would side with the French, because dissatisfied with the 
occupancy of their lands by the English ; and simultaneous orders 
were sent to the other provinces, directing the Governors to 
recommend their Assemblies to send Commissioners to Albany to 
attend this grand treaty, which was to heal all wounds. New 
York, however, was more generous when called on by Virginia, 
than her neighbor on the south, and voted, for the assistance of 
the resisting colony, five thousand pounds currency, f 

It was now April, 1754. The fort at Venango was finished, 
and all along the line of French Creek troops were gathering ; and 
the wilderness echoed the strange sounds of a European camp, — 
tlie watchword, the command, the clang of muskets, the uproar 
of soldiers, the cry of the sutler; and with these were mingled 
the shrieks of drunken Indians, won over from their old friendship 
by rum and soft words. Scouts were abroad, and little groups 
formed about the tents or huts of the officers, to learn the move- 
ments of the British. Canoes were gathering, and cannon were 
painfully hauled here and there. All was movement and activity 
among the old forests, and on hill-sides, covered already with 
young wild flowers, from Lake Erie to the Alleghany. In Phila- 
delphia, meanwhile, Governor Hamilton, in no amiable mood, had 
summoned the Assembly, and asked them if they meant to help 
the King in the defence of his dominions ; and had desired them, 
above all things, to do whatever they meant to do, quickly. The 
Assembly debated, and resolved to aid the King with a little 
money, and then debated again and voted not to aid him with any 
money at all, for some would not give less than ten thousand 
pounds, and others would not give more than five thousand 
pounds; and so, nothing being practicable, they adjourned upon 
the 10th of April until the 13th of May.|| 

* Sparks' Fraiiklin, vol. iii. pp. 254, 263. 
t Plain Facts, pp. 45, 46.— Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 253. 
i 3IassachuseUs Historical Collections, first series, vol. vii. p. 73. 
H Sparks' Fraiiklin, vol. iii. pp. 264, 265. 

62 Washington appointed Lieutenant Colonel. 1754. 

In New York, a little, and only a little better spirit, was at 
work; nor was this strange, as her direct interest was much less 
than that of Pennsylvania. Five thousand pounds indeed was, 
as we have said, voted to Virginia; but the Assembly questioned 
the invasion of his Majesty's dominions by the French, and it was 
not till June that the money voted was sent forward.* 

The Old Dominion, however, was all alive. As, under the 
provincial law, the militia could not be called forth to march more 
than five miles beyond the bounds of the colony, and as it was 
doubtful if the French were within Virginia, it was determined to 
rely upon volunteers. Ten thousand pounds had been voted by 
the Assembly; so the two companies were now increased to six, 
and Washington was raised to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and 
made second in command under Joshua Fry. Ten cannon, lately 
from England, were forwarded from Alexandria ; wagons were got 
ready to carry westward provisions and stores through the heavy 
spring roads ; and everywhere along the Potomac men were enlist- 
ing under the Governor's proclamation, which promised to those 
tliat should serve in that war, two hundred thousand acres of land 
on the Ohio, — or, already enlisted, were gathering into grave 
knots, or marching forward to the field of action, or helping on 
the thirty cannon and eighty barrels of gunpowder, which the 
King had sent out for the western forts. Along the Potomac they 
were gathering, as far as to Will's creek; and far beyond Will's 
creek, whither Trent had come for assistance, his little band of 
forty-one men was working away, in hunger and want, to fortify 
that point at the Fork of the Ohio, to which both parties were 
looking with deep interest. The first birds of spring filled the 
forests with their song ; the redbud and dogwood were here and 
there putting forth their flowers on the steep Alleghany hill-sides, 
and the swift river below swept by, swollen by the melting snows 
and April showers ; a few Indian scouts were seen, but no enemy 
seemed near at hand ; and all was so quiet, that Frazier, an old 
Indian trader, who had been left by Trent in command of the 
new fort, ventured to his home at the mouth of Turtle creek, ten 
miles up the Monongahela. But, though all was so quiet in that 
wilderness, keen eyes had seen the low entrenchment that was 
rising at the Fork, and swift feet had borne the news of it up the 
valley; and, upon the 17th of April, Ensign Ward, who then had 
charge of it, saw upon the Alleghany a sight that made his heart 

* Massachusetts Historical Collections, first series, vol. vii. pp.72, 73, and note. 

1754. Port at the Fork of the Ohio taken by the French. 63 

sink, — sixty batteaux and three hundred canoes, filled with men, 
and laden deep with cannon and stores. The fort was called on 
to surrender ; by the advice of the Half-king, Ward tried to evade 
the act, but it would not do ; Contrecoeur, with a thousand men 
about him, said "Evacuate," and the ensign dared not refuse. 
That evening he supped with his captor, and the next day was 
bowed off by the Frenchman, and, with his men and tools, 
marched up the Monongahela. From that day began the war.* 

* Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. The number of French troops was probably over- 
stated, but to the captives there seemed a round thousand. Burk, in his history of 
Virginia, speaks of the taking of Logstown by the French ; but Logstov^n was never a 
post of the Ohio Company as he represents it, as is plain from all contemporary letters 
and accounts. Burk's ignorance of Western matters is clear in this, that he says the 
French dropped down from Fort Du Quesne to Presqu'ile and Venango ; they, or part of 
them, did drop down the Ohio, but surely not to posts, one of which was on Lake Erie, 
and the other far up the Alleghany ! In a letter from Captain Stobo, written in July, 
1754, at fort Du Quesne, where he was then confined as hostage under the capitulation 
of Great Meadows, he says there were but two hundred men in and about the fort at 
that time. — (American Pioneer, i. 236. — For plan of Forts Du Quesne and Pitt, see 
article in Pioneer ; also, Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 77.) 

WAR OF 17.31 TO 1763. 

Washington was at Will's Creek, (Cumberland,) when the news 
of the surrender of the Fork reached him. He was on his way 
across the mountains, preparing roads for the King's cannon, and 
aiming for the mouth of Red Stone Creek, (Brownsville,) where a 
store-house had been already built by the Ohio Company; by the 
9th of May, he had reached Little Meadows, on the head waters 
of a branch of the Youghiogany, toiling slowly, painfully forward, 
four, three, sometimes only two miles a day! — All the wiiile from 
ti'aders and others he heard of forces coming up the Ohio to re- 
inforce the French at the Fork, and of spies out examining the 
valley of the Monongahela, flattering and bribing the Indians. 
On the 27th of May he was at Great Meadows, west of the 
Youghiogany, near the Fort of Laurel Hill, close by the spot now 
known as Braddock's Grave. He had heard of a body of French 
somewhere in the neighborhood, and on the 27th, his former 
guide. Gist, came from his residence beyond Laurel Hill, near the 
head of Red Stone Creek, and gave information of a body of 
French who had been at his plantation the day before. That 
evening from his old friend the Half-king, he heard again of ene- 
mies in the vicinity. Fearing a surprise Washington at once 
started, and early the next morning attacked the party referred to 
by the Chief of the Iroquois. In the contest ten of the French 
were killed, including M, de Jumonville their Commander; of the 
Americans but one was lost. This skirmish France saw fit to 
regard as the commencement of the war, and in consequence of a 
report made by M. de Contrecoeur, to the Marquis Du Quesne, 
founded upon the tales told by certain of Jumonville's men who 
had run away at the first onset, it has been usual with French wri- 
ters to represent the attack by Washington as unauthorized, and 
tlie party assailed by him as a party sent with peaceable inten- 
tions; and this impression was confirmed by the term "assassina- 
tion of M. de Jumonville," used in the capitulation of Great 
Meadows in tlie following July; — this having been accepted by 

1754. Capitulation of Fort JYecessity. 65 

Washington (to lohom the term was falsely translated,) it was 
naturally regarded as an acknowledgment by him of the improper 
character of the attack of May 28th. Mr. Sparks, in his appen- 
dix to Washington's papers, vol. ii. pp. 447, 459, has discussed 
this matter at length, and fully answered the aspersions of the 
European writers ; to his work we refer our readers. 

From the last of May until the 1st of July, preparations were 
made to meet the French who were understood to be Ciatherinsf 
their forces in the West. On the 28th of June, Washington was 
at Gist's house, and new reports coming in that the enemy was 
approaching in force, a council of war was held, and it was 
thought best, in consequence of the scarcity of provisions, to 
retreat to Great Meadows, and even farther if possible. When, 
however, the retiring body of Provincials reached that post, it 
was deemed impossible to go farther in the exhausted state of 
the troops, who had been eight days without bread. Measures 
were therefore taken to strengthen the fort, which, from the cir- 
cumstances, was named Fort Necessity. On the 1st of July, the 
Americans reached their position; on the 3d the alarm was given 
of an approaching enemy; at eleven o'clock, A. M., nine hund- 
red in number, they commenced the attack in the midst of a 
hard rain ; and from that time till eight in the evening, the assail- 
ants ceased not to pour their fire upon the little fortress.* About 
eight the French requested some officer to be sent to treat with 
them; Captain Vanbraam, the only person who pretended to 
understand the language of the enemy, was ordered to go to the 
camp of the attacking party, whence he returned bringing terms 
of capitulation, which, by a flickering candle, in the dripping- 
quarters of his commander, he translated to Washington, and as 
it proved, from intention or ignorance, mistranslated. By this 
capitulation the garrison of Fort Necessity were to have leave to 
retire with everything but their artillery ; the prisoners taken May 
28th were to be returned; and the party yielding were to labor on 
no works west of the Mountains for one year: for the observ- 
ance of these conditions Captain Vanbraam, the negotiator, and 
Captain Stobo, were to be retained by the French as surities.* 
The above provisions having been agreed to, Washington and his 
men, hard pressed by famine, hastened to the nearest depot which 
was at Will's Creek. At this point, immediately afterwards. Fort 

* This fact would seem to show that Vanbraam's mistranslation must have been from 
ignorance or accident. 


66 Washington retires to Mount Vernon. 1754. 

Cumberland was erected under the charge of Colonel Innes, of 
North Carolina, who, since the death of Colonel Fry, had been 
Commander-in-Chief. At that time there were in service, 1st, the 
Virginia militia; 2d, the Independent Companies of Virginia, 
South Carolina, and New York, all of whom w-ere paid by the 
King; 3d, troops raised in North Carolina and paid by the Colony; 
and, 4th, recruits from Maryland ; of these the Virginia and South 
Carolina troops alone had been beyond the mountains. 

From August to October little appears to have been done, but 
in the latter month the Governor of Virginia, (Dinw^iddie,) so 
changed the military organization of the Colony, as to leave no 
one in the army wdth a rank above that of Captain ; this was done 
in order to avoid all contests as to precedence among the Ameri- 
can officers, it being clear that troops from various Provinces 
would have to be called into the field, and that the different Com- 
missions from the Crown, and the Colonies, would give large 
openings for rivalry and conflict; but among the results of the 
measure was the resignation of Washington, w^ho for a time, 
retired to Mount Vernon.* 

It was now the fall of 1754. In Pennsylvania, Morris, w^ho 
had succeeded Hamilton, was busily occupied with making 
speeches to the Assembly and listening to their stubborn replies ; f 
while in the north the Kennebec w^as fortified, and a plan talked 
over for attacking Crown Point on Lake Champlain the next 
spring;:]: and in the south things went on much as if there were 
no war coming. All the colonies united in one thing, however, 
in calling loudly on the mother country for help. During this 
same autumn the pleasant Frenchmen were securing the West, 
step by step ; settling the valley of the Wabash, gallanting with 
the Delawares, and coquetting with the Iroquois, who still bal- 
anced between them and the English. The forests of the Ohio 
shed their leaves, and the prairies filled the sky with the smoke of 
their burning ; and along the great rivers, and on the lakes, and 
amid the pathless woods of the West, no European was seen, 
whose tongue spoke other language than that of France. So 
closed 1754. 

The next year opened wuth professions, on both sides, of the 
most peaceful intentions, and preparations on both sides to push 

* Sparks' Washington, ii. 64, 67, and generally, the whole volume, as to this war. 

+ Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 282. 

\ 3Iassachiset(s Historical ColJect!o?if, vol. vii. p. 88. 

1755. Proposed corrvpromise by the French. 67 

tiie war vigorously. France, in January, proposed to restore every 
thing to the state it was in before the last war, and to refer all claims 
to commissioners at Paris ; to which Britain, upon the 22d, replied 
that, the west of North America must be left as it was at the treaty 
of Utrecht. On the 6th of February, France made answer, that 
the old English claims in America were untenable ; and offered a 
new ground of compromise, namely, that the English should retire 
east of the Alleghanies, and the French west of the Ohio. This 
offer was long considered, and at length was agreed to by England 
on the 7th of March, provided the French would destroy all their 
forts on the Ohio and its branches ; to which, after twenty days 
had passed, France said, "No,"* While all this negotiation was 
going on, other things also had been in motion. General Brad- 
dock, with his gallant troops, had crossed the Atlantic, and, upon 
the 20th of February, had landed in Virginia, commander-in-chief 
of all the land forces in America ; and in the north all this while 
there was whispering of, and enlisting for, the proposed attack on 
Crown Point; and even Niagara, far off by the Falls, was to be 
taken, in case nothing prevented. In France, too, other work had 
been done than negotiation ; for at Brest and Rochelle ships were 
fitting out, and troops gathering, and stores crowding in. Even 
old England herself had not been all asleep, and Boscawen had 
been busy at Plymouth, hurrying on the slow workmen, and gath- 
ering the unready sailors. f In March the two European neighbors 
were smiling and doing their best to quiet all troubles; in April 
they still smiled, but the fleets of both were crowding sail across 
the Atlantic ; and, in Alexandria, Braddock, Shirley, and their 
fellow officers were taking counsel as to the summer's campaign. 
In America four points w^ere to be attacked ; Fort Du Quesne, 
Crown Point, Niagara, and the French posts in Nova Scotia. On 
the 20th of April, Braddock left Alexandria to march upon Du 
Quesne, whither he was expressly ordered, though the officers in 
America looked upon it as a mistaken movement, as they thought 
New York should be the main point for regular operations. The 
expedition for Nova Scotia, consisting of three thousand Massa- 
chusetts men, left Boston on the 20th of May; while the troops 
which General Shirley was to lead against Niagara, and the 

* Flain Facts, pp. 51, 52. — Secret Journals, vol. iv. p. 74. 

t Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 68. — Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. vii. 
p. S9. — Smollett. George II. chapter x. 

68 Braddodc's Defeat. 1755. 

provincials which William Johnson was to head in the attack 
upon Crown Point, slowly collected at Albany. 

May and June passed away, and mid-summer drew nigh. The 
fearful and desponding colonists waited anxiously for news ; and, 
when the news came that Nova Scotia had been conquered, and 
that Boscawen had taken two of the French men of war, and lay 
before Lewisburg, hope and joy spread everywhere. July passed 
away, too, and men heard how slowly and painfully Braddock 
made progress through the wilderness, how his contractors de- 
ceived him, and the colonies gave little help, and neither horses 
nor wagons could be had, and only one Benjamin Franklin sent 
any aid;* and then reports came that he had been forced to leave 
many of his troops, and much of his baggage and artillery, behind 
him ; and then, about the middle of the month, through Virginia 
there went a whisper, that the great general had been defeated 
and wholly cut off; and, as man after man rode down the Poto- 
mac confirming it, the planters hastily mounted, and were off to 
consult with their neighbors ; the country turned out ; companies 
were formed to march to the frontiers; sermons were preached, 
and every heart and every mouth was full. In Pennsylvania the 
Assembly were called together to hear the "shocking news;" 
and in New York it struck terror into those who were there gath- 
ered to attack the northern posts. Soldiers deserted ; the bateaux- 
men dispersed; and when at length Shirley, since Braddock's 
death the commander-in-chief, managed with infinite labor to 
reach Oswego on Lake Ontario, it was too late and stormy, and 
his force too feeble, to allow him to more than garrison that point, 
and march back to Albany again. f Johnson did better; for he 
met and defeated Baron Dieskau upon the banks of Lake George, 
though Crown Point was not taken, nor even attacked. 

But we must turn back for a moment to describe particularly 
the events of Braddock's famous defeat, connected as it is with 
the history of the West ; and we cannot do it more perfectly than 
in the words of Mr. Sparks in his appendix to the writings of 

The defeat of General Bradilock, on the banks of the IMonongahela, 
is one of the most remarkable events in American liistory. Great 
preparations had been made for the expedition, under that experienced 

* Sparks' Wasliington, vol. ii. p.77, &c. — Sparks' FranJdin, yo\. vii. p. 94, &c. 
+ For a full account of Shirley's Expedition, see the paper in Massachusetts Histori- 
cal Collections, vol. vii. 

1755. Braddoclc's March. 69 

officer, and there was the most sanguine anticipation, both in England 
and America, of its entire success. Such was the confidence in the 
prowess of Braddock's army, according to Dr. Franklin, that, while he 
was on his march to Fort Duquesne, a subscription paper was handed 
about in Philadelphia, to raise money to celebrate his victory "by 
bonfires and illuminations, as soon as the intelligence should arrive. 

General Braddock landed in Virginia on the 20th of February, 1755, 
with two regiments of the British army from Ireland, the forty-fourth 
and forty-eighth, each consisting of five hundred men, one of them 
commanded by Sir Peter Halket, and the other by Colonel Dunbar. 
To these were joined a suitable train of artillery, with military supplies 
and provisions. The General's first head-quarters were at Alexandria, 
and the troops were stationed in that place and its vicinity, till they 
marched for Will's Creek, where they arrived about the middle of 
May. It took four weeks to efi'ect that march. In letters written at 
"Will's Creek, General Braddock, with much severity of censure, com- 
plained of the lukewarmness of the colonial governments and tardiness 
of the people, in facilitating his enterprise, the dishonesty of agents 
and the faithlessness of contractors. The forces which he brought 
together at Will's Creek, however, amounted to somewhat more than 
two thousand efiiective men, of whom about one thousand belonged to 
the royal regiments, and the remainder were furnished by the colonies. 
In this number were embraced the fragments of two independent com- 
panies from New York, one of which was commanded by Captain 
Gates, afterwards a Major-General in the Revolutionary war. Thirty 
sailors had also been granted for the expedition by Admiral Keppel, 
who commanded the squadron that brought over the two regiments. 

At this post the army was detained three weeks, nor could it then 
have moved, had it not been for the energetic personal services of 
Franklin, among the Pennsylvania farmers, in procuring horses and 
wagons to transport the artillery, provisions and baggage. 

The details of the march are well described in Colonel Washington's 
letters. The army was separated into two divisions. The advanced 
division, under General Braddock, consisted of twelve hundred men 
besides oflScers. The other, under Colonel Dunbar, was left in the 
rear, to proceed by slower marches. On the 8th of July, the General 
arrived with his division, all in excellent health and spirits, at the 
junction of the Youghiogany and Monongahela rivers. At this place 
Colonel Washington joined the advanced division, being but partially 
recovered from a severe attack of fever, which had been the cause of 
his remaining behind, The officers and soldiers were now in the high- 
est spirits, and firm in the conviction, that they should within a few 
hours victoriously enter the walls of Fort Du Quesne. 

The steep and rugged grounds, on the north side of the Monongahela 

70 Braddock attacked. 1755v 

prevented the army from marching in that direction, and it was neces- 
sary in approaching the fort, now about fifteen miles distant, to ford the 
river twice, and march part of the way on the south side. Early on 
the morning of the 9lh, all things were in readiness, and the whole 
train passed through the river a little below the mouth of the Youghio- 
gany, and proceeded in perfect order along the southern margin of the 

Washington was often heard to say during his lifetime, that the most 
beautiful spectacle he had ever beheld was the display of the British 
troops on this eventful morning. Every man was neatly dressed in full 
uniform, the soldiers were arranged in columns and marched in exact 
order, the sun gleamed from their burnished arms, the river flowed 
tranquilly on their right, and the deep forest overshadowed them with 
solemn grandeur on their left. Ofiicers and men were equally inspired 
with cheering hopes and confident anticipations. 

In this manner they marched forward till about noon, when they 
arrived at the second crossing-place, ten miles from Fort Du Quesne. 
They halted but a little time, and then began to ford the river and 
regain its northern bank. As soon as they had crossed, they came 
upon a level plain, elevated but a few feet above the surface of the 
river, and extending northward nearly half a mile from its margin. 
Then commenced a gradual ascent at an angle of about three degrees, 
which terminated in hills of a considerable height at no great distance 
beyond. The road from the fording place to Fort [Du Quesne, led 
across the plain and up this ascent, and thence proceeded through aa 
uneven country, at that time covered with woods. 

By the order of march, a body of three hundred men, under Colonel 
Gage, afterward General Gage of Boston memory, made the advanced 
party, which was immediately followed by another of two hundred. 
Next came the General with the columns of artillery, the main body of 
the army, and the baggage. At one o'clock the whole had passed the 
river, and almost at this moment a sharp firing was heard upon the 
advanced parties, who were now ascending the hill, and had got for- 
ward about a hundred yards from the termination of the plain. A 
heavy discharge of musketry was poured in upon their front, which was 
the first intelligence they had of the proximity of an enemy, and this 
was suddenly followed by another on their right flank. They were 
filled with great consternation, as no enemy was in sight, and the firing 
seemed to proceed from an invisible foe. They fired in their turn, 
however, but quite at random, and obviously without eflect, as the 
enemy kept up a discharge in quick, continued succession. 

The General advanced speedily to the relief of these detachments ; 
but before he could reach the spot which they occupied, they gave w^ay 
and fell back upon the artillery and the other columns of the armyj. 

1755. Braddock killed. 71 

causing extreme confusion, and striking the whole mass with such a 
panic, that no order could afterwards be restored. The General and 
the officers behaved with the utmost courage, and used every effort to 
rally the men, and bring them to order, but all in vain. In this state 
they continued nearly three hours, huddling together in confused 
bodies, firing irregularly, shooting down their own officers and men, 
and doing no perceptible harm to the enemy. The Virginia provin- 
cials were the only troops who seemed to retain their senses, and they 
behaved with a bravery and resolution worthy of a better fate. They 
adopted the Indian mode, and fought each man for himself behind a 
tree. This was prohibited by the General, who endeavored to form his 
men into platoons and columns, as if they had been manceuvring on the 
plains of Flanders, Meantime the French and Indians, concealed in 
the ravines and behind trees, kept up a deadly and unceasing discharge 
of musketry, singling out their objects, taking deliberate aim, and pro- 
ducing a carnage almost unparalleled in the annals of modern warfare. 
More than half of the whole army, which had crossed the river in so 
proud an array, only three hours before, were killed or wounded ; the 
General himself had received a mortal wound, and many of his best 
officers had fallen by his side. 

In describing the action a few days afterwards, Colonel Orme wrote 
to the Governor of Pennsylvania : — " The men were so extremely deaf 
to the exhortations of the General and the officers, that they fired away 
in the most irregular manner all their ammunition, and then ran off, 
leaving to the enemy the artillery, ammunition, provision and baggage; 
nor could they be persuaded to stop till they had got as far a? Gist's 
plantation, nor there only in part, many of them proceeding as far as 
Colonel Dunbar's party, who lay six miles on this side. The officers 
were absolutely sacrificed by their good behavior, advancing some- 
times in bodies, sometimes separately, hoping by such example to 
engage the soldiers to follow them, but to no purpose. The General 
had five horses shot under him, and at last received a wound through 
his right arm into his lungs, of which he died the 13ih instant. Secre- 
tary Shirley was shot through the head ; Captain Morris, wounded, 
Colonel Washington had two horses shot under him, and his clothes 
shot through in several places, behaving the whole time with the 
greatest courage and resolution. Sir Peter Halket was killed upon the 
spot. Colonel Burton and Sir John St. Clair were wounded," In 
addition to these the other field officers wounded were Lieutenant- 
Colonel Gage, (afterwards so well known as the commander of the 
British forces in Boston, at the beginning of the Revolution,) Colonel 
Orme, Major Sparks, and Brigade Major Halket, Ten captains were 
killed, and twenty-two wounded ; the whole number of officers in the 
engagement was eighty-six, of whom twenty-six were killed, and thirty- 

72 Account of Braddodc's Defeat. 1755. 

seven wounded. The killed and wounded of the privates amounted to 
seven hundred and fourteen. Of these at least one half were supposed 
to be killed. Their bodies left on the field of action, were stripped and 
scalped by the Indians. All the artillery, ammunition, provisions, and 
baggage, every thing in the train of tlie array, fell into the enemy's 
hands, and were given up to be pillaged by the savages. General 
Braddock's papers were also taken, among which were his instructions 
and correspondence with the ministry after his arrival in Virginia. 
The same fate befell the papers of Colonel Washington, including a 
private journal and his official correspondence, during his campaign of 
the preceding year. 

No circumstantial account of this afTair has ever been published by 
the French, nor has it hitherto been known from any authentic source, 
what numbers were engaged on their side. Washington conjectured, 
as stated in his letters, that there were no more than three hundred, and 
Dr. Franklin, in an account of the battle, considers them at most as not 
exceeding four hundred. The truth is, there was no accurate informa- 
tion on the subject, and writers have been obliged to rely on conjecture. 
In the archives of the JVar Department, at Paris, I found three sepa- 
rate narratives of this event written at the time, all brief and imperfect, 
but one of them apparently drawn up by a person on the spot. From 
these I have collected the following particulars: 

M. de Contrecceur, the commandant of Fort Du Quesne, received 
early intelligence of the arrival of General Braddock and the British 
regiments in Virginia. After his removal from Will's Creek, French 
and Indian scouts were constantly abroad, who watched his motions, 
reported the progress of his march, and the route he was pursuing. 
His army was represented to consist of three thousand men. M. de 
Contrecceur was hesitating what measures to take, believing his small 
force wholly inadequate to encounter so formidable an enemy, wlien 
M. de Beaujeu, a Captain in the French service, proposed to head a 
detachment of French and Indians, and meet the enemy in their march. 
The consent of the Indians was first obtained. A large body of them 
was then encamped in the vicinity of the Fort, and M. de Beaujeu 
opened to them his plan, and requested their aid. This they at first 
declined, giving as a reason the superior force of the enemy, and the 
impossibility of success. But at the pressing solicitation of M. de 
Beaujeu, they agreed to hold a council on tlie subject, and talk with 
him again the next morning. They still adhered to their first decision, 
and when M. de Beaujeu went out among them to inquire the result of 
their deliberation, they told him a second time they could not go. This 
was a severe disappointment to M. de Beaujeu, who had set his heart 
upon the enterprise, and was resolved to prosecute it. Being a man of 
great good nature, afTability, and ardor, and much beloved by the 

1755. Attack on Braddock. 73 

savages, he said to them, "I am determined to go out and meet the 
enemy. AVhat! will you suffer your father to go out alone? I am sure 
we shall conquer." With this spirited harangue, delivered in a manner 
that pleased the Indians, and won upon their confidence, he subdued 
their unwillingness, and they agreed to accompany him. 

It was now the 7th of July, and news came that the English were 
within six leagues of the Fort. This day and the next were spent in 
making preparations, and reconnoitering the ground for attack. Two 
other Captains, Dumas and Liquery were joined with M. de Beaujeu, 
and also four Lieutenants, six Ensigns and two Cadets. On the morn- 
ing of the 9th they were all in readiness, and began their march at an 
early hour. It seems to have been their first intention to make a stand 
at the ford, and annoy the English while crossing the river, and then 
retreat to the ambuscade on the side of the hill where the contest actu- 
ally commenced. The trees on the bank of the river afforded a good 
opportunity to effect this measure, in the Indian mode of warfare, since 
the artillery could be of little avail against an enemy, where every man 
was protected by a tree, and at the same time the English would be 
exposed to a point blank musket shot in fording the river. As it 
happened, however, M. de Beaujeu and his party did not arrive in time 
to execute this part of the plan. 

The English were preparing to cross the river, when the French and 
Indians reached the defiles on the rising ground, where they posted 
themselves, and waited until Braddock's advanced columns came up. 
This was the signal for the attack, which was made at first in front, 
and repelled by so heavy a discharge from the British, that the Indians 
believed it proceeded from artillery, and showed symptoms of wavering 
and retreat. At this moment M. de Beaujeu was killed, and the com- 
mand devolving on M. Dumas, he showed great presence of mind in 
rallying the Indians, and ordered his officers to lead them to the wings 
and attack the enemy in the flank, while he with the French troops 
would maintain the position in front. This order was promptly obeyed, 
and the attack became general. The action was warm and severely 
contested for a short time ; but the English fought in the European 
method, firing at random, which had little effect in the woods, while 
the Indians fired from concealed places, took aim, and almost every 
shot brought down a man. The English columns soon got into con- 
fusion; the yell of the savages, with which the woods resounded, 
struck terror into the hearts of the soldiers, till at length they took to 
flight, and resisted all the endeavors of their officers to restore any 
degree of order in their escape. The rout was complete, and the field 
of battle was left covered with the dead and wounded, and all the arlil* 
lery, ammunition, provisions, and baggage of the English army. The 

74 Defeat of Braddock. 1755. 

InJians gave themselves up to pillage, which prevented them from pur- 
suing the English in their flight. 

Such is the substance of the accounts written at the time by the 
French oflicers and sent home to their Government. In regard to the 
numbers engaged, there are some slight variations in the three state- 
ments. The largest number reported is two hundred and fifty French 
and Canadians, and six hundred Indians. If we take a medium, it will 
make the whole number, led out by M. de Beaujeu, at least eight hund- 
red and fifty. In an imperfect return, three officers were stated to be 
killed, and four wounded; about thirty soldiers and Indians killed, and 
as many wounded. AVhen these facts are taken into view, the result of 
the action will appear much less wonderful, than has generally been 
supposed. And this wonder will siill be diminished, when another 
circumstance is recurred to, worthy of particular consideration, and that 
is, the shape of the ground upon which the battle was fought. This 
part of the description, so essential to the understanding of military 
operations, and above all in the present instance, has never been touched 
upon it is believed, by any writer. We have seen that Braddock's 
advanced columns, after crossing the valley extending nearly half a mile 
from the margin of the river, began to move up a hill, so uniform in its 
ascent, that it was little else than an inclined plane of a somewhat crown- 
ing form. Down this inclined surface extended two ravines, beginning 
near together, at about one hundred and fifty yards from the bottom of 
the hill, and proceeding in diflferent directions till they terminated in 
the valley below. In these ravines the French and Indians were con- 
cealed and protected. At this day they are from eight to ten feet deep, 
and sufficient in extent to contain at least ten thousand men. At the 
time of the battle, the ground was covered with trees and long grass, 
so that the ravines were entirely hidden from view, till they were 
approached within a few feet. Indeed, at the present day, although the 
place is cleared from trees, and converted into pasture, they are percep- 
tible only at a very shgi-t distance. By this knowledge of the local 
peculiarities of the battle ground, the mystery, that the British con- 
ceived themselves to be contending with an invisible foe, is solved. 
Such was literally the fact. They were so paraded between the 
ravines, that their whole front and right flank were exposed to the 
incessant fire of the enemy, who discharged their muskets over the 
edge of the ravines, concealed during that operation by the grass and 
bushes, and protected by an invisible barrier below the surface of the 
earth. William Butler, a veteran soldier still living (1833,) who was 
in this action, and afterwards at the plains of Abraham, said to me, 
" We could only tell where the enemy were by the smoke of their 
muskets." A few scattering Indians were behind trees, and some were 

1755. Braddock killed hy one of his own men. 75 

killed venturing out to take scalps, but much the larger portion fought 
wholly in the ravines. 

It is not probable, that either General Braddock or any one of his 
officers suspected the actual situation of the enemy, during the whole 
bloody contest. It was a fault with the General, for which no apology 
can be offered, that he did not keep scouts and guards in advance and 
on the wings of the army, who would have made all proper discoveries 
before the whole had been brought into a snare. This neglect was 
the primary cause of his defeat ; which might have been avoided. 
Had he charged with the bayonet, the ravine would have been cleared 
instantly ; or had he brought his artillery to the points where the ra- 
vines terminated in the valley, and scoured them with grape-shot, the 
same consequence would have followed. 

But the total insubordination of his troops would have prevented both 
these movements, even if he had become acquainted with the ground 
in the early part of the action. The disasters of this day, and the 
fate of the commander, brave and resolute as he undoubtedly was, are 
to be ascribed to his contempt of Indian warfare, his overweening con- 
fidence in the prowess of veteran troops, his obstinate self-complacency, 
his disregard of prudent council, and his negligence in leaving his army 
exposed to a surprise on their march. He freely consulted Colonel 
Washington, whose experience and judgment, notwithstanding his 
youth, claimed the highest respect for his opinions ; but the General 
gave little heed to his advice. While on his march, George Croghan, 
the Indian interpreter, joined him with one hundred friendly Indians, 
who offered their services. These were accepted in so cold a manner, 
and the Indians themselves treated with so much neglect, that they 
deserted him one after another. Washington pressed upon the import- 
ance of these men, and the necessity of conciliating and retaining 
them, but without effect. 

A report had long been current in Pennsylvania, that Braddock was 
shot by one of his own men, founded on the declaration of a provincial 
soldier, who was in the action. There is another tradition also, worthy 
of notice, which rests on the authority of Dr. Craik, the intimate friend 
of Washington from his boyhood to his death, and who was with him 
at the battle of the Monongahela. Fifteen years after that event, they 
travelled together on an expedition to the Western country, with a 
party of woodsmen, for the purpose of exploring wild lands. While 
near the junction of the Great Kenhawa and Ohio Rivers, a com- 
pany of Indians came to them with an interpreter, at the head of 
whom was an aged and venerable chief. This personage made known 
to them by the interpreter, that, hearing Colonel Washington was in 
that region, he had come a long way to visit him, adding, that during 
the battle of the Monongahela, he had singled him out as a conspicuous 

76 SmitJi^s account of the action. 1755. 

object, fired his rifle at him mnny times, and directed his young war- 
riors to do the same, but to his utter astonishment none of their balls 
took cfTect. lie was then persuaded, that the youthful hero was under 
the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, and ceased to fire at him 
any longer. He was now come to pay homage to the man, who was 
a particular favorite of Heaven, and who could never die in battle. 
Mr. Custis, of Arlington, to whom these incidents were related by Dr. 
Craik, has dramatized them in a piece called The Indian Prophecy. 

When the battle was over, and the remnant of Braddock's army had 
gained, in their flight, the opposite bank of the river. Colonel Wash- 
ington was dispatched by the General to meet Colonel Dunbar, and 
order forward wagons for the wounded with all possible speed. But it 
was not till the 11th, after they had reached Gist's plantation with great 
difficulty and much suffering from hunger, that any arrived. The 
General was at first brought off in a tumbril ; he was next put on 
horse-back, but being unable to ride, was obliged to be carried by the 
soldiers. They all reached Dunbar's camp, to which the panic had 
already extended, and a day was passed there in great confusion. The 
artillery was destroyed, and the public stores and heavy baggage were 
burnt, by whose order was never known. They moved forward on the 
13th, and that night General Braddock died, and was buried in the 
road, for the purpose of concealing his body from the Indians. The 
spot is still pointed out, within a few yards of the present national road, 
and about a mile west of the site of Fort Necessity at the Great Mea- 
dows. Captain Stewart, of the Virginia Forces, had taken particular 
charge of him from the time he was wounded till his death. On the 
17th, the sick and wounded arrived at Fort Cumberland, and were soon 
after joined by Colonel Dunbar with the remaining fragments of the 

The French sent out a party as far as Dunbar's camp, and destroyed 
every thing that was left. Colonel Washington being in very feeble 
health, proceeded in a few days to Mount Vernon. 

To this we add a few paragraphs from the memoirs of James 
Smith who was a prisoner at Fort Du Quesne, at the time of this 
celebrated action.* 

I asked him what news from Braddock's army. He said the Indians 
spied them every day, and he showed me, by maing marks on the 
ground with a stick, that Braddock's army was advancing in very close 

* See also as to Braddock's defeat, Sherman Day's Historical Collections of Pennsysl- 
vania, published at Philadelphia and New Haven, p. 72 to 75 ; and for proof of the fact 
that Braddock was intentionally shot by one of liis own men, p. 335. Also pamphlets 
named in the Preface to this volume. 

1755. English prisoners burned. 7T 

order, and tliat the Indians would surround them, take trees, and (as he 
expressed ii) shoot iim doivn all one pigeon. 

Shortly after this, on the 9th day of July, 1755, in the morning, I 
heard a great stir in the fort. As I could then walk with a staff in my 
hand, I went out of the door, which was just by the wall of the fort, 
and stood upon the wall, and viewed the Indians in a huddle before the 
gate, where were barrels of powder, bullets, flints, &c., and every one 
taking what suited. I saw the Indians also march off in rank entire j 
likewise the French Canadians, and some regulars. After viewing the 
Indians and French in different positions, I computed them to be about 
four hundred, and wondered that they attempted to go out against Brad- 
dock with so small a party. I was then in high hopes that I would 
soon see them fly before the British troops, and that General Braddock 
would take the fort and rescue me. 

I remained anxious to know the event of this day ; and, in the after- 
noon, I again observed a great noise and commotion in the fort, and 
though at that time I could not understand French, yet I found that it 
was the voice of joy and triumph, and feared that they had received 
what I called bad news. 

I had observed some of the old country soldiers speak Dutch ; as I 
spoke Dutch, I went to one of them, and asked him what was the news. 
He told me that a runner had just arrived, who said that Braddock 
would certainly be defeated ; that the Indians and French had surround- 
ed him, and were concealed behind trees and in gullies, and kept a con- 
stant fire upon the English, and that they saw the English falling in 
heaps, and if they did not take the river, which was the only gap, and 
make their escape, there would not be one man left alive before sun- 
down. Some time after this I heard a number of scalp halloos, and 
saw a company of Indians and French coming in. I observed they 
had a great many bloody scalps, grenadiers' caps, British canteens, 
bayonets, &c. with them. They brought the news that Braddock was 
defeated. After tliat another company came in, which appeared to be 
about one hundred, and chiefly Indians, and it seemed to me that almost 
every one of this company was carrying scalps ; after this came another 
company with a number of wagon horses, and also a great many scalps. 
Those that were coming in, and those that had arrived, kept a constant 
firing of small arms, and also the great guns in the fort, which were 
accompanied with the most hideous shouts and yells from all quarters ; 
so that it appeared to me as if the infernal regions had broke loose. 

About sundown I beheld a small party coming in with about a dozen 
prisoners, stripped naked, with their hands tied behind their backs, and 
their faces and part of their bodies blacked ; these prisoners they burn- 
ed to death on the bank of Alleghany river, opposite to the fort. I 
stood on the foit wall until I beheld them begin to burn one of these 

78 Commencement of the Seven Years'* War. 1756. 

men ; they had him tied to a stake, and kept touching him with fire- 
brands, red-hot irons, &c., and he screamed in a most doleful manner; 
the Indians, in the mean time, yelling like infernal spirits. 

As this scene appeared too shocking for me to behold, I retired to my 
lodgings both sore and sorry. 

When I came into my lodgings I saw Russel's Seven Sermons, 
which ihey had brought from the field of battle, which a Frenchman 
made a present to me. From the best information I could receive, there 
were only seven Indians and four French killed in this battle, and five 
himdred British lay dead in the field, besides what were killed in the 
river on their retreat. 

The morning after the battle I saw Braddock's artillery brought into 
the fort ; the same day I also saw several Indians in British officers' 
dress, with sash, half-moon, laced hats, &c., which the British then 

Although the doings of 1755, recorded above, could not well 
be looked on as of a very amicable character, war was not declared 
by either France or England, until May of the following year; 
and even then France was the last to proclaim the contest which 
she had been so long carrying on, though more than three hundred 
of her merchant vessels had been taken by British privateers. The 
causes of this proceeding are not very clear to us. France thought, 
beyond doubt, that George would fear to declare war, because 
Hanover was so exposed to attack ; but why the British move- 
ments, upon the sea particularly, did not lead to the declaration 
on the part of France is not easily to be guessed. Early in 1756, 
however, both kingdoms formed alliances in Europe ; France with 
Austria, Russia, and Sweden ; England with the Great Frederic. 
And then commenced forthwith the Seven Years' War, wherein 
most of Europe, North America, and the East and West Indies 
partook and suffered. 

Into the details of that war we cannot enter; not even into 
those of the contest in North America. In Virginia many things 
worthy of notice took place, but most of them took place east of 
the mountains — among western events we find only the following : 
— Immediately after Braddock's defeat, the Indians began to push 
their excursions across the mountains, so that in April 1756, 
Washington writes from Winchester; "The Blue Ridge is now 
our frontier, no men being left in this county (Frederick) except a 
few who keep close with a number of women and children in 

* Colonel Smith's Captivity, iu Drake's Indian Captivitiesj p. 1S3. 

1756. Expedition against the Indian towns upon the Ohio. 79 

forts." Under these, or similar circumstances, it was deemed 
advisable to send an expedition against the Indian towns upon the 
Ohio; Major Lewis, in January 1756, was appointed to command 
the troops to be used in the proposed irruption, and the point 
aimed at was apparently the upper Shawanese town,* situated on 
the Ohio three miles above the mouth of the Great Kenhawa.f 
The attempt proved a failure, in consequence, it is said, of the 
swollen state of the streams, and the treachery of the guides, and 
Major Lewis and his party suffered greatly.^ Of this expedition, 
however, we have no details unless it be, as we suspect, the same 
with the " Sandy Creek voyage" described by Withers, in his 
Border warfare, as occurring in 1757, during which year Wash- 
ington's letters make no reference to any thing of the kind. 
Withers moreover says, the return of the party was owing to 
orders from Governor Fauquier; but Dinwiddle did not leave 
until January, 1758 ; ]| and the French town of Galliopolis, which, 
the Border Warfare says, was to have been destroyed by the 
Virginians did not exist till nearly forty years later. If there were 
two expeditions, in both the troops underwent the same kind of 
suffering; in both were forced to kill and eat their horses; and in 
both were unsuccessful. 

Upon a larger scale it was proposed during 1756, to attack 
Crown Point, Niagara, and Fort Du Quesne, but neither was 
attacked; for Montcalm took the forts at Oswego, which he 
destroyed to quiet the jealousy of the Iroquois, within whose 
territory they were built, and this stroke seemed to paralyze all 
arms. One bold blow was made by Armstrong at Kittaning, on 
the Alleghany, in September, § and the frontiers of Pennsylvania 
for a time were made safe ; but otherwise the year in America wore 
out with little result. 

During the next year, 1757, nothing took place, but the capture 
of Fort William Henry, by Montcalm, and the massacre of its 

* The lower Shawanese town was just below the mouth of the Scioto. See Croghan's 
Journal — Butler's Kentucky, second edition, 462. 

t Sparks' Washington, ii. 527. 

^ Sparks' Washington, ii. 125, 135, 136. 

II Sparks' Washington, ii. 270. Had the return been owing to the Governor's orders, 
would Lieutenant M'Nutt, as Withers states, have presented his journal blaming Lewis 
for returning, to the very Governor whose commands he obeyed ? Border Warfare, 65. 

§ Holmes' Annals, vol. ii. p. 73. — Burk's Virginia, vol. iii. p. 221. — Day's Historical 
Collections of Pennsylvania, 96. Holmes, (referring to New York Historical Collections, 
iii. 399,) says the Ohio Indians had already killed one thousand persons on the frontier : 
Armstrong did not, however, destroy more than forty savages. 

80 Fort Frontenac taken by Bradstreet. 1758. 

garrison by his Indians ; a scene of which the readers of Cooper's 
Last of the Mohicans need scarce be reminded. This, and the 
near destruction of the British fleet by a gale off Louisburg, were 
the leading events of this dark season ; and no wonder that fear 
and despair sank deep into the hearts of the colonists. Nor was 
it in America alone, that Britain suffered during that summer. On 
the continent Frederic was borne down ; in the Mediterranean the 
navy of England had been defeated, and all was dark in the east; 
and, to add to the weight of these misfortunes, many of them 
came upon Pitt, the popular minister.* 

But the year 1758 opened under a new star. On sea and land, 
in Asia, Europe, and America, Britain regained what had been 
lost. The Austrians, Russians, and Swedes, all gave way before 
the great Captain of Prussia, and Pitt sent his own strong, and 
hopeful, and energetic spirit into his subalterns. In North America 
Louisburg yielded to Boscawen; Fort Frontenac was taken by 
Bradstreet; and Du Quesne was abandoned upon the approach of 
Forbes through Pennsylvania. From that time, the post at the 
Fork of the Ohio was Fort Pitt. 

In this last capture, as more particularly connected with the 
West, we are now chiefly interested. The details of the gather- 
ing and the march may be seen in the letters of Washington, 
w^ho, in opposition to Colonel Bouquet, was in favor of crossing 
the mountains by Braddock's road, whereas. Bouquet wished to 
cut a new one through Pennsylvania. In this division. Bouquet 
was listened to by the General ; and late in the season a new 
route w^as undertaken, by which such delays and troubles were 
produced, that the whole expedition came near proving a failure. 
Braddock's road had, in early times, been selected by the most 
experienced Indians and frontier men as the most favorable 
whereby to cross the mountains, being nearly the route by Vv-hich 
the national road has been since carried over them. In 1753, it 
was opened by the Ohio Company. It was afterward improved 
by the Provincial troops under Washington, and w^as finished by 
Braddock's engineers;! and this route was now to be given up, 
and a wholly new one opened, probably, as Washington sug- 
gested, through Pennsylvania influence, that her frontiers might 
thereby be protected, and a way opened for her traders. The 

* He returned to office, June 29th, 1757. 
t Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 302. 

1758. Arrival of the British at Fort Dii Quesne. 81 

hardships and dangers of the march from Raystown to Fort Du 
Quesne, where the British van arrived upon the 25th of Novem- 
ber, may be seen slightly pictured by the letters of Washington 
and the second journal of Post,* and may be more vividly con- 
ceived by those who have passed through the valley of the upper 
Juniata, t 

But, turning from this march, let us look at the position of 
things in the West, during the autumn of 1758. We have said, 
that in the outset the French did their utmost to alienate the Six 
Nations and Delawares from their old connexion with the British ; 
and so politic were their movements, so accurate their knowledge 
of Indian character, that they fully succeeded. The English, as 
we have seen, had made some foolish and iniquitous attempts to 
get a claim to the western lands, and by rum and bumbo had even 
obtained grants of those lands; but when the rum had evaporated, 
the wild men saw how they had been deceived, and listened not 
unwillingly to the French professions of friendship, backed as they 
w^ere by presents and politeness, and accompanied by no attempts 
to buy or wheedle land from them. J Early, therefore, many of 
the old allies of England joined her enemies; and the treaties of 
Albany, Johnson Hall, and Easton|| did little or nothing towards 
stopping the desolation of the frontiers of Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
and Virginia. The Quakers always believed, that this state of 
enmity between the Delawares and themselves, or their rulers, 

* Proud's Pennsylvania, vol. ii. Appendix. 

+ While upon this march General Forbes was so sick that he was carried in a close 
litter, and to this the officers went to receive their orders. An anecdote was afterwards 
told of some inimical Indian chiefs, who came to the army on an embassy, and who, 
observing that from this close litter came all commands, asked the reason. The British 
officers, thinking the savages would despise their General, if told he was sick, were at 
first puzzled what answer to make ; but in a moment one of them spoke out, and said, 
that in that litter was their General, who was so fierce and strong that he felt it necessary 
to bind himself, hand and foot, and lie still until he came to the enemy's country, lest he 
should do the ambassadors, or e\;en his own men, a mischief. The red men gave their 
usual grunt, and placed some miles of forest between themselves and this fierce chieftain 
as soon as possible. General Forbes died in Philadelphia a few weeks after the capture 
of Fort Du Quesne. 

^ See Post-s Journals ; Pownall's 3Iemoir,on Service in North America. 

I Many treaties were made between 1753 and 1758, which amounted to little or 

nothing. See 3IassacJnise(ts Historical Collections, vol. vii. p. 97 Sparks' Franklin, 

vol. iii. pp. 436, 450, 471. — Proud's Pennsylvania, vol. ii. app. ; Friendly Associa- 
tion's Address, and Post's Journals. There were two Easton treaties ; one with the 
Pennsylvania Delawares, in 1756, the other with all the Indians in 1758. — See also in 
Proud's Pennsylvania, yo\. ii. p. 331, an inquiry into the causes of quarrel with the 
Indians, and extracts from treaties, &c. 


82 Post sent West. 1758. 

might be prevented by a little friendly communion; but the 
persuasions of the French, the renegade English traders, and others 
who had gone to the West, were great obstacles to any friendly 
conversation on the one side, and the common feeling among the 
whites was an equal difficulty on the other. In the autumn of 
1756, a treaty was held at Easton with the Pennsylvania Dela- 
wares,* and peace agreed to. But this did not bind the Ohio 
Indians even of the same nation, much less the Shawanese and 
Mingoes; and though the Sachem of the Pennsylvania savages, 
Teedyuscung, promised to call to his western relatives with a loud 
voice, they did not, or would not hear him ; the tomahawk and 
brand still shone among the rocky mountain fastnesses of the inte- 
rior. Nor can any heart but pity the red men. They knew not 
whom^to believe, nor where to look for a true friend. The French 
said they came to defend them from the English ; the English said 
they came to defend them from the French ; and between the two 
powers they were wasting away, and their homes disappearing 
before them. " The kings of France and England," said Teed- 
yuscung, " have settled this land so as to coop us up as if in a 
pen. This very ground that is under me was my land and inheri- 
tance, and is taken from me by fraud." Such being the feeling of 
the natives, and success being of late nearly balanced between the 
two European powers, no wonder that they hung doubting, and 
knew not which way to turn. The French wished the Eastern 
Delawares to move west, so as to bring them within their influ- 
ence ;t and the British tried to persuade them to prevail on their 
western brethren to leave their new allies and be at peace. 

In 1758, the condition of affairs being as stated, and Forbes' 
army on the eve of starting for Fort Du Quesne, and the French 
being also disheartened by the British success elsewhere, and their 
force at Du Quesne weak, — it was determined to make an effort 
to draw the western Indians over, and thereby still further to 
weaken the force that would oppose General Forbes. It was no 
easy matter, however, to find a true and trustworthy man, whose 
courage, skill, ability, knowledge, and physical power, would fit 
him for such a mission. He was to pass through a wilderness 
filled with doubtful friends, into a country filled with open ene- 
mies. The whole French interest would be against him, and the 
Indians of the Ohio were little to be trusted. Every stream on his 

* Sparks' FrawWm, vol. vii. p. 125. 
•}■ Heckewelder's Nairalive p. 53. 

1758. Tost at Fort Du Quesm. 83 

Avay had been dyed with blood, every hill-side had rung with the 
death-yell, and grown red in the light of burning huts. The man 
who was at last chosen was a Moravian, who had lived among 
the savages seventeen years, and married among them ; his name 
Christian Frederic Post. Of his journey, sufferings, and doings, 
we have his own journal, though Heckewelder tells us, that those 
parts which redound most to his own credit, he omitted when 
printing it. He left Philadelphia upon the 15th of July, 1758; 
and, against the protestations of Teedyuscung, who said he would 
surely lose his life, proceeded up the Susquehannah, — passing 
^' many plantations deserted and laid waste." Upon the 7th of 
August, he came to the Alleghany, opposite French Creek, and 
was forced to pass under the very eyes of the garrison of Fort 
Venango, but was not molested. From Venango he went to 
" Kuskushkee," which was on or near Big Beaver Creek. This 
place, he says, contained ninety houses and two hundred able 
warriors. At this place Post had much talk with the chiefs, who 
seemed well disposed, but somewhat afraid of the French. The 
great conference, however, it was determined should be held 
opposite Fort Du Quesne, where there were Indians of eight 
nations. The messenger was at first unwilling to go thither, fear- 
ing the French would seize him; but the savages said, "they 
would carry him in their bosom, he need fear nothing," and they 
well redeemed this promise. On the 24th of August, Post, with 
his Indian friends, reached the point opposite the Fort ; and there 
immediately followed a series of speeches, explanations and agree- 
ments, for which we must refer to his Journal. At first he was 
Avas received rather hardly by an old and deaf Onondago, who 
claimed the land whereon they stood as belonging to the Six 
Nations; but a Delaware rebuked him in no A'ery polite terms. 
"That man speaks not as a man," he said; "he endeavors to 
frighten us by saying this gi-ound is his ; he dreams ; he and his 
father (the French) have certainly drunk too much liquor ; they 
are drunk ; pray let them go to sleep till they are sober. You do 
not know what your own nation does at home, how much they 
have to say to the English. You are quite rotten. You stink. 
You do nothing but smoke your pipe here. Go to sleep w^th your 
lather, and when you are sober we will speak to you." 

It was clear that the Delawares, and indeed all the western 
Indians, were wavering in their affection for the French; and, 
though some opposition was made to a union with the colonists, 

84 Ch-anth Bpfeat. 1758. 

the general feeling, produced by the prospect of a quick approach 
by Forbes' army, and by the truth and kindness of Post himself, 
was in favor of England. The Indians, however, complained 
bitterly of the disposition which the whites showed in claiming 
and seizing their lands. "Why did you not fight your battles at 
home, or on the sea, instead of coming into our country to fight 
them ?" they asked, again and again ; and were mournful when 
they thought of the future. " Your heart is good," they said to 
Post, '■^ you speak sincerely: but we know there is always a great 
number who wish to get rich ; they have enough ; look ! we do not 
want to be rich, and take away what others have." " The white 
people think we have no brains in our heads ; that they are big, 
and we a little handful ; but remember, when you hunt for a rattle- 
snake you cannot find it, and perhaps it will bite you before you 
see it." When the war of Pontiac came, this saying might have 
been justly remembered. 

At length, having concluded a pretty definite peace, Post 
turned toward Philadelphia, setting out upon the 9th of Septem- 
ber; and, after the greatest sufferings and perils from French 
scouts and Indians, reached the settlements uninjured. 

Wliile Post was engaged upon his dangerous mission, the van 
of Forbes' army was pressing slowly forward under the heats of 
August from Raystown, (Bedford,)* toward Loyalhanna, hewing 
their way as they went. Early in September, the General reached 
Raystown, whither he also ordered Washington, who had till then 
been kept inactive among his sick troops at Fort Cumberland. 
Meantime two officers of the first Virginia regiment had gone sep- 
arately, each with his party, to reconnoitre Fort Du Quesne, and 
had brought accounts of its condition up to the 13th of August, f 
It being deemed desirable, however, to have fuller statements than 
they were able to give, a party of eight hundred men under Major 
Grant, with whom went Major Andrew Lewds of Virginia, was 
pushed forward to gain the desired information. Grant appears to 
have exceeded his orders, which were merely to obtain all the 
knowledge relative to the French which he could ; and after 
having unwisely divided his force, with equal want of sagacity 
brought on an engagement; having before liim, perhaps, the vain 
hope that he should take the fort he was sent to examine. In the 
skirmish thus needlessly entered into. Grant's troops were thrown 

* Sparks' Wasliingtoii, ii. 312. 

t See map in Sparks' Washington, ii.j also plate and account in Am. Pioneer, ii. 147. 

17BS. British take Fort Du Quesne. 85 

into confusion by their Indian foes. Lewis, who had been left two 
miles behind, hastening forward when he heard the sound of fire- 
arms, to relieve his comrades, was unable to check the rout 
which had commenced, and together with his commanding officer 
•was taken prisoner. Indeed, the whole detachment would have 
shared their fate, had not Capt. Bullitt, with his fifty Virginians, 
rescued them. Ordering his men to lower their arms, this able 
officer waited until the Indians, who thought the little band about 
to yield, were full in view, then giving the word, poured upon the 
enemy a deadly fire, which was instantly followed by a charge 
with the bayonet, — a proceeding so unlooked for and so fatal as 
to lead to the complete rout of the assailants. This conduct of 
the Virginians was much admired, and Washington received 
publicly the compliments of the Commander-in-Chief on account 
of it.* 

October had now arrived, and Washington was engaged in 
opening the road toward the Fork of the Ohio. On the 5th of 
November, he was still at Loyalhanna, w^here at one time the 
General thought of spending the winter; on the 15th, he was on 
Chesnut ridge, advancing from four to eight miles a day; and in 
ten days more stood where Fort Du Quesne had been ; the French 
having destroyed it, when they embarked for the lower posts on 
the Ohio the preceding day. 

At Easton, meantime, had been gathered another great council, 
at which were present "the eight United Nations, (the Iroquois,) 
and their confederates;" with all of w^hom, during October, peace 
was €oncluded. The particulars of this treaty are given in the 
American pioneer i. 244, taken from the Annual Register for 1759, 
p. 191 ; and from a note in Burk's " History of Virginia,"! we 
find that the Iroquois were very angry at the prominence of Teed- 
yuscung. With the messengers to the West, bearing news of this 
treaty, Post was sent back, within five weeks after his return. He 
followed after General Forbes, from whom he received messages 
to the various tribes, with which he once more sought their chiefs ; 
and was again very instrumental in preventing any junction of the 
Indians with the French. Indeed, but for Post's mission, there 
would in all probability have been gathered a strong force of 

* Sparks' Washington; ii. 313; note. — Butler's Kentucky, 2d edition, Introduction, 
xliv.— Marshall's Life of Vv^ashington, (Edition 1804, Philadelphia,) ii. 66. This defeat 
occurred, September 21. Washington commanded all the Virginia troops. 

+ Vol. iii. p. 239. 

S6 Indian War in the South. 1760.. 

western savages to waylay Forbes and defend Fort Du Quesne j 
in which ease, so adverse was the season and the way, so wearied 
the men, and so badly managed the whole business, that there 
would have been great danger of a second "Braddock's field ;" 
so that our humble Moravian friend played no unimportant part in 
securing again to his British Majesty the key to western America. 

With the fall of Fort Du Quesne, all direct contest between the 
French and British in the West ceased. From that time Canada 
was the only scene of operations, though garrisons for a while 
remained in the forts on French Creek. In 1759, Ticonderoga, 
Crown Point, Niagara, and at length Quebec itself yielded to the 
English; and, on the 8th of September, 1760, Montreal, Detroit, 
and all Canada were given up by Vaudreuil, the French governor. 

But the French had not been the only dwellers in western 
America; and, when they were gone, the colonists still saw before 
them clouds of dark and jealous warriors. Indeed, no sooner 
were the Delawares quiet in the north, than the Cherokees, who 
had been assisting Virginia against her foes, were roused to war 
by the thoughtless and cruel conduct of the frontier men, who shot 
several of that tribe, because they took some horses which they 
found running at large in the woods. The ill-feeling bred by this 
act was eagerly fostered by the French in Louisiana ; and, while 
Amherst and Wolfe were pushing the war into Canada, the fron-^ 
tiers of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, were writhing under 
the horrors of Indian invasion. This Cherokee war continued 
through 1760, and into 1761, but was terminated in the summer 
of the last-named year by Colonel Grant. We should be glad, 
did it come within our province, to enter somewhat at large into 
the events of it, as then came forward two of the most remarkable 
chiefs of that day, the Great Warrior and the Little Carpenter 
(Attakullakulla) ; but we must first refer our readers to the second 
volume of Thatcher's "Indian Biography." 

Along the frontiers of Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, the 
old plantations had been, one by one, reoccupied since 1758, and 
settlers were slowly pushing further into the Indian country, and 
traders were once more bearing their burdens over the mountains,, 
and finding a way into the wigwams of the natives, who rested, 
watching silently, but narrowly, the course of their English 
defenders and allies. For it was, professedly, in the character 
of defenders, that Braddock and Forbes had come into the 

1760. Settlements in the West resumed. 87 

West ;* and, while every British finger itched for the lands as well as 
the furs of the wild men, with mistaken hypocrisy they would have 
persuaded them that the treasure and the life of England had been 
given to preserve her old allies, the Six Nations, and their depen- 
dents, the Delawares and Shawanese, from French aggression. 
But the savages knew whom they had to deal with, and looked at 
every step of the cultivator with jealousy and hate. 

In 1760, the Ohio Company once more prepared to pursue their 
old plan, and sent to England for such orders and instructions to 
the Virginia government as would enable them to do so.f Dur- 
ing the summer of that year, also, General Monkton, by a treaty 
at Fort Pitt, obtained leave to build posts within the wild lands, 
each post having ground enough about it to raise corn and vege- 
tables for the use of the garrison. | Nor, if we can credit one 
writer, were the settlements of the Ohio Company, and the forts, 
the only inroads upon the hunting grounds of the savages ; for he 
says, that in 1757, by the books of the Secretary of Virginia, 
three millions of acres had been granted west of the mountains. 
Indeed, we know that in 1758 she tried by law to encourage set- 
tlements in the West; and the report of John Blair, Clerk of the 
Virginia Council, in 1768 or 1769, states, that most of the grants 
beyond the mountains were made before August, 1754. || At any 
rate, it is clear that the Indians early began to murmur; for, in 
1762, Bouquet issued his proclamation from Fort Pitt, saying that 
the treaty of Easton, in 1758, secured to the red men all lands 
west of the mountains as hunting-grounds ; wherefore he forbids 
all settlements, and orders the arrest of the traders and settlers 
who were spreading discontent and fear among the Ohio Indians. § 

But if the Ohio Indians were early ill-disposed to the English, 
much more was this the case among those lake tribes, who had 
known only the French, and were strongly attached to them ; 
the Ottaways, Wyandots, and Chippeways. The first visit which 
they received from the British was after the surrender of Vaud- 
reuil, when Major Robert Rogers was sent to take charge of 

* Sparks' Frankli7i, vol. iv. p. 328. — Post's Journals show how full of jealousy the 
Indians were ; see there also Forbes' letter, sent by him. 

t Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 482 — Plain Facts, p. 120, where a letter from the 
Company, dated September 9th, 1761, is given. 

i Dated August 20th. Flain Facts, pp. 55, 56. 

U Contest in North America, by an Impartial Hand, p. 36. — Secret Journals, vol. iii. 
p. 187 — Plain Facts. Appendix. 

§ Plain Facts, p. 56. — See Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 64. 

88 Rogers crosses Ohio. 1759. 

Detroit.* He left Montreal on the 13th of September, 1760, and, 
on the 8th of October, reached Presqu'Ile, where Bouquet then 
commanded. Thence he went slowly up Lake Erie, to Detroit, 
which place he summoned to yield itself on the 19th of Novem- 
ber. It was, if we mistake not, while waiting for an answer 
to this summons, that he was visited by the great Ottawa chief- 
tain, Pontiac, who demanded how the English dared enter his 
country; to which the answer was given, that they came, not to 
take the country, but to open a free way of trade, and to put out 
the French, who stopped their trade. This answer, together with 
other moderate and kindly words, spoken by Rogers, seemed to 
lull the rising fears of the savages, and Pontiac promised him his 

Beleter, meantime, who commanded at Detroit, had not yielded ; 
nay, word was brought to Rogers on the 24th, that his messenger 
had been confined, and a flag-pole erected, with a wooden head 
upon it, to represent Britain, on which stood a crow picking the 
eyes out, — as emblematic of the success of France. In a few 
days, however, the commander heard of the fate of the lower 
posts, and, as his Indians did not stand by him, on the 29th he 
yielded. Rogers remained at Detroit until December 23d, under 
the personal protection of Pontiac, to whose presence he probably 
owed his safety. From Detroit the Major went to the Maumee, 
and thence across the present State of Ohio to Fort Pitt ; and his 
Journal of this overland trip is the first we have of such an one in 
that region. His route was nearly that given by Hutchins,f in 
Bouquet's " Expedition," as the common one from Sandusky to 
the Fork of the Ohio. It went from Fort Sandusky, where- San- 
dusky City now is, crossed the Huron river, then called Bald 
Eagle Creek, to " Mohickon John's Tov/n," upon what we know 
as Mohicon Creek, the northern branch of White Woman's River, 
and thence crossed to Beaver's Town, a Delaware town on the 
west side of the " Maskongam Creek," opposite " a fine river" 
which, from Hutchins' map, we presume was Sandy Creek. At 
Beaver's Town were one hundred and eighty warriors, and not 
less than three thousand acres of cleared land. From there the 
track went up Sandy Creek and across to the Big Beaver, and up 

* See his Journal, London, 1765. Also, his Concise Account of North America- 
London. 1765. 

\ Thomas Hutchins, afterwards Geographer of the United States, was, in 1764, assist- 
ant engineer on Bouquet's edition. 

1761. Henry at MacJcinac. 89 

the Ohio, through Logstown, to Fort Pitt, which place Rogers 
reached January 23d, 1760, precisely one month having passed 
while he was upon the w'ay. 

In the spring of the year following Rogers' visit, (1761,) 
Alexander Henry, an English trader, went to Missillimacnac for 
purposes of business, and he found everywhere the strongest feel- 
ing against the English, who had done nothing by word or act to 
conciliate the Indians. Even then there were threats of reprisals 
and war. Having, by means of a Canadian dress, managed to 
reach Missilimacanac in safety, he was there discovered, and was 
waited on by an Indian chief, who was, in the opinion of Thatcher, 
Pontiac himself. This chief, after conveying to him the idea, 
that their French father would soon awake and utterly destroy his 
enemies, continued: 

" Englishman ! Although you have conquered the French, you 
have not yet conquered us ! We are not your slaves ! These 
lakes, these woods, these mountains, were left to us by our ances- 
tors. They are our inheritance, and we will part widi them to 
none. Your nation supposes that we, like the white people, can- 
not live without bread, and pork, and beef. But you ought to 
know that He, the Great Spirit and Master of Life, has provided 
food for us upon these broad lakes and in these mountains." 

He then spoke of the fact that no treaty had been made with 
them, no presents sent them , and while he announced their inten- 
tion to allow Henry to trade unmolested, and to regard him as a 
brother, he declared, that with his king the red men were still at 

Such were the feelings of tlie northwestern savages immediately 
after the English took possession of their lands ; and these feel- 
ings were in all probability fostered and increased by the Cana- 
dians and French. Distrust of the British was general ; and, as 
the war between France and England still went on in other lands, 
there was hope among the Canadians, perhaps, that the French 
power might be restored in America. However this may have 
been, it is clear that disaffection spread rapidly in the West, 
though of the details of the years from 1759 to 1763 we know 
hardly any thing. 

Upon the 10th of February, 1763, the treaty of Paris was con- 
cluded, and peace between the European powers restored. Of 

* Travels of Alexander Henry in Canada, from 1760 to 1776. New York, 1809.— 
Thatcher's Indian Biography, vol. ii. pp. 75, et seq. 

90 Peace of Paris. 1763. 

that treaty we give the essential provisions bearing upon our 

Art. 4 •' His most Christian Majesty renounces all pretensions 
which he has heretofore formed, or might form, to Nova Scotia or 
Acadia in all its parts, and guarantees the whole of it, and with all its 
dependencies, to the King of Great Britain: moreover, his most Chris- 
tian Majesty cedes and guarantees to his said Britannic Majesty, in full 
right, Canada, with all iis dependencies, as well as the island of Cape 
Breton, and all the other islands and coasts in the gulf and river of St. 
Lawrence ; and, in general, every thing that depends on the said coun- 
tries, lands, islands, and coasts, with the sovereignty, property, posses- 
sion, and all rights acquired by treaty or otherwise, which the most 
Christian King and the crown of France have had, till now, over the 
said countries, islands, lands, places, coasts, and their inhabitants; so 
that the most Christian King, cedes and makes over the whole to the 
said King, and to the crown of Great Britain, and that in the most am- 
ple manner and form, without restriction, and without any liberty to 
depart fiom the said cession and guarantee under any pretence, or to 
disturb Great Britain in the possessions above mentioned. 

Art. 7. " In order to establish peace on solid and durable founda- 
tions, and to remove forever all subjects of dispute with regard to the 
limits of the British and French territories on the continent of Ameri- 
ca, it is agreed that for the future, the confines between the dominions 
of his Britannic Majesty and those of his most Christian Majesty in that 
part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the 
middle of the river Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and 
from thence by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes 
Maurepas and Pontchartr.iin, to the sea ; and for this puipose, the most 
Christian King cedes, in full right, and guarantees to his BritRnnic 
Majesty, the river and port of the Mobile, and every thing which he 
possesses or ought to possess on the left side of the river Mississippi, 
with the exception of the town of New Orleans, and of the island in 
which it is situated, which shall remain to France ; it being well under- 
stood that the navigation of the river Mississippi shall be equally free, 
as well to the subjects of Great Britain as to those of France, in its 
whole breadth and length from its source to the sea ; and expressly, that 
part which is between the said island of New Orleans, and the right 
bank of that river, as well as the passage both in and out of its moulh. 
It is further stipulated that the vessels belonging to the subjects of either 
nation shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of any 
duty whatsoever." 

[It is necessary to observe, that the preliminary articles, which so far 

1763. Indian Conspiracy. 91 

as relates to the two articles here inserted, are verbatim the same with 
those of the definitive treaty, were signed on the third day of Novem- 
ber, 1762, on which same day, as will appear, France ceded Louisiana 
to Spain. 3* 

FROM 1763 TO 1764. 

And now once more men began to think seriously of the West. 
Pamphlets were published upon the advantages of settlements on 
the Ohio ; Colonel Mercer was chosen to represent the old Com- 
pany in England, and try to have their affairs made straight, for 
there were counter-claims by the soldiers who had enlisted, in 
1754, under Dinwiddle's proclamation ; and on all hands there 
were preparations for movement. But, even at that moment, 
there existed through the whole West a conspiracy or agreement 
among the Indians, from Lake Michigan to the frontiers of North 
Carolina, by which they were with one accord, with one spirit, to 
fall upon the whole line of British posts and strike every white man 
dead. Chippeways, Ottoways, Wyandots, Miamis, Shawanese, 
Delawares, and Mingoes, for the time, laid by their old hostile 
feelings, and united under Pontiac in this great enterprise. The 
voice of that sagacious and noble man was heard in the dis- 
tant North, crying, " Why, says the Great Spirit, do you suffer 
these dogs in red clothing to enter your country and take the land 
I have given you 9 Drive them from it ! Drive them ! When 
you are in distress, I will help you." 

That voice was heard, but not by the whites. The unsuspecting 
traders journeyed from village to village; the soldiers in the forts 
shrunk from the sun of the early summer, and dozed away the 
day ; the frontier settler, singing in fancied security, sowed his 
crop, or, watching the sunset through the girdled trees, mused 
upon one more peaceful harvest, and told his children of the hor- 

* See Land Laws, p. 83. 

92 Mackinac taken. 1763. 

rors of the ten years' war, now, — thank God! over. From the 
Alleghanies to the Mississippi the trees had leaved, and all was 
calm life and joy. But through that great country, even then, 
bands of sullen red men were journeying from the central valleys 
to the lakes and the Eastern hills. Bands of Chippeways gathered 
about Missilimacanac. Ottaways filled the woods near Detroit, 
The Mauraee post, Presqu'Ile, Niagara, Pitt, Ligonier, and every 
English fort was hemmed in by mingled tribes, who felt that the 
great battle drew nigh which was to determine their fate and the 
possession of their noble lands. f At last the day came. The 
traders everywhere were seized, their goods taken from them, and 
more than one hundred of them put to death. Nine British forts 
yielded instantly, and the savages drank, " scooped up in the hol- 
low of joined hands," the blood of many a Briton. The border 
streams of Pennsylvania and Virginia ran red again. " We hear," 
says a letter for Fort Pitt, " of scalping every hour." In Western 
Virginia, more -than twenty thousand people were driven from 
their homes. Mackinac was taken by a stratagem, which Henry 
thus describes : 

The next day, being the fourth of June, was the king's birth-day. 
The morning was sultry. AChippeway came to tell me that his nation 
was going to play at baggatiway, with the Sacs or Saaiiies, another 
Indian nation, lor a high wager. He invited me to witness the sport, 
adding that the commandant was to be there, and would bet on the side of 
the Chippeways. In consequence of this infoimaiicn, I went to the com- 
mandant, and expostulated with him a little, representing that the Indians 
might possibly have some sinister end in view ; but the commandant 
only smiled at my suspicions. 

Baggathvay, called by the Canadians le jeu de la crosse, is played 
with a bat and ball. The bat is about four feet in length, curved, and 
terminating in a sort of racket. Two posts are planted in the ground, 
at a considerable distance from each other, as a mile or more, Each 
party has its post, and the game consists in throwing the ball up to the 
post of the adversary. The ball at the beginning is placed in the 
middle of the course, and each party endeavors as well to throw the 
ball out of the direction of its own post, as into that of the adversary's. 

I did not go myself to see the match which was now to be played 
without the foit, because, there being a canoe prepared to depart, on 
the following day, for Montreal. 1 employed myself in writing letters 
to my friends; and even when a fellow-trader, Mr. Tracy happened to 

•fSee Henry's Narrative. — Thatcher's Indian Biography, vol. ii. p. 83. 

1763. Mackinac taken. 93 

call upon me, saying that another canoe had just arrived from Detroit, 
and proposing that I should go with liim to the beach, to inquire the 
news, it so happened that I still remained, to finish my letters ; pro- 
mising to follow Mr. Tracy in the course of a few minutes. Mr. Tracy 
had not gone more than twenty paces from the door, when I heard an 
Indian war-cry, and a noise of general confusion. 

Going instantly to my window, I saw a crowd of Indians, within the 
fort, furiously cutting down and scalping every Englishman they found. 
In particular, I witnessed the fate of Lieutenant Jemette. * * * « 

The game of baggatiway, as from the description above will have 
been perceived, is necessarily attended with much violence and noise. 
In the ardor of contest, the ball, as has been suggested, if it cannot 
be thrown to the goal desired, is struck in any direction by which it 
can be diverted from that designed by the adversary. At such a mo- 
ment, therefore, nothing could be less liable to excite premature alarm, 
than that the ball should be tossed over the pickets of the fort, nor that, 
having fallen there, it should be followed on the insiant by all engaged 
in the game, as well the one party as the other, all eager, all struggling, 
all shouting, all in the unrestrained pursuit of a rude athletic exercise. 
Nothing could be less fitted to excite premature alarm ; nothing, there- 
fore, could be more happily devised, under the circumstances, than a 
stratagem like this ; and this was, in fact, the strategem which the In- 
dians had employed, by which they had obtained possession of the 
fort, and by which they had been enabled to slaughter and subdue its 
garrison, and such of its other inhabitants as they pleased. To be still 
more certain of success, they had prevailed upon as many as they 
could, by a pretext the least liable to suspicion, to come voluntary 
without the pickets ; and particularly the commandant and garrison 

At Detroit, where Pontiac commanded, treachery prevented suc- 
cess ; and here also we give the account of a cotemporary writer : y 

" As every appearance of war was at an end, and the Indians seemed 
to be on a friendly footing, Pontiac approached Detroit without exciting 
any suspicions in the breast of the governor, or the inhabitants. He 
encamped at a little distance from it, and let the commandant know that 
he was come to trade ; and being desirous of brightening the chain of 
peace between the English and his nation, desired that he and his 
chiefs might be admitted to hold a council with him. The governor, 

* See Drake's Captivities, 289, 292. 

+ Captain Carver, who was in the north-west from 1766 to 1768. In 1767 he says 
Detroit contained more than one hundred houses, and that tlie river bank was settled for 
twenty miles, although poorly cultivated j the people were engaged in the Indian trade. 

94 Poniiac before Detroit. 1763. 

still unsuspicious, and not in the least doubting the sincerity of the 
Indians, granted their general's request, and fixed on the next morning 
for their reception. 

•• On the evening of that day, an Indian woman who had been 
appointed by Major Gladwyn to make a pair of Indian shoes, out of a 
curious elkskin, brought them hou.e. The major was so pleased with 
them, thai, intending these as a present for a friend, he oidered her to 
take the remainder back, and make it into others for himself. He then 
directed his servant to pay her for those she had done, and dismissed 
her. The woman went to the door that led to the street, but no fur- 
ther ; she there loitered about as if she had not finished the business on 
which she came. A servant at length observed her, and asked her why 
she staid there ? She gave him, however, no answer. 

•' Some short time after, the governor himself saw her, and inquired 
of his servant what occasioned her stay. Not being able to get a satis- 
factory answer, he ordered the woman to be called in. When she 
came into his presence, he desired to know what was the reason of her 
loitering about, and not hastening home before the gates were shut, that 
she might complete in due time the work he had given her to do. She 
told him, after much hesitation, that as he had always behaved with 
great goodness towards her, she was unwilling to take away the remain- 
der of the skin, because he put so great a value upon it ; and yet had 
not been able to prevail upon herself to tell him so. He then asked 
her why she was more reluctant to do so now than she had been when 
she made the former pair. With increased reluctance she answered, 
that she should never be able to bring them back. 

" His curiosity was now excited, he insisted on her disclosing the 
secret that seemed to be struggling in her bosom for utterance. At last, 
on receiving, a promise that the intelligence she was about to give him 
should not turn to her prejudice; and that if it appeared to be beneficial, 
she should be rewarded for it, she informed him, that at the council to 
be held with the Indians the following day, Pontiac and his chiefs 
intended to murder him ; and, after having massacred the garrison and 
inhabitants, to plunder the town. That for this purpose, all the cliiefs 
who were to be admitted into the council room had cut their guns short, 
so that they could conceal them under their blankets ; with which, on a 
signal given by their general, on delivering the belt, they were all to 
rise up, and instantly to fire on him and his attendants. Having 
effected this, they were immediately to rush into the town, where they 
would find themselves supported by a great number of their warriors, 
that were to come into it during the silting of the council under the 
pretence of trading, but privately armed in the same manner. Having 
gained from the woman every necessary particular relative to the plot, 

1763. Pontine betrayed. 95 

and also the means by which she acquired a knowledge of them, he 
dismissed her with injunctions of secrecy, and a promise of fulfilling on 
his part with punctuality the engagements he had entered into. 

•' The intelligence the governor had just received gave him great 
uneasiness ; and he immediately consulted the officer who was next 
him in command on the subject. But this gentleman, considering the 
information as a story invented for some artful purpose, advised him to 
pay no attention to it. This conclusion, however, had happily, no 
weight with him. He thought it prudent to conclude it to be true, till 
he was convinced that it was not so ; and therefore, without revealing 
his suspicions to any other person, he took every needful precaution that 
the time would admit of. He walked around the fort for the whole 
night, and saw himself, that every sentinel was upon duty, and every 
weapon of defence in proper order. 

" As he traversed the ramparts that lay nearest to the Indian camp, 
he heard them in high festivity, and little imagining that their plot was 
discovered, probably pleasing themselves with the anticipation of their 
success. As soon as the morning dawned, he ordered all the garrison 
under arms, and then imparting his apprehensions to a few of the prin- 
cipal officers, gave them such directions as he thought necessary. At 
the same time he sent round to all the traders, to inform them, that as 
it was expected a great number of Indians would enter the town that 
day, who might be inclined to plunder, he desired they would have 
their arms ready, and repel any attempt of that kind. 

" About ten o'clock, Pontiac and his chiefs arrived, and were con- 
ducted to thfc council chamber, where the governor and his principal 
officers, each with pistols in his belt, awaited his arrival. As the Indi- 
ans passed on, they could not help observing that a greater number of 
troops than usual were drawn up on the parade, or marching about. 
No sooner were they entered and seated on the skins prepared for 
them, than Pontiac asked the governor, on what occasion his young 
men, meaning the soldiers, were thus drawn up and parading the 
streets ? He received for answer that it "was only intended to keep 
them perfect in their exercise. 

" The Indian chief warrior now began his speech, which contained 
the strongest professions of friendship and good will towards the Eng- 
lish : and when he came to the delivery of the belt of wampum, the 
particular mode of which, according to the woman's information, was 
to be the signal for the chiefs to fire, the governor and all his attendants 
drew their swords half way out of their scabbards ; and the soldiers at 
the same time made a clattering with their arms before the door, which 
had been purposely left open. Pontiac, though one of the bravest 
men, immediately turned pale and trembled ; and instead of giving the 
bell in the manner proposed, delivered it according to the usual way 

1763. Pontiac lays siege to Detroit. 97 

His chiefs who had impatiently expected the signal, looked at each 
other with astonishment, but continued quiet wailing the result. 

"The governor, in his turn, made a speech, but instead of thanking 
Mhe great warrior for the piofessions of friendship he had just uttered, 
he accused him of being a traitor. He told him that the English, who 
.. knew every thing, were convinced of his treachery and villainous 
designs ; and as a proof that they were acquainted wiih his most secret 
thoughts and intentions, he stepped towards an Indian chief that sat 
nearest to him, and drawing aside the blanket, discovered the shortened 
firelock. This entirely disconcerted the Indians, and frustrated their 

" He then continued to tell them, that as he had given his word at 
the time they had desired an audience, that their persons should be 
safe, he would hold his promise inviolable, though they so little 
deserved it. However, he desired them to make the best of their way 
out of the fort, lest his young men, on being acquainted with their 
treacherous purposes, should cut every one of them to pieces. 

"Pontiac endeavored to contradict the accusation, and to make ex- 
cuses for his suspicious conduct; but the governor, satisfied of the 
falsity of his protestations, would not listen to him. The Indians 
immediately left the fort ; but instead of being sensible of the governor's 
generous behavior, they threw off the mask, and the next day made a 
regular attack upon it." 

Thus foiled, Pontiac laid formal siege to the fortress, and for 
many months that siege was continued in a manner, and with a 
perseverance, unexampled among the Indians. Even a regular 
commissariat department was organized, and bills of credit drawn 
out upon bark, w^ere issued, and what is rarer, punctually paid. 
It was the 9th of May,* when Detroit was first attacked, and upon 
the 3d of the following December it was still in danger. As late 
as March of the next year, the inhabitants were " sleeping in their 
clothes, expecting an alarm every night."! 

Fort Pitt was besieged also, and the garrison reduced to sad 
straits from want of food. This being known beyond the moun- 
tains, a quantity of provision was collected, and Colonel Bdquet 

* This date seems certain. See Thatcher's Lives of the Indians, ii. 93 to 103. — 
That of the attack on Mackinac is yet more certain : but how could the people at Macki- 
nac remain ignorant of Pontiac's movements from May 9th to June 4th ? A common 
canoe voyage, with all its stoppages, did not take more than fourteen days. See School- 
craft's Travels of 1820, (Albany 1821,) p. 73 to 110. Presqu'IIc also was not attacked 
till June 4th, and yet no suspicions seem to have existed. — (Mr. Harvey, of Erie, quoted 
in Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 314.) 

t See Henry's Narrative. — Thatcher's Indian Biography, vol. ii. p. 83. 

1763. Bouquet attacked by the Indians. 97 

was appointed to convey it to the head of the Ohio, having as- 
signed him for the service the poor remains of two regiments, 
which had but lately returned from the war in Cuba. He set out 
toward the middle of July, and upon the 25th reached Bedford. 
From that post, he went forward by Forbes's road, passed Fort 
Ligonier, and iipon the 5th of August was near Bushy Run, one 
of the branches of Turtle Creek, which falls into the Monongahela 
ten miles above Fort Pitt. Here he was attacked by the Indians, 
who, hearing of his approach, had gathered their forces to defeat 
him, and during two days the contest continued. On the 6th, 
the Indians, having the worst of the battle, retreated ; and Bouquet, 
with his three hundred and forty horses, loaded with flour, reached 
and relieved the post at the Fork.* 

It was now nearly autumn, and the confederated tribes had 
failed to take the three most important fortresses in the West, 
Detroit, Pitt, and Niagara. Many of them became disheartened ; 
others wished to return home for the winter ; others had satisfied 
their longings for revenge. United merely by the hope of striking 
and immediate success, they fell from one another when that suc- 
cess did not come ; jealousies and old enmities revived ; the 
league was broken ; and P#ntiac was left alone or with few 

In October, also, a step was taken by the British government, 
in part, for the purpose of quieting the fears and suspicions of the 
red men, which did much, probably, toward destroying their alli- 
ance; a proclamation was issued containing the following para- 
graphs and prohibitions: 

And whereas, it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest 
and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of 
Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our protec- 
tion, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts 
of our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to, or pur- 
chased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting 
grounds ; we do, therefore, with the advice of our privy council, declare 
it to be our royal will and pleasure, that no Governor or Commander- 
in-chief, in any of our colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West 
Florida, do presume, upon any pretence whatever, to grant warrants of 
survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their 
respective governments, as described in their commissions ; as, also that 

* Holmes's ylwwaZs, vol. ii. p. 121.— Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. Map, at p. 38.~ 
Day's Historicul Collections of Pennsylvania) 681. 


98 Proclamation by the Bntish Government. 1763. 

no Governor or Commander-in-chief of our other colonies or plantations 
in America, do presume for the present, and until our further pleasure 
be known, to grant warrants of survey, or pass patents for any lands 
beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which fall into the 
Atlantic ocean from the west or northwest ; or upon any lands whatever, 
whicli, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, as aforesaid, are 
reserved to the said Indians or any of them. 

And we do further declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, for the 
present, as aforesaid, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection, and 
dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the land and territories not 
included within the limits of our said three new Governments, or with- 
in the limits of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company; 
as also all the lands and territories lying to the westward of the sources 
of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and northwest as 
aforesaid ; and we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our displeasure, 
all our loving subjects from making any purchases or settlements what- 
ever, or taking possession of any of the lands above reserved, without 
our special leave and license for that purpose first obtained. 

And we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatever, 
who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any 
lands within the countries above described, or upon any other lands, 
which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, are still reserved 
to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from 
such settlements. 

And whereas great frauds and abuses have been committed in the pur- 
chasing lands from the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests, 
and to the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians ; in order, therefore, 
to prevent such irregularities for the future, and to the end that the 
Indians may be convinced of our justice and determined resolution to 
remove all reasonable cause of discontent, we do, with the advice of our 
privy council, strictly enjoin and require that no private person do pre- 
sume to make any purchase from the said Indians, of any lands reserved 
to the said Indians, within those parts of our colonies where we have 
thought proper to allow settlement; but that, if at any time, any of the 
said Indians should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same 
shall be purchased only for us, in our name, at some public meeting or 
assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose, by the Gov- 
ernor or Commander-in-chief of our colony, respectively, within which 
they shall lie : and in case they shall lie within the limits of any pro- 
prietaries, conformable to such directions and instructions as we or they 
shall think proper to give for that purpose : and we do, by the advice 
of our privy council, declare and enjoin, that the trade with the said 
Indians shall be free and open to all our subjects whatever: Provided, 
That every person who may incline to trade with the said Indians, do 

1764. Treaty with the Indians at Detroit. 99 

take out a a license, for carrying on such trade, from the Governor or 
Commander-in-chief of any of our colonies, respectively, where such 
person shall reside ; and also give security to observe such regulations 
as we shall, at any time, think fit, by ourselves or commissaries, to be 
appointed for this purpose, to direct and appoint, for the benefit of the 
said trade ; and we do hereby authorize, enjoin, and require the Gov- 
■ernors and Commanders-in-chief of all our colonies, respectively, as 
well those under our immediate government as those under the gov- 
■ernment and direction of proprietaries, to grant such licenses without 
fee or reward, taking especial care to insert therein a condition that such 
license shall be void, and the security forfeited, in case the person to 
whom the same is granted shall refuse or neglect to observe such regu- 
lations as we shall think proper to prescribe as aforesaid.* 

To assist the effect of this proclamation, it was determined to 
make two movements in the spring and summer of 1764 ; General 
Bradstreet being ordered into the country upon Lake Erie, and 
Bouquet into that upon the Ohio. The former moved to Niagara 
early in tlie summer, and there in June, accompanied by Sir 
William Johnson, held a grand council with twenty or more tribes, 
all of whom sued for peace; and, upon the 8th of August, reached 
Detroit, where, about the 21st of that month, a definite treaty was 
made with the Indians. Among the provisions of this treaty were 
the following : f 

1. All prisoners in the hands of the Indians were to be 
given up. 

2. All claims to the Posts and Forts of the English in the 
West were to be abandoned ; and leave given to erect such other 
forts as might be needed to protect the traders, &c. Around each 
fort as much land was ceded as a " Cannon-shot" would fly 

3. K any Indian killed an Englishman he was to be tried by 
English law, the Jury one-half Indians. 

4. Six hostages were given by the Indians for the true fulfil- 
ment of the conditions of the treaty. | 

* See Land Laws, p. 86. 

t Annual Register, 1764. — (State Papers, 181.) 

:j; Henry's Narrative (New York edition, 1809,) pp. 185, 186.— Henry was with Brad- 
street. — The Annual Register of 1764, (State Papers, p. 181,) says the treaty was made 
at Presqu'ile, (Erie.) Mr. Harvey, of Erie, (quoted by Day in Historical Collections of 
Pennsylvania, 314, says the same. Others have named the Maumee, where a truce was 
agreed to, August 6th. (See Henry.) There may have been two treaties, one at Detroit 
with the Ottawas, &c., and one at Erie with the Ohio Indians. 

100 Pontiac killed hy a Kaskaskia Indian. 1765. 

Bouquet, meanwhile, collected troops at Fort Pitt, and in the 
autumn marched across from Big Beaver to the upper Muskingum, 
and thence to the point where the White Woman's river comes 
into the main stream. There, upon the 9th of November, he 
concluded a peace with the Delawares and Shawanese, and 
received from them two hundred and six prisoners, eighty-one 
men and one hundred and twenty-five women and children. He 
also received, from the Shawanese, hostages for the delivery of 
some captives, who could not be brought to the Muskingum at 
that time. These hostages escaped, but the savages were of good 
&ith, and upon the 9th of May, 1765, the remaining whites were 
given up to George Croghan, the deputy of Sir W^illiam Johnson, 
at Fort Pitt.* Many anecdotes are related in the account of the 
delivery of the captives to Bouquet, going to show that strong 
attachments had been formed between them and their captors ; and 
West's pencil has illustrated the scene of their delivery. But we 
have little faith in the representations of either writer or painter, f 

Pontiac, the leading spirit in the past struggle, finding his 
attempts to save his country and his race at that time hopeless, 
left his tribe and went into the West, and for some years after was 
living among the Illinois, and in St. Louis, attempting, but in 
vain, to bring about a new union and new war. He was in the 
end killed by a Kaskaskia Indian. So far as we can form a judg- 
ment of this chieftain, he was, in point of talent, nobleness of 
spirit, honor, and devotion, the superior of any red man of whom 
we have an account. His plan of extennination.was most mas- 
terly; his execution of it equal to its conception. But for tjie 
treachery of one of his followers, he would have taken Detroit 
early in May. His whole force might then have been directed in 
one mass, first upon Niagara, and then upon Pitt, and in all proba- 
bility both posts would have fallen. | Even disappointed as he 
was at Detroit, had the Six Nations, with their dependent allies, 

* Sec however, American Archives, fourth series, i. 1015, where the good faith of the 
Shawanese is disputed. 

t " An Historical Account of the Expedition against the Ohio Indians in the year 17t)4, 
under the command of Henry Bouquet, Esquire, &c. Published from Authentic Docu- 
ments, by a Lover of his Country. London, 1766. Tliis volume was first printed in 

I Tliatcher's Indian Biography, \o\. ii. Our knowledge of Pontiac and his war is 
very limited. 'We hope somctliihg more may come to liglit yet. Nicollet in liis Report, 
(p. 81,) gives some particulars from one who knew Pontiac. His death \\as revenged by 
the Nortliern nations, who nearly exterminated the Illinois. 

1765. Sir William Johnson succeeds in a Treaty of Peace. 101 

the Delawares and Shawanese, been true to him, the British might 
have been long kept beyond the mountains; but the Iroquois, — 
close upon the colonies, old allies of England, very greatly under 
the influence of Sir William Johnson and disposed, as they 
ever proved themselves, to claim and sell, but not to defend 
the West, — were for peace after the King's proclamation. In- 
deed, the Mohawks and leading tribes were from the first with the 
British ; so that, after the success of Bradstreet and Bouquet, there 
was no diflficulty in concluding a treaty with all the Western 
Indians ; and late in April, 1765, Sir William Johnson, at the 
German Flats, held a conference with the various nations, and 
settled a definite peace.* At this meeting two propositions were 
made ; the one to fix some boundary line, west of which the Euro- 
peans should not go ; and the savages named, as this line, the 
Ohio or Alleghany and Susquehannah ; but no definite agreement 
was made, Johnson not being empowered to act. The other pro- 
posal was, that the Indians should grant to the traders, who had 
suffered in 1763, a tract of land in compensation for the injuries 
then done them, and to this the red men agreed. f 

With the returning deputies of the Shawanese and Delawares, 
George Croghan, Sir William Johnson's sub-commissioner, went 
to the west for the purpose of visiting the more distant tribes, and 
securing, so far as it could be done, the alliance of the French 
who were scattered through the western valleys, and who were 
stirring up the savages to warfare, as it was believed. The Jour- 
nal of his voyage may be found in the Appendix to Butler's 
"History of Kentucky" (second edition,) together with the esti- 
mate of the number of Indians in the west ; a very curious table, 
though, of course vague and inaccurate. From his Journal we 
present some passages illustrative of the state of the western 
French settlements, and the feelings of the western Indians at that 
time. On the 15th of May, Croghan left Pittsburgh: on the 6th 
of June reached the mouth of the Wabash, and on the 8th was 
taken prisoner by a party of Indians from the upper Wabash. 
Upon the 15th he reached Vincennes, or St, Vincent, or Post 

On ray arrival there, I foimd a village of about eighty or ninety 
French families settled on the east side of this river, being one of the 

» Plain Facts, p. 60, 

^ 76i<?.-^Butler's Histonj of Kentucky, second edition, p. 479, et seq. 

102 St. Vincent in 1765. 1765. 

finest situations that can be found. The country is level and clear, and 
the soil very rich, producing wheat and tobacco. I think the latter 
preferable to that of Maryland or Virginia. The French inhabitants 
hereabouts, are an idle, lazy people, a parcel of renegadoes from 
Canada, and are much worse than the Indians. They took a secret 
pleasure at our misfortunes, and the moment we arrived, they came to 
the Indians, exchanging trifles for their valuable plunder. As the sava- 
ges took from me a considerable quantity of gold and silver in specie, 
the French traders extorted ten half Johannes from them for one pound 
of vermilion. Here is likewise an Indian village of the Pyankeshaws, 
who were much displeased with the party that took me, telling thero 
that " our and your chiefs are gone to make peace, ami you have begun 
a war, for which our women and children will have reason to cry.'* 
From this post the Indians permitted me to write to the commander, at 
Fort Chartres,* but would not suffer me to write to any body else, (this 
I apprehend was a precaution of the French, lest their villany should 
be perceived too soon,) although the Indians had given me permission 
to write to Sir William Johnson and Fort Pitt on our march, before we 
arrived at this place. But immediately after our arrival they had a 
private council with the French, in which the Indians urged, (as they 
afterwards informed me,) that as the French had engaged them in so 
bad an affair, which was likely to bring a war on their nation, they now 
Nexpected a proof of their promise and assistance. They delivered the 
French a scalp and part of the plunder, and wanted to deliver some- 
presents to the Pyankeshaws, but they refused to accept of any, and 
declared they would noi be concerned in the affair. This last informa- 
tion I got from the Pyankeshaws, as I had been well' acquainted with 
them several years before this time. 

Post Vincent is a place of great consequence for trade, being a fine 
hunting country all along the Ouabache, and too far for the Indians, 
which reside hereabouts, to go either lo the Illinois, or elsewhere, to 
fetch their necessaries. * * * * 

June 23d. Early in the morning we set out through a fine meadow, 
then some clear woods ; in the afternoon came' into a very large bottom 
on the Ouabache, within six miles of Ouicatanon; here I met several 
chiefs of the Kicapoos and Musquattimes, who spoke to their young 
men who had taken us, and reprimanded them severely for what they 
had done to me, after which they returned with us to their village, and 
delivered us all to their chiefs. 

The distance from Post Vincent to Ouicatanon is two hundred and 
ten miles. This place is situated on the Ouabache. About fourteen 
French families are living in the ton, wKLoh stands on the north side oi 

* Illinois, near Kaskaskia. 

1765. The French exciting the Indians against the English. 103 

the river. The Kicapoos and Miisquattimes whose warriors had taken 
us, live nigh the fort, on the same side of the river, where they have 
two villages ; and the Ouicatanons have a village on the south side of 
the river. At our arrival at this post, several of the Wawcottonans, 
(or Ouicalonans) with whom I had been formerly acquainted, came to 
visit me, and seemed greatly concerned at what had happened. They 
went immediately to the Kicapoos and Musquattimes, and charged them 
to take the greatest care of us, till their chiefs should arrive from the 
Illinois, where they were gone to meet me some time ago, and who 
were entirely ignorant of this affair, and said the French had spirited 
up this party to go and strike us. 

The French have a great influence over these Indians, and never fail 
in telling them many lies to the prejudice of his majesty's interest, by 
making the English nation odious and hateful to them. I had the 
greatest difficullies in removing these prejudices. As these Indians are 
a weak, foolish, and credulous people, they are easily imposed on by a 
designing people, who have led them hitherto as they pleased. The 
French told them that as the southern Indians had for two years past 
made war on them, it must have been at the instigation of the English, 
who are a bad people. However I have been fortunate enough to 
remove their prejudice, and in a great measure, their suspicions against 
the English. The country hereabouts is exceedingly pleasant, being' 
open and clear for many miles; the soil very rich and well watered ;n 
all plants have a quick^ vegetation, and the climate very temperate 
through the winter. This post has always b^en a very considerable 
trading place. The great plenty of furs taken in this country, induced 
the French to establish this post, which was the first on the Ouabache, 
and by a very advantageous trade they have been richly recompensed 
for their labor, * * » * 

August 1st. The Twightwee village is situated on both sides of a 
river, called St. Joseph. This river, where it falls into the Miame* 
river, about a quarter of a mile from this place, is one hundred yards 
wide, on the east side of which stands a stockade fort, somewhat 

The Indian village consists of about forty or fifty cabins, besides nine 
or ten French houses, a runaway colony from Detroit, during the late 
Indian war; they were concerned in it, and being afraid of punishment, 
came to this post, where ever since they have spirited up the Indians 
against the English. All the French residing here are a lazy, indolent 
people, fond of breeding mischief, and spiriting up the Indians against 
the English, and should by no means be suffered to remain here. The 
country is pleasant, the soil rich and well watered. After several con- 

* Miami of the Lake, or Maumee. 

104 French and Indian Settlements. 1765. 

conferences with these Indians, and their delivering me up all the 
English prisoners they had, 

On the 6th of August we set out for Detroit, down the Miames river 
in a canoe. 

August 17th. In the morning we arrived at the fort,* which is a 
large stockade, inclosing about eighty houses, it stands close on the 
north side of the river, on a high bank, commands a very pleasant pros- 
pect for nine miles above, and nine miles below the fort; the country 
is thick settled with French, their plantations are generally laid out 
about three or four acres in breadth on the river, and eighty acres in 
depth ; the soil is good, producing plenty of grain. All the people 
here are generally poor wretches, and consist of three or four hundred 

rench families, a lazy, idle people, depending chiefly on the savages 
for their subsistence ; though the land, with little labor, produces plenty 
of grain, they scarcely raise as much as will supply their wants, in 
imitation of the Indians, whose manners and customs they have entirely 
adopted, and cannot subsist without them. The men, women, and 
children speak the Indian tongue perfectly well. In the last Indian war 
the most part of the French were concerned in it, (although the whole 
settlement had taken the oath of allegiance to his Britanic Majesty) they 
have, therefore, great reason to be thankful to the English clemency in 
not bringing them to deserved punishment. Before the late Indian war 
there resided three nations of Indians at this place : the Putawatimes, 
whose village was on the west side of the river, about one mile below 
the fort; the Ottawas, on the east side, about three miles above the fort ; 
and the Wyandotts, whose village lies on the east side, about two miles 
below the fort. The former two nations have removed to a considerable 
distance, and the latter still remain where they were, and are remarkable 
for their good sense and hospitality. They have a particular attach- 
ment to the Roman Catholic religion, the French, by their priests, hav- 
ing taken uncommon pains to instruct them.t 

So stood matters in the West during this year, 1765. All 
beyond the Alleghanies, with the exception of a few forts, was a 
wilderness until the Wabash was reached, where dwelt a few 
French, with some fellow countrymen, not far from them upon the 
Illinois and Kaskaskia. The Indians, a few years since undis- 
puted owners of the prairies and broad vales, now held them by 
sufferance, having been twice conquered by the arms of England. 
They, of course, felt both hatred and fear; and, while they 
despaired of holding their lands, and looked forward to unknown 

* Pptroit. 

t Butler's History of KcntucUvj from p. 465, to 470. 

1766. The Indian tribes not paid for their Lands 105 

evils, the deepest and most abiding spirit of revenge was roused 
within them. They had seen the British coming to take their 
hunting-gi'ounds upon the strength of a treaty they knew not of. 
They had been forced to admit British troops into their country ; 
and, though now nominally protected from s ':tlers, that promised 
protection would be but an incentive to passion, in case it was not 
in good faith extended to them. «k 

And it was not in good faith extended to them by either indi- 
viduals or governments. During the year that succeeded the 
treaty of German Flats, settlers crossed the mountains and took 
possession of lands in western Virginia, and along the Mononga- 
hela. The Indians, having received no pay for these lands, mur- 
mured, and once more a border war was feared. General Gage, 
commander of the King's forces, was applied to, probably through 
Sir William Johnson, and issued his orders for the removal of the 
settlers; but they defied his commands and his power, and re- 
mained where they were.* And not only were frontier men thus 
passing the line tacitly agreed on, but Sir William himself was 
even then meditating a step which would have produced, had it 
been taken, a general Indian war again. This was the purchase 
and settlement of an immense tract south of the Ohio river, where 
an independent colony was to be formed. How early this plan 
was conceived we do not learn, but, from Franklin's letters, we 
find that it was in contemplation in the spring of 1766. f At this 
time Franklin was in London, and was written to by his son, 
Governor Franklin, of New Jersey, with regard to the proposed 
colony. The plan seems to have been, to buy of the Six Nations 
the lands south of the Ohio, a purchase which it was not doubted 
Sir William might make, and then to procure from the King a 
grant of as much territory as the Company, which it was intended 
to form, would require. Governor Franklin, accordingly, for- 
warded to his father an application for a grant, together with a 
letter from Sir William, recommending the plan to the ministry ; 
all of which was duly communicated to the proper department. 
But at that time there were various interests bearing upon this 
plan of Franklin. The old Ohio Company was still suing, 
through its agent Colonel George Mercer, for a perfection of the 
original grant. The soldiers claiming under Dinwiddle's procla- 
mation had their tale of rights and grievances. Individuals, to 

* Plain Facts, p. 65. 

t Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 233, et seq. 

106 Walpole Company Organized. 1767. 

whom grants had been made by Virginia, wished them completed. 
General Lyman, from Connecticut we believe, was soliciting a 
new grant similar to that now asked by Franklin ; and the minis- 
ters themselves were divided as to the policy and propriety of 
establishing any settlements so far in the interior, — Shelburne 
being in favor of the new colony, — Hillsborough opposed to it. 

The Company was organized, however, and the nominally lead- 
ing man therein being Mr. Thomas Walpole, a London banker of 
eminence, it was known as the Walpole Company. Franklin con- 
tinued privately to make friends among the ministry, and to press 
upon them the policy of making large settlements in the West; 
and, as the old way of managing the Indians by superintendents 
was just then in bad odor in consequence of the expense attend- 
ing it, the cabinet council so far approved the new plan as to pre- 
sent it for examination to the Board of Trade, with members of 
which Franklin had also been privately conversing. 

This was in the autumn of 1767. But, before any conclusion 
was come to, it was necessary to arrange definitely that boundary 
line, which had been vaguely talked of in 1765, and with respect 
to which Sir William Johnson had written to the ministry, who 
had mislaid his letters, and given him no instructions. The 
necessity of arranging this boundary was also kept in mind by the 
continued and growing irritation of the Indians, who found them- 
selves invaded from every side. This irritation became so great 
during the autumn of 1767, that Gage wrote to the Governor of 
Pennsylvania on the subject. The Governor communicated his 
letter to the Assembly on the 5th of January, 1768, and represen- 
tations were at once sent to England, expressing the necessity of 
having the Indian line fixed. Franklin, the father, all this time, 
was urging the same necessity upon the ministers in England ; and 
about Christmas of 1767, Sir William's letters on the subject hav- 
ing been found, orders were sent him to complete the proposed 
purchase from the Six Nations, and settle all differences. But the 
project for a colony was for the time dropped, a new administra- 
tion coming in which was not that way disposed. 

Sir William Johnson having received early in the spring, the 
orders from England relative to a new treaty with the Indians, at 
once took steps to secure a full attendance.* Notice was given 
to the various colonial governments, to the Six Nations, the Dela- 

* For an account of this long-lost treaty see Plain Facts, pp. 65 — 104, or Butler's 
Kentucky, 2nd edition, pp. 412 — 488. 

1768. Treaty at Fort Stanvnx. 107 

wares, and the Shawanese, and a congress was appointed to meet 
at Fort Stanwix during the following October (1768). It met 
upon the 24th of that month, and was attended by representatives 
from New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania ; by Sir William and 
his deputies ; by the agents of those ti'aders who had suffered in 
the war of 1763 ; and by deputies from all the Six Nations, the 
Delawares and the Shawanese. The first point to be settled was 
the boundary line which was to determine the Indian lands of the 
West from that time forward ; and this line the Indians, upon the 
1st of November, stated should begin on the Ohio, at the mouth 
of the Cherokee (or Tennessee) river; thence go up the Ohio and 
Alleghany to Kittaning; thence across to the Susquehannah, &,c.; 
whereby the whole country south of the Ohio and Alleghany, to 
which the Six JYations had any claim, was transferred to the British. 
One deed for a part of this land, was made on the 3d of November 
to William Trent, attorney for twenty-two traders, whose goods 
had been destroyed by the Indians in 1763. The tract conveyed 
by this was between the Kenawha and Monongahela, and was by 
the traders named Indiana. Two days afterwards, a deed for the 
remaining western lands was made to the King, and the price 
agreed on paid down.* These deeds were made upon the express 

* There was also given two deeds of lands in the interior of Pennsylvania, one to 
Croghan, and the other to the proprietaries of that colony. 

Filson (London edition, 1793, p. 10) speaks of two other deeds given by the Iroquois 
at Fort Stanwix, but mentions no year ; one was to Col. Donaldson for the lands from the 
Kentucky to the Great Kenhawa. Col. D. ran the line from six miles above Long Island in 
Holsten to the mouth of the Gt. Kenhawa, in 1770 — 1 ; (see post;) and his deed seems to 
have been after this, from Filson's account. The other deed was to Dr. Walker and Gen . 
Lewis. (Thomas Walker was commissioner for Virginia at the Stanwix treaty of 176S — 
was this Dr. Walker ? His name was Thomas. Holmes's Annals, ii. 304, note.) Dr. 
Walker and Colonel Lewis, in 1769, were employed to convince the superintendent of 
the southern Indians, Mr. Stewart, that the claim of the Iroquois extended to Kentucky. 
(Butler, 2d edition, 14.) Marshal (i. 15) refers to Donaldson's deed, but we find no 
confirmation of Filson's statement that it was given by the Iroquois. (See Butler, 2nd 
edition, 14.) We presume the true explanation of the whole matter is that given by 
Judge Hall, in his Sketches, vol. i. p. 248, which we extract. 

" John Donaldson, the surveyor who traced this line [that from the Holslon from sis 
miles above Big Island to the Kenhawa, under the treaty of Lochaber] by an appoint- 
ment from the president and council of Virginia, states, in a manuscript affidavit which 
we have seen, ' that, in the progress of the work, they came to the head of Louisa, now 
Kentucky river, when the Little Carpenter (a Cherokee Chief) observed that his nation 
delighted in having their lands marked out by natural bounduriesj and proposed that, 
instead of the line agreed upon at Lochaber as aforesaid, it should break off at the head 
of Louisa river, and run thence to the mouth thereof, and thence up the Ohio to the 
mouth of the Great Kenhawa.' This boundary was accordingly agreed to by the sur- 
veyor. It is further stated, by the same authority, ' that leave having been granted, by 
the king of Great Britain, to treat with the Cherokees for a more extensive boundary than 
that which bad been established at the treaty of Hard Labour, provided the Virginians 

108 Treaty of Lochaher. 1769. 

agreement that no claim should ever be based upon previous 
treaties, those of Lancaster, Logstown, &c. ; and they were signed 
by the chiefs of the Six Nations, for themselves, their allies and 
dependents, the Shawanese, Delawares, Mingoes of Ohio, and 
others ; but the Shawanese and Delaware deputies present did not 
sign them. 

Such was the treaty of Stanwix, whereon, in a great measure, 
rests the title by purchase to Kentucky, western Virginia and 
Pennsylvania. It was a better foundation, perhaps, than that 
given by previous treaties, but was essentially worthless ; for the 
lands conveyed were not occupied or hunted on by those convey- 
ing them. In truth, we cannot doubt that this immense grant was 
obtained by the influence of Sir William Johnson, in order that 
the new colony, of which he was to be governor, might be 
founded there. The fact, that such a country was ceded volun- 
tarily, — not after a war, not by hard persuasion, but at once and 
willingly, — satisfies us that the whole affair had been previously 
settled with the New York savages, and that the Ohio Indians had 
no voice in the matter. 

But beside the claim of the Iroquois and the north-west Indians 
to Kentucky, it was also claimed by the Cherokees ; and it is 
worthy of remembrance that the treaty of Lochaber, made in 
October, 1770, two years after the Stanwix treaty, recognized a 
title in the southern Indians to all the country west of a line drawn 
from a pomt six miles east of Big or Long Island in Holston river 
to the mouth of the Great Kenhawa ;* although as we have just 
stated their right to all the lands north and east of the Kentucky 
river was purchased by Col. Donaldson, either for the king, Vir- 
ginia, or himself — it is impossible to say which, f 

But the grant of the great northern confederacy was made. 
The white man could now quiet his conscience when driving the 
native from his forest home, and feel sure that an army would 
back his pretensions. A new company was at once organized in 
Virginia, called the " Mississippi Company," and a petition sent 
to the King for two millions and a half of acres in the West. 
Among the signers of this were Francis Lightfoot Lee, Richard 

would be at tl)e expense of purchasing the same, the general assembly voted the sum o 
JE2500 sterling for that purpose, which sura was accordingly paid to the Cherokees, in 
consideration, as we presume, of the additional lands gained by the alteration of the line 
by the surveyor, and in confirmation of his act." 

* Butler. 2nd edition. Introduction, li. 

t Hall's Sketches, ii. 24S. 

1770. Settlers crowd into the West. 109 

Henry Lee, George Washington and Arthur Lee. The gentle- 
man last named was the agent for the petitioners in England. 
This application was referred to the Board of Trade on the 9th of 
March, 1769, and after that we hear nothing of it. * 

The Board of Trade was, however, again called on to report 
upon the application of the Walpole Company, and Lord Hills- 
borough, the President, reported against it. This called out 
Franklin's celebrated " Ohio Settlement," a paper written with so 
much ability, that the King's Council put by the official report, 
and granted the petition, a step which mortified the noble lord so 
much that he resigned his official station. f The petition now 
needed only the royal sanction, which was not given until August 
14th, 1772; but in 1770, the Ohio Company was merged in 
Walpole's, and, the claims of the soldiers of 1756 being acknow- 
ledged both by the new Company and by government, all claims 
were quieted. Nothing was ever done, however, under the grant 
to Walpole, the Revolution soon coming upon America. | After 
the Revolution, Mr. Walpole and his associates petitioned Con- 
gress respecting their lands, called by them " Vandalia," but 
could get no help from that body. What was finally done by Vir- 
ginia with the claims of this and other companies, we do not find 
written, but presume their lands were all looked on as forfeited. 

During the ten years in which Franklin, Pownall, and their 
friends were trying to get the great western land company into 
operation, actual settlers were crossing the mountains all too 
rapidly ; for the Ohio Indians " viewed the settlements with an 
uneasy and jealous eye," and " did not scruple to say, that they 
must be compensated for their right, if people settled thereon, not- 
withstanding the cession by the Six Nations. "|| It has been said, 
also, that Lord Dunmore, then governor of Virginia, authorized 
surveys and settlements on the western lands, notwithstanding the 
proclamation of 1763; but Mr. Sparks gives us a letter from him, 
in which this is expressly denied. § However, surveyors did go 
down even to the Falls of the Ohio, and the whole region south 
of the Ohio was fiUing with white men. The futility of the Fort 
Stanwix treaty, and the ignorance or contempt of it by the fierce 

* Plain Facts, p. 69 — Butler's KentucTitj, p. 475. 

t Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 302. 

% Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 483, et seq — Plain Facts, p. 149. 

[1 Washington's " Journal to the West, in 1770." Sparks' Washington, vol, ii. p. 531 . 

§ Ibid, p. 378. 

110 Washington buys western lands. 1773. 

Shawanesc are well seen in the meeting between them and Bullitt, 
one of the early emigrants, in 1773.* Bullitt, on his way down 
the Ohio, stopped, and singly sought the savages at one of their 
towns. He then told them of his proposed settlement, and his 
wish to live at peace with them ; and said, that, as they had 
received nothing under the treaty of 1768, it was intended to 
make 'them presents the next year. The Indians considered the 
talk of the Long Knife, and the next day agreed to his proposed 
settlement, provided he did not disturb them in their hunting south 
of the Ohio ; a provision wholly inconsistent with the Stanwix 

Among the foremost speculators in western lands at that time 
was George Washington. He had always regarded the proclama- 
tion of 1763 as a mere temporary expedient to quiet the savages, 
and, being better acquainted with the value of western lands than 
most of those who could command means, he early began to buy 
beyond the mountains. His agent in selecting lands was Craw- 
ford, afterwards burnt by the Ohio Indians. In September, 1767, 
we find Washington writing to Crawford on this subject, and 
looking forward to the occupation of the western territory; in 
1770, he crossed the mountains, going down the Ohio to the 
mouth of the great Kenhawa; and in 1773, being entitled, under 
the King's proclamation of 1763, (which gave a bounty to officers 
and soldiers who had served in the French war,) to ten thou- 
sand acres of land, he became deeply interested in the country 
beyond the mountains, and had some correspondence respecting 
the importation of settlers from Europe. Indeed, had not the 
Revolutionary war been just then on the eve of breaking out, 
Washington would in all probability have become the leading set- 
tler of the West, and all our history, perhaps, have been changed.f 

But while in England and along the Atlantic, men were talking 
of peopling the West south of the river Ohio, a few obscure indi- 
viduals, unknown to Walpole, to Franklin, and to Washington, 
were taking those steps which actually resulted in its settlement ; 
and to these we next turn. 

Notwithstanding the fact that so much attention had been given 

* Butler's Kenlucky-, p- 20. 

% Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. pp. 34C — 7. lie had patents for 32,373 acres ; 9157 on 
the Ohio, between the Kenhawas with a river front of 13 1-2 miles; 23,216 acres on the 
Great Kenhawa, with a river front of forty miles. Besides these lauds, he owned fifteen 
miles below Wheeling, 5S7 acres, with a front of two and a half miles. He considered 
the land worth $3-33 per acre. — Sparks' Wasliington, xii, 261, 317. 

1750-73. Kentucky Explored. Ill 

to the settlement of the West, even before the French war, it 
does not appear that any Europeans, either French or English, 
had, at the time the treaty of Fort Stanwix was made, thoroughly 
examined that most lovely region near the Kentucky river, which 
is the finest portion, perhaps, of the whole Ohio valley. This may 
be accounted for by the non-residence of the Indians in that dis- 
trict; a district which they retained as a hunting ground. Owing 
to this, the traders who were the first explorers, were led to direct 
their steps northward, up the Miami and Scioto vallies, and were 
quite familiar with the country between the Ohio and the Lakes, 
at a period when the interior of the territory south of the river was 
wholly unknown to them. While, therefore, the impression which 
many have had, that the entire valley was unknown to the Eng- 
lish colonists before Boone's time, is clearly erroneous; it is 
equally clear that the centre of Kentucky, which he and his com- 
rades explored during their first visit, had not before that time, 
been examined by the whites to any considerable extent. 

Dr. Walker, in 1747 or 1750,* had been among the mountains 
in the eastern part of what is now Kentucky ; there is also rea- 
son to think that Christopher Gist may have been through the 
centre of Kentucky, along the river of that name, and across to 
the Scioto, before 1755 ;f and Washington's journal of 1770 
shows that Dr. Connoly, Colonel Croghan's nephew, was well 
acquainted with the lands south of the Ohio; but the first actual 
explorer, of whom we have any definite knowledge, was Colonel 
James Smith, from whose narrative we take the following 
statement : 

In the year 1766, I heard that Sir William Johnson, the king's agent 
for settling affairs with the Indians, had purchased from them all the 
land west of the Appalachian Mountains that lay hetween the Ohio and 

* Butler (p. IS) says 1747; Stipp's Miscellany, (p. 9.) says 1750; which date is con- 
firmed by facts in Holmes' Annals (ii. 304, note) : Marshall, i. 7) says 1758. See note (f). 

t Evans's map, published in 1755 and republished 1776, gives Gist's route from the 
Alleghanies, through Kentucky and Ohio ; this expedition may have been after the first 
edition was published, but was probably in 1750 or 1751. Governor Povvnal, in liis 
Topography (Imlay, 99) speaks of Gist's second journey as in 1761, but this we take to 
be a misprint for 1751. Evans published a map of the West in 1752 (Pownall in Imlay, 
89.) Captain Gordon, whose journal is much referred to by Evans and others, went 
dowTi the Ohio in 1766. (Pownall in Imlay, 115.) 

In the London edition of Washington's Journal, printed in 1754, there is a map on 
which is marked "Walker's Settlement, 1750", upon the Cumberland. On that map 
nothing is said of Gist's journey, and it is too imperfect to allow us to think it based on 
actual travels 

112 Colonel Smith in Kentucky. 1767. 

Cherokee River; and as I knew by conversing with the Indians in 
their own tongue that there was a large body of rich land there, I con- 
cluded I would take a tour westward and explore that country. 

I set out about the last of June, 1766, and went in the first place to 
Holstein River, and from thence I travelled westward in company with 
Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone, William Baker and James Smith, who 
came from near Carlisle. There were only four white men of us, and 
a mulatto slave about eighteen years of age, that Mr. Horlon had with 
him. We explored the country south of Kentucky, and there was no 
more sign of white men there then than there is now west of the head 
waters of the jMissouri. We also explored Cumberland and Tennessee 
Rivers, from Stone's* River down to the Ohio. 

When we came to the mouth of Tennessee, my fellow-travellers con- 
cluded that they would proceed on to the Illinois, and see some more of 
the land to the west , this I would not agree to. As I had already 
been longer from home than what I expected, I thought my wife would 
be distressed, and think I was killed by the Indians ; therefore I con- 
cluded that I would return home. I sent my horse with my fellow- 
travellers to the Illinois, as it was difficult to take a horse through the 
mountains. My comrades gave me the greatest part of the ammunition 
they then had, which amounted only to half a pound of powder, and 
lead equivalent. Mr. Horton also lent me his mulatto boy, and I then 
set ofi' through the wilderness for Carolina. 

About eight days after I left my company at the mouth of the Ten- 
nessee, on my journey eastward, I got a cane stab in my foot, which 
occasioned my leg to swell, and I suffered much pain. I was now in a 
doleful situation ; far from any of the human species, excepting black 
Jamie, or the savages, and I knew not when I might meet with them. 
My case appeared desperate, and I thought something must be done. 
All the surgical instruments I had was a knife, a moccasin awl, and a 
pair of bullet-moulds ; with these I determined to draw the snag from 
my foot, if possible. I stuck the awl in the skin, and with the knife I 
cut the flesh away from around the cane, and then I commanded the 
mulatto fellow to catch it with the bullet-moulds, and pull it out, which 
he did. When I saw it, it seemed a shocking thing to be in any person's 
foot; it will therefore be supposed that I was very glad to have it out. 
The black fellow attended upon me, and obeyed my directions faithfully. 
I ordered him to search for Indian medicine, and told him to get me a 
quantity of bark from the root of a lynn tree, which I made him beat 
on a stone, with a tommahawk, and boil it in a kettle, and with the ooze 
I bathed my foot and leg; what remained when I had finished bathing 

* Stone's river is a south branch of Cumberland, and empties into it above Nasliville. 
We first gave it this name in our journal, in May, 1767, after one of my fellow-travellers, 
Mr. Uriah StonCj and I am told that it retains the same name unto this day. 

1767. Smith in Kentucky. 113 

I boiled to a jelly and made poultices thereof. As I had no ^ag^5, I 
made use of the green moss that grows upon logs, and wrapped it round 
with elm bark ; by this means, (simple as it may seem) the swelling 
and inflammation in a great measure abated. As stormy weather ap- 
peared, I ordered Jamie to make us a shelter, which he did by erecting 
forks and poles, and covering them over with cane tops, like a fodder 
house. It was about one hundred yards from a large buffalo road. As 
we were almost out of provision, I commanded Jamie to take my gun, 
and I went along as well as I could, concealed myself near the road, 
and killed a buffalo. When this was done, we jerked* the lean, and 
fried the tallow out of the fat meat, which we kept to stew with our 
jerk as we needed it. 

While I lay at this place, all the books I had to read was a psalm- 
book, and Watts upon Prayer. Whilst in this situation, I composed 
the following verses, which I then frequently sung. 

Six weeks I've in this desert been. 

With one mulatto lad : 
Excepting this poor stupid slave, 

No company I had. 

In solitude I here remain, 

A cripple very sore, 
No friend or neighbor to be found. 

My case for to deplore. 

I'm far from home, far from the wife 

Which in my bosom lay, 
Far from the children dear, which used 

Around me for to play. 

This doleful circumstance cannot 

My happiness prevent. 
While peace of conscience I enjoy, 

Great comfort and content. 

I continued in this place until I could walk slowly, without crutches. 
As I now lay near a great buffalo road, I was afraid that the Indians 
might be passing that way, and discover my fire-place, therefore I moved 
off some distance, where I remained till I killed an elk. As my foot 
was yet sore, I concluded that I would stay here until it was healed, 
lest by travelling too soon it might again be inflamed. 

* Jerk is a name well known by the hunters and frontier inabitants for meat cut in small 
pieces and laid on a scaffold, over a slow fire, whereby it is roasted until it is thoroughly 


114 Finley in Kentucky. 1767. 

In a few weeks after I proceeded on, and in October, 1767, I arrived 
in Carolina. I had now been eleven montlis in the wilderness, and 
during this time 1 had neither saw bread, money, women, nor spirituous 
liquors ; and three months of which I saw none of the human species, 
except Jamie. 

When I came into the settlement, ray clothes were almost worn out, 
and the boy had nothing on him that ever was spun. He had buckskin 
leggins, moccasins, and breech-clout, a bear-skin dressed with the hair 
on, which he belted about him, and a raccoon-skin cap. I had not 
travelled far after I came in before I was strictly examined by the in- 
habitants. I told them the truth, and where I came fr'om, &;c.; but my 
story appeared so strange to them that they did not believe me. They 
said that they had never hear of any one coming through the mountains 
from the mouth of Tennessee, and if any one would undertake such a 
journey, surely no man would lend him his slave. They said that they 
thought that all I had told them were lies, and on suspicion they took 
me into custody, and set a guard over me.* 

The next persons who entered this region were traders ; coming, 
not from Virginia and Pennsylvania by the river, but from North 
Carolina by the Cumberland Gap. These traders probably 
sought, in the first instance, the Cherokees and other southern 
Indians, with whom they had dealings from a very early period ; 
but appear afterward to have journeyed northward upon what was 
called the warrior's road, an Indian path leading from the Cum- 
berland ford along the broken country, lying upon the eastern 
branch of the Kentucky river and so across the Licking toward 
the mouth of the Scioto, f This path formed the line of communi- 
cation between the northern and southern Indians ; and somewhere 
along its course, John Finley, doubtless in company with others, 
was engaged, in 1767, in trading with the red men; we presume, 
with those from north of the Ohio, who met him there with the 
skins procured during their hunting expedition in that central and 
choice region. Upon Finley's return to North Carolina, he met 
with Daniel Boone, to whom he described the country he had 
visited. Of Boone's previous life we know but little. He was 
born in Pennsylvania, July 14th, 1732, | the same year in which 
Washington was born. His early literary education was but 
slight ; at some period of his life he learned to write, but never 

* All this portion of Smith's Narrative is omitted by Metcalf and McClung. It may be 
found as above in Drake's Captivities, p. 239. 
t See map in Filson's Kentucky. 
\ Cist's Cincinnali Miscellany, ii. 141, taken from tlie family Record. 

1769. Boone goes to Kentucky. 115 

used the pen much or well ; Humphrey Marshall states that when 
Boone was, in 17S3, deputy surveyor of Fayette county, his writ- 
ing and spelling were so bad as to be objectionable, and that he 
was forced to employ a penman to make his returns.* His edu- 
cation in woodcraft, however, was complete, and few men ever 
have possessed his peculiar combination of boldness, caution, 
hardihood, strength, activity, patience, and love of solitude. 
With his nature and habits, Finley's description of the West must 
have seemed the account of an Eden, and no wonder that when 
his predecessor proposed to return, Daniel made up his mind to 
be of the party. 

It was on the first of May, 1769, that Boone, in company with 
five companions, left his home upon the Yadkin, and began to 
cross that immense mountain barrier which separates the plains of 
the Atlantic coast from those of the great valley of the West. 
Though nowhere of very great heighth, the breadth of the Appa- 
lachian chain makes a journey across it, even with all the aids of 
modern art, tedious and fatiguing, and we may well imagine with 
what joy the adventurous hunters at length looked down from the 
"knobs" of Red River upon the opening glades and levels of 
the region they were in search of. Thirty-eight days had passed 
since they left the Yadkin ; they had toiled through a perfect wil- 
derness, a land of precipices, of rugged hill-sides, of deep narrow 
valleys, of tangled wood, and impenetrable thickets; and before 
them lay a gently rolling country, watered by fine springs, covered 
with the most lovely natural forests in the world, and filled with 
every variety of bird and beast, proper to an Indian's or a hunter's 
Paradise. Their path (that used by the south-western traders) had 
led them under the shadow of the Negro Mountain, across the 
vallies of the Holston and Clinch, to the head waters of the Cum- 
berland River; thence along the Warrior's road, already men- 
tioned, northward, by the Cumberland ford, over the head waters 
of the Kentucky to Red River, a branch of the Kentucky running 
through Morgan and Montgomery counties. On the 7th of June 
they ceased their march at the point where Finley, who acted as 
their guide, had met the Indians two years before. They reached 
this point wholly unharmed, though they had suffered much on 
the road from long-continued rains. They encamped, built such 
a wigwam as served to shelter them from the storms, and began 

* MS. letter, Mr. Marshall was in the Registry Office in Frankfort, where the returns 
were made. 

116 ^ Boone taken pnsoner, 1767. 

an examination of the country. In this examination, and in 
hunting, they passed the time from June 7th to December 22d. 
How far they went, in what directions, and whether with or with- 
out the knowledge of the Indians we have no means of knowing. 
We have, however, but little doubt that some intercourse took 
place during those six months, between themselves and the red 
men ; first, because we cannot think six roaming hunters could so 
long have escaped the lynx-eyed savages ; and next, because, 
after the friendly relations which appear to have existed between 
Finley and the Indians in 1767, we should not expect an unpro- 
voked attack from the latter in 1769 ; — and yet, the first event of 
w^hich we hear in Boone's Narrative, our only authority, is the 
attack upon himself and Stuart, upon the 22d of December. No 
cause is assigned by Boone for this event ; but a very probable 
explanation of it is the following: — The Indians were always 
extremely jealous of any white man that showed the faintest in- 
tention of residence on or near their hunting-grounds ; if, there- 
fore, the observation of several months had satisfied them that the 
new comers meant to lay equal claims with themselves to the 
game of their choicest forests, instead of being mere transient 
traders, we need not be surprised that they seized the first oppor- 
tunity of making any of them prisoners. Such an opportunity oc- 
curred, as we have said, on the 22d of December; when Boone, 
with his companion, Stuart, as they returned from a hunting expe- 
dition, near the Kentucky river, were taken captive by a party of 
the natives, who lay concealed in a thick cane-brake. Their cap- 
tivity lasted a week, during which time they attempted to throw 
their captors off their guard, by affecting to have no thought nor 
hope of escape. In this attempt they succeeded. The Indians 
relaxed their watchfulness. The hunters waited their opportunity, 
and at length one night, as they lay encamped by a large fire, 
Boone discovered that the Indians were all asleep : he awoke his 
companion, and with careful steps they effected their escape. They 
returned to the camp near Red River, but found it deserted ; their 
four companions, alarmed at their fate probably, having gone 
home again. In a little while, however, Boone and Stuart were 
relieved from the solitude caused by their desertion by the arrival 
of two other adventurers; one of them. Squire Boone, the brother 
of Daniel. They had followed the same course from Carolina, 
and chanced upon the spot where those who had gone before them 

1770. Boone alone in Kentucky. 117 

were staying.* But the confidence inspired by increased numbers 
did not continue long ; in a short time Stuart was killed by the 
Indians, and the man who had come out with Squire Boone, re- 
turned home by himself. And now commenced that most extra- 
ordinary life on the part of these two men, which has, in a great 
measure, served to give celebrity to their names ; we refer to their 
residence, entirely alone, for more than a year, in a land filled with 
the most subtle and unsparing enemies, and under the influence 
of no other motive, apparently, than a love of adventure, of na- 
ture, and of solitude. Nor were they, during this time, always 
together ; for three months, Daniel remained amid the forest utterly 
by himself, while his brother, with courage and capacity equal to 
his own, returned to North Carolina for a supply of powder and 
lead ; with which he succeeded in rejoining the roamer of the 
wilderness in safety, in July, 1770. It is almost impossible to 
conceive of the skill, coolness, and sagacity which enabled Daniel 
Boone to spend so many weeks in the midst of the Indians, and 
yet undiscovered by them. He appears to have changed his posi- 
tion continually; to have explored the whole centre of what forms 
now the State of Kentucky, and in so doing must have exposed 
himself to many different parties of the natives. A reader of Mr. 
Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, may comprehend, in some mea- 
sure, the arts by which he was preserved ; but, after all, a natural 
gift seems to lie at the basis of such consummate wood-craft ; an 
instinct, rather than any exercise of intellect appears to have 
guided Boone in such matters, and made him pre-eminent among 
tliose who were most accomplished in the knowledge of forest life. 
Then we are to remember the week's captivity of the previous 
year ; it was the first practical acquaintance that the pioneer had 
with the western Indians, and we may be assured he spent that 
week in noting carefully the whole method of his captors. Indeed, 
we think it probable he remained in captivity so long, that he 
might learn their arts, stratagems, and modes of concealment. We 
are, moreover, to keep in mind this fact, the woods of Kentucky 
were at that period filled with a species of nettle of such a charac- 
ter, that being once bent down it did not recover itself, but re- 
mained prostrate, thus retaining the impression of a foot almost 
like snow, even a turkey might be tracked in it with perfect ease : 
this weed Boone would carefully avoid, but the natives, numerous 

* This spot is said to have been a cave in Mercer County- See Cist's Miscellany, ii. 

118 Boo7i€ returns to JVorth Carolina. 1771. 

and fearless, would commonly pay no regard to it, so that the 
white hunter was sure to have palpable signs of the presence of 
his enemies, and the direction they had taken. Considering these 
circumstances it is even more remarkable that his brother should 
have returned in safety, with his loaded horses, than that he 
alone remained unharmed ; though in the escape of both from 
captiWty or death from January, 1770, until their return to the 
Atlantic rivers in March, 1771, there is something so wonderful, 
that the old pioneer's phrase, that he was "an instrument ordained 
to settle the wilderness," seems entirely proper.* 

When at length the brothers returned from the West, in the 
spring of 1771, it was with the intention, on Daniel's part, of 
bringing his family to reside in the land of his choice, but circum- 
stances, with which we are unacquainted, detained him in North 
Carolina until September, 1773. On the 25th of that month, 
having sold his farm upon the Yadkin, and whatever articles he 
did not propose to take into the wilderness, he and his household 
left his eastern home forever, in company with five other families. 
This little band was farther increased by a part^' of forty men in 
Powell's Valley, which lies upon the eastern side of the Cumber- 
land Mountains. Full of hope and spirit they pressed on toward 
that last great mountain barrier, but just as they approached it, on 
the 10th of October, were attacked in the rear by a party of In- 
dians, who killed six of the emigrants and wounded a seventh. 
Among the dead was Boone's eldest son. The woodsmen, unpre- 
pared for action, and attacked from behind, met the foe as quickly 
as they could, and easily repulsed them. But the fear of the 
women, the loss they had met with, the disorder introduced into 
their ranks and among their cattle, and above all, the evidence 
afforded by the attack of the vigilance, activity, and hostile feelings 
of the Indians, deterred the settlers from going further; and, with 
heavy hearts, they turned upon their trace, recrossed Powell's 
Valley, and stopped not till upon the borders of Clinch River, 
with a double mountain range between them and the western 

Meantime other adventurers were examining the rich lands 
south of the Ohio. Even in 1770, while Boone was wandering 
solitary in those Kentucky forests, a band of forty hunters, led b) 

* Boone's Narrative, as given in Filson's Kentucky. The copy in Cary's Museum is 
not exact. A correct copy is in the life of Boone, published by Messrs. Appleton, New 
York, 1844 : this " Life," however, is of little value, being taken from Flint's. 

1773. Bullitt descends the Ohio. 119 

Colonel James Knox, had gathered from the valleys of New River, 
Clinch, and Holston to chase the buffaloes of the West ; nine of 
the forty had crossed the mountains, penetrated the desert and 
almost impassable country about the heads of the Cumberland, 
and explored the region on the borders of Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee. This hunting party, from the length of time it was absent, 
is known in the traditions of the West, as the party of the Long 
Hunters. While these bold men were penetrating the valley of 
the Ohio, in the region of the Cumberland gap, others came, from 
Virginia and Pennsylvania, by the river ; among them, and in the 
same year, that the Long Hunters were abroad, (1770,) came no 
less noted a person than George W^ashington. His attention, as 
we have before said, had been turned to the lands along the Ohio, 
at a very early period ; he had himself large claims, as well as 
far-reaching plans of settlement, and he wished with his own eyes 
to examine the Western lands, especially those about the mouth 
of the Kenawha. From the journal of his expedition, published 
by Mr. Sparks, in the Appendix to the second volume of his 
Washington papers, we learn some valuable facts in reference to 
the position of affairs in the Ohio valley at that time. We learn, 
for instance, that the Virginians were rapidly surveying and 
settling the lands south of the river as far down as the Kenawhas ; 
and that the Indians, notwithstanding the treaty of Fort Stanwix, 
were jealous and angry at this constant invasion of their hunting- 

This jealousy and anger were not suffered to cool during the 
years next succeeding, and when Thomas Bullitt and his part}- 
descended the Ohio in the summer of 1773, he found as related 
above, that no settlements would be tolerated south of the river, 
unless the Indian hunting grounds were left undisturbed. To leave 
them undisturbed was, however, no part of the plan of these 
white men. This very party, which Bullitt led, and in which 
were the two McAfees, Hancock Taylor, Drennon and others, 
separated, and while part went up the Kentucky River, explored 
the banks, and made important surveys, including the valley in 
which Frankfort stands, the remainder went on to the Falls, and 
laid out, on behalf of John Campbell and John Connolly, the plat 
of Louisville. All this took place in the summer of 1773 ; and in 
the autumn of that year, or early in the next, John Floyd, the deputj- 
of Colonel William Preston, the surveyor of Fincastle county, Vir- 
ginia, in which it was claimed that Kentucky was comprehended, 

120 Lyman goes to JYatchez. 1773. 

also crossed the mountains ; while General Thompson, of Penn- 
sylvania, made surveys upon the north fork of the Licking.* 
When Boone, therefore, in September, commenced his march for 
the West, (that to which we have already referred,) the choice 
regions which he had examined three years before, were known 
to numbers, and settlers were preparing to desecrate the silent and 
beautiful woods. Nor did the projects of the English colonists 
stop with the settlement of Kentucky, In 1773, General Lyman, 
with a number of military adventurers, went to Natchez, and laid 
out several townships in that vicinity ; to which point emigration 
set so strongly, that we are told, four hundred families passed 
down the Ohio, on their way thither, during six weeks of the 
summer of that year.* 

•Marshall, i. 11, — Butler, second edition, 20. American State Papers, xvi. 583, — 
General Thompson was surveying for the Pennsylvania soldiers under the Proclamation 
of 1763, and a permit from the Council of Virginia in 1774, 

* Holmes' Annals, ii. 183; — from Original MSS. For a history of Natchez, see Wes- 
tern Messenger, September and November, 1838 : it is by Mann Butler, See also Elli- 
cott's Journal, (Philadelphia, 1803,) p. 129, &c. 

1774 AND 1775. 

But for a time the settlement of Kentucky and the West was 
delayed;^ for though James Harrod, in the spring or early summer 
of 1774, penetrated the wilderness, and built his cabin, (the first 
log-hut reared in the valley of the Kentucky,) where the town 
which bears his name now stands, he could not long stay there ; 
the sounds of coming war reached even his solitude, and forced 
him to rejoin his companions, and aid in repelling the infuriated 
savages. Notwithstanding the treaty of Fort Stanwix, the western 
Indians, as we have seen, were in no degi-ee disposed to yield 
their lands without a struggle. Wide-spread dissatisfaction pre- 
vailed among the Shawanese and Mingoes, which was fostered 
probably by the French' traders who still visited the tribes of the 
northwest. Evidence of the feeling which prevailed, is given 
by Washington in his Journal of 1770, and has been already 
referred to. And from that time forward almost every event was 
calculated still more to excite and embitter the children of the 
forest. In 1770, Ebenezer, Silas and Jonathan Zane, settled 
at Wheeling ; during that year the Boones, as we have related, 
were exploring the interior of Kentucky ; and after them came the 
McAfees, Bullitt, Floyd, Hancock Taylor, and their companions. 
The savages saw their best grounds gradually occupied or threat- 
ened with occupation ; but still they remembered the war of 1763, 
and the terrible power of Britain, and the oldest and wisest of the 
sufferers were disposed rather to submit to what seemed inevitable 
than to throw themselves away in a vain effort to withstand the 
whites. Hopeless hatred toward the invaders filled the breasts 
of the natives, therefore, at the period immediately preceding the 
war of 1774 ; a hatred needing only a few acts of violence to 
kindle it into rage and thirst for human blood. And such acts 
were not wanting ; in addition to the murder of several single 
Indians by the frontier men, — in 1772, five families of the natives 
on the Little Kenawha, were killed, in revenge for the death of 
a white family on Gauley River, although no evidence existed 

122 Connolly seizes Fort Pitt. 1774. 

to prove who had committed the last-named outrage.* And when 
1774 came, a series of events, of which we can present but a 
faint outline, led to excessive exasperation on both sides. Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia laid equal claim to Pittsburgh and the ad- 
joining country. In the war of 1754, doubt had existed as to 
which colony the fork of the Ohio was situated in, and the Old 
Dominion having: been forward in the defence of the contested 
territory, while her northern neighbor had been very backward 
in doing an^ihing in its favor, the Virginians felt a certain claim 
upon the " Key of the West." This feeling showed itself before 
1763, and by 1773 appears to have attained a very decided cha- 
racter. Early in 1774, Lord Dunmore, prompted very probably 
by Colonel Croghan, and his nephew. Dr. John Connolly, who had 
lived at Fort Pitt, and was an intriguing and ambitious man, de- 
termined, by strong measures, to assert the claims of Virginia 
upon Pittsburgh and its vicinity, and despatched Connolly, with a 
captain's commission, and with power to take possession of the 
country upon the Monongahela, in the name of the king. The 
Dr. issued his proclamation to the people, in the neighborhood of 
Redstone and Pittsburgh, calling on them to meet upon the 24th 
or 25th of January, 1774, in order to be embodied as Virginia 
militia. Arthur St. Clair, who then represented the Proprietors 
of Pennsylvania in the West, was at Pittsburgh at the time, and 
arrested Connolly before the meeting took place. The people who 
had seen the proclamation, however, came together, and though 
they were dispersed without attempting any outbreak in favor of 
the Virginian side of the dispute, which it was very much feared 
they would do, — they did not break up without drunkenness and 
riot, and among other things fired their guns at the town occupied 
by friendly Indians across the river, hurting no one, but exciting 
the fear and suspicion of the red men. 

Connolly, soon after, was for a short time released by the sheriff, 
upon the promise to return to the law's custody, which promise 
he broke however, and having collected a band of followers, on 
the 28th of March, came again to Pittsburgh, still asserting the 
claim of Virginia to the government. Then commenced a series 
of contests, outrages and complaints, which were too extensive 
and complicated to be described within our limited space. The 
upshot of the matter was this, that Connolly, in Lord Dunraore's 
name, and by his authority, took and kept possession of Fort Pitt; 

* Withers' Border Warfare, 106. 

1774. Bunmore's war begins. 123 

and as it had been dismantled and nearly destroyed, by royal or- 
ders, rebuilt it, and named it Fort Dunmore. Meantime, in a 
most unjustifiable and tyrranical manner, he arrested both private 
men and magistrates, and kept some of them in confinement, until 
Lord Dunmore ordered their release. Knowing that these mea- 
sures were calculated to lead to active and violent measures 
against himself by the Pennsylvanians, he took great precautions, 
and went to considerable expense to protect his own party from 
surprise. These expenses, it is not improbable, he feared the 
Virginia General Assembly would object to, although his noble 
patron might allow them ; and it is not impossible that he inten- 
tionally fostered, as St. Clair distinctly intimated in his letters to 
the Pennsylvania authorities, — the growing jealousy between the 
whites and natives, in order to make their quarrels serve as a 
color to his profuse expenditures. At any rate it appears that on the 
21st of April, Connolly wrote to the settlers along the Ohio, that 
the Shawanese were not to be trusted, and that they (the whites) 
ought to be prepared to revenge any wrong done them. This 
letter came into the hands of Captain Michael Cresap, who was 
looking up lands near Wheeling, and who appears to have pos- 
sessed the true frontier Indian-hatred. Five days before its date, 
a canoe, belonging to William Butler, a leading Pittsburgh trader, 
had been attacked by three Cherokees, and one white man had 
been killed. This happened not far from Wheeling, and became 
known there of course ; while about the same time the report was 
general that the Indians were stealing the traders' horses. When, 
therefore, immediately after Connolly's letter had been circulated, 
the news came to that settlement, that some Indians were coming 
down the Ohio in a boat, Cresap, in revenge for the murder by 
the Cherokees, and as he afterwards said, in obedience to the 
direction of the commandant at Pittsburgh, contained in the letter 
referred to, determined to attack them. They were, as it chanced, 
two friendly Indians, who, with two whites, had been despatched 
by William Butler, when he heard that his first messengers were 
stopped, to attend to his peltries down the river, in the Shawanee 
country.* The project of Cresap, (and here we continue in the 
words of Dr. Doddridge) — 

Was vehemently opposed by Colonel Zane, the proprietor of the 

* For the above facts relative to Connolly's conduct, &c. see American Archives, fourth 
series, i. 252 to 288, 435, 774, 459, 467, 470, 484, &c. It was said that Dunmore thanked 
Cresap for what he did;; American Archives, fourth series, i. 606 ; but no proof exists, 
we believe, of his having done so. 

124 Murder of Logan's family. 1774. 

place. He stated to the Captain that the killing of those Indians, would 
inevitably bring on a war, in which much innocent blood would be 
shed, and that the act in itself would be an atrocious murder, and a dis- 
grace to his name forever. His good counsel was lost. The party- 
went up the river. On being asked, at their return, what had become 
of the Indians ? They coolly answered that " They had fallen over- 
board into the river !" Their canoe, on being examined, was found 
bloody, and pierced with bullets. This was the first blood which was 
shed in this war,* and terrible was the vengeance which followed. 

In the evening of the same day, the party hearing that there was an 
encampment of Indians at the mouth of Captina, went down the river 
to the place, attacked the Indians and killed several of them. In this 
affair one of Cresap's party was severely wounded. 

The massacre at Captina and that which took place at Baker's, about 
forty miles above Wheeling, a few days after that at Captina, were un- 
questionably the sole causes of the war, 1774. The last was perpetra- 
ted by thirty-two men, under the command of Daniel Greathouse. The 
whole number killed at this place, and on the river opposite to it was 
twelve, besides several wounded. This horrid massacre was effected 
by an hypocritical stratagem, which reflects the deepest dishonor on 
the memory of those who were agents in it. 

The report of the murders committed on the Indians near Wheeling, 
induced a belief that they would immediately commence hostilities, and 
this apprehension furnished the pretext for the murder above related. 
The ostensible object for raising the party under Greathouse, was that 
of defending the family of Baker, whose house was opposite to a large 
encampment of Indians, at the mouth of Big Yellow Creek. The 
party were concealed in ambuscade, while their commander went over 
the river, under the mask of friendship to the Indian camp, to ascertain 
their number; while there, an Indian woman advised him to return 
home speedily, saying that the Indians were drinking, and angry on 
account of the murder of their people down the river, and might do 
him some mischief. On his return to his party he reported that the 
Indians were too strong for an open attack. He returned to Baker's 
and requested him to give any Indians who might come over, in the 
course of the day, as much rum as they might call for, and get as many 
of them drunk as he possibly could. The plan succeeded. Several 
Indian men with two women, came over the river to Baker's, who had 
previously been in the habit of selling rum to the Indians. The men 
drank freely and became intoxicated. In this state they were all killed 
by Greathouse, and a few of his party. I say a few of his party, for 

* The murder at Balltown took place in 1772. 

1774. Clark^s account of the murder of Logan'' s family. 125 

it is but justice to state, that not more than five or six of the whole 
number had any participation in the slaughter at the house. The rest 
protested against it, as an atrocious murder. From their number, being 
by far the majority, they might have prevented the deed ; but alas ! 
they did not. A little Indian girl alone was saved from the slaughter, 
by the humanity of some one of the party, whose name is not now 

The Indians in the camps, hearing the firing at the house, sent a 
canoe with two men in it to enquire what had happened. These two 
Indians were both shot down, as soon as they landed on the beach. A 
second and larger canoe was then manned with a number of Indians in 
arms ; but in attempting to reach the shore, some distance below the 
house, were received by a well directed fire from the party, which killed 
the greater number of them, and compelled the survivors to return. 
A great number of shots were exchanged across the river, but without 
damage to the while party, not one of whom was even wounded. The 
Indian men who were murdered were all scalped. 

The woman who gave the friendly advice to the commander of the 
party, when in the Indian camp, was amongst the slain at Baker's house. 

The massacres of the Indians at Captina and Yellow Creek, com- 
prehended the whole of the family of the famous, but unfortunate 

This account by Doddridge is conflrnied by the evidence of 
Colonel Zane, whose deposition is given by Jefferson ;t but as it 
differs somewhat from that of George Rogers Clark, who was also 
present, we give part of the letter written by the last named pio- 
neer relative to the matter, dated June 17, 1^98. 

This country was explored in 1773. A resolution was formed to 
make a settlement the spring following, and the mouth of the Little 
Kenaway appointed the place of general rendezvous, in order to 
descend the river from thence in a body. Early in the spring the 
Indians had done some mischief. Reports from their towns were 
alarming, which deterred many, About eighty or ninety men only 
arrived at the appointed rendezvous, where we lay some days. 

A small party of hunters, that lay about ten miles below us, were 
fired upon by the Indians, whom the huuters beat back, and returned to 
camp. This and many other circumstances led us to believe, that the 
Indians were determined on war. The whole party was enrolled and 
determined to execute their project of forming a settlement in Kentucky, 
as we had every necessary store that could be thought of. An Indian 

* Sae Doddridge's Notes, p. 226. 

t See on the whole subject, Appendix to Jefferson's Notes, 

126 Clark's Account. 1774. 

town called the Horsehead Bottom, on the Scioto and near its mouth, 
lay nearly in our way. The determination was to cross the country 
and surprise it. Who was to command ? was the question. There 
were but few among us that had experience in Indian warfare, and they 
were such that we did not choose to be commanded by. We knew of 
Capt. Cresap being on the river about fifteen miles above us, with some 
hands, settling a plantation ; and that he had concluded to follow us to 
Kentucky as soon as he had fixed there his people. We also knew that 
he had been experienced in a former war. He was proposed ; and it 
was unanimously agreed to send for him to command the party. Mes- 
sengers were despatched, and in half an hour returned with Cresap. 
He had heard of our resolution by some of his hunters, that had fallen 
in with ours, and had set out to come to us. 

We now thought our army, as we called it, complete, and the 
destruction of the Indians sure. A council was called, and, to our 
astonishment, our intended Commander-in-chief was the person that 
dissuaded us from the enterprise. He said that appearances were very 
suspicious, but there was no certainty of a war. That if we made the 
attempt proposed, he had no doubt of our success, but a war would, at 
any rate, be the result, and that we should be blamed for it, and perhaps 
justly. But if we were determined to proceed, he would lay aside all 
considerations, send to his camp for his people, and share our fortunes. 

He was then asked what he would advise. His answer was, that 
we should return to Wheeling, as a convenient post, to hear what was 
going forward. That a few weeks would determine. As it was early 
in the spring, if we found the Indians were not disposed for war, we 
should have full titne to return and make our establishment in Ken- 
tucky. This was adopted ; and in two hours the whole were under 
way. As we ascended the river, we met Kill-buck, an Indian chief, 
with a small parly. We had a long conference with him, but received 
little satisfaction as to the disposition of the Indians. It was observed 
that Cresap did not come to this conference, but kept on the opjjosite 
side of the river. He said that he was afraid to trust himself with the 
Indians. That Kill-buck had frequently attempted to waylay his father, 
to kill him. That if he crossed the river, perhaps his fortitude might 
fail him, and that he might put Kill-buck to death. On our arrival at 
AVheeling, (the country being pretty well settled thereabouts,) the 
whole of the inhabitants appeared to be alarmed. They flocked to our 
camp from every direction ; and all that we could say could not keep 
them from under our wings. We offered to cover their neighborhood 
with scouts, until further information, if they would return to their 
plantations ; but nothing would prevail. By this time we had got to 
be a formidable party. All the hunters, men without families, etc., in 
that quarter, had joined our party. 

Our arrival at AVheeling was soon known at Pittsburgh, The whole 

1774. Clark'' s Account. 127 

of that country, at that time, being under the jurisdiction of Virginia, 
Dr. Connolly had been appointed by Dunmore Captain Commandant 
of the District which was called Waugusta. He, learning of us, sent a 
message addressed to the party, letting us know that a war was to be 
apprehended; and requesting that we would keep our position for a few 
days ; as messages had been sent to the Indians, and a few days would 
determine the doubt. The answer he got, was, that we had no incli- 
nation to quit our quarters for some time. That during our stay we 
should be careful that the enemy did not harass the neighborhood that 
we lay in. But before this answer could reach Pittsburgh, he sent a 
second express, addressed to Capt. Cresap, as the most influential man 
amongst us ; informing him that the messages had returned fiom the 
Indians, that war was inevitable, and begging him to use his influence 
with the party, to get them to cover the country by scouts until the 
inhabitants could fortify themselves. The reception of this letter was 
the epoch of open hostilities with the Indians. A new post was 
planted, a council was called, and the letter read by Cresap, all the 
Indian traders being summoned on so important an occasion. Action 
was had, and war declared in tha most solemn manner ; and the same 
evening two scalps were brought into the camp. 

The next day some canoes of Indians were discovered on the river, 
keeping the advantage of an island to cover themselves from our view. 
Tiiey were chased fifteen miles down the river, and driven ashore. A 
battle ensued ; a few were wounded on both sides ; one Indian only 
taken prisoner. On examining their canoes, we found a considerable 
quantity of ammunition and other warlike stores. On our return to 
camp, a resolution was adopted to march the next day, and attack 
Logan's camp on the Ohio about thirty miles above us. We did march 
about five miles, and then halted to take some refreshment. Here the 
impropriety of executing the projected enterprise was argued. The 
conversation was brought forward by Cresap himself. It was generally 
agreed that those Indians had no hostile intentions — as they were hunt- 
ing, and their paity were composed of men, women, and children, with 
all their stuff with them. This we knew ; as I myself and others pre- 
sent had been in their camp about four weeks past, on our descending 
the river from Pittsburgh. In short, every person seemed to detest the 
resolution we had set out with. We returned in the evening, de- 
camped, and took the road to Redstone. 

It was two days after this that Logan's family were killed. And 
from the manner in which it was done, it was viewed as a horrid mur- 
der. From Logan's hearing of Cresap being at the head of this party 
on the river, it is no wonder that he supposed he iiad a hand in the 
destruction of his family.* 

* Louisville Literary News Letter, quoted in Hesperian, February, 1839. p. 309. 

128 Conduct of White-Eyes. 1774. 

In relation to the murders by Greathouse, there is also a vari- 
ance in the testimony. Henry Jolly, who was near by, and whose 
statement is published in an article by Dr. Hildreth, in Silliman's 
Journal for January, 1837, makes no mention of the visit of Great- 
house to the Indian camp, but says that five men and one woman 
with a child came from the camp across to Baker's, that three of 
the five were made drunk, and that the whites finding the other 
two would not drink, persuaded them to fire at a mark, and when 
their gims were empty shot them down ; this done, they next mur- 
dered the woman, and tomahawked the three who were intoxi- 
cated. The Indians who had not crossed the Ohio, ascertaining 
what had taken place, attempted to escape by descending the 
river, and having passed Wheeling unobserved, landed at Pipe 
Creek, and it was then, according to Jolly, that Cresap's attack 
took place ; he killed only one Indian.* But whatever may have 
been the precise facts in relation to the murder of Logan's family, 
they were at any rate of such a nature as to make all concerned 
feel sure of an Indian war; and while those upon the frontier 
gathered hastily into the fortresses,! an express w^as sent to Wil- 
liamsburgh to inform the Governor of the necessity of instant pre- 
paration. The Earl of Dunmore at once took the needful steps to 
organize forces ; and meanwhile in June sent Daniel Boone and 
Michael Stoner to conduct into the settlements the surveyors and 
others who were lingering upon the banks of the Kentucky and 
Elkhorn, a duty which was ably and quickly performed. The 
unfortunate traders among the Indians, however, could not thus 
be rescued from the dangers which beset them. Some of them 
fell the first victims to the vengeance of the natives. One, near 
the town of, White-Eyes, the Peace Chief of the Delawares, was 
murdered, cut to pieces, and the fragments of his body hung upon 
the bushes ; the kindly chief gathered them together and buried 
them ; the hatred of the murderers, however, led them to disin- 
ter and disperse the remains of their victim anew, but the kindness 
of the Delaware w^as as persevering as the hatred of his brethren, 
and again he collected the scattered limbs and in a secret place 
hid them. I 

It being, under the circumstances, deemed advisable, by the 

* Sec Am. Pioneer, i. 12 to 24. Am. Archives, 4th Scries, i. 467. Sec also Border 
Warfare, 112, note, where the discrepancies of evidence are stated , also Jacob's Life of 

t Border Warfare, 114. \ Ileckcwelder's Narrative, 132, 

1774. Connolly attacks friendly Indians. 129 

Virginians to assume the offensive, as soon as it could be done, 
an army was gathered at Wheeling, which some time in July, 
under Colonel McDonald, descended the Ohio to the mouth of 
Captina Creek, or as some say Fish Creek, whence it was proposed 
to march against the Indian town of Wappatomica on the Muskin- 
gum. The march was successfully accomplished, and the Indians 
having been frustrated in an expected surprise of the invaders, 
sued for peace, and gave five of their chiefs as hostages. Two of 
them were set free, however, by Colonel McDonald, for the pro- 
posed purpose of calling the heads of the tribes together to ratify 
the treaty which was to put an end to warfare ; but it being found 
that the natives were merely attempting to gain time and gather 
forces, the Virginians proceeded to destroy their towns and crops, 
and then retreated, carrying three of the chiefs with them as 
prisoners to Williamsburg.* But this invasion did nothing toward 
intimidating the red men. 

The Delawares were anxious for peace ; Sir William Johnson sent 
out to all his copper colored flock orders to keep still :t and even 
the Shawanese were prevailed on by their wise leader, Cornstalk, 
to do all they could to preserve friendly relations 4 indeed they 
went so far as to secure some wandering traders from the ven- 
geance of the Mingoes, whose relatives had been slain at Yellow 
Creek and Captina, and sent them with their property safe to 
Pittsburgh. II But Logan, who had been turned by the murders 
on the Ohio from a friend to a deadly foe of the whites, came 
suddenly upon the Monongahela settlements, and while the other 
Indians were hesitating as to their course, took his thirteen scalps 
in repayment for the heads laid low by Cresap and Greathouse, 
and returning home, expressed himself satisfied, and ready to 
listen to the Long-Knives. § But it was not, apparently, the wish 
of Dunmore or Connolly to meet the friendly spirit of the natives, 
and when, about the 10th of June, three of the Shawanese con- 
ducted the traders who had been among them, safely to Pitts- 
burgh, Connolly had even the meanness to attempt first to seize 
them, and when foiled in this by Colonel Croghan, his uncle, 
who had been alienated by his tyranny, he sent men to watch, 
waylay and kill them ; and one account says that one of the three 
was slain.H Indeed, the character developed by this man, while 

* Border Warfare, 115. Doddridge, 241. Am. Archives, 4th Series, i. 722. 

t Am. Archives, 4th Series, i. 252 to 288. 

I Do. do. 1 Do. do. § Do. 428. 1 Do. 449. 


130 General Lewis marches down Kenhawa. 1774. 

commandant of Fort Dunmore, was such as to excite universal 
detestation, and at last to draw down upon his patron the reproof 
of Lord Dartmouth.* He seized property, and imprisoned white 
men without warrant or propriety ; and we may be assured, in 
many cases beside that just mentioned, treated the natives witli an 
utter disregard of justice. It is not then surprising that Indian 
attacks occurred along the frontiers from June to September; nor, 
on the other hand, need we wonder that the Virginians (against 
whom, in distinction from the people of Pennsylvania, the war 
was carried on,) became more and more excited, and eager to 
repay the injuries received. 

To put a stop to these devastations, two large bodies of troops 
were gathering in Virginia; the one from the southern and western 
part of the State, under General Andrew Lewis, met at Camp 
Union, now Lewisburg, Greenbriar county, near the far-famed 
White Sulphur Springs ; — the other from the northern and eastern 
counties was to be under the command of Dunmore himself, and 
descending the Ohio from Fort Pitt, was to meet Lewis' army at 
the mouth of the Great Kenhawa. The force under Lewis, amount- 
ing to eleven hundred men, commenced its march upon the 6th 
and 12th of September, and upon the 6th of October reached the 
spot agreed upon. As Lord Dunmore was not there, and as other 
troops were to follow down the Kenhawa under Colonel Christian, 
General Lewis despatched runners toward Pittsburgh to inform the 
Commander-in-chief of his arrival, and proceeded to encamp at 
the point where the two rivers meet. Here he remained until the 
9th of October, when despatches from the Governor reached him 
informing him that the plan of the campaign was altered, that he 
(Dunmore) meant to proceed directly against the Shawanese towns 
of the Scioto, and Lewis was ordered at once to cross the Ohio 
and meet the other army before those towns. But on the very 
day wh-m this movement should have been executed, (October 
10th,) the Indians in force, headed by the able and brave Chief 
of the Shawanese, Cornstalk, appeared before the army of Virgin- 
ians, determined then and there to avenge past wrongs and cripple 
vitally the power of the invaders. Delawares, Iroquois, Wyan- 
dots, and Shawanese, under their most noted Chiefs, among 
whom was Logan, formed the army opposed to that of Lewis, and 
with both the struggle of that day was one of life or death. Soon 
after sunrise the presence of the savages was discovered ; General 

• Am. Archives, 4th Series, i. 774. 

1774, Battle of Point Pleasant. 131 

Lewis ordered out his brother Colonel Charles Lewis and Colonel 
Fleming to reconnoitre the ground where they had been seen ; 
this at once brought on the engagement. In a short time Colonel 
Lewis was killed, and Colonel Fleming disabled ; the troops, thus 
left without Commanders, w^avered, but Colonel Field with his 
regiment coming to the rescue, they again stood firm; — about 
noon Colonel Field was killed, and Captain Evan Shelby, (father 
of Isaac Shelby Governor of Kentucky in after time and w^ho was 
then Lieutenant in his father's company,) took the command; — 
and the battle still continued. It was now drawing toward even- 
ing and yet the contest raged without decided success for either 
party, when General Lewis ordered a body of men to gain the 
flank of the enemy by means of Crooked Creek, a small stream 
which runs into the Kenhawa about four hundred yards above its 
mouth. This w^as successfully done, and the result was the retreat 
of the Indians across the Ohio.* Lord Dunmore meanwhile, had 
descended the river from Fort Pitt, and was, at the time he sent 
word to Lewis of his change of plans, at the mouth of the Hock- 
ing, where he built a block-house, called Fort Gower, and re- 
mained until after the battle at the Point. f Thence he marched 
on towards the Scioto, while Lewis and the remains of the army 
under his command strengthened by the troops under Colonel 
Christian, pressed forward in the same direction, elated by the 
hope of annihilating the Indian towns, and punishing the inhabi- 
tants for all they had done. But before reaching the enemy's 
country Dunmore was visited by Chiefs asking for peace ; | he 
listened to their request, and appointing a place where a treaty 
should be held, sent orders to Lewis to stop his march against 
the Shawanese tow'ns; w^hich orders, however, that officer did 
not obey, nor was it till the Governor visited his camp on Congo 
Creek near Westfall, that he would agree to give up an attempt 
upon the village of Old Chillicothe, which stood where Westfall 
now is. II After this visit by Dunmore General Lewis felt himself 
bound, though unwillingly, to prepare for a bloodless retreat. 
The Commander-in-chief, however, remained for a time at Fort 

* Border Warfare, 125. Doddridge, 530. — American Pioneer, i. 381. Letters in 
American Archives, fourth series, i. 808, 18, &c. &c. Thatcher's lives of Indians, ii. 168. 
t Border Warfare, 133. 

\ W'ith them was one Elliott, probably Matthew Elliott, so noted in 1790 to 1795,— 
American Pioneer, i. 18. 

I Whittlesey's Discourse, 1840— p. 24, 

132 Affidavit of John Gibson, Esquire. 1775!. 

Charlotte, upon Sippo Creek, about eight miles from the town of 
Westfall on the Scioto,* There he met Cornstalk who, being 
satisfied of the futility of any further struggle, was determined tc 
make peace, and arranged with the Governor the preliminaries of 
a treaty ; and from this point Crawford was sent against a town of 
the Mingoes, who still continued hostile, and took several prison- 
ers who were carried to Virginia, and were still in confinement in 
^February, 1775. f It was at this time though not at Camp Char- 
lotte, for he would not go there, that Logan delivered his cele- 
brated speech. In relation to this speech or message, the genu- 
ineness of which has been questioned,:}: it may be worth while to 
record here the evidence of John Gibson, || to whom it was given 
by Logan, and whose statement being imdisputed seems to place 
the matter beyond cavil. 

Jllleghany coimly, SS. ? 
State oj Pennsylvania. ^ 

Before me, the subscriber, a justice of the peace in and for said 
county, personally appeared John Gibson, Esquire, an Associate Judge 
of the same county, who being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that in 
the year 1774, he accompanied Lord Dunmore on the expedition 
against the Shawanese and other Indians on the Sciota ; that on their 
arrival within fifteen miles of the towns, they were met by a flag, and 
a white man by the name of Elliott, who informed Lord Dunmore that 
the Chiefs of the Shawanese had sent to request his Lordship to halt 
his army and send in some person, who understood their language ; 
that this deponent, at ihe request of Lord Dunmore and the whole of 
the officers with him, went in ; that on his arrival at the townis, Logan, 
the Indian, came to where this deponent was sitting with the Cornstalk, 
and the other Chiefs of the Shawanese, and asked him to walk out with 
him ; that they went into a copse of wood, where they sat down, when 
Logan, after shedding abundance of tears, delivered to him the speech, 
nearly as related by Mr. Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia;, 
that he the deponent told him then that it was not Colonel Cresap who 
had murdered his relations, and that although his son Captain Michael 
Cresap was with the party who killed a Shawanese Chief and other 

* American Pioneer, i. 331. 

t American Archives, fourth series, i. 1222. Border Warfare, 137. — American Ar- 
chives, fourth series, ii. 11S9. 

% See, very lately, Brown's History of Illinois, p. 25; also, American Pioneer, i. vol. 

II This gentleman was (nominal) Secretary of Indiana Territory under General Ham-- 
son. See account by John Johnson, in Cisfs Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 305. 

1775, Vlose of the war with the Indian tribes. 133 

Indians, yet he was not present when his relations were killed at 
Baker's near tlie mouth of Yellow Creek on the Ohio ; that this depo- 
nent on his return to camp delivered the speech to Lord Dunmore ; and 
that the murders perpetrated as above, were considered as ultimately the 
cause of the war of 1774, commonly called Cresap's war. 

Sworn and subscribed the 4th of April, 1800, at Pittsburgh, 
before me, Jer. Baker.* 

Thus in November was the war of 1774, known as Dunmore's, 
Logan's, or Cresap's war, terminated ; the Shawanese agreeing not 
to hunt south of the Ohio, nor molest travellers.! It was very 
much to the dissatisfaction of the Virginians that it ended as it 
did, as no efficient blow had been struck, and as the conduct of 
the Governor could not well be explained by the frontier men 
except by supposing him to act with reference to the expected 
contest of England and her colonies, a motive which the colonists 
naturally regarded as little less than treasonable. | And here we 
wish to notice a statement given as a curious instance of historical 
puzzles by Mr. Whittlesey, in his address before the Ohio Histori- 
cal Society, delivered in 1841, at page 28. |j 

In 1831, a steam boat was detained a few hours near the house of 
Mr. Curtis, on the Ohio, a short distance above the mouth of the Hock- 
hocking, and General Clark§ came ashore. He inquired respecting the 
remains of a Fort or encampment at the mouth of the Hockhocking 
river, as it is now called. He was told that there was evidence of a 
clearing of several acres in extent, end that pieces of guns and muskets 
had been found on the spot ; and also, that a collection of several hund- 
red bullets had been discovered on the bank of the Hockhocking, about 
twenty-five miles up the river. General Clark then stated, that the 
ground had been occupied as a camp by Lord I)unm ore. who came 

* American Pioneer, p. £8. 

t American Archives, fourth series, i. 1170. 

\ When Lord Dunmore retired he left an hundred men at the mouth of the Great 
Kenhawa, a few at Fort Dunmore (Pittsburgh,) and some at Fort Fincastle (Wheeling.) 
These were dismissed as the prospect of renewed war ceased. Lord Dunmore was to 
have returned to Pittsburgh in the spring, to meet the Indians and form a definite peace, 
but the Revolutionary movements prevented. The Mingoes were not parties to the 
peace of Fort Charlotte. — (American Archives, ii. 1189.) The frontier men, or many of 
them, thought, as we have said, that Dunmore's conduct was outrageous, but that such 
was not the universal feeling in Virginia may be seen by reference to American Archives, 
fourth series, ii. 170, 301. &c. 

II Expedition of Lord Dunmore, from p. 28, to 29. 

§ An eminent citizen of Missouri, a brother of General George Rogers Clark, of Ky. 

134 Battle of Lexington on the \^th of April. 1775^ 

down the Kenhav/a with 300 men in the spring of 1775, with the 
expectation of treating with the Indians here. The Chiefs not making 
their appearance, the march was continued up the river twenty-five or 
thirty miles, where an express from Virginia overtook the party. That 
evening a council was held and lasted very late at night. In the morn- 
ing the troops were disbanded, and immediately requested to enlist in 
the British service for a stated period. The contents of the despatche& 
had not transpired when this proposition was made. A major of militia 
by the name of McCarty, made an harrangue to the men against enlist- 
ing, which seems to have been done in an eloqu^^nt and elTectual man- 
ner. He referred to the condition of the public mind in the colonies^ 
and the probability of a revolution, which must soon arrive. He repre- 
sented the suspicious circumstances of the express, which was still a 
secret to the troops, and that appearances justified the conclusion, that 
they were required to enlist in a service ggainst their own counlrymen,^ 
their own kindred, their own homes. The consequence was, that but 
few of the men re-enlisted, and the majority, choosing the orator as a 
leader, made the best of their way to Wheeling. The news brought 
out by the courier proved to be an account of the opening combat of the 
Revolution at Lexington, Massachusetts, April 20, 1775. General 
Clark stated that himself (or his brother,) was in the expedition. 

Lord Dunmore is said to have returned to Virginia by way of the 
Kenhawa river. 

There are very few historical details sustained by better authority 
than the above relation. Desirous of reconciling this statement with 
history, I addressed a letter to General Clark, requesting an explanation, 
but his death, which happened soon after, prevented a reply.* 

This we know cannot be true in the form in which it is stated. 
The battle of Lexington was on April 19th; on April 21st Lord 
Dunmore removed the powder from the public storehouse at 
Williamsburg on board a King's vessel, and was thenceforward 
at Williamsburg. * June 5th he informs the Assembly that he 
had meant to go West and look after Indian matters, but had been 
too busy.f It is one of many instances showing how sceptical we 
should be where a single person testifies, and especially from 

Among those who had been engaged in Dunmore's war, as 
scouts or soldiers, were Daniel Boone, James Harrod, and others 
of the early explorers of Kentucky ; after the peace these naturally 
turned their attention again to the rich valleys they had visited^ 

* Lord Dunmore's Expedition, pp. 28, 29. 

+ American Archives, fourth series, ii. 1189, &c- 

1775. Transylvania Land Company formed. 135 

Boone appears to have been among the first to re-enter them, 
which he did in the service of a new Land Company formed in 
North Carohna, called the Transylvania Company.* The chief 
person in this association was Colonel Richard Henderson, of 
whom little is known except that he was a man of capacity and 
ambition. Dr. Sm^ih, an Englishman who in 1784 published a 
work of professed travels in the United States, gives the following 
account of him, but as Smyth's work is full of palpable false- 
hoods,! it is not in our power to say how much truth there is in 
his statements respecting the founder of Transylvania. 

" His father still alive, a poor man, whose residence is in the settle- 
ment of Nutbush, where he was at this time on a visit. 

This son was grown up to maturity before he had been taught to 
read or write, and he acquired those rudiments of education, and arith- 
metic also, by his own indefatigable industry. 

He then obtained the inferior office of constable ; from that was pro- 
moted to the office of under-sheriff; after this he procured a license to 
plead as a lawyer, in the inferior or county courts, and soon after in the 
superior, or highest courts of judicature. 

Even there, where oratory and eloquence is as brilliant and powerful 
as in Westminster Hall, he soon became distinguished and eminent, and 
his superior genius shone forth with great splendor, and universal 

He was, at the same time, a man of pleasure, gay, facetious, and 
pliant ; nor did his amazing talents, and general praise, create him a 
single enemy. 

In short, while yet a very young man, he was promoted from the bar 
to the bench, and appointed Associate Chief Judge of the province of 
North Carolina, with a salary adequate to the dignity. 

Even in this elevated station, his reputation and renown continued 
to increase. 

But having made several large purchases, and having fallen into a 
train of expense that his circumstances and finances could not support, 
his extensive genius struck out on a bolder track to fortune and fame 
than any one had ever attempted before him. 

Under pretence of viewing some back lands, he privately went out 
to the Cherokee nation of Indians, and, for an insignificant considera- 
tion,± (only ten wagons loaded with cheap goods, such as coarse 

* This was one of several such companies; see Patrick Henry's deposition in Hall's 
Sketches, i. 249. 

t For an account of Smyth's work see the Preface to this Volume. 

% This seems to be false ; see Butler's Kentucky, 2nd edition ; introduction, Ixvi. note. 

] 36 Land bargain by Colonel JV. Hart, with the Cherokees. 1775. 

woolens, trinkets, fire-arms, and spirituous liquors,) made a purchase 
from llie chiefs of the nation, of a vast tract of territory, equal in extent 
to a kingdom; and in the excellence of climate and soil, extent of its 
rivers, and beautiful elegance of situations, inferior to none in tlie uni- 
verse. A domain of no less than one hundred miles square, situated on 
the back or interior patt of Virginia, and of North and South Carolina; 
comprehending the river Kentucky, Cherokee, and Ohio, besides a 
variety of inferior rivulets, delightful and charming as imagination can 

Tliis transaction he kept a profound secret, until such time as he 
obtained the final ratification of the whole nation in form. Then he 
immediately invited settlers from all the provinces, offering them land 
on the most advantageous terms, and proposing to them likewise, to 
form a legislature and government of their own ; such as might be most 
convenient to their particular circumstances of settlement. And he 
instantly vacated his seat on the bench."* 

Colonel Henderson in company with Colonel Nathaniel Hart, or 
as Morehead says, Colonel Hart alone, f having heard of the valu- 
able lands upon the Kentucky river, (probably from Boone who 
had been acquainted with the Hart family before his visit to the 
West ; I) in the course of 1774 paid a visit to the Cherokees to 
ascertain if they would be walling to sell their title to the region 
which was desired. Finding that a bargain might be made, a 
meeting w^as arranged with the Chiefs of the nation, to be held at 
the Sycamore Shoal on the Wataga branch of the Holston river, 
in March 1775. 

At this meeting Daniel Boone w^as, by the desire of the Tran- 
sylvania proprietors, present, to aid in the negotiation and deter- 

* Morohead's Address, p. 157. 

t Butler, second edition, Introduction, Ixvi. — Morehead, 159. 

:j: Tliis appears in the following extract of a letter from Colonel Thomas Hart, late of 
Lexington, Kentucky, to Captain Nathaniel Hart, dated Grayfields, August 3, 1780. 

" I observe what you say respecting our losses by Daniel Boone. [Boone had been 
robbed of funds in part belonging to T. and N. Hart.] I had heard of the misfortune 
soon after it happened, but not of my being a partaker before now. I feel for the poor 
people who perhaps are to lose even their pre-emptions: but I must say, I feel more for 
Boone, whose character, I am told, suffers by it. Much degenerated must the people 
of this age be, when amongst them are to be found men to censure and blast the reputa- 
tion of a person so just and upright, and in whose breast is a seat of virtue too pure to 
admit of a thought so base and dishonorable. I have known Boone in times of old, when 
poverty and distress had him fast by tlie hand : and in these wretched circumstances, I 
have ever found him of a noble and generous soul, despising everything mean; and 
therefore, I will freely grant him a discharge for whatever sums of mine he might have 
been possessed of at the time." — Morehead, 105 note. 


1775. Grant by Cherokees. 137 

mining the bounds of the proposed purchase. This done, he set 
forth with a party, well armed and equipped, to mark out a road 
from the settlement, through the wilderness, to the lands which 
were about to be colonized. Boone does not say when he started, 
but as he was wathin fifteen miles of Boonesboro' on the 20th of 
March, and the grant from the Cherokees is dated the 17th, he 
must have left the Council before the final action of the Indians 
took place; indeed, Henderson says (April 10th to 20th) that 
Boone did not know of the purchase with certainty. By that 
action the southern savages, in consideration of the sum of ten 
thousand pounds sterling, transferred to the Company two pro- 
vinces defined as follows : 

The first was defined as " Beginning on the Ohio river, at the 
mouth of the Cantuckey Chenoee, or what, by the English, is called 
Louisa river; from thence running up the said river, and the most 
northwardly fork of the same, to the head spring thereof; thence a 
south-east course to the top of the ridge of Powell's mountain ; thence 
westwardly along the ridge of the said mountain, unto a point from 
which a northwest course will hit or strike the head spring of the most 
southwardly branch of Cumberland river, thence down said river, 
including all its waters, to the Ohio river, and up the said river, as it 
meanders, to the beginning." 

The other deed comprised a tract " beginning on the Holston river, 
where the course of Powell's mountain strikes the same ; thence up the 
said river, as it meanders, to where the Virginia line crosses the same; 
thence westwardly along the line run by Donaldson, to a point six Eng- 
lish miles eastward of the long island in said Holston river ; thence a 
direct course towards the mouth of the Great Canaway, until it reaches 
the top ridge of Powell's mountain ; thence westwardly along the said 
ridge to the place of beginning."* 

This transfer, however, was in opposition to the ancient and 
constant policy, both of England and Virginia ; neither of which 
would recognize any private dealings for land with the natives ; 
and, as much of the region to be occupied by the Transylvania 
Company was believed to be within the bounds of the Old 
Dominion, Gover nor D unmore, even before the bargain was com- 
pleted, prepared his proclamation warning the world against " one 
Richard Henderson and other disorderly persons, who, under pre- 
tence of a purchase from the Indians, do set up a claim to the 

* Hal], i. 251. See also Butler, 504. Butler, instead of '< Cantuckey Chenoee," has 
" Kentucky Chenoca." 

138 Boonesboro^ commenced. 1775. 

lands of the crown." This paper is dated but four days later than 
the treaty of Wataga.* When Colonel Henderson and his " dis- 
orderly" associates, therefore, set forth early in April for their new 
colony, granted by the first named deed, clouds beset their path. 
Virginia threatened in their rear, and before them, the blood 
of Boone's pioneers soiled the fresh leaves of the young wood- 
flowers. Upon the 20th or 25th of March, an attack had been 
made upon those first invaders of the forests, in which two of their 
number were killed, and one or two others wounded : repulsed 
but not defeated, the savages watched their opportunity, and 
again attacked the little band ; but being satisfied by these at- 
tempts,! that the leaders of the whites were their equals in forest 
warfare, the natives offered nO further opposition to the march of 
the hunters, who proceeded to the Kentucky, and upon the 1st of 
April, 1775, began the erection of a fort upon the banks of that 
stream, sixty yards south of the river, at a salt-lick. This was 
Boonesboro'. This fort or station was probably, when complete, 
about two hundred and fifty feet long by one hundred and fifty 
broad, and consisted of block-houses and pickets, the cabins of 
the settlers forming part of the defences ;| it was, from neglect, 
not completed until June 14th, and the party, while engaged in its 
erection, appear to have been but little annoyed by the Indians, 
although one man was killed upon the 4th of April. To this 
station, while yet but half complete, Henderson and his compan- 
ions came the 20th of April, || following the road marked out by 
Boone. Of his journey, and the country itself, some parts of a 
letter, published entire by Judge Hall, will give a distinct picture, 
and are better than any abstracts. 

Boonesborough, June 12lh, 1755. 

* * * No doubt but you have felt great anxiety since the receipt 
of my letter from Powell's Valley. At that time things wore a gloomy 
aspect; indeed it was a serious matter, and became a little more so, 
after the date of the letter than before. That afternoon I wrote the 
letter in Powell's Valley, § in our march this way, we met about 40 
people returning, and in about four days the number was little short of 

* American Archives, Fourth Series, 174. 

t See Boone's Narrative, and his letter in Hall's Sketches, i. 254. They do not agree 
^ See plan of the fort. Hall's Sketches, i. 
I Henderson's Letter, Hall ii. 269. 
§ April Sth. 

1775. Henderson"* s Letter. 139 

100. Arguments and persuasions were needless ; they seemed resolved 
on returning, and travelled with a precipitation that truly bespoke their 
fears. Eight or ten were all that we could prevail on to proceed with 
us, or to follow after ; and thus, what we before had, counting every 
boy and lad, amounted to about 40, with which number we pursued our 
journey with the utmost diligence, for my own part, never under more 
real anxiety. * * * * « Every group of travellers we saw, or 
strange bells which were heard in front, was a fresh alarm ; afraid to 
look or inquire, lest Captain Boone or his company was amongst them, 
or some disastrous account of their defeat. The slow progress we made 
with our packs, made it absolutely necessary for some person to go on 
and give assurance of our coming, especially as they had no certainty of 
our being on the road at all ; or had even heard whether the Indians had 
sold to us or not. It was owing to Boone's confidence in us, and the 
people's in him, that a stand was ever attempted in order to wait for 
our coming. #*#****** 

The general panic that had seized the men we were continually 
meeting, was contagious ; it ran like wild fire ; and, notwithstanding 
every effort against its progress, it was presently discovered in our own 
camp ; some hesitated and stole back, privately ; others saw the neces- 
sity of returning to convince their friends that they were still alive, 
in too strong a light to be resisted ; whilst many, in truth, who have 
nothing to thank but the fear of shame, for the credit of intrepidity, 
came on, though their hearts, for some hours, made part of the desert- 
ing company. In this situation of affairs, some few, of genuine cour- 
age and undaunted resolution, served to inspire the rest ; by help of 
whose example, assisted by a little pride and some ostentation, we 
made a shift to march on with all the appearance of gallantry, and, cav- 
alier like, treated every insinuation of danger with the utmost contempt. 
It soon became habitual ; and those who started in the morning with 
pale faces and apparent trepidation, could lie down and sleep at night 
in great quiet, not even possessed of fear enough to get the better of 
indolence. * * * # * 'Po give you a small specimen 
of the disposition of the people, it may be sufficient to assure you that 
when we arrived at this place, we found Captain Boone's men as inat- 
tentive on the score of fear, (to all appearances,) as if they had been in 
Hillsborough. A small fort which only wanted two or three days' work 
to make it tolerably safe, was totally neglected on Mr. Cock's arrival ;* 
and unto this day remains unfinished, notwithstanding the repeated 
applications of Captain Boone, and every representation of danger from 
ourselves. * * * « Quj. plantations extend near two miles 
in length, on the river, and up a creek. Here people woik in their 
different lots ; some without their guns, and others without care or 

* A messenger sent ahead of the main body. 

140 Henderson^ Letter. 1775. 

caution. Ii is in vain for us to say any thing more about the matter; 
it cannot be done by words. * * * « Qiir company has 
dwindled from about eighty in number to about fifty odd, and I believe 
in a few days will be considerably less. Amongst these I have not 
heard one person dissatisfied with the country or terms; but go, as 
they say, merely because their business will not admit of longer delay. 
The fact is, that many of them are single, worthless fellows, and want 
to get on the other side of the mountains, for the sake of saying they 
have been out and returned safe, together with the probability of gelling 
a mouthful of bread in exchange for their news. » * * 

We are seated at the mouth of Otter Creek on the Kentucky, about 
150 miles from the Ohio. To the west, about 50 miles from us, are 
two settlements, within six or seven miles one of the other. There 
were, some time ago, about 100 at the two places ; though now, per- 
haps, not more than 60 or 70, as many of them are gone up the Ohio 
for their families, &c. ; and some returned by the way we came, to 
Virginia and elsewhere. * * * On the opposite side of the 
river, and north from us, about 40 miles, is a settlement on the crown 
lands, of about 19 persons; and lower down, towards the Ohio, on the 
same side, there are some other settlers, how many, or at what place, I 
can't exactly learn. There is also a party of about 10 or 12, with a 
surveyor, who is employed in searching through the country, and 
laying off" officers' lands ; they have been more than three weeks 
within ten miles of us, and will be several weeks longer ranging up and 
down the country. * * * * Colonel Harrod, who governs 
the two first mentioned settlements, (and is a very good man for our 
purpose.) Colonel Floyd, (the surveyor) and myself, are under solemn 
engagements to communicate, with the utmost despatch every piece of 
intelligence respecting danger or sign of Indians, to each other. In 
case of invasion of Indians, both the other parties are instantly to march 
and relieve the distressed, if possible. Add to this, that our country is so 
fertile, the growth of grass and herbage so tender and luxuriant, that it is 
almost impossible for man or dog to travel, without leaving such sign that 
you might, for many days, gallop a horse on the trail. To be serious, it 
is impossible for any number of people to pass through the woods with- 
out being tracked, and of course discovered, if Indians, for our hunters 
all go on horseback, and could not be deceived if they were to come on 
the trace of footmen. From these circumstances, I think myself in a 
great measure secure against a formidable attack ; and a few skulkers 
could only kill one or two, which would not much affect the interest 
of the company.* »**»*» 

Upon the 23d of May, the persons then in the country, were 
called on by Henderson to send representatives to Boonesboro', to 

* Hall's Sketches, ii. 260 to 271. 

1775. Henderson's Legislature. 141 

agree upon a form of government, and to make laws for the con- 
duct of the inhabitants. From the journal of this primitive legis- 
lature, we find that, besides Boonesboro', three settlements were 
represented, viz: Harrodsburgh, which had been founded by 
James Harrod in 1774, though afterwards for a time abandoned;/ 
inconsequence of Dunmore's war; the Boiling-spring settlement,' 
also headed by James Harrod, who had returned to the west early 
in 1775 ; and St. Asaph, in Lincoln county, where Benjamin 
Logan, who is said to have crossed the mountains with Hender- 
son, was building himself a station, well known in the troubles 
with the Indians which soon followed. 

The labors of this first of Western legislatures were fruitless, 
as the Transylvania colony was soon transformed into the county 
of Kentucky, and yet some notice of them seems proper. There 
were present seventeen representatives ; they met about fifty yards 
from the banks of the Kentucky, under the budding branches of a 
vast elm, while around their feet sprang the native white clover, 
as a carpet for their hall of legislation. When God's blessing 
had been asked by the Rev. John Lythe, Colonel Henderson 
oflfered an address on behalf of the Proprietors, from which we 
select a few paragraphs illustrative of the spirit of the men and 

Our peculiar circumstances in this remote country, surrounded on all 
sides with difficulties, and equally subject to one common danger, which 
threatens our common overthrow, must, I think, in their effects, secure 
to us an union of interests, and consequently, that harmony in opinion, 
so essential to the forming good, wise, and wholesome laws. If any 
doubt remain amongst you with respect to the force or efficacy of what- 
ever laws, you now, or hereafter make, be pleased to consider that all 
power is originally in the people ; therefore, make it their interest, by 
impartial and beneficial laws, and you may be sure of their inclination 
to see them enforced. For it ia not to be supposed that a people, 
anxious and desirous to have laws made, — who approve of the method 
of choosing delegates, or representatives, to meet in general Conven- 
tion for that purpose, can want the necessary and concomitant virtue to 
carry them into execution. 

INay, gentlemen, for argument's sake, let us set virtue for a moment 
out of the question, and see how the matter will then stand. You must 
admit that it is, and ever will be, the interest of a large majority that 
the laws should be esteemed and held sacred ; if so, surely this large 
majority can never want inclination or power to give sanction and 

142 Hendersoii's Speech. 1775. 

efficacy to those very laws, which advance their interest and secure 
their property. ****** 

Among the many objects that must present themselves for your con- 
sideration, the first in order, must, from its importance, be that of esta- 
blishing Courts of Justice, or tribunals for the punishment of such as 
may ofiend against the laws you are about to make. As this law will 
be the chief corner stone in the ground-work or basis of our constitu- 
tion, let us in a particular manner recommend the most dispassionate 
attention, while you take for your guide as much of tlie spirit and 
genius of the laws of England, as can be interwoven with those of this 
country. We are all Englishmen, or, what amounts to the same, our- 
selves and our fathers have, for many generations, experienced the in- 
valuable blessings of that most excellent constitution, and surely we 
cannot want motives to copy from so noble an original. 

Many things, no doubt, crowd upon your minds, and seem equally 
to demand your attention; but next to that of restraining vice and im- 
morality, surely nothing can be of more importance than establishing 
some plain and easy method for the recovery of debts, and determin- 
ing matters of dispute with respect to property, contracts, torts, inju- 
ries, &c. These things are so essential, that if not strictly attended 
to, our name will become odious abroad, and our peace of short and 
precarious duration, it would give honest and disinterested persons 
cause to suspect that there was some colorable reason at least, for the 
unworthy and scandalous assertions, together with the groundless in- 
sinuations contained in an infamous and scurrilous libel* lately printed 
and published, concerning the settlement of this country, the author 
of which avails himself of his station, and under the specious pre- 
tence of proclamation, pompously dressed up and decorated in the 
garb of authority, has uttered invectives of the most malignant kind, 
and endeavours to wound the good name of persons, whose moral cha- 
racter would derive little advantage by being placed in comparison 
with his, charging them amongst other things equally untrue, with a 
design "of forming an asylum for debtors and other persons of des- 
perate circumstances ;" placing the proprietors of the soil at the head 
of a lawless train of abandoned villains, against whom the regal au- 
thority ought to be exerted, and every possible measure taken to put 
an immediate stop to so dangerous an enterprise. 

I have not the least doubt, gentlemen, but that your conduct in this 
convention will manifest the honest and laudable intentions of the pre- 
sent adventurers, whilst the conscious blush confounds the wilful 
calumniators and officious detractors of our infant, and as yet, little 

• Governor Dunmore's Proclamation. 

1775. Transylvania organized. ' 143 

Next to the establishment of courts or tribunals, as well for the pun- 
ishment of public offenders as the recovering of just debts, that of 
establishing and regulating a militia, seems of the greatest importance ; 
it is apparent, that without some wise institution, respecting our mutual 
defence, the different towns or settlements are every day exposed to the 
most imminent danger, and liable to be destroyed at the mere will of the 
savage Indians. Nothing, I am persuaded, but their entire ignorance 
of our weakness and want of order, has hitherto preserved us from the 
destructive and rapacious hands of cruelty, and given us an opportunity 
at this time of forming secure defensive plans to be supported and carried 
into execution by the authority and sanction of a well-digested law. 

There are sundry other things, highly worthy your consideration, 
and demand redress ; such as the wanton destruction of our game, the 
only support of life amongst many of us, and for want of which the 
country would be abandoned ere to-morrow, and scarcely a probability 
remain of its ever becoming the habitation of any Christian people. 
This, together with the practice of many foreigners, who make a busi- 
ness of hunting in our country, killing, driving off, and lessening the 
number of wild catUe and other game, whilst the value of the skins and 
furs, is appropriated to the benefil of persons not concerned or interest- 
ed in our settlement: these are evils, I say, that I am convinced cannot 
escape your notice and attention.* 

To this the representatives of the infant Commonwealth replied, 
by stating their readiness to comply with the recommendations of 
the Proprietor, as being just and reasonable, and proceeded, with 
praiseworthy diligence, to pass the necessary acts. They were 
in session three working days, in which time, they enacted the 
nine following laws ; — one for establishing courts ; one for punish- 
ing crimes ; a third for regulating the militia ; a fourth for punish- 
ing swearing and Sabbath-breaking ; a fifth providing for writs of 
attachment ; a sixth fixing fees ; and three others for preserving 
the range, improving the breed of horses, and preserving game. 
In addition to these laws, this working House of Delegates pre- 
pared a Compact, to be the basis of relationship between the 
people and owners of Transylvania: some of its leading articles 
were these — 

1st. That the election of delegates in this colony, be annual, 
2d. That the convention may adjourn and meet again on their own 
adjournment, provided, that in cases of great emergency the proprie- 
tors may call together the delegates before the time adjourned to, and 

* See Butler's Kentucky, p. 508. 

144 Indians and British. 1775 

a majorily does not attend, they may dissolve tliem and call a new 

3d. That to prevent dissention and delay of business, one proprie- 
tor shall act for the whole, or some one delegated by them for that pur- 
pose, who shall always reside in the colony. 

4th. That there be a perfect religious freedom and general toleration 
— Provided that the propagators of any doctrine or tenets, widely tend- 
ing to the subversion of our laws, shall for such conduct be amenable 
to, and punishable by the civil courts. 

5th. That the judges of Superior or Supreme Courts be appointed 
by the proprietors, but be supported by the people, and to them be 
answerable for their mal-conduct. 

9th. That the judges of the inferior courts be recommended by the 
people, and approved of by the proprietors, and by them commissioned. 

10th. That all civil and military officers be within the appointment 
of the proprietors. 

11th. That the office of Surveyor General, belong to no person in- 
terested, or a partner in this purchase. 

12lh. That the legislative authority, after the strength and maturity 
of the colony will permit, consist of three branches, to wit: the dele- 
gates or representatives chosen by the people, a council not exceeding 
twelve men, possessed of landed estate, residing in the colony, and the 

17th. That the convention have the sole power of raising and ap- 
propriating all public monies, and electing their treasurer.* 

On the 27th of May this Legislature adjourned to meet again 
upon the first Thursday of the next September, — though we do 
not hear that it ever did so. 

From the time of the unpopular treaty of Camp Charlotte, the 
western people had been apprehensive of extensive injury to the 
American frontiers from the Indians, instigated by agents reaching 
them through Canada, whenever the expected outbreak with Eng- 
land took place. Nor was it long before the Americans in the 
north saw the dangers to be feared from the action of the Indians, 
influenced by the British and early in April, 1775, the Provincial 
Congress of Massachusetts wrote to the Reverend Samuel Kirk- 
land, then a missionary among the Oneidas, informing him, that, 
having heard that the English were trying to attach the Six 
Nations to their interest, it had been thought proper to ask the 
several tribes, through him, to stand neutral. Steps were also 
taken to secure the co-operation, if possible, of the Penobscot 

• See Butler's Kentucky, p. 514. 

1775. The British and Indians. 145 

and Stockbridge Indians; the latter of whom replied, that, though 
they never could understand what the quarrel between the Pro- 
vinces and old England was about, yet they would stand by the 
Americans. They also offered to "feel the mind" of the Iroquois, 
and try to bring them over.* 

But the Iroquois were not to be easily won over by any means. 
Sir William Johnson, so long the King's agent among them, and 
to whom they looked with the confidence of children in a father, 
had died suddenly, in June, 1774, and the wild men had been 
left under the influence of Colonel Guy Johnson, Sir William's 
son-in-law, who succeeded him as Superintendent, and of John 
Johnson, Sir William's son, who succeeded to his estates and 
honors. Both these men were Tories ; and their influence in favor 
of England was increased by that of the celebrated Joseph Brant. 
This trio, acting in conjunction with some of the rich old royalists 
along the Mohawk, opposed the whole movement of the Bosto- 
nians, the whole spirit of the Philadelphia Congress, and every 
attempt, open or secret, in favor of the rebels. Believing Mr. 
Kirkland to be little better than a Whig in disguise, and fearing 
that he might alienate the tribe, in which he was, from their old 
faith, and, through them, influence the others, the Johnsons, while 
the war was still bloodless, made strong efforts to remove him from 
his position. 

Nor were the fears of the Johnsons groundless, as is shown by 
the address of the Oneida Indians to the New England Governors, 
in which they state their intention of remaining neutral during so 
unnatural a quarrel as that just then commencing. But this in- 
tention the leading tribe of the great Indian confederacy meant 
to disturb, if possible. The idea was suggested, that Guy John- 
son was in danger of being seized by the Bostonians, and an 
attempt was made to rally about him the savages as a body-guard: 
while he, on his part, wrote to the neighboring magistrates, hold- 
ing out to them, as a terror, the excitement of the Indians, and 
the dangers to be feared from their rising, if he were seized, or 
their rights interfered with. 

So stood matters in the Mohawk valley, during the month of 
May, 1775. The Johnsons were gathering a little army, which 
soon amounted to five hundred men ; and the Revolutionary com- 
mittees, resolute never to yield one hair's breadth, "never to 
submit to any arbitrary acts of any power under heaven," were 

* Stone, vol, i. pp. 55-58. — Sparks' Washington, vol. iii. pp. 495, 496. 


146 Americans seek Indian alliances. 1775. 

denouncing Colonel Guy's conduct as " arbitrary, illegal, oppres- 
sive, and unwarrantable." " Watch him," wrote Washington to 
General Schuyler in June; and, even before that order was given, 
what with the Tryon county men above him on the river, and the 
whole Provincial force below him, he was likely to be well 
watched. Finding himself thus fettered, and feeling it to be time 
to take some decided step, the Superintendent, early in June, 
began to move westward, accompanied by his dependents and the 
great body of the Mohaw^k Indians, who remained firm in the 
British interests.* He moved first to Fort Stanwix, (afterwards 
Fort Schuyler, near the present town of Rome,) and then went on 
to Ontario, w^here he arrived early in July, and held a Congress 
with thirteen hundred and forty warriors, whose old attachment 
was then and there renewed. Joseph Brant, be it noted, during 
all this time, was acting as the Superintendent's secretary. 

All of the Six Nations, except the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, 
might now be deemed in alliance with the British. Those tribes, 
chiefly through the exertions of Mr. Kirkland, were prevented 
from going wdth the others, and upon the 28th of June, at Ger- 
man Flats, gave to the Americans a pledge of neutrality, f 

While the members of the Northern Confederacy were thus 
divided in their attachments, the Delawares of the upper Ohio 
were by no means unanimous in their opinions as to this puzzling 
family quarrel which was coming on ; and Congress, having been 
informed on the first day of June, that the western Virginians 
stood in fear of the Indians, with whom Lord Dunmore, in his 
small way, was, as they thought, tampering,! it was determined 
to have a Congress called at Pittsburgh, to explain to the poor 
red men the causes of the sudden division of their old enemies, 
and try to persuade them to keep peace. This Congress did not 
meet, however, until October. || 

Nor was it from the northern and western tribes only, that hos- 
tilities were feared. The Cherokees and their neighbors were 
much dreaded, and not without cause ; as they were then less 
under the control of the whites, than either the Iroquois or Dela- 
wares, and might, in the hope of securing their freedom, be led 
to unite, in a warfare of extermination against the Carolinas. We 
find, accordingly, that early in July, Congress having determined 
to seek the alliance of the several Indian nations, three depart- 

* Stone, vol. i. p. 77 t Stone, vol. i. p. 81. 

\ Old Journals, vol. i. p. 78. H Heckcwelder's Narrative, p. 136. 

1775. .Americans treat with Indians. 147 

ments were formed ;* a northern one, including the Six Nations 
and all north and east of them, to the charge of which General 
Schuyler, Oliver Wolcott, and three others, were appointed ; a 
middle department, including the Western Indians, who were to 
be looked to by Messieurs Franklin, Henry, and Wilson ; and a 
southern department, including all the tribes south of Kentucky, 
over which commissioners were to preside under the appointment of 
the South Carolina Council of Safety. These commissioners were to 
keep a close watch upon the nations in their several departments, 
and upon the King's Superintendents among them. These officers 
they were to seize, if they had reason to think them engaged in 
stirring up the natives against the colonies, and in all ways were 
to seek to keep those natives quiet and out of the contest. Talks 
were also prepared to send to the several tribes, in which an at- 
tempt was made to illustrate the relations between England and 
America, by comparing the last to a child ordered to carry a pack 
too heavy for its strength. The boy complains, and, for answer, 
the pack is made a little heavier. Again and again the poor ur- 
chin remonstrates, but the bad servants misrepresent the matter to 
the father, and the boy gets ever a heavier burden, till at last, 
almost broken-bacted, he throws off the load altogether, and says 
he will carry it no longer. This allegory was intended to make 
the matter clear to the pack-carrying red men, and, if we may 
judge from Heckewelder's account, it answered the purpose ; for, 
he says, the Delawares reported the whole story very correctly. 
Indeed, he gives their report upon the 137th page of his " Narra- 
tive," which report agrees very well with the original speech, 
preserved to us in the Journals of the Old Congress, f 

The first conference held by the commissioners, was in the 
northern department, a grand congress coming together at Albany 
in August. Of this Congress a full account may be found in 
Colonel Stone's first volume. | It did not, however, fully repre- 
sent the Six Nations, and some, even of those who were present, 
immediately afterwards deserted to the British ; so that the result 
was slight. 

The next conference was held at Pittsburgh with the western 

* Old JouTnals, vol. i. p. 113, &c. 

t Vol. i. p. 115. See also in Carey's Museum, for January, 1789, p. 88 to 91, the 
speech to the Iroquois, at Philadelphia, delivered July 13, 1775; in this the pack-proverb 
is given fully and very well. 

\ pp. 9J.-104. Appendix iv.-xxxi. 

148 Indians unite with British. 1775- 

Indians. This was in October, and was attended by the Dela- 
wares, Senecas, and, perhaps, some of the Shawanese. The 
Delaware nation were, as we have ah-eady said, divided in their 
views touching the Americans. One of their chieftains, Captain 
White-Eyes, a man of high character and clear mind, of courage 
such as became the leader of a race whose most common virtues 
were those of the wild man, and of a forbearance and kindness 
as unusual as fearlessness was frequent, among his people, — this 
true man was now, as always, in favor of peace ; and his influence 
carried with him a strong party. But there were others, again,, 
who longed for war, and wished to carry the whole nation over to 
the British interest. These were led by a cunning and able man,, 
called Captain Pipe, who, without the energy, moral daring, and 
unclouded honesty of his opponent, had many qualities admirably 
suited to win and rule Indians. Between these two men there 
was a division from the beginning of the Revolution till the death 
of White Eyes. At the Pittsburgh Conference the Peace Chief, 
as he was called, was present, and there asserted his freedom of 
the Six Nations, who, through their emissaries present, tried to 
bend the Delawares, as they had been used to do. His bold 
denial of the claim of the Iroquois to rule his people, was seized 
upon, by some of the War-Party, as a pretext for leaving the 
Muskingum, where White Eyes lived, and withdrawing toward 
Lake Erie, into the more immediate vicinity of the English and 
their allies. 

The Shawanese and their neighbors, meantime, had taken coun- 
sel with Guy Johnson at Oswego, and might be considered as in 
league with the king. Indeed, we can neither wonder at, nor 
blame these bewildered savages for leaguing themselves with any 
power against those actual occupants of their hunting-grounds, 
who were, here and there in Kentucky, building block-houses and 
clearing corn-fields. Against those block-houses and their build- 
ers, little bands of red men continually kept sallying forth, sup- 
plied with ammunition from Detroit and the other western posts, 
and incited to exertion by the well known stimulants of whiskey 
and fine clothes. 

However, it is hardly correct to say, that this was done in 1775, 
though the arrangements were, beyond doubt, made in that year. 
Col. Johnson having visited Montreal, immediately after the coun- 
cil with the Shawanese and others at Oswego, for the purpose of 

1762. Moravians settle in West. 149 

concluding with the British governor and general upon his future 

But although the dangers of the posts more immediately ex- 
posed to Indian invasions, were understood both East and West, 
it did not prevent emigration. In June, 1775, Boone had sought 
the settlements once more, in order to remove his family; and 
in the following September, with four females, the fearless mothers 
of Kentucky, re-crossed the mountains. These four women were 
his own wife, Mrs. McGary whose husband afterwards attained 
distinction in the battle of the Blue-licks, Mrs. Denton and Mrs. 
Hogan; their husbands and children came with them, and more 
than twenty other men able to bear arms, were also of the party. 

At the close of 1775, then, the country along the Kentucky was 
filling with emigrants, although doubt and dissatisfaction already 
existed as to Henderson's purchase, and especially as to holding 
lands of proprietors, and being governed by them : — many of the 
new settlers not being ignorant of the evils brought on Pennsylva- 
nia by means of the Proprietary rule. But hope was still predom- 
inant, and the characters of Harrod, Floyd, Logan and the Harts 
were well calculated to inspire confidence. 

North of the Ohio during that year, little was doing of which 
any knowledge has reached us : but one settlement beyond the 
Belle Riviere deserves our notice. 

Our readers will remember the calm and bold Moravian, Chris- 
tian Frederick Post, who journeyed to the Big Beaver Creek in 
1758, and won the Delawares to peace. This same man, in 
1761, thinking the true faith might be planted among those western 
tribes, journeyed out to the Muskingum, and, upon the banks of 
that stream, about a mile from Beaver's Town, built himself a 
house.* The next season, that is in the spring of 1762, he again 
crossed the mountains in company with the well-known Hecke- 
welder, who went out as his assistant. The Indians having con- 
sented to his living among them, and teaching their children to 
read and write. Post prepared to clear a few acres whereon to raise 
corn. The chiefs hearing of this called him to them, and said 
they feared he had changed his mind, for, instead of teaching their 
children, he was clearing land; which if he did, others might do, 
and then a fort be built to protect them, and then the land claimed, 
and they be driven off, as had always, they said, been the case- 
Post replied that a teacher must live, and, as he did not wish to 

* Heckwelder'8 Narrative, p. 69. 

150 Zeisherger fovfnds Shoenhnm^ 1772. 

be a burden on them, he proposed to raise his own food. This 
reply the Indians considered, and told him, that, as he claimed to 
be a minister of God, just as the French priests did, and as these 
latter looked fat and comely though they did not raise corn, it was 
probable that the Great Spirit would take care of him as he did 
of them, if he wished him to be his minister; so they could only 
give him a garden spot. This Captain Pipe stepped off for him, 
and with this he had to shift as well as he could. 

These proceedings were in 1762, and while they show the per- 
fect perception which the Indians had of their dangers, and of the 
English tactics, explain most clearly the causes of the next year's 

Post continued to till his little garden spot and teach his Indian 
disciples through the summer of 1762, and in the autumn accom- 
panied King Beaver to Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, where a fruit- 
less treaty was concluded with the whites. Returning from this 
treaty in October, he met Heckewelder, who had been warned by 
his red friends to leave the country before war came, and was 
forced back upon the settlements. 

From this time until the autumn of 1767, no Moravians visited the 
West. Then, and in the following spring, Zeisberger went to the 
Alleghany, and there established a mission, against the will, how- 
ever, of the greater part of the savages, who saw nothing but evil 
in the white man's eye.* The fruits would not ripen, the deer 
would not stay, they said, where the white man came. But Zeis- 
berger's was a fearless soul, and he worked on, despite threats and 
plots against his life ; and not only held his place, but even con- 
verted some of the leading Indians. Among these was one who 
had come from the Big Beaver, for the purpose of refuting the 
Moravians ; and this man being influential, the missionaries were 
in 1770 invited to come to Big Beaver, whither they went in April 
of that year, settling about twenty miles from its mouth. Nor did 
the kindness of the Indians stop here. The Delawares of the Mus- 
kingum, remembering perhaps what Post had done among them 
ten years before, invited the Christian Indians of Pennsylvania to 
come and live on their river ; and in this invitation the Wyandots 
joined. The proposition was long considered, and at last agreed 
to; and, on the 3d of May, 1772, Zeisberger, with twenty-seven 
of his native disciples, founded Shoenbrun, upon the Muskingum, 
— the first true Christian settlement made within the present State 

* Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 98. 

1775 Connollyh Plot. 151 

of Ohio, and the beginning of that which was destroyed by the 
frontier men ten years afterward, in so cruel and cowardly a man- 
ner. To this settlement, in the course of the next year, the Chris- 
tian Indians of the Susquehannah, and those of the Big Beaver, 
removed. Though endangered by the war of 1774, it was not in- 
jured, and, when our Revolution began, was the only point beyond 
Pittsburgh north of the river where the English were dwelling 
and laboring.* 

It was towards the close of this last year of our colonial exist- 
tence, 1775, that a plot was discovered, which involved some 
whose names have already appeared upon our pages, and which, 
if successful, would have influenced the fortunes of the West 
deeply. Dr. John Connolly, of Pittsburgh, (he whom Washington 
had met and talked with in 1770, and with whom he had after- 
wards corresponded in relation to western lands, and who played 
so prominent a part as commandant of Pittsburgh, where he 
continued at least through 1774, )f was, from the outset of the 
revolutionary movements, a Tory; and being a man extensively 
acquainted with the West, a man of talent, and fearless withal, he 
naturally became a leader. This man, in 1775, planned a union 
of the north-western Indians with British troops, which combined 
forces were to be led, under his command, from Detroit, and, 
after ravaging the few frontier settlements, were to join Lord 
Dunmore in eastern Virginia. To forward his plans, Connolly 
visited Boston to see General Gage ; then, having returned to the 
south, in the fall of 1775, he left Lord Dunmore for the West, 
bearing one set of instructions upon his person, and another set, 
the true ones, most artfully concealed under the direction of Lord 
Dunmore himself, in his saddle, secured by tin and waxed cloth. 
He and his comrades, among whom was Dr. Smyth, the author of 
the doubtful work already quoted, had gone as far as Hagerstown, 
where they were arrested upon suspicion, and sent back to Fred- 
erick. There they were searched, and the papers upon Connolly's 
person were found, seized, and sent to Congress. Washington 
having been informed by one who was present when the genuine 
instructions were concealed as above stated, wrote twice on the 

* See on the whole subject of the Moravian Missions, Heckewelder's account in Ameri- 
can State Papers, vi.379 to 391. 

t American Archives, fourth series, i. 1179. 

152 Indians infest Kentucky. 1776. 

subject to the proper authorities, in order to lead to their discov- 
ery, but we do not lea n that they were ever found. Connolly 
himself was confined, and remained a close prisoner till 1781, 
complaining much of his hard lot,* but finding few to pity him.f 


In the annals of Kentucky, this year is remarkable, first, for the 
recognition by Virginia of the Transylvania colony, as a part of 
the Old Dominion ; and secondly, for such a renewal of hostilities, 
as drove many who had come to make the West their home, back 
over the mountains again. During the last six months of 1775, 
and the first half of 1776, the northern savages, as has been stated, 
had in a great measure ceased their excursions against the inva- 
ders of their hunting grounds. Not, however, because they had 
given up the contest ; they were preparing, in connection with the 
British agents in the north-west, to act with deadly efl^ciency 
against the frontier stations, and such seems to have been the 
feeling of the inhabitants of those stations. From an early 
period in the revolutionary war, the use of the Indians had been 
contemplated by both parties to the struggle. It had been usual, 

t American Archives, 4th series, iv. 617, where Connolly's commission and several 
letters are given ; do. iii. 1660, where his examination is to be found ; also see index ofboth 
vols. See also Sparks' Washington, iii, 197, 211, 212, 269, 271. Border Warfare, 133. 
Old Journals, iii. 36, 121. 122, 125, 385. The whole story is in the report of the com- 
mittee of Congress, old journals, iii. 121. See also Smyth's account of the affair in the 
2nd vol. of his work. p. 243. 

* After the revolution, Connolly was a mischief maker in Kentucky. He appears to 
have been one of the earliest explorers of the West, and in 1770, proposed a province 
which would have included all of Kentucky between the Cumberland or Shawanee river, 
a line drawn from above its fork to the falls, and the Ohio. (Sparks' Washington, ii, 
•562.) He afterwards caused to be surveyed, patented, and advertised for sale, in April, 
1774, the ground upon which Louisville was built. (American Archives, fourth series. 
Western Garland, February, 1846, p. 98.) See years 17S0, 1781, and 1789. 

1775. Indians incline to Americans. 153 

in the contests between the French and English, as we have seen; 
and few seem to have deemed it possible to avoid alliances with 
the red men. It has been suggested, but we know not on what 
evidence, that the origin of Dunmore's war was the evil feeling 
produced by British envoys, who anticipated a struggle with the 
colonists and were acting thus early.* We do not believe this: 
Dunmore's war is easily explained without resorting to any such 
abominable supposition ;t but there is cause to think that England 
took the first steps that were taken to enlist the Indians in the 
quarrel of mother and daughter. The first mention of the subject 
which we meet with is in the address of the Massachussets Con- 
gress to the Iroquois, in April, 1775. In that they say, that they 
hear the British are exciting the savages against the colonies ; and 
they ask the Six Nations to aid them or stand quiet. | And in the 
June following, when James Wood visited the western tribes, and 
asked them to a council, which he did under the direction of the 
Virginia House of Burgesses, he found that Governor Carlton had 
been beforehand, and oflfered the alliance of England. || It would 
seem, then, that even before the battle of Lexington, both parties 
had applied to the Indians, and sought an alliance. In the outset, 
therefore, both parties w^ere of the same mind and pursued the 
same course. The Congress of the United Colonies, however, 
during 1775, and until the summer of 1776, advocated merely the 
attempt to keep the Indians out of the contest entirely, and instructed 
the commissioners, appointed in the several departments to do so. 
But England was of another mind. Promises and threats were 
both used to induce the savages to act with her,§ though, at first, 
it would seem, to little purpose, even the Canada tribe of Caghna- 
wagasH having offered their aid to the Americans. Wlien Britain, 

• Border Warfare. 107, 111. 

t The facts heretofore stated in relation to Connolly's general conduct, and especially 
his letter, and Cresap's assertion that his proceedings were in obedience to it, were the 
probable cause of the suggestions referred to. That Dunmore's course was not disap- 
proved at the day is clear, we think, from this, that he was thanked for his conduct of the 
Indian war by the Virginia Convention, headed by Randolph, Washington, the Lees, &c.; 
was thanked by the House of Burgesses also ; and received an address praising his pro- 
ceedings, from the people of western Virginia. (Fincastle County.) — American Archives, 
fourth series, ii. 301, 170. 

\ Sparks' Washington, vol. iii. p. 495. t Ibid., p. 55. 

J American Archives, fourth series, iv. 110- 

§ Sparks' Washington, vol. iii. p. 55. 

% Also known as the Seven Nations and Seven Castles of Canada. There is no end to 
the modes of spelling the name ' Caghnawagas.' 

154 British offer bounties for scalps. 1776. 

however, became victorious in the North, and particularly after 
the battle of the Cedars, in May, 1776, the wild men began to 
think of holding to her side, their poHcy being, most justly, in all 
quarrels of the whites, to stick to the strongest. Then it was, in 
June, 1776, that Congress resolved to do w^hat Washington had 
advised in the previous Jlpril, that is, to employ the savages in 
active warfare. Upon the 19th of April the Commander-in-chief 
wrote to Congress, saying, as the Indians would soon be engaged, 
either for or against, he would suggest that they be engaged for 
the colonies ;* upon the 3d of May, the report on this was consid- 
ered ; upon the 25th of May, it was resolved to be highly expedi- 
ent to engage the Indians for the American service ; and, upon the 
3d of June, the General was empowered to raise two thousand to 
be employed in Canada. Upon the 17th of June, Washington 
was authorized to employ them where he pleased, and to offer 
them rewards for prisoners ; and, upon the 8th of July, he was 
empowered to call out as many of the Nova Scotia and neighbor- 
ing tribes as he saw fit.f 

Such was the course of proceeding, on the part of the colonies, 
with regard to the employment of the Indians. The steps, at the 
time, were secret, but now the whole story is before the world. 
Not so, however, with regard to the acts of England ; as to them, 
we have but few of the records placed within our reach. One 
thing, however, is known, namely, that, while the colonies offered 
their allies of the woods rewards for prisoners, some of the British 
agents gave them money for scalps\ — a proceeding that cannot 
find any justification. 

In accordance with the course of policy thus pursued, the north- 
western tribes, already angered by the constant invasions of their 
territory by the hunters of Virginia and Carolina, and easily acces- 
sible by the lakes, were soon enlisted on the side of England ; and 
had a Pontiac been alive to lead them, might have done much mis- 
chief. As it was, during the summer of 1776, their straggling 
parties so fdled the woods of Kentucky, that no one outside of a 
fort felt safe. But we can give no better picture of the fear and 
anxiety that prevailed, than is given in the following letter from 
Colonel Floyd, written at the time. 

* Sparks' Wanliinsiton, vol. iii. p. 3G4. Also, v. 277, where the views of Burke, Gov- 
ernor Pownall, and others, are given. 

+ Secret Journals, vol. 1. pp. 43-47, 

^ Jefferson's TVrtt j'ngs, vol, i, p. 456. 

1776. Floyd's Letter. 155 

BooNESBOROUGH, July, 21, 1776. 

My Dear Sir, — The situation of our country is much altered since I 
wrote you last. The Indians seem determined to break up our settle- 
ment ; and I really doubt, unless it is possible to give us some assist- 
ance, that the greater part of the people may fall a prey to them. They 
have, I am satisfied, killed several whom, at this time, I know not how 
to mention. Many are missing, who some time ago went out about 
their business, of whom we can hear nothing. Fresh sign of Indians 
is seen almost every day. I think I mentioned to you before, some 
damage they had done at Lee's town. On the seventh of this month, 
they killed one Cooper, on Licking Creek, and on the fourteenth, a 
man whose name I know not, at your salt spring on the same creek. 

On the same day they took out of a canoe within sight of this place. 
Miss Betsy Callaway, her sister Frances, and a daughter of Daniel 
Boone — the two last about thirteen or fourteen years old, and the other 
grown. The affair happened late in the afternoon. They left the 
canoe on the opposite side of the river from us, which prevented our 
getting over for some time to pursue them. We could not that night 
follow more than five miles. Next morning, by day- light we were on 
their track ; but they had entirely prevented our following them, by 
walking some distance apart through the thickest cane they could find. 
We observed their course, and on which side they had left their sign — 
and travelled upwards of thirty miles. We then supposed they would 
be less cautious in travelling, and making a turn in order to cross their 
trace, we had gone but a few miles when we found their tracks in a 
bufialo path — pursued and overtook them in going about ten miles, just 
as ihey were kindling a fire to cook. Our study had been how to get 
the prisoners, without giving the Indians time to murder them after they 
discovered us. We saw each other nearly at the same time. Four of 
us fired, and all rushed on them, by which they were prevented from 
carrying any thing away except one shot gun without any ammunition. 
Mr. Boone and myself had each a pretty fair shot, as they began to 
move off. I am well convinced 1 shot one through the body. The one 
he shot dropped his gun — mine had none. The place was covered 
with thick cane, and being so much elated on recovering the three poor 
litde heart-broken girls, we were prevented from making any further 
search. We sent the Indians off almost naked — some without their 
moccasins, and none of them with so much as a knife or tomahawk. 
After the girls came to themselves sufficiently to speak, they told us 
there were only five Indians — four Shawanese and one Cherokee. They 
could speak good English, and said they should then go to the Shaw- 
anese towns. The war club we got was like those I have seen of that 
nation. Several words of their language, which the girls retained. 

156 George Rogers Clark in Kentucky. 1776 

were known to He Shawanese. They also told them that the Chero- 
kees had killed or driven all the people from Wataga and thereabout, and 
thai fourteen Cherokees were then on the Kentucky waiting to do mis- 
chief. If the war becomes general, of which there is the greatest 
appearance, our situation is truly alarming. We are about finishing a 
large fort, and intend to keep possession of this place as long as possible. 
They are, I understand, doing the same thing at Harrodsburgh, and 
also on Elkhorn, at the Royal Spring. The settlement on Licking 
Creek, known by the name of Hinkston's, has been broken up; nine- 
teen of the settlers are now here on their way in — Hinkston among the 
rest. They all seem deaf to any thing we can say to dissuade them. 
Ten at least, of our own people, are going to join them, which will 
leave us with less than thirty men at this fort. I think more than three 
hundred men have left the country since I came out, and not one has 
arrived, except a few cabiners down the Ohio. 

I want to return as much as any person can do : but if I leave ths 
country now, there is scarcely one single man who will not follow the 
example. When I think of the deplorable condition a few helpless 
families are likely to be in, 1 conclude to sell my life as dearly as I can 
in their defence, rather than make an ignominious escape. 

I am afraid it is in vain to sue for any relief from Virginia; yet the 
convention encouraged the setdement of this country, and why should 
not the extreme parts of Fincastle be as justly entitled to protection as 
any other part of the country. If an expedition were carried on against 
those nations who are at open war with the people in general, we might 
be in a great measure relieved, by drawing them oft" to defend their 
towns. If any thing under Heaven can be done for us, I know of no 
person who would more willingly engage in forwarding us assistance 
than yourself. I do, at the request and in behalf of all the distressed 
women and children and other inhabitants of this place, implore the aid 
of every leading man who may have it in his power to give us relief. 

I cannot write. You can belter guess at my ideas from what I have 
said than I can express them.* 

I am Dear Sir, yours, most affectionately, to my last moments, 

To Colonel Preston. J. FLOYD. 

But it was not destined that Kentucky should sink under her 
trials. It was during this very summer of 1776, indeed, that the 
corner-stone of her prosperity was laid, and the first step taken 
toward making her an independent commonwealth. 

This was done by George Rogers Clark, truly her founder, and 
the most eminent of the early heroes of the West. He was born 

* See Morehead's AddreBS, p. 151, 

1776. Petition sent from Kentucky. 157 

in September, 1743, in Albemarle county, Virginia.* In early 
life, he had been, like Washington, a surveyor, and more lately 
had served in Dunmore's war. He first visited Kentucky in 
1775,t and held apparently at that time the rank of major. Re- 
turning to Virginia, in the autumn of 1775, he prepared to move 
permanently to the W^est, in the following spring. Having done 
this early in 1776, Clark, whose views reached much farther than 
those of most of the Pioneers, set himself seriously to consider the 
condition and prospects of the young republic to which he had 
attached himself. Its advantages were too obvious to escape any 
eye ; but the dangers of a colony so far beyond the old lines of 
civilization, and unconnected with any of the elder provinces, 
while at the same time the title to it was in dispute, had not im- 
pressed all minds as they should. Clark knew that Virginia 
entirely denied the purchase of Henderson; he knew also that 
Henderson's purchase from the Cherokees was of the same soil 
which Sir William Johnson had purchased for the king in 1768, 
from the Iroquois, at Fort Stanwix; he was sure, also, that the 
Virginia settlers would never be easy under a proprietary govern- 
ment, however founded ; and saw already with his quick eye, 
wide-spread dissatisfaction. One of tw^o things he deemed the 
frontier settlements must be, either an acknowledged portion of 
Virginia,! and to be by her aided in their struggles, — or an inde- 
pendent commonwealth. These views had been partially formed 
in 1775, probably, for we find that by June 6th, 1776,11 they had. 
attained suflicient- currency to cause the gathering of a general 
meeting at Harrodsburgh, to bring matters to an issue. Clark 
was not present at the commencement of the meeting. Had he 
been, there is reason to think he would have procured the elec- 
tion of envoys authorised to lay the whole business before the 
Assembly of Virginia, and ask the admittance of Kentucky by 
itself into the number of her counties. As it was, he and Gabriel 
Jones were chosen members of the Virginia Assembly, and the 
following petition was prepared to be laid before that body. 

*Butler, 2nd edition, 36. 

t He was west of the mountains in 1772, as far as the Kenhawa at least ; see journal 
of Rev. David Jones in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 245. In 1774, he was on his way 
to Kentucky, when Dunmore's war broke out. See ante. 

X So far Fincastle county had been held to include Kentucky, but the inhabitants had 
no rights or protection as citizens of Virginia, Marshall, i.47. 

I Butler, introduction, Ixx. says June 5, 1776. ; History, 38, June 6, 1775 ; Chronology, 
p. 27, June 5, 1775 j Morehead, June 6, 1776 ; Clark, in Dillon's Indiana, i. 128, says 
June 6, 1776. 

15S KeniucJcy Petition. 1776. 

To the honoruhh the Convention of Virginia — The petition of the 
inhabitants, and some of the intended settlers, of that part of North 
America now denominated Transylvania, humbly sheweth. 
Whereas some of your petitioners became adventurers in that country 
from the advantageous reports of their friends who first explored it, 
and others since allured by the specious show of the easy terms on 
which the land was to be purchased from those who style themselves to 
be proprietors, have, at a great expense and many hardships, settled 
there, under the faith of holding the lands by an indefeasible title, which 
those gentlemen assured them they were capable of making. But your 
petitioners have been greatly alarmed at the late conduct of those gen- 
tlemen, in advancing the price of the purchase money from twenty 
shillings to fifty shillings sterling per hundred acres, and at the same 
time have increased the fees of entry and surveying to a most exorbi- 
tant rate ; and, by the short period prefixed for taking up the lands, 
even on those extravagant terms, they plainly evince their intentions of 
rising in their demands as the settlers increase, or their insatiable ava- 
rice shall dictate. And your petitioners have been more justly alarmed 
at such unaccountable and arbitrary proceedings, as they have lately 
learned, from a copy of the deed made by the Six Nations with Sir 
William Johnson, and the commissioners from this Colony, at Fort 
Stanwix, in the year 1768, that the said lands were included in the ces- 
sion or grant of all that tract which lies on the south side of the river 
Ohio, beginning at the mouth of Cherokee or Hogohege River, and ex- 
tending up the said river to Kettaning. And, as in the preamble of said 
deed, the said confederate Indians declare the Cherokee River to be 
their true boundary with the southern Indians, your petitioners may, 
with great reason, doubt the validity of the purchase that those proprie- 
tors have made of the Cherokees — the only title they set up to the 
lands for which they demand such extravagant sums from your petition- 
ers, without any other assurance for holding them than their own deed 
and warrantee ; a poor security, as your petitioners humbly apprehend, 
for the money that, among other new and unreasonable regulations, these 
proprietors insist should be paid down on the delivery of the deed. 
And, as we have the greatest reason to presume that his majesty, to 
whom the lands were deeded by the Six Nations, for a valuable consi- 
deration, will vindicate his title, and think himself at liberty to grant them 
to such persons, and on such terms as he pleases, your petitioners would 
in consequence thereof, be turned out of possession, or be obliged to pur- 
chase their lands and improvements on such terms as the new grantee 
or proprietor might think fit to impose ; so that we cannot help regard- 
ing the demand of Mr. Henderson and his company as highly unjust and 
impolitic, in the infant state of the settlement, as well as greatly injuri- 
ous to your petitioners, who would cheerfully have paid the considera- 

1776. Kentucky Petition. 159 

tion at first stipulated by the company, whenever their grant had been 
confirmed by the crown, or otherwise authenticated by the supreme 

And, as we are anxious to concur in every respect with our brethren 
of the united Colonies, for our just rights and privileges, as far as our 
infant settlement and remote situation will admit of, we humbly expect 
and implore to be taken under the protection of the honorable Conven- 
tion of the Colony of Virginia, of which we cannot help thinking our- 
selves still a part, and request your kind interposition in our behalf, that 
we may not suffer under the rigorous demands and impositions of the 
gentlemen styling themselves proprietors, who, the better to efiect their 
oppressive designs, have given them the color of a law, enacted by a 
score of men, artfully picked from the few adventurers who went to see 
the country last summer, overawed by the presence of Mr. Henderson. 

And that you would take such measures as your honors in your wis- 
dom shall judge most expedient for restoring peace and harmony to our 
divided settlement; or, if your honors apprehend that our case comes 
more properly before the honorable the General Congress, that you 
would in your goodness recommend the same to your worthy delegates, 
to espouse it as the cause of the Colony. And your petitioners, &c. 

James Harrod, Abm. Hite, Jun., Patrick Dorane, Ralph Nailor, 
Robert Atkinson, Robert Nailor, John Maxfeld, Samuel PoUinger, Bar- 
nerd Walter, Hugh McMillion, John Kilpatrick, Robert Dook, Edward 
Brownfield, John Beesor, Conrad Woolter, John Moore, John Corbie, 
Abraham Vanmetre, Samuel Moore, Isaac Pritcherd, Joseph Gwyne, 
Charles Creeraft, James Willie, John Camron, Thomas Kenady, Jesse 
Pigman, Simon Moore, John Mooret Thomas Moore, Herman Con- 
soley, Silas Harland, Wm. Harrod, Levi Harrod, John Mills, Elijah 
Mills, Jehu Harland, Leonard Cooper, William Rice, Arthur Ingram, 
Thomas Wilson, William Wood, Joseph Lyons, George Uland, Mi- 
chael Thomas, Adam Smith, Samuel Thomas, Henry Thomas, William 
Myars, Peter Paul, Henry Symons, William Gaffata, James Hugh, 
Thos. Bathugh, John Connway, William Crow, William Feals, Benja- 
min Davis, Beniah Dun, Adam Neelson, William Shephard, Wm. 
House, John Dun, John Sim, Sen., John House, Simeon House, 
Andrew House, William Hartly, Thomas Dean, Richard Owan, Bar- 
net Neal, John Severn, James Hugh, James Calley, Joseph Parkison, 
Jediah Ashraft, John Hardin, Archibald Reves, Moses Thomas, J. 
Zebulon Collins, Thomas Parkison, Wm. Muckleroy, Meredith Helm, 
Jun., Andrew House, David Brooks, John Helm, Benjamin Parkison, 
William Parkison, William Crow.* 

* See Hall, ii. 236. 

160 Clark gets powder /rom Virginia. 1776- 

Clark knew -perfectly well that the Legislature of his native 
State would not acknowledge the validity of the election of Dele- 
gates from the frontiers, but hoping nevertheless to effect his 
object, he and his companion took the southern route by the Cum- 
berland Gap, and after suffering agonies from "scald feet," at 
length reached their destination only to learn that the Assembly 
had adjourned. This of course caused a delay in part of their 
proceedino-s, but the keen-witted soldier saw that, before the 
Legislature met again, he might, by proper steps, effect much that 
he wished to ; he lost no time, therefore, in waiting upon Patrick 
Henry, then Governor, and explaining to him the capabilities, the 
dangers, the wishes, and the necessities of the settlers in the far 
west, — asked for a supply of the first necessary of life, gun pow- 
der. The Governor listened favorably and gave Clark a favorable 
letter to the Executive Council, being himself sick and unable to 
go with him to Williamsburg, the seat of government at that time. 
But the Council were very cautious, and while they would lend 
the powder if Clark would be answerable for it, and pay for its 
transportation, they dared not until the Assembly had recognized 
the Kentucky stations as within Virginia, do more. Clark pre- 
sented, and again presented the impossibility of his conveying the 
powder to so great a distance, through a country swarming with 
foes. The Council listened patiently but dared not run any risk. 
An order was issued for the powder on the terms proposed, but 
the inflexible pioneer would have none of it, and inclosing the 
order again to the Council told them that, since Virginia would 
not aid her children they must look elsewhere, — that a land not 
worth defending was not worth claiming, of course, — and so he 
bade them good-bye. These intimations were not to be over- 
looked, the whole matter was again weighed in the Council, and 
probably the Governor's advice taken, after which, upon the 23d 
of Auo-ust, an order was issued for placing the ammunition 
required at Pittsburgh, subject to Major Clark's order, for the use 
of the inhabitants of "Kentucki"* 

One of his objects being thus in the main accomplished, Clark 
prepared himself to urge the suit of the Transylvania colonists 
before the Legislature when it should meet in the fall, having first 
written to his friends at the west that powder was waiting them 
at Pittsburgh, which they must manage to get down the river. 

* Butler, second edition, 488, gives the order. 

1776. Clark and Jones attacked by the JVatives. 161 

When the Assembly met, Messrs. Clark and Jones on the one 
hand, and Henderson and his friends on the other, proceeded to 
lay before it the whole question of proprietorship in the Kentucky 
purchase from the Cherokees. The contest must have been one 
of considerable severity, for it was not till December 7, 1776,* 
that the success of the Delegates appointed in June was made 
certain by the erection of the region in dispute, together with all 
that now forms the State of Kentucky, into a county of that name. 
His second great aim secured, (and he probably considered it so 
before the actual passage of the above law,) Clark and his asso- 
ciate were on the point of returning at once to the frontier by the 
southern route, as we presume, when they fortunately heard that 
their gun powder still lay at Pittsburgh. The truth was that 
Clark's letter to his western friends had miscarried. At once the 
envoys determined to go back by way of the Ohio and see their 
five hundred pounds of ammunition safe to the stations themselves. 
When they reached Pittsburgh they learned that many Indians, it 
was thought with hostile intentions, were lurking thereabouts who 
w^ould probably follow them down the river; but no time was to 
be lost, no matter what dangers threatened, so with seven boat- 
men the two Delegates embarked upon the Ohio, and succeeded 
in reaching safely Limestone Creek, where Maysville has been 
since built. Setting their boat adrift, lest it should attract atten- 
tion, they concealed their treasure, as they best could, along the 
banks of the Creek, and started for Harrodsburg to procure a 
convoy. On the way they heard of Colonel Todd as being in the 
neighborhood with a band of men ; Jones and five of the boatmen 
remained to join this party and return with it for the powder, 
while Clark and the other two pushed forward to the Kentucky. 
Jones and Todd, having met, turned their steps towards the Ohio, 
but were suddenly attacked on the .25th of December, near the 
Blue Licks, by a party of natives who had struck Clark's trail, 
were defeated, and Jones with two others was killed. f Clark, 
however, reached Harrodsburg in safety, and a party was sent 
thence which brought the gun powder to the forts. 

• Morehead's Address, 56. — Butler says October. — p. 89. — December 7, in hia Intro- 
duction, Ixx. and December 6th, in Chronology, p. 27. 

t Clark's Journal in Morehead, 161. — Also Clark's account in Dillon's Indiana, 12S- 
to 130. 



The year 1776 might be said to have passed without any serious 
injury to the colonists from the various Indian tribes, although it 
was clear, that those tribes were to be looked on as engaged in 
the war, and that the majority of them were with the mother 
country. Through the west and northwest, where the agents of 
England could act to the greatest advantage, dissatisfaction spread 
rapidly. The nations, nearest the Americans, found themselves 
pressed upon and harassed by the more distant bands, and through 
the whole winter of 1776-7, rumors were flying along the frontiers 
of Virginia and Pennsylvania, of coming troubles. Nor were the 
good people of New York less disturbed in their minds, the 
settlers upon the Mohawk and upper Susquehanna standing in 
continual dread of incursion.* No incursion, however, took place 
during the winter or spring of 1777 ; though why the blow was 
delayed is what we cannot well know, until Great Britain has 
magnanimity enough to unveil her past acts, and, acknowledging 
her follies and sins, to show the world the various steps to that 
union of the savages against her foes, which her noble Chatham 
denounced as a "disgrace," and "deep and deadly sin." 

That blow was delayed, however; and, alas! was struck, at 
length, after, and as if in retaliation for, one of those violent acts 
of wrong, which must at times be expected from a frontier people. 
We refer to the murder of Cornstalk, the leading chieftain of the 
Scioto Shawanese ; a man whose energy, courage, and good sense, 
place him among the very foremost of the native heroes of this 
land.f This truly great man, who was himself for peace, but who 
found all his neighbors, and even those of his own tribe, stirred 
up to war by the agents of England, went over to the American 
fort at Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa, in 

* Journal o" the Old CongiTss. — Stanf, &c. 

t S;c Stone, vo: i. j>. 1^1. — Dwddriilge's Indian Wars, &c 

1777. Cornstalk and Redhawk ensnared and killed. 163 

order to talk the matter over with Captain Arbuckle, who com- 
manded there, and with whom he was acquainted. This was 
early in the summer of 1777. The Americans, knowing the 
Shawanese to be inclining to the enemy, thought it would be a 
good plan to retain Cornstalk and Redhawk, a younger chief of 
note, who was with him, and make them hostages for the good 
conduct of their people. The old warrior, accordingly, after he 
had finished his statement of the position he was in, and the 
necessity under which he and his friends would be of "going 
with the stream," unless the Long-Knives could protect them, 
found that, in seeking counsel and safety, he had walked into a 
trap, and was fast there. However, he folded his arms, and, with 
Indian calmness, waited the issue. The day went by. The next 
morning came, and from the opposite shore was heard an Indian 
hail, known to be from Ellinipsico, the son of Cornstalk. The 
Americans brought him also into their toils as a hostage, and were 
thankful that they had thus secured to themselves peace; — as if 
iniquity and deception ever secured that first condition of all good ! 
Another day rolled by, and the three captives sat waiting what 
time would bring. On the third day, two savages who were 
unknown to the whites, shot one of the white hunters, toward 
evening. Instantly the dead man's comrades raised the cry, 
"Kill the red dogs in the fort." Arbuckle tried to stop them, but 
they were men of blood, and their wrath was up. The Captain's 
own life was threatened if he offered any hindrance. They rushed 
to the house where the captives were confined; Cornstalk met 
them at the door, and fell, pierced with seven bullets; his son 
and Redhawk died also, less calmly than their veteran compan- 
ion, and more painfully. From that hour peace was not to be 
hoped for.* 

But this treachery, closed by murder, on the part of the Ameri- 
cans, in no degree caused, or excuses the after steps of the British 
agents ; for almost at the moment when Cornstalk was dying upon 
the baiis of the Ohio, there was a Congress gathering at Oswego, 
under the eye of Colonel Johnson, "to eat the flesh and drink the 
blood of a Bostonian ; " in other words, to arrange finally the 
measures which should be taken against the devoted rebels by 
Christian bretliren and their heathen allies, f 

* Doddridge, 237.— Withers' Border Warfare, 15L 
t Stone, vol. :.. p. ISu. 

164 British offer bounties for scalps. 1775. 

In Kentucky, meanwhile, Indian hostilities had been unceasing- 
In illustration of this we give some passages from George R- 
Clark's Journal,* 

March Gth, Thos. Shores and William Ray killed at the Shawanese 
Spring. — 7lh, the Indians attempted to c\x% ofT from the fort a smal! 
party of our men : a skirmish ensued — we had four men wounded and 
some cattle killed. We killed and scalped one Indian, and wounded 
several. — 8ih, brought in corn from the different cribs until the 18ih day. 
— 9th, express sent to the settlement, Ebenezer Corn & Co. arrived 
from Captain Linn on the Mississippi. — 18th, a small party of Indians 
killed and scalped Hugh Wilson, about half a mile from the fort, near 
night, and escaped. — 19ih, Archibald McNeal died of his wounds re- 
ceived on the 7th inst. — 28th, a large party of Indians attacked the 
stragglers about the fort, killed and scalped Garret Pandergrest, killed or 
took prisoner, Peter Flin. 

Jlpril 7ih, Indians killed one man at Boonesborough, and wounded 
one. — 8ih, Sloner arrived with news from the settlement. — 24th. forty 
or fifty Indians attacked Boonesborough, killed and scalped Daniel Good- 
man, wounded Captain Boone, Captain Todd, Mr. Hite and Mr. Stoner, 
Indians, 't is thought sustained much damage. — 29th, Indians attacked 
the fort and killed ensign McConnell. 

May 6ih, Indians discovered placing themselves near the fort. A 
few shots exchanged — no harm done.— 12th, John Cowan and Squire 
Boone arrived from the settlement. — 18ih, McGary and Haggin sent 
express to Fort Pitt. — 23d, John Todd & Co. set off for the setdement. 
— 23d, a large party of Indians attacked Boonesborough fort ; kept :?■ 
warm fire until 11 o'clock at night; began it next morning, and kept a 
warm fire until midnight, attempting several times to burn the fort; 
three of our men were wounded — not mortally; the enemy suffered 
considerably. — 26th, a party went out to hunt Indians; one wounded 
Squire Boone, and escaped. — 30th, Indians attacked Logan's Fort j 
killed and scalped William Hudson, wounded Burr Harrison and John 

June 5th, Harrod and Elliot went to meet Colonel Bowman &; Co.~ 
Glen and Laird arrived from Cumberland ; Daniel Lyons, who parted 
with them on Green River, we suppose was killed going into Logan's 
Fort. John Peters and Elisha Baihey we expect were killed coming 
home from Cumberland. — 13lh, Burr Harrison died of his wounds re- 
ceived the 30th of May. — 22d, Barney Stagner, Sen. killed and behead- 
ed half a mile from the fort. A few guns fired at Boone's. 

* See also extracts from another journal of the same period in Cist's Cincinnati Miscel - 
lany, ii, 138, 

1777. Condition of Kentucky. 1:65 

July 9th, Lieutenant Linn married; great merriment. — 11th, Harrod 
returned. — 23d, express leturned from Pittsburgh. 

August 1st, Colonel Bowman arrived at Boonesborough. — 5lh, sur- 
rounded ten or twelve Indians near the fort; killed three and wounded 
others; the plunder was sold for upwards of £70. — 11th, John Hig- 
gins died of a lingering disorder. — 25th, Ambrose Grayson killed near 
Logan's Fort, and two others wounded ; Indians escaped. 

September "Sih, twenty-seven men set out for the settlement. — 9th, 
Indians discovered; a shot exchanged; nothing done. — 11th, thirty- 
seven men went to Joseph Bowman's for corn, while shelling they 
were fired on ; a skirmish ensued; Indians drew off, leaving two dead 
on the spot, and much blood; Eli Gerrard was killed on the spot and 
six others wounded. — 12th, Daniel Bryan died of his wounds received 

At times, the stations were assailed by large bodies of savages ; 
at times, single settlers were picked off by single, skulking foes- 
The horses and cattle were driven away; the corn-fields remained 
uncultivated ; the numbers of the whites became fewer and fewer, 
and from the older settlements little or no aid came to the frontier 
stations, until CJoL Bowman, in August, 1777, came from Virginia 
with one hundred men. It was a time of suffering and distress 
through all the colonies, which was in most of them bravely 
l)orne ; but none suffered more, or showed more courage and forti- 
tude, than the settlers of the West. Their conduct has excited 
less admiration out of their own section than that of Marion, and 
men like him, because their struggles had less apparent connection 
with the great cause of American independence. But who shall 
say what would have become of the resistance of the colonies, had 
England been able to pour from Canada her troops upon the rear 
of the rebels, assisted, as she would have been, by all the Indian 
nations? It may have been the contests before the stations of 
Kentucky, and Clark's bold incursions into Illinois and against 
Vincennes, which turned the oft tottering fortunes of the great 

^ But, however we may think of this point, we cannot doubt the 
picturesque and touching character of many incidents of Western 
history during the years from 1777 to 1780. Time has not yet 
so mellowed their features as to give them an air of romance pre- 
cisely ; but the essence of romance is in them. In illustration, we 

* JMorehead's Address, jp. 162. 

166 James Ray supplies liarrodshurgJi. 1777. 

will mention one or two of these incidents, familiar enough in the 
West, but still worthy of repetition. 

One of the eminent men of Kentucky in those and later times 
was General James Ray. While yet a boy, he had proved 
himself able to outrun the best of the Indian warriors; and it was 
when but seventeen years of age that he performed the service 
for a distressed garrison of which we are about to speak. It 
was in the winter of 1776-7, a winter of starvation. Ray lived 
at Harrodsburgh, which, like the other stations, was destitute of 
corn. There was game enough in the woods around, but there 
were also Indians more than enough, and had the sound of a 
gun been heard in the neighborhood of a station, it would have 
insured the death of the one who discharged it. Under these cir- 
cumstances, Ray resolved to hunt at a distance. There was one 
horse left of a drove of forty, which Major McGary had brought 
to the West ; an old horse, faithful and strong, but not fitted to 
run the gauntlet through the forest. Ray took this solitary nag, 
and before day-dawn, day by day, and week by week, rode noise- 
lessly along the runs and rivers until he was far enough to hunt 
with safety ; then he killed his game, and by night, or in the dusk 
of the evening, retraced his steps. And thus the garrison lived 
by the daring labors of this stripling of seventeen. Older hunters 
tried his plan, and were discovered; but he, by his sagacity, 
boldness, care, and skill, safely pursued his disinterested and 
dangerous employment, and succeeded in constantly avoiding the 
perils that beset him. We do not think that Boone or any one 
ever showed more perfectly the qualities of a superior woodsman 
than did Ray through that winter. 

If any one did, however, it was surely Benjamin Logan, in the 
spring of that same year. Logan, as we have seen, crossed the 
mountains with Henderson, in 1775, and was of course one of the 
oldest settlers. In May, 1777, the fort at which Logan lived, was 
surrounded by Indians, more than a hundred in number ; and so 
silently had they made their approach, that the first notice which 
the garrison had of their presence was a discharge of firearms 
upon some men who were guarding the women as they milked 
the cows outside the station. One was killed, a second mortally 
wounded, and a third, named Harrison, disabled. This poor 
man, unable to aid himself, lay in sight of the fort, where his 
wife, who saw his condition, was begging some one to go to his 
relief. But to attempt such a thing seemed madness ; for whoever 

1777. Heroism of Logan. 167 

ventured from either side into the open ground, where Harrison 
lav writhing and groaning, would instantly become a target for 
all the sharpshooters of the opposite party. For some moments 
Logan stood it pretty well ; he tried to persuade himself and the 
poor woman who was pleading to him, that his duty required him 
to remain within the walls and let the savages complete their 
bloody work. But such a heart as his was too warm to be long 
restrained by arguments and judicious expediency ; and suddenly 
turning to his men, he cried, " Come, boys, who's the man to 
help me in with Harrison?" There were brave men there, but to 
run into certain death in order to save a man whom, after all, 
they could not save, — it was asking too much; and all shook 
their heads, and shrunk back from the mad proposal. " Not one ! 
not one of you help a poor fellow to save his scalp ?" " Why, 
what's the good. Captain ? to let the red rascals kill us wont help 
Harrison ?" At last, one, half inspired by Logan's impetuous 
courage, agreed to go; he could die but once, he said, and 
was about as ready, then, as he should ever be. The gate was 
slightly opened, and the two doomed men stepped out ; instantly 
a tempest of rifle balls opened upon them, and Logan's compa- 
nion rapidly reasoning himself into the belief that he was not so 
ready to die as he had believed, bolted back into the station. 
Not so his noble-hearted leader. Alone, through that tempest, he 
sprang forward to where the wounded man lay, and while his hat, 
hunting-shirt, and hair were cut and torn by the ceaseless shower, 
he lifted his comrade like a child in his arms, and regained the 
fort without a scratch. 

But this rescue of a fellow-being, though worthy of record in 
immortal verse, was nothing compared with what this same Ben- 
jamin Logan did soon after. The Indians continued their siege; 
still they made no impression, but the garrison were running short 
of powder and ball, and none could be procured except by cross- 
ing the mountains. To do this, the neighboring forest must be 
passed, thronging with Indians, and a journey of some hundred 
miles accomplished along a path every portion of which might be 
waylaid, and at last the fort must be re-entered with the articles so 
much needed. Surely, if ever an enterprise seemed hopeless, it 
was this one, and yet the thing must be tried. Logan pondered 
the matter carefully ; he calculated the distance, not less than four 
hundred miles in and back ; he estimated the aid from other quar- 
ters ; and in the silence of night asked wisdom and guidance from 

168 Logan goes for powder to the Holston. 1777. 

God. Nor did he' ask in vain ; wisdom was given him. At 
night, with two picked companions, he stole from the station, 
every breath hushed. The summer leaves were thick above 
them, and with the profoundest care and skill, Logan guided his 
followers from tree to tree, from run to run, unseen by the savages, 
who dreamed not, probably, of so dangerous an undertaking. 
Quickly but most cautiously pushing eastward, walking forty or 
fifty miles a day, the three woodsmen passed onward till the Cum- 
berland range was in sight; then, avoiding the Gap, which they 
supposed would be watched by Indians, over those rugged hills, 
where man had never climbed before, they forced their way with 
untiring energy and a rapidity to us, degenerate as we are, 
inconceivable. The mountains crossed, and the valley of the 
Holston reached, Logan procured his ammunition, and then turned 
alone on his homeward track, leaving his two companions, with 
full directions, to follow him more slowly with the lead and 
powder. He returned before them, because he wished to revive 
the hopes of his little garrison in the wilderness, numbering as it 
did, in his absence, only ten men, and they without the means of 
defence. He feared they would yield, if he delayed an hour; so, 
back, like a chamois, he sped, over those broken and precipitous 
ranges, and actually reached and re-entered his fort in ten days 
from the time he left it, safe and full of hope. Such a spirit 
would have made even women dare and do every thing, and by 
his influence the siege was still resisted till the ammunition came 
safe to hand. From May till September that little band was thus 
beset; then Colonel Bowman relieved them. In the midst of that 
summer, as George Rogers Clark's journal has it, " Lieutenant 
Linn was married — great merriment!" This was at Harrods- 
burgh, near by Logan's station. Such was the frontier life! 

It was a trying year, 1777, for those little forts in the wilder- 
ness. At the close of it, three settlements only existed in the 
interior, — Harrodsburgh, Boonesborough, and Logans ;* and of 
these three the whole military population was but one hundred 
and two in number I 

Nor was it in Kentucky alone that the Indians were busy. 
Through the spring and summer constant attacks were made upon 
the settlements in the neighborhood of Wheeling. At this point, 
as we have already said, the Zanes had settled in 1770, and here 
in 1774, Connolly, or the settlers, by his direction, had built a fort 

* See Butler, Marshall, McClung, &c. 

1777. /Wheeling attacked. 169 

called Fort FIncastle* the name of the western county of Vir- 
ginia. In this a body of men was left by Lord Dunmore, when 
he made his treaty with the Shawanese,t and through the 
whole of 1775 and 1776 it was occupied by more or fewer 
soldiers; indeed, in those times all men were soldiers, and 
hostility from the Indians daily anticipated. This fort in 1776 
was called, in honor of the eloquent governor of Virginia, 
Fort Henry,! '''^^ "^'^^ the central point between Fort Pitt and the 
works at the mouth of Kenawha. In the early autumn of 1777, 
word from friendly Indians, perhaps the Christian Delawares, of 
the Muskingum, or perhaps from Isaac Zane, the brother of the 
Wheeling settlers, || reached General Hand, who commanded at 
Fort Pitt, informing him that a large body of the north-western 
Indians was preparing to attack the posts of the Upper Ohia. 
These news were quickly spread abroad, and all were watching 
where' the blow would come. On the evening of September 26, 
smoke was seen by those near Wheeling, down the river, and was 
supposed to proceed from the burning of the block-house at Grave 
creek, and the people of the vicinity taking the alarm, betook 
themselves to the fort. Within its walls were forty-two fighting 
men, of various ages and gifts : these were well supplied with 
guns, both rifles and muskets, but had only a scant supply of gun- 
powder, as the event proved. The night of the 26th passed with- 
out alarm, but when very early upon the 27th two men, who were 
sent out for horses, in order to alarm the settlements near by, had 
proceeded some distance from the fort, they met a party of six 
savages, by whom one of them was shot. The commandant of the 
post. Col. Shepherd, learning from the survivor that there were 
but six of the assailants, sent a party of fifteen merv to see to them. 
These were suffered to march after the six, who seem to have 
been meant merely for a decoy, until they were within the Indian 
lines, when, suddenly, in front, behind, and on every side, the 
painted warriors showed themselves. The little band fought 
bravely against incalculable odds, but of the fifteen three only 
escaped, and they by means of the brush and logs which were in 
the corn field where the skirmish took place. As soon as the 

* George R. Clarke is said to have planned it. (American Pioneer, ii. 303.) 
t American Archives, 4th series, ii. 1189, 
I American Pioneer, ii. 304. 

I Isaac Zane was with the Wyandots from the time he was nine years old. (Americfla 
State Papers, xvi, 93 121.) 

170 Sketch of Simon Girty, the white Indian. 1777. 

position of the first band was seen at the fort thirteen others 
rushed to their assistance, and shared their fate. Then, and it 
was not yet sunrise, the whole body of Indians, disposed in some- 
what martial order, appeared regularly to invest the devoted fort. 
There were nearly four hundred of them, and of the defenders but 
twelve men and boys ; unless indeed we count women, than whomj 
as we shall see, none were braver or calmer within the walls of that 
little fortress. 

The Indians were led by Simon Girty,* who was acting as an 

* As this is the first time we have had occasion to speak of this far-famed white Indian, 
we introduce from the writings of Judge Campbell, the best account of the family that 
we have met with. See also Hesperian, September and October, 1838 : and Index to this 

Perhaps there was no part of America so highly prized by the aboriginals as Kentucky. 
To them its importance consisted not so much in the fertility of soil as in the abundance 
of game which it afforded. Indeed, by common consent, they abstained from occupying 
it with their families, reserving it exclusively for a great hunting ground. The intermina- 
ble cane-brakes and numerous licks, yielded subsistence to such vast herds of buffaloes 
and deer, as have never been seen elsewhere. 

It is not at all astonishing that the Indians should have defended, with great obstinacy, 
a country so dear to them, against the incursions of the whites. That they were vigilant, 
active and cruel cannot be denied. They were provoked to a degree of phrenzy, which 
led to acts of daring and outrage shocking to humanity. In their atrocities they had the 
aid and countenance of the Girtys, of whom a brief account will be given. 

Girty, the father, was an emigrant from Ireland, about eighty years ago, if report can 
be relied on. He settled in Pennsylvania where that liberty which he sought degenerated 
in his possession into the basest licentiousness. His hours were wasted in idleness and 
beastly intemperance. Nothing ranked higher in his estimation, or so entirely com- 
manded his regard, as a jug of whiskey. " Grog was his song and grog would he have." 
His sottishness turned his wife's affection. Ready for seduction, she yielded her heart to 
a neighboring rustic, who, to remove all obstacles to their wishes, knocked Girty on the 
head and bore off the trophy of his prowess. 

He left four sons, Thomas, Simon, George and James. The three latter were taken 
prisoners by the Shawanese, Delawares, and Senecas, in that war which developed the 
military talents of General Washington. George was adopted by the Delawares, and 
continued with them until his death. He became a perfect savage — his manners being 
entirely Indian. To consummate cunning he added the most fearless intrepidity. He 
fought in the battles of Kenhawa, Blue Licks, and Sandusky, and gained himself much 
distinction for skill and bravery. In his latter years, like his father, he gave himself up 
to intemperance, and died drunk, about twenty-five years ago, on the Miami of the Lake. 

Simon was adopted by the Senecas, and became as expert a hunter as any of them. In 
Kentucky and Ohio, he sustained the reputation of an unrelenting barbarian. Forty-five 
years ago, with his name was associated every thing cruel and fiend -like. To the women 
and children in particular, nothing was more terrifying than the name of Simon Girty. At 
that time, it was believed by many, that he had fled from justice and sought refuge among 
the Indians, determined to do his countrymen all the harm in his power. This impression 
was an erroneous one. It is true he joined the Indians in their wars with the whiles and 
cpnformed to their usages. This was the education he had received, and those who were 
the foes of his red brethren were his foes. Although trained in all his pursuits as an 
Indian, it is said to be a fact, susceptible of proof, that through his importunities, many 
prisoners were saved from death. His influence was great, and when he chose to be 
merciful, it was generally in his power to protect the imploring captive. 

1777. Fort Henry attacked hy Girty and his party. 171 

agent for the British in the attempt to secure the aid of a part, at 
any rate, of the frontier men, in the revolutionary struggle. 

Fort Henry stood immediately upon the bank of the Ohio about 
a quarter of a mile above the mouth of Wheeling Creek ; between 
it and the steep river hill which every traveller in the west is 
acquainted with, were twenty or thirty log huts. When Girt}' 
then, as we have said, led his red troops against the fort, he at 
once took possession of the houses of the village as a safe and 
ready-made line of attack, and from the window of one of the 
cabins called upon the little garrison to surrender to King George, 
and promised absolution to all who would do so. Colonel Shep- 
herd answered at once that they would neither desert nor yield ; 
and when Girty recommenced his eloquence, a shot from some 
impatient listener suddenly stopped his mouth. Then commenced 
the siege. It was just sunrise in the quiet valley, through which 
the quiet autumnal river flowed as peacefully as if war was never 
known. A calm, warm, bright September day; — one of those 
days most lovely among the many pleasant ones of a year in the 
Ohio valley. — And from sunrise till noon, and from noon till 
night of that day, the hundreds of besiegers and units of besieged 
about and within Fort Henry, ceased not to load and discharge 
musket or rifle till it was too hot to hold. About noon the fire of 

His reputation was that of an honest man. In the payment of his debts he was scru- 
pulously exact. Knowing and duly appreciating integrity, he fulfilled his engagements to 
the last cent. It is stated that on one occasion he sold his horse rather than incur the 
odium of violating his promise. 

He was a great lover of rum. Nothing could afford him more joy than a keg of this 
beverage. When intoxicated, in abuse he was indiscriminate, sparing neither friends nor 
foes. Then it was, he had no compassion in his heart. Although much disabled by the 
rheumatism for the last ten years of his life, he rode to his hunting grounds in pursuit of 
game. Suffering the most excruciating pains, he often boasted of his war-like spirit. It 
was his constant wish that he might breathe his last in battle. So it happened. He was 
at Proctor's defeat on the river Thames, and was cut to pieces by Colonel Johnson's 
mounted men. 

James Girty fell into the hands of the Shawanese, who adopted him as a son. As he 
approached manhood he became dextrous in all the arts of savage life. To the most 
sanguinary spirit, he added all the vices of the depraved frontiersmen with whom he 
frequently associated. 

It is represented that he often visited Kentucky at the time of its first settlement, 
many of the inhabitans feeling the effects of his courage and cruelty. Neither age nor 
sex found mercy at his hand. His delight was in carnage. When unable to walk, in 
consequence of disease, he laid low, with his hatchet, captive women and children who 
came within his reach. Traders who were acquainted with him, say, so furious was he 
that he would not have turned on his heel to save a prisoner from the flames. His plea- 
sure was to see new and refined tortures inflicted ; and to perfect this gratification he 
frequently gave directions. To this barbarian are to be attributed mnny of the cruelties 
charged upon his brother Simon. Yet this monster was caressed by Elliott and Proctor. 

172 Elizabeth Zane procures Powder. 1777. 

the attackers slackened, and then as powder was scarce in the fort, 
and it was remembered that a keg was concealed in the house of 
Ebenezer Zane, some sixty yards distant, — it was determined to 
make an effort to obtain it. When the question, "Who will go?" 
was proposed, however, so many competitors appeared that time 
was wasted in adjusting claims to what was almost sure death. 
The rest of the story we must let Mr. Geo. S. McKiernan, from 
whom we take our whole account nearly, — tell in his own words. 

At this crisis, a young lady, the sister of Ebenezer and Silas Zane, 
came forward and desired that she might be permitted to execute the 
service. This proposition seemed so extravagant that it met with a 
peremptory refusal; but she instanlly renewed her petition in terms of 
redoubled earnestness, and all the remonstrances of the colonel and her 
relatives failed to dissuade her from her heroic purpose. It was finally 
represented to her that either of the young men, on account of his su- 
perior fleetness and familiarity witli scenes of danger, would be more 
likely than herself to do the work successfully. She replied, that the 
danger which would attend the enterprize was the identical reason that 
induced her to offer her services, for, as the garrison was very weak, no 
soldier's life should be placed in needless jeopardy, and that if she were 
to fall the loss would not be felt. Her petition was ultimately granted, 
and the gate opened for her to pass out. The opening of the gate ar- 
rested the attention of several Indians who were straggling through the 
village. It was noticed that their eyes were upon her as she crossed the 
open space to reach her brother's house ; but seized, perhaps, with a 
sudden freak of clemency, or believing that a woman's life was not 
worth a load of gunpowder, or influenced by some other unexplained 
motive, they permitted her to pass without molestation. When she 
reappeared with the powder in her arms, the Indians, suspecting, no 
doubt, the character of her burden, elevated their firelocks and dis- 
charged a volley at her as she swiftly glided towards the gate ; but the 
balls all flew wide of the mark, and the fearless girl reached the fort in 
safety with her prize.* 

The allies of Britain, finding rifles powerless when used against 
well-built block-houses and pickets, determined upon trying an ex- 
temporary cannon, and having bound a hollow maple with chains, 
having bored a touch hole, and plugged up one end, they loaded 
it liberally and levelled it at the gate of the impregnable castle. 
It was now evening, and the disappointed Wyandots gathered 
about their artillery, longing to see its loading of stones open to 

* See American Pioneer, vol. ii. p. 309. 

1777. Escape of Major McCoUoch. 173 

them the door of the American citadel. The match was applied ; 
bursting into a thousand pieces the cannon of Girty tore, maimed, 
and killed his copper-colored kinsfolk, but hurt none else.* 

During that night many of the assailants withdrew disheartened. 
On the morning of the 28th, fifteen men came from Cross creek 
to the aid of Fort Henry, and forty-one from Short creek. Of 
these all entered the fort except Major McColloch, the leader of 
the Short creek volunteers. He was separated from his men, and 
at the mercy of the natives, and here again we prefer to use the 
words of Mr. McKiernan. 

From the very commencement of the war, his reputation as an Indian 
hunter was as great, if not greater, than that of any white man on the 
north-westeru border. He had participated in so many rencounters tha4 
almost every warrior possessed a knowledge of his person. Among 
the Indians his name was a word of terror ; they cherished against him 
feelings of the most phrensied hatred, and there was not a Mingo or 
Wyandot chief before Fort Henry who would not have given the lives 
of twenty of his warriors to secure to himself the living body of Major 
McColloch. When, therefore, the man whom they had long marked 
out as the first object of their vengeance, appeared in their midst, they 
made almost superhuman efforts to acquire possession of his person. 
The fleetness of McColloch's well-trained steed was scarcely greater 
than that of his enemies, who, with flying strides, moved on in pursuit, 
Ai length the hunter reached the top of the hill, and, turning to the left, 
darted along the ridge with the intention of making the best of his way 
to Short Creek. A ride of a few hundred yards in that direction 
brought him suddenly in contact with a party of Indians who were re- 
turning to their camp from a marauding excursion to Mason's Bottom, 
on the eastern side of the hill. This party being too formidable in 
numbers to encounter single-handed, the major turned his horse about 
and rode over his own trace, in the hope of discovering some other 
avenue to escape. A few paces only of his countermarch had been 
made, when he found himself confronted by his original pursuers, who 
had, by this time, gained the top of the ridge, and a third party was 
discovered pressing up the hill directly on his right. He was now 
completely hemmed in on three sides, and the fourth was almost a per- 
pendicular precipice of one hundred and fifty feet descent, with Wheel- 
ing Creek at its base. The imminence of his danger allowed him but 
lilUe time to reflect upon his situation. In an instant he decided upon 

* This incident, and the heroic act of Elizabeth Zane, are placed by Withers in the 
siege of Fort Henry in 1782 (Border Warfare, 263. 264.) We follow the writer in the\ 
Pioneer, who is represented as an accurate man ; Withers was not always eo. 


174 Kentuc/cians choose Burgesses. 1777. 

his course. Supporting his rifle in his left hand and carefully adjusting 
his reins with the other, he urged his horse to the brink of the bluff, 
and then made the leap which decided his fate. In the next moment the 
noble steed, still bearing his intrepid rider in safety, was at the foot of 
the precipice. McCoUoch immediately dashed across the creek, and 
was soon beyond the reach of the Indians.* 

Finding all attempts to take the fort fruitless, the Indians killed 
all the stock, including more than three hundred cattle, burned 
houses and fences, and destroyed every article of furniture. 

Of the forty-two men who had been in the fort, twenty-five were 
killed, all outside of the walls; of the savages probably one hun- 
dred perished, f 

But notwithstanding the dangers and difficulties which sur- 
rounded them during 1777, the pioneers of the West held steadily 
to their purposes, and those of Kentucky being now a component 
part of the citizens of Virginia, proceeded to exercise their civil 
privileges, and in April elected John Todd and Richard Gallaway, 
burgesses to represent them in the Assembly of the parent State. 
Early in the following September the first court was held in Har- 
rodsburg; and Col. Bowman, who, as we have mentioned, had 
arrived from the settlements in August, was placed at the head 
of a regular military organization which had been commenced the 
March previous. Thus, within herself, feeble as she was, Ken- 
tucky was organizing ; and her chief spirit, he that had represented 
her beyond the mountains the year before, was meditating another 
trip to Williamsburg, for the purpose of urging a bolder and more 
decided measure than any yet proposed. He understood the whole 
game of the British. He saw that it was through their possession 
of Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia and the other western posts — 
which gave them easy and constant access to the Indian tribes of 
the north-west — that the British hoped to effect such an union of 
the wild men as would annihilate the frontier fortresses. He 
knew that the Delawares were divided in feeling, and the Shawa- 
nese but imperfectly united in favor of England, ever since the 
murder of Cornstalk. He was convinced that could the British in 
the north-west be defeated and expelled, the natives might be 
easily awed or bribed into neutrality; and by spies sent for the 

* American Pioneer, vol. ii. p. 312. 

tSee Withers' Border Warfare, 160. American Pioneer, ii. 302-314-339. The usual 

(lito of the -ittnck is Scpteiubcr 1. Mr. M-jKiciiian g'.'es good authority for his dates, 
which we follow. 

1777. Clark proposes to conquer tltinois. 175 

purpose, and who were absent from April 20 to June 22d, he had 
satisfied himself that an enterprise against the Illinois settlements 
might easily succeed. Having made up his mind, on the 1st 
of October, he left Harrodsburg for the East, and reached the 
capital of Virginia November the 5th. Opening his mind to no 
one, he watched with care the state of feeling among those in ^ 
power, waiting the proper moment to present his scheme. Fortu- 
nately, while he was upon his road, on the 17th of October, Bur- 
goyne had surrendered, and hope was again predominant in the 
American councils. When therefore the western soldier, upon 
the 10th of December, broke the subject of his proposed expe- 
dition against the forts on the far distant Mississippi, to Patrick 
Henry, who was still governor, he met wuth a favorable hearing, 
and though doubts and fears arose by degrees, yet so well digested 
were his plans, that he was able to meet each objection, and 
remove every seeming impossibility. Already the necessity of 
securing the western posts had been presented to the consideration 
of Congress ; as early as April 29, 1776, the committee on Indian 
affairs were instructed to report upon the possibility of taking De- 
troit ; * and again, upon the 20th of November, 1777, a report was 
made to that body, in which this necessity was urged, and also 
the need that existed, of taking some measure to prevent the spirit 
of disaffection from spreading among the frontier inhabitants.! 
Three commissioners also were chosen to go to Fort Pitt, for the 
purpose of inquiring into the causes of the frontier difficulties, and 
doing what could be done to secure all the whites to the American 
cause, to cultivate the friendship of the Shawanese and Delawares, 
and to concert with General Hand some measures for pushing the 
war westward, so as to obtain possession of Detroit and other posts. 
General Washington was also requested to send Colonel William 
Crawford, an old pioneer, to take the active command in the 
West; and he accordingly left head quarters upon the 25th. 
All this, as we shall see by and by, ended in nothing, but it 
proved the correctness of Clark's views, and aided, we may sup- 
pose in convincing those who ruled in the Ancient Dominion that 
their glory and interest, as well as the safety of the whole frontier 
country, were deeply involved in the success of the bold plan of 
the founder of Kentucky. 

And here, before proceeding to narrate the steps taken by Clark 

* Secret Journals i. 43. 

t Old Journals, vol. ii. p. 340, 

176 Condition of Illinois. 11^2 to 1111, 

to reduce the Illinois and other British posts of the north-west, it 
will be proper to bring up the scant and simple annals of that por- 
tion of our country from 1750, when Vivier wrote respecting them, 
to the period at which we have now arrived. 

The settlements along the Mississippi, from 1750 to 1762, ex- 
perienced few changes with which we are acquainted.* On the 
3d of the month of November of the year last named, the prelim- 
inary articles of peace between Great Britain, France, Spain and 
Portugal, which resulted in the peace of Paris, of February 10th, 
1763, were signed at Fontainbleau ; on that day also, by a secret act 
of cession the French king gave to Spain all of Louisiana (west of 
the Mississippi,!) together with New Orleans and the island on 
which it is situated. The command of this territory, however, 
was not given over by the officers of France until directed to do 
so by an order dated April 21, 1764. The regions east of the 
Mississippi, including all the various towns of the north-west, 
were by the same peace-making given over to England ; but they 
do not appear to have been taken possession of by that power 
until 1765, when Captain Stirling, in the name of the majesty of 
England, established himself at Fort Chartres, bearing with him 
the proclamation of General Gage, dated December 30, 1764, 
which promised freedom of religious worship to the western 
Catholics, a right to leave the country with their effects if they 
wished, or to remain with the privileges of Englishmen. | During 
some years, differences occurred between the British rulers and 
French inhabitants, and many of the latter crossed the river into 
the dominions of Spain ; so that when Captain Pittman visited 
"the Illinois," in 1770, Kaskaskia contained only sixty-five 
resident families, and Cahokia only forty-five dwellings. || Still 
at that time^ one man furnished the king's stores from his crop, 
86,000 lbs. of flour. § Soon after this we find General Gage issu- 
ing his proclamation of April, 1772, against interlopers on the 
Wabash, at St. Vincent and elsewhere, which led to a protest on 

* Some account of the Illinois in 175G may be found in the travels of Bossu, translated 
by J. R. Forster, London, 1771. 2 vols. 

t This was intended, but not stated. See order to Mons. D'Abbadie, Land Laws 976. 

\ Land Laws, 918. — Brown's Illinois, 212. 

[Pittman's present state of English Settlements on the Mississippi. (London, 1770) 
p. 43. 

§ Pittman, p. 43. On p. 55 this writer says a man in Illinois could have been fed and 
lodged the year round for two months' work ; the one in seed-time, the other in harvest. 
In 1769, Hutchins (Geographical Description, 43) says the Illinois produced 110 Hhds. of 

1762-1777. Condition of Illinois. 177 

the part of the old inhabitants in the following September, this pro- 
test the General replied to by requiring the name of every person 
at St. Vincents, with all the details of each one's claim.* These 
claims at the time of the Revolution passed, as did those from the 
posts further west, into the hands of the United States' Govern- 
ment, and were by them equitably adjusted, although it was by 
no means an easy matter to do so, as the claims finally existing 
had arisen in various ways ; some from grants by the old French 
commandants, others from those by the British officers, who suc- 
ceeded in the government of Illinois, others by purchase from the 
Indians, and others again under promises made by the old con- 
federation. Many of these claims were supported by scarce any 
proof, most of the old records having been destroyed ; and others 
were upheld only by perjury, which seems to have been easily 
procured when needed. Among the cases w^hich appear most 
embarrassing were those of the Illinois and Wabash Go's, who, 
in July, 1773, and October, 1775, had bought of the Indians 
three immense and most valuable tracts of land in what are now 
the States of Illinois and Indiana, upon the Illinois, Mississippi, 
Ohio and Wabash rivers. The purchases were made by William 
Murray, for himself and others, at open councils held at Kaskaskia 
and St. Vincent, in the presence of the British officers, and which 
lasted for several ~ weeks. From these meetings ardent spirits 
were entirely excluded, and the savages, in return for their deeds, 
received goods to the value of fifty thousand dollars. The British 
government, however, under the pressure of the time, did not 
confirm the proceedings, although Lord Dunmore was one of the 
leaders of the Wabash Company — and when, after the Revolution, 
the purchasers presented their claim to the United States, which 
they did several times, it was not granted. Congress taking the 
ground that the purchase from the natives was in contempt of the 
Proclamation of 1763, and could not be recognized. Upon the 
same ground the vast tract in the north-west, which Jonathan Car- 
ver, the old traveller, alledged a title to, as having been purchased 
of the Sioux, w^as considered as in no degree his, even though he- 
had been able to show a fair title, (independent of the proclama- 
tion,) which, as it happened, he was not able to do. There are 
many voluminous reports in relation to these matters in the Amer- 
ican State papers, which may be found by turning to the Index of 

* Land Laws, 948-949. For Gage's Proclamation, see American State Papers, xvii. 209, 


178 Condition of Illinois. 1762 to 1777. 

those volumes ; a few of them we refer to below.* Among those 
referred to, that on page 108, is a very able and full argument in 
favor of the Illinois and Wabash Companies, (which had been 
united in 1780,) — a paper probably prepared by Robert Goodloe 

In Hutchins' Topography of Virginia, &c., we find it stated 
that Kaskaskia contained 80 houses, and nearly 1000 white and 
black inhabitants; the whites being a little the most numerous. 
Cahokia is stated at 50 houses and 300 white inhabitants, with 
80 negroes. He also estimates east of the Mississippi, 300 white 
men capable of bearing arms, and 230 negroes. This last calcu- 
lation is made for 1771, and although Hutchins did not publish 
his work until 1778, we presume his calculations all apply to a 
period anterior to the commencement of the Revolutionary War. 

From 1775 until the expedition by Clark, we find nothing re- 
corded, and know nothing of the condition of the Illinois settle- 
ments beyond what is contained in the following extract from a 
report made by a committee to Congress in June, 1788. 

Near the mouth of the river Kaskaskies, there is a village which ap- 
pears to have contained nearly eighty families, from the beginning of the- 
late revolution. There are twelve families in a small village at la Prairie 
du Rochers, and near fifty families at the Kahokia village. There are 
also four or five families at Fort Chartres and St. Philip's, which is five 
miles further up the river.t 

Such were the posts against which Clark was to march. But 
in the immediate neighorhood of those posts was the young 
and promising, though while under Spanish rule by no means 
thriving, colony of which St. Louis| was the central point ; a brief 
history of which, (drawn almost entirely from the report of J. N. 
Nicollet made to Congress, in 1843,) seems also appropriate at 
this point. 

The country west of the Mississippi was secretly given over by 
France to Spain, November 3, 1762, the order on the French 
Governor, Mons. D'Abbudie, to deliver up his command, was 
drawn on the 21st of April, 1764. Meantime a company of mer- 

* See American State Papers, xvii. 123 to 240. 108. 253. xviii. 551. 611. See also 
case of Johnson vs. Mcintosh. Wheaton's Reports, viii. 543. 

+ See Land Laws, 393. [Volney, (view, 381,) says that Colonel Sargent, in 1790, esti- 
mated the French families in Illinois at 150.] 

t Or Pancorcj sec Volncy's View, 381. 

3762 — 1777. Condition of Missouri. 179 


■chants, headed by a Mr. Laclede, had obtained the monopoly of 

the Indian fur-trade on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and an 
expedition was fitted out to form establishments, and open com- 
mercial relations with the natives. Says Nicollet : 

Mr. Laclede, the principal projector of the company, and withal a 
man of great intelligence and enterprise, was placed in charge of the 
expedition. Leaving New Orleans on the 3d of August, 1763, he 
arrived at St. Genevieve three months afterwards — namely, on the 3d 
of November. ********* 

At this time, the French establishments were on the east side of the 
Mississippi, particularly those made in Illinois. The small village of 
St. Genevieve alone v/as on the right side, in which Mr. Laclede could 
scarcely find a house of sufficient size to store a fourth part of his 
cargo. On the other hand, the director general of Louisiana had 
received orders to deliver up the territory on the west side of the river ; 
so that the British authorities might be expected at any moment, 
presenting themselves to take possession of it. In the midst of these 
difficulties, Mr. Laclede, greatly embarrassed under the new aspect of 
things, found himself, however, relieved when the commanding officer, 
Mr. NeyoK^ de Villiers, allowed him the use of the store at Fort'' 
Chartres; until the final surrender of the place. Laclede gladly 
accepted the ofler, and lost no time in apportioning his squad and dis- 
tributing his flotilla along the rivers, so as to render them most efleclive 
either for defence or for trade. 

Having accomplished that preliminary arrangement, it became neces- 
sary to look out for the position of a central establishment. The left 
bank of the river no longer presented any fit situation, since the whole 
teriitory of Illinois had been passed over to the British Government ; 
the village of St. Genevieve, on the right bank, being his only alterna- 
tive, and this situated at too great a distance from the mouth of the 
Missouri. Mr. Laclede, therefore, left Fort Chartres, on a voyage of 
exploration to the junction of this river with the Mississippi, and was 
not long before he discovered that the bluff" upon which St. Louis now 
stands was the spot that would best answer the purposes of the company. 

Deferring, for the present, a more particular account of the geologi- 
cal situation of St. Louis, it may be remarked in this place that the hill 
upon which the city is situated is composed of limestone rocks, covered 
by a deep deposite of alluvial soil of great fertility. The limestone 
bluff" rises to an elevation of about eighty feet over the usual recession 
of the waters of the Mississippi, and is crowned by an upland, or 
plateau, extending to the north and west, and presenting scarcely any 
limit to the foundation of a city entirely secure from the invasions of 
the river. *********** 

180 Condition of Missouri. 1762—1777. 

It was on this spot that the prescient mind of Mr. Laclede foresaw 
and predicted the future importance of the town to which he gave the 
name of St. Louis, and about which he discoursed, a few (lays after- 
ward, with so much enthusiasm, in presence of the officers at Fort 
Chartres. But winter had now set in, (December,) and the Mississippi 
was about to be closed by ice. Mr. Laclede could do no more than cut 
down some trees, and blaze others, to indicate the places Mhich he had 
selected. Returning afterwards to the fort, where he spent the winter, 
he occupied himself in making every preparation for the establisliment 
of the new colony. 

Accordingly, at the breaking up of winter, he equipped a large boat, 
which he manned with thirty hands. It is proper to mention, in this 
place, that Mr. Laclede was accompanied by two young Creoles of New 
Orleans, Auguste and Pierre Chouteau, of high intelligence, in whom 
he reposed the greatest confidence, and from whom he derived much 
assistance. These two young men, who never afterwards quitted the 
country of their adoption, became in time the heads of numerous 
families; enjoying the highest respectability, the comforts of an hon- 
orably acquired affluence, the fruit of their own industry, and possessed 
of a name which to this day, after a lapse of seventy years, is still a 
passport that commands safety and hospitality among all the Indian 
nations of the United States, north and west. Mr. Laclede gave the 
command of his boat to Auguste, the elder of the two brothers, who 
died in 1826; and it is with mixed feelings of veneration and filial 
affection that, at the moment of recording these events, (1842,) I have 
the satisfaction of believing that my respectable and esteemed friend, 
Pierre Chouteau, is still alive, in the full enjoyment of his faculties, at 
the ripe old age of 86 years. 

Auguste Choteau, who had accompanied Mr. Laclede in his first 
excursion, was directed to carry out his plans ; and on tlie L5lh of 
February, 1764, had arrived at his point of destination, with all his 
men, whom he immediately set to work. The present old market- 
place of St. Louis is the spot where the first tents and log cabins were 
pitched, upon the site of this now important city of the West. Mr. 
Laclede being detained at Fort Chartres in the settlement of his private 
aff*airs, and in anticipation of the arrival of the British troops, thought 
it necessary, however, to 'pay a visit, early in the ensuing month of 
April, tn h\s pioicers ; and, finding every thing in good train, contented 
himself with leaving such instructions as were best fitted to develop the 
resources of the location, and returned to Fort Chartres, with the inten- 
tion of removing thence the goods belonging to the company.* 

For some time, however, as the English did not appear, M. 
Laclede remained at Fort Chartres, from the vicinity of which 

* Nicollet's Report, pp. 70—77. 

1762 — 1777. Condition of Missouri. 181 

many of the French, during the summer of 1764, removed to St. 
Louis. This emigration was soon checked, however, by the 
news of the secret cession to " His Catholic Majesty,"* which 
news left the unfortunate and simple hearted Frenchf of Illinois, 
deserted by their own monarch, to choose between the dominion 
of England and Spain. The troubles which followed the attempt 
of Spain to take possession of Lower Louisiana, for some time left 
the upper settlements in the hands of the French : it was not, 
indeed, till 1770, that Spain obtained final possession of St. Louis. 
Meanwhile other towns were rising. 

Of the state of St. Louis and its neighboring towns, about 
1771, we may form some conception from the facts and estimates 
given by Hutchins." At St. Genevieve he says there were 208 
whites and 80 negroes, capable of bearing arms ; and at St. Louis, 
415 whites and 40 blacks. He further tells us there were 120 
houses in the town last named, mostly of stone, large and commo- 
dious : and the whole number of people he places at 800, besides 
150 negroes; the whites being chiefly French. The population of 
St. Genevieve, he puts at 460, besides blacks. J 

In 1767, a man by the name of Delo Detergette settled upon a splen- 
did amphitheatre on the right bank of the Mississippi, six miles south 
of St. Louis. He was soon followed by others ; but, as they were not 
overburdened with wealth, they used to pay frequent visits to their 
kinsfolk of St. Louis, who, on seeing them approach, would exclaim, 
" Here come the empty pockets," — " voila les poches vides qui vien- 
?2en?." But, on some occasion, a wag remarked, "You had better 
c3l\1 them emptier s of pockets," les vide-poches ; a compliment which 

* Nicollet says (p. 82) that news of this cession reached New Orleans, April 21, 1764 ; 
that was the date of the king's order, which was printed at New Orleans, in the follow- 
ing October. See Land Laws, 976. "^ 

+ The following story, told by I^icollet, is very characteristic. 

" A genuine Missourian, it is related, was hovering for some time around the stall of 
a negro dealer, situated on the "bank of the Mississippi, in Lovver Louisiana. The dealer 
was a Kentucky merchant, who, observing him, asked him if he wished to purchase any 
tiling ? ' Yes,' said the Missourian, ' I should like to buy a negro.' He was invited 
to walk in, made his choice, and inquired the price. ' Five hundred dollars," said the 
dealer, ' but, according to custom, you may have one year's credit upon the purchase.' 
The Missourian, at this proposition, became very uneasy , the idea of such a load of debt 
upon him for a whole year was too much. ' No, no,' said he, ' I'd rather pay you 
six hundred dollars at once, and be done with it.' ' Very well," said th e Kentuckian, 
any thing to accommodate.' " 

:j: Hutchins' Topographical description of Virginia, (we have lost the pages of this ref- 
erence.) There is no additional information on the subject in his pamphlet on Louisi- 
?Jia, though published several years later. 

182 Siege of St. Louis. 1780. 

was retaliated by tliese upon the place of St. Louis, which was subject 
to frequent seasons of want, by styling it Pain-court — short of bread. 
The village, being still nameless, retained the appellation of Vide poche 
until 1776, when it was changed into that of Carondelet. 

In 1769, settlements were made on both shores of the lower portion 
of the Missouri river. Blanchette, surnamed " the hunter," built his 
log-house on the hills called les Petites Cotes ; being the first dwelling of 
the beautiful village that, in 1781, received the name of St. Charles.* 

Francois Borosier Dunegan commenced the village of Florissant ^ 
which name it still popularly retains, although more lately called by the 
Spaniards St. Ferdinand. 

About the same time, Francois Saucier originated the establishment 
of the Portage des Sioux, on the bank of the Mississippi, seven miles 
above the mouth of the Missouri. 

And here, anticipating a little, we give Nicollet^s account of 
the attack on St. Louis by the British and Indians usually assigned 
to 1778, but by Nicollet said to have been in May, 1780; a date 
made probable by the fact that Spain did not side with the United 
States until June 16th, 1779, and that act of hers must have been 
the provocation to the attack referred to.f 

The garrison, says Nicollet's report, consisted of only fifty to sixty 
men, commanded by a certain Captain Lebas,:j: (a Spaniard, and not a 
Frenchman, as his name might lead one to suppose.) But, what- 
soever his origin, he deserves nothing but public contempt. This Lebas, 
during the first three years that the Spaniards occupied the country, had 
commanded a small fort somewhere towards the mouth of the Missouri 
perhaps at Belle Fontaine — and afterwards received the command of 
St. Louis, as a successor to Cruzat, who himself had succeeded Piernaz. 
The only means of defence for the place at that time, was a stone tower 
erected near the village on the bank of the Mississippi, and some v/eak 
palisades. There were not more than 150 males in the place, of whom 
not more than 70 could be relied upon as efiicient to repel an enemy 
numbering, according to the best authorities, 900 combatants ; though, 
by some, their number is represented to have been from 1,400 to 1,500. 
It would have been useless to propose a capitulation, the conditions of 
which the Indians, (as has been unfortunately too often experienced,) 

* Hall (Sketches, i. 171,) says, 1804. 

t Nicollet had the papers of Colonel Augnste Chouteau. — For the date of Spain's 
action see Pitkins' United States, ii. 72. 

4 Spelt Leyba by Hall, whose account of the transaction, see Sketches, i. 171. Judgs 
Hall's spelling of the name is probably correct, if the man was a Spaniard. 

1780. Skge of St. Louis. 183 

either from ignorance or treachery, never fulfil'; and the inhabitants 
knew too well the character of those with whom they had to deal, to 
expect salvation in anything but a courageous resistance. The women 
and children, who could not take part in the defence, took shelter in the 
house of Auguste Chouteau ; whilst all those, both men and women, 
who were within the palisades, commenced so vigorous a resistance, 
that the enemy was forced to retreat. But these, with characteristic 
ferocity, threw themselves upon those of the inhabitants who, engaged 
in the cultivation of their fields, had not had time to reach the palisades ; 
and it is said that sixty were killed, and thirteen made prisoners. 

It is averred that the Spanish garrison took no part in this gallant de- 
fence. Lebas and his men had betaken themselves to the stone tower ; 
and it is further stated, that, as the tower threatened to give way after 
the first fire from it, he ordered the firing to be stopped ; and that he died 
on receiving information that the Sacs, Foxes, and Iowa Indians were 
massacring the people on the plains. The year this attack took place, 
is called by the French V Jinnee die Grand Coup — the year of the great 

Historical accuracy demands a denial here of the assertion of some 
authors, who ascribe to American troops an active part in this defence. 
Unfortunately, there were no United States troops on the bank of the 
Mississippi opposite to St. Louis, as none were needed, there being 
nothing to guard or to defend. It is well known that General George 
R. Clark, with his men, then occupied the important post of Kaskaskia, 
which is more than fifty-six miles south-east of St. Louis ; and that, 
consequently, this gallant officer could not have had time, even if it fell 
within his line of duty, to aid in an affair that concerned the Spaniards 
and the British, which was planned as a surprise, and lasted but a few 

Afier the event narrated above, the inhabitants of St. Louis, finding 
that their garrison were unworthy of trust, without ammunition, and 
without means of defence against a regularly organized attack, deputed 
Mr. A. Chouteau to proceed to New Orleans for assistance. Cruzat was 
again made commander of St. Louis, the affairs of which place he ad- 
ministered with mildness and public satisfaction. A wooden fort was 
built on the most elevated spot within the city, upon which were mounted 
several heavy pieces of ordnance, and still later there were added four 
stone turrets, from which cross-fires could be kept up. This might 
have answered for the protection of the city, but only against the In- 
dians. No trace of this fortification are now to be seen — the very site 
of which has yielded to the improvements of the city.* 

* See Nicollet, p. 83. 


Clark, having satisfied the Virginia leaders of the feasibility of 
his plan, received on the 2d of January two sets of instructions — 
the one open, authorising him to enlist seven companies to go to 
Kentucky, subject to his orders, and to serve for three months 
from their arrival in the West; the other set secret and drawn as 
follows : 

VIRGINIA: Set. Lv Council, Williamsburg, Jan. 2d, 1778. 
Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark: 

You are to proceed, wilh all convenient speed, to raise seven com- 
panies of soldiers to consist of fifty men each, officered in the usual 
manner, and armed most properly for the enterprize ; and with this 
force attack the British post at Kaskasky. 

It is conjectured that there are many pieces of cannon and military 
stores, to considerable amount, at that place; the taking and preserva- 
tion of which would be a valuable acquisition to the State. If you are 
so fortunate, therefore, as to succeed in your expedition, you will take 
every possible measure to secure the artillery and stores, and whatever 
may advantage the Slate. 

For the transportation of the troops, provisions, &;c., down the Ohio, 
you are to apply to the commanding officer at Fort Pitt, for boats ; and 
during the whole transaction you are to take especial care to keep the 
true destination of your force secret : its success depends upon this. 
Orders are therefore given to Captain Smith to secure the two men 
from Kaskasky. Similar conduct will be proper in similar cases. 

It is earnesdy desired that you show humanity to such British sub- 
jects and other persons as fall in your hands. If the white inhabitants 
at that post and the neighborhood, will give undoubted evidence of their 
attachment to this State, (for it is certain they live within its limits,) by 
taking the test prescribed by law, and by every other way and means 
in their power, let them be treated as fellow-citizens, and their persons 
and property duly secured. Assistance and protection against all ene- 
mies whatever, shall be afforded them ; and the Commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia is pledged to accomplish it. But if these people will not accede 

1778. Clark descends the Ohio. 185 

to these reasonable demands, they must feel the miseries of war, under 
the direction of that humanity that has hitherto distinguished Americans, 
and which it is expected you will ever consider as the rule of your con- 
duct, and from which you are in no instance to depart. 

The corps you are to command are to receive the pay and allowance 
of miliiia, and to act under the laws and regulations of this State, now 
in force, as militia. The inhabitants at this post will be informed by 
you, that in case they accede to the offers of becoming citizens of this 
Commonwealth, a proper garrison will be maintained among them, and 
every attention bestowed to render their commerce beneficial ; the fairest 
prospects being opened to the dominions of both France and Spain. 

It is in contemplation to establish a post near the mouth of the Ohio. 
Cannon will be wanted to fortify it. Part of those at Kaskasky will 
be easily brought thither, or otherwise secured, as circumstances will 
make necessary. 

You are to apply to General Hand, at Pittsburgh, for powder and lead 
necessary for this expedition, If he can't supply it, the person who 
has that which Captain Lynn brought from Orleans can. Lead was sent 
to Hampshire by my orders, and that may be delivered you. Wishing 
you success, I am Sir, your humble servant,* P. HENRY. 

With these instructions and twelve hundred pounds in the 
depreciated currency of the time, Colonel Clark, (for such was 
now his title,) on the 4th of February started for Pittsburg. It 
had been thought best to raise the troops needed beyond the moun- 
tains, as the colonies were in want of all the soldiers they could 
muster east of the Alleghanies, to defend themselves against the 
British forces. Clark therefore proposed to enlist men about 
Pittsburg, while Major W. B. Smith, for the same purpose went 
to the Holston, and other officers to other points. None, however, 
succeeded as they hoped to ; at Pittsburg Clark found great oppo- 
sition to the intention of carrying men away to defend the outposts 
in Kentucky, while their own citadel and the whole region about 
it were threatened by the savage allies of England ; and Smith, 
though he nominally succeeded in raising four companies, was 
unable essentially to aid his superior officer after all. With three 
companies and several private adventurers, Clark at length com- 
menced his descent of the Ohio, which he navigated as far as the 
Falls, where he took possession of and fortified Corn Island, op- 
posite to the spot now occupied by Louisville. At this place he 
appointed Colonel Bowman to meet him with such recruits as had 

* See Butler's History of Kentucky, p. p. 489. 

186 Clark crosses Illinois. 1778. 

reached Kentucky by the southern route, and as many men as 
could be spared from the stations. Here also he announced to 
the men their real destination. Having waited until his arrange- 
ments were all completed, and those chosen who were to be of 
the invading party, on the 24th of June, during a total eclipse of 
the sun, with four companies he left his position and fell down the 
river. His plan was to follow the Ohio as far as the fort known 
as Fort Massac or Massacre, and thence to go by land direct to 
Kaskaskia. His troops took no other baggage than they could 
carry in the Indian fashion, and for his success he trusted entirely 
to surprise. If he failed, his plan was to cross the Mississippi and 
throw himself into the Spanish settlements on the west of that 
river. Before he commenced his march he received two pieces 
of information of which he made good use at the proper time, by 
means of which he conquered the west without bloodshed. One 
of these important items was the alliance of France with the colo- 
nies; this at once made the American side popular with the 
French and Indians of Illinois and the lakes, France having never 
lost her hold upon her ancient subjects and allies, and England 
having never secured their confidence. The other item was, that 
tlie inhabitants of Kaskaskia and the other old towns had been led 
by the British to believe that the Long Knives or Virginians, 
were the most fierce, cruel, and blood-thirsty savages that ever 
scalped a foe. With this impression on their minds, Clark saw 
that proper management would readily dispose them to submit 
from fear, if surprised, and then to become friendly from gratitude, 
when treated with unlocked for clemency. 

In the hot July sun, therefore, the little army toiled along the 
dimly seen hunters' paths toward the British Fort, suffering not a 
little from thirst. A party of hunters which had been stopped on 
their way from Kaskaskia, told the Americans that, alarmed by 
some means, we know not how, the English commander, Mr. 
Rocheblave, was on the alert, and that they must ensure a sur- 
prise if they wished success. This was just as the Colonel ex- 
pected, and cautiously, quickly, and full of hope, he and his men 
pressed on, until on the evening of July 4th they drew near the 
settlement they were in search of. Carefully concealed, the troops 
lay still while boats were collected to carry them across the river ; 
then, in the darkness, two divisions crossed with directions to re- 
main hidden at different points, until a signal should warn them 
that Clark, with the third division, had succeeded in taking the 

1778. Clark takes Kaskaskia. 187 

fort opposite the village, when with shouts and yells they were to 
rush upon the town, and give warning that any citizens who ap- 
peared in the streets would be instantly shot. These arrange- 
ments made, the Colonel with his party, led by a hunter, taken 
prisoner the evening previous, obtained quiet possession of the 
fort by entering an open gate on the river side. The signal agreed 
on was given ; the other parties broke into the quiet streets like 
bands of wild Iroquois; and the inhabitants, surprised, terrified 
and trembling, heard the formidable notice shouted forth which 
forbade their appearance in the streets, and listened all night to 
the screams and shrieks of the white savages who, by Clark's ^ 
orders, constantly patrolled the streets.* The commandant of Kas- 
kaskia was taken in his~bed, but his papers were saved by being 
placed in his wife's trunks, which the Virginia barbarians were 
too gallant to seize and search against her will ; conduct contrast- 
ing singularly with that of the Great Frederick, the leader of Eu- 
ropean civilization, who, twenty years before, would have certain 
documents, though the Queen of Poland not only put them in her 
trunk, but sat down herself upon the top of it.f 

On the 5th of July, Clark withdrew his troops from the town, 
but still forbade communication among the inhabitants, and all 
intercourse between them and the American soldiers. Not con- 
tent with this, the Virginian placed some of the more prominent 
of the French in irons, without assigning any cause, a step which 
wrought up the terror of their fellow citizens to a still higher 
pitch. One thing more only was wanting to complete the conster- 
nation of the conquered — the appearance of the victors. To the 
Illinois Europeans, who even in their far-off wilderness, associated 
much of splendor and pomp with military command, the soiled, 
torn, shabby clothes, burned faces, and useful rather than orna- 
mental arms of the American officers, carried conviction of all 
that had been told them as to the untamed ferocity of the Long 
Knives ; and when a deputation waited upon the General and his 
staff to ask leave to meet in the village church, and there bid one 
another farewell before being separated forever, as they supposed 
they should be, it was plain that fear had done the work intended. 
In answer to the request which they made, Clark said bluntly, 

* On that same night, while the soldiers of Clark scared the Kaskaskians with pretended 
ferocity, the valley of Wyoming echoed with real shrieks of rage and pain, and swam with 
blood shed by white men ; for the leaders in that massacre wera Tories. 

i Lord Dover's Life of Frederick, ii,, 15, (Harpers' Edition.) 

188 ^ Clark takes CahoMa. 1778. 

that Americans left all men to worship as they would, that they 
might meet in the church, if they pleased, hut on no account to 
venture upon any farther step: they wished, apparently, to say 
something more, but the ragged General would not listen. After 
the assemblage had taken place, the leading men, together with 
their priest, once more came with an humble petition to the 
dangerous Virginia chieftain ; they asked that they might not be 
separated from their wives and children, and that some food and 
clothing might be allowed them. "Do you mistake us for sava- 
ges?" asked Clark, who saw that the hour for leniency was come, 
" Do you think that Americans intend to strip women and chil- 
dren, or take the bread out of their mouths ? My countrymen 
disdain to make war upon helpless innocence ; it was to prevent 
the horrors of Indian butchery upon our own wives and children, 
that we have taken arms and penetrated into this remote strong- 
hold of British and Indian barbarity ; and not the despicable 
^ prospect of plunder. Now that the king of France has united his 
powerful arms with those of America, the war will not, in all 
probability, continue long; but the inhabitants of Kaskaskia are at 
liberty to take which side they please, without the least danger to 
either their property or families. Nor will their religion be any 
source of disagreement ; as all religions are regarded with equal 
respect in the eye of the American law, and any insult which 
shall be offered it, will be immediately punished. And now, to 
prove my sincerity, you will please inform your fellow-citizens, 
that they are quite at liberty to conduct themselves as usual, with- 
out the least apprehension ; I am now convinced from what I have 
learned since my arrival among you, that you have been misin- 
formed and prejudiced against us by British officers; and your 
friends who are in confinement shall immediately be released." 
The change of feeling which followed this speech of Clark's fully 
justified the course of conduct he had pursued ; expecting every 
severity which war could justify, the joy produced by the an- 
nouncement that they would be deprived of neither liberty nor 
property, prepared them to become the friends and supporters of 
those before whom they had trembled, and when a detachment 
was ordered to march against Cahokia, the Kaskaskians offered to 
go with it and secure the submission of their neighbors. In this 
they perfectly succeeded, and on the 6th of July, the two chief 
posts in the Illinois had passed, and without bloodshed, from the 
possession of England into that of Virginia. 

1778. Clark takes Vincennes. 189 

But St. Vincent's, the most important western post except Detroit, 
still remained unconquered, nor could Clark, with his small force, 
hope to obtain possession of it, as he must of necessity be for some 
time near the Mississippi, to organize a government for the colo- 
nies he had taken, and to treat with the Indians of the north-west. 
Under these circumstances, he determined to accept the offer of 
M. Gibault, the priest of Kaskaskia, who told him he would 
undertake by persuasion alone to lead the inhabitants of Vin- 
cennes to throw off their forced connexion with England. On the 
14th of July, in company with a fellow townsman, M. Gibault left 
upon his mission of peace ; and upon the 1st of August, returned 
with the intelligence that the inhabitants of the post upon the 
Wabash had taken the oath of allegiance to the Old Dominion. 

Having met with such great success, Clark in the next place 
re-enlisted his men, established courts, placed garrisons at Kaskas- 
kia, Cahokia and Vincennes, sent word to have a fort, which 
proved the germ of Louisville, commenced at the falls of the 
Ohio, and despatched Mr. Rocheblave, who had been command- 
ant at Kaskaskia, as a prisoner to Richmond. In October, the 
county of Illinois was created by the legislature of Virginia, and 
John Todd appointed Lieutenant Colonel and civil Commandant ; 
and in November, Colonel Clark, his officers and men, received 
the thanks of their native state in these words : 

In the House of Delegates, 

Monday, the 23(1 Nov. 1778. 

TVIiereas, authentic information has been received, that Lieutenant 
Colonel George Rogers Clark, with a body of Virginia militia, has re- 
duced the British posts in the western part of this Commonwealth, on 
the river Mississippi, and its branches, whereby great advantage may 
accrue to the common cause of America, as well as to this Common- 
wealth in particular. 

Resolved, That the thanks of this House are justly due to the said 

Colonel Clark and the brave officers and men under his command, for 

their extraordinary resolution and perseverance, in so hazardous an en- 

lerprize, and for the important services thereby rendered their country. *" 

Test, E. RANDOLPH, C. H. D. 

The next steps of the western leader had reference to securing 
the co-operation or neutrality of the various Indian tribes, and 
here, especially, he seems to have been in his element. His 
meetings with them were opened at Cahokia, in September, and 

* See Butler's History of Kentucky, p. 490. 

190 Clark's Speech to the Indians. 1778. 

his principles of action being never to court them, never to load 
them with presents, never to seem to fear them, though always to 
show respect to courage and ability, and to speak in the most direct 
manner possible, — he waited for the natives to make the first 
advances and offer peace. When they had done so, and thrown 
away the bloody wampum sent them by the British, Clark coldly 
told them he would answer them the next day, and meanwhile 
cautioned them against shaking hands wdth the Americans, as 
peace was not yet concluded; it will be time to give hands when 
the heart can be given too, he said. The next day the Indians 
came to hear the answer of the Big Knife, which we give entire, 
as taken by Mr. Butler and Mr. Dillon, from Clark's ow^n notes. 

" Men and warriors : pay attention to my words. You informed me 
yesterday, that the Great Spirit had brought us together, and that you 
hoped, that as he was good, it would be for good. I have also the same 
hope, and expect that each party will strictly adhere to whatever may 
be agreed upon, whether it shall be peace or war ; and henceforward 
prove ourselves worthy of the attention of the Great Spirit. I am a 
man and a warrior, not a counsellor ; I carry war in my right hand, and 
in my left, peace. I am sent by the Great Council of the Big Knife, 
and their friends, to take possession of all the towns possessed by the 
English in this country, and to watch the motions of the Red people : 
to bloody the paths of those who attempt to stop the course of the 
river ; but to clear the roads from us to those that desire to be in peace ; 
that the women and children may walk in them without meeting any 
thing to strike their feet against. I am ordered to call upon the Great 
Fire for warriors enough to darken the land, and that the Red people 
may hear no sound, but of birds who live on blood. I know there is a 
mist before your eyes ; I will dispel the clouds, that you may clearly 
see the causes of the war between the Big Knife and the English ; then 
you may judge for yourselves, which party is in the right ; and if you 
are warriors, as you profess yourselves to be, prove it by adhering faith- 
fully to the party, which yon shall believe to be entitled to your friend- 
ship, and not show yourselves to be squaws. 

*' The Big Knife is very much like the Red people, they don't know 
how to make blankets, and powder, and cloth ; they buy these things 
from tlie English, from whom they are sprung. They live by making 
corn, hunting and trade, as you and your neighbors, the French, do. 
But the Big Knife daily getting more numerous, like the trees in the 
woods, the land became poor, and hunting scarce ; and having but little 
to trade with, the women began to cry at seeing their children naked, 
and tried to learn how to make clothes for themselves ; soon made blan- 

1778. Clark'^s Speech. 191 

kets for iheir husbands and children ; and the men learned to make 
guns and powder. In this way we did not want to buy so much from 
the English ; they then got mad with us, and sent strong garrisons 
through our country, (as you see they have done among you on the 
lakes, and among the French,) they would not let our women spin, nor 
our men make powder, nor let us trade with any body else. The Eng- 
lish said, we should buy every thing from them, and since we had got 
saucy, we should give two bucks for a blanket, which we used to get 
for one ; we should do as they pleased, and they killed some of our 
people, to make the rest fear them. This is the truth, and the real 
cause of the war between the English and us ; which did not take place 
for some time after this treatment. But our women became cold and 
hungry, and continued to cry : our young men got lost for want of 
counsel to put them in the right path. The whole land was dark, the 
old men held down their heads for shame, because they could not see 
the sun, and thus there was mourning for many years over the land. 
At last the Great Spirit took pity on us, and kindled a great council 
fire, that never goes out, at a place called Philadelphia ; he then stuck 
down a post, and put a war tomahawk by it, and went away. The sun 
immediately broke out, the sky was blue again, and the old men held up 
their heads, and assembled at the fire ; they took up the hatchet, shar- 
pened it, and put it into the hands of our young men, ordering them to 
strike the English as long as they could find one on this side of the 
great waters, The young men immediately struck the war post, and 
blood was shed : in this way the war began, and the English were 
driven from one place to another, until they got weak, and then they 
hired you Red people to fight for them. The Great Spirit got angry at 
this, and caused your old Father, the French king, and other great na- 
tions to join the Big Knife, and fight with them against all their enemies. 
So the English have become like a deer in the woods ; and you may 
see that it is the Great Spirit, that has caused your waters to be troubled; 
because you have fought for the people he was mad with. If your 
women and children should now cry, you must blame yourselves for it, 
and not the Big Knife. You can now judge who is in the right; I 
have already told you who I am ; here is a bloody belt, and a white one, 
take which you please. Behave like men, and don't let your being 
surrounded by the Big Knife, cause you to take up the one belt with 
your hands, while your hearts take up the other. If you take the 
bloody path, you shall leave the town in safety, and may go and join 
yonr friends, the English ; we will then try like warriors, who can pVit 
the most stumbling blocks in each other's way, and keep our clothes 
longest stained with blood. If, on the other hand, you should take the 
path of peace, and be received as brothers to the Big Knife, with their 
fiiends, the French, should you then listen to bad birds, that may be 

192 Clark^s treatment of the Indians. 1778. 

flying throiigli the land, you will no longer deserve to be counted as 
men ; but as creatures with two tongues, that ought to be destroyed 
without listening to any thing you might say. As I am convinced you 
never heard the truth before, I do not wish you to answer before you 
have taken time to counsel. We will, therefore, part this evening, and 
when the Great Spirit shall bring us together again, let us speak and 
think like men with but one heart and one tongue."* 

This speech produced the desired effect, and upon the following 
day, the " Red People" and the " Big Knife" united hearts and 
hands both. In all these proceedings, there is no question that, 
directly and indirectly, the alliance of the United States with 
France was very instrumental in producing a friendly feeling 
among the Indians, who had never lost their old regard toward 
their first Great Father. 

But though it was Clark's general rule not to court the savages, 
there were some particular chieftains so powerful as to induce 
him to invite them to meet him, and learn the merits of the quarrel 
between the colonies and England. Among these was Black 
Bird, one of the lake chiefs ; he came at the invitation of the 
American leader, and dispensing with the usual formulas of 
Indian negotiation, sat dow^n with Colonel Clark in a common 
sense way, and talked and listened, questioned and considered, 
until he was satisfied that the rebels had the right of the matter ; 
after which he became, and remained, a firm friend of the Big 

While the negotiations between the conqueror of Kaskaskia and 
the natives were going forward, a couple of incidents occurred, so 
characteristic of Colonel Clark, that we cannot omit their mention. 
One was as follows: — A party of Indians, known as Meadow 
Indians,! had come to attend the council w4th their neighbors. 
These, by some means, were induced to attempt the murder of 
the invaders, and tried to obtain an opportunity to commit the 
crime proposed, by surprising Clark and his officers in their quar- 
ters. In this plan they failed, and their purpose w'as discovered 
by the sagacity of the French in attendance ; when this was done 
Clark gave them to the French to deal with as they pleased, but 
with a hint that some of the leaders would be as well in irons. 
Thus fettered and foiled, the chiefs were brought daily to the 

* Sec Butler's History of Kentucky, p. 6S. 

t \Vere these the Mascoutins, Prairie Indians 1 See Dillon's Indiana, i, 5. 

1778. Clark's Treatment of the Indians. 193 

council house, where he whom they proposed to kill, was engaged 
daily in forming friendly relations with their red brethren. At 
length, when by these means the futility of their project had 
been sufficiently impressed upon them, the American commander 
ordered their irons to be struck off, and in his quiet way, full of 
scorn, said, " Every body thinks you ought to die for your treach- 
ery upon my life, amidst the sacred deliberations of a council. I 
had determined to inflict death upon you for your base attempt, 
and you yourselves must be sensible that you have justly forfeited 
your lives; but on considering the meanness of watching a bear 
and catching him asleep, I have found out that you are not war- 
riors, only old women, and too mean to be killed by the Big 
Knife. But," continued he, " as you ought to be punished for 
putting on breech cloths like men, they shall be taken away from 
you, plenty of provisions shall be given for your journey home, as 
women don't know how to hunt, and during your stay you shall 
be treated in every respect as squaws." These few cutting words 
concluded, the Colonel turned away to converse with others. 
The children of the prairie, who had looked for anger, not con- 
tempt — punishment, not freedom — were unaccountably stirred by 
this treatment. They took counsel together, and presently a chief 
came forward with a belt and pipe of peace, which, with proper 
words, he laid upon the table. The interpreter stood ready to 
translate the words of friendship, but, with curling lip, the Ameri- 
can said he did not wish to hear them, and lifting a sword which 
lay before him, he shattered the offered pipe, with the cutting 
expression that "he did not treat with women." The bewil- 
dered, overwhelmed Meadow Indians next asked the intercession 
of other red men already admitted to friendship, but the only 
reply was, " The Big Knife has made no war upon these people ; 
they are of a kind that we shoot like wolves when we meet them, 
in the woods, lest they eat the deer." All this wrought more and 
more upon the offending tribe ; again they took counsel, and then 
two young men came forward, and covering their heads with their 
blankets, sat down before the impenetrable commander; then 
two chiefs arose, and stating that these young warriors offered 
their lives as an atonement for the misdoings of their relatives, 
again they presented the pipe of peace. Silence reigned in the 
assembly, while the fate of the proffered victims hung in suspense : 
all watched the countenance of the American leader, who could 
scarce master the emotion which the incident excited. Still, all 

194 Clark^s Interview witk Big Gate. 1779. 

sat noiseless, nothing heard but the deep breathing of those whose 
lives thus hung by a thread. Presently he upon whom all 
depended arose, and approaching the young men, he bade them 
be uncovered and stand up. They sprang to their feet. "I am 
glad to find," said Clark warmly, " that there are men among all 
nations. With you, who alone are fit to be chiefs of your tribe, 
I am willing to treat ; through you I am ready to grant peace to 
your brothers ; I take you by the hand as chiefs, worthy of being 
such." Here again the fearless generosity, the generous fearless- 
ness of Clark, proved perfectly successful, and while the tribe in 
question became the allies of America, the fame of the occurrence, 
which spread far and wide through the north-west, made the name 
of the white negotiator everywhere respected. 

The other incident to which we referred was this. — There 
was a warrior known in the West as the Big Gate, who was 
noted for his unceasing adherence to British interests. This 
man, when Clark began to gain the favor of the other red men, 
still remained unbending and at last coming to Cahokia, had the 
boldness to attend the councils there held, with his English war 
wampum and medals displayed upon his person. While the 
public business remained unfinished, Clark took no notice of the 
hostile chief, who still, day after day, attended the deliberations. 
At length the various treaties were concluded, and then the 
American commander, for the first time, turning toward the great 
warrior, told him, that private matters he w^as forced to lay aside 
while those of the country were concerned, but that he should be 
happy at last to pay his respects to one so distinguished, and 
asked the fierce tomahawker to dine with him. The Big Gate 
was taken unawares, and while he hesitated, Clark added, — 
" With us, however much we may be enemies, it is usual to show 
respect to those who are brave ;" and insisted upon the company 
of the savage. The red man was at a loss ; among all his tactics 
and strategems, this one of bold, kind appeal to the sympathies, 
was unknown; — for a moment he hesitated, then, stepping into 
the midst of the assembly, he threw down his emblems of amity 
for Britain, tore oflf his clothes, and proclaimed himself ally to the 
Big Knife. 

But while Clark was thus fortunate in one portion of the West, 
misfortunes beset those parts which were less distant from the 
centre of American life. 

In January, Boone, with thirty men, had started for the Blue 

1778. Daniel Boone taken captive by tlie JVatives. 19T) 

Licks, to enter upon the interminable business of salt making, the 
water being by no means strongly impregnated. Boone was to be 
guide, hunter, and scout; the rest cut wood and attended to the 
manufacturing department. January passed quietly, and before the 
7th of February, enough of the precious condiment had accumulated 
to lead to the return of three of the party to the stations with the 
treasure. The rest still labored on, and Boone enjoyed the winter 
\veather in the forest after his own fashion. But, alas for him, 
there was more than mere game about him in those woods along 
the rugged Licking. On the 7th of February, as he was hunting, 
he came upon a party of one hundred and four foes, two Cana- 
dians, the remainder Indians, Shawanese apparently. Boone fled ; 
but he was a man of forty-six, and his limbs were less supple than 
those of the young savages who pursued him, and in spite of 
every effort he was a second time prisoner. Finding it impossible 
to give his companions at the Licks due notice so as to secure 
their escape, he, proceeded to make terms on their behalf with his 
captors, and then persuaded his men by gestures, at a distance, to 
surrender without offering battle. Thus, without a blow, the 
invaders found themselves possessed of twenty-eight prisoners, 
and among them the greatest, in an Indian's eyes, of all the Long 
Knives. This band was on its way to Boonesborough to attack 
or to reconnoitre; but so good luck as they had met with changed 
their minds, and, turning upon their track, they took up their 
march for Old Chillicothe, an Indian town on the Little Miami. 
It was no part of the plan of the Shawanese, however, to retain 
these men in captivity, nor yet to scalp, slay, or eat them. Under 
the influence and rewards of Governor Hamilton, the British Com- 
mander in the Northwest, the Indians had taken up the business 
of speculating in human beings, both dead and alive ; and the 
Shawanese meant to take Boone and his comrades to the Detroit 
market. On the 10th of March, accordingly, eleven of the party, 
including Daniel himself, were despatched for the North, and, 
after twenty days of journeying, were presented to the English 
Governor, who treated them, Boone says, with great humanity. 
To Boone himself Hamilton and several other gentlemen seem to 
have taken an especial fancy, and offered considerable sums for 
his release ; but the Shawanese also had become enamored of the 
veteran hunter, and would not part with him. He must go home 
with them, they said, and be one of them, and become a great 
chief. So the pioneer found his very virtues becoming the cause 

196 Boone becomes ahnost idolized by the JVatives. 1778, 

of a prolonged captivity. In April, the red men, with their one 
white captive, about to be converted into a genuine son of nature^ 
returned from the flats of Michigan, covered with brush-choked 
forests, to the rolling valley of the Miamis, with its hill-sides 
clothed in their rich open woods of maple and beech, then just 
bursting into bloom. And now the white blood was washed out 
of the Kentucky ranger, and he was made a son in some family, 
and was loved and caressed by father and mother, brothers and 
sisters, till he was thoroughly sick of them. But disgust he could 
not show; so he was kind, and affable, and familiar, as happy as 
a lark, and as far from thinking of leaving them as he had been 
of joining them. He took his part in their games and romps ; 
shot as near the centre of a target as a good hunter ought to, and 
yet left the savage marksmen a chance to excel him, and smiled 
in his quiet eye when he witnessed their joy at having done bet- 
ter than the best of the Lon^ Knives. He grew into favor with 
the chief, was trusted, treated with respect, and listened to with 
attention. No man could have been better calculated than Boone 
to disarm the suspicions of the red men. Some have called him a 
white Indian, and, except that he never showed the Indian's 
blood-thirstiness when excited, he was more akin in his loves, his 
ways, his instincts, his joys, and his sorrows to the aboriginal 
inhabitants of the West than to the Anglo-Saxon invaders. Scarce 
any other white ever possessed in an equal degree the true Indian 
gravity, which comes neither from thought, feeling, or vacuity, 
but from a bump peculiar to their own craniums. And so in hunt- 
ing, shooting, swimming, and other Shawanese amusements, the 
newly made Indian boy Boone spent the month of May, necessity 
making all the little inconveniences of his lot quite endurable. 

On the 1st of June, his aid was required in the business of salt- 
making, and for that purpose he and a party of his brethren started 
for the valley of the Scioto, where he stayed ten days, hunting, 
boiling brine, and cooking ; then the homeward path was taken 
again. But when Chillicothe was once more reached, a sad sight 
met our friend Daniel's eyes; four hundred and fifty of the choice 
warriors of the West, painted in the most exquisite war-style, and 
armed for the battle. He scarce needed to ask whither they were 
bound ; his heart told him Boonesborough ; and already in imagina- 
tion he saw the blazing roofs of the little borough he had founded; 
and he saw the bleeding forms of his friends. Could he do 
nothing? He would see; meanwhile be a good Indian and look 

1778. Boone's escape from Captivity. 197 

all ease and joy. He was a long way from his own white home- 
stead; one hundred and fifty miles at least, and a rough and 
inhospitable country much of the way between him and it. But 
he had travelled fast and far, and might again. So, without a 
word to his fellow prisoners, early in the morning of June the 
16th, without his breakfast, in the most secret manner, unseen, 
unheard, he departed. He left his red relatives to mourn his loss, 
and over hill and valley sped, forty miles a day, for four success- 
ive days, and ate but one meal by the way. He found the 
station wholly unprepared to resist so formidable a body as that 
which threatened it, and it was a matter of life and death that 
every muscle should be exerted to get all in readiness for the 
expected visiters. Rapidly the white men toiled in the summer 
sun, and through the summer night, to repair and complete the 
fortifications, and to have all as experience had shown it should 
be. But still the foe came not, and in a few days another escaped 
captive brought information of the delay of the expedition in con- 
sequence of Boone's flight. The savages had relied on surprising 
the stations, and their plans being foiled by their adopted son 
Daniel, all their determinations were unsettled. Thus it proved 
the salvation of Boonesborough, and probably of all the frontier 
forts, that the founder of Kentucky was taken captive and re- 
mained a captive as long as he did. So often do seeming misfor- 
tunes prove, in God's hand, our truest good. 

Boone, finding his late relatives so backward in their proposed 
call, determined to anticipate them by a visit to the Scioto valley, 
where he had been at salt-making; and about the 1st of August, 
with nineteen men, started for the town on Paint Creek. He 
knew, of course, that he was trying a somewhat hazardous experi- 
ment, as Boonesborough might be attacked in his absence ; but 
he had his wits about him, and his scouts examined the country 
far and wide. Without interruption, he crossed the Ohio, and had 
reached within a few miles of the place he meant to attack, when 
his advanced guard, consisting of one man, Simon Kenton, dis- 
covered two natives riding one horse, and enjoying some joke as 
they rode. Not considering that these two might be, like himself, 
the van of a small army, Simon, one of the most impetuous of 
men, shot, and run forward to scalp them, — but found himself at 
once in the midst of a dozen or more of his red enemies, from 
whom he escaped only by the coming up of Boone and the 
remainder. The commander, upon considering the circumstances. 

198 Boonesborough attacked by the British and Indians. 1778. 

and learning from spies whom he sent forward that the town he 
intended to attack was deserted, came to the opinion that the band 
just met was on its w^ay to join a larger body for the invasion of 
Kentucky, and advised an immediate return. 

His advice was taken, and the result proved its wisdom ; for, 
in order to reach Boonesborough, they were actually obliged to 
coast along, go round, and outstrip a body of nearly five hundred 
savages, led by Canadians, who were marching against his doomed 
borough, and after all, got there only the day before them. 

On the 8th of August, with British and French flags flying, the 
dusky army gathered around the little fortress of logs, defended 
by its inconsiderable garrison. Captain Du Quesne, on behalf of 
his mighty Majesty, King George the Third, summoned Captain 
Boone to surrender. It was, as Daniel says, a critical period for 
him and his friends. Should they yield, what mercy could they 
look for? and he, especially, after his unkind flight from his Shaw- 
anese parents? They had almost stifled him with their caresses 
before; they would literally hug him to death, if again within 
their grasp. Should they refuse to yield, what hope of successful 
resistance ? And they had so much need of all their cattle to aid 
them in sustaining a siege, and yet their cows were abroad in the 
woods. Daniel pondered the matter, and concluded it would be 
safe, at any rate, to ask two days for consideration. It was 
granted, and he drove in his cows ! The evening of the 9th soon 
arrived, however, and he must say one thing or another; so he 
politely thanked the representative of his gracious Majesty for giv- 
ing the garrison time to prepare for their defence, and announced 
their determination to fight. Captain Du Quesne was much 
grieved at this ; Governor Hamilton was anxious to save blood- 
shed, and wished the Kentuckians taken alive ; and rather than 
proceed to extremities, the worthy Canadian offered to withdraw 
his troops, if the garrison would make a treaty, though to what 
point the treaty was to aim is unknown. Boone was determined 
not to yield ; but then he had no wish to starve in his fort, or 
have it taken by storm, and be scalped ; and he thought, remem- 
bering Hamilton's kindness to him when in Detroit, that there 
might be something in what the Captain said ; and at any rate, to 
enter upon a treaty was to gain time, and something might turn 
up. So he agreed to treat; but where? Could nine of the garri- 
son, as desired, safely venture into the open field? It might be all 
a trick to get possession of some of the leading whites. Upon 

1778. The invaders forced to retreat from Booneshorough. 199 

the whole, however, as the leading Indians and their Canadian 
allies must come under the rifles of the garrison, who might with 
certainty and safety pick them off if treachery were attempted, it 
was thought best to run the risk; and Boone, with eight others, 
went out to meet the leaders of the enemy, sixty yards from the 
fort, within which the sharpest shooters stood with leveled rifles, 
ready to protect their comrades. The treaty was made and signed, 
and then the Indians, saying it was their custom for two of them 
to shake hands with eveiy white man when a treaty was made, 
expressed a wish to press the palms of their new allies. Boone 
and his friends must have looked rather queer at this proposal ; but 
it was safer to accede than to refuse and be shot instantly ; so they 
presented each his hand. As anticipated the warriors seized them 
with rough and fierce eagerness, the whites drew back struggling, 
the treachery was apparent, the rifle-balls from the garrison struck 
down the foremost assailants of the little band, and, amid a fire 
from friends and foes, Boone and his fellow deputies bounded 
back into the station, with the exception of one, unhurt. 

The treaty trick having thus failed. Captain Du Quesne had to 
look to more ordinary modes of warfare, and opened a fire which 
lasted during ten days, though to no purpose, for the woodsmen 
were determined not to yield. On the 20th of August, the 
Indians were forced unwillingly to retire, having lost thirty-seven 
of their number, and wasted a vast amount of powder and lead. 
The garrison picked up from the ground, after their departure, one 
hundred and twenty-five pounds of their bullets.* 

Meanwhile the United States had not lost sight entirely of west- 
ern affairs. A fort was built early in the summer of this year, 
upon the banks of Ohio a little below Pittsburgh, near the spot 
where Beaver now stands. It was built by General Mcintosh, 
who had been appointed in May to succeed General Handf in the 
West, and was named with his name.|: It was the first fort 
built by the whites north of the Ohio. From this point it was 
intended to operate in reducing Detroit, where mischief was still 
brewing. Indeed the natives were now more united than ever 
against the colonies. In June we find Congress in possession of 
information, that led them to think a universal frontier war close 

* See Butler 534, — Marshal i. Boone's Narrative, &c. 

t Sparks' Washington, v. 361, 382. 

:j: Doddridge, p. 243. — Silliman's Journal, toI. xxsi. Art. i. p. 18. 


200 Treaty of peace and alliance with the Delawares. 1778. 

at hand.* The Senecas, Cayugas, Mingoes (by which we pre- 
sume, were meant the Ohio Iroquois, or possibly the Mohawks,) 
Wyandots, Onandagas, Ottawas, Chippeways, Shawanese, and 
Delawares, were all said to be more or less united in opposition 
to America. Congress, learning the danger to be so immediate 
and great, determined to push on the Detroit expedition, and 
ordered another to be undertaken by the Mohawk valley against 
the Senecas, who might otherwise very much annoy and impede 
the march from Fort Pitt. For the capture of Detroit, three thou- 
sand continental troops and two thousand five hundred militia 
were voted; an appropriation was made of nearly a million of 
dollars ; and General Mcintosh was to carry forward the needftil 

All the flourish which was made about taking Detroit, however, 
and conquering the Senecas, ended in the Resolves of Congress, 
it being finally thought too late in the season for advantageous 
action, and also too great an undertaking for the weak-handed 
colonies. | 

This having been settled, it was resolved, that the forces in 
the West should move up and attack the Wyandots and other 
Indians about the Sandusky ; || and a body of troops was accord- 
ingly marched forward to prepare a half-way house, or post, by 
which the necessary connexion might be kept up. This was built 
upon the Tuscarawas, a few miles south of the present town of 
Bolivar. In these quiet, commercial days the Ohio canal passes 
through its midst. § It was named Fort Laurens, in honor of the 
President of Congress. 

While these warlike measures w^ere pursued on the one hand, 
the Confederacy on the other by its Commissioners, Andrew and 
Thomas Lewis of Virginia, formed at Fort Pitt on the 17th of 
September, a treaty of peace and alliance with the Chiefs of the 
Delawares, White-Eyes, Kill-Buck, and Pipe.H 

• Journals of the Old Congress, vol. ii. p. 685. 

t Washington speaks of Mcintosh as having great worth and merit, a firm disposition, 
love of justice, assiduity, and a good understanding. — Sparks v. 361. 

\ Journals of the Old Congress, vol. ii. p. 633. 

g Journals of the Old Congress, vol. ii. p. 633. 

§ Silliman's Journal, xxxi. 57 ; where the name as in many treaties, &c. is misprinted 

% See volume of Indian Treaties Washington, 1837. — It is the first treaty recorded. 
See also Old Journals, ii. 577.— Do. iii. 81. 


We have already noticed the erection of Fort Laurens. — At that 
point, seventy miles from Fort Mcintosh, and exposed to all the 
fierce north western tribes. Colonel John Gibson had been left 
with one hundred and fifty men to get through the winter of 
1778-9, as he best could, while Mcintosh himself returned to 
Pittsburgh, disappointed and dispirited.* Nor was Congress in a 
very good humor with him, for already had six months passed to 
no purpose. Washington was consulted, but could give no defi- 
nite advice, knowing nothing of those details which must deter- 
mine the course of things for the winter. Mcintosh, at length, in 
February asked leave to retire from his unsatisfactory command, 
and was allowed to do so. No blame, however, appears to have 
fairly attached to him, as he did all in his power; among other 
things leading a party with provisions to the relief of Colonel 
Gibson's starving garrison. Unhappily the guns fired as a salute 
by those about to be relieved, scared the pack-horses and much of 
the provision was scattered and lost in the woods. The force at 
Fort Laurens, meantime, had been as we have intimated, suffering 
cruelly, both from the Indians and famine, and, though finally 
rescued from starvation, had done, and could do, nothing. The 
post was at last abandoned in August 1779. 

But, while Mcintosh was groaning and doing nothing, his fellow 
General, Clark, was very difTerently employed. Governor Hamil- 
ton, having made his various arrangements, had left Detroit, and 
moved down to St. Vincent's (or Vincennes,) on the Wabash, 
from which point he intended to operate in reducing Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia, and also in conquering Kentucky, and driving the 
rebels from the West. But in the very process of taking St. Vin- 
cent's, he met with treatment that might have caused a more 
modest man to doubt the possibility of conquering those rebels. 
Hamilton came upon that post, in December 1778. He came 

* Sparks Washington, voL vi. p. 156, 

202 Capture of St. Vincents. 1779. 

with a large body of troops, and unexpectedly ; so that there was 
no chance of defence on the part of the garrison, which consisted 
indeed of only two men, Captain Helm, of Fauquier county, Vir- 
ginia, and one Henry. Helm, however, was not disposed to 
yield, absolutely, to any odds; so, loading his single cannon, he 
stood by it with a lighted match, and, as the British came nigh, 
bade them stand, and demanded to know what terms would be 
granted the garrison, as otherwise he should not surrender. The 
Governor, unwilling to lose time and men, offered the usual honors 
of war, and could scarce believe his eyes, when he saw the threat- 
ening garrison to be only one officer and one private. However, 
even this bold conduct did not make him feel the character of the 
people with whom he was contending ; and so, thinking it too late 
to operate in such a country, he sent his Indians, of whom he had 
some four hundred, to prevent troops coming down the Ohio, and 
to annoy the Americans in all ways, and sat quietly down for the 

Information of all these proceedings having reached Clark, he 
saw, at once, that either he must have Hamilton, or Hamilton 
would have him ; so he cast about him, to see what means of con- 
quest were within his reach. On the 29th of January, 1779, the 
news of the capture of St. Vincents reached Kaskashia, and, by 
the 4th of February, a "battoe," as Colonel Bowman writes it, 
had been repaired, provisioned, manned, and armed, and was on 
her way down the Mississippi, in order to ascend the Ohio and 
Wabash, and co-operate with the land forces which were assemb- 
ling. These forces, on the 5th of February, numbered one hund- 
red and seventy men,* "including artillery, packhorsemen, &c." 
and with this little band, on the 7th, Clark set forward to besiege 
the British Governor, who had under him about half as many fol- 
lowers as a garrison. t It was "rain and drizzly weather," and 
the "roads very bad with mud and water;" but through those 
prairie ways, and the waters which covered some of the plains, 
the little rebel band slipped and spattered along, as they best 
coidd, and how they did it, cannot be shown better than by copy- 
ing a portion of Joseph Bowman's Journal, and Clark's own 

February 7th. Began "our march early ; made a good day's march 

• Bowman. Clark in his letter to JefTeroon, says, one hundred and thirty men, but he 
may not have counted packhorsemen, &c.— (See Jefferson's Writings, i. 451.) 
t There were seventy-nine men. — (See Clark's letter to Jefierson.) 

1779. Bowman's Journal. 203 

for about nine leagues. The road very bad with mud and water. 
Pitched our camp in a square, baggage in the middle, every company to 
guard their own square. 

8th. Marched early through the waters which we now began to 
meet in those large and level plains where, from the flatness of the 
country, the water rests a considerable time before it drains off". Not- 
withstanding our men were in great spirits, though much fatigued. 

9th. Made another day's march. Rain part of the day. 

lOih. Crossed the river Petit Fort, upon trees which we felled for 
that purpose, the water being so high there was no fording it. Still 
raining and no tents. Encamped near the river. Stormy weather. 

11th. Crossed the Saline river. Nothing extraordinary this day. 

12th. Marched across Cat Plains. Saw and killed numbers of 
buffaloes. The road very bad from the immense quantity of rain that 
had fallen. The men much fatigued. Encamped on the edge of the 
wood. This plain being fifteen or more miles across, it was late in the 
night before the baggage and troops got together. Now 21 miles from 
St. Vincents. 

13th. Arrived early at the two Wabashes ; although a league asun- 
der they are now but one. "We set to making a canoe. 

14th. Finished the canoe and put her into the river about four 
o'clock in the afternoon. 

15th. Ferried across the Two Wabashes, it being three miles in 
water, to the opposite hills, where we encamped. Still raining. Oir- 
dered not to fire any guns in future, but in case of necessity. 

16ih. Marcli all day through rain and water. Crossed the Fir 
River. Provisions begin to be short. 

17th. Marched early. Crossed several runs very deep. Sent Mr. 
Kennedy, our commissary with three men, to cross the river Embarrass, 
if possible, and proceed to a plantation opposite Post St. Vincents m 
order to steal boats or canoes to_ferry us across the Wabash. About an 
hour by sun we got near the river Embarrass, and found the country all 
overflowed with water. We strove to find the Wabash. Travelled till 
three o'clock in mud and water, but could find no place to encamp on. 
Still keep marching on, but after some time Mr. Kennedy and his party 
returned. Found it impossible to pass the Embarrass river. We 
found the water falling from a small spot of ground. Staid there the 
remainder of the night. Drizzly and dark weather. 

18th. At break of day, heard Governor Hamilton's morning guns. 
Set off" and marched down the river. Saw some fine lands. About 
two o'clock came to the bank of the Wabash. Made rafts for four men 
to cross and go up to town and steal boats, but they spent the day and 
night in the water to no purpose, for there was not a foot of dry land lQ> 
be found- 

204 Bowman^s Journal. 1779. 

19th. Captain McCarty's company set to making a canoe. At 
three o'clock, the four men returned after spending the night on some old 
logs in the water. The canoe finished. Captain McCarty with three 
of his men embarked in the canoe, and made the next attempt to steal 
boats. But he soon returned, having discovered four large fires about 
a league distant from our camp, that seemed to him to be fires of 
whites and Indians. Immediately Colonel Clark sent two men in the 
canoe down to meet the battoe, with orders to come on day and night, 
that being our last hope from starving. Many of the men much cast 
down, particularly the volunteers. No provision of any sort for two 
days. Hard fortune. 

20th. Camp very quiet but hungry. — Many of the Creoles volun- 
teers talking of returning. Fell to making more canoes, when about 
12 o'clock our sentry brought too a boat with five Frenchmen from 
the Port, who told us we were not as yet discovered, that the inhabi- 
tants were well pleased towards us, &c. 

Captain Willing's brother, who was taken in the Fort, had made his 
escape to us, and said that one Masonville, with a party of Indians, 
were then seven days in pursuit of him, with much news, more news 
in our favor, such as repairs done to the fort, &c. They informed us 
of two canoes they had seen adrift some distance above us. Ordered 
Captain Worthington, with a party of men, to go in search of them. 
Returned late with one only. One of our men killed a deer which was 
distributed in the camp very acceptably. 

21st. At break of day began to ferry our men over in our two 
canoes, to small hills called mamelles, or breasts. Capt. Williams with 
two men went to look for a passage ; but were discovered by two men 
in a canoe, but could not bring them to. The whole army being over, 
we thought to get to town that night, so plunged into the water, some- 
times to the neck, for more than a league, when we slopped on the next 
hill of the same name, there being no dry land on any side for many 
leagues. Our pilot says we cannot get along — that it was impossible. 
The whole army being over, we encamped. Rain all this day. No 

And here we turn to Clark himself. 

•• This last day's march, [February 21st,] through the water was far 
superior to any thing the Frenchmen had an idea of: they were back- 
ward in speaking — said that the nearest land to us was a small league, 
called the sugar camp, on the bank of the [river ?] A canoe was sent 
off, and returned without finding that we could pass. I went in her 
myself, and sounded the water : found it deep as to my neck. I return- 

* We take our extracts from a MS copy of the journal : portions may also be found in 
Dillon, L 167. 

1779. Clark^s account. 2(1^ 

ed with a design to have the men transported on board the canoes to the 
Sugar camp, which I knew would spend the whole day and ensuing 
night, as the vessels would pass slowly through the bushes. The loss 
of so much time, to men half starved, was a matter of consequence. I 
would have given now a great deal for a day's provision, or for one of 
our horses. I returned but slowly to the troops — giving myself time 
to think. On our arrival, all ran to hear what was the report. Every 
eye was fixed on me. I unfortunately spoke in a serious manner to one 
of the officers : the whole were alarmed without knowing what I said- 
I viewed their confusion for about one minute — whispered to those near 
me to do as I did — immediately put some water in my hand, poured on 
powder, blackened my face, gave the war-whoop, and marched into the 
water, without saying a word. The party gazed, and fell in, one after 
another, vi'iihout saying a word, like a flock of sheep. I ordered those 
near me to begin a favorite song of theirs : it soon passed through the 
line, and the whole went on cheerfully. I now intended to have theni 
transported across the deepest part of the water ; but when about waist 
deep one of the men informed me that he thought he felt a path. We 
examined, and found it so; and concluded that it kept on the highest 
ground, which it did ; and by taking pains to follow it, we got to the 
Sugar camp, without the least difficulty, where there was about half an 
acre of dry ground, at least not under water, where we took up our 
lodging. The Frenchmen that we had taken on the river appeared to 
be uneasy at our situation. They begged that they might be permitted 
to go in the two canoes to town in the night : they said that they would 
bring from their own houses provisions, without a possibility of any 
persons knowing it — that some our men should go with them, as a 
surety of their good conduct — that it was impossible we could march 
from that place till the water fell, for the plain was too deep to march. 
Some of the [[officers ?] believed that it might be done. I would not 
suffer it. I never could well account for this piece of obstinacy, and 
give satisfactory reasons to myself, or any body else, why I denied a 
proposition apparently so easy to execute, and of so much advantage : 
but something seemed to tell me that it should not be done ; and it was 
not done. 

" The most of the weather that we had on this march, was moist 
and warm, for the season. This was the coldest night we had. The 
ice in the morning was from one half to three quarters of an inch thick, 
near the shores, and in still water. The morning was the finest we had 
on our march. A little after sunrise I lectured the whole. What I said 
to them 1 forget ; but it may be easily imagined by a person that could 
possess my affijctions for them at that time: — I concluded by in- 
forming them that passing the plain that was then in full view, and 
reaching the opposite woods, would put an end to their fatigue — that in 

206 Clark's account. 1779. 

a few hours they would have a sight of their long wished for object — 
and immediately stepped into the water without waiting for any reply. 
A huzza took place. As we generally marched through the water in a 
line, before the third entered I hailed and called to Major Bowman, or- 
dered him to fall in the rear with twenty-five men, and put to death any 
man who refused to march ; as we wished to have no such person 
among us. The whole gave a cry of approbation, and on we went. 
This was the most trying of all the difficulties we had experienced. I 
generally kept fifteen or twenty of the strongest men next myself; and 
judged from my own feelings what must be that of others. Getting 
about the middle of the plain, the water about mid-deep, I found myself 
sensibly failing ; and as there were no trees nor bushes for the men to 
support themselves by, I feared that many of the most weak would be 
drowned. I ordered the canoes to make the land, discharge their load- 
ing, and play backwards and forwards with all diligence, and pick up 
the men ; and to encourage the party, sent some of the strongest men 
forward, with orders, when they got to a certain distance, to pass the 
word back that the water was getting shallow ; and when getting near 
the woods to cry out ' Land !' This stratagem had its desired effect. 
The men, encouraged by it, exerted themselves almost beyond their 
abilities — the weak holding by the stronger. * * * The water never 
got shallower, but continued deepening. Getting to the woods where 
the men expected land, the water was up to my shoulders : but gaining 
the woods was of great consequence : all the low men and the weakly 
hung to the trees, and floated on the old logs, until they were taken 
off by the canoes. The strong and tall got ashore and built fires. Many 
would reach the shore, and fall with their bodies half in the water, not 
being able to support themselves without it. 

" This was a delightful dry spot of ground, of about ten acres. We 
soon found that the fires answered no purpose ; but that two strong men 
taking a weaker one by the arms was the only way to recover him — and, 
being a delightful day, it soon did. But fortunately, as if designed by 
Providence, a canoe of Indian squaws and children was coming up to 
town, and took through part of this plain as a nigh way. It was dis- 
covered by our canoes as they were out after the men. They gave 
chase and took the Indian canoe, on board of which was near half a 
quarter of a buffalo, some corn, tallow, kettles, &c. This was a grand 
prize, and was invaluable. Broth was immediately made and served 
out to the most weakly, with great care : most of the whole got a little ; 
but a great many gave their part to the weakly, jocosely saying some- 
thing cheering to their comrades. This little refreshment and fine 
weather, by the afternoon gave new life to the whole. Crossing a nar- 
row deep lake in the canoes, and marching some distance, we came to a 
copse of timber called the Warrior's Island. We were now in full 

1779. Clark* s account. 207 

view of the fort and town, not a shrub between us, at about two miles 
distance. Every man now feasted his eyes, and forgot that he had suf- 
fered any thing — saying, that all that had passed was owing to good 
policy, and nothing but what a man could bear ; and that a soldier had 
no right to think, &c. — passing from one extreme to another, which is 
common in such cases. It was now we had to disply our abilities. The 
plain between us and the town was not a perfect level. The sunken 
grounds were covered with water full of ducks. We observed several 
men out on horseback, shooting them, within a half mile of us ; and 
sent out as many of our active young Frenchmen to decoy and take one 
of these men prisoner, in such a manner as not to alarm the others ; 
which they did. The information we got from this person was similar 
to that which we got from those we took on the river ; except that of 
the British having that evening completed the wall of the fort, and that 
there was a good many Indians in town. 

Our situation was now truly critical — no possibility of retreating in 
case of defeat — and in full view of a town that had at this time upwards 
of six hundred men in it, troops, inhabitants, and Indians. The crew 
of the galley, though not fifty men, would have been now a reinforce- 
ment of immense magnitude to our little army, (if I may so call it,) but 
we would not think of them. We were now in the situation that I had 
labored to get ourselves in. The idea of being made prisoner was 
foreign to almost every man, as they expected nothing but torture from 
the savages, if they fell into their hands. Our fate was now to be de- 
termined, probably in a few hours. We knew that nothing but the 
most daring conduct would ensure success. I knew that a number of 
the inhabitants wished us well — that many were lukewarm to the inte- 
rest of either — and I also learned that the Grand Chief, the Tobacco's 
son, had, but a few days before, openly declared in council with the 
British, that he was a brother and friend to the Big Knives. These were 
favorable circumstances ; and as there was but little probability of our 
remaining until daik undiscovered, I determined to begin the career im- 
mediately, and wrote the following placard to the inhabitants : 

To the inhabitants of Post Vincennes. 
Gentlemen : — Being now within two miles of your village, with my 
array, determined to take your fort this night, and not being willing to 
surprise you, I take this method to request such of you as are true 
citizens and willing to enjoy the Tberty I bring you, to remain still in 
your houses . — And those, if any there be, that are friends to the king, 
will instantly repair to the fort and join the hair-buyer General, and fight 
like men. And if any such as do not go to the fort shall be discovered 
afterwards, they may depend on severe punishment. On the contrary, 
those who are true friends to liberty may depend oq being well treated ; 

208 Clark's account. 1779, 

and I once more request them to keep out of the streets. For every 
one I find in arras on my arrival, I shall treat him as an enemy. 

[Signed,] G. R. CLARK. 

A little before sunset we moved and displayed ourselves in full view 
of the town — crowds gazing at us. We were plunging ourselves into 
certain destruction, or success. There was no mid-way thought of. 
We had but little to say to our men, except inculcating an idea of the 
necessity of obedience, &c. We knew they did not want encouraging; 
and that any thing might be attempted with them that was possible for 
such a number — perfectly cool, under proper subordination, pleased 
with the prospect before them, and much attached to their officers. 
They all declared that they were convinced that an implicit obedience 
to orders was the only thing that would ensure success — and hoped that 
no mercy would be shown the person that should violate them. Such 
language as this from soldiers, to persons in our station, must have been 
exceedingly agreeable. We moved on slowly in full view of the town ; 
but as it was a point of some consequence to us lo make ourselves ap- 
pear as formidable, we, in leaving the covert that we were in, marched 
and counter-marched in such a manner that we appeared numerous. In 
raising volunteers in the Illinois, every person that set about the business 
had a set of colors given them, which they brought with them, to the 
amount of ten or twelve pair. These were displayed to the best ad- 
vantage ; and as the low plain we marched through was not a perfect 
level, but had frequent raisings in it seven or eight feet higher than the 
common level, (which was covered wiih water,) and as these raisings 
generally run in an oblique direction to the town, we took the advantage 
of one of them, marching through the water under it, which completely 
prevented our being numbered : but our colors showed considerably 
above the heights, as they were fixed on long poles procured for the 
purpose, and at a distance made no despicable appearance : and as our 
young Frenchmen had, while we lay on the Warrior's Island, decoyed 
and taken several fowlers, with their horses, officers were mounted on 
these horses, and rode about more completely to deceive the enemy. In 
this manner we moved, and directed our march in such a way as to 
suffer it to be dark before we had advanced more than half way to the 
town. We then suddenly altered our direction, and crossed ponds 
where they could not have suspected us, and about eight o'clock gained 
the heights back of the town. 

The garrison was soon completely surrounded, and the firing con- 
tinued without intermission, (except about fifteen minutes a little before 
day,) until about nine o'clock the following morning. It was kept up 
by the whole of the troops, — joined by a few of the young men of the 
town, who got permission — except fifty men kept as a reserve. * * * 

1779. Clark^s Account. 209 

I had made myself fully acquainted with the situation of the fort and 
town, and the parts relative to each. The cannon of the garrison was 
on the xipper floors of strong block-houses at each angle of the fort, 
eleven feet above the surface ; and the ports so badly cut that many of 
our troops lay under the fire of them within twenty or thirty yards of 
the walls. They did no damage except to the buildings of the town, 
some of which they much shattered : and their musketry, in the dark, 
employed against woodsmen covered by houses, palings, ditches, the 
banks of the river, (fcc, was but of little avail, and did no injury to us 
except wounding a man or two. As we could not afford to lose men, 
great care was taken to preserve them sufficiently covered, and to keep 
up a hot fire in order to intimidate the enemy as well as to destroy 
them. The embrasures of their cannon were frequently shut, for our 
riflemen, finding the true direction of them, would pour in such volleys 
when they were opened that the men could not stand to the guns : seven 
or eight of them in a short time got cut down. Our troops would fre- 
quently abuse the enemy, in order to aggravate them to open their ports 
and fire their cannon, that they might have the pleasure of cutting them 
down with their rifles — fifty of which perhaps would be levelled the mo- 
ment the port flew open : and I believe that if they had stood at their 
artillery the greater part of them would have been destroyed in the 
course of the night, as the greater part of our men lay within thirty 
yards of the walls ; and in a few hours were covered equally to those 
within the walls, and much more experienced in that mode of fighting. 

Sometimes an irregular fire, as hot as possible, was kept up fiom dif- 
ferent directions for a few minutes, and then only a continual scattering 
fire at the ports as usual ; and a great noise and laughter immediately 
commenced in different parts of the town, by the reserved parties, as if 
they had only fired on the fort a few minutes for amusement; and as if 
those continually firing at the fort were only regularly relieved. Con- 
duct similar to this kept the garrison constantly alarmed. 

Thus the attack continued, until about nine o'clock on the morning of 
the 24th. Learning that the two prisoners they had brought in the day 
before, had a considerable number of letters with them, I supposed it 
an express that we expected about this time, which I knew to be of the 
greatest moment to us, as we had not received one since our arrival in 
the country : and not being fully acquainted with the character of our 
> enemy, we were doubtful that those papers might be destroyed ; to pre- 
vent which, I sent a flag, [yi'iih. a letter,] demanding the garrison. 

The following is a copy of the letter* which was addressed by 
Colonel Clark to Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, on this occasion : 

Sir : — In order to save yourself fro.u the impending storm that now 

* Extracted from Major Bowman's MS. Journal. 


210 Hamilton proposes terms. 1779. 

threatens yoii, I order you immediately to surrender yourself, with all 
your garrison, stores, &c. For if I am obliged to storm, you may de- 
pend on such treatment as is justly due to a murderer. Beware of 
destroying stores of any kind, or any papers or letters that are in your 
possession, or hurting one house in town — for, by Heavens ! if you do, 
there shall be no mercy shown you. 

[Signed,] G. R. CLARK. 

To this the Governor replied, that he could not think of being 
" awed into any action unworthy a British subject" ; but his true 
feeling peeped out in his question to Helm, when the bullets rat- 
tled about the chimney of the room in which they were playing 
piquet together, and Helm swore that Clark would have them 
prisoners. " Is he a merciful man?" said the Governor. 

Clark, finding the British unwilling to yield quietly, began 
"firing very hot.", When this came on, Helm cautioned the 
English soldiers not to look out through the loop-holes ; for these 
Virginia riflemen he said, w^ould shoot their eyes out, if they did. 
And seven being actually shot by balls which came through the 
port holes, Hamilton was led to send out a flag with the following 
letter : 

Lieutenant Governor Hamilton proposes to Colonel Clark a truce for 
three days ; during which time he promises there shall be no defensive 
works carried on in the garrison, on condition that Colonel Clark 
shall observe on his part, a like cessation of any defensive work : that 
is, he wishes to confer with Colonel Clark as soon as can be ; and 
promises that whatever may pass between them two, and another person 
mutually agreed upon to be present, shall remain secret till matters be 
finished, as he wishes, that whatever the result of the conference may 
be, it may tend to the honor and credit of each party. If Colonel Clark 
makes a difficulty of coming into the fort, Lieutenant Governor Hamil- 
ton will speak to him by the gate. 


24th February, '79. 

I was at a great loss to conceive what reason Lieutenant Governor 
Hamilton could have for wishing a truce of three days, on such terms 
as he proposed. Numbers said it was a scheme to get me into their 
possession. I had a different opinion, and no idea of his possessing 
such sentiments ; as an act of that kind would infallibly ruin him. Al- 
though we had the greatest reason to expect a reinforcement in less than 
three days that would at once put an end to the siege, I yet did not 

1779. Clark and Hamilton meet. 211 

ihink it prudent to agree to the proposals ; and sent the followmg 

Colonel Clark's compliments to Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, and 
begs leave to inform him that he vpill not agree to any terms other than 
Mr. Hamilton's surrendering himself and garrison prisoners at discre- 
tion. If Mr. Hamilton is desirous of a conference with Colonel Clark, 
he will meet him at the church, with Captain Helm. 

[Signed,] G. R. C. 

February 24lh, '79. 

We met at the church,* about eighty yards from the fort — Lieutenant 
Governor Hamilton, Major Hay, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 
Captain Helm, their prisoner. Major Bowman and myself. Tlie confe- 
rence began. Hamilton produced terms of capitulation, signed, that 
contained various articles, one of which was that the garrison should be 
surrendered, on their being permitted to go to Pensacola on parole. 
After deliberating on every article, I rejected the whole. He then wish- 
ed that I would make some proposition. I told him that I had no other 
to make, than what I had already made — that of his surrendering as 
prisoners at discretion. I said that his troops had behaved with spirit ^ 
that they could not suppose that they would be worse treated in conse- 
quence of it ; that if he chose to comply with the demand, though 
hard, perhaps the sooner the better ; that it was in vain to make any 
proposition to me; that he, by this time, must be sensible that the gar- 
rison would fall; that both of us must [view ?] all blood spilt for the 
future by the garrison as murder ; that my troops were already impa- 
tient, and called aloud for permission to tear down and storm the fort : 
if such a step was taken, many of course would be cut down ; and the 
result of an enraged body of woodsmen breaking in, must be obvious to 
him ; it would be out of the power of an American officer to save a 
single man. Various altercation took place for a considerable time. 
Captain Helm attempted to moderate our fixed determination. I told 
him he was a British prisoner, and it was doubtful whether or not he 
could with propriety speak on the subject. Hamilton then said that 
Captain Helm was from that moment liberated, and might use his 

* During the conference at the church, some Indian warriors who had been sent to the 
Falls of the Ohio, for scalps and prisoners, were discovered on their return, as they entered 
the plains near Post Vincennes. A party of the American Troops, commanded by Captain 
Williams went out to meet them. The Indians, who mistook this detachment for a party 
of their friends, continued to advance " with all the parade of successful warriors." " Our 
men," says Major Bowman, " killed two on the spot ; wounded three , took six prisoners, 
and brought them into town. Two of them proved to be whites, we released them, and 
brought the Indians to the main street, before the fort gate — there tomahawked them, and 
threw thsm into the river." — [Major Bowman's MS. Journal.] 

212 Hamilton capitulates. 1779. 

pleasure. I informed the Captain that I would not receive him on 
such terms — that he must retarn to the garrison, and await his fate. I 
then told Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton that hostilities should not com- 
mence until five minutes after the drums gave the alarm. We took our 
leave, and parted but a few steps, when Hamilton stopped, and politely- 
asked me if I would be so kind as to give him my reasons for refusing 
the garrison on any other terms than those I had offered. I told him I 
had no objections in giving him my real reasons, which were simply 
these : that I knew the greater part of the principal Indian partizans of 
Detroit were with him — that I wanted an excuse to put them to death, 
or otherwise treat them, as I thought proper — that the cries of the 
widows and the fatherless on the frontiers, which they had occasioned, 
now required their blood from my hands, and that I did not chose to 
be so timorous as to disobey the absolute commands of their authority, 
which I looked upon to be next to divine: that I would rather lose fifty 
men, than not to empower myself to execute this piece of business 
with propriety : that if he chose to risk the massacre of his garrison 
for their sakes, it was his own pleasure ; and that I might perhaps take 
it into my head to send for some of those widows to see it executed. 
Major Hay, paying great attention, I had observed a kind of distrust in 
his countenance, which in a great measure influenced my conversation 
during this time. On my concluding, " Pray, sir," said he, " who is 
it that you call Indian partiz:nis ?" "Sir," I replied, "I take Major 
Hay to be one of the principal." I never saw a man in the moment of 
execution so struck as he appeared to be — pale and trembling, scarcely 
able to stand. Hamilton blushed — and, I observed was much affected 
at his behaviour. Major Bowman's countenance sufficiently explained 
his disdain for the one and his sorrow for the other. * * * * 
Some moments elapsed without a word passing on either side. From 
that moment my resolutions changed respecting Hamilton's situation. 
I told him that we would return to our respective posts ; that I would 
reconsider the matter, and let him know the result: no offensive mea- 
sures should be taken in the mean time. Agreed to; and we parted. 
What had passed, being made known to our officers, it was agreed that 
we should moderate our resolutions. 

In the course of the afternoon of the 24th, the following articles* 
were signed, and the garrison capitulated : 

I. — Lieutenant Governor Hamilton engages to deliver up to Colonel 
Clark, Fort Sackville, as it is at present, with all the stores, &c. 

II. — The garrison are to deliver themselves as prisoners of war ; and 
march out with their arms and accoutrements, &c. 

III.— The garrison to be delivered up at ten o'clock^ to-morrow. 

* Major Bowman's MS. Journal. 

1779. Hamilton sent to Virginia. 213 

IV. — Three days time to be allowed the garrison to settle their ac- 
counts with the inhabitants and traders of this place. 

V. — The officers of the garrison to be allowed their necessary 
baggage, &c. 

Signed at Post St. Vincent, [Vincennes,] 24th February, 1779. 

Agreed for the following reasons : the remoteness from succor ; the 
stute and quantity of provisions, &c.; unanimity of officers and men in 
its expediency ; the honorable terms allowed ; and lastly, the confidence 
in a generous enemy. 


Lt. Gov. and Superintendent. 

The business being now nearly at an end, troops were posted in seve- 
ral strong houses around the garrison, and patroled during the night to 
prevent any deception that might be attempted. The remainder on 
duty lay on their arms ; and, for the first time for many days past, got 
some rest. * * # During the siege I got only one man 
wounded : not being able to lose many, I made them secure themselves 
well. Seven were badly wounded in the fort, through ports.* * * 

Hamilton's surrender of St. Vincent's, or Fort Sackville, put a 
stop of course to the proposed purging of the West from the Long 
Knives. The Governor and some others were sent prisoners to 
Virginia, where the Council ordered their confinement in jail, 
fettered and alone, in punishment for their abominable policy of 
urging barbarians to ultra barbarism, as they surely had done by 
offering rewards for scalps but none for prisoners, a course which 
naturally resulted in wholesale and cold-blooded murder ; the 
Indians driving captives within sight of the British forts and then 
butchering them. As this rigid confinement, however just, was 
not in accordance with the terms of Hamilton's surrender. General 
Phillips protested in regard^to it, and Jefferson, having referred the 
matter to the commander-in-chief, Washington gave his opinion 
decidedly against it, in consequence of which the Council of Vir- 
ginia released the Detroit " hair-buyer" from his irons. f 

Clark returned to Kaskaskias, where, in consequence of the 
competition of the traders, he found himself more embarrassed 
from the depreciation of the paper money which had been 
advanced him by Virginia, than he had been by the movements of 
tlie British; and where he was forced to pledge his own credit 

* Our extracts from Clark's Journal we owe to Dillon, i. 157 to 173. 
t Sparks' Washington, vi. 315.— Almon's Remembrancer for 1779, pp. 337. 340.— JeA- 
ferson's Writings, i. 451 to 458. 

214 Conduct of the Iroquois. 1779 

to procure what he needed, to an extent that influenced vitally his 
own fortune and life thenceforward. 

After the taking of Vincennes, Detroit was undoubtedly within 
the reach of the enterprising Virginian, had he but been able to 
^ raise as many soldiers as were starving and idling at Forts Lau- 
rens and Mcintosh.* He could not; and Governor Henry having 
promised him a reinforcement, he concluded to wait for that, as 
his force was too small to both conquer and garrison the British 
forts. But the results of what was done were not unimportant ; 
indeed, we cannot estimate those results. Hamilton had made 
arrangements to enlist the southern and western Indiansf for the 
next spring's campaign; and, if Mr. Stone be correct in his sup- 
positions, Brant and his Iroquois were to act in concert with him.f 
Had Clark, therefore, failed to conquer the Governor, there is too 
much reason to fear, that the West would have been, indeed, 
swept, from the Mississippi to the mountains, and the great blow 
struck, which had been contemplated, from the outset, by Britain. 
But for his small army of dripping, but fearless Virginians, the 
union of all the tribes from Georgia to Maine, against the colonies, 
might have been effected, and the whole current of our historj' 

Turning from the west to the north, we find a new cause of 
trouble arising there. Of the six tribes of the Iroquois, the Sene- 
cas, Mohawks, Cayugas, and Onondagas, had been, from the out- 
set, inclining to Britain, though all of these, but the Mohawks, 
had now and then tried to persuade the Americans to the con- 
trary. During the winter of 1778-9, the Onondagas, who had 
been for a while nearly neutral, w^ere suspected, by the Americans, 
of deception ; and, this suspicion having become nearly know- 
ledge, a band was sent, early in April, to destroy their towns, and 
take such of them, as could be taken, prisoners. The work 
appointed was done, and the villages and wealth of the poor 
savages were annihilated. This sudden act of severity startled alL 
The Oneidas, hitherto faithful to their neutrality, were alarmed, 
lest the next blow should fall on them, and it was only after a full 
explanation that their fears were quieted. As for the Onondagas, 

♦ Clark in his letter to Jefferson, (Jefferson's Writinrrs, i 451,) says that with 500 men, 
■when he first reached Illinois, or with 300 after the conquest of St. Vincents, he could 
have taken Detroit. The people of Detroit had great rejoicings when they heard of 
HamOton'3 capture, and the garrison of the fort was but eighty strong, 

+ Butler, p. 80. \ Stone, vol. i. p. 400. 

1779. General Sullivan attacks Iroquois. 215 

it was not to be hoped that they would sit down under such treat- 
ment ; and we find, accordingly, that some hundred of their war- 
riors were at once in the field, and from that time forward, a 
portion of their nation remained, and, we think, justly, hostile to 
the United Colonies.* 

Those colonies, meanwhile, had become convinced, from the 
massacres at Wyoming and Cherry Valley, that it was advisable 
to adopt some means of securing the north-western and western 
frontiers against the recurrence of such catastrophes ; and, the hos- 
tile tribes of the Six Nations being the most numerous and deadly 
foes, it was concluded to begin by strong action against them. 
Washington had always said, that the only proper mode of defence 
against the Indians was to attack them, and this mode he deter- 
mined to adopt on this occasion. Some difference of opinion ex- 
isted, however, as to the best path into the country of the inimical 
Iroquois ; that most lovely country in the west of New York, which 
is now fast growing into a granary for millions of men. General 
Schuyler was in favor of a movement up the Mohawk river; the 
objection to which route was, that it carried the invaders too near 
to Lake Ontario, and within reach of the British. The other 
course proposed was up the Susquehanna, which heads, as all 
know, in the region that was to be reached. The latter route was. 
the one determined upon by Washington for the main body of 
troops, which was to be joined by another body moving up the 
Mohawk, and also by detachments coming from the western army, 
by the way of the Alleghany and French Creek; upon further 
thought, however, the movement from the West was counter- 
manded.* All the arrangements for this grand blow were made 
in March and April, but it was the last of July before General Sul- 
livan got his men under way from Wyoming, where they had 
gathered ; and, of course, information of the proposed movements 
had been given to the Indians and Tories, so that Brant, the John- 
sons, and their followers stood ready to receive the invaders. 

They were not, however, strong enough to withstand the Amer- 
icans ; and, having been defeated at the battle of Newiown, were 
driven from village to village, and their whole country was laid 
waste. Houses were burned, crops and orchards destroyed, and 
every thing done that could be thought of, to render the country 
uninhabitable. Of all these steps Mr. Stone speaks fully. Forty 

* Stone, vol. i. p. 405. 

• Sparks'g Washington, vol. vi. pp. 183 et seq 

216 Brodhead attacks Iroquois. 1779. 

towns, he tell us, were burnt, and more than one hundred and 
sixty thousand bushels of corn. Well did the Senecas name 
Washington, whose armies did all this, "the Town Destroyer." 
Having performed this portion of his work, Sullivan turned home- 
ward from the beautiful valley of the Genesee ; leaving Niagara, 
whither the Indians fled, as to the strong hold of British power in 
that neighborhood, untouched. This conduct, Mr. Stone thinks 
"difficult of solution,"* as he supposes the conduct of that post 
to have been one of the main objects of the expedition. Such, 
however, was not the fact. Originally it had been part of the pro- 
posed plan to attack Niagara ; f but, early in January, Washington 
was led to doubt, and then to abandon, that part of the plan, 
thinking it wiser to carry on, merely, some operations on a smaller 
scale against the savages. "| 

One of the smaller operations was from the West. On the 22d 
of March, 1779, Washington wrote to Colonel Daniel Brodhead, 
who had succeeded Mcintosh at Fort Pitt, that an incursion into 
the country of the Six Nations was in preparation, and that in con- 
nection therewith, it might be advisable for a force to ascend the 
Alleghany to Kittaning, and thence to Venango, and having for- 
tified both points, to strike the Mingoes and Munceys upon French 
creek and elsewhere in that neighborhood, and thus aid General 
Sullivan in the great blow he was to give by his march up the 
Susquehanna. Brodhead was also directed to say to the western 
Indians, that if they made any trouble, the whole force of the United 
States would be turned against them, and they should be cut off 
from the face of the earth. But on the 21st of April these orders 
were countermanded, and the western commander was directed to 
prepare a rod for the Indians of the Ohio and western lakes ; and 
especially to learn the best time for attacking Detroit. Whether 
this last advice came too late, or was withdrawn again, we have 
no means of learning; but Brodhead proceeded as originally 
directed; marched up the Alleghany, burned the towns of the 
Indians, and destroyed their crops. || 

The immediate results of this and other equally prompt and 
severe measures, was to bring the Delawares, Shawanese, and 
even W^yandots, to Fort Pitt, on a treaty of peace. There Brod- 

* Vol.ii. p. 36. 

tSparks's Washington, vol. vi. pp. 120, 146. 

i Ibid., pp. 162-166. 

11 Sparks'8 Washington, vi. 205. 224. 384. 387. 

1779. Rogers and Benham Defeated. 217 

head met them, on his return in September, and a long conference 
was held, to the satisfaction of both parties. 

Farther west during this summer and autumn the Indians were 
more successful. In July, the stations being still troubled, Colonel 
Bowman undertook an expedition into the country of the Shawanese, 
actingupon Washington's principle, that to defend yourselves against 
Indians, you must assail them. He marched undiscovered into the 
immediate vicinity of the towns upon the Little Miami, and so 
divided and arranged his forces, as to ensure apparent success ; 
one portion of the troops being commanded by himself, another 
by Colonel Benjamin Logan; but from some unexpected cause, 
his division of the whites did not co-operate fully with that led by 
Logan, and the whole body was forced to retreat, after having 
taken some booty, including a hundred and sixty horses, and 
leaving the town of the savages in cinders, but also leaving the 
fierce warriors themselves in no degree daunted or crippled.* 

Nor was it long before they showed themselves south of the Ohio 
again, and unexpectedly won a victory over the Americans of no 
slight importance. The facts, so far as we can gather them, are 
these : 

An expedition which had been in the neighborhood of Lexing- 
ton, where the first permanent improvements were made in April, 
of this year,f upon its return came to the Ohio near the Licking, at 
the very time that Colonel Rogers and Captain Benham reached the 
same point on their way up the river in boats. A few of the Indians 
were seen by the commander of the little American squadron, near 
the mouth of the Licking ; and supposing himself to be far superior 
in numbers, he caused seventy of his men to land, intending to 
surround the savages ; in a few moments, however he found he 
was himself surrounded, and after a hard fought battle, only twenty 
or twenty-five, or perhaps even fewer, of the party were left alive. { 
It was in connection with this skirmish that a coincidence occurred 
which seems to belong rather to a fanciful story than to sober his- 
tory, and which yet appears to be well authenticated. In the party 
of whites was Captain Robert Benham. He was one of those that 
fell, being shot through both hips, so as to be powerless in his 
lower limbs ; he dragged himself, however, to a tree-top, and there 
lay concealed from the savages after the contest was over. On the 

•Marshall i. 91, See General Ray's opinion, note to Butler, 110. 

t Holmes's Annals, ii. 304; note. American Pioneer, ii. 346. Butler, 101. Marshall, 1.89. 
I Butler, 2d edition, 102. (In this account there is confusion ; the Indians are represented 
as coming on their return from Kentucky, down the Little Miami.) McClung, 148. 

218 Claims to Western Lands. 1779. 

evening of the second day, seeing a raccoon, he shot it, but no 
sooner was the crack of his rifle heard than he distinguished a hu- 
man voice, not far distant; supposing it to be some Indian, he 
re-loaded his gun and prepared for defence ; but a few moments 
undeceived him, and he discovered that the person whose voice 
he had heard was a fellow-sufferer, with this difference, however, 
that both his arms were broken ! Here then, were the only two 
survivers of the combat, (except those who had entirely escaped,) 
with one pair of legs and one pair of arms between them. It will 
be easily believed that they formed a co-partnership for mutual aid 
and defence. Benham shot the game which his friend drove to- 
ward him, and the man with sound legs then kicked it to the spot 
where he with sound arms sat ready to cook it. To procure water, 
the one with legs took a hat by the brim in his teeth, and walked 
into the Licking up to his neck, while the man with arms was to 
make signals if any boat appeared in sight. In this way they 
spent about six weeks, when, upon the 27th of November, they 
were rescued. Benham afterward bought and lived upon the land 
where the battle took place ; his companion, Mr. Butler, tells us, 
was, a few years since, still living at Brownsville, Pennsylvania. 

But the military operations of 1779 were not those which were 
of the most vital importance to the west. The passage of the 
Land Laws by Virginia was of more consequence than the losing 
or gaining of many battles, to the hardy pioneers of Kentucky and 
to their descendents. Of these laws we can give at best a vague 
outline, but it may be enough to render the subject in some de- 
gree intelligible. 

In 1779 there existed claims of very various kinds to the 
western lands; 

1. Those of the Ohio, Walpole, and other companies, who had a 
title more or less perfect, from the British government : none of 
these had been perfected by patents, however. 

2. Claims founded on the military bounty warrants of 1763: 
some of these were patented. 

3. Henderson's claim by purchase from the Indians. 

4. Those based on mere selection and occupancy. 

5. Others resting on selection and survey, without occupancy. 

6. Claims of persons who had imported settlers ; for each such 
settler, under an old law, fifty acres were to be allowed. 

7. Claims of persons who had paid money into the old colonial 
treasury for land. 

1779. Virginia Land Laws. 219 

8. The claims of the officers and soldiers of the Revolution, to 
whom Virginia was indebted. 

These various claims were in the first place to be provided for, 
and then the residue of the rich vallies beyond the mountains 
might be sold to pay the debts of the parent State. In May,* the 
chief laws relative to this most important and complicated subject 
were passed, and commissioners were appointed to examine the 
various claims which might be presented, and give judgment ac- 
cording to the evidence brought forward, their proceedings, how- 
ever, to remain open to revision until December 1, 1780. And as 
the subject was a perplexed one, the following principles were laid 
down for their guidance : 

I. All surveys (without patents,) made before January 1, 1778, 
by any county surveyor commissioned by William and Mary Col- 
lege, and founded (a) upon charter; (b) upon importation rights 
duly proved ; (cj upon treasury rights, (money paid into the colo- 
nial treasury ; ) (d) upon entries not exceeding four hundred acres, 
made before October 26, 1763; (e) upon acts of the Virginia 
Assembly resulting from orders in council, &c.; (f) upon any war- 
rant from a colonial governor, for military services, &c. were to be 
good ; all other surveys null and void. 

II. Those who had not made surveys, if claiming (a) under im- 
portation rights ; (b) under treasury rights ; (c) under warrants for 
military services, were to be admitted to survey and entry. 

III. Those who had actually settled, or caused at their cost 
others to settle, on unappropriated lands, before January 1, 1778, 
were to have four hundred acres, or less, as they pleased, for every 
family so settled ; paying $2.25 for each hundred acres. 

IV. Those who had settled in villages befoi'e January 1, 1778^ 
were to receive for each family four hundred acres, adjacent to the 
village, at $2.25 per hundred acres; and the village property was 
to remain unsurveyed until the general assembly could examine 
the titles to it, and do full justice. 

V. To all having settlement rights, as above described, was 
given also a right of pre-emption to one thousand acres adjoining 
the settlement, at State prices — forty cents an acre. 

VI. To those who had settled since January 1, 1778, was given 
a pre-emption right to four hundred acres, adjoining and including 
the settlement made by them. 

VII. All the region between Green river, the Cumberland moun- 

* Morehead, 166. 

220 Virginia Land Laws. 1779. 

tains, Tennessee, the river Tennessee, and the Ohio, was reserved, 
to be used for military claims. 

VIII. The two hundred thousand acres granted Henderson and 
his associates, October, 1778, along the Ohio, below the mouth of 
Green river, remained still appropriated to them. 

Having thus provided for the various classes of claimants, the 
Legislature offered the remainder of the pubhc lands at forty cents 
an acre : the money was to be paid into the Treasury and a war- 
rant for the quantity wished taken by the purchaser ; this warrant 
he was to take to the surveyor of the county in which he wished 
to locate, and an entry was to be made of every location, so spe- 
cial and distinct that the adjoining lands might be known with 
certainty. To persons unable to pay cash, four hundred acres 
were to be sold on credit, and an order of the county court was to 
be substituted for the warrant of the Treasury. 

To carry these laws into effect, four Virginians were sent west- 
ward to attend to claims ; these gentlemen opened their court on 
the 13th of October, at St. Asaphs, and continued their sessions at 
various points, until April, 26, 1780, when they adjourned to meet 
no more, after having given judgment in favor of about three 
thousand claims. The labors of the commissioners being ended, 
those of the surveyor commenced ; and Mr. George May, who had 
been appointed to that office, assumed its duties upon the 10th day 
of that month the name of which he bore.* 

•Marshall, i, 82. 97. See also Statutes of Virginia, by B. W. Leigh, ii. 347. 348. 350. 
353. 388. 


With this year commences the history of those troubles relative 
to the navigation of the Mississippi, which for so long a time 
produced the deepest discontent in the West. Spain had taken 
the American part so far as to go to war with Britain, but no 
treaty had yet been concluded between Congress and the powers 
at Madrid. Mr. Jay, however, had been appointed Minister from 
the United States, at the Spanish court, where he arrived in the 
spring of this year, and where he soon learned the grasping plans 
of the Southern Bourbons. These plans indeed, were in no 
degree concealed, the French Minister being instructed to inform 
Congress, — 

That his most Christian majesty,* being uninformed of the appointment 
of a minister plenipotentiary to treat of an alliance between the United 
States and his catholic majesty ,t has signified to his minister plenipo- 
tentiary to the United States, that he wishes most earnestly for such an 
alliance ; and in order to make the way more easy, has commanded him 
to communicate to the congress, certain articles, which his catholic 
majesty deems of great importance to the interests of his crown, and 
on which it is highly necessary that the United States explain them- 
selves with precision and with such moderation, as may consist with 
their essential rights. 

That the articles are, 

1. A precise and invariable western boundary to the United States. 

2. The exclusive navigation of the river Mississippi. 

3. The possession of the Floridas ; and, 

4. The land on the left or eastern side of the river Mississippi. 
That on the first article, it is the idea of the cabinet of Madrid, that 

the United States extend to the westward no farther than settlements 
were permitted by the royal proclamation, bearing date the 7lh day of 
October, 1763, (that is to say, not west of the Alleghanies.) 

On the second, that the United States do not consider themselves as 
having any right to navigate the river Mississippi, no territory belong- 
ing to them being situated thereon. 

• Of France. t Of Spain. 

222 Fort Jefferson built. 1780. 

On ihe third, that it is probable the king of Spain will conquer the 
Floridas, during the course of the present war ; and in such an event, 
every cause of dispute relative thereto, betwen Spain and these United 
States, ought to be removed. 

On the fourth, that the lands lying on the east side of the Mississippi, 
whereon the settlements were prohibited by the aforesaid proclamation, 
are possessions of the crown of Great Britain, and proper objects 
against which the arras of Spain may be employed, for the purpose of 
making a permanent conquest for the Spanish crown. That such con- 
quest may, probably, be made during the present war. That, therefore, 
it would be advisable to restrain the southern states from making any 
settlements or conquests in these territories. That the council of Madrid 
consider the United States, as having no claim to those territories, either 
as not having had possession of them, before the present war, or not 
having any foundation for a claim in the right of the sovereignty of 
Great Britain, whose dominion they have abjured.* 

These extraordinary claims of his Catholic Majesty were in no 
respect admitted during this year either by Mr. Jay or Congress, 
and in October a full statement of the views of the United States 
as to their territorial rights, was drawn up, probably by Mr. Madi- 
son, and sent to the Ambassador at Madrid. f Meantime, as Vir- 
ginia considered the use of the Great Western river very neces- 
sary to her children. Governor Jefferson had ordered a fort to be 
constructed upon the Mississippi below the mouth of the Ohio. 
This was done in the spring of the year 1780, by General G. R. 
Clark, who was stationed at the Falls ; and was named by him 
after the writer of the Declaration of Independence. This fort 
for some purposes may have been well placed, but it was a great 
mistake to erect it, without notice, in the country of the Chicka- 
saws, who had thus far been true friends to the American cause. 
They regarded this unauthorized intrusion upon their lands as the 
first step in a career of conquest, and as such resented it ; while 
the settlers of Kentucky looked upon the measure with but little 
favor, as it tended to diminish the available force in their stations, 
which were still exposed to the ceaseless hostility of the Shawa- 
nese and Wyandots. The inhabitants of these stations, mean- 
while, were increasing with wonderful rapidity under the induce- 
ments presented by the land laws, and although the winter of 
1779-80, was one of the most severe ever experienced in the 

* See Pitkin's History of the United States, ii. p. 92. 
t Pitkin, ii. 512, 91. Life of John Jay, i. lOS, &c. 

1780. Land donated for School purposes. 223 

West, the wild animals being starved and frozen in the forest, 
while the domesticated fared no better in the settlements, — still 
emigrants crowded over the mountains as soon as spring opened. 
Three hundred large family boats arrived early in the year at the 
Falls; and on Beargrass creek was a population containing six 
hundred serviceable men.* — Nor did the swarming stop with the 
old settlements ; in the southwest part of the State the hunter 
Maulding, and his four sons, built their outpost upon the Red river 
which empties into the Cumberland;! while, sometime in the 
spring of this same year, Dr. Walker, and Colonel Henderson, the 
first visitor and first colonist of Kentucky, tried to run the line 
which should divide Virginia from Carolina, (or as things are now 
named, Kentucky from Tennessee,) westward as far as the Missis- 
sippi; an attempt in which they failed. | Nor was it to western 
lands and territorial boundaries alone that Virginia directed her 
attention at this time ; in May we find her Legislature saying that, 
" Whereas, it is represented to this General Assembly that there 
are certain lands within the county of Kentucky, formerly belong- 
ing to British subjects, not yet sold under the law of escheats and 
forfeitures, which might at a future day be a valuable fund for the 
maintenance and education of youth, and it being the interest 
OF this Commonwealth always to promote and encourage 


CITIZENS, whose situation in a barbarous neighborhood and a savage 
intercourse J might otherwise render unfriendly to science : be it there- 
enacted, that eight thousand acres of land, within the said county 
of Kentucky, late the property of those British subjects, || should 
be vested in trustees, ' as a free donation from this Commonwealth 
for the purpose of a public school, or seminary of learning, to be 
erected w^ithin the said county, as soon as its circumstances and 
the state of its funds will permit.' " 

Such, and so early laid, was the foundation of the first western 
Seminary of literature ; just five years after the forts of Boones- 
borough and Harrodsburg rose amidst the woods. In May of this 
year, as already related, St. Louis was attacked by the British and 

* Butler, second edition, 99. . 

+ Morehead, p. 83. 

4 Marshall, i. 113. Holmes' Annale, ii. 304, note 3d. 

J There names were Robert McKenzie, Henry CollinS; and Alexander McKee. 

224 Invasion of Kentucky by Canadians and Indians. 1780. 

Indians.* Nor did they confine their attentions entirely to the 
Spaniards and the more distant West. 

In the summer of 1780, just before the return of Boone to the 
West, the most formidable invasion of Kentucky took place of 
which her annals contain any notice. A body of six hundred 
men, Canadians and Indians, commanded by Colonel Byrd, a 
British officer, and accompanied by either two or six cannon,! 
marched up the valley of the Licking. It first appeared, on the 
22d of June, before Riddle's station on the south fork of that 
river, and required instant surrender. The demand could not be 
resisted, as the Kentucky stockades were powerless against can- 
non. Martin's station on the same stream was next taken; — and 
then, from some unexplained cause, the whole body of invaders — 
whose number was double that of all the fighting men east of the 
Kentucky river — turned right about face and hurried out of the 
country with all speed. The only reasonable explanation of the 
matter is that the British commander, horror-stricken and terrified 
at the excesses and cruelties of his savage allies, dared not go 
forward in the task — by no means a hopeless one — of depopu- 
lating the woods of Kentucky. | 

This incursion by Byrd and his red friends, little as it had 
effected, was enough to cause Clark, who had just returned from 
his labors on Fort Jefferson, and who found at the Falls a letter 
from the Governor of Virginia, recommending an attack upon the 
Indian villages north of the Ohio — to take immediate steps for 
the chastisement of the savages, and especially for the destruction 
of the store which furnished goods to the natives. This was situ- 
ated where the post destroyed by the French in 1752 had been, 
and was known in later days as Loramie's store. When, how- 
ever, in accordance with his determination, Clark, in July, went to 
Harrodsburg to enlist recruits, he found the whole population 
crazy about land entries, Mr. May, the Surveyor, having opened 
his office but two months previous. The General proposed to him 
to shut up for a time while the Indians were attended to ; the 
Surveyor in reply expressed a perfect willingness to do so in case 
General Clark would order it, but said that otherwise he had no 
authority to take such a step. The order was accordingly given 
and public notice spread abroad, accompanied by a full statement 

• Ante, p. 182. 

+ Butler, 110.— Marshall i. 107.— Boone'd Narrative in Filson, 44. 

\ Butler, 110.— Marshall i. 106, 

1780. Objections of J^ew Jersey to the plan of Union. 225 

of the reasons for the proceeding. The result proved, as usual, 
Clark's sagacitj^; volunteers flocked to his standard, and soon 
with a thousand men he was at the mouth of the Licking. Silently 
and swaftly from that point he proceeded to attack the town known 
as Chillicothe, on the Little Miami, and then the Pickaway towns 
on Mad river. In both attacks he succeeded; destroying the 
towns, burning the crops, and above all annihilating the British 
store above referred to, with its contents. This expedition, the 
first efficient one ever undertaken against the Miami nests of 
enemies — for a time relieved Kentucky from the attack of any 
body of Indians sufficiently numerous to produce serious alarm.* 
During this period of comparative quiet those measures which led 
to the cession of the western lands to the United States began to 
assume a definite form. 

Upon the 25th of June, 1778, when the articles of confedera- 
tion were under discussion in Congi-ess, the objections of New 
Jersey to the proposed plan of union were brought forward, and 
among them was this : 

It was ever the confident expectation of this State, that the benefits de- 
rived from a successful contest were to be general and proportionate ; and 
that the property of the common enemy, falling in consequence of a pros- 
perous issue of the war, would belong to the United States, and be appro- 
priated to their use. We are llierefore greatly disappointed in finding 
no provision made in the confederation for empowerhig the Congress 
to dispose of such property, but especially the vacant and impatented 
lands, commonly called the crown lands, for defraying the expenses of 
the war, and for such other public and general purposes. The juris- 
diction ought in every instance to belong to the respective states within 
the charter or determined limits of which such lands may be seated ; 
but reason and justice must decide, that the property which existed in 
the crovi'n of Great Britain, previous to the present revolution, ought 
now to belong to the Congress, in trust for the use and benefit of the 
United States. They have fought and bled for it in proportion to their 
respective abilities ; and therefore the reward ought not to be predilec- 
tionally distributed. Shall such States as are shut out by situation from 
availing themselves of the least advantange from this quarter, be left to 
sink under an enormous debt, whilst others are enabled, in a short 
period, to replace all their expenditures from the hard earnings of the 
whole confederacy .t 

* See, for a particular account of this expedition, Stipp's Miscellany, 63 to ''0. — Butler 
117. — Marshall i. 109. — Americaa Pioneer, i. 346. — Boone's Narrative. — Filson's Map. 
t See Secret Journal, i. p. 377, 


226 Instructions of Maryland. 1780.. 

Nor was New Jersey alone in her views. In January 1779, the 
Council and Assembly of Delaware, while they authorized their 
Delegates to ratify the Articles of Confederation, also passed cer- 
tain resolutions, and one of them was in these words : 

Hesolved also, That this state consider themselves justly entitled to a 
right, in common with the members of the Union, to that extensive 
tract of country which lies to the westward of the frontiers of the Uni- 
ted States, the property of which was not vested in, or granted to, indi- 
viduals at the commencement of the present war. That the same hath 
been, or may be, gained from the king of Great Britain, or the native 
Indians, by the blond and treasure of all, and ought therefore to be a 
common estate, to be granted out on terms beneficial to the United 

But this protest, however positive, w-as not enough for Mary- 
land, the representatives of which in Congress, presented upon 
the 21st of May, 1779, their instructions relative to confirming the 
much talked-of bond that was to make the colonies one. From 
those instructions we select the following passages : 

Virginia, by selling on the most moderate terms a small proportion of 
the lands in question, would draw into her treasury vast sums of money; 
and in proportion to the sums arising from such sales, would be enabled 
to lessen her taxes. Lands comparatively cheap, and taxes compara- 
tively low, with the lands and taxes of an adjacent State, would quickly 
drain the State thus disadvantageously circumstanced of its most useful 
inhabitants ; its wealth and its conseqtience in the scale of the confede- 
rated States would sink of course. A claim so injurious to more than 
one half, if not to the whole of the United States, ought to be supported 
by the clearest evidence of the right. Yet what evidences of that right 
have been produced ? What arguments alleged in support either of the 
evidence or the right? None that we have heard of deserving a serious 
refutation. » # » » 

We are convinced, policy and justice require, that a country unsettled 
at the commencement of this war, claimed by the British crown, and 
ceded to it by the treaty of Paris, if wrested from the common enemy 
by the blood and treasure of the thirteen States, should be considered as 
a common property, subject to be parceled out by Congress, into free, 
convenient, and independent governments, in such manner, and at such 
times as the wisdom of that assembly shall hereafter direct. 

Thus convinced, we should betray the trust reposed in us by our con- 
stituents, were we to authorize you to ratify on their behalf the confede- 

* See Secret Journal, i. p. 429.. 

1780. Resolution of Congress respecting Public Lands. 227 

ration, unless it be farther explained. We have coolly and dispassion- 
ately considered the subject ; we have weighed probable inconveniences 
and hardships against the sacrifice of just and essential rights ; and do 
instruct you not to agree to the confederation, unless an article or articles 
be added thereto in conformity with our declaration. Should we succeed 
in obtaining such article or articles, then you are hereby fully em- 
powered to accede to the confederation.* 

These difficulties toward perfecting the Union were increased 
by the passage of the laws in Virginia, for disposing of the public 
lands; this, as we have stated, was done in May, 1779. Appre- 
hensive of the consequences. Congress, upon the 30th of October, 
in that year, resolved that Virginia be recommended to reconsider 
her Act opening a land office, and that she and all other States 
claiming wild lands be requested to grant no warrants during the 
continuance of the war.f The troubles which thus threatened to 
arise from the claims of Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and 
Connecticut, to the lands which other colonies regarded as com- 
mon property, caused New York, on the 19th of February, 1780, 
to pass an act which gave to the Delegates of that State power to 
cede the western lands claimed by her for the benefit of the United 
States. This law was laid before Congress on the 7th of the next 
month, (March, '80, :{: ) but no step seems to have been taken until 
September 6th, 1780, when a resolution passed that body pressing 
upon the States claiming western lands the wisdom of giving up 
their claims in favor of the whole country ; || and to aid this 
recommendation, upon the 10th of October, was passed the fol- 
lowing resolution — § which formed the basis of all after action, 
and was the first of those legislative measures which have thus 
far resulted in the creation of the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
and Michigan, — 

No. 9. Resolved, — That the unappropriated lands that may be ceded 
or relinquished to the United States, by any particular State, pursuant 
to the recommendation of Congress of the 6th day of September last, 
shall be disposed of for the common benefit of the United Stales, and 
be settled and formed into distinct republican States, which shall become 
members of the Federal Union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, 
freedom, and independence, as the other States : that each State which 

* See Secret Journal, i. p. 435, ^ Old Journals, iii. 582. 

t Old Journals, iii. 384, 385. § Old Journal, iii. 535.— Land Laws, 338, 

J Old Journals, iii. 516. 

228 Plan of conquering Detroit again renewed. 1780. 

shall be so formed shall contain a suitable extent of territory, not less 
than 100 nor more than 150 miles square, or as near thereto as circura- 
slanees will admit: that the necessary and reasonable expenses which 
any particular state shall have incurred since the commencement of the 
present war, in subduing any British posts, or in maintaining forts or 
garrisons within and for the defence, or in acquiring any part of the 
territory that may be ceded or relinquished to the United States, shall 
be reimbursed. 

That the said lands shall be granted or settled at such times, and un- 
der such regulations, as shall hereafter be agreed on by the United 
Slates in Congress assembled, or in any nine or more of them.* 

Such were the steps taken in relation to the great western wil- 
derness during the year of which we are treating. 

And soon after, in December of that year, the plan of conquer- 
ing Detroit was renewed again. In 1779 that conquest might 
have been effected by Clark had he been supported by any spirit ; f 
in January 1780, the project was discussed between Washington 
and Brodhead, and given up or deferred, as too great for the 
means of the Continental establishment : | in the following Octo- 
ber so weak was that establishment that Fort Pitt itself was threat- 
ened by the savages and British, while its garrison, destitute of 
bread, while there was an abundance in the country, were half 
disposed to mutiny. 1| Under these circumstances. Congress being 
powerless for action, Virginia proposed to carry out the original 
plan of her' western General, and extend her operations to the 
Lakes; we find, in consequence, that an application was made 
by Jefferson to the Commander-in-chief for aid, and that on the 
29th of December, an order was given by him on Brodhead for 
artillery, tools, stores, and men.§ How far the preparations for 
this enterprize were carried and why they were abandoned we 
have not been able to discover; but upon the 25th of April 1781, 
Washington wrote to General Clark, warning him that Connolly, 
who had just been exchanged, was expected to go from Canada 

* See Land Laws, p. 338. 

t See p. 214. 

\ Sparks' Washington, vi. 433. — An attempt upon Natchez was also contemplated and 
abandoned. — Do. do. 

II Sparks' Washington, vii. 270. 

§ Four field pieces, one howitzer, five hundred spades, two hundred picks, &c. &c. 
Sparks' Washington, vii. 343. 

1780. Act estabUshing the town of Louisville. 229 

to Venango, (Franklin, mouth of French creek,) with a force of 
refugees, and thence to Fort Pitt, with blank Commissions for 
some hundreds of dissatisfied men believed to be in that vicinity.* 
From this it would seem probable that the Detroit expedition was 
not abandoned at that time. 

Two other facts close the chronicle of 1780 ; the one, that upon 
the 1st of November the county of Kentucky was divided into 
the three counties of Lincoln, Fayette, and Jefferson;! the other, 
the passage of an Act in May for establishing the town of Louis- 
ville. | We have mentioned the survey of the lands at the Falls 
by Bullitt, in 1773, on account of John Connolly ; || and also the 
advertisement of that gentleman and John Campbell, dated April 
3, 1774. § Connolly, however, as a tory, had forfeited his title, 
and in the present year Virginia proceeded to dispose of his share 
in the one thousand acres at the Falls of the Ohio. But as Camp- 
bell, the apparent joint owner, was in captivity in 1780, final 
action was delayed until his return. This having taken place, 
successive acts in May and October, 'S3, and October '84, were 
passed protecting and securing his interests while the share of his 
refugee partner was disposed of. IT ^ 

* sparks' Washington, viii. 25. — This letter is not in the Index to Mr. Sparks' work, 
t Marshall, i. 111. — Filson's Map. 

\ Collection of Acts, &c., relative to Louisville. — Louisville, 1837, p. 3. 
p. 152, note. § p. Do. ^ p. 151. — Acts relative to Louisville, pp.4, 5, 6. 


Virginia, in accordance with the recommendation of Congress 
already noticed, upon the 2d of January of this year, agreed to 
yield her western lands to the United States, upon certain condi- 
tions ; among which were these; — 1st, no person holding ground 
under a purchase from the natives to him or his grantors, indivi- 
dually, and no one claiming under a grant or charter from the 
British crown, inconsistent with the charter or customs of Virginia, 
was to be regarded as having a valid title : and 2nd, the United 
States were to guarantee to Virginia all the territory south-east of 
the Ohio to the Atlantic, as far as the bounds of Carolina. These 
conditions Congress would not accede to, and the Act of Cession, 
on the part of the Old Dominion failed, nor was any thing farther 
done until 1783.* 

Early in the same month in which Virginia made her first Act 
of Cession, a Spanish captain, with sixty-five men, left St. Louis, 
for the purpose of attacking some one of the British posts of the 
north-west. Whether this attempt originated in a desire to re- 
venge the English and Indian siege of St. Louis, in the previous 
year, or whether it was a mere pretence to cover the claims about 
that time set up by Spain to the western country, in opposition to 
the colonies! which she claimed to be aiding, it is perhaps impos- 
sible to say. But these facts, that the point aimed at, St. Joseph's, 
was far in the interior — and that this crusade was afterwards 
looked to by the court of Spain as giving a ground of territorial 
right — make it probable that the enterprise was rather a legal one 
against the Americans, than a military one against the English : 
and this conclusion is made stronger by the fact that the Spaniards 
having taken the utterly unimportant post of St. Joseph, and 
having claimed the country as belonging to the King of Spain, by 
right of conquest, turned back to the quiet west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi again, and left the Long Knives to prosecute the capture 
of Detroit, as they best could. J 

* Old Us. iv. 265 to 267. t See ante p. 221 . 

I Diplomatic Correspondence, iii. 339 ; viii. 150. — Secret Journals, iv, 64. 74. 

1781. Birth of Mary Heckewelder, 231 

Upon the 16th of April in this year, was born at Salem upon the 
Muskingum river, Mary Heckewelder, daughter of the widely 
known Moravian missionary — the earliest born of white American 
children, who first saw the light north of the Ohio; and in her 
language rather than our own, we now give some incidents rela- 
tive to the Christian Delawares aad their teachers. 

Soon after ray birth, times becoming very troublesome, the settle- 
ments were often in danger from war parties ; and finally, in the begin- 
ning of September of the same year, we were all made prisoners. First, 
four of the missionaries v/ere seized by a party of Huron warriors, and 
declared prisoners of war ; they were then led into the camp of the 
Delawares, where the death-song was sung over them. Soon after they 
had secured them, a number of warriors marched off for Salem and 
Shoenbrun.* About thirty savages arrived at the former place in the 
dusk of the evening, and broke open the mission house. Here they 
took my mother and myself prisoners, and having led her into the 
street and placed guards over her, they plundered the house of every 
thing they could take with them and destroyed what was left. Then 
going to take my mother along with them, the savages were prevailed 
upon, through the intercession of the Indian females, to let her remain 
at Salem till the next morning — the night being dark and rainy and 
almost impossible for her to travel so far — they at last consented on 
condition that she should be bronght into the camp the next morning, 
which was accordingly done, and she was safely conducted by our 
Indians to Gnadenhutten. 

After experiencing the cruel treatment of the savages for some time, 
they were set at liberty again ; but were obliged to leave their flourish- 
ing settlements, and forced to march through a dreary wilderness to 
Upper Sandusky. We went by^ land through Goseachguenk to the 
Walholding, and then pardy by water and partly along the banks of the 
river, to Sandusky Creek. All the way I was carried by an Indian 
woman, carefully wrapped in a blanket, on her back. Our journey 
was exceedingly tedious and dangerous ; some of the canoes sunk, 
and those that were in them lost all their provisions and every 
thing they had saved. Those that went by land drove the catde, a 
pretty large herd. The savages now drove us along, the missionaries 
with their families usually in their midst, surrounded by their Indian 
converts. The roads were exceedingly bad, leading through a con- 
tinuation of swamps. 

Having arrived at Upper Sandusky, they built small huts of logs and 
bark to screen them from the cold, having neither beds nor blankets, 
and being reduced to the greatest poverty and want ; for the savages 
* Moravian Towns. 

232 Treatment of the Moravians. 1781, 

had by degrees stolen almost every thing, both from the missionaries 
and Indians, on the journey. We lived here extremely poor, often- 
times very little or nothing to satisfy the cravings of hunger ; and ihe 
poorest of tlie Indians were obliged to live upon their dead cattle, which 
died for want of pasture.* 

To this account by one who is, from her age at the time, 
but a second-hand witness, we may add the following particu- 
lars. We have already mentioned the rise of the Christian-Indian 
towns upon the Muskingum. During the wars between the north- 
west savages and the Pennsylvania and Virginia frontier-men, 
the quiet converts of Post, Zeisberger, and Heckewelder had any 
other than a pleasant position. The Wyandots thought they be- 
trayed the red men's interests to their religious white kinsfolk ; the 
pale-faced Indian-haters of the Kenawha, doubted as little that the 
" praying" Delawares played them false, and favored the fierce 
warriors of the lakes. f Little by little these suspicions and jeal- 
ousies assumed form, and the missionaries having actually been 
guilty of the crime of interpreting to the Delaware chiefs, certain 
letters received from Pittsburgh, measures were taken by the Eng- 
lish, as early it seems, as 1779, to remove them from the American 
borders, and thus prevent their interference. No result followed 
at that time from the steps alluded to ; but in 1780 or '81, the 
Iroquois were asked at a council held at Niagara to remove the 
Muskingum Christians, as the settlements were in the country 
claimed by the Five Nations. The New York savages were per- 
fectly willing the thing should be done, but were not willing to do 
it themselves, so they sent ^o the Ottawas and ChippewaysJ a 
message to the effect that they might have the Moravian congre- 
gations to make soup of. The Ottawas in their turn declined the 
treat and sent the message to the Hurons, or, as they are most 
commonly called, the Wyandots. These, together with Captain 
Pipe, the war chief of the Delawares, who was the enemy of the 
missionaries because they taught peace, carried the wish of the 
English into execution, in the manner narrated by the daughter of 
the Moravian leader. At Detroit, whither four of the Europeans 
were taken in October, Heckewelder and his Co-laborers were 

* American Pioneer, ii. 224. 

t In Oct. 1777, a party of Americans crossed the Ohio to attack the Moravian towns. — 
Heckevveliler's Narrative, 165. 

\ The Ojibbeways or Odjibways, as it is lately written in conformity with tlie true 
sound and old writing. — Schoolcraft's Algic Researches. — American State Papers, V. 
707. 718. 

1781. Treatment of the Moravians. 233 

tried ; but as even Captain Pipe could find no other charge against 
them than that of interpreting the American letters above referred 
to, they were discharged and returned to their families at San- 
dusky, toward the close of November.* 

While the English and their red allies were thus persecuting 
the poor Moravians and their disciples on the one hand, the 
Americans were preparing to do the same thing, only, as the 
event proved, in a much more effectual style. In the spring of 
1781, Colonel Brodhead led a body of troops against some of the 
hostile Delawares, upon the Muskingum. This, a portion of his 
followers thought, would be an excellent opportunity to destroy 
the Moravian towns, and it was with difficulty he could withhold 
them. He sent word to Heckewelder, and tried to prevent any 
attack upon the members of his flock. In this attempt he appears 
to have succeeded ; but he did not, perhaps could not, prevent 
the slaughter of the troops taken from the hostile Delawares. 
First, sixteen were killed, and then nearly twenty. A chief, who 
came under assurances of safety to Brodhead's camp, was also 
murdered by a noted partisan, named Wetzel. f From that time, 
the Virginians rested, until autumn, when the frontier men, led by 
Colonel David Williamson, marched out expressly against the 
towns of the christian Delawares ; but they found that the Hurons 
had preceded them, and the huts and fields of the friends of peace 
were deserted. J 

The particular cause of this attempt on the part of the Ameri- 
cans was the series of attacks made during this year by small 
bands of Indians, along the whole range of stations, from Laurel 
Hill to Green river. The details of these incursions may be 
found in Withers' Border Warfare, 225, and Marshall's Kentucky, 
I. 115. Among these details, the mass of which we, of necessity, 
oinit, is the following, which seems worthy of especial notice. 
Squire Boone's station, near Shelbyville, being very much ex- 
posed, those within it determined to seek a place of greater 
security: while on their way to the Beargrass settlements they 
were attacked by the Indians. Colonel Floyd, hearing of this, 

* See a full account in Heckewelder's Narrative, 230 — 299. 

t Heckewelder's Narrative, 214. — Doddridge, 291, (the date is in this account 1780, 
but we presume wrongly.) — Border Warfare, 219 ; Withers follows Doddridge, but both 

draw from Heckewelder, who says 1781 For a full acceunt of Lewis Wetzel, the very 

embodiment of the most reckless class of frontier men, see Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, 
iJ21, 161, 169, 177. 

t Border Warfare, 229. Doddridge, 262. 

234 Mohle act of Captain Wells. 1781. 

hastened with twenty-five men against the enemy, but fell into an 
ambuscade of two hundred savages, and lost half his men. 
Among those in his party was Captain Samuel Wells, with whom 
Floyd had been for some time at feud. This gentleman, as he 
retreated, saw his superior officer, but personal foe, on foot, nearly 
exhausted, and hard pressed by the invaders, on the point of 
falling a sacrifice to their fury; instantly dismounting, he forced 
Colonel Floyd to take his place in the saddle, and being himself 
fresh, ran by the side of the horse, supporting the fainting rider, 
and saved the lives of both. It will readily be believed their 
enmity closed with that day.* 

In addition to the incursions by the northern Indians, this year 
witnessed the risings of the Chickasaws against Fort Jefferson, 
which, as we have said, had been unwisely built in their country, 
without leave asked. The attack was made under the direction 
of Colbert, a Scotchman, who had acquired great influence with 
the tribe, and whose descendants have since been among their 
influential chiefs. The garrison were few in number, sickly, and 
half starved ; but some among them were fool-hardy and wicked 
enough to fire at Colbert, when under a flag of truce, which pro- 
voked the savages beyond all control, and had not Clark arrived 
with reinforcements, the Chickasaws would probably have had all 
the scalps of the intruders. As it was, the fort was relieved, but 
was soon after abandoned, as being too far from the settlements, 
and of very little use at any rate.f 

Meantime the internal organization of Kentucky was proceeding 
rapidly. Floyd, Logan, and Todd were made county Lieutenants 
of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Fayette, with the rank of Colonel ; 
while William Pope, Stephen Trigg, and Daniel Boone, were 
made Lieutenant Colonels, to act for the others in case of need. 
Clark was made Brigadier General, and placed at the head of 
military affairs, his head quarters being at the Falls, between 
which point and the Licking he kept a row galley going, to inter- 
cept parties of Indians, though to very little purpose. George 
May, who had been surveyor for the whole county of Kentucky, 
after the division had Jefferson assigned him ; Jwhile Thomas 
Marshall was appointed to the same post in Fayette, and James 
Thompson in Lincoln. Of the three, however, only the last 

• Butler, 2d edition, 115. — Marshall, i. 115. — Marshall, says this took place in April, 
Butler in September, and refers to Colonel F.'s MS. letters. 
+ Butler, 2d edition, 119. 

1781. Habits of Life in the West. 235 

opened his office during this year, and great was the discontent of 
those waiting to enter the fertile lands of the two counties which 
were thus kept out of their reach ; a discontent ten-fold the greater 
in consequence of the laws of Virginia in relation to her depreci- 
ated currency, the effect of which was to make land cost in specie 
only half a cent an acre.* 

One other event will close the western annals of 1781, and no 
more important event has yet been chronicled : it was the large 
emigration of young unmarried women, into a region abounding in 
young unmarried men ; its natural result was the rapid increase of 
population. t And here, in imitation of the first historian of Ken- 
tucky, we may properlyj introduce some notice of the modes of 
life prevailing at that early period. 

Then, the women did the offices of the household ; milked the cows, 
cooked the mess, prepared the flax, spun, wove, and made the garment 
of linen or linsey ; the men hunted, and brought in the meat; they 
planted, ploughed, and gathered in the corn ; grinding it into meal at the 
hand-mill, or pounding it into hominy in the mortar, was occasional- 
ly the work of either, or the joint labor of both. The men exposed 
themselves alone to danger ; they fought the Indians, they cleared the 
land, they reared the hut, or built the fort, in which the women were 
placed for safety. Much use was made of the skins of deer for dress ; 
while the buffalo and bear skins were consigned to the floor, for beds 
and covering. There might incidentally, be a few articles brought to 
the country for sale, in a private way ; but there was no store for supply. 
Wooden vessels, either turned or coopered, were in common use as 
table furniture. A tin cup was an article of delicate luxury, almost as 
rare as an iron fork. Every hunter carried his knife ; it was no less the 
implement of a warrior: not unfrequently the rest of the family was 
left with but one or two for the use of all. A like workmanship com- 
posed the table and the stool ; a slab, hewed with the axe, and sticks of 
a similar manufacture, set in for legs, supported both, When the bed 
was by chance or refinement, elevated above the floor, and given a 
fixed place, it was often laid on slabs placed across poles, supported on 
forks, set in the earthen floor; or where the floor was puncheons, the 
bedstead was hewed pieces, pinned on upright posts, or let into them 
by auger holes. Other utensils and furniture, were of a corresponding 
description, applicable to the time. 

The food was of the most wholesome and nutritive kind. The 
richest milk, the finest butter, and best meat, that ever delighted man's 
palate, were here eaten with a relish which health and labor only 

* Marshall, i. 124. t Ibid, 122. 

236 Habits of Life in the West. 1781. 

know. Those were shared by friend and stranger in every cabin, with 
profuse hospitality. 

Hats were made of the native fiir ; and the buffalo wool employed in 
the composition of cloth, as was also the bark of the wild nettle. 

There was some paper money in the country, which had not depre- 
ciated one half nor even a fourth as much as it had at the seat of govern- 
ment. If there was any gold or silver its circulation was suppressed. 
The price of a beaver hat, was five hundred dollars.* 

The hunting shirt was universally worn. This was a kind of loose 
frock, reaching half way down the thighs, with large sleeves, open be- 
fore, and so wide as to lap over a foot or more when belted. The cape 
was large, and sometimes handsomely fringed with a ravelled piece of 
cloth of a different color from that of the hunting shirt itself. The 
bosom of his dress served as a wallet to hold a chunk of bread, cakes, 
jerk, tow for wiping the barrel of the rifle, or any other necessary for 
the hunter or warrior. The belt which was always tied behind an- 
swered several purposes, besides that of holding the dress together. In 
cold weather the mittens, and sometimes the bullet-bag occupied the 
front part of it. To the right side was suspended the tomahawk, and 
to the left the scalping knife in its leathern sheath. The hunting shirt 
was generally made of linsey, sometimes of coarse linen, and a few of 
dressed deer skins. These last were very cold and uncomfortable in 
wet weather. The shirt and jacket were of the common fashion. A 
pair of drawers or breeches and leggins, were the dress of the thighs 
and legs, a pair of moccasins answered for the feet much better than 
shoes. These were made of dressed deer skin. They were mostly 
made of a single piece, with a gathering seam along the top of the foot, 
and another from the bottom of the heel, without gathers, as high as the 
ankle joint or a little higher. Flaps were left on each side to reach 
some distance up the legs. These were nicely adapted to the ankles 
and lower part of the leg by thongs of deer skin, so that no dust, gra- 
vel, or snow, could get within the moccasin. 

The moccasins in ordinary use cost but a few hours labor to make 
them. This was done by an instrument denominated a moccasin awl, 
which was made of the back spring of an old clasp-knife. This awl, 
with its buck-horn handle, was an appendage of every shot pouch 
strap, together with a roll of buckskin for mending the moccasins. This 
was tlie labor of almost every evening. They were sewed together 
and patched with deerskin thongs, or whangs as they were commonly 

In cold weather the moccasins were well stuffed with deers' hair, or 

* See Marshall's History of Kentucky, i. p. 123. 

1781. Habits of Life 171 the West. 237 

dry leaves, so as to keep the feet comfortably warm ; but in wet wea- 
ther it was usually said that wearing them was " a decent way of going 
barefooted ;" and such was the fact, owing to the spongy texture of the 
leather of which they were made. 

Owing to this defective covering of the feet, more than to any other 
circumstance, the greater number of our hunters and warriors were af- 
flicted with the rheumatism in their limbs. Of this disease they were 
all apprehensive in cold or wet weather, and therefore always slept with 
their feet to the fire to prevent or cure it as well as they could. This 
practice unquestionably had a very salutary effect, and prevented many 
of them from becoming confirmed cripples in early life. 

The fort consisted of cabins, blockhouses and stockades. A range 
of cabins commonly formed one side at least of the fort. Divisions, or 
partitions of logs separated the cabins from each other. The walls on 
the outside were ten or twelve feet high, the slope of the roof being 
turned wholly inward. A very few of these cabins had puncheon 
floors, the greater part were earthen. 

The blockhouses were built at the angles of the fort. They pro- 
jected about two feet beyond the outer walls of the cabins and stockades. 
Their upper stories were about eighteen inches every way larger in di- 
mension than the under one, leaving an opening at the commencement 
of the second story to prevent the enemy from making a lodgment under 
their walls. In some forls instead of blockhouses, the angles of the fort 
were furnished with bastions. A large folding gate, made of thick 
slabs, nearest the spring closed the fort. The stockades, bastions, cabins, 
and blockhouse walls were furnished with port holes at proper heights 
and distances. The whole of the outside was made completely bullet 

It may be truly said that necessity is the mother of invention ; for the 
whole of this work was made without the aid of a single nail or spike 
of iron, and for this reason, such things were not to be had. 

In some places, less exposed, a single blockhouse, with a cabin or 
two constituted the whole fort. 

For a long time after the first settlement of this country, the inhabi- 
tants in general married young. There was no distinction of rank, and 
very little of fortune. On these accounts the first impression of love 
resulted in marriage; and a family establishment cost but a little labor 
and nothing else. 

In the first years of the settlement of this country, a wedding engaged 
the attention of a whole neighborhood, and the frolic was anticipated 
by old and young with eager expectation. This is njt to be wondered 
at, when it is told that a wedding was almost the only gathering which 
we:s not accompanied with the labor of reaping, log rolling, building a 
cabin, or planning some scout or campaign. 


238 HaUts of Life in the West. 1781. 

In the morning of the wedding day, the groom and his attendants as- 
sembled at the house of his father for the purpose of reaching tlie man- 
sion of his bride by noon, which was the usual time for celebrating the 
nuptials ; which for certain must take place before dinner. 

Let the reader imagine an assemblage of people, without a store, 
tailor, or mantuamaker within an hundred miles ; and an assemblage of 
horses, without a blacksmith or saddler within an equal distance. The 
gentlemen dressed in shoepacks, moccasins, leather breeches, leggings, 
linsey hunting shirts, and all home-made. The ladies dressed in linsey 
petticoats and linsey or linen bed gowns, coarse shoes, stockings, hand- 
kerchiefs and buckskin gloves, if any. If there were any buckles, 
rings, buttons, or ruffles, they were the relics of old times, family pieces 
from parents or grand-parents. The horses were caparisoned with old 
saddles, old bridles or halters, and pack-saddles, with a bag or blanket 
thrown over them : a rope or string as often constituted the girth as a 
piece of leather. 

The march, in double file, way often interrupted by the narrowness 
and obstructions of our horse paths, as they were called, for we had no 
roads : and these difficulties were often increased sometimes by the 
good, and sometimes by the ill will of neighbors, by falling trees and 
tying grape vines across the way. Sometimes an ambuscade was formed 
by the way-side, and an unexpected discharge of several guns took 
place, so as to cover the wedding company with smoke. Let the reader 
imagine the scene which followed this discharge : the sudden spring of 
the horses, the shrieks of the girls, and the chivalric bustle of their 
partners to save them from falling. Sometimes, in spite of all that 
could be done to prevent it, some were thrown to the ground. If a 
wrist, elbow, or ankle happened to be sprained it was tied with a hand- 
kerchief, and little more was thought or said about it. 

Another ceremony commonly took place before the party reached the 
house of the bride, after the practice of making whisky began, which 
was at an early period ; whnn the party were about a mile from the place 
of their destination, two young men would single out to run for the 
bottle; the worse the path, the more logs, brush, and deep hollows the 
better, as these obstacles afl'orded an opportunity for the greater display 
of intrepidity and horsemanship. The English fox chase, in point of 
danger to the riders and tlieir horses, is nothing to this race for the 
bottle. The start was announced by an Indian yell ; logs, brush, muddy 
hollows, hill and glen, were speedily passed by the rival ponies. The 
bottle was always filled for the occasion, so that there was no use for 
judges ; for the first who reached the door was presented with the prize, 
with which he returned in triumph to the company. On approaching 
them, he announced his victory over his rival by a shrill whoop. At 
the head of the troop, he gave the bottle first to the groom and his 

1781, HaUts of Life in the West. 239 

attendants, and then to each pair in succession to the rear of the line» 
giving each a dram ; and then putting the bottle in the bosom of his 
hunting shirt tooiv his station in the company. 

The ceremony of the marriage preceded the dinner, which was a sub- 
stantial backwoods feast of beef, pork, fowls, and sometimes venison 
and bear meat, roasted and boiled, with plenty of potatoes, cabbage, and 
other vegetables. During the dinner the greatest hilaiity always pre- 
vailed ; although the table might be a large slab of timber, hewed out 
with a broad axe, supported by four sticks set in auger holes, and the 
furniture some old pewter dishes, and plates, the rest wooden bowls 
and trenchers ; a few pewter spoons, much battered about the edges, 
were to be seen at some tables. The rest were made of horns. If 
knives were scarce, the deficiency was made tip by the scalping knives 
which were carried in sheaths suspended to the belt of the hunting 

After dinner the dancing commenced, and generally lasted till the 
next morning. The figures of the dances were thr^e and four handed 
reels, or square sets, and jigs. The commencement was always a 
square four, which was followed by what was called jigging it off; 
that is, two of the four would single out for a jig, and were followed by 
the remaining couple. The jigs were often accompanied with what 
was called cutting out ; that is, when either of the parliea became tired 
of the dance, on intimation the place was supplied by some one of the 
company without any interruption of the dance. In this way a dance 
was often continued till the musician was heartily tired of his situation. 
Toward the latter part of the night, if any of the company, through 
weariness, attempted to conceal themselves, for the purpose of sleeping 
they were hunted up, paraded on the floor, ani the fiddler ordered to 
play " Hang on till to-morrow morning." 

About nine or ten o'clock, a deputation of the young ladies stole off 
the bride, and put her to bed. In doing this, it frequently happened that 
they had to ascend a ladder instead of a pair of stairs, leading from the 
dining and ball room to the loft, the floor of which was made of clap- 
boards lying loose and without nails. This ascent, one might think, 
would put the bride and her attendants to the blush ; but as the foot of 
the ladder was commonly behind the door, which was purposely opened 
for the occasion, and its rounds at the inner ends were well hung with 
hunting shirts, petticoats, and other articles of clothing, the candles 
being on the opposite side of the house, the exit of the bride was noticed 
but by iew. This done, a deputation of young men in like manner 
stole off" the groom, and placed him snugly by the side of his bride. 
The dance still continued ; and if seats happened to be scarce, which 
was often the case, every young man, when not engaged in the dance, 
was obliged to offer his lap as a seat for one of the girls ; and the offer 

240 Habits of Life in the West. 1781. 

was sure to be accepted. In the midst of this hilarity the bride and 
groom were not forgotten. Pretty late in the night, some one would 
remind the company that the new couple must stand in need of some 
refreshment: black Betty, which was the name of the bottle, was called 
for, and sent up the ladder, but sometimes black Betty did not go alone, 
I have many times seen as much bread, beef, pork and cabbage sent 
along with her, as would afTord a good meal for half a dozen hungry 
men. The young couple were compelled to eat and drink, more or less, 
of whatever was offered them. 

It often happened that some neighbors or relations, not being asked to 
the wedding, took offence ; and the mode of revenge adopted by them 
on such occasions, was that of cutting off the manes, foretops, and tails 
of the horses of the wedding company. 

I will proceed to state the usual manner of settling a young couple in 
the world. 

A spot was selected on a piece of land of one of the parents, for their 
habitation. A day was appointed, shortly after their marriage, for 
commencing the work of building their cabin. The fatigue party con- 
sisted of choppers, whose business it was to fell the trees and cut them 
off at proper lengths. A man with a team for hauling them to the 
place, and arranging them, properly assorted, at the sides and ends of 
the building, a carpenter, if such he might be called, whose business it 
was to search the woods for a proper tree for making clapboards for the 
roof. The tree for this purpose must be straight grained and from three 
to four feet in diameter. The boards were split four feet long, with a 
large frow, and as wide as the timber will allow. They were used with- 
out planing or shaving. Another division were employed in getting pun- 
cheons for the floor of the cabin ; this was done by splitting trees, about 
eighteen inches in diameter, and hewing the faces of them with a broad 
axe. 'They were half the length of the floor they were intended to 

The materials for the cabin were mostly prepared on the first day and 
sometimes the foundation laid in the evening. The second day was 
allotted for the raising. 

In the morning of the next day the neighbors collected for the raising. 
The first thing to be done was the election of four corner men, whose 
business it was to notch and place the logs. The rest of the company 
furnished them with the timbers. In the meantime the boards and pun- 
cheons were collecting for the floor and roof, so that by the time the 
cabin was a few rounds high the sleepers and floor began to be laid. 
The door was made by sawing or cutting the logs in one side so as to 
make an opening about three feet wide. This opening was secured 
by upright pieces of timber about three inches thick, through which 
holes were bored into the ends of the logs for the purpose of pinning 

1781. Hckis of Life in the West. 241 

them fast. A similar opening, but wider, was made at the end for the 
chimney. This was built of logs and made large to admit of a back 
and jambs of stone. At the square, two end logs projected a foot or 
eighteen inches beyond the wall to receive the butting poles, as they 
were called, against which the ends of the first row of clapboards was 
supportetl. The roof was formed by making the end logs shorter until 
a single log formed the comb of the roof, on these logs the clapboards 
were placed, the ranges of them laping some distance over those next 
below them and kept in their places by logs, placed at proper distances 
upon them. 

The roof, and sometimes the floor, were finished on the same day of 
the raising. A third day was commonly spent by a few carpenters in 
leveling off the floor, making a clapboard door and a table. This last 
was made of a split slab, and supported by four round legs set in auger 
holes. Some three legged stools were made in the same manner. Some 
pins stuck in the logs at the back of the house supported some clap- 
boards which served for shelves for the table furniture. A single fork, 
placed with its lower end in a hole in the floor, and the upper end fas- 
tened to a joist served for a bedstead, by placing a pole in the fork with 
one end through a crack between the logs of the wall. This front pole 
was crossed by a shorter one within the fork, with its outer end through 
another crack. From the front pole, through a crack between the logs 
of the end of the house, the boards were put on which formed the bot- 
tom of the bed. Sometimes other poles, were pinned to the fork a 
little distance above these, for the purpose of supporting the front and 
foot of the bed, while the walls were the supports of its back and head. 
A few pegs around the walls for a display of the coats of the women, 
and hunting shirts of the men, and two small forks or bucks' horns to a 
joist for the rifle and shot pouch, completed the carpenter work. 

In the mean time masons were at work. With the heart pieces of 
the timber of which the clapboards were made, they made billets for 
chunking up the cracks between the logs of the cabin and chimney, a 
large bed of mortar was made for daubing up those cracks ; a few stones 
formed the back and jambs of the chimney. 

The cabin being finished, the ceremony of house-warming took place, 
before the young couple were permitted to move into it. 

The house-warming was a dance of a whole night's continuance, 
made up of the relations of the bride and groom, and their neighbors. 
On the day following the young couple took possession of their new 

At house raisings, log rollings, and harvest parties, every one was 

expected to do his duty faithfully. A person who did not perform his 

share of labor on these occasions, was designated by the epithet of 

" Lawrence," or some other title still more opprobious ; and when it 


242 Habits of Life wi the West. ' 1781. 

came to liis turn to require the like aid from his neighbors, the idler 
soon felt his punishment, in their refusal to attend to his calls. 

Although there was no legal compulsion to the performance of mili- 
tary duty, yet every man of full age and size was expected to do his full 
share of public service. If he did not do so he was " Hated out as a 
coward." Even the want of any article of war equipments, such as 
ammunition, a sharp flint, a priming wire, a scalping knife or toma- 
hawk, was thought highly disgraceful. A man, who without a reason- 
able cause failed to go on a scout or campaign when it came to his turn, 
met with an expression of indignation in tlie countenances of all his 
neighbors, and epithets of dishonor were fastened upon him without 

Debts, which make such an uproar in civilized life were but little 
known among our forefathers at the early settlement of this country. 
After the depreciation of the continental paper they had no money of 
any kind ; every thing purchased was paid for in produce or labor. A 
good cow and calf was often the price of a bushel of alum salt. If 
a contract was not punctually fulfilled, the credit of the delinquent was 
at an end. 

Any petty theft was punished with all the infamy that could be heap- 
ed on the off'ender. A man on a campaign stole from his comrade a 
cake out of the ashes, in which it was baking: he was immediately 
named " The bread rounds." This epithet of reproach was bandied 
about in this way, when he came in sight of a group of men, one of 
them would call " Who comes there ?" Another would answer, " The 
bread rounds." If any one meant to be more serious about the matter, 
he would call out " Who stole a cake out of the ashes ?" Another re- 
plied, by giving the name of the man in full ; to this a third would give 
confirmation, by exclaiming, "That is true and no lie." This kind of 
" tongue-lashing" he was doomed to bear, for the rest of the campaign, 
as well as for years after his return home. 

If a theft was detected, in any of the frontier settlements, a summary 
mode of punishment was always resorted to. The first settlers, as far 
as I knew of them, had a kind of innate, or hereditary detestation of 
the crime of theft, in any shape or degree, and their maxim was, that 
" a thief must be whipped." If the theft was of something of some 
value, a kind of jury of the neighborhood, after hearing the testimony, 
would condemn the culprit to Moses Law, that is to forty stripes, save 
one. If the theft was of some small article, the offender was doomed 
to carry on his back the flag of the United States, which then consisted 
of thirteen stripes. In either case, some able hands were selected to 
execute the sentence, so that the stripes were sure to be well laid on. 

This punishment was followed by a sentence of exile. He then was 

1781, Habits of Life in tJie West 243 

informed that he must decamp in so many days, and be seen there no 
more on penalty of having the number of his stripes doubled. 

If a woman was given to tattling and slandering her neighbors, she 
was furnished by common consent, with a kind of patent-right to say 
whatever she pleased, without being believed. Her tongue was then 
said to be harmless, or to be no scandal. 

With all their rudeness, these people were given to hospitality, and 
freely divided their rough fare with a neighbor, or stranger, and would 
have been offended at the offer of pay. In their settlements and forts, 
they lived, they worked, they fought, and feasted, or suffered together, 
in cordial harmony. They were warm and constant in their friendships. 
On the other hand they were revengeful in their resentments. And the 
point of honor sometimes led to personal combats. If one man called 
another a liar, he was considered as having given a challenge which the 
person who received it must accept, or be deemed a coward, and the 
charge was generally answered on the spot, with a blow. If the injur- 
ed person was decidedly unable to fight the aggressor, he might get a 
friend to do it for him. The same thing took place on a charge of cowar- 
dice, or any other dishonorable action, a battle must follow, and the 
person who made the charge must fight, either the person against whom 
he made the charge or any champion who choose to espouse his cause. 
Thus circumstanced, our people in early times were much more cautious 
of speaking €vil of their neighbors than they are at present. 

Sometimes pitched battles occurred, in which time, place and seconds, 
were appointed beforehand. I remember having seen one of those 
pitched battles in «iy father's fort, when a boy. One of the young men 
knew very well beforehand that he should gel the worst of the battle, 
and no doubt lepented the engagement to fight; but there was no getting 
over it. The point of honor demanded the risk of battle. He got his 
whipping ; they then shook hjinds and were good friends afterwards. 

The mode of single combats in those days was dangerous in the ex- 
treme ; although no weapons were used, fists, teeth, and feet were em- 
ployed at will, but above all, the detestable practice of gouging, by which 
eyes were sometimes put out, rendered this mode of fighting frightful 
indeed; it was not hovvever, so destructive as the stiletto of an Ifalian, 
the knife of a Spaniard, the small sword of the Frenchman, or the pistol 
of the American or English duelist. 

Instances of seduction and bastardy did not frequently happen in our 
early times. I remember one instance of the former, in which the life 
of the man was put in jeopardy by the resentment of the family to 
which the girl belonged. Indeed, considering the chivalrous temper of 
our people, this crime could not then take place without great personal 
danger from the brothers, or other relations of the victims of seduction, 
family honor being then estimated at an high rate. 

244 Murder of Moravian Indians. 1782'- 

I do not recollect that profane language, was much more prevalent in 
our early times than at present. 

Among the people with whom I was most conversant, there was no 
other vestige of the Christian religion than a faint observation of Sun^ 
(lay, and that merely as a day of rest for the aged, and a play day for 
the young.* 


The suflferings of the Moravians did not close with 1781. In^ 
the following spring, some of them who had been literally starving 
through the winter, returned to their old places of abode, to gather 
what they could of the remainder of their property, and busied 
themselves in collecting the corn which had been left in the fields. 
About the time they returned for that purpose, parties of Wyandots 
came down upon the settlements, and slew many. This excited 
the frontier-men, and believing a connection to exist between the 
acts of the Wyandots and the late movements of the Moravians, it 
was determined to attack and extiriainate the latter, or at least to 
waste their lands and destroy their towuis. Eighty or ninety men 
met for the purpose of effecting the objects just named, and marched 
in silence and swiftness upon the devoted villages. They reached 
them; by threats and lies got hold of the gleaners scattered 
among them, and bound their prisoners, while they deliberated 
upon their fate. Williamson, the commander of the party, put the 
question; Shall these men, women and children be taken to Pitts- 
burg, or be killed ? Of the eighty or ninety men present, sixteen 
or eighteen only were for granting their lives; and the prisoners 
were told to prepare for death. They prepared for death, and 
soon were dead ; slaughtered,, some say in one way, and some in 
another; but thus much is certain, that eighty or ninety American 
men murdered, in cold blood, about forty men, twenty women, and 
and thirty-four children, — all defenceless and innocent fellow 

* See Doddridge's Notes, Part Second. 

+ Heckewelder's Narrative, 313. 328. Doddridge, 24S. 255. Withers' Border War- 
fare, 232. 239. American Pioneer, ii. 425. 432. 

1782. Crawford Taken. 245 

It was in March of 1782, that this great murder was committed. 
And as the tiger, having once tasted blood, longs for blood, so it was 
with the frontier-men ; and another expedition was at once organized, 
to make a dash at the towns of the Moravian Delawares and Wyan- 
dots upon the Sandusky.* No Indian was to be spared; friend or 
foe, every red man was to die.f The commander of the expedi- 
tion was Colonel William Crawford, Washington's old agent in the 
west. He did not want to go, but found it could not be avoided. 
The troops, numbering nearly five hundred men, marched in June 
to the Sandusky uninterrupted. There they found the towns de- 
serted and the savages on tiie alert. A battle ensued, and the 
whites were forced to retreat. In their retreat many left the main 
body, and nearly all who did so perished. Of Crawford's own fate 
we have the following account by Dr. Knight, his companion.| 

Monday morning the tenth of June, we were paraded to march to 
Sandusky, about thirty-three miles distant; they had eleven prisoners of 
us and four scalps, the Indians being seventeen in number. 

ColonelCrawford was very desirous to see a certain Simon Girty, 
who lived with the Indians, and was on this account permitted to go to 
town the same night, with two warriors to guard him, having orders at 
the same lime to pass by the place where the Colonel had turned out 
his horse, that they might, if possible, find him. The rest of us were 
taken as far as the old town, which was within eight miles of the new. 

Tuesday morning, the eleventh, Colonel Crawford was brought out 
to us on purpose to be marched in with the other prisoners. I asked 
the Colonel if he had seen Mr. Girty ? He told me he had, and that 
Girty had promised to do every thing in his power for him, but that the 
Indians were very much enraged against the prisoners ; particularly 
Captain Pipe, one of the chiefs ; he likewise told me that Girty had in- 
formed him that his son-in-law, Colonel Harrison, and his nephew, 
William Crawford, were made prisoners by the Shawanese, but had 
"been pardoned. This Captain Pipe had come from the town about an 
hour before Colonel Crawford, and had painted all the prisoners' faces 
black. As he was painting me he told me I should go to the Shawa- 

* On the 20th of May of this year, advertisements are said to have been made at 
Wheeling, of a new state to be founded on the Muskingum : the plan was headed by a 
certain J. who had been in England. See Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 

t From Heckewelder (Narrative, 342.) we learn that the Indians knew this determina- 
tion ; their spies, who were constantly abroad — having found it written with coal upon the 
peeled trees of the camp, near the Ohio. All such writings they copied and took to some 
one who could read them. 

I See American Pioneer, ii. 282, a statement derived from the Wyandots, to the effect 
•hat Girty v/ishcd to save Crawford ; not. from mercy, however, but on speculation. 

246 Crawford's Death, 1782.. 

iiese towns and see my friends, When the Colonel arrived he painted 
him black also, told him he was glad to see him, and that he would have 
him shaved when he came lo see his friends at the Wyandot town. 
When we marched the Colonel and I were kept back between Pipe and 
Wyngenim, the two Delaware chiefs; the other nine prisoners were 
sent forward with another party of Indians. As we went along we saw 
four of the prisoners lying by the path tomahawked and scalped, some 
of them were at the distance of half a mile from each other. When we 
arrived within half a mile of the place where the Colonel was executed, 
we overtook the five prisoners that remained alive; the Indians had 
caused them to sit down on the ground, as they did also the Colonel 
and me at some distance from them. I was there given in charge to 
an Indian fellow to be taken to the Shawanese towns. 

In the place where we were now made to sit down, there was a num- 
ber of squaws and boys, who fell on the five prisoners and tomahawked 
them. There was a certain John McKinly amongst the prisoners, for- 
merly an ofiicer in the 13lh Virginia regiment, whose head an old squaw 
cut off, and the Indians kicked it about upon the ground. The young 
Indian fellows came often where the Colonel and I were, and dashed 
the scalps in our faces. We v/ere then conducted along toward the 
place where the Colonel was afterwards executed ; when we came with- 
in about half a mile of it, Simon Girty met us, with several Indians on 
horseback ; he spoke to the Colonel, but as I was about one hundred 
and fifty yards behind, could not hear what passed between them. 

Almost every Indian we met stinick us either with sticks or their fists- 
Girty waited till I was brought up and asked, was that the Dootor? I 
told him yes, and went towards him reaching out my hand, but he bid 
me begone, and called me a damned rascal, upon which the fellows who 
had me in charge pulled me along. Girty rode up after me and told me 
I was to go to the Shawanese towns. 

When we went to the fire the Colonel was stripped naked, ordered to 
sit down by the fire, and then they beat him with sticks and their fists. 
Presently after I was treated in the same manner. They then tied a- 
rope to the foot of a post about fifteen feet high, bound the Colonel's- 
hands behind his back and fastened the rope to the ligature between his 
wrists. The rope was long enough for him to sit down or walk round 
the post once or twice, and return the same way. The Colonel then 
called to Girty and asked if they intended to burn him ? Girty an- 
swered, yes. The Colonel said he would take it all patiently. Upon: 
this, Captain Pipe, a Delaware chief, made a speech to the Indians, viz : 
about thirty or forty men, sixty or seventy squaws and boys. 

When the speech was finished they all yelled a hideous and hearty 
assent to what had been said. The Indian men then took up their guns 
and shot powder into the Colonel's body, from his fcQt as far up as his. 

1782. Crawford?s Death. 247 

neck. I think that not less than seventy loads were discharged upon 
his naked body. They then crowded about him, and to the best of my 
observation, cut off his ears ; when the throng had dispersed a little, I 
saw the blood running from both sides of his head in consequence 

The fire was about six or seven yards from the post to which the 
Colonel was tied ; it was made of small hickory poles, burnt quite 
through in the middle, each end of the poles remaining about six feet in 
length. Three or four Indians by turns would take up, individually, 
one of these burning pieces of wood and apply it to his naked body, 
already burnt black with the powder. These tormenlors presented 
themselves on every side of him with the burning faggots and poles. 
Some of the squaws took broad boards, upon which they would carry a 
quantity of burning coals and hot embers and throw on him, so that in 
a short time he had nothing but coals of fire and hot ashes to walk upon. 
In the midsi of these extreme tortures, he called to Simon Girty and 
begged of him to shoot him ; but Girty making no answer, he called to 
him again. Girty, then, by way of derision, told the Colonel he had 
no gun, at the same time turning about to an Indian who was behind 
him, laughed heartily, and by all his gestures seemed delighted at the 
horrid scene. 

Girly then came up to me and bade me prepare for death. He said, 
however, I was not to die at that place, but to be burnt at the Shawa- 
nese towns. He swore by G — d I need not expect to escape death, but 
should suffer it in all its extremities. 

He then observed that some prisoners had given him to understand, 
that if our people had him they would not hurt him ; for his part, he 
said, he did not believe it, but desired to know my opinion of the mat- 
ter, but being at that time in great anguish and distress for the torments 
the Colonel was suffering before my eyes, as well as the expectation of 
undergoing the same fate in two days, I made little or no answer. He 
expressed a great deal of ill will for Colonel Gibson, and said he was 
one of his greatest enemies, and more to the same purpose, to all which 
I paid very little attention. 

Colonel Crawford at this period of his sufferings besought the Al- 
mighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, and bore his tor- 
ments with the most manly fortitude. He continued in all the extrem- 
ities of pain for an hour and three quarters or two hours longer, as near 
as I can judge, when at last, being almost exhausted, he lay down on his 
belly; they then scalped him, and repeatedly threw the scalp in my face, 
telling me, " that was my great captain." An old squaw (whose ap- 
pearance every way answered the ideas people entertain of the Devil,) 
got a board, took a parcel of coals and ashes and laid them on his back 
and head, after he had been scalped, he then raised himself upon his 

248 Treatment of the Moravians by the British. 1782. 

feet and began to walk round the post; they next put a burning stick to 
him as usual, but he seemed more insensible of pain than before. 

The Indian fellow who had me in charge, now took me away to 
Captain Pipe's house, about three-quarters of a mile from the place of 
the Colonel's execution. I was bound all night, and thus prevented 
from seeing the last of the horrid spectacle. Next morning, being June 
12th, the Indian untied me, painted me black, and we set off for the 
Shawanese town, which he told me was somewhat less than forty miles 
distant from that place. We soon came to the spot where the Colonel 
had been burnt, as it was partly in our way; I saw his bones lying 
amongst the remains of the fire, almost burnt to ashes ; I suppose after 
he was dead they laid his body on the fire. The Indian told me that 
was my big Captain, and gave the scalp halloo. 

In strange but pleasant contrast to the treatment of the Chris- 
tian Indians upon the Muskingum, we have to record next the con- 
duct of the British toward their religious leaders during this same 
spring. Girty, who early in the season had led a band of Wyan- 
dots against the American frontiers, had left orders to have Hecke- 
welder and his comrades driven like beasts from Sandusky, where 
they had wintered, to Detroit; specially enjoining brutality toward 
them. But his agents, or rather those of the English commandant 
in the west, together with the traders who were called upon to aid 
in their removal, distinguished themselves by kindness and con- 
sideration, aiding the missionaries on their march, defending the 
captives from the outrageous brutality of Girty, who overtook them 
at Lower Sandusky, and who swore he would have their lives, 
and at length re-uniting them to their surviving disciples at a set- 
tlement upon the river Huron.* 

It was in March that Williamson's campaign took place, and 
during the same month the Moravians were taken to Michigan. It 
was in that month also f that an event took place in Kentucky, 
near the present town of Mt. Sterling, in Montgomery county, 
which has been dwelt upon with more interest by her historians, 
than almost any other of equal unimportance ; we refer to Estell's 
defeat by a party of Wyandots. The interest of this skirmish 
arose from the equality of numbers on the two sides; the supposed 
cowardice of Miller, Estill's lieutenant, who was 'sent to outflank 

* Heckewelder's Narrative, 308. 329-349. 

t Marshall (i. 126) says May ; wc follow Chief Justice Robertson, quoted by Butler 
(121 note) who says March 22. See also Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 3. This is a 
detailed account. 

1782. EstilVs Defeat and Mtack on Bryanfs Station. 249 

the savages ; and the consequent death of the leader, a brave and 
popular man. Its effect upon the settlers was merely to excite a 
deeper hostility toward the Indian races. 

Nor did the red men on their part show any signs of losing their 
animosity. Elliot, McKee and Girty urged them on with a fury 
that it is not easy to account for. 

Again the woods teemed with savages, and no one was safe 
from attack beyond the walls of a station. The influence of the 
British, and the constant pressure of the Long Knives upon the 
red-men, had produced a union of the various tribes of the north- 
west, who seemed to be gathering again to strike a fatal blow at 
the frontier settlements, and had they been led by a Philip, a Pon- 
tiac, or a Tecumthe, it is impossible to estimate the injury they 
might have inflicted. 

June and July passed, however, and August was half gone, and 
still the anticipated storm had not burst upon the pioneers in its 
full force, when, upon the night of the 14th of the latter month, 
the main body of the Indians, five or six hundred in number, 
gathered, silent as the shadows, round Bryant's station, a post on 
the bank of the Elkhorn, about five miles from Lexington. The 
garrison of this post had heard on the evening of the 14th, of the 
defeat of a party of whites not far distant, and during that night 
were busy in preparations to march with day-break to the assist- 
ance of their neighbors. All night long their preparations contin- 
ued, and what little sound the savages made as they approached, 
was unheard amid the comparative tumult within. Day stole 
through the forest; the woodsmen rose from their brief slumbers, 
took their arms, and were on the point of opening their gates to 
march, when the crack of rifles, mingled with yells and howls, told 
them in an instant how narrowly they had escaped captivity or 
death. Rushing to the loop-holes and crannies, they saw about a 
hundred red-men firing and gesticulating in full view of the fort. 
The young bloods, full of rage at Estill's sad defeat, wished in- 
stantly to rush forth upon the attackers, but there was something 
in the manner of the Indians so peculiar that the older heads at 
once suspected a trick, and looked anxiously to the opposite side 
of the fort, where they judged the main body of the enemy were 
probably concealed. Nor were they deceived. The savages were 
led by Simon Girty. This white savage had proposed by an 
attack upon one side of the station with a small part of his force, 
to draw out the garrison, and then intended, with the main body 

250 Attack on BryanVs Station. 1782. 

to fall upon the other side and secure the fort ; but his plan was 
defeated by the over-acting of his red allies, and the sagacity of 
his opponents. These opponents, however, had still a sad diffi- 
culty to encounter ; the fort was not supplied with water, and the 
spring was at some distance, and in the immediate vicinity of the 
thicket in which it was supposed the main force of the Indians lay 
concealed. The danger of going or sending for water was plain, 
the absolute necessity of having it was equally so; and how it 
could be procured was a question which made many a head shake, 
many a heart sink. At length a plan equally sagacious and bold 
was hit upon, and successfully carried into execution by as great 
an exertion of womanly presence of mind as can, perhaps, be found 
on record. If the savages were, as was supposed, concealed near 
the spring, it was believed they would not show themselves until 
they had reason to believe their trick had succeeded, and the gar- 
rison had left the fort on the other side. It was therefore proposed 
to all the females to go with their buckets to the spring, fill them, 
and return to the fort, before any sally was made against the at- 
tacking party. The danger to which they must be exposed was 
not to be concealed, but it was urged upon them that this must be 
done or all perish ; and that if they were steady, the Indians would 
not molest them ; and to the honor of their sex be it said, they 
went forth in a body, and directly under five hundred rifles, filled 
their buckets, and returned in such a manner as not to suggest to the 
quick-sighted savages that their presence in the thicket was sus- 
pected.* This done, a small number of the garrison were sent 
forth against the attackers, with orders to multiply their numbers to 
the ear by constant firing, while the main body of the whites took 
their places to repel the anticipated rush of those in concealment. 
The plan succeeded perfectly. The whole body of Indians rushed 
from their ambuscade as they heard the firing upon the opposite 
side of the fort, and were received by a fair, well-directed dis- 
charge of all the rifles left within the station. Astonished and hor- 
ror-stricken, the assailants turned to the forest again as quickly as 
they had left it, having lost many of their number. 

In the morning, as soon as the presence of the Indians was 
ascertained, and before their numbers were suspected, two messen- 
gers had broken through their line, bearing to Lexington tidings 
of the seige of Bryant's station, and asking succors. These 

* Wc have it on the best authority, however, that Simon Kenton said this was all 
romance, by his account there was a covered way to the spring. 

1782. Girtyh talk vnth Reynolds. 251 

succors came about two in the afternoon; sixteen men being- 
mounted, and thirty or more on foot. The savages expected their 
arrival, and prepared to destroy them, but the horsemen, by rapid 
riding, and enveloped in dust,* reached the fort unharmed, and 
of the footmen, after an hour's hard fighting, only two were killed 
and four wounded. The Indian's courage rarely supports him 
through long continued exertion ; and Girty found his men so far 
disheartened by their failures, that of the morning in the attempt 
to take the fort, and that in the afternoon to destroy the troops 
from Lexington, that before night they talked of abandoning the 
siege. This their leader was very unwilling to have done : and 
thinking he might scare the garrison into surrender, he managed 
to get within speaking distance, and there from behind a large 
stump, commenced a parley. He told the white men who he was ; 
assured them of his great desire that they should not suffer; and 
informing them that he looked hourly for reinforcements wnth 
cannon, against which they could not hope to hold out, begged 
them to surrender at once ; if they did so, no one should be hurt^ 
but if they waited till the cannon came up, he feared they would 
all fall victims. The garrison looked at one another with uncer- 
tainty and fear ; against cannon they could do nothing, and cannon 
had been used in 1780. Seeing the effect of Girty's speech, and 
disbelieving every word of it, a young man named Reynolds took 
it upon himself to answer the renegade. " You need not be so 
particular," he cried, " to tell us your name; we know your name^ 
and you too. I've had a villanous, untrustworthy cur-dog, this, 
long while, named Simon Girty, in compliment to you ; he's so 
like you — ^just as ugly and just as wicked. As to the cannon, let 
them come on ; the country's roused, and the scalps of your red 
cut-throats and your own too, will be drying on our cabins in 
twenty-four hours. And if by any chance, you or your allies do 
get into the fort, we've a big store of rods laid in on purpose to 
scourge you out again." 

The method taken by Reynolds was much more effectual than 
any argument with his comrades would have been, and Girt^^ad 
to return to the Indian council-fire unsuccessful. But he and 
the chiefs well knew that though their reinforcements and cannon 
were all imaginary, the expected aid of the whites w^as not. 
Boone, Todd, and Logan would soon be upon them ; the ablest 

* Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 238. The account is by E.. E- WOliams, who was a 
boy in the station at the time of the attack. 

252 KentucJcians pursue Girty. 1782. 

and boldest of the pioneers would cut them off from a retreat to 
the Ohio, and their destruction would be insured. On the other 
hand, if they now began to retire and were pursued, as they 
surely would be, they could choose their own ground, and always 
fight with their way home clear behind them. All night they lay 
still, their fires burning, but when day broke, the whole body of 
savages was gone.* ' 

By noon of the 18th of August, about one hundred and eighty 
men had gathered at Bryant's station ; among them were Boone 
and^his youngest son. They had nominal commanders but no 
true discipline, and after a disorderly discussion, determined upon 
immediate pursuit, without waiting for the arrival of General 
Logan ; accordingly, in the afternoon of the 18th, the whole body 
set forward. Colonel John Todd acting as leader. The trail of 
the savages was as plain as could be wished ; indeed, to Boone 
and the more reflecting, it was clear that the retiring army had 
taken pains to make it so, and our sagacious woodsmen at once 
concluded that a surprise at some point was intended, and that 
point Boone was confident was the Lower Blue Licks, where the 
nature of the ground eminently favored such a plan. With great 
caution the little army proceeded until, upon the following day, 
they reached the Licking river, at the point designated by Boone 
as the one where an attack might be expected ; and as they came 
in sight of the opposite bank, they discovered upon its bare ridge 
a few Indians, who gazed at them a moment and then passed into 
the ravine beyond. The hills about the Blue Licks are even now 
almost wholly without wood, and the scattered cedars which at 
present lend them some green, did not exist in 1782. As you 
ascend the ridge of the hill above the spring, you at last reach a 
point where two ravines, thickly w^ooded, run down from the bare 
ground to the right and left, affording a place of concealment for 
a very large body of men, who could thence attack on front, flank, 

* The difficulty of telling any thing about details in our western border stories, is well 
shown by the uncertainty which exists as to liow long the Indians were before Bryant's 
stati^ — Butler says they came on the evening of the 14th, and left on the morning of 
the fourth day, or 18th. — McClung says they came on the night of the 14th, and implies 
that they left on the morning of the 15th. — Governor Morchead agrees with McClung. — 
Boone's Sketches says the investment took place on the 15th, and that they retired the 
third day, or 17th ; though his letter to the Governor of Virginia, dated August 30th, 
1782, says the attack was on the 16th, and the retreat about ten o'cZoci the next day ; 
while the account in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 236, by one present, makes the 
attack on the l6th, and the retreat before daylight on the 17th. Boone's letter is in the 
appendix to Governor Moorehead's address at Boonesboro^ 

1782. Battle of Blue Licks. 253 

and rear, any who were pursuing the main trace along the higher 
ground: in these ravines, Boone, who was looked to by the com- 
manders for counsel, said that the Indians were probably hidden. 
He proposed, therefore, that they should send a part of their men 
to cross the Licking farther up, and fall upon the Indians in the 
rear, while the remaining troops attacked them in front. While 
Boone's plan was under discussion by the officers of the pursuing 
party, Major Hugh McGary, according to the common account, 
"broke from the council," (to use the words of one present,*) 
" and called upon the troops who were not cowards to follow 
him, and thus collecting a band, went without order, and against 
orders, into the action, and in consequence of this act a general 
pursuit of officers and men took place, more to save the desperate 
men that followed McGary, than from a hope of a successful 
fight with the Indians." It is to be noticed, however, that 
Boone in his letter to the Governor of Virginia, dated August 
30th, 1782, not only fails to mention McGary's conduct, but men- 
tions circumstances which seem wholly at variance with such a 
sudden and disorderly chargef as that described by Colonel 
Cooper and the common tradition. His words are these: — on 
discovering the enemy — " We formed our columns into one single 
line, and marched up in their front within about forty yards before 
there was a gun fired. Colonel Trigg commanded on the right, 
myself on the left, Major McGary in the centre, and Major Harlan 
the advance party in the front. From the manner in which we 
had formed, it fell to my lot to bring on the attack. This was 
done with a very heavy fire on both sides, and extended back of 
the line to Col. Trigg, where the enemy was so strong that they 
rushed up and broke the right wing at the first fire. Thus the 
enemy got in our rear, and we were compelled to retreat with the 
loss of seventy-seven of our men and twelve wounded." Nor 
is the impression of this passage altered by the statement of the 
same keen pioneer, as given in his account of his adventures. 
There he says: "The savages observing us, gave way, and we, 
being ignorant of their numbers, | passed the river. When the 

" Benjamin A. Cooper's certificate in Frankfort Commonwealth, of January 15tli, 1846 :' 
taken from St. Louis Era, and furnished that paper by Mann Butler. 

t See Marshall, i. 138. He speaks of the whites advancing without any regular order,. 
McGary at the head. The same account is given in Stipp. 

\ Col.Cooper says he was with Boone when by counting the Indian fires, (query, before 
Bryant's station ?) he concluded there were at least 500 savages. Boone's letter says, 
" by the signs we thought the Indians had exceeded four hundred" — but this he says as 
though the calculation had beeo made after the battle. 

254 Battle of Blue Licks. 1782. 

enemy saw our proceedings, having greatly the advantage of us in 
situation, they formed the line of battle, from one bend of Licking 
to the other, about a mile from the Blue Licks. An exceeding 
fierce battle immediately began, for about fifteen minutes, when 
we, being overpowered by numbers, were obliged to retreat with 
the loss of sixty-seven men, seven of whom were taken prisoners." 
Governor Morehead, however, has derived from the accounts of 
eye-witnesses, received through R. Wickliffe, some particulars, 
which, if correct, will reconcile most of the common story with 
Boone's statement, and these we give in the words of his address ; 
leaving our readers to judge, 1st, as to the probability that Boone 
would entirely omit all reference to the conduct of McGary ; and 
2d, as to the likelihood of McGary and his followers pausing 
when once under way. It is also to be noticed that Colonel 
Cooper, Marshal, and Stipp say nothing of the pause alluded to. 

Scarcely had Boone submitted his opinions, when Major McGary 
*' raised the war-whoop," and spurring his horse into the river, called 
vehemently upon all who were not cowards to follow him, and he 
would show them the enemy. Presently'- the army was in motion. 
The greater part suffered themselves to be led by McGary — the re- 
mainder, perhaps a third of the whole number, lingered a while with 
Todd and Boone in council. All at length passed over, and at Boone's 
suggestion, the commanding officer ordered another halt. The pioneer 
then proposed, a second time, that the army should remain where it 
was, until an opportunity was afforded to reconnoitre the suspected 
region. So reasonable a proposal was acceded to, and two bold but 
experienced men were selected, to proceed from the lick along the 
buffalo trace to a point half a mile beyond the ravines, where the road 
branched off in different directions. They were instructed to examine 
the country with the utmost care on each side of the road, especially 
the spot where it passed between the ravines, and upon the first 
appearance of the enemy to repair in haste to the army. The spies 
discharged the dangerous and responsible task. They crossed over 
the ridge — proceeded to the place designated beyond it, and returned 
in safety without having made any discovery. No trace of the enemy 
was to be seen. The little army of one hundred and eighty two men* 
now marched forward — Colonel Trigg was in command of the right 
wing, Boone of the left, McGary in the centre, and Major Harlan with 
the party in front.t 

After the disastrous defeat of the Blue Licks, the Kentuckians 

* Butler, 125, on the authority of General Clark, 
t Morehead's Address, p, 99. 

1782 Clark attacks Shawanese. 255 

retired until they met Logan who had advanced, Colonel Cooper 
says, but six miles north-east of Bryant's station ; and from the 
same source we learn that the common story is wrong, in respect 
to the expectation of Todd, Boone, and others, before the battle, 
of a reinforcement. In this short, but severe action, Todd, Trigg, 
Harland, and Boone's son, all fell. It was a sad day for Ken- 
tucky. The feelings and fears of the Fayette county settlers may 
be guessed from the following extract from Boone's letter to 
Virginia ; when he felt anxiety, what must they have suffered ! 

By the signs we thought the Indians had exceeded four hundred ; 
while the whole of this militia of the county does not amount to more 
than one hundred and thirty. From these facts your Excellency may 
form an idea of our situation. I know that your own circumstances 
are critical, but are we to be wholly forgotten ? I hope not. I trust 
about five hundred men may be sent to our assistance immediately. If 
these shall be stationed as our county lieutenants shall deem necessary, 
it may be the means of saving our part of the country ; but if they are 
placed under the direction of General Clark, they will be of little or no 
service to our settlement. The Falls lie one hundred miles west of us, 
and the Indians north-east; while our men are frequently called to 
protect them. I have encouraged the people in this county all that I 
could, but I can no longer justify them or myself to risk our lives here 
under such extraordinary hazards. The inhabitants of this county are 
very much alarmed at the thoughts of the Indians bringing another 
campaign into our country this fall. If this should be the case, it will 
break up these settlements. I hope, therefore, your Excellency will 
take the matter into your consideration, and send us some relief as 
quick as possible.* 

Clark, of course, soon learned how severe a blow had been 
struck by the northern savages, and determined, as soon as 
possible, again to lead an expedition into the Miami valleys. It 
was the last of September, however, before a thousand men could 
be gathered at the mouth of the Licking, whence they marched 
northward. But their coming, though expeditious and secret, was 
discovered by the natives, and the towns on the Miamies and Mad 
River abandoned to their fate. The crops were again destroyed, 
the towns burned, the British store, (Loramie's) with its goods, 
annihilated, and a few prisoners taken, but no engagement of any 
consequence took place. f Such, however, appears to have been 

* See Morehead's Address, p. 173. 

t Clark's letter in Butler, 2d edition, 536; also in Almon's Remembrancer, for 1783, 
part ii. p. 93. 

256 Treaty of Peace. 1783. 

the impression made by Clark upon the Shawanese, that no large 
body of Indians thenceforward invaded the territory south of the 

In November, after the return of the Kentucky troops, Messrs. 
May and Marshall opened their land offices, and the scramble for 
choice locations began again, and in a way which laid the founda- 
tion for intinite litigation and heartburning. 


Upon the 30th of November, 1782, provisional articles of peace 
had been arranged at Paris between the Commissioners of Eng- 
land and her unconquerable colonies. Upon the 20th of the 
January following hostilities ceased; on the 19th of April, — the 
anniversary of the battle of Lexington, — peace was proclaimed 
to the army of the United States, and on the 3d of the next Sep- 
tember, the definite treaty which ended our revolutionary struggle 
was concluded.' — Of that treaty we give so much as relates to the 
boundaries of the West. 

"The line on the north was to pass along the middle of Lake 
Ontario, to the Niagara river; thence along the middle of said 
communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said lake, 
until it arrives at the water communication between that lake and 
Lake Huron ; thence through the middle of said lake, to the w^ater 
communication between that lake and Lake Superior; thence 
through Lake Superior, northward to the isles Royal and Philipe- 
aux, to the Long Lake ; thence through the middle of the said 
Long Lake, and the w^ater communication between it and the 
Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods; thence 
through the said lake, to the most northwestern point thereof; and, 
from thence, on a due west course, to the river Mississippi; 

1783. Land speculation stronger than Law. 257 

tlience, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river 
Mississippi, until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the 
thirty-first degree of north latitude. South by a line to be drawn 
due east from the determination of the line last mentioned, in the 
latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the equator, to the middle 
of the river Appalachicola or Catahouche ; thence along the mid- 
dle thereof, to its junction wdth the Flint river; thence straight to 
the head of St. Mary's river ; and, thence down along the middle 
of St. Mary's river to the Atlantic Ocean." 

But the cessation of hostilities with England was not, necessa- 
rily, the cessation of warfare with the native tribes ; and while all 
hoped that the horrors of the border contests in the West were at 
an end, none competent to judge, failed to see the probability of 
a continued and violent struggle. Virginia, at an early period, (in 
October 1779,) had by law discouraged all settlements on the part 
of her citizens northwest of the Ohio ; * but the spirit of land 
speculation was stronger than law, and the prospect of peace gave 
new energy to that spirit; — and how to throw open the immense 
region beyond the mountains, without driving the natives to des- 
peration, was a problem which engaged the ablest minds. Wash- 
ington, upon the 7th of September 1783, writing to James Duane 
in Congress, enlarged upon the difficulties which lay before that 
body in relation to the public lands. He pointed out the neces- 
sity which existed for making the settlements compact; and 
proposed that it should be made even felony to settle or survey 
lands -svest of a line to be designated by Congress ; which line, he 
added, might extend from the mouth of the Great Miami to Mad 
river, thence to Fort Miami on the Maumee, and thence northward 
so as to include Detroit; or, perhaps, from the Fort down the 
river to Lake Erie. He noticed the propriety of excluding the 
Indian Agents from all share in the trade with the red men, and 
showed the wisdom of forbidding all purchases of land from the 
Indians except by the sovereign power, — Congress or the State 
Legislature as the case might be. — Unless some such stringent 
measures were adopted he prophecied renewed border wars, 
v/hich would end only after great expenditure of money and of 
life.f But before the Congress of the freed Colonies could take 
any efficient steps to secure the West, it was necessary that those 
ifteasures of cession which commenced in 1780-Sl, should be 

* Revised Statutes of Virginia, by B. Watkins Leigh, ii. 378. 
t Sparks' Washington, viii. 477. 


258 Land cession by Virginia. 1183 

completed. New York had conditionally given up her claims 
upon the 1st of March, 1781,* and Congress had accepted her 
deed, but Virginia, as we have said, had required from the United 
States a guarantee of the territories retained by her, which they 
were not willing to give, and no acceptance of her provision to 
cede had taken place. Under these circumstances. Congress, 
upon the 18th of April, again pressed the necessity of cessions,! 
and upon the 13th of September, — six days after Washington's 
letter above referred to, — stated the terms upon which they would 
receive the proposals of the Ancient Dominion, j To these terms 
the Virginians acceded, and upon the 20th of December au- 
thorized their delegates to make a deed to the United States of 
all their right in the territory northwest of the river Ohio, — 

Upon condilion that the territory so ceded shall be laid out and formed 
into States, containing a suitable extent of territory, not less than one 
hundred, nor more than one hundred and fifty miles square, or as near 
thereto as circumstances will admit: and that the States so formed shall 
be distinct republican States, and admitted members of the Federal 
Union, having the same rights of sovereignty, freedom, and independ- 
ence, as tlie other States. 

That the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by this State 
in subduing any British posts, or in maintaining forts and garrisons 
within, and for the defence, or in acquiring any part of the territory so 
ceded or relinquished, shall be fully reimbursed by the United States; 
and that one commissioner sha'l be appointed by Congress, one by this 
Commonwealth, and another by those two commissioners, who, or a 
majority of them, shall be authorized and empowered to adjust and 
liquidate the account of the necessary and reasonable expenses incurred 
by this State, which they sliall judge to be comprised within the intent 
and meaning of the act of Congress of the tenth of October, one thous- 
and seven hundred and eighty, respecting such expenses. That the 
French and Canadian inhabitants, and other setders of the Kaskaskies, 
St. Vincents, and the neighboring villages, who have professed them- 
selves citizens of Virginia, shall have their possessions and titles con- 
firmed to them, and be protected in the enjoyment of their rights and 
liberties. That a quantity not exceeding one hundred and fifty thou- 
.sand acres of land, promised by this State, shall be allowed and granted 
to the then Colonel, now General George Rogers Clark, and to the 
officers and soldiers of his regiment, who marched with him when the 
posts of Kaskaikies and St. Vincents were reduced, and to the office» 

* Land Laws, 95. + Old Journals, iv, 267. 

\ Old Journals, iv. 189. 

1783. Instructions to Indian Commissioners. 259 

and soldiers that have been since incorporated into the said regiment, 
to be laid off in one tract, the length of which not to exceed double the 
breadth, in such place, on the north-west side of the Ohio,'as a majority 
of the officers shall choose, and to be afterwards divided among the said 
officers and soldiers in due proportion, according to the laws of Vir- 
ginia. That in case the quantity of good land on the south-east side 
of the Ohio, upon the waters of the Cumberland river, and between the 
Green river and Tennessee river, which have been reserved by law 
for the Virginia troops upon Continental establishment, should, from 
the North Carolina line, bearing in further upon the Cumberland lands 
than was expected, prove insufficient for their legal bounties, the defi- 
ciency should be made up to the said troops, in good lands, to be laid 
off between the rivers Scioto and Little Miami, on the north-west side 
of the river Ohio, in such proportions as have been engaged to them by 
the laws of Virginia. That all the lands within the territory so ceded 
to the United States, and not reserved for, or appropriated to, any of 
the before mentioned purposes, or disposed of in bounties to the officers 
and soldiers of the American army, shall be considered a common fund 
for the use and benefit of such of the United States as have become, or 
shall become, members of the confederation or federal alliance of the said 
states, Virginia inclusive, according to their usual respective proportions 
in the general charge and expenditure, and shall be faithfully and bona fide 
disposed of for that purpose, and for no other use or purpose whatsoever.* 

And, in agreement with these conditions a deed was made March 
1, 1784. But it was not possible to wait the final action of Vir- 
ginia, before taking some steps to soothe the Indians, and extin- 
guish their title. On the 22d of September, therefore. Congress 
forbade all pm-chases of, or settlements on, Indian lands,! and on 
the 15th of October, the Commissioners to treat with the natives 
were instructed, 

1st. To require the delivery of all prisoners: 

2d. To inform the Indians of the boundaries between the British 
possessions and the United States: 

3d. To dwell upon the fact that the red men had not been 
faithful to their agreements : 

4th. To negotiate for all the land east of the line proposed 
by Washington, namely, from the mouth of the Great Miami to 
Mad river, thence to Fort Miami on the Mauraee, and thence 
down the Maumee to the Lake : 

• See Land Laws, p. 98. 
+ Old Journals, iv. 275. 

260 Efforts to obtain Detroit and other Western Ports. 1783. 
5th. To hold, if possible, one Convention with all the tribes; 

7th. To learn all they could respecting the French of Kaskas- 
kia, &c. 

8th. To confirm no grants by the natives to individuals; and, 

9th. To look after American stragglers beyond the Ohio, to 
signify the displeasure of Congress at the invasion of the Indian 
lands, and to prevent all further intrusions. Upon the 19th of the 
following March, the 4th and 5th of these instructions were en- 
tirely changed at the suggestion of a committee headed by Mr. 
Jefferson ; the western boundary line being made to run due north 
from the lowest point of the Falls of the Ohio, to the northern 
limits of the United States, and the Commissioners being told to 
treat with the nations at various places and di^erent times.* 

Meanwhile steps had been taken by the Americans to obtain 
possession of Detroit and the other w^estern posts, but in vain. 
Upon the 12th of July Washington had sent Baron Steuben to 
Canada for that purpose, with orders, if he found it advisable, to 
embody the French of Michigan into a militia and place the fort 
at Detroit in their hands. But when the Baron presented himself 
near Quebec, General Haldimand, while he received him very 
politely, refused the necessary passports, saying that he had 
received no orders to deliver up the posts along the Lakes. This 
measure failing, one Cassaty, a native of Detroit, was sent thither 
in August to learn the feelings of the people and do what he 
might to make the American side popular, f About the same time 
Virginia, having no longer any occasion for a western army, and 
being sadly pressed for money, withdrew^ her commission from 
George Rogers Clark, with thanks however, "for his very great 
and singular services. "| He and his soldiers in the distribution 
of lands were not forgotten either, and in October a tract of one 
hundred and fifty thousand acres of land was granted them north 
of the Ohio, to be located where they pleased ; they chose the 
region opposite the Falls, and the town of Clarksville w^as then 
founded. || 

* Secret Journals, i. 255, 261. April 16th, in order to expedite matters, the times and 
places of meeting were left to the Commissioners. — Secret Journals, i. 264. 

t Sparks' Washington, viii. 463, 470. — Marshall, (i. 175,) gives the letters of Steuben 
and Haldimand. 
^ See Governor Harrison's letter. Butler, 490. 
B Revised Statutes of Virginia; by G. W. Leigh, ii. 405. 

1784. Difficulties between Great Britain and United States. 261 

While these various steps, bearing upon the interests of the 
whole west, were taken by Congress, Washington, and the Assem- 
bly of Virginia, Kentucky was organizing herself upon a new 
basis, Virginia having united the three counties, with their sepa- 
rate courts, into one District, having a court of common law and 
chancery for the whole territory that now forms the State, and to 
this District restored the for-a-time-discarded name, Kentucky. — 
The sessions of the court thus organized resulted in the founda- 
tion of Danville, which in consequence for a season became the 
centre and capital of the District.* 


It might have been reasonably hoped that peace with the mother 
country would have led to comparative prosperity within the newly 
formed nation. But such was not the case. Congress had no 
power to compel the States to fulfil the provisions of the treaty 
which had been concluded, and Britain was not willing to comply 
on her side with all its terms, until evidence was given by the 
other party that no infraction of them was to be feared from the 
rashness of democratic leaders. Among the provisions of that 
treaty were the following : 

Art. 4. It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet with no 
lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value, in sterling money, 
of all bona fide debts heretofore contracted. 

Art. 5, It is agreed that the Congress shall earnestly recommend it 
to the Legislatures of the respective States, to provide for the restitution 
of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated, be- 
longing to real British subjects, and also of the estates, rights, and pro- 
perties of persons resident in districts in the possession of his Majesty's 

* Marshall, i. 159. 

262 Provisions of Treaty of Peace. 1784. 

arras, and who have not borne arms against the said United Slates. And 
that persons of any other description shall have free liberty to go to 
any part or parts of any of the thirteen United States, and therein to 
remain twelve months, unmolested in their endeavors to obtain tlie resti- 
tution of such of their estates, rights, and properties, as may have been 
confiscated ; and that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the 
several Slates a reconsideration and revision of all acts or laws regarding 
the premises, so as to render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent, 
not only with justice and equity, but with that spirit of conciliation 
which, on the return of the blessings of peace, should universally pre- 
vail, And that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several 
States, that the estates, rights, and properties, of such last mentioned 
persons, shall be restored to them, they refunding to any persons who 
may be now in possession, the bona fide price (where any has been 
given) which such persons may have paid on purchasing any of the 
said lands, rights, or properties, since the confiscation. And it is agreed, 
that all persons who have any interest in confiscated lands, either by 
debts, marriage settlements, or otherwise, shall meet with no lawful im- 
pediment in the prosecution of their just rights. 

Art. 6. That there shall be no future confiscations made, nor any 
prosecutions commenced against any person or persons for, or by reason 
of, the part which he or they may have taken in the present war; and 
that no person shall, on that account, suffer any future loss or damage, 
either in his person, liberty, or property ; and that those who may be 
in confinement on such charges, at ihe time of the ratificatiou of the 
treaty in America, shall be immediately set at liberty, and the prosecu- 
tions so commenced be discontinued. 

Art. 7. There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his Bri- 
tannic Majesty and the said Slates, and between the subjects of the one 
and the citizens of the other, wherefore, all hostilities, both by sea and 
land, shall from henceforth cease: all prisoners, on both sides, shall be 
set at liberty; and his Britannic Majesty shall, with all convenient speed, 
and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any negroes or 
other property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, 
garrisons, and fleets, from the said United States, and from every post, 
place, and harbor, within the same ; leaving in all fortifications the 
American artillery that may be therein ; and shall also order and cause 
all archives, records, deeds, and papers, belonging to any of the said 
States, or their citizens, which, in the course of the war, may have fallen 
into the hands of his officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to 
the proper States and persons to whom they belong.* 

* See Land Laws, p. 11. 

1784. Virginia refuses to fulfil Treaty. 263 

That these stipulations were wise and just, none, perhaps doubt- 
ed ; but they opened a door for disputes and troubles, through 
which troubles enough swarmed in; and we may now, with as 
much propriety as at any time, say the little that our limits will 
allow us to say, in reference to those disagreements between Eng- 
land and America, which for so long a time kept alive the hopes 
and enmities of the Indians, contending as they were, for their 
native lands and the burial places of their fathers. The origin of 
the difficulty was an alleged infraction of the provisional treaty, 
signed November 30th, 1782, on the part of the British, who 
showed an intention to take away with them from New York 
certain negroes claimed as the "property of the American inhab- 
itants," none of which, by the terms both of that and the definitive 
treaty, was to be removed. Against this intention Washington 
had remonstrated, and Congress resolved in vain : in reply to all 
remonstrances it was said that the slaves were either booty taken 
in war, and as such, by the laws of war, belonged to the captors, 
and could not come within the meaning of the treaty; or were 
freemen and could not be enslaved,* It was undoubtedly true in 
regard to many of the negroes, that they were taken in war, and as 
such, (if property at all,) the booty of the captors; but it was 
equally certain that another portion of them consisted of runa- 
ways, and by the terms of the treaty, as the Americans all thought, 
should have been restored or paid for.f It was in April, 1783, 
that the purposes of England in relation to the negroes became ap- 
parent; in May the Commander-in-chief and Congress tried, as 
we have said, ineffectually, to bring about a different course of 
action. Upon the 3d of September, the definitive treaty was sign- 
ed at Paris ; on the 25th of November the British left New York 
carrying the negroes claimed by the Americans with them ; while 
upon the 4th of the following January, 1784, the treaty was ratifi- 
ed by the United States, and on the 9th of April by England. 
Under these circumstances Virginia and several other States saw 
fit to decline compliance with the article respecting the recovery of 
debts ; refused to repeal the laws previously existing against British 
creditors; and upon the 22d of next June, after the ratification of 
peace by both parties, the Old Dominion expressly declined to ful- 

• Marshall, i. 173. 

+ See Mr. Jay's excellent statement of facts and principles. Secret Journals, iv. 275. 
Washington thought the British unfair and dishonest in their retention of the western posts, 
and considered the non-payment of their debts by the Americans, as used by them for a 
mere excuse. Sparks' Washington, iv. 163. 179. 

264 Posts retained by British. 1784'. 

fil the treaty In its completeness. This refusal, or neglect, which 
was equivalent to a refusal, on the part of the States to abide strictly 
by the treaty, caused England, on the other hand, to retain pos- 
session of the western posts, and threatened to involve the two 
countries again in open warfare. 

The dispute, therefore, originated in a difference of opinion be- 
tween the parties as to the meaning of thai: part of the seventh 
article which relates to the " carrying away negroes :" this was fol- 
lowed by a plain infraction of the fourth article on the part of the 
States ; and that by an equally plain violation of the provision in 
regard to evacuating the posts (article 7) on the side of Great 

In March, 1785, John Adams was sent to England to " require" 
the withdrawal of his Majesty's armies from the posts still held by 
them. This requisition he made on the 8th of the following 
December ; and was told in reply that when the fourth article was 
respected by the States, the seventh would be by England. 
These facts having been laid before Congress, that body, in 
March, 1787, pressed upon the States the necessity of repealing 
all laws violating the treaty ; but Virginia, in substance, refused to 
comply with the requisition respecting British creditors, until the 
western forts were evacuated, and the slaves that had been taken, 
returned or paid for.* 

From what has been said, it will be easily surmised that, to the 
request of Governor Clinton of New York, relative to the abandon- 
ment of the western posts within that state, Niagara, Oswego, 
&c. — as well as to the demand of Congress in the following July, 
for the possession of all the strongholds along the lakes — General 
Haldimand replied, as he had done to Baron Steuben, " I have 
received no orders from his Majesty to deliver them up.^f 

While the condition of the western frontier remained thus un- 
certain, settlers were rapidly gathering about the inland forts. In 
the spring of this year, Pittsburgh, which had been long settled 
and once before surveyed, was regularly laid out under the direc- 
tion of Tench Francis, agent for the Messrs. Penn; who, as 
adherents to England in the revolutionary struggle, had forfeited 
a large part of their possessions in America. The lots were soon 
sold, and improvements immediately began ; though, as would 
appear from the following extract from Arthur Lee's journal, who 

* Secret Journals, iv. 185 to 287.— Pitkin, ii. 192 to 200.— Marshall, i. 167 to 188. 
t Marshall, i. 177, &c. 

1784. First Convention in Kentucky. 265 

passed through Pittsburgh on his way to the Indian council at 
Fort Mcintosh, it was not, late in its first year, very prepossessing 
or promising in its appearance : 

" Pittsburgh is inhabited almost entirely by Scots and Irish, 
who live in paltry log-houses, and are as dirty as if in the north 
of Ireland, or even Scotland. There is a great deal of trade 
carried on ; the goods being brought at the vast expense of forty- 
five shillings per hundred, from Philadelphia and Baltimore. 
They take, in the shops, money, wheat, flour and skins. There 
are in the town four attorneys, two doctors, and not a priest of 
any persuasion, nor church, nor chapel. The rivers encroach fast 
on the town; and to such a degree, that, as a gentleman told me, 
the Allegheny had within thirty years of his memory, carried away 
one hundred yards. The place, I believe, will never be very 

The detention of the western fortresses, however, though of 
little moment to Pennsylvania, was a very serious evil to the more 
distant settlers of Kentucky. The northern savages again pre- 
pared their scalping knives, and the traders from Canada, if not 
the agents of the British government, urged them to harass the 
frontiers. Although Kentucky, therefore, grew rapidly during 
1784, the emigrants numbering twelve, f and the whole population 
thirty thousand;]: — although a friendly meeting was held by 
Thomas J. Dalton, with the Piankeshaws, at Vincennes, in April ;|| 
and though trade was extending itself into the clearings and 
among the canebrakes — Daniel Brodhead having opened his store 
at Louisville the previous year, and James Wilkinson having come 
to Lexington in February as the leader of a large commercial 
company, formed in Philadelphia ;§ — still the cool and sagacious 
mind of Logan led him to prepare his fellow citizens for trial and 
hardship. He called, in the autumn of 1784, a meeting of the 
people at Danville, to take measures for defending the country, 
and at this meeting the whole subject of the position and danger 
of Kentucky was examined and discussed, and it was agreed that 
a convention should meet in December to adopt some measures 

* American Pioneer, i. 304. t Inilay, 44. 

:j: Filson, 22. Filson's work was prepared this year (1784) and the first edition printed 
at Wilmington, ((^uecy, North Pnirnlinnior Delaware V) 

II Filson, 49. ' 

§ Marshall i. 161. 165. In 1784 Louisville contained 63 houses finished, 37 partly 
finished, 22 raised but not covered, and more than 100 cabins. (Letters of an American 
Planter, fi-om 1770 to 1786. Vol. iii.p. 422.) 

266 Virginia military lands surveyed. 1784. 

for the security of the settlements in the wilderness. Upon the 
27th of that month it met, nor was it long before the idea became 
prominent that Kentucky must ask to be severed from Virginia, 
and left to her own guidance and control. But as no such con- 
ception was general, when the delegates to this first conveiition 
were chosen, they deemed it best to appoint a second, to meet 
during the next May, at which was specially to be considered the 
topic most interesting to those who were called on to think and 
vote — a complete separation from the parent state; — political 

It was during 1784, also, that the military claimants of land, 
under the laws of Virginia, began their locations. All the terri- 
tory between the Green and Cumberland rivers, excepting that 
granted to Henderson & Co., was to be appropriated to soldiers of 
the parent state ; and when that was exhausted, the lands north of 
the Ohio, between the Scioto and Little Miami rivers. In 1783, 
the Continental Line had chosen Colonel Richard C. Anderson 
principal surveyor on their behalf, and on the 17th of December 
in that year, concluded with him a contract, under which, upon 
the 20th of the following July, he opened his office near Louis- 
ville ; and entries at once began. The first entry north of the 
Ohio, however, was not made until August 1, 1787. f 

Two subjects which in order of time belong to this year, we 
defer, the one to 1787, the other to 1785 : the former is the mea- 
sure adopted by Congress for the government of the new territory ; 
the latter the first treaty with the Indians relative to the West. 

* Marshall, i. 190 to 195. 

t McDonald's Sketches, 22 to 24. He gives the contract. Also letter of W. M. 
Anderson. (American Pioneer, i. 43S.) The number ofsoldiers in the Virginia Continen- 
tal Line proved to be 1124. (American State Papers, xviii.535.) 


In speaking of Pittsburgh, we referred to the passage of Arthur 
Lee through that place late in 1784, to attend a council with the 
Indians at Fort Mcintosh. Upon the 22d of the previous Octo- 
ber, this gentleman, in connection with Richard Butler and Oliver 
Wolcott, had met the hostile tribes of the Iroquois,* at Fort Stan- 
wix, and had there concluded a treaty of peace, among the arti- 
cles of which was the following : 

Art. 3. A line shall be drawn, beginning at the raouth of a creek, 
about four miles east of Niagara, called Oyonwayea, or Johnston's 
Landing Place, upon the lake, named by the Indians Oswego, and by 
us Ontario ; from thence southerly, in a direction always four miles east 
of the carrying path, between Lake Erie and Ontario, to the mouth of 
Tehoseroron, or Buffalo Creek, or Lake Erie ; thence south, to the 
north boundary of the State of Pennsylvania ; thence west, to the end 
of tlie said north boundary ; thence south, along the west boundary of 
the said State, to the river Ohio ; the said line, from the mouth of the 
Oyonwayea to the Ohio, shall be the western boundary of the lands of 
the Six Nations ; so that the Six Nations shall, and do, yield to the 
United States, all claims to the country west of the said boundary ; and 
then they shall be secured in the peaceful possession of the lands they 
inhabit, east and north of the same, reserving only six miles square, 
round the fort of Oswego, to the United States, for the support of the 

The old indefinite claim of the great northern confederacy to 
the west, being thus extinguished, Mr. Lee, together with Richard 
Butler and George Rogers Clark, proceeded to treat with the 
Western Indians themselves at Fort Mcintosh, upon the 21st of 
January, 1785. The nations represented were the Wyandots, 
Delawares, Chippeways, and Ottoways ; and among the represen- 

* Of the Six tribes, the Senecas, Mohawks, Onondagas, and Cayugas, had joined 
England ; the Oneidas, and Tuscaroras had not. 
t See Land Laws, p. 122. 

268 Provisions of the Treaty of Fort Mcintosh. 1785. 

tatives, it is said, was the celebrated war chief of the Delawares, 
Buckongahelas.* The most important provisions of the treaty 
agreed up were the seven following, — 

Art. 3. The boundary line between the United States and the Wy- 
andot and Delaware nations, shall begin at the mouth of the river Caya- 
hoga, and run ihence, up the said river, to the porlage between thit and 
the Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum ; then, down the said branch, 
to the forks at the crossing place above Fort Lawrence, [Laurens ; j then, 
westerly, to the portage of the Big Miami, which runs into the Ohio, 
at the mouth of which branch the fort stood which was taken by the 
French in one thousand seven hundred and fifiy-lwo ; then, along the 
said portage, to the Great Miami or Ome River, and down the south- 
east side of the same to its month; thence, along the south shore of 
Lake Erie, to the mouth of Cayahoga, where it began. 

Art. 4. The United States allot all the lands contained within the 
said lines to the Wyandot and Delaware nations, to live and to hunt on, 
and to such of" the Ottowa nation as now live thereon ; saving and re- 
serving, for the establishment of trading posts, six miles square at the 
mouth of Miami or Ome River, and the same at the portage on that 
branch of the Big Miami which runs into the Ohio, and the same on 
the Lake of Sandusky where the fort formerly stood, and also two miles 
square on each side of the lower rapids of Sandusky River ; which 
posts, and the lands annexed to them, shall be to the use, and under 
the Government of the United States. 

Art. 5. If any citizen of the United States, or other person, not 
being an Indian, shall attempt to settle on any of the lands allotted to 
the Wyandot and Delaware nations, in this treaty, except on the lands 
reserved to the United States in the preceding article, such person shall 
forfeit the protection of the United States, and the Indians may punish 
him as they please. 

Art. 6. The Indians who sign this treaty, as well in behalf of all 
their tribes as of themselves, do acknowledge the lands east, south, and 
west, of the lines described in the third article so far as the said Indians 
formerly claimed the same, to belong to the United States ; and none of 
their tribes shall presume to settle upon the same, or any part of it. 

Art. 7. The post of Detroit with a district beginning at the mouth 
of the River Rosine, on the west end of Lake Erie, and running west 
six miles up the southern bank of the said river, thence, northerly, and 

*So says Dawson, (life of Harrison, 82, note,) and Thatcher and Butler follow liim ; but 
the name of the Chief does not appear in the proceedings. — He did, however, sign the 
treaty of the Great Miami, in January 1786, as a witness. — (Dillon, i. 432, 440. Indian 
Treaties, Washington, lf!37.) Did not he there meet Clark and not at Fort Mcintosh? 

1785. Ordinance relative to Western Lands. 269 

always six miles west of the strait, till it strikes the Lake St. Clair, 
shall be also reserved to the sole use of the United States. 

Art. 8. In the same manner, the post at Michilimackinac, with its 
dependencies, and twelve miles square about the same, shall be reserved 
to the u'se of the United States. 

Art. 9. If any Indian or Indians shall commit a robbery or murder 
on any citizen of the United States, the tribe to which such offenders 
may belong, shall be bound to deliver them up at the nearest post, to be 
punished according to the ordinances of the United States. 

Thus were the first steps taken for securing to the United States 
the Indian titles to the vast realm beyond the Ohio ; and a few 
months later the legislation was commenced, that was to determine 
the mode of its disposal, and the plan of its settlements. 

In April of the previous year Congress had adopted certain 
resolutions in relation to the number and size of the States to be 
formed from the Western Territory, and sketched the great fea- 
tures of an Ordinance for its organization, but as all these things 
were afterwards modified in 1787, we have deferred the subject 
of that organization to the last named year. But though the 
details of the government of the West were not as yet settled, 
Congress, upon the 20th of May, 1785, f passed an ordinance 
relative to surveys which determined a plan for the division of the 
ceded lands, and the main principles of which still remain in 
force. This was not done, however, until Massachusetts, as well 
as New York and Virginia, had ceded her claims to the Union ; 
which she did upon the 19th of April in this year, the Act authori- 
zing the cession having been passed upon the 13th of the previous 
November. X 

By the ordinance above referred to, the territory purchased of 
the Indians was to be divided into townships, six miles square, || 
by north and south lines crossed at right angles by others : the 
first north and south line to begin on the Ohio at a point due north 
of the western termination of the southern boundary of Pennsyl- 
vania, and the first east and west line to begin at the same point 

* See Land Laws, p. 148. 

t There was an ordinance reported May 28, 1784, (Old Journals, iv. 416;) a second, 
April 26th, 1785, (Old Journals, iv. 507 :) that of May 20th differed in several respects, 

\ Old Journals, iv. 500 to 504. Land Laws, 102. 

U By the first ordinance these were to have been ten miles, and by the second seven 
miles square. — See Journals. 

270 Settlements northwest of the Ohio forbidden. 1785, 

and extend throughout the territory. The ranges of townships 
thus formed were to be numbered from the Pennsylvania line 
westward ; the townships themselves from the Ohio northward. 
Each township was to be subdivided into thirty-six parts or sec- 
tions, each, of course, one mile square. When seven ranges of 
townships had been thus surveyed, the Geographer was to make a 
return of them to the Board of Treasury, who were to take there- 
from one-seventh part, by lot, for the use of the late Continental 
army ; and so of every seven ranges as surveyed and returned : 
the remaining six-sevenths were to be drawn for by the several 
States, in the proportion of the last requisition made on them ; and 
they were to make public sale thereof in the following manner: 
range 1st, township 1st, was to be sold entire, township 2d in 
sections, and so on alternately; while in range 2d, township 1st, 
was to be sold in sections, and township 2d entire, retaining 
throughout both as to the ranges and townships the principle of 
alternation. The price was to be at least one dollar per acre in 
specie, "loan office certificates reduced to specie value," or "cer- 
tificates of liquidated debts of the United States." Five sections 
in each township were to be reserved, four for the United States 
and one for schools. All sales thus made by the States were to 
be returned to the Board of Treasury. This ordinance also gave 
the mode for dividing, among the Continental soldiers, the lands 
set apart to them ; reserved three townships for Canadian refugees ; 
secured to the Moravian Indians their rights ; and excluded from 
sale the territory between the Little Miami and Scioto, in accord- 
ance with the provisions made by Virginia in her deed of cession 
in favor of her own troops. Many points in this law were after- 
wards changed, but its great features remained. * 

It had been anticipated that so soon as the treaty of Fort Mcin- 
tosh was known, settlers and speculators would cross the Ohio, 
and to prevent the evil which it was foreseen would follow any 
general movement of the kind the Indian Commissioners were 
authorized in June, to issue a Proclamation commanding all per- 
sons northwest of the river to leave without loss of time, or stay 
at their peril, and announcing the intention of government as soon 
as possible to sell the soil as fast as surveyed, f The peril to be 

• Land Laws, 349 to 354.— Old Journals, iv. 520 to 521. 
t Land Laws, 354. — Old Journals iv. 53S, 

1785. Attempt at settling upon Indian Lands. 271 

apprehended from the weak hands of the confederacy might not 
have deterred fearless men from filling the forbidden land, but there 
were those near by who executed the laws they made in a manner 
which was by no means to be disregarded ; and, as we learn from 
the honorable George Corwin of Portsmouth, when four families 
from Redstone attempted a settlement at the mouth of the Scioto 
in April 1785, they received such a notice to quit from the natives 
in the shape of rifle-balls, that the survivors, (for two of the men 
were killed,) were glad enough to abandon their enterprize, and 
take refuge at Limestone or Maysville.f Farther west the experi- 
ment succeeded better, and some years before the time of which 
we are writing, in 1781, a settlement was made in the neighbor- 
hood of the old French forts by emigrants from Western Vir- 
ginia, who were joined during the present year by several other 
families from the same region. Upon the American stations thus 
unlawfully commenced the Kickapoos began to commit hostilities 
in '86, the Osages joined them in '90, and from that time until 
after the treaty of Greenville the few inhabitants of Illinois led the 
same life of danger and excitement, — of hair-breadth escapes 
and miraculous deliverances, which the frontier men of Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, had led for twenty or thirty years 
previous: — the details may be found in an article by J. M. Peck, 
read before the Illinois State Lyceum in 1832, and published in 
the Western Monthly Magazine, vol. i. p. 73, (February 1833.) 

In Kentucky during 1785 events were of a different character 
from any yet witnessed in the West. Hitherto to live and resist 
the savages had been the problem, but now the more complicated 
questions of self-rule and political power presented themselves for 
discussion and answer. The Convention which met late in 1784, 
finding a strong feeling prevalent in favor of separation from Vir- 
ginia, and unwilling to assume too much responsibility, had pro- 
posed, as we have stated, a second Convention to meet in the fol- 
lowing May. It met upon the 23d of that month, and the same 
spirit of self dependence being dominant, an address to the Assem- 
bly of Virginia and one to the people of Kentucky, together with 
five resolutions, all relative to separation, and in favor of it, were 
unanimously carried. Two of these resolutions deserve especial 
hotice ; one of them recognized, what the Constitution of Virginia 

* American Pioneer, i. 56. 

272 Third Convention in Kentucky. 1785. 

did not, the principle of equal representation, or a representation 
of the people living in a certain territory, and not the square miles 
contained in it: the other referred the whole matter again, to a 
third Convention, which was to meet in August and continue its 
sessions by adjournment until April 1786. As the members of the 
body which passed this resolve had been chosen, it is believed, 
on the basis of equal representation,* and for the very purpose of 
considering the question of independence, it is by no means clear 
why this reference to a third assembly was made. It may have 
been from great precaution, or it may have been through the influ- 
ence of James Wilkinson, who, though not a member of the 
second Convention exercised great power in it ; and who being 
chosen a member of the third became its leader and controller, 
by the combined influence of his manners, eloquence, intellect, 
and character. This gentleman, there appears to be reason to 
think, deemed the tone of the petition to Virginia too humble, and 
wished another meeting to speak both to the Parent State and the 
people of the District in more rousing and exciting w^ords. And 
his wish, if such was his wish, was fulfilled. Upon the 8th of 
August, a third Convention met, adopted a new form of address 
to the Old Dominion, and called upon the people of Kentucky to 
"arm, associate, and embody," "to hold in detestation and 
abhorrence, and treat as enemies to the community, every person 
who shall withhold his countenance and support, of such measures 
as may be recommended for [the] common defence ; " and to pre- 
pare for offensive movements against the Indians, without waiting 
to be attacked.! 

That Wilkinson in this address to the people of Kentucky some- 
what exaggerated the danger of Indian invasion is probable ; and 
the propriety of his call upon his countrymen to invade the lands 
beyond the Ohio, at the time that Congress was treating with the 
natives owning them, and seeking to put a stop to warfare, is more 
than questionable: but still his expressions of anxiety lest the 
whites should be found unprepared, were not wholly without 
cause. In August an Indian Council was held upon the Wabash 
clearly hostile in its character : | in October the southern savages 
were engaged in hostilities; j] and through the whole season small 

* Marshall, i. 195. 

t Marshall, i. 196 to 220; where are all the original papers at length, 

\ Dillon's Indiana, i. 201. I Marshall, i. 2:0. 

1786. Virginia offers Kentucky Terms. 273 

parties of red men were doing mischief among the settlements.* 
But the proper source of action in the matter at this time was the 
confederation, and Wilkinson and his associates in proposing to 
invade the northwest territory, should have sought to act under its 
sanction, and not as leaders of a sovereign power. Nor was the 
confederation at this very time unmindful of the West: in the 
autumn of '85 Major Doughty descended the Ohio to the mouth 
of the Muskingum, and upon the point north of the former, and 
west of the latter, river, began Fort Harmar.f 


The address or petition, though the last name seems scarcely 
applicable, which the Third Kentucky Convention had sent to the 
Assembly of the parent State, was by that body duly received and 
listened to, and the reasons for an early separation appearing co- 
gent, Virginia, in January, 1786, passed a law by which Kentucky 
might claim independence, provided she were willing to accept 
certain conditions, | which conditions were to be submitted to a 

* Border Warfare, 272. Marshall, i. 195. 

+ American Pioneer, i. 25 to 30, and frontispiece. 

\ The following extract of a letter, dated December 9th, 1785, from Madison to Wash- 
ington, will explain these conditions, and the feeling of Kentucky. (Sparks' Washington, 
ix. 510.) 

" Kentucky made a formal application for independence. Her memorial has been con- 
sidered, and the terms of separation fixed by a committee of the wliole. The substance 
of them is, that all private rights and interests, derived from the laws of Virginia, shall be 
secured ; that the unlocated lands shall be applied to the objects to which the laws of Vir- 
ginia have appropriated them ; that the Ohio shall be a common highway for the citizens 
of the United States, and the jurisdiction of Kentucky and Virginia, as far as the remain- 
ing territory of the latter will be thereon, be concurrent only with the new States on the 
opposite shore ; that the proposed State shall take its due sliare of our State debts ; and 
that the separation shall not take place unless these terms shall be approved by a conven- 
tion to be held to decide the question, nor until Congress shall assent thereto, and fix 
the terms of their admission into the Union. The limits of the proposed State are to be 
the same with the present limits of the district. The apparent coolness of the repre- 
sentatives of Kentucky, as to a separation, since these terms have been defined, indicates 
that they had some views, which will not be favored by them. They dislike much to be 
hung upon the will of Congress." 


274 Convention with Western Tribes Proposed. 1786. 

Fourth convention to be held in llie following September. If 
those were agreed to, the convention was to select a day posterior 
to September 1st, 1787, after which the laws of Virginia were to 
cease forever to be of force within the western district ; for which, 
meanwhile, a constitution and laws were to be prepared by a Fifth 
convention to be called for that purpose : it being provided that this 
act was to be effective only when in substance approved by the 
United States.* This act was not, however, altogether pleasant to 
the more zealous of the advocates of self-rule, and an attempt was 
made by Wilkinson and his friends to induce the people of the 
district to declare themselves independent of Virginia before the 
comparatively distant period fixed by the law in question. The 
attempt, however, was opposed and defeated; the election of 
members from the Fourth convention took place without disturb- 
ance, and in September it would undoubtedly have met to attend 
to the business confided to it, had not the Indian incursions led to 
a movement against the tribes on the Wabash, at the very time 
appointed for the assembly at Danville. 

Before we come to this movement beyond the Ohio, however, 
it is necessary to mention the steps taken by Congress during the 
early part of this year to secure and perpetuate peace with the 
north-western tribes. The treaty of Fort Stanwix with the Iro- 
quois, was upon the 22d of October, 1784 ; that of Fort Mcintosh, 
with the Delawares, W^yandots, &c., upon the 21st of January, 
1785 ; upon the 18th of March following it was resolved that a 
treaty be held with the Wabash Indians at Post Vincent on the 
20th of June, 1785, or at such other time and place as might seem 
best to the commissioners.! Various circumstances caused the 
time to be changed to the 31st of January, 1786, and the place to 
the mouth of the Great Miami, where, upon that day a treaty was 
made by George R. Clark, Richard Butler, and Samuel H. Par- 
sons, — not, however, v.'ith the Piankishaws and others named in 
the original resolution, but with the Delawares, W^yandots and 
Shawanese.J That treaty, in addition to the usual articles, con- 
tained the following. II 

* Marshall, i. 222. 

+ Old Journals, iv. 487. 

^ Those first named were the Potawatama, Twightwecs, Piankishaw and other western 
nations. See Old Journals, iv. 528. 633. 538. 542. The resolution on the page last 
cited (June 29, 1785) changes the place to the mouth of tlic Great Miami or the Falls. 

JOld Journals, iv. 6'27. Lard La'.vs, ZOO. 

1786. Letter of General Parsons. 275 

Art. 2. The Shawanee nation do acknowledge the United States to 
be the sole and absolute sovereigns of all the territory ceded to them by 
a treaty of peace, made between them and the king of Great Britain, 
the fourteenth day of Januaiy, one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 

Art. 6. The United States do allot to the Shawanee nation, lands 
within their territory to live and hunt upon, beginning at the south line 
of the lands allotted to the Wyandots and Delaware nations, at the 
place where the main branch of the Great Miami, which falls into the 
Ohio, intersects said line ; then, down the River Miami, to the fork of 
that river, next below the old fort which was taken by the French in 
one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two; thence, due west, to the 
River De la Panse ; then, down that river, to the river Wabash ; be- 
yond which lines none of the citizens of the United States shall settle, 
nor disturb the Shawanees in their settlement and possessions. And 
the Shawanees do relinquish to the United States, all title, or pretence 
of title, they ever had to the lands east, west, and south, of the east, 
west, and south lines before described. t 

The absence of the Wabash Indians from this council was not 
the result of any change of plans on the part of the Americans, but 
solely of a growing spirit of hostility among the savages, fostered, 
there is too much reason to think, by the sub-agents of England. 
The temper of the Indians who first met the commissioners, is thus 
referred to by General Parsons, in a letter to Captain Hart at Forf 
Harmar, dated "Fort Finney," (mouth of Great Miami, where 
Major Finney was stationed for the time,|) December 20th, 1785." 

Since we have been here, every measure has been taken to bring in 
the Indians. The Wyandots and Delawares are here ; the other nations 
were coming, and were turned back by the Shawanese. These at last 
sent two of their tribe to examine our situation and satisfy themselves 
of our designs. With these men we were very open and explicit. We 
told them we were fully convinced of their designs in coming; that we 
were fully satisfied with it; that they were at liberty to take their own 
way and time to answer the purposes they came for; that we were de- 
sirous of living in peace with them ; and for that purpose had come 
with off'ers of peace to them, which they would judge of, and whether 
peace or war was most for their interest ; that we very well knew the 
measures the British agents had taken to deceive them. That if they 

* Alluding to the deSnilive treaty of peace. 
+ See Land Laws, 299. 

ij; Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 33. He was v.itness to the treaty. See the treaty in 
«he Wasliington Concclisn of 1837. 

216 Treaty at mouth of Great Miami. 1186. 

came to tlie treaty, any man who had filled their ears with those stories 
was at liberty to come with them and return in safety. But if they re- 
fused to treat with us, we should consider it as a declaration of war on 
their part, &c. These men stayed about us eight days, and then told us 
they were fully convinced our designs were good ; that they had been 
deceived; that they would return home, and use their influence to bring 
in their nation, and send out to the other nations. Last night we re- 
ceived a belt of Wampum and a twist of tobacco, with a message that 
they would be in when we had smoked the tobacco. From our infor- 
mation we are led to believe these people will very generally come in 
and heartily concur with us in peace. I think it not probable the treaty 
will begin sooner than January. 

The British agents, our own traders, and the inhabitants of Kentucky, 
I am convinced are all opposed to a treaty, and are using every measure 
to prevent it. Strange as this may seem, I have very convincing proofs 
of its reality. The causes I can assign, but they are too many for the 
compass of a letter. Notwithstaniling all treaties we can make, I am 
convinced we shall not be in safety until we have posts established in 
the upper country.* 

The various tribes of the north-west therefore had been invited 
to the mouth of the Miami, but owing to counter influence, neither 
attended nor took any notice of the messages sent them ;t and 
those who did finally attend, came, if tradition tells truly, in no 
amicable spirit, and but for the profound knowledge possessed by 
Clark of the Indian character, and the high rank he -held in the 
estimation of the natives, the meeting of January 31st might very 
probably have terminated in the murder of the commissioners.:}: 

From a late work by Judge Hall we take the following passage, 
descriptive of the scene which is said to have taken place. The 
Indians had entered in a disorderly an^ disrespectful manner, 
"the commissioners, without noticing the disorderly conduct of 
the other party, or appearing to have discovered their meditated 

* See North American Review, October, 1841, p. 330. 

told Journals, iv. 657. 

\ The following account of a meeting between Clark and the great Delaware chief, 
Euckongahelas, took place, wc presume, at this time, and not as commonly said, (Butler, 
153. Dawson's Harrison, 82, note. Thatcher's Indians, ii . 180,) at Fort Mcintosh, in 
1785. His name does rot appear in the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, but does in that of 
Fort Finney. (Dillon's Indiana, i. 432. 440. Indian Treaties, Washington, 1837.) 
"When the peace chiefs had addressed tlie commissioners, Buckongahelas, not deigning to 
notice the colleagues of Clark, took the latter by the hand, and said, " I thank the Great 
Spirit for having this day brought together two such great warriors as Buckongahelas and 
General Clark," 

1786. Clarlc's Treatment of the Indians. 277 

treachery, opened the council in due form. They lighted the 
peace-pipe, and after drawing a few whiffs, passed it to the chiefs 
who received it. Colonel Clark then rose to explain the purpose 
for which the treaty was ordered. With an unembarrassed air, 
with the tone of one accustomed to command, and an easy as- 
surance of perfect security and self-possession, he stated that the 
commissioners had been sent to offer peace to the Shawanese; 
that the President had no wish to continue the war; he had no re- 
sentment to gratify ; and, if the red men desired peace, they could 
have it on reasonable terms. ' If such be the will of the Shawa- 
anese,' he concluded, 'let some of their wise men speak.' 

"A chief arose, drew up his tall person to its full height, and as- 
suming a haughty attitude, threw his eye contemptuously over the 
commissioners and their small retinue, as if to measure their insig- 
nificance, in comparison with his own numerous train, and then 
stalking to the table, threw upon it two belts of wampum, of dif- 
erent colors — the war and the peace belt. 

"We come here,' he exclaimed, 'to offer you two pieces of 
wampum; they are of different colors; you know what they mean : 
you can take which you like!' and turning upon his heel, he re- 
sumed his seat. 

" The chiefs drew themselves up, in the consciousness of having 
hurled defiance in the teeth of the white men. They offered an 
insult to the renowned leader of the Long Knives, to which they 
knew it would be hard for him to submit, while they did not sup- 
pose he dare resent it. The council-pipe was laid aside. Those 
fierce wild men gazed intently at Clark. The Americans saw that 
the crisis had arrived; they could no longer doubt that the Indians 
understood the advantage they possessed, and were disposed to 
use it ; and a common sense of danger caused each eye to be turn- 
ed on the leading commissioner. He sat undisturbed and appar- 
ently careless until the chief who had thrown the belts upon the 
table had taken his seat ; then with a small cane which he held in 
his hand, he reached as if playfully, towards the war belt, entan- 
gled the end of the stick in it, drew it towards him, and then with 
a switch of the cane threw the belt into the midst of the chiefs. 
The effect was electric. Every man in the council, of each party 
sprang to his feet, the savage with a loud exclamation of astonish- 
ment ' Hugh !' The Americans in expectation of a hopeless con- 
flict, against overwhelming numbers. Every hand grasped a 

278 Clarices Treatment of the Indians. 1786". 

" Clark alone was unawed. The expression of his countenance 
changed to a ferocious sternness and his eye flashed, but otherwise 
he was unmoved. A hitter smile was perceptible upon his com- 
pressed lips, as he gazed upon that savage band,, whose hundred 
eyes were bent fiercely and in horrid exultation upon him as they 
stood like a pack of wolves at bay thirsting for blood, and ready 
to rush upon him whenever one bolder than the rest should com- 
mence the attack. It was one of those moments of indecision 
when the slightest weight thrown into either scale will make it 
preponderate ; a moment in which a bold man, conversant vnih. the 
secret springs of human action, may seize upon the minds of all 
around him and sway them at his will. 

Such a man was the intrepid Virginian. He spoke and there 
was no man bold enough to gainsay him — none that could return 
the fierce glance of his eye. Raising his arm and waving his hand 
toward the door, he exclaimed : ' Dogs ! you may go V The Indi- 
ans hesitated for a moment, and then rushed tumultuously out of 
the council room."* 

* Hall in Wiley and Putnam's Library. — The original of the above is we presume, the 
following from the Encyclopaedia Americana : 

" The Indians came in to the treaty at Fort Washington in the most friendly manner, 
except the Shawanees, the most conceited and warlike of the aborigines, the first in at a 
battle, and the last at a treaty. Three hundred of their finest warriors set off in all their 
paint and feathers, and filed into the council-house. Their number and demeanor, so 
unusual at an occasion of this sort, was altogether unexpected and suspicious. The 
United States' stockade mustered seventy men. In the centre of the hall, at a little table, 
sat the commissary-general Clark, the indefatigable scourge of these very marauders. 
General Richard Butler and Mr. Parsons. There was also present a Captain Denny, who,. 
I believe, is still alive, and can attest this story. On the part of the Indians, an old coun- 
cil-sachem and a war chief took the lead. The latter, a tall, raw-boned fellow, with an 
impudent and villainous look, made a boisterous and threatening speech, which operated 
effectually on the passions of the Indians, who set up a prodigious whoop at every pause. 
He concluded by presenting a black and white wampum, to signify they were prepared 
for either event, peace or war. Clark exhibited the same unaltered and careless coun- 
tenance he had shown during the whole scene, his head leaning on his left hand, and his 
elbow resting upon the table. He raised his little cane, and pushed the sacred wampum 
oiTthe table, with very little ceremony. Every Indian at the same time started from his 
seat with one of those sudden, simultaneous, and peculiarly savage sounds, which startle 
and disconcert the stoutest heart, and can neither be described nor forgotten. At this 
juncture Clark rose. The scrutinizing eye cowered at his glance. He stamped his foot on 
the prostrate and insulted sjinbol, and ordered them to leave the hall. They did so, ap- 
parently involuntarily. They were heard all that night, debating in the bushes near the 
fort. The raw-boned chief was for war, the old sachem for peace. The latter prevailed, 
and the next morning they came back and sued for peace." (Notes of an old officer. 
See Encyclopaidia Americana, iii. 232.) 

Judge Hall says General Harrison confirmed the tale, but it is a strange matter that 
neither Marshall nor any of the otlier early historiaas know any thing about it. Is it also, 
a" mytlit" 

1786. Clark^s ahortive Expedition up the Wabash. 279 

But the tribes more distant than the Shawanese were in no way- 
disposed to cease their incursions, and upon the 16th of May the 
Governor of Virginia was forced to write upon the subject to Con- 
gress, which at once sent two companies down the Ohio to the 
Falls, and upon the 30th of June authorized the raising of militia 
in Kentucky, and the invasion of the country of the mischief- 
makers under the command of the leading United States officer.* 
We do not learn that it was nominally under this resolution that 
General Clark's expedition of the ensuing fall was undertaken; 
but at any rate this act on the part of Congress justified offensive 
measures on the part of the Kentuckians when they became neces- 
sary; and it being thought necessary to act upon the Wabash be- 
fore winter, a body of a thousand men or more gathered at the 
Falls, and marched thence toward Vincennes, which place they 
reached some time in September,! 1786. 

Here the army remained inactive during nine days, waiting the 
arrival of their provisions and ammunition, which had been sent 
down to the mouth of the Wabash in boats, and were delayed by 
the low water. This stay, so different from Clark's old mode of 
proceeding, was in opposition to his advice, f and proved fatal to 
the expedition. The soldiers became restive, and their confidence 
in the [^General being destroyed, by discovering the fact that his 
clear mind was too commonly confused and darkened by the 
influence of ardent spirits, they at last refused obedience ; a body 
of three hundred turned their faces homeward, and the rest soon 
followed in their track. 

Another expedition conducted by Colonel Logan against the 
Shawanese, who in spite of their treaty had resumed hostilities, 
terminated very differently from that under the conqueror of Illi- 
nois, their towns were burned and their crops wasted. 

It was the gathering of the men of Kentucky for these expedi- 
tions, which prevented the meeting of the convention that was 
to have come together in September. So many were absent on 
military duty that a quorum could not be had, and those who 
came to the point of assembly, were forced, as a committee 
merely, to prepare a memorial for the Virginia legislature, setting 

* Old Journals, iv. 657 to 660. 

t Butler (p. 151) says in October, but they remained at Vincennes nine days, and yet 
the meeting after the expedition was abandoned, was on October 8th. (Secret Journals, 
iv. 311.) 

I Marshall, i. 250.— Butler, 153. 

280 JVegotiaiions with Spain. 1786. 

forth the causes which made a convention at that time impossible, 
and asking certain changes in the Act of Separation.* This done, 
they continued their meetings by adjournment during the remain- 
der of the year, hoping a quorum might still be gathered ; which 
was not done, however, until the ensuing January. f 

Meanwhile, beyond the Alleghanies, events were taking place 
which produced more excitement in Kentucky than Indian wars, 
or Acts of Separation even : we refer to the Spanish negotiations, 
involving the navigation of the Mississippi. In 1780, as we have 
stated, Spain expressed her determination to claim the control of 
the great western river: in January, 1781, she attacked the fort of 
St. Joseph's, and took possession of the north-west in the name of 
his Catholic Majesty: on the 15th of the next month. Congress, at 
the instance of the Virginia Delegates, instructed Mr. Jay, then at 
Madrid, not to insist on the use of the Mississippi by the Ameri- 
cans, if a treaty could not be effected without giving it up. 
Through 1782, the court of Madrid labored, not only to induce 
the United States to give up the stream of the West, but a great 
part of the West itself, and France backed her pretensions ;:}: and 
thus matters rested. In July, 1785, Don Diego Gardoqui, ap- 
peared before Congress as the representative of Spain ;1| on the 
20th of the same month, Mr. Jay, the Secretary of foreign affairs, 
was authorised to negotiate with him ; and in IMay of the year of 
which we are writing, negotiations begun between them, were 
brought to the notice of Congress. This was done in consequence 
of the fact that in these transactions Mr. Jay asked the special 
guidance of that body, and explained his reasons for doing so at 
length. § He pointed out the importance of a commercial treaty 
with Spain, and dwelt upon the two difficulties of making such a 
treaty ; one of which was the unwillingness of Spain to permit the 
navigation of the Mississippi, the other, the question of boun- 
daries. Upon the first point Mr. Jay was, and always had been, 
opposed to yielding to the Spanish claim ; but that claim was still 
as strenuously urged as In 1780 ; and the court of Madrid, their 
ambassador said, would never abandon it. Under these circum- 
stances, the interests of the whole Union demanding the conclu- 
sion of the Spanish commercial treaty, while that treaty could 
apparently be secured only by giving up the right to navigate the 

* Marshall, i. 251. t Ibid, 253. 

^ Secret Journals, iv. 63 to 80. Diplomatic Correspondence. 

g Old Journals, iv. 544. § Secret Journals, iv. 43. 45. 

1786. Dissatisfaction in the West. 281 

Mississippi, which was in a manner sacrificing the West, Mr. Jay 
proposed, as a sort of compromise, to form a treaty with Spain for 
twenty-five or thirty years, and during that time to yield the right 
of using the Mississippi below the boundaries of the United 
States. To this proposition, the sqjLithern members in Congress 
were vehemently opposed, and an attempt was made by them to 
take the whole matter out of Mr. Jay's hands, the delegates from 
Virginia offering a long and able argument in opposition to his 
scheme ; but the members of the eastern and middle states out- 
voted the south, and the Secretary was authorised to continue his 
negotiations, without being bound to insist at all hazards upon the 
immediate use of the river.* The discussions in Congress relative 
to the Spanish claims, took place during August, and the rumor 
of them and of the Secretary's proposal in due time reached the 
West ; but, as is common, the tale spread by report, differed from 
the truth, by representing the proposition as much more positive 
than it really was, and as being made by John Jay, without any 
sanction of Congress. This story, which circulated during the 
winter of 1786-7, produced among those who dwelt upon the 
western waters great indignation ; and prepared the people to antici- 
pate a contest with Spain, or a union with her, and in either case, 
action independent of the old Atlantic colonies. And the conduct 
of Clark, after the failure of the Wabash expedition, was well 
calculated to cause many to think that the leading minds were 
already prepared for action. On the 8th of October, a board of 
field oflficers at Vincennes, determined to garrison that point, to 
raise supplies by impressment, and to enlist new troops. Under 
this determination, Spanish property was seized, soldiers were 
embodied, and steps were taken to hold a peace council with the 
natives ; all under the direction of General Clark. Soon after this, 
in December, Thomas Green wrote from Louisville to the Gover- 
ernor. Council and Legislature of Georgia — which State was 
involved in the boundary quarrel with Spain — that Spanish pro- 
perty had been seized in the north-west as a hostile measure, and 
not merely to procure necessaries for the troops, which Clark 
afterward declared was the case ; and added that the General was 
ready to go down the river with " troops suflScient" to take pos- 
session of the lands in dispute, if Georgia would countenance him. 
This letter Clark said he never saw, but as he paid equally with 

* Secret Journals, iv. 81 to 132. 

282 Expedition against Spain proposed. 1786. 

Green to^vards the expenses of the messenger who was to take it 
to the south, it was natural enough to think him privy to all the 
plans relative to the disputed territory, whatever they may "have 
been. And what they were, in some minds at least, may per- 
haps, be judged by the following extract from a letter, also 
written from Louisville, professedly to some one in New England, 
and very probably by Green ; and which was circulated widely in 
Frankland, Tennessee. It is dated December 4, '86. 

Our situation is as bad as it possibly can be, therefore every exertion 
to retrieve our circumstances must be manly, eligible and just. 

We can raise twenty thousand troops this side the Alleghany and 
Apalachian Mountains; and the annual increase of them by emigration, 
from other parts, is from two to four thousand. 

We have taken all tlie goods belonging to the Spanish merchants of 
post Vincennes and the Illinois, and are determined they shall not trade 
up the river, provided they will not let us trade down it. Preparations 
are now making here (if necessary) to drive the Spaniards from their 
settlements, at the mouth of the Mississippi. In case we are not 
countenanced and succored by the United States (if we need it) our 
allegiance will be thrown off, and some other power applied to. Great 
Britain stands ready with open arms to receive and support us. 
They have already offered to open their resources for our supplies. 
When once re-united to them, " farewell, a long farewell to all your 
boasted greatness." The province of Canada and the inhabitants of 
these waters, of themselves, in time, will be able to conquer you. You 
are as ignorant of this country as Great Britain was of Arnerica. These 
are hints, if rightly improved, may be of some service; if not, blame 
yourselves for the neglect.* 

Wells, Green's messenger, on his way to Georgia, showed his 
papers to various persons at Danville ; copies were at once taken 
of them, and inclosed in a letter written on the 22d of December to 
the executive of Virginia, by fifteen of the leading citizens of 
Kentucky, among whom was James Wilkinson. In February, 
1787, the Council of Virginia acted upon the subject; condemned 
General Clark's conduct, disavowed the powers assumed by him, 
ordered the prosecution of the persons concerned in the seizure of 
property, and laid the matter before Congress. It was presented 
in detail to that body upon the 13th of April,! and upon the 24th 

* Secret Journals, iv. 323. 

+ Secret Journals, iv. 30! to 323. 

1786. Putnam and Tupper inopose to move west. 283 

of that month, it was resolved that the troops of the United States 
be employed to dispossess the unauthorised intruders who had 
taken possession of St. Vincents.* 

All these things naturally tended to excite speculation, inquiry 
and fear throughout the West ; and though no action was had in 
reference to the Mississippi question beyond the mountains, until 
the next spring, we may be sure there was talking and feeling 
enough in the interval. 

But in giving the history of 1786, we must not omit those 
steps which resulted in the formation of the New England Ohio 
Company, and the founding of the first colony, authorised by gov- 
ernment, north-west of the Belle Riviere. 

Congress, by the Resolutions of September 16, 1776, and August 
12, 1780, had promised land bounties to the officers and soldiers']of 
the Revolutionary army, who should continue in the serYice till 
the close of the war, or until discharged by Congress ; and to the 
representatives of those who should be slain by the enemy.f In 
June, 1783, peace having been proclaimed. General Rufus Putnam 
forwarded to Washington a memorial from certain of those liavins: 
claims under these Resolutions ; which Washington transmitted to 
Congress, together with General Putnam's letter. | But as the 
States claiming the western territory had not then made their final 
cessions. Congress was forced, on the 29th of October, 1783, to 
announce their inability to make any appropriation of land.|| 
From that time, nothing further was done until, upon the 18th of 
July, 1785, Benjamin Tupper, a Revolutionary officer belonging 
to Massachusetts, was appointed a surveyor of western lands, in 
the place of General Putnam, who had been before chosen, but 
was otherwise engaged. He, in the course of that year, visited 
the West, going, however, no farther than Pittsburgh, as the 
Indian troubles prevented surveys. § On his return home, he 
conferred with his friend, Putnam, as to a renewal of their 
memorial of 1783, and a removal westward ; which conference 
resulted in a publication, dated January 10, 1786, in which was 
proposed the formation of a company to settle the Ohio lands ; and 
those taking an interest in the plan, were invited to meet in Feb- 

* Old Journals, iv. 740. 
t Land Laws, 337. 

% The letters relating to this petition were sent by Mr. Sparks to the Committee for 
the Celebration of the Settlement of Ohio, 1S35; and were published by them. 
I Land Laws, 339. 
§ Nye's Address, Transactions Ohio Historical Society, p. 317. 

284 Oldo Company formed. — Cession by Connecticut. 1786. 

ruary and choose, for each county of Massachusetts, one or more 
delegates; these delegates were to assemble, on the 1st of March, 
at the Bunch of Grapes tavern in Boston, there to agree upon 
a system of association. On the day named, eleven persons 
appeared at the place agreed upon; and by the 3d of March, the 
outline of the company was drawn up, and subscriptions under it 
at once commenced. The leading features of that outline were 
these : a fund of a million dollars, mainly in continental certificates, 
was to be raised for the purpose of purchasing lands in the west- 
ern territory ; there were to be a thousand shares of one thousand 
dollars each, and upon each share ten dollars in specie were to 
be paid, for contingent expenses. One year's interest was to be 
appropriated to the charges of making a settlement and assisting 
those unable to remove without aid. The owners of every twenty 
shares were to choose an agent to represent them, and attend to 
their interests ; and these agents were to choose the Directors.* 
The plan was approved, and in a year from that time the company 
was organized ; and, before its organization, the last obstacle to 
the purposed grant from the United States, was done away by the 
cession of most of her territorial claims on the part of Connecticut. 
In October, 1780, soon after the first action of Congress relative 
to the western lands, that State had passed an Act respecting the 
cession of her claims to the United States. This, on the 31st of 
January, 1781, was referred, together with the Resolutions of 
New York and Virginia, to a Committee. f Various reports were 
made, and discussions had, relative to the matter, but it was not 
till May 26, 1786, that the views of the State and the Union could 
be brought to a coincidence. This being done by a Resolution 
of Congress, dated upon that day, the delegates of Connecticut, 
upon the 14th of September, made the deed of cession by which 
all her claims to the country west of a line, [one hundred and 
twenty miles beyond the Western boundary of Pennsylvania and 
parallel thereto, | were given up to the confederation. || 

* See Nye's Address in Transactions of Ohio Historical Society, Part 2d. Also, an 
article on Ohio, in North American Review, for October, 1S41 ; vol. liii. 320 to 359 : this 
article is full of original matter. 

+ Old Journals, iii. 571. 

4: Old Journals, iv. 645 to 648. 697. — Land Laws. 103. — Connecticut claimed nothing 
south of parallel 41 deg., or north of parallel 42 deg. 2m. 

]| By this transfer, Connecticut retained both the soil and jurisdiction of what is now 
known as the Connecticut or Western Reserve. The compromise with her was disap- 
proved by Washington and others. See Sparks' Washington, ix. 178 and noie. Vir- 
ginia, in her cession, (see p. 258) had resigned her jurisdiction, and her "reserve" was 
EQerely of the lands necessary to recompense her soldiers. 


We mentioned some pages back, that a minority of the Con- 
vention called in Kentucky, to meet in September, 1786, was 
adjourned from time to time until January of this year ; when, at 
length, a quorum attended. Upon a vote being then taken rela- 
tive to separation, the feeling was still as before, strongly in favor 
of it. But scarce had this been ascertained when a second Act 
upon the subject, passed by Virginia in October, IT 86,* reached 
the West, and the whole question was again postponed, to be laid 
before ^ fifth convention, which was to meet in September ; while 
the time when the laws of Virginia should cease to be of force, 
was changed to the close of the year 1788. There were many, 
beyond no doubt, to whom this delay was a source of vexation 
and anger, but the people of the district generally evinced no such 
feelings ; the elections took place in August, and the Convention 
assembled upon the 17th of September, all in perfect harmony and 
quietness. The vote was again unanimous in favor of separation, 
and the Act of Virginia was agreed to ; to form a constitution, a 
sixth convention was to be chosen in the ensuing April, and to 
complete the work of independence. Congress was to assent to 
the formation of Kentucky into a state before July 4, 1788. f 

Nor was the spirit of moderation shown this year by the Ken- 
tuckians in relation to self-government, confined to that subject; 
in regard to the vexatious affair of the Spanish claims, there was 
a like temper manifested. Mr. Jay, as already related, had been 
authorised by Congress to abandon the right of using the Missis- 
sippi for a term of years, but not to yield the pretensions of the 
United States to its navigation, after that period closed. In Octo- 
ber, 1786, under these instructions, he resumed his negotiations 
with Don Gardoqui, but without success, as Spain required an 

• Morehead, 124. 

t Marshall, i. 253 to 256. 274 to 278. The date « July 4, 1788" is misprinted 
««1787" in Marshall, 256. 

286 Growing Dissatisfaction in the West. 1787. 

entire relinquishment of the American claim.* In November of 
that year, also, Virginia had passed several Resolutions against 
giving up the use of the river, even for a day, and had instructed 
her delegates to oppose every attempt of the kind.f When, 
therefore, the people of Kentucky met at Danville, early in May, 
1787, to act in relation to the subject, — having been called 
together by Messrs. Muter, Innis, Brown and Sebastian, for that 
purpose,! — they found tliat little or nothing was to be done ; the 
plan of the Secretary was not likely to succeed, and had been 
most fully protested against: — the assembly at Danville, having 
been informed of these things, quietly adjourned. || 

What connection, if any, existed between this calmer spirit in 
Kentucky and General Wilkinson's absence, during a part of the 
year, it is impossible to say ; but it is probable that had not his 
attention at that time been drawn to the advantages of a trade with 
New Orleans, he would have exerted during 1787, a much greater 
influence upon his fellow citizens than he seems to have done. 
In June, we find him on his way to the south ; nor did he appear 
in Kentucky again until the following February; and then it was 
that he commenced those connections with the Spanish govern- 
ment of Louisiana, which were afterwards brought in question, and 
by means of which his character became involved in doubts that 
have never entirely been done away.§ 

At that period, the feeling expressed in the extract from a letter 
which we have already quoted on p. .282, that the West would 
separate from the East, seems to have been growing even among 
those who, in December, 1786, denounced Green and Clark to 
the Governor of Virginia. Harry Innis, Attorney-General of the 
district, and one of those who gave information of the Vincennes 
proceedings, in July, 1787, writes to the executive of the State, 
(Virginia,) that he cannot prosecute those guilty of aggressions 
on the Indians, and adds : " I am decidedly of opinion that this 
western country will in a few years act for itself, and erect an 
independent government. "H This opinion w^as based partially 
upon the failure, on the part of Virginia and the confederation, to 
protect the frontiers, which, during this whole year, suffered both 
from the northern and southern Indians; and partly in the uncer- 
tain state of the navigation question, in respect to which the 
western men had reason, perhaps, to think that some of the 

• PccTct Jorirnnls iv. ?97 to 301. + Marshall, i. 261. :f Ibid 259. H Ibid, 267. 
§ Sec post, 17SS and index. % Marshall, i. 270. 

1787. First Papers in West. 287 

leaders in the Old Dominion were leagued against them. We 
find, for example, Washington expressing his willingness that the 
Mississippi should be closed for a time, because, as he thought, 
its closure would knit the new colonies of the West more closely 
to the Atlantic States, and lead to the realization of one of his 
his favorite projects, the opening of lines of internal navigation 
connecting the Ohio with the Potomac and James River.* In 
these sentiments both Henry Lee and Richard Henry Lee agreed. f 
How far these views of the great Virginians were known, we can- 
not discover; but more or less distinct rumors respecting them, we 
may presume were prevalent, so that it was by no means strange 
that the very foremost men of the West wavered in their attach- 
ment to the powerless, almost worthless confederation. Nor did 
the prospect of a new government at first help the matter. The 
view which Patrick Henry and others took of the proposed federal 
constitution, was the favorite view of the western Virginians ; so 
that of fourteen representatives from the District of Kentucky, in 
the convention called in 1788, to deliberate upon that constitution, 
but three voted in favor of it: one of these three was Humphrey 
Marshall, the historian. | And this rejection of the instrument 
under which our Union has since so greatly prospered, was not 
the result of hasty action, or strong party influence. The first 
point is proved by the fact that it was made known through the 
press, to the people of the West, upon the 27th of October, 1789, 
having been on that day printed in the Kentucky Gazette ;|| 
That mere party influence did not govern the opponents of the 
constitution of the United States, is proved, both by the character 
of the men, and the debates in the convention. We have men- 
tioned the Kentucky Gazette ; the publication of this paper was 
commenced in Lexington, in August of this year, by Mr. John 
Bradford; his press being the second established beyond the 
mountains, the first having been the Pittsburgh Gazette, which 
appeared in July, 1786. § 

While, south of the Ohio, more or less of dissatisfaction with 
the Federal Union was spreading, — not secretly and in a spirit of 

* Sparks' Wa'hington ix. 119, 172, 261. For Washington's views on internal'im- 
provements, see 30. 291, 471, 301. 326. 80, &c. 

t For Henry Lee's views, see Sparks, ix. 173, note, 205, note , Richard Henry Lee's, 
Washington's letter to him. Sparks, ix. 261. 

I Marshall i. 2S7. fl Butler, 166, note. 

§ Marshall, i. 274 — Butler, 163.— Butler's Chronology, 30— The Pittsburgh Gazette 
vag established by John Scull and Joseph Hal', fvo poor yo'jr.r- moa ; tlic r.-st number 
appeared July 29. — American Pioneer, i. 305. 

288 Dr. Cutler negotiates with Congress for Land. 1787. 

treason, but openly and as the necessary consequence of free 
tliouglit and unfettered choice, — the New England associates for 
settling the northwest, were by degrees reducing their theories to 
practice. In March 1786, it will be remembered, they began 
their subscription, on the 8th of that month 1787, a meeting of 
Agents chose General Parsons, General Putnam, and the Rev. 
Manasseh Cutler, Directors for the Company ; and these Directors 
appointed Dr. Cutler to go to New York and negotiate with Con- 
gress for the desired tract of country. On the 5th of July that 
gentleman reached the temporary Capital of the Union, and then 
began a scene of management worthy of more degenerate days. 
Full extracts from Dr. Cutler's Journal showing how things went 
may be found in the North American Review for October, 1841.* 
Of these we can give but a few paragraphs. The first relates to 
the choice of the Muskingum valley as the spot for settlement. 

July 7. Paid my respects to Dr. Helton and several other gentle- 
men. Was introduced, by Dr. Ewings and Mr. Rittenhouse, to Mr. 
Hutchins, Geographer of the United States. Consulted with him 
where to make our location. 

Monday, July 9. Waited this morning, very early, on Mr. Hutch- 
ins. He gave me the fullest information of the western country, from 
Pennsylvania to the Illinois, and advised me by all means to make our 
location on the Muskingum, which was decidedly, in his opinion, the 
best part of the whole western country. Attended the committee before 
Congress opened, and then spent the remainder of the forenoon wiih 
Mr. Hutchins. 

Attended the committee at Congress chamber ; debated on terms, but 
were so wide apart, there appears little prospect of closing a contract. 

Called again on Mr. Hutchins. Consulted him further about the 
place of location. 

The opinion thus given by Hutchins, who had been long and 
familiarly acquainted with the West, agreed with that formed by 
General Parsons who had visited the Ohio valley once at least, if 
not twice ; the result of his observations will be found in the letter 
referred to on page 275 and given at length in the article of the 
North American Review, just quoted. f The other extracts which 
we take from the Doctor's Journal, refer to the "manoeuvres," as 

• Vol. liii. 334 to 343. 

t In 1782 a plan for a eettlement on the Muskingum had been formetl. — See Ante, p. 
245,— Note. 

1787. -Dr. Cutler negotiates with Congress for Lands, 289 

he terms them, by which was effected a contract at least as favor- 
able to the Union as it was to the Company. 

Colonel Duer came to me with proposals from a number of the prin- 
cipal characters in the city, to extend our contract, and take in ano- 
ther company; but that it should be kept a profound secret. He ex- 
plained the plan they had concerted and offered me generous conditions 
if I would accomplish the business for them. The plan struck me 
agreeably ; Sargent insisted on my undertaking ; and both urged me 
not to think of giving the matter up so soon. 

I was convinced it was best for me to hold up the idea of giving up a 
contract with Congress, and making a contract with some of the States, 
which I did in the strongest terms, and represented to the committee 
and to Duer and Sargent the difficulties I saw in the way, and the im- 
probability of closing a bargain when we were so far separated ; and 
told them I conceived it not worth while to say any thing further to 
Congress on the subject. This appeared to have the effect I wished. 
The committee were mortified and did not seem to know what to say ; 
but still urged another attempt. I left them in this state, but afterwards 
explained ray views to Duer and Sargent, who fully approved my plan. 
Promised Duer to consider his proposals. 

I spent the evening (closeted) with Colonel Duer, and agreed to pur- 
chase more land, i^ terms could be obtained, for another company, 
which will probably forward the negotiation. 

Saturday, July 21. Several members of Congress called on me 
early this morning. They discovered much anxiety about a contract, 
and assured me that Congress, on finding I was determined not to 
accept their terms, and had proposed leaving the city, had discovered a 
much more favorable disposition ; and believed, if I renewed my 
request I might obtain conditions as reasonable as I desired. I was 
very indifferent and talked much of the advantages of a contract with 
one of the States. This I found had the desired effect. At length I 
told them that if Congress would accede to the terms 1 proposed, I 
would extend the purchase to the tenth township from the Ohio to the 
Scioto inclusively ; by which Congress would pay more than four 
millions of the public debt; that our intention was, an actual, large, 
and immediate settlement, of the most robust and industrious people in 
America, and that it would be made systematically, which would 
instantly advance the price of the Federal lands, and prove an important 
acquisition to Congress. On these terms, I would renew the negotia- 
tion, if Congress was disposed to take the matter up again. 

I spent the evening with Mr. Dane and Mr. Miliiken. They in- 
formed me that Congress had taken up my business again. 

July 23. My friends had made every exertion, in private conversa- 

290 Dr. Cutler's JVesotiations. 1787. 


tion to bring over my opponents in Congress. In order to get at some 
of them so as to work more powerfully on their minds, were obliged to 
engage three or four persons before we could get at them. In some 
instances we engaged one person who engaged a second, and he a third, 
before we could effect our purpose. In these manoeuvres I am much 
beholden to Colonel Duer and Major Sargent. 

Having found it impossible to support General Parsons, as a candi- 
date for Governor, after the interest that General Arthur St. Clair had 
secured, I embraced this opportunity to declare, that if General Parsons 
could have the appointment of first judge and Sargent secretary, we 
should be satisfied ; and that I heartily wished his Excellency General 
St. Clair might be the Governor; and that I would solicit the Eastern 
members in his favor. This I found rather pleasing to southern 

I am fully convinced that it was good policy to give up Parsons and 
openly appear solicitous that St. Clair might be appointed governor. — 
Several gentlemen have told me that our matters went on much better 
since St. Clair and his friends had been informed that we had given up 
Parsons, and that I had solicited the eastern members in favor of his 
appointment. I immediately went to Sargent and Duer, and we now 
entered into the true spirit of negotiation with gitjat bodies. Every 
machine in the city that it was possible to work we now put in motion. 
Few, Bingham, and Kearney are our principal opposers. Of Few and 
Bingham there is hope ; but to bring over that stubborn mule of a 
Kearney, I think is beyond our power. 

Friday, July 27. I rose very early this morning, and, afier adjusting 
my baggage for my retnrn, for I was determined to leave New York 
this day, I set out on a general morning visit, and paid my respects to 
all the members of Congress in the city, and informed them of my 
intention to leave the city that day. My expectations of obtaining a 
contract, I told them, were nearly at an end. I should, however, wait 
the decision of Congress ; and if the terms I had stated, — and which I 
conceived to be very advantageous to Congress, considering the circum- 
stances of that country, — were not acceded to, we must turn our 
attention to some other part of the country. New York, Connecticut, 
and Massachusetts would sell us lands at half a dollar, and give U3 
exclusive privileges beyond what we have asked of Congress. The 
speculating plan, concerted between the British of Canada, was now 
well known. The uneasiness of tlie Kentucky people, with respect io 
the Mississippi, was notorious. A revolt of that country from the 
Union if a war with Spain took place, was universally acknowledged to 
be highly probable ; and most certainly a systematic settlement in that 

1787. Purchase by Ohio Company. 291 

country, conducted by men thoroughly attached to tho federal govern- 
ment, and composed of young, robust and hardy laborers, who had no 
idea of any other than the Federal Government, I conceived to be an 
object worthy of some attention. 

The perseverance of Dr. Cutler and his friends was rewarded 
with success, and an Order, dated July 27th,* was obtained, of 
which he says: 

By this ordinance we obtained the grant of near five million of acres 
of land, amounting to three million and a half of dollars; one million 
and a half of acres for the Ohio Company, and the remainder for a 
private speculation, in which many of the principal characters of 
America are concerned. Without connecting this speculation, similar 
terms and advantages could not have been obtained for the Ohio 

Messrs. Cutler and Sargent, the latter of whom the Doctor had 
associated with himself some days before, at once closed a verbal 
contract with the Board of Treasury, which was executed in form 
on the 27th of the following October.^ By this contract, the vast 
region bounded south by the Ohio, west by the Scioto, east by 
the seventh range of townships then surveying, and north by a due 
west line drawn from the north boundary of the tenth township 
from the Ohio direct to the Scioto, was sold to the Ohio associates 
and their secret co-partners, for one dollar per acre, subject to a 
deduction of one third for bad lands and other contingencies. 
The whole tract, however, was not paid for, or taken by the Com- 
pany — even their own portion of a million and a half of acres, and 
extending west to the eighteenth range of townships, |I was not 
taken ; and in 1792 the boundaries of the purchase proper were 
fixed as follows: the Ohio on the south, the seventh range of 
townships on the east, the sixteenth range on the west, and a line 
on the north so drawn as to make the gi-ant seven hundred and 
fifty thousand (750,000) acres, besides reservations ; this grant 
being the portion which it was originally agTeed the Company 
might enter into possession of at once. In addition to this, two 

* On the 23d the Board of Treasury were authorized to contract; on the 26th, Messrs. 
Cutter and Sargent stated in writing their conditions ; on the 27th Congress referred their 
letter to the Board to talve order upon. — See Land Laws 262 to 264. — Old Journals, iv. 
Appendix, 17, 18. 

t North American Review, voL liii. 343. 

^ North American Review, liii. 343. Land Laws, 364. 

I North American Review, liii, 344, 

292 Ordinance of 1784. 1787. 

hundred and fourteen thousand, two hundred and eighty-five 
(214,285) acres of land were granted as army bounties, under the 
the Resolutions of 1779 and 1780; and one hundred thousand 
(100,000) as bounties to actual settlers; both of the latter tracts 
being within the original grant of 1787, and adjoining the pur- 
chase as above defined.* 

While Dr. Cutler was preparing to press his suit with Congress, 
that body was bringing into form an ordinance for the political and 
social organization of the lands beyond the Ohio. Virginia made 
her cession March 1, 1784, and during the month following, a plan 
for the temporary government of the newly acquired territory came 
under discussion. f On the 19th of April Mr. Spaight, of North 
Carolina, moved to strike from that plan, which had been reported 
by Mr. Jefferson, a provision for prohibiting slavery north-west of 
the Ohio, after the year 1800, — and this motion prevailed. | From 
that day until the 23d the plan was debated and altered, and then 
passed unanimously, with the exception of South Carolina. || By 
this proposition the territory was to have been divided into 
States by parallels of latitude and meridian lines ;§ this, it was 
thought, would have made ten States, which were to have been 
named as follows, beginning at the north-west corner and going 
southwardly; — Sylvania, Michigania, Chersonesus, Assenisipia, 
Metropotamia, Illenoia, Saratoga, Washington, Polypotamia, and 
Pelisipia.H Surely the hero of Mount Vernon must have shudder- 
ed to find himself in such company. 

But a more serious difficulty existed to this plan than its cata- 
logue of names — namely, the number of states which it was pro- 
posed to form, and their boundaries. The root of this evil was in 
the resolution passed by Congress, October 10th 1780, which fixed 
the size of the States to be formed from the ceded lands, at one 
hundred to one hundred and fifty miles square ; and the terms of 
that resolution had been referred to both by Virginia and Massa- 
chusetts in their grants, so as to make a further legislation at least 
by the former, needful to change them . Upon the 7th of July, 
1786, this subject was taken up in Congress, and a resolution 

• Land Laws, 3G4 to 3S8. — North American Review, liii. 344. 

t Sep in Old Journals, iv. 293, a proposition to organize a western District, made Octo- 
ber 14.1783. 

\ Old Journals, iv. 373. 

llOld Journals, iv. 380. 

§ Old Journals, iv. 379. Land Laws, 347. 

5 Sparks' Washington, ix. 48. 

1787. Ordinance of 1787. 293 

passed in favor of a division of not less than three nor more than 
five States, which resolution, Virginia, at the close of 1788 assent- 
ed to.* On the 29th of September, 1786, Congress, having thus 
changed the plan for dividing the north-western territory into ten 
States, proceeded again to consider the terms of an ordinance for 
the government of that region ; and this was taken up from time to 
time, until July 13th of the year of which we are writing, when it 
was finally passed, having been somewhat changed just before its 
passage, at the suggestion of Dr. Cutler. f We give it entire as 
it is the corner-stone of the constitutions of our north-western 

No. 32. An ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States north- 
west of the River Ohio. 

Be it ordained by the United States in Congress assembled, That the 
said territory, for the purposes of temporary government, be one dis- 
trict, subject, however, to be divided into two districts, as future circum- 
stances may, in the opinion of Congress, make it expedient. 

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the estates, both of 
resident and non-resident proprietors in the said territory, dying intes- 
tate, shall descend to, and be distributed among, their children, and the 
descendants of a deceased child, in equal parts ; the descendants of a 
deceased child or grand child, to take the share of their deceased parent 
in equal parts among them : And where there shall be no children or 
descendants, then in equal parts to the next of kin in equal degree ; and, 
among collaterals, the children of a deceased brother or sister of the in- 
testate shall have, in equal parts among them, their deceased parents' 
share ; and there shall, in no case, be a distinction between kindred of 
the whole and half-blood ; saving, in all cases, to the widow of the in- 
testate her third part of the real estate for life, and one-third part of the 
personal estate ; and this law, relative to descents and dower, shall re- 
main in full force until altered by the legislature of the district. And, 
until the governor and judges shall adopt laws as hereinafter mentioned, 
estates in the said territory may be devised or bequeathed by wills in 
writing, signed and sealed by him or her, in whom the estate may be, 
(being of full age,) and attested by three witnesses : and real estates 
may be conveyed by lease and release, or bargain and sale, signed, seal- 
ed, and delivered, by the person, being of full age, in whom the estate 
may be, and attested by two witnesses, provided such wills be duly 
proved, and such conveyances be acknowledged, or the execution there- 
of duly proved, and be recorded within one year after proper magis- 
trates, courts, and registers, shall be appointed for that purpose ; and 

*Land Laws, 338. 100. 101. 

+ OJd Journals, iv. 701, &c., 716, &c-, 751, &c. North American Review, liii. 336. 

294 . Ordinance of 1787. 1787. 

personal property may be transferred by delivery ; saving, however, to 
the French and Canadian inhabilanls, and other settlers of the Kaskas- 
kias, St. Vincents, and the neighboring villages who have heretofore 
professed themselves citizens of Virginia, tlieir laws and customs now 
in force among them, relative to the descent and conveyance of property. 

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid. That there shall be ap- 
pointed, from time to time, by Congress, a governor, whose commission 
shall continue in force for the term of three years, unless sooner revo- 
ked by Congress ; he shall reside in the district, and have a freehold 
estate therein in 1000 acres of land, while in the exercise of his office. 

There shall be appointed, from time to time, by Congress, a secretary, 
whose commission shall continue in force for four years unless sooner 
revoked ; he shall reside in tbe district, and have a freehold estate 
therein in 500 acres of land, while in the exercise of his office; it shall 
be his duty to keep and preserve the acts and laws passed by the legis- 
lature, and the public records of the district, and the proceedings of the 
governor in his Executive department ; and transmit authentic copies of 
such acts and proceedings, every six months, to the Secretary of Con- 
gress : There shall also be appointed a court to consist of three judges, 
any two of whom to form a court, who shall have a common law juris- 
tion, and reside in the district, and have each therein a freehold estate in 
500 acres of land while in the exercise of their offices ; and their com- 
missions shall continue in force during good behavior. 

The governor and judges, or a majority of them, shall adopt and pub- 
lish in the district such laws of the original States, criminal and civil, 
as may be necessary and best suited to the circumstances of the district, 
and report them to Congress from time to time ; which laws shall be in 
force in the district until the organization of the General Assembly there- 
in, unless disapproved of by Congress; but, afterwards, the legislature 
shall have authority to alter them as they shall think fit. 

The governor, for the time being, shall be commander-in-chief of the 
militia, appoint and commission all officers in the same below the rank 
of general officers ; all general officers shall be appointed and commis- 
uiissioned by Congress. 

Previous to the organization of the General Assembly, the governor 
shall appoint such magistrates and other civil officers, in each county or 
township, as he shall find necessary for the preservation of the peace 
and good order in the same : After the General Assembly shall be or- 
ganized, the powers and duties of magistrates and other civil officers, 
shall be regulated and defined by the said assembly ; but all magistrates 
and other civil officers, not herein otherwise directed, shall, during the 
continuance of this temporary government, be appointed by the go- 

For the prevention of crimes and injuries, the laws to be adopted or 

1787. Ordinance of 1787. 295 

made shall have force in all parts of the district, and for the execution of 
process, criminal, and civil, the governor shall make proper divisions 
thereof; and he shall proceed, from time to time, as circumstances may 
require, to lay out the parts of the district in which the Indian titles shall 
have been extinguished, into counties and tovi^nships, subject, however, 
to such alterations as may thereafter be made by the legislature. 

So soon as there shall be 5000 free male inhabitants of full age in 
the district, upon giving proof thereof to the governor, they shall re- 
ceive authority, with time and place, to elect representatives from their 
counties or townships to represent them in the General Assembly : 
Provided, That, for every 500 free male inhabitants, there shall be one 
representative, and so on progressively with the number of free male 
inhabitants, shall the right of representation increase, until the number 
of representatives shall amount to twenty-five ; after which, the number 
and proportion of representatives shall be regulated by the legislature : 
Provided, That no person be eligible or qualified to act as a represen- 
tative unless he shall have been a citizen of one of the United States 
three years, and be a resident in the district, or unless he shall have 
resided in the district three years ; and, in either case, shall likewise 
hold in his own right, in fee simple, 200 acres of land within the same: 
Provided, also, That a freehold in 50 acres of land in the district, 
having been a citizen of one of the States, and being resident in the 
district, or the like freehold and two years residence in the district, 
shall be necessary to qualify a man as an elector of a representative. 

The representatives thus elected, shall serve for the term of two 
years ; and, in case of the death of a representative, or removal from 
office, the governor shall issue a writ to the county or township for 
which he was a member, to elect another in his stead, to serve for the 
residue of the term. 

The General Assembly, or Legislature, shall consist of the governor, 
legislative council, and a house of representatives. The legislative coun- 
cil shall consist of five members, to continue in office five years, unless 
sooner removed by Congress ; any three of whom to be a quorum : and 
the members of the council shall be nominated and appointed in the fol- 
lowing manner, to wit : As soon as representatives shall be elected, the 
governor shall appoint a time and place for them to meet together; and 
when met, they shall nominate ten persons, residents in the district, and 
each possessed of a freehold in 500 acres of land, and return their 
names to Congress ; five of whom Congress shall appoint and commis- 
sion to serve as aforesaid : and, whenever a vacancy shall happen in the 
council, by death or removal from office, the house of representatives 
shall nominate two persons, qualified as aforesaid, for each vacancy, and 
return their names to Congress ; one of whom Congress shall appoint 
and commission for the residue of the term. And every five years, four 

296 Ordinance of 1787. 1787. 

months at least before the expiration of the time of service of the mem- 
bers of the council, the said house shall nominate ten persons, qualified 
as aforesaid, and return their names to Congress; five of whom Con- 
gress shall appoint and commission to serve as members of the council 
five years, unless sooner removed. And the governor, legislative coun- 
cil, and house of representatives, shall have authority to make laws in 
all cases, for the good government of the district, not repugnant to the 
principles and articles in this ordinance established and declared. And 
all bills, having passed by a majority in the house, and by a majority in 
the council, shall be referred to the governor for his assent; but no bill, 
or legislative ,act whatever, shall be of any force without his assent. 
The governor shall have power to convene, prorogue, and dissolve the 
General Assembly, when, in his opinion, it shall be expedient. 

The governor, judges, legislative council, secretary, and such other 
officers as Congress shall appoint in the district, shall take an oath or 
affirmation of fidelity and of office; the governor before the President 
of Congress, and all other officers before the governor. As soon as a 
legislature shall be formed in the district, the council and house as- 
sembled in one room, shall have authority, by joint ballot, to elect a 
delegate to Congress, who shall have a seat in Congress, with a right of 
debating but not of voting during this temporary government. 

And, for extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious 
liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and 
constitutions are erected ; to fix and establish those principles as the 
basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which forever hereaf- 
ter shall be formed in the said territory : to provide also for the estab- 
lishment of States, and permanent government therein, and for their 
admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with the 
original States, at as early periods as may be consistent with the general 

It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid. That 
the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact between 
the original States and the people and States in the said territory, and 
forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit : 

Art. 1. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly 
manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or 
religious sentiments, in the said territory. 

Art. 2. The inhabitants of the said territory shall always be entitled 
to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the trial by jury ; 
of a proportionate representation of the people in the legislature ; and 
of judicial proceedings according to the course of the common law. All 
persons shall be bailable, unless for capital offences, where the proof 
shall be evident or the presumption great. All fines shall be moderate; 
and no cruel or unusual punishments shall be inflicted. No man shall 

1787. Ordinance of 1787. 297 

be deprived of his liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers 
or the law of the land ; and, should the public exigencies make it neces- 
sary, for the common preservation, to take any person's property, or to 
demand his particular services, full compensation shall be made for the 
same. And, in the just preservation of rights and property, it is under- 
stood and declared, that no law ought ever to be made, or have force in 
the said territory, that shall, in any manner whatever, interfere with or 
affect private contracts or engagements, bona Jide, and without fraud, 
previously formed. 

Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of 
education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall 
always be observed towards the Indians ; their lands and property shall 
never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, 
rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in 
just and lawful wars authorized by Congress ; but laws founded in jus- 
tice and humanity, shall, from time to time, be made for preventing 
wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship 
with them. 

Art. 4. The said territory, and the States which may be formed 
therein, shall forever remain a part of this confederacy of the United 
States of America, subject to the Articles of Confederation, and to such 
alterations therein as shall be constitutionally made : and to all the acts 
and ordinances of the United States in Congress assembled, conformable 
thereto. The inhabitants and settlers in the said territory shall be sub- 
ject to pay a part of the federal debts contracted or to be contracted, and 
a proportional part of the expenses of government, to be apportioned on 
them by Congress according to the same common rule and measure by 
which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other States ; and 
the taxes, for paying their proportion, shall be laid and levied by the 
authority and direction of the legislatures of the district or districts, or 
new States, as in the original States, within the time agreed upon by the 
United States in Congress assembled. The legislatures of those dis- 
tricts or new States, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of 
the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with any re- 
gulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such 
soil to the bona Jide purchasers.* No tax shall be imposed on lands 
the property of the United States ; and, in no case, shall non-resident 
proprietors be taxed higher than residents. The navigable waters lead- 
ing into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places be- 
tween the same, shall be common high-ways, and forever free, as well 

* Act of 25th February, 1811, provides the same in Louisiana; and, also, that lands 
sold by Congress shall not be taxed for five years after sale — Post, No. 160 — in Mississip- 
pi, by act of 1st March, 1817, Post, 396, and so of all others. 

298 Ordinance of 1787. 1787. 

to the inhabitants of the said territory as to the citizens of the United 
States, and those of any other Slates thiit may be admitted into the 
Confederacy, without any tax, impost, or duty, therefor. 

Art, 5. There shall be formed in the said territory, not less than 
three nor more than five States ; and llie boundaries of the States, as 
soon as Virginia shall alter her act of cession, and consent to the same, 
shall become fixed and established as follows, to wit: The western State 
in the said territory, shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and 
Wabash rivers ; a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post St. Vin- 
cent's due north, to the territorial line between the United States and 
Canada ; and, by the said territorial line, to the lake of the Woods and 
Mississippi. The middle State shall be bounded by the said direct line, 
the Wabash from Post St. Vincent's, to the Ohio ; by the Ohio, by a di- 
rect line, drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami, to the 
said territorial line. Tlie eastern State shall be bounded by the last men- 
tioned direct line, the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the said territorial line : 
Provided, however, and it is further understood and declared, that the 
boundaries of these three States shall be subject so far to be altered, 
that, if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall have 
authority to form one or two States in that part of the said territory 
which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly 
bend or extreme of Lake Michigan. And, whenever any of the said 
States shall have 60,000 free inhabitants therein, such State shall be 
admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of the United States on an 
equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, and shall 
be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State government: 
Provided, the constitution and government so to be formed, shall be 
republican, and in conformity to the principles contained in these arti- 
cles ; and, so far as it can be consistent with the general interest of the 
confederacy, such admission shall be allowed at an earlier period, and 
when there may be a less number of free inhabitants in the State than 

Art. 6. There shall be neitlier slavery nor involuntary servitude in 
the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof 
the party shall have been duly convicted: Provided, always, That any 
person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully 
claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully 
reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service 
as aforesaid. 

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid. That the resolutions of the 
23d of April, 1784, relative to the subject of this ordinance, be, and the 
same are hereby, repealed and declared null and void. Done, &c.* 

• Land Laws, p. 356. 

1787. Symme.s applies for Land. 299 

The passage of this ordinance and the grant to the New Eng- 
land associates was soon followed by an application to government 
by John Cleves Symmes, of New Jersey, for the country between 
the Miamis.* This gentleman had been led to visit that region 
by the representations of Benjamin Stites, of Red Stone, (Browns- 
ville,) who had examined the valleys of the Shawanese soon after 
the treaty of January 1786. f Symes found them all and more than 
all they had been represented to be, and upon the 29th of August, 
1787, wrote to the President of Congress, asking that the Treasury 
Board might be empowered to contract with him for the district 
above named. This petition, on the 2d of October was referred 
to the board, with power to act, and a contract was concluded the 
next year. Upon the 18th of the month last named, another ap- 
plication w^as made by Royal Flint and Joseph Parker, for lands 
upon the Wabash and Mississippi ; % this was also referred to the 
Board of Treasury. 

During this autumn the directors of the company organized in 
New England were preparing for an actual settlement in the ensu- 
ing spring, and upon the 23d of November made arangements for 
a party of forty-seven men, under the superintendance of General 
Rufus Putnam, to set forward. Six boat-builders were to leave 
the next week; on the 1st of January, 1788, the surveyors and 
their assistants, twenty-six in number, were to meet at Hartfort 
and go westward ; and the remainder to follow as soon as possible. 
Congress, meantime, upon the 3d of October, had ordered seven 
hundred troops for the defence of the western settlers, and to pre- 
vent unauthorized intrusions; and two days later appointed St. 
Clair governor of the north-western territory. || 

* Land Laws, 372. See also Burnet's Letters in the Ohio Historical Transactions, p. 
335 to 147. 

+ Cincinnati Directory, 1SI9, p. 16. The Historical sketch in this volume was compiled 
from the statements of the earliest settlers. The Miami country had been entered in. 
1785, and some " improvements " made. Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 33. 

\ Old Journals, iv. Appendix 19. 

1 North American Review, liii. 344. Old Journals, iv. 785. 786. 


The two leading causes of disquiet to the western people through 
1787, the Indian incursions, and the Spanish possession of the 
Mississippi did not cease to irritate them during the next year also. 
' When Clark took his unauthorized possession of Vincennes, in 
October, 1786, he had asked the savages of the north-west to meet 
him in council in November ; they replied that it was to late in the 
year, and the proposed meeting was postponed till April. Of this 
meeting Messrs. Marshall, Muter and others, when writing to Vir- 
ginia, gave information, and suggested that the government should 
take Clark's place in it. The council of Virginia coincided with 
the suggestion, and recommended to Congress James Wilkinson, 
Richard C. Anderson and Isaac Shelby,* as commissioners on be- 
half of the United States. Congress, however, received notice of 
Clark's movements too late f for the proposed treaty, and nothing 
seems to have been done until July 21st, when the superintendant 
of Indian affairs in the north, or if he could not go, Colonel Har- 
mar was instructed to proceed to Vincennes, or some other con- 
venient place, and there hold a council with the Wabash Indians 
and Shawanese, for the purpose of putting an end to warfare. f 
Favorable notice was also taken of a council which had been held 
at the mouth of Detroit river, in December, 1786, by the Iroquois, 
Wyandots and others, the purpose of which was pacific, and from 
which an address relative to the Indian troubles had been sent to 
Congress. This was considered, and upon the 5th of October it 
was resolved that a treaty should be held early in the year 1788, 
with these tribes, by the governor of the new territory, who was 
instructed on the subject on the 26th of the month last mentioned. || 
At the same time, however, that measures were thus taken to pre- 

* Secret Journals, iv. 313. 314. 309. 306. 
t April 12th. Secret Journals, iv. 301. 
I Old Journals, iv. 761. 

BLanman's History of Michigan, 149. Old Journals, iv. 762. 763. 786. Secret Journals, 
i- 276. 

1788. Emigrants land at MusJdngwm. 301 

serve peace, troops were placed at Venango, Fort Pitt, Fort Mcin- 
tosh, the Muskingum, the Miami, Vincennes, and Louisville, and 
the governor of Virginia was requested to have the militia of Ken- 
tucky in readiness for any emergency.* All these measures, how- 
ever, produced no results during 1788 ; the Indians were neither 
over-awed, conquered nor satisfied ; from May until the middle of 
July they were expected to meet the whites upon the Muskingum,! 
but the point which had been selected, and where goods had been 
placed, being at last attacked by the Chippeways,| it was thought 
best to adjourn the meeting and hold it at fort Harmar, where it 
was at length held, but not until January, 1789. 

These Indian uncertainties, however, did not prevent the New 
England associates from going forward with their operations. 
During the winter of 1787-8, their men were pressing on over the 
Alleghanies by the old Indian path which had been opened into 
Braddock's road, and which has since been followed by the na- 
tional turnpike from Cumberland westward. Through the dreary 
winterdays they trudged on, and by April were all gathered on the 
Yohiogany,|| where boats had been built, and started for the Mus- 
kingum. On the 7th of April they landed at the spot chosen, and 
became the founders of Ohio, unless we regard as such the Mora- 
vian missionaries. 

As St. Clair, who had been appointed governor the preceding 
October, had not yet arrived, it became necessary to erect a tem- 
porary government for their internal security ; for which purpose a 
set of laws was passed, and published by being nailed to a tree in 
the village, and Return Jonathan Meigs was appointed to ad- 
minister them. It is a strong evidence of the good habits of the 
people of the colony, that during three months, but one difference 
occurred, and that was compromised. § Indeed a better set of men 
altogether, could scarce have been selected for the purpose, than 
Putnam's little band. Washington might well say, "no colony in 
America was ever settled under such favorable auspices as that 
which has first commenced at the Muskingum. Information, pro- 
perty, and strength will be its characteristics. I know many of the 

• Old Journals, iv. 762. 

t Until this meeting was held, it was understood that no settlement, strictly speaking, 
should take place. See the letter of a settler in Imlay, p. 598. (Ed. 1797.) 
rf Carey's Museum, iv. 203. 

1 A list of the forty-eight is given, North American Review, liii. 346. 
§ Western Monthly Magazine, 1833. vol. i. p. 395. 

302 Marietta Founded. 1788. 

settlers personally, and there never were men better calculated to 
promote the welfare of such a community."* 

On the 2d of July a meeting of the directors and agents was held 
on the banks of the Muskingum, for the purpose of naming the 
new Ijorn city and its public squares. f As yet the settlement had 
been merely "The Muskingum, "| but the name Marietta was now 
formally given it, in honor of Marie Antoniette ; the square upon 
which the block-houses stood was christened " Campus Martins; 
the square No. 19, Capitolium ; the square No. 61, Cecilia; and the 
great road through the covert way. Sacra F*«.|| 

On the 4th of July an oration was delivered by James M. Var- 
num,§ who, with S. H. Parsons and John Armstrong,11 had been 
appointed to the judicial bench of the territory, on the 16th of 
October, 1787. Five days later the governor arrived, and the 
colony began to assume form. The ordinance of 1787 provided 
two district grades of government for the north-west territory, un- 
der the first of which the whole power was in the hands of the 
governor and the three judges, and this form was at once organized 
upon the governor's arrival. The first law, which was "for regu- 
lating and establishing the militia," was published upon the 25th of 
July ; and, the next day, appeared the governor's proclamation, 
erecting all the country that had been ceded by the Indians east of 
the Scioto river into the county of Washington.** 

From that time forward, notwithstandinf the doubt yet existing 
as to the Indians, all at Marietta went on prosperously and pleas- 
antly. On the 2d of September the first court was held, with be- 
coming ceremonies. 

The procession was formed at the Point, (where most of the settlers 
resided,) in the following order : — 1st, The high Sheriff, with his drawn 
sword ; 2d, the citizens ; 3d, the officers of the garrison at Fort Harmar ; 
4th, the members of the bar; 5lh, the Supreme judges; 6th, the Gov- 

* Sparks' Washington, ix. 384. 

t American Pioneer, i. S3. 

\ Some of the settlers called it the city of Adelplii : Sec a letter dated May 16th, 1788, 
to the Massachusetts Spy in Imlay (Ed. 1797) p. 595. 

H Carey's Museum, vol. iv. p. 390, In the fifth volume (March, 17S9) of that periodical, 
page 284, is an account of the city of Athens, which the Spaniards at this time proposed 
to build at the mouth of the Missouri. " On the very point" where the rivers joined, was 
to be Fort Solon ; not for defence, however, " but for the retirement of the governor from 
the busy scenes of public employment!" 

§ See this oration in Carey's Museum for May, 1789, 453 to 455. " 

1! Mr. Armstrong declined serving. John Clevcs Symmes was chosen in his fitead, 
February 19th, 1788. 

*• Cliase, vol, i. p. 92. Carey's Musennij ivi 433. 

1788. Great Emigration Westward. 303 

ernor and clergyman ; 7th, the newly appointed judges of the court of 
common pleas, generals Rufus Putnam and Benjamin Tupper. 

" Thej/^ marched up a path that had been cut and cleared through the 
forest to Campus Martius Hall, (stockade,) where the whole counter- 
marched, and the judges, (Putnam and Tupper) took their seats. The 
clergyman, Rev. Dr. Cutler, then invoked the divine blessmg. The 
sheriff, colonel Ebenezer Sproat, (one of nature's nobles) proclaimed 
with his solemn ' O yes,' that a court is opened for the administration of 
even-handed justice, to the poor and the rich, to the guilty and the inno- 
cent, without respect of persons ; none to be punished without a trial by 
their peers, and then in pursuance of the laws and evidence in the case.' 
Although this scene was exhibited thus early in the settlement of the 
state, few ever equalled it in the dignity and exalted character of its 
principal participators. Many of them belong to the history of our 
country, in the darkest as well as the most splendid periods of the rev- 
olutionary war. To witness this spectacle, a large body of Indians was 
collected, from the most powerful tribes then occupying the almost en- 
tire West. They had assembled for the purpose of making a treaty. 
Whether any of them entered the hall of justice, or what were their 
impressions we are not told." (American Pioneer, vol. i, p. 165. ) 

" The progress of the settlement, says a letter from the Muskingum, 
*' is sufficiently rapid for the first year. We are continually erect- 
ing houses, but arrivals are faster than we can possibly provide 
convenient covering. Our first ball was opened about the middle 
of December, at which were fifteen ladies, as well accomplished 
in the manners of polite circles as any I have ever seen in the old 
States. I mention this to show the progi-ess of society in this new 
world ; where I believe we shall vie with, if not excel, the old 
States, in every accomplishment necessary to render life agreeable 
and happy." 

The emigration westward, even at this time, was very great; 
the commandant at Fort Harmar reporting four thousand five hun- 
dred persons as having passed that post between February and 
June, 1788 ; many of whom would have stopped on the purchase 
of the Associates, had they been ready to receive them. 

During the following year, and indeed until the Indians, who, 
in spite of treaties, had been committing small depredations all the 
time, stealing horses and sinking boats, went fairly and openly to 
war, the settlement on the Muskingum gi-ew slowly, but steadily, 
and to good purpose.* 

* Th? first Indinn attack on the Mai5!;;ngum settlements on January ?; 1 791 . Sceposd 

304 Symmes^ Purchase. 1788. 

Neither were Symmes and his New Jersey friends idle during 
this year, though his purchase was far more open to Indian depra- 
dation than that of the Massachusetts men. His first proposition 
had been referred, as we have said, to the Board of Treasury, with 
power to contract, upon the 2nd of October, 1787. 

Upon the 26th of the next month Symmes issued a pamphlet, 
addressed "to the respectable public," stating the terms of his 
contract, and the scheme of sale which he proposed to adopt.* 
This was, to issue his warrants for not less than a quarter section 
(a hundred and sixty acres,) which might be located any where, 
except, of course, upon reservations, and spots previously chosen. 
No section was to be divided, if the warrant held by the locator 
would cover the whole. The price was to be sixty cents and two- 
thirds till May, 1788; then' one dollar till November; and, after 
that time, was to be regulated by the demand for land. Every 
locator was bound to begin improvements within two years, or for- 
feit one-sixth of his purchase to whomsoever would settle thereon 
and remain seven years. Military bounties might be taken in this 
as in the purchase of the Associates. For himself Symmes retain- 
ed one township at the mouth of the Great Miami, at the junction 
of which stream with the Ohio he proposed to build his great city ; 
to help the growth of which he offered each alternate lot to any 
one that would build a house and live therein three years. 

As Continental certificates were rising, in consequence of the 
great land purchases then making with them, and as difficulty was 
apprehended in procuring enough to make his first payment, 
Symmes was anxious to send forward settlers early, that the true 
value of his purchase might become known at the east. He had, 
however, some difficulty in arranging with the Board of Treasury 
the boundaries of the first portion he was to occupy. f 

In January, 1788, Matthias Denman, of New Jersey, took an in- 
terest in Symmes' purchase, and located, among other tracts, the 
section and fractional section upon which Cincinnati has been 
built.:}: Retaining one-third of this particular locality, he sold an- 
other third to Robert Patterson, and the remainder to John Filson; 
and the three, about August, 1788, agreed to lay out a town on the 

* Sec Land Laws and post for the terms, and final settlement of Symmes contract. 

f Manuscript Letters of Symmes. See Burnet's Letters, 136. 

^ Many facts relative to the settlement of Cincinnati, we take from the depositions of 
Denman, Patterson, Ludlow, and others, contained in the report of the chancery trial of 
City of Cincinnati vs, Joel Williams, in 1807. 

1788. Cincinnati laid out. 305 

spot, which was designated as being opposite Licking river, to the 
mouth of which they proposed to have a road cut from Lexington, 
Kentucky, to be connected with the northern shore by a ferry. 
Mr. Filson, who had been a schoolmaster, was appointed to name 
the town; and, in respect to its situation, and as if with a prophetic 
perception of the mixed race that were in after days to inhabit 
there, he named it Losantiville, which, being interpreted, means 
ville, the town anti, opposite to, os, the mouth, i, of Licking.* 
This may well put to the blush the Campus Martins of the Marietta 
scholars, and the Fort Solon of the Spaniards. 

Meanwhile, in July, Symmes got thirty people and eight four-horse 
wagons under way for the West. These reached Limestone (now 
Maysville) in September, where they find Mr. Stites with several 
persons from Red Stone. But the mind of the chief purchaser 
was full of trouble. He had not only been obliged to relinquish 
his first contract, which was expected to embrace two millions of 
acres, but had failed to conclude one for the single million which 
he now proposed taking. This arose from a difference between 
him and the government, he wishing to have the whole Ohio front 
between the Miamies, w^hile the Board of Treasury wished to con- 
fine him to twenty miles upon the Ohio. This proposition, how- 
ever, he would not for a long time agree to, as he had made sales 
along nearly the whole Ohio shore. f Leaving the bargain in this 

* Cincinnati Directory, for 1819, p. 18. 

t It may be as well to give here a sketch of the changes made in Symmes' contract. 
His first application was for all the country between the Miamies, running up to the north 
line of the Ohio Company's purchase, extending due west. On the 23d of October, 1787, 
Congress resolved, that the Board of Treasury be authorized to contract with any one for 
tracts of not less than a million acres of western lands, the front of which, on the Ohio, 
Wabash and other rivers, should not exceed one third the depth. On the 15th of May, 
17SS, Dayton and Marsh, as Symmes' agents, concluded a contract with the Commissioners 
of the Treasury for two millions of acres in two equal tracts. In July, Symmes concluded 
to take only one tract, but differed with the Commissioners on the grounds stated in the 
text. After much negotiation, upon the 15th of October, 1788, Dayton and Marsh con- 
cluded a contract with government bearing date May loth, for one million of acres, be- 
ginning twenty miles up the Ohio from the mouth of the Great Miami, and to run back 
for quantity between the Miami and a line drawn from the Ohio parallel to the general 
course of that river. In 1791, Symmes found this would throw his purchase too far back 
from the Ohio, and applied to Congress to let him have all between the Miamies, running 
back so as to include a million acres, which that body,' on the 12th of April, 1792, agreed 
to do. When the lands between the Miamies were surveyed, however, it was found that 
the tract south of a line drawn from the head of the Little, due west to the Great Miami, 
would include less than six hundred thousand acres ; but even this Symmes could not pay 
for, and, when his patent issued upon the 30th of September, 1794, it gave him and hie 
associates but two hundred and forty-eight thousand five hundred and forty acres, ex- 
clusive of reservations, which amounted to sixty-three thousand one hundred and forty- 


306 Troubles of Symmes. 1788. 

unsettled state, Congress considered itself released from its obliga- 
tion to sell ; and, but for tbe representations of some of his friends, 
our adventurer would have lost his bargain, his labor, and his 
money. Nor was this all. In February, 1788, he had been ap- 
pointed one of the judges of the North-west Territory, in the place 
of Mr. Armstrong, who declined serving. This appointment gave 
offence to some; and others were envious of the great fortune 
which it was thought he would make. Some of his associates 
complained of him, also, probably because of his endangering the 
contract to which they had become parties. With these murmurs 
and reproaches behind him, he saw before him danger, delay, suf- 
fering, and, perhaps, ultimate failure and ruin and, although hope- 
ful by nature, apparently he felt discouraged and sad. However, 
a visit to his purchase, where he landed upon the 22d of Septem- 
ber, revived his spirits, and upon his return to Maysville, he wrote 
to Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, who had become interested 
with him, that he thought some of the land near the Great Miami 
"positively worth a silver dollar the acre in its present state." 

But though this view of the riches now almost within his grasp, 
somewhat re-assured Symmes' mind, he had still enough to trouble 
him. The Indians were threatening; in Kentucky, he says, "they 
are perpetually doing mischief; a man a week, I believe, falls by 
their hands; but still government gave him little help toward de- 
fending himself; for, while three hundred men were stationed at 
Muskingum, he had "but one ensign and seventeen men for the 
protection and defence of 'the slaughter-house.'" as the Miami 
valley was called by the dwellers upon the " dark and bloody 
ground" of "Kentucke." And when Captain Kearny and forty- 
live soldiers came to Maysville in December, they came without 
provisions, and but made bad worse. Nor did their coming an- 
swer any purpose ; for when a little band of settlers were ready to 
go, under their protection, to the mouth of the Miami, the grand 
city of Symmes that was to be, the ice stove their boats, their cat- 
tle were drowned, and their provisions lost, and so the settlement 
was prevented. But the fertile mind of a man like our adventurer 
could, even under these circumstances, find comfort in the antici- 

two acres. This tract was bounded by the Ohio, the two Miamies, and a due east and 
west line, run so as to comprehend the desired quantity. As Symmes made no farther 
payments after this time, the rest of his purchase reverted to the United States, who gave 
those that had bought under Symmes ample pre-emption rights. See Land Laws, pp. 
37i-382, et seq and post. 

1788. Columbia Settled. 307 

pation of what was to come. In the words of Return Jonathan 
Meigs, the first Ohio poet ^xit\\ whom we have any acquaintance, 

" To him glad Fancy brightest prospects shows. 
Rejoicing Nature all around him glows ; 
Where late the savage, hid in ambush, lay, 
Or roamed the uncultured valleys for his prey, 
Her hardy gifts rough Industry extends. 
The groves bow down, the lofty forest bends ; 
And see the spires of towns and cities rise, 
And domes and temples swell unto the skies."* 

But alas! so far as his pet city was concerned, "glad Fancy" 
proved but a gay deceiver; for there came "an amazing high 
freshet," and " the Point," as it was, and still is called, was fif- 
teen feet under water. 

But, before Symmes left Maysville, which was upon the 29th of 
January, 1789, two settlements had been made within his pur- 
chase. The first was by Mr. Stites, the original projector, of the 
whole plan ; who, with other Redstone people, had located them- 
selves at the mouth of the Little Miami, where the Indians had 
been led by the great fertility of the soil to make a partial clearing. 
To this point, on the 18th of November, 1788, came twenty-six 
persons, who built a block-house, named their town Columbia, and 
prepared for a winter of want and hard fighting, f But they were 
agreeably disappointed ; the Indians came to them, and though the 
whites answered, as Symmes says, " in a blackguarding manner," 
the savages sued for peace. One, at whom a rifle wyks presented, 
took off his cap, trailed his gun, and held out his right hand, by- 
which pacific gestures he induced the Americans to consent to 
their entrance into the block-houses. In a few days this good 
understanding ripened into intimacy, the "hunters frequently 
taking shelter for the night in the Indian camps ; " and the red 
men and squaws "spending whole days and nights" at Columbia, 
"regaling themselves with whiskey." This friendly demeanor on 
the part of the Indians was owing to the kind and just conduct of 
Symmes himself; who, during the preceding September, when ex- 
amining the country about the Great Miami, had prevented some 
Kentuckians, who were in his company, from injuring a band of 

* A poem delivered at Marietta, July 4th, 1789, slightly altered. 

t Cincinnati Directory for 1819, and Symmes' Letters. The land at this point was so 
fertile that from nine acres were raised nine hundred and sixty-three bushels of Indian 


308 CindnnaH Settled. 1788. 

the savages that came within their power; which proceeding, he 
says, "the Kentuckians thought unpardonable." 

The Columbia setdement was, however, like that proposed at 
the Point, upon land that was under water during the high rise 
in January, 1789. "But one house escaped the deluge." The 
soldiers were driven from the ground-floor of the block-house mto 
the loft, and from the loft into the solitary boat which the ice had 
spared them. 

This flood deserves to be commemorated in an epic ; for, while 
it demonstrated the dangers to which the three chosen spots of all 
Ohio, Marietta Columbia, and the Point, must be ever exposed, 
it also proved the safety, and led to the rapid settlement of 
Losantiville. The great recommendation of the spot upon which 
Denman and his comrades proposed to build their "Mosaic" 
town, as it has been called, appears to have been the fact that it 
lay opposite the Licking ; the terms of Denman's purchase having 
been, that his warrants were to be located, as nearly as possible, 
over against the mouth of that river ; though the advantage of the 
noble and high plain at that point could not have escaped any eye. 
But the freshet of 1789 placed its superiority over other points 
more strongly in view than any thing else could have done. 

We have said that Filson was killed in September, or early in 
October, 1788. As nothing had been paid upon his third of the 
plat of Losantiville, his heirs made no claim upon it, and it was 
transferred to Israel Ludlow, who had been Symmes' surveyor. 
This gentleman, with Colonel Patterson, one of the other proprie- 
tors, and well known in the Indian wars, with about fourteen 
others, left Maysville upon the 24th of December, 1788, " to form 
a station and lay off a town opposite Licking." The river was 
filled with ice "from shore to shore ; " but, says Symmes, in May, 
1789, "perseverance triumphing over difficulty, they landed safe 
on a most delightful high bank of the Ohio, where they founded 
the town of Losantiville, which populates considerably." 

It is a curious fact, and one of many in western history, that may 
well tend to shake our faith in the learned discussions as to dates 
and localities with which scholars now and then amuse the world, 
that the date of the settlement of Cincinnati is unknown, even 
though we have the testimony of the very men that made the set- 
tlement. Judge Symmes says in one of his letters, "On the 24th 
of December, 1788, Colonel Patterson, of Lexington, who is con- 
cerned with Mr. Denman in the section at the mouth of Licking 

1788. Trade opened with JVew Orleans. 309 

river, sailed from Limestone," &c. Some, supposing it would 
take about two days to make the voyage, have dated the being of 
the Queen City of the West from December 26th. This is but 
guess-work, however ; for, as the river was full of ice, it might 
have taken ten days to have gone the sixty-five miles from Mays- 
ville to the Licking. But, in the case in chancery to which we 
have referred, we have the evidence of Patterson and Ludlow, that 
they landed opposite the Licking "in the month of January, » 
1789 ; " while William McMillan testifies that he " was one of those 
who formed the settlement of Cincinnati on the 28th day of De- 
cember, 1788." As we know of nothing more conclusive on the 
subject than these statements, we must leave this question in the 
same darkness that we find it. 

The, settlers of Losantiville built a few log huts and block- 
houses, and proceeded to lay out the town ; though they placfed 
their dwellings in the most exposed situation, yet, says S^-mmes, 
they " suffered nothing from the freshet." 

South of the Ohio, during this year, matters were in scarce as 
good a train as upon the " Lidian" side of the river. The savages 
continued to annoy the settlers, and the settlers to retaliate upon 
the savages, as Judge Symmes' letters have already shown. But 
a more formidable source of trouble to the district than any attack 
the red men were capable of making, was the growing disposition 
to cut loose from the Atlantic colonies, and either by treaty or 
warfare obtain the use of the Mississippi from Spain. We have 
already mentioned Wilkinson's trip to New Orleans, in June, 
1787;* but as that voyage was the beginning of the long and mys- 
terious Spanish intrigue with the citizens of the west, it seems - 
worth while to quote part of a paper, believed to be by Daniel 
Clark, the younger, whose uncle of the same name was the agent 
and partner! of Wilkinson, in New Orleans, and who was fully 
acquainted with the government officers of Louisiana. | 

About the period of which we are now speaking, in the middle of the 
year 1787, the foundation of an intercourse with Kentucky and the set- 
tlements on the Ohio was laid, which daily increases. Previous to that 
lime, all those who ventured on the Mississippi had their property seized 

* Ante, p. 286. 

t Wilkinson says the partnership was formed for him without his knowledge or consent- 
(Memoirs, ii. 113.) 

J American State Papers, xx. 704. 

310 Trade opened with JVew Orleans. 1788, 

by the first commanding ofiicer whom they met, and little or no com- 
munication was kept up between the countries. Now and then, an em- 
igrant who wislied to selde in Natchez, by dint of entreaty, and solicitation 
of friends who had interests in New Orleans, procured permission to re- 
move there with his family, slaves, cattle, furniture and farming utensils;. 
but was allowed to bring no other property, except cash. An unex- 
pected incident, however, changed the face of things, and was produc- 
tive of a new line of conduct. The arrival of a boat, belonging to Gen- 
eral Wilkinson, loaded with tobacco and other productions of Kentucky, 
is announced in town, and a guard was immediately sent on board of it.. 
The general's name had hindered this being done at Natchez, as the 
commandant was fearful that such a step might be displeasing to his 
superiors, who might wish to show some respect to the property of a 
general ofncer ; at any rate, the boat was proceeding to Orleans, and 
they would then resolve on what measures they ought to pursue, and 
put in execution. The government, not much disposed to show any 
mark of respect or forbearance towards the general's property, he not 
having at that time arrived, was about proceeding in the usual way of 
confiscation, when a merchant in Orleans, who had considerable influ- 
ence there, and who was formerly acquainted with the general, repre- 
sented to the governor that the measures taken by the Intendant would 
very probably give rise to disagreeable events ; that the people of 
Kentucky were already exasperated at the conduct of the Spaniards in 
seizing on the property of all those who navigated the Mississippi; and, 
if this system was pursued, they would very probably, in spite of Con- 
gress and the Executive of the United States, take upon themselves to 
obtain the navigation of the river by force, wliich they were well able to 
do ; a measuie for some time before much dreaded by this government, 
which had no force to resist them, if such a plan was put in execution. 
Hints were likewise given that Wilkinson was a very popular vnan, who 
could influence the whole of that country ; and probably that his send- 
ing a boat before him, with a wish that she might be seized, was but a 
snare at his return to influence the minds of the people, and, having 
brought them to the point he wished, induce them to appoint him their 
leader, and then like a torrent, spread over the country, and carry fire 
and desolation from one end of the province to the other. 

Governor Miro, a weak man, unacquainted with the American Gov- 
ernment, ignorant even of the position of Kentucky with respect to his 
own province, but alarmed at the very idea of an irruption of Kentucky 
men, whom he feared without knowing their strength, communicated 
his wishes to the Intendant that the guard might be removed from the 
boat, which was accordingly done ; and a Mr. Patterson, who was the 
agent of the general, was permitted to take charge of the property on 
board, and to sell it free of duty. The general, on his arrival in Or- 

1788. Wilkinson obtains Privileges from Spanish Officers. 311 

leans, some time after, was informed of tlje obligation he lay under to 
the merchant who had impressed the government with such an idea of 
his importance and influence at home, waited on him, and, in concert 
with him, formed a plan for their future operations. In his interview 
with the governor, that he might not seem to derogate from the charac- 
ter given of him by appearing concerned in so trifling a business as a 
boat-load of tobacco, hams, and butter, he gave him to understand that 
the property belonged to many citizens of Kentucky, who, availing 
themselves of his return to the Atlantic Stales, by way of Orleans, wish- 
ed to make a trial of the temper of this government, as he, on his ar- 
rival, might inform his own what steps had been pursued under his eye, 
that adequate measures might be afterwards taken to procure satisfaction. 
He acknowledged with gratitude the attention and respect manifested 
by the governor towards himself in the favor shown to his agent ; but at 
the same time mentioned that he would not wish the governor to expose 
himself to the anger of his court by refraining from seizing on the boat 
and cargo, as it was but a trifle, if such were the positive orders from 
court, and that he had not a power to relax them according to circum- 
stances. Convinced by this discourse that the general rather wished 
for an opportunity of embroiling afl^airs than sought to avoid it, the gov- 
ernor became more alarmed. For two or three years before, particu- 
larly since the arrival of the commissioners from Georgia, who had 
come to Natchez to claim that country, he had been fearful of an invasion 
at every annual rise of the waters, and the news of a few boats being 
seen was enough to alarm the whole province. He revolved in his 
mind what measures he ought to pursue (consistent with the orders he 
had from home to permit the free navigation of the river) in order to 
keep the Kentucky people quiet ; and, in his succeeding interviews 
with Wilkinson, having procured more knowledge than he had hitherto 
acquired of their character, population, strength, and dispositions, he 
thought he could do nothing better than hold out a bait to Wilkinson to 
use his influence in restraining the people from an invasion of this 
province till he could give advice to his court, and require further in- 
structions. This was the point to which the parties wished to bring 
him ; and, being informed that in Kentucky two or three crops were on 
hand, for which, if an immediate vent was not to be found, the people 
could not be kept within bounds, he made Wilkinson the ofller of a per- 
mission to import, on his own account, to New Orleans, free of duty, 
all the productions of Kentucky, thinking by this means to conciliate 
the good-will of the people, without yielding the point of navigation, as 
the commerce carried on would appear the effect of an indulgence to an 
individual, which could be withdrawn at pleasure. On consultation 
with his friends, who well knew what further concessions Wilkinson 
would extort from the fears of the Spaniards, by the promise of his good 

312 Kentucky not made a State. 1788. 

offices in preaching peace, harmony, and good understanding with this 
government, until arrangements were macie between Spain and America, 
he was advised to insist that the governor should insure him a market 
for all the flour and tobacco he might send, as, in the event of an unfor- 
tunate shipment, he would be ruined whilst endeavoring to do a service 
to Louisiana. This was accepted. Flour was always wanted in New 
Orleans, and the king of Spain had given orders to purchase more to- 
bacco for the supply of his manufactories at home than Louisiana at that 
time produced, and which was paid for at about $9.50 per cwt. In 
Kentucky it costs but $2, and the profit was immense. In conse- 
quence, the general had appointed his friend Daniel Clark his agent 
here, returned by way of Charleston in a vessel, with a particular per- 
mission to go to the United States, even at the very moment of Gardo- 
qui's information ; and, on his arrival in Kentucky, bought up all the 
produce he could collect, which he shipped and disposed of as before 
mentioned ; and for some time all the trade for the Ohio was carried on 
in his name, a line from him sufficing to ensure the owner of the boat 
every privilege and protection he could desire.* 

Whatever Wilkinson's views may have been, (and we should 
never forget that there was no treachery or treason against the 
United States in leaving the old colonies and forming an alliance 
with Spain at that period, — ) such a reception as he had met with 
at New Orleans, was surely calculated to make him and his friends 
feel that by either intimidation, or alliance, the free trade they 
wished might be had from Spain, could the Act of Independence 
but be finally made binding by the consent of Congress, which 
was to be given before July 5th, 1788. It is not to be doubted 
that this agreement on the part of the Union was looked for as a 
matter of course almost; — Kentucky had spoken her wishes over 
and over again, and Virginia had acquiesced in them. When 
John Brown, therefore, — who in December 1787, had been sent 
as the first Western representative to Congress, brought the sub- 
ject of admitting Kentucky as a Federal State before that body 
upon the 29th of February,! it was hoped the matter would soon 
be disposed of. But such was not the case ; from February to 
May, from May to June, from June to July, the admission of the 
District was debated, and at length the whole subject, on the 
3d of July, was referred to the new government about to be 

* Sec American State Papers, xx. p. 707. — Clark's memoir is said by Wilkinson to be 
substantially correct. (Memoirs, ii. 110.) 
+ Old Journals, iv. 811, 819, 828, 829, 830. 

1788. Offers of Spain to Kentucky. 313 

organized, and once more the Pioneers found themselves thwarted, 
and self-direction withheld. 

On the 28th of July the sixth Convention met at Danville to 
proceed with the business of Convention-making, when news 
reached them* that their coming together was all to no purpose, 
as the Legislature of the Union had not given the necessary sanc- 
tion to the act of Virginia. This news amazed and shocked them, 
and being accompanied or followed by intimations from Mr. Brown 
that Spain would make easy terms with the West, were the 
West once her own mistress, we surely cannot wonder that the 
leaders of the "Independence" party were disposed to act with 
decision and show a spirit of self-reliance. Wilkinson, on the 
one hand, could speak of his vast profits and the friendly temper 
of the southwestern rulers, while Brown wrote home such senti- 
ments as these, — 

The eastern states would not, nor do 1 think they ever will assent to 
the admission of the district into the union, as an independent State, 
unless Vermont, or the province of Maine, is brought forward at the 
same time. The change which has taken place in the general govern- 
ment is made the ostensible objection to the measure ; but, the jealousy 
of the growing importance of the western country, and an unwilling- 
ness to add a vote to the southern interest, are the real causes of opposi- 
tion. The question which the district will now have to determine upon, 
will be — whether, or not, it will be more expedient to continue the con- 
nexion with the state of Virginia, or to declare their independence and 
proceed to frame a constitution of government? 

In private conferences which I have had Avith Mr. Gardoqui, the 
Spanish minister, at this place, I have been assured by him in the most 
explicit terms, that if Kentucky will declare her independence, and 
empower some proper person to negotiate with him, that he has au- 
thority, and will engage to open the navigation of the Mississippi, for 
the exportation of their produce, on terms of mutual advantage. But 
that this privilege never can be extended to them while part of the 

* The difficulty of communicating news to the West may be judged of by the follow- 
ing extract from a letter by John Brown to Judge Muter. 

"An answer to your favor of the 16th of March was together with several other letters, 
put into the hands of one of General Harmar's officers, who set out in May last for the 
Ohio, and who promised to forward them to the district ; but I fear they have miscarried, 
as I was a few days ago informed that his orders had been countermanded, and that he 
had been sent to the garrison at West Point. Indeed I have found it almost impracticable 
to transmit a letter to Kentucky, as there is scarce any communication between this place 
and that country. A post is now established from this place to Fort Pitt, to set out once 
in two weeks, after the 20th instant; this will render the communication easy and 
certain." — (Marshall, i. 304.) 

314 A seventh Convention called. 1788. 

United Slates, by reason of commercial treaties existing between tbat 
court and other powers of Europe. 

As there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of this declaration, I have 
thought proper to communicate it to a few confidential friends in the 
district, wiih his permission, not doubting but that they will make a 
prudent use of the information — which is in part confirmed by des- 
patches yesterday received by Congress, from Mr. Carmichal, our minis- 
ter at that court, the contents of which I am not at liberty to disclose.* 

But even under the excitement produced by sucli prospects 
offered from abroad, and such treatment at the hands of their fel- 
low-citizens, the members of the July Convention took no hasty 
or mischievous steps. Finding their own powers legally at an 
end in consequence of the course pursued by Congress, they deter- 
mined to adjourn, and in doing so advised the calling of a seventh 
Convention to meet in the following November, and continue in 
existence until January, 1790, with full power 

To take such measures for obtaining admission of the district, as a 
separate and independent member of the United States of America ; and 
the navigation of the Mississippi as may appear most conducive to those 
important purposes : and also to form a constitution of government for 
the district, and oi'ganize the same when they shall judge it necessary ; 
or to do and accomplish whatsoever, on a consideration of the state of 
the district, may in their opinion promote its interests.! 

These terms, although they contain nothing necessarily imply- 
ing a separation from Virginia against her wish, or directly autho- 
rizing the coming Convention to treat with Spain, were still sup- 
posed to have been used for the purpose of enabling or even 
inviting that body to take any steps, however much against the 
letter of the law; and as Mr. Brown's letters showed that strong 
temptations were held out to the people of the District to declare 
themselves independent and then enter into negotiations with 
Spain, George Muter, Chief Justice of the District, on the 15th of 
October, published a letter in the Kentucky Gazette, calling atten- 
tion to the fact that a separation without legal leave from the 
parent State would be treason against that State, and a violation 
of the Federal Constitution then just formed. 

This letter and the efforts of the party who favored strict adhe- 

* See Marshall's History of Kentucky, i. p. 305. 
t See Marshall's History of Kentucky, i. p. 290. 

1788. Connolly in Kentucky. 315 

rence to legal proceedings, were not in vain. Tlie elections took 
place, and on the 4th of November the Convention met; the con- 
test at once began, but the two parties being happily balanced, 
both in and out of the Convention, the greatest caution was 
observed by both, and all excess prevented. An address to the 
people of the District was proposed by Wilkinson, the purpose of 
which was doubtless to procure instructions as to the contested 
points of illegal independence and negotiation with Spain, — but 
the plan of issuing such a paper was afterwards dropped, Congress 
was memorialized respecting the Mississippi, Virginia was again 
asked for an act of separation, and the Convention quietly ad- 
journed until the 1st Monday of the following August.* It is not 
improbable that one tranquilizing influence was the contradiction, 
by members of Congress, of the report that the navigation of the 
Mississippi was to be relinquished by the United States. This 
contradiction had been authorized on the 16th of September. f It 
was during the autumn of this same year of trouble and intrigue, 
that there appeared again in Kentucky, John Connolly, formerly of 
Pittsburgh, of whom we last heard as organizing an expedition to 
attack the frontiers in 1781. | Of his purposes and movements 
nothing of consequence can be added, we believe, to the follow- 
ing statement sent by Colonel Thomas Marshall, to General Wash- 
ington, in the month of February, 1789. 

About this time, (November 17S8,) arrived from Canada the famous 
Doctor (now Colonel) Connolly ; his ostensible business was to inquire 
after, and repossess himself of, some lands he formerly held at the Falls 
of Ohio ; II but I believe his real business was to sound the disposition 
of the leading men of this district respecting this Spanish business. 
He knew that both Colonel Muter and myself had given it all the oppo- 
sition in Convention we were able to do, and before he left the district, 
paid us a visit, though neither of us had the honor of the least acquaint- 
ance with him. 

He was introduced by Colonel John Campbell, § formerly a prisoner 
taken by the Indians, and confined in Canada, who previously informed 
us of the proposition he was about to make. He (Connolly) presently 
entered upon his subject, urged the great importance the navigation of 


* See Marshall, i. 2SS to 341.— Marshall gives all the papers.— Butler 162 to 181— SH 
to 523. — Carey's Museum, April 17S9, p. 331 to 333. 
t Secret Journals, iv. 449 to 454. 
% See Ante, p. 228. 
11 See Ante, pp. 152, Note. 229. 
§ His old co-purchaser of the land at the Falls,. 

316 Statement of Colonel Thomas Marshall. 1788. 

the Mississippi must be of to the inhabitants of the western waters, 
showed the absolute necessity of our possessing it, and concluded with 
assurances that were we disposed to assert our right respecting that 
navigation, Lord Dorchester* was cordially disposed to give us powerful 
assistance, that his Lordship had (I think he said) four thousand British 
troops in Canada besides two regiments at Detroit, and could furnish us 
with arms, ammunition, clothing, and money ; that, with this assistance, 
we might possess ourselves of New Orleans, fortify the Balize at the 
mouth of the river, and keep possession in spite of the utmost efforts of 
Spain to the contrary. He made very confident professions of Lord 
Dorchester's wishes to cultivate the most friendly intercourse with the 
people of this country, and of his own desire to become serviceable to 
us, and with so much seeming sincerity, that had I not before been 
acquainted with his character as a man of intrigue and artful address, I 
should in all probability have given him my confidence. 

I told him that the minds of the people of this country were so 
strongly prejudiced against the British, not only from circumstances 
attending the late war, but from a persuasion that the Indians were at 
this time stimulated by them against us, and that so long as those sava- 
ges continued to commit such horrid cruelties on our defenceless fron- 
tiers, and were received as friends and allies by the British at Detroit, 
it would be impossible for them to be convinced of the sincerity of 
Lord Dorchester's offers, let his professions be ever so strong ; and that, 
if his Lordship would have us believe him really disposed to be our 
friend, he must begin by showing his disapprobation of the ravages of 
the Indians. 

He admitted of the justice of my observation, and said he had urged 
the same to his Lordship before he left Canada. He denied that the 
Indians are stimulated against us by the British, and says Lord Dor- 
chester observed that the Indians are free and independent nations, and 
have a right to make peace or war as they think fit, and that he could 
not with propriety interfere. He promised, however, on his return to 
Canada to repeat his arguments to his Lordship on the subject, and 
hopes, he says, to succeed. At taking his leave he begged very po- 
litely the favor of our correspondence ; we both promised him, provi- 
ded he would begin it, and devise a means of carrying it on. He did 
not tell me that he was authorized by Lord Dorchester to make us these 
offers in his name, nor did I ask him ; but General Scott informs me 
that he told him that his Lordshij? had authorized him to use his name 
in this business.! 

* Formerly Sir Guy Carlton. 

t See Butler, 520. — Colonel George Morgan at Burr's trial in 1S07, stated that Mr. 
Vigo, of VincenneSj was, as he believed, concerned with Connolly. (American State 
Papers, xx. 503.) 

1789. Treaty with the Iroquois and other tribes oj" Indians. 317 

Colonel George Morgan, during this year, was induced to 
remove for a time to the Spanish territories west of the Missis- 
sippi, and remained at New Madrid between one and two months; 
thence he went to New Orleans.* 


Preparations, as we have stated, had been made early in 1788=, 
for a treaty with the Indians, and during the whole autumn, the 
representatives of the Indian tribes were lingering about the Mus- 
kingum settlement: but it was not till January 9th of this year 
that the natives were brought to agree to distinct terms. On that 
day, one treaty was made with the Iroquois,f confirming the pre- 
vious one of October, 1784 at Fort Stanwix ; and another with the 
Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippeways, Pottawatimas and 
Sacs, confirming and extending the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, made 
in January, 1785. | Of the additions, we quote the following: 

Art. 4. It is agreed between the said United States and the said 
nations, that the individuals of said nations shall be at liberty to hunt 
within the territory ceded to the United States, without hindrance or 
molestation, so long as they demean themselves peaceably, and offer no 
injury or annoyance to any of the subjects or citizens of the said Uni- 
ted States. 

Art. 7. Trade shall be opened with the said nations, and they do 
hereby respectively engage to afford protection to the persons and pro- 
perty of such as may be duly licensed to reside among them for the 
purposes of trade, and to their agents, factors, and servants ; but no 
person shall be permitted to reside at their towns, or at their hunting 

* American State Papers, xx. 504. — Dr. Hildreth, (American Pioneer,' i. 128,) saya he 
founded New Madrid. — See also Flint's Ten Years Recollections; account of New 

t Collection of Indian Treaties. Land Laws, 123. 

^ Land Laws, 149. — See also Carey's Museum for April, 1789, p. 415. 

318 Treaties of Fort Harmar. 1789. 

camps, as a trader, who is not furnished with a license for that purpose, 
under the hand and seal of the Governor of the territory of the United 
States northwest of the Ohio, for the time being, or under the hand and 
seal of one of his deputies for the management of Indian Affairs ; to 
the end that they may not be imposed upon in their traffic. And if any 
person or persons shall intrude themselves without such license, they 
promise to apprehend him or them, and to bring them to the said Gover- 
nor, or one of his deputies, for the purpose beforementioned, to be dealt 
with according to law; and that they may bedefended against persons 
who might attempt to forge such licenses, they further engage to give 
information to the said Governor, or one of his deputies, of the names 
of all traders residing among them, from time to time, and at least once 
in every year. 

Art. 8. Should any nation of Indians meditate a war against the 
United States, or either of them, and the same shall come to the know- 
ledge of the beforementioned nations, or either of them, they do hereby 
engage to give immediate notice thereof to the Governor, or, in his 
absence, to the officer commanding the troops of the United States at 
the nearest post. And should any nation, with hostile intentions against 
the United Slates, or either of them, attempt to pass through their 
country, they will endeavor to prevent the same, and, in like manner, 
give information of such attempt to the said Governor or commanding 
officer, as soon as possible, that all causes of mistrust and suspicion may 
be avoided between them and the United Slates : in like manner, the 
United States shall give notice to the said Indian nations, of any harm 
that may be meditated against them, or either of thern, that shall come 
to their knowledge : and do all in their power to hinder and prevent the 
same, that the friendship between them may be uninterrupted.* 

But these treaties, if meant in good faith by those who made 
them, were not respected, f and the year of which we now write 
saw renewed the old frontier troubles in all their barbarism and 
variety. The Wabash Indians especially, who had not been 
bound by any treaty as yet, kept up constant incursions against the 
Kentucky settlers, and the emigrants down the Ohio ;^ and the 
Kentuckians retaliated, striking foes and friends, even " the peace- 
able Piankeshaws who prided themselves on their attachment to 
the United States. "|[ Nor could the President take any effectual 
steps to put an end to this constant partisan warfare. In the first 

* See Land Laws, p. 152. 

+ See post for a full discussion of these points. — Carey's Museum, April, 1789, p. 416. 
^ Marshall, i. 348. 354. — American State Papers, vol. v. 84, 85. — Carey's Museum, 
:«,!ay, 17S9, p. 504. 60S. 

J Genera! Knox. American State Papcrsj v. 13. 

1789. Troubles with the Indians. 319 

place, it was by no means clear that an attack by the forces of the 
government upon the Wabash tribes, could be justified : — Says 
Washington : 

I would have it observed forcibly, that a war with the Wabash Indians 
ought to be avoided by all means consistently with the security of the 
frontier inhabitants, the security of the troops, and the national dignity. 
In the exercise of the present indiscriminate hostilities, it is extremely 
difficult, if not impossible, to say that a war without further measures 
would be just on the part of the United Stales. But, if, after mani- 
festing clearly to the Indians the disposition of the General Government 
for the preservation of peace, and the extension of a just protection to 
the said Indians, they should continue their incursions, the United Slates 
will be constrained to punish them with severity.* 

But how to punish them was a difficult question, again, even 
supposing punishment necessary. Says General Knox : 

By the best and latest information it appears that, en the Wabash and 
its communications, there are from fifteen hundred to two thousand war- 
riors. An expedition against them, with a view of extirpating them, or 
destroying their towns, could not be undertaken with a probability of 
success, with less than an army of two thousand five hundred men. 
The regular troops of the United States on the frontiers are less than 
six hundred : of that number not more than four hundred could be 
collected from the posts for the purpose of the expedition. To raise, 
pay, feed, arm, and equip one thousand nine hundred additional men, 
with the necessary officers, for six months, and to provide every thing in 
the hospital and quartermaster's line, would require the sum of two 
hundred thousand dollars, a sum far exceeding the ability of the United 
States to advance, consistently with a due regard to other indispensable 

Such, however, were the representations of the Governor of the 
new territory,!: and of the people of Kentucky, || that Congress, 
upon the 29th of September, empowered the President to call out 
the militia to protect the frontiers, and he, on the 6th of October, 
authorised Governor St. Clair to draw 1500 men from the western 
counties of Virginia and Pennsylvania, if absolutely necessary; 
ordering him, however, to ascertain, if possible, the real disposi- 

* American State Papers, v. 97, f Ibid. v. 13, ^ Ibid, v. 84 to 93. 

H Ibid, V. 84 to 93. Judge Innis (p. 88) says that in seven years, 1500 persons, 
20,000 horses, and 15,000 pounds worth of property had been destroyed and talten away 
away by the savages. 

320 Muskingum Settlements spread. 1789. 

lion of the Wabash and IlUnois Indians.* In order to do this, 
speeches to them were prepared, and a messenger sent among 
them, of whose observations we shall have occasion to take notice 
under the year 1790. 

Kentucky, especially, felt aggrieved this year by the withdrawal 
of the Virginia scouts and rangers, who had hitherto helped to 
protect her. This was done in July by the Governor, in conse- 
quence of a letter from the federal executive, stating that national 
troops would thenceforward be stationed upon the western streams. 
The Governor communicated this letter to the Kentucky conven- 
tion held in July, and that body at once authorised a remonstrance 
against the measure, representing the inadequacy of the federal 
troops, few and scattered as they were, to protect the country, 
and stating the amount of injury received from the savages since 
the first of May. t 

Nor was the old Separation sore healed yet. Upon the 29th of 
December, 1788, Virginia had passed her third Act to make Ken- 
tucky independent ; but as this law made the District liable for a 
part of the state debt, and also reserved a certain control over the 
lands set apart as army bounties, to the Old Dominion, — it was by 
no means popular; and when, upon the 20th of July, the Eighth 
Convention came together at Danville, it was only to resolve upon 
a memorial requesting that the obnoxious clauses of the late law 
might be repealed. This, in December, was agreed to by the 
parent State, but new proceedings throughout were at the same 
time ordered, and a ninth Convention directed to meet in the fol- 
lowing July+ 

North of the Ohio, during this year there was less trouble from 
the Indians than south of it, especially in the Muskingum country. 
There all prospered : the Reverend Daniel Story, under a resolu- 
tion of the directors of the Ohio Company, passed in March, 1788, 
in the spring of this year came westward as a teacher of youth and 
a preacher of the Gospel. || By November, nine associations, 
comprising two hundred and fifty persons, had been formed for the 
purpose of settling different points within the purchase ; and by 
the close of 1790, eight settlements had been made ; two at Belpre, 
(belle prairie,) one at Newbury, one at Wolf Creek, § one at Duck 

* American State Papers, v. 97. 101, 102. 

t Marsliall, 1. 952. — American State Papers, v. 84, &c. 

t Ibid, 342. 350.— Butler, 187. 

U American Pioneer, i. 86. 

§ Here was built the first mill in Ohio. (American Pioneer, ii. 99. and plate.) 

1789. Fort Washington founded. 321 

Creek, one at the mouth of Meigs Creek, one at Anderson's 
Bottom, and one at Big Bottom.* 

Between the Miamies, there was more alarm at this period, but 
no great amount of actual danger. Upon the 15th of June, news 
reached Judge Symmes that the Wabash Indians threatened his 
settlements, and as yet he had received no troops for their 
defence, except nineteen from the Falls, f Before July, however, 
Major Doughty arrived at the " Slaughter House," and com- 
menced the building of Fort Washington on the site of Losanti- 
ville. In relation to the choice of that spot, rather than the one 
where Symmes proposed to found his great city, Judge Burnet 
tells the following story : 

Through the influence of the judge, (Symmes,) the detachment sent 
by General Harmar, to erect a fort between the Miami rivers, for the 
protection of the settlers, landed at North Bend. This circumstance 
induced many of the first emigrants to repair to that place, on account 
of the expected protection, which the garrison would afford. While the 
officer commanding the detachment was examining the neighborhood, 
to select the most eligible spot for a garrison, he became enamored with 
a beautiful black-eyed female, who happened to be a married woman. 
The vigilant husband saw his danger, and immediately determined to 
remove, with his family, to Cincinnati, where he supposed they would 
be safe from intrusion. As soon as the gallant officer discovered, that 
the object of his admiration had been removed beyond his reach, he 
began to think that the Bend was not an advantageous situation for a 
military work. This opinion he communicated to Judge Symmes, who 
contended, very strenuously, that it was the most suitable spot in the 
Miami country ; and protested against the removal. The arguments of 
the judge, however, were not as influential as the sparkling eyes of the 
fair female, who was then at Cincinnati. To preserve the appearance 
of consistency, the officer agreed, that he would defer a decision, till he 
had explored the ground, at and near Cincinnati ; and that, if he found it 
to be less eligible than the Bend, he would return and erect the garrison 
at the latter place. The visit was quickly made, and resulted in a con- 
viction, that the Bend was not to be compared with Cincinnati. The 
troops were accordingly removed to that place, and the building of Fort 
Washington was commenced. This movement, apparently trivial in 
itself, and certainly produced by a whimsical cause, was attended by 
results of incalculable importance. It settled the question at once, 
whether Symmes or Cincinnati, was to be the great commercial town 

* Harris' Tour, 191, 192. 

•f Symmes' Letters in Cist's Cincinnati, 231. 229. 219. 


322 Reason for placing the Fort at Cincinnati. 1789. 

of the Miami purchase. This anecdote was communicated by Judge 
Symmes, and is unquestionably authentic. As soon as the troops re- 
moved to Cincinnati, and established the garrison, the settlers at the 
Bend, tlien more numerous than those at Cincinnati, began to remove ; 
and in two or three y^rs, the Bend was literally deserted, and the idea 
of establishing a town at that point, was entirely abandoned. 

Thus, we see, what great results are sometimes produced, by trivial 
circumstances. The beauty of a female, transferred the commercial 
emporium of Ohio, from the place where it was commenced, to the 
place where it now is. Had the black-eyed beauty remained at the 
Bend, the garrison would have been erected there, population, capital, 
and business would have centered there, and our city must have been 
now of comparatively small importance.* 

We suspect the influence of this bright-eyed beauty upon the 
fate of Cincinnati, is over estimated, however. Upon the 14th of 
June, before Fort Washington was commenced, and when the 
only soldiers in the purchase were at North Bend, Symmes writes 
to Dayton: 

It is expected, that on the arrival of governor St. Clair, this purchase 
will be organized into a county : it is therefore of some moment which 
town shall be made the county town. Losantivilie, at present, bids the 
fairest ; it is a most excellent site for a large town, and is at present the 
most central of any of the inhabited towns ; but if Southbend might be 
finished and occupied, that would be exacdy in the centre, and probably 
would take tlie lead of the present villages until the city can be made 
somewhat considerable. This is really a matter of importance to the 
proprietors, but can only be achieved by their exertions and encourage- 
ments. The lands back of Southbend are not very much broken, after 
you ascend the first hill, and will afford rich supplies for a county town 
A few troops stationed at Southbend will eHect the settlement of this 
new village in a very short time.t 

The truth is, that neither the proposed city on the Miami, North 
Bend or South Bend, could compete, in point of natural advan- 
tages, with the plain on which Cincinnati has since arisen ; and had 
Fort Washington been built elsewhere, after the close of the 
Indian war, nature would have ensured the rapid growth of that 
point where even the ancient and mysterious dwellers along the 
Ohio had reared the earthen walls of one of their vastest temples. f 

* Transactions Historical Society, Ohio, p. 17. 
t Cisfs Cincinnati, p. 230. 

X See Transactions of Ohio Historical Society, part ii. vol. i. 35. — Drake's Picture of 
Ciuciooatij 202. 

1790-9^. Indian Wars. 323 

We have referred to Wilkinson's voyage to New Orleans, in 
1787; in January of this year, (1789,) he fitted out twenty-five 
large boats, some of them can-ying three pounders and all of them 
swivels, manned by 150 men, and loaded with tobacco, flour, and 
provisions, with which he set sail for the south; — and his lead 
was soon followed by others.* Among the adventurers was Col- 
onel Armstrong of the Cumberland settlements, who sent down 
six boats, manned by thirty men ; these were stopped at Natchez, 
and the goods being there sold without permission, an oflficer and 
fifty soldiers were sent by the Spanish commander to arrest the 
transgressors. They, meanwhile, had returned within the lines 
of the United States and refused to be arrested ; this led to a con- 
test, in which, as a cotemporary letter states, five Spaniards were 
killed and twelve wounded, f 

1790 t© 1790. 

TThe most important and interesting events connected with the 
West, from the commencement of 1790 to the close of 1795, were 
those growing out of the Indian wars. In order to present them 
in one unbroken and intelligible story, we shall abandon for a 
time our division by single years, and relate the events of the six 
referred to as composing one period. But to render the events of 
that period distinct, we must recal to our readers some matters 
that happened long before. 

And in the first place, we would remind them that the French 
made no large purchases from the western Indians ; so that the 
treaty of Paris, in 1763, transferred to England only small grants 
about the various forts, Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, &c. Then 
followed Pontiac's war and defeat ; and then the grant by the 
Iroquois at Fort Stanwix, in 1768, of the land south of the Ohio ; 

* Letter in Carey's Museum for February, 1789. p. 209. 313.— Wilkinson's Memoirs, 
II. 113. 
+ Carey's Museum, April, 1789, p. 417. 

324 Mode of acquiring Indian lands. 1790-95. 

and even this grant, it will be remembered, was not respected by 
those who actually hunted on the grounds transferred.* Next 
came the war of 1774, Dunmore's war, which terminated without 
any transfer of the Indian possessions to the whites ; and when, at 
the close of the Revolution,^ in 1783, Britain made over her 
western claims to the United States, she made over nothing more 
than she had received from France, save the title of the Six 
Nations and the southern savages to a portion of the territory south 
of the Ohio : as against the Miamis, western Delawares, Shawa- 
anese, Wyandots or Hurons, and the tribes still farther north and 
west, she transferred nothing. But this, apparently, was not the 
view taken by the Congress of the time ; and they, conceiving 
that they had, under the treaty with England, a full right to all the 
lands thereby ceded, and regarding the Indian title as forfeited by 
the hostilities of the Revolution, proceeded, not to buy the lands 
of the savages, but to grant them peace, and dictate their own 
terms as to boundaries.! In October, 1784, the United States 
acquired in this way whatever title the Iroquois possessed to the 
western country, both north and south of the Ohio, by the second 
treaty of Fort Stanwix ; a treaty openly and fairly made, but one 
the validity of which many of the Iroquois always disputed. 
The ground of their objection appears to have been, that the treaty 
was with a part only of the Indiaji nations, whereas the wish of 
the natives was, that every act of the States with them, should 
be as with a confederacy, embracing all the tribes bordering upon 
the great lakes. Our readers may remember that the instructions 
given the Indian commissioners in October, 1783, proA'ided for 
one convention with all the tribes ;| and that this provision was 
changed in the following March for one, by which as many sepa- 
rate conventions were to be had, if possible, as there were 
separate tribes. |1 In pursuance of this last plan, the commission- 
ers, in October, 1784, refused to listen to the proposal which is 
said then to have been made for one general congress of the 
northern tribes,§ and in opposition to Brant, Red Jacket and other 
influential chiefs of the Iroquois, concluded the treaty of Fort 

* Ante, pp. no, 121. 

t See in proof, the Report to Congress of October 15, 17S3, (Old Journals, iv. 294;) the 
instructions to the Indian commissioners, October luth, 17S3, (Secret Journals, i. 257 ;) 
the various treaties of 1784, 'S5, and '86 {anir) ; General Knox's Report of June 15, 
1789, (American State Papers, v. 13); and the distinct acknowledgment of the commie- 
sioners in 1793, (American State Papers, v. 353.) 

t Ante p. 259. B A nte p. 260. ^ See post- 

1790-95. Indian objections to treaties. 325 

Stanwix. Then came the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, in January, 
1785, with the " Wyandot, Delaware, Chippewa and Ottawa 
nations" — open to the objections above recited, but the vaUdity of 
which, so far as we know, was never disputed, at least by the 
Wyandots and Delawares ; although the general council of north- 
western Indians, representing sixteen tribes,* asserted in 1793, 
that the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Fort Mcintosh and Fort Finney, 
(mouth of Great Miami) were not only held with separate tribes, 
but were obtained by intimidation, the red-men having been 
asked to make treaties of peace, and forced to make cessions of 
territory. f The third treaty made by the United States was with 
the Shawanese at Fort Finney, in January, 1786 ; which it will 
be remembered the Wabash tribes refused to attend. The fourth 
and fifth, which were acts of confirmation, were made at Fort 
Harmar, in 1789, one with the Six Nations, and the other with 
the Wyandots and their associates, namely, the Delawares, Otta- 
was, Chippeways, Pottawamies, and Sacs. This last, fifth treaty, 
the confederated nations of the lakes especially refused to acknow- 
ledge as binding: their council using in relation to it, in 1793, 
these words: 

Brothers: A general council of all the Indian confederacy was held, 
as you well know, in the fall of ihe year 1788, at this place ; and that 
general council was invited by your commissioner Governor St. Clair, 
to meet him for the purpose of holding a treaty, with regard to the lands 
mentioned by you to have been ceded by the treaties of Fort Stanwix 
and Fort Mcintosh. 

Brothers : We are in possession of the speeches and letters which 
passed on that occasion, between tliose deputed by the confederate In- 
dians, and Governor St. Clair, the commissioner of the United States. 
These papers prove that your said commissioner, in the beginning of 
the year 1789, after having been informed by the general council, of the 
preceding fall, that no bargain or sale of any part of these Indian lands 
would be considered as valid or binding, unless agreed to by a general 
council, nevertheless persisted in collecting together a few chiefs of two 
or three nations only, and with them held a treaty for the cession of an 
immense country, in which they were no more interested, than as a 
branch of the general confederacy, and who were in no manner au- 
thorized to make any grant or cession whatever. 

Brothers : How then was it possible for you to expect to enjoy peace, 
and quietly to hold these lands, when your commissioner was informed, 

* American State Papers, v. 357. f Ibid, v, 356, 

326 Treaty of Fort Harmar^ 1790-95.. 

long before he held the treaty of Fort Hatmar, that the consent of a 
general council was absolutely necessary to convey any part of these 
lands to the United States.* 

And in 1795, at Greenville, Massas, a Chippewa chieftain, whc- 
signed the treaty at Fort Harmar, said : 

Elder Brother : When you yesterday read to us the treaty of Mus- 
kingum, I understood you clearly : at that treaty we had not good inter- 
preters, and we were left partly unacquainted with many particulars of 
it. I was surprised when I heard your voice, through a good interpre- 
ter, say that we had received presents and compensation for those lands 
which were thereby ceded. I tell you, now, that we, the three fires^ 
never were informed of it. If our uncles, the Wyandots, and grandfathers, 
the Delawares, have received such presents, they have kept them to 
themselves. I always thought that we, the Ottawas, Chippewas, and 
Pottawattamies, were the true owners of those lands, but now I find 
that new masters have undertaken to dispose of them ; so that, at this 
day, we do not know to whom they, of right belong. We never re- 
ceived any compensation for them. I don't know how it is, but ever 
since that treaty we have become objects of pity, and our fires have 
been retiring from this country. Now, elder brother, you see we are 
objects of compassion ; and have pity on our weakness and misfortunes ; 
and, since you have purchased these lands, we cede them to you : they 
are yours.t 

The Wyandots, however, acknowledged even the transfer made 
on the Muskingum to be binding: "Brother," said Tarke, who 
signed foremost among the representatives of that tribe at Green- 
ville, and who had also signed at Fort Harmar, — 

You have proposed to us to build our good work on the treaty of 
Muskingum : that treaty I have always considered as formed upon the 
fairest principles. You took pity on us Indians. You did not do as 
our fathers the British agreed you should. You might by tliat agree- 
ment have taken all our lands ; but you pitied us, and let us hold part. 
I always looked upon that treaty to be binding upon the United States 
and U3 Indians.!" 

The truth in reference to this treaty of Fort Harmar seems tO' 
have been, that the confederated nations, as a whole, did not 
sanction it, and in their council of 17S8 could not agree one with 

* American State Papers, v. p. 356. t American State Papers, v. p»570^ 

I American State Papers, v. p. 571. 

1790-95. Indian relations in 1789. 327 

another in relation to it. " I have still my doubts," says Brant, 
before the council met — 

I have still my doubts whether we will join or not, some being 
no ways inclined for peaceable methods. The Hiirons, Chippewas, 
Ottawas, Pottawattimies, and Delawares, will join with us in trying 
lenient steps, and having a boundary line fixed ; and, rather than 
enter headlong into a destructive war, will give up a small part of their 
country. On the other hand, the Shawanese, Miamis and Kickapoos, 
who are now so much addicted to horse-stealing, that it will be a diffi- 
cult task to break them of it, as that kind of business is their best har- 
vest, will of course declare for war, and not giving up any of their 
country, which, I am afraid, will be the means of our separating. They 
are, I believe, determined not to attend the treaty with the Americans. 
Still I hope for the best. As the major part of the nations are of our 
opinions, tlie rest may be brought to, as nothing shall be wanting on 
my part to convince them of iheir error.* 

Le Gris, the great chief of the Miamies, in April, 1790, said tog 
Gamelin,! that the Muskingum treaty was not made by chiefs or 
delegates,! but by young men acting without authority, although 
Tarke, the head of the Wyandots, signed and sanctioned it, as 
well as Captain Pipe of the Delawares, while Brant himself was 
present. || 

Thus then stood the relations of the Indians and the United 
States in 1789. Transfers of territory had been made by the Iro- 
quois, the Wyandots, the Delawares and the Shawanese, which 
were open to scarce any objection; but the Chippeways, Ottawas, 
Kickapoos, Weas, Piankeshaws, Potawatimies, Eel River Indi- 
ans, Kaskaskias, and above all the Miamies, § were not bound by 
any existing agreement to yield the lands north of the Ohio. If 
their tale is true, the confederated tribes had forbidden the treaty 
of Fort Harmar, and had warned Governor St. Clair that it 
would not be binding on the confederates.U They wished the 
Ohio to be a perpetual boundary between the white and red men 
of the West, and would not sell a rod of the region north of it. 
So strong was this feeling that their young men, they said, could 

* Stone, ii. 278. f See post as to Gamelin's mission. 

^ American State Papers, v. 94. || Stone, ii. 281. 

§ All of these appeared at the Treaty of Greenville. 

T When this confederacy was formed ve do not learn ; its existence is first seen by its 
council of November, 1786, whose address, referred to p. 300, may be found American 
State papers, v. 8. 

328 Grounds of United States claims. 1790-95. 

not be restrained from warfare upon the invading Long Knives, 
and thence resulted the unceasing attacks upon the frontier sta- 
tions and the emigrants. 

It was not, therefore, without reason, that Washington expressed 
a doubt as to the justness of an offensive war upon the tribes of 
the Wabash and Maumee ;* and had the treaty of Fort Harmar 
been the sole ground whereon the United States could have 
claimed of the Indians the Northw^est Territory, it may be doubted 
whether right would have justified the steps taken in 1790, '91, 
and '94: but the truth was, that before that treaty, the Iroquois, 
Delawares, Wyandots, and Shawanese had yielded the south of 
Ohio, the ground on which they had long dwelt; and neither the 
sale to Putnam and his associates, nor that to Symmes, was 
intended to reach one foot beyond the lands ceded. Of this we 
have proof in the third article of the ordinance of 1787, passed the 
day before the proposition to sell to the Ohio Company was for 
the first time debated ; which article declares that the lands of the 
Indians shall never be taken from them without their consent. It 
appears to us, therefore, that the United States were fully justified 
in taking possession of the northwest shore of the Belle Riviere, 
and that without reference to the treaty at Fort Harmar, which we 
will allow to have been, if the Indians spoke truly, (and they were 
not contradicted by the United States commissioners,) morally 
worthless. But it also appears to us, that in taking those steps in 
1790 and 1791, which we have presently to relate, the federal 
government acted unwisely; and that it should then, at the outset, 
have done what it did in 1793, after St. Clair's terrible defeat, — 
namely, it should have sent commissioners of the Jiighest character 
to the lake tribes, and in the presence of the British^ learnt their 
causes of complaint, and offered fair terms of compromise. That 
such a step was wise and just, the government acknowledged by 
its after-action ; and surely none can question the position that it 
was more likely to have been effective before the savages had 
twice defeated the armies of the confederacy than afterward. The 
full bearing of these remarks wnll be best seen, however, when the 
'whole tale is told, and to that we now proceed. 

In June, 1789, Major Doughty, with a hundred and forty men, 
began the building of Fort Washington at Cincinnati. Upon the 
29th of December, General Harmar himself came down with three 

* See ante p. 319. 

1790 — 95. Gamelinh mission. 329 

hundred additional troops.* On the 1st or 2d of January,! 1790, 
St. Clair arrived at Losantiville,| changed its name to Cincinnati, 
in honor of the society so called, and organized Hamilton county.|| 
On the 8th of that month, he was at Fort Steuben, § (Jeffersonville 
opposite Louisville,) whence he proceeded to Kaskaskia, where 
he remained until the 11th of June, when, having learned from 
Major Hamtramck, commanding at Vincennes, the hostile feeling 
of the Wabash and Maumee tribes, he started for Fort Washing- 
ton, which point he reached upon the 13th of July. 

The feeling alluded to had been ascertained in the following 
manner. Washington having desired that great pains should be 
taken to learn the real sentiments of the northwestern Indians, Gov- w 
ernor St. Clair instructed Major Hamtramck at Vincennes, (Fort 
Knox,) to send some experienced person to ascertain the -^{jws 
and feelings of the Miamis and their confederates. The person 
chosen was Anthony Gamelin, who, on the fifth of April, pro- 
ceeded upon his mission. The Piankeshaws, Kickapoos, and 
Ouitenons, (Ouias or Weas,) all referred him to their elder breth- 
ren, the Miamis, so that he had to journey on to the point where 
the Miamis, Chaouanons,1I (Shawnees) and Delawares resided ; 
upon the 23d of April he reached that point and upon the 24th 
assembled the savages. 

I gave to each nation, he says, two branches of wampum, and began 
the speeches, before the French and English traders, being invited by 
the chiefs to be present, having told them myself I would be glad to 
have them present, having nothing to say against any body. After the 
speech, I showed them the treaty concluded at Muskingum, [Fort Har-/ 
mar,] between his excellency Governor St. Clair and sundry nations, 
which displeased them. I told them that the purpose of this present 
time was not to submit them to any condition, but to offer them the 

* Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 124. 

t American Pioneer, ii. 148. — Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 124. 

I Losantiville (sometimes called Losantibnrgh, American Pioneer, ii. 400) was properly 
tlie name of Filson's plat; [antep. 305.) Ludlow's, which was not exactly the same, was 
not named until St. Clair, in January, 1790, called it Cincinnati, but meanwhile went by 
the old name. (Transactions Ohio Historical Society, part second, vol. i. 33. — Symmea' 
MS. Letters. — Also Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 9.) 

5 As to bounds of county, &c. see Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 241. 

§ American Pioneer, ii. 220. In Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, this post is called Fort 
Finney ; in Imlay, (p. 34, note,) Fort Fejfjfing; in the map of the Falls, same vol. Fort 

f The old French orthography used by Charlevoix and all others. 

330 Gamelin's Journal. 1790-95. 

peace, which made disappear their pleasure. The great chief told me 
that he was pleased with the speech ; that he would soon give me an 
answer. In a private discourse with the great chief, he told me not to 
mind what the Shawanees would tell me, having a bad heart, and being 
the perlurbators of all the nations. He said the Miamies had a bad 
name, on account of mischief done on the River Ohio ; but he told me 
it was not occasioned by his young men, but by the Shawanese ; his 
young men going out only for to hunt. 

The 25th of April, Blue Jacket, chief warrior of the Shawanese, in- 
vited me to go to his house, and told me, " My friend, by the name and 
consent of the Shawanese and Delawares I will speak to you. We are 
all sensible of your speech, and pleased with it: but, after consultation, 
we cannot give an answer without hearing from our father at Detroit; 
and we are determined to give you back the two branches of wampum, 
and to send you to Detroit to see and hear the chief, or to stay here 
twenty nights for to receive liis answer. From all quarters we receive 
speeches from the Americans, and not one is alike. We suppose that 
they intend to deceive us. Then take back your branches of wampum." 

The 26lh, five Pottawattamies arrived here with two negro men, 
which they sold to English traders. The next day I went to the great 
chief of the Miamies, called Le Gris. His chief warrior was present. 
I told him howl had been served by the Shawanese. He answered me 
that he had heard of it: tliat the said nations had behaved contrary to 
his intentions. He desired me not to mind those strangers, and that he 
would soon give me a positive answer. 

The 28ih April, the great chief desired me to call at the French tra- 
der's and receive his answer. " Don't take bad," said he, '* of what I 
am to tell you. You may go back when you please. We cannot give 
you a positive answer. We must send your speeches to all our neigh- 
bors, and to the lake nations. We cannot give a definitive answer 
without consulting the commandant at Detroit." And he desired me to 
render him the two branches of wampum refused by the Shawanese ; 
also, a copy of speeches in writing. He promised me that, in thirty 
nights, he would send an answer to Post Vincennes, by a young man 
of each nation. He was well pleased with the speeches, and said to be 
worthy of attention, and should be communicated to all their confede- 
rates, having resolved among them not to do any thing without an unani- 
mous consent. I agreed to his requisitions, and rendered him the two 
branches of wampum, and a copy of the speech. Afterwards, he told 
me that the Five Nations, so called, or Iroquois, were training some- 
thing ; that five of them, and three Wyandots, were in this village with 
branches of wampum. He could not tell me presently their purpose; 
but he said I would know of it very soon. 

The same day. Blue Jacket, chief of the Shawanees, invited me to 

1790-95. Gamelin's Journal. 331 

his house for supper; and, before the other chiefs, told me that, after 
another deliberation, they thought necessary that I sliould go myself to 
Detroit, for to see the commandant, who would get all his children 
assembled for to hear my speech. I told them I would not answer them 
in the night : that I was not ashamed to speak before the sun. 

The 29th April I got them all assembled. I told them that I was not 
to go to Detroit : that the speeches were directed to the nations of the 
river Wabash and the Miami ; and that, for to prove the sincerity of the 
speech, and the heart of Governor St. Clair, I have willingly given a 
copy of the speeches, to be shown to the commandant of Detroit : and, 
according to a letter wrote by the commandant of Detroit to the Miamies, 
Shawanese, and Delawares, mentioning to you to be peaceable with the 
Americans, I would go to him very willingly, if it was in my directions, 
being sensible of his sentiments. I told them 1 had nothing to say to 
the commandant ; neither him to me. You must immediately resolve, 
if you intend to take me to Detroit, or else I am to go back as soon as 
possible. Blue Jacket got up and told me, "My friend, we are well 
pleased with what you say. Our intention is not to force you to go to 
Detroit: it is only a proposal, thinking it for the best. Our answer is 
the same as the Miamies. We will send, in thirty nights, a full and 
positive answer, by a young man of each nation, by writing to Post 
Vincennes." In the evening. Blue Jacket, chief of the Shawanese, 
having taken me to supper with him, told me, in a private manner, that 
the Shawanee nation was in doubt of the sincerity of the Big Knives, 
so called, having been already deceived by them. That they had first 
destroyed their lands, put out their fire, and sent away their young men, 
being a hunting, without a mouthful of meat : also, had taken away 
their women ; wherefore, many of them would, with great deal of pain, 
forget these affronts. Moreover, that some other nations were appre- 
hending that offers of peace would, may be, tend to take away, by 
degrees, their lands ; and would serve them as they did before : a cer- 
tain pioof that they intend to encroach on our lands, is their new settle- 
ment on the Ohio. If they don't keep this side fof the Ohio] clear, it 
will never be a proper reconcilement with the nations Shawanese, Iro- 
quois, Wyandots, and, perhaps many others. Le Oris, chief of the 
Miamies, asked me, in a private discourse, what chief had made a treaty 
with the Americans at Muskingum, [Fort Harmar.] I answered him 
that their names were mentioned in the treaty. He told me he had 
heard of it some time ago ; but they are not chiefs, neither delegates, 
who made that treaty : they are only young men, who without authority 
and instructions from their chiefs, have concluded that treaty, which 
will not be approved. They went to the treaty clandestinely, and they 
intend to make mention of it in the next council to be held.* 

* American State Papers, v. p. 93. 

332 Jgency of Britain. 1790-95. 

On the 8th of May, Gamelin returned to Fort Knox, and on the 
11th merchants from the Upper Wabash arrived, bringing news 
that parties from the north had joined the Wabash savages ; that 
the whole together had ah'eady gone to war upon the Americans ; 
and that three days after Gamelin left the Miamis, an American 
captive had been burned in their village :* all which things so 
plainly foretold trouble on the frontier, that St. Clair, as we have 
stated, hastened to Fort Washington to concert with General 
Harmar a campaign into the country of the hostile tribes. 

Before we proceed with the history of Harmar's campaign, 
however, it seems proper to give in one view all that w^e know 
relative to the agency of the British in keeping up Indian hostility 
after the peace of 1783. 

Most of the tribes, as our readers have seen, adhered to Eng- 
land during the Revolutionary struggle. When the war ceased, 
however, England made no provision for them, and transferred 
the Northwest to the United States, without any stipulation as to 
the rights of the natives. The United States, regarding the lands 
of the hostile tribes as conquered and forfeited, proceeded to give 
peace to the savages, and to grant them portions of their own 
lands. This produced discontent, and led to the formation of the 
confederacy headed by Brant. f To assist the purposes of this 
union, it was very desirable that the British should still hold the 
posts along the lakes, and supply the red men with all needful 
things. The forts they claimed a right to hold, because the Ame- 
ricans disregarded the treaty of 1783 ; the trade with the Indians, 
even though the latter might be at war with the United States, 
they regarded as perfectly fair and just. Having thus a sort of 
legal right to the position they occupied, the British did, undoubt- 
edly and purposely, aid and abet the Indians hostile to the United 
States. In 1785, after the formation of his confederacy. Brant 
w^ent to England, and his arrival was thus announced in the 
London prints : 

This extraordinary personage is said to have presided at the late grand 
Congress of confederate chiefs of the Indian nations in America, and to 
be by them appointed to the conduct and chief command in the war 
which they now meditate against the United States of America. He 
took his departure for England immediately as that assembly broke up; 

* American State Papers, v. 87 

f Hecke welder's Narrative, 379. Stone's Life of Brant, ii. 247. 248. 

1790-95. Brands Movements. 333 

and it is conjectured that his embassy to the British Court is of great 
importance. This country owes much to the services of Colonel Brant 
during the late war in America. He was educated at Philadelphia ; is 
a very shrewd, intelligent person, possesses great courage and abilities 
as a warrior, and is inviolably attached to the British nation.* 

On the 4th of January, 1786, he visited Lord Sidney, the Colo- 
nial Secretary, and after plainly and boldly stating the trouble of 
the Indians at the forgetfulness of Britain — the encroachments of 
the Americans — and their fear of serious consequences, i. e. war, 
he closed with these words : 

This we shall avoid to the utmost of our power, as dearly as we love 
our lands. But should it, contrary to our wishes, happen, we desire 
to know whether we are to be considered as His Majesty's faithful 
allies, and have that support and countenance such as old and true 
friends expect.! 

The English minister returned a perfectly non-committal answer ; 
and when the Mohawk chieftain, upon his return, met the confed- 
erated natives in November, 1786, he could give them no 
distinct assurances of aid from England. But while all definite 
promises were avoided, men situated as John Johnson, the Indian 
superintendent, did not hesitate to write to him — 

Do not suffer an idea to hold a place in your mind, that it will be for 
your interests lo sit still and see the Americans attempt the posts. It is 
for your sakes chiefly, if not entirely, that we hold them. If you be- 
come indiff'erent about them, they may perhaps be given up ; what secu- 
rity would you then have ? You would be left at the mercy of a people 
whose blood calls idoud for revenge ; whereas, by supporting them, you 
encourage us to hold them, and encourage the new settlements, already 
considerable, and every day increasing by numbers coming in, who find 
they cant live in the States. Many thousands are preparing to come in. 
This increase of his majesty's subjects will serve as a protection for 
you, should the subjects of the vStales, by endeavoring to make farther 
encroachments on you, disturb your quiet. J 

This letter was written in March, 1787 ; and two months after- 
wards. Major Matthews, who had been in the suite of the Gover- 
nor of Canada, Lord Dorchester, after being appointed to com- 

* Sione, ii. 249. t Ibid, 254. |Ibi(l, ii. 268. 

334 British Views. 1790-95. 

mand at Detroit, speaks still more explicitly, and in the Governor's 
name also, "His Lordship was sorry to learn," he says — 

Tliat while the Indians were soliciciting his assistance in their prepara- 
tions for war, some of the Six Nations had sent deputies to Albany to 
treat with the Americans, who, it is said, have made a treaty with them, 
granting permission to make roads for the purpose of coming to Nia- 
gara ; but that, notwithstanding these things, the Indians should have 
their presents, as they are marks of the King's approbation of their 
former conduct. In future his lordship wishes them to act as is best for 
Iheir interest; he cannot begin a war with the Americans, because some 
of their people encroach and make depredations upon parts of the In- 
dian countiy ; but they must see it is his lordship's intention to defend 
the posts ; and that while these are preserved, the Indians must find 
great security therefrom, and consequently the Americans greater diffi- 
culty in taking possession of their lands ; but should they once become 
masters of the posts, they will surround the Indians, and accomplish 
their purpose with little trouble. From a consideration of all which, it 
therefore remains with the Indians to decide what is most for their own 
interest, and to let his lordship know their determination, that he may 
take his measures accordingly ; but, whatever their resolution is, it 
should be taken as by one and the same people, by which means they 
will be respected and becon.e strong ; but if they divide, and act one 
part against the other, they will become weak, and help to destroy each 
other. This is the substance of what his lordship desired me to tell 
you, and I request you will give his sentiments that mature considera- 
tion which their justice, generosity, and desire to promote the welfare 
and happiness of the Indians, must appear to all the world to merit. 

In your letter to me, you seem apprehensive that the English are not 
very anxious about the defence of the posts. You will soon be satisfied 
that they have nothing more at heart, provided that it continues to be the 
wish of the Indians, and that they remain firm in doing their part of the 
business, by preventing the Americans from coming into their country, 
and consequently from marching to the posts. On the other hand, if the 
Indians think it more for their interest that the Americans should have 
possession of the posts, and be established in their country, they ought 
to declare it, that the English need no longer be put to the vast and un- 
necessary expense and inconvenience of keeping posts, the chief object 
of which is to protect their Indian allies, and the loyalists who have suf- 
fered with them. It is well known that no encroachments ever have or 
ever will be made by the English upon the lands or property of the In- 
dians in consequence of possessing the posts, how far that will be the 
case if ever the Americans get into them, may very easily be imagined, 

1790-95. British Agents urge Indians to War. 335 

from their hostile perseverance, even without that advantnge, in driving 
the Indians off their lands and taking possession of them.* 

These assurances on the part of the British, and the delay of 
Congress in replying to the address of the confederated nations, 
dated December, 1786, led to the general council of 17S8 ; but 
the divisions in that body, added to the uncertain support of the 
English government, at length caused Brant for a time to give up 
his interest in the efforts of the western natives, among whom the 
Miamies thenceforth took the lead ; although, as our extracts from 
Gamelin's journal show, a true spirit of union did not, even in 
1790, prevail among the various tribes. f At that time, however, 
the British influence over the Miamis and their fellows, was in no 
degree lessened, as is plain from the entire reference of their 
affairs, when Gamelin went to them, to the commandant at Detroit. 
Nor can we wonder at the hold possessed over the red men by 
the English, when such wretches as McKee, Elliott and Girty,| 
were the go-betweens, the channels of intercourse. " You invite 
us," said one of the war-chiefs to Gamelin, " to stop our young 
men. "It is impossible to do it, being constantly encouraged by 
the British." 

We confess, said another, that we accepted the axe, but it is by the 
reproach we continually receive from the English and other nations, 

* See Stone ii. 271. 

+ See also Stone ii. 290, note. Some of the Delawares and Miamies so far quarrelled 
that the former left for the Mississippi. 

I Girty we have already spoken of. — Alexander McKee, (sometimes written McKay 
and McGee) was an Indian agent before the Revolution. Major Rogers, in 1760, sent a 
Mr. McGee from Detroit to the Shawanese town on the Ohio, to receive the French sta- 
tioned there, (Journal, 229) : this may have been McKee In 1773, the Rev. D. Jones 

found Alexander McKee living about three miles from Paint Creek, Ohio, among the 
Shawanese. (See his journal in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 262.) On the 29th of 
February, 1776, Colonel Butler, the refugee hero of Wyoming and Indian Agent for Eng- 
land, wrote to McKee, then residing as Indian agent at Fort Pitt, to come to Niagara ; 
in consequence of which the committee of Western Augusta obliged him to bind himself 
to have nothing to do with the Indians on account of Great Britain ; and this parole Con- 
gress accepted. (American Archives, fourth series, v. 818. 820. 1692. — Old Journals, ii. 
67.) In 1778, however, he left Pittsburgh, with Simon Girty, Matthew Elliott and others, 
to join the British. (Heckewelder's Narrative, 170.) He became a colonel, and was a 
leader among the northwest Indians from that time till his death. He had stores at the 
falls of the Maumee. (See American State Papers, v. 243. 351. Some of his letters 
were taken at Proctor's defeat in 1813. (See Armstrong's Notices, i. appendix No. 2, 
188. — Brown's History of War of 1812, ii. appendix.) Matthew Elliott had been a 
trader ; in 1776 he was taken by the British and joined them, for which he received a 
captain's commission. In 1790-95 he lived at the mouth of Detroit river, and carried 
on trade and farming. (See Heckwelder's Narrative, 147, 170.) 

336 Bntish supply Indians. 1790-95. 

which received the axe first, calling us women ; at the present time, 
they invite our young men to war ; as to the old people, they are wish- 
ing for peace.* 

Every peaceful message from the officers of the crown was 
stopped on its way to the excited children of the forest ; but every 
word of a hostile character, exaggerated and added to.f 

* American State Papers, v. 93. 

t It is hard to say how far the British agents aided the savages in 1790 and 1791. The 
following is from a certificate by Thos. Rhea, taken by the Indians in May, 17Sl,and 
who escaped in June. He is stated to have been untrustworthy, (American State Papers, 
V. 198.) but his account is in part confirmed by other evidence. 

" At this place, the the Miami, were Colonels Brant and McKee, with his son 
Thomas; and Captains Bunbury and Silvie, of the British troops. These officers, kc. 
were all encamped on the south side of the Miami, or Ottawa river, at the rapids above 
lake Erie, about eighteen miles ; they had clever houses, built chiefly by the Pottawati- 
mies and other Indians; in these they had stores of goods, with arms, ammunition, and 
provision, which they issued to the Indians in great abundance, viz : corn, pork, peas, 
&c. The Indians came to this place in parties of one, two, three, four, and five hundred 
at a time, from different quarters, and received from iMr. McKee and the Indian officers, 
clothing, arms, ammunition, provision, &c. and set out immediately for the upper Miami 
towns, where they understood the forces of the United States were bending their course, 
[Scott's expedition,] and in order to supply the Indians from other quarters collected 
there. Pirogues, loaded with the above mentioned articles, were sent up the Miami 
river, wrought by French Canadians. About the last of May, Captain Silvie purchased 
me from the Indians, and I staid with him at this place till the 4th of June, (the king's 
birth day,) when I was sent to Detroit. Previous to leaving the Miami river, I saw one 
Mr. Dick, who, with his wife, was taken prisoner near Pittsburgh, in the Spring — I 
believe, by the Wyandotts. Mr. McKee was about purchasing Mr. Dick from the 
Indians, but found it difficult. Mrs. Dick was separated from him, and left at a village at 
some distance from this place. I also saw a young boy, named Brittle, (Brickell, proba- 
bly, see his narrative, Am. Pioneer, i. 43,) who was taken in the spring, from near a mill, 
(Capt. O'Hara's,) near Pittsburgh, his hair was cut, and he was dressed and armed for war; 
cxmld not get speaking to him. About the 5th June, in the Detroit river, I met from 
sixty to one hundred canoes, in three parties, containing a large party of Indians, who 
appeared to be very wild and uncivilized; they were dressed chiefly in buffalo and other 
skin blankets, with otter skin and other fur breech cloths, armed with bows, and arrows, 
and spears ; they had no guns, and seemed to set no store by them, or know little of 
their use, nor had they any inclination to receive them, though offered to them. They 
said they were three moons on their way. The other Indians called them Mannitoos. 
About this time there was a field day of the troops at Detroit, which I think is from five 
to six hundred in number; the next day a field day of the French militia took place, and 
one hundred and fifly of the Canadians, with some others, turned out volunteers to join 
the Indians, and were to set off the 8th for the Miami village, with their own horses, 
afler being plentifully supplied with arms and ammunition, clothing, and provision, &c. 
to fit them for the march. While I was at the Miami or Ottawa river, as they call it, I 
had mentioned to Colonel McKee, and the other ofiicers, that I had seen Colonel 
Procter, on his way to Fort Franklin ; that I understood that he was on his way to the 
the Miami, or Sandusky, with some of the Scnccas, and that he expected the Cornplanter 
would accompany him, in order to settle matters with the hostile nations ; and that he 
expected to get shipping at Fort Erie, to bring him and these people to the Miami, or 
Sandusky, &c. That the officers, in their conversation with each other, said, if they were 

1790-95. Preparations for Harmar^s Campaign. 337 

At the time of Gamelin's mission, the spring of 1790, before 
any act of hostility on the part of the United States had made 
reconciliation impossible, and before the success of the savages 
had made their demands such as could not be granted, we cannot 
but think it would have been true wisdom to have sent to the 
northern tribes, not an Indian trader, but such a representation as 
was sent three years later.* Such, however, was not the course 
pursued. Governor St. Clair, under the acts of Congi'ess passed 
the previous year,t on the 15th of July, called upon Virginia for 
1,000, and upon Pennsylvania for 500 militia. Of these, 300 
were to meet at Fort Steuben (Jeffersonville) to aid the troops 
from Fort Knox (Vincennes) against the Weas and Kickapoos of 
the Wabash ; 700 were to gather at Fort Washington, (Cincinnati;) 
and 500 just below Wheeling; the two latter bodies being intend- 
ed to march with the Federal troops, from Fort Washington, under 
General Harmar, against the towns at the junction of the St. 
Mary and St. Joseph. | The Kentucky militia men began to come 
in at Fort Washington about the middle of September, the 15th 

at Fort Erie, he should get no shipping there, &c. That the Mohawks and other Indians, 
that could speak English, declare that if he (meaning Colonel Procter,) or any other 
Yankee messenger, came there, they should never carry messages back. This was fre- 
quently expressed by the Indians; and Simon Girty, and a certain Patt Hill, declared 
Procter should not return, if he had a hundred Senecas with him ; and many other such 
threats were used, and every movement, appearance, and declaration, seemed hostile 
to the United States. And I understood that Colonel McKee, and the other officers, 
intended only to stay at the Miami till they had furnished the war parties of Indians with 
the necessaries mentioned above, to fit them for war, and then would return to Detroit. 
That Elliott had returned to Detroit, and Simon Girty, and that Girty declared he would 
go and join the Indians, and that Captain Elliott told him he was going the next day, with 
a boat load of goods for the Indians, and that Girty might have a passage with him. 
That on the 7th of June, the ship Dunmore sailed for Fort Erie, in which I got a pas- 
sage. We arrived there in four days. About the 12th of June I saw taken into this 
vessel, a number of cannon, eighteen pounders, with other military stores, and better 
than two companies of artillery troops, destined, as I understood, for Detroit and the 
upper posts ; some of the artillery-men had to remain behind, for want of room in the 
vessel. I have just recollected that, while I was at the Ottawa river, I saw a party of 
warriors come in with the arms, accoutrements, clothing, &c. of a sergeant, corporal, 
and, they said, twelve men, whom they had killed in some of the lower posts on the 
Ohio; that a man of the Indian department offered me a coat, which had a number of 
bullet and other holes in it, and was all bloody, which I refused to take, and Colonel 
McKee then ordered me clothes out of the Indian store." (Am. State Papers, v. ]96.) 

* It may be said Colonel Procter in 1791, was in danger of assassination. (Rhea's 
account. American State Papers, v. 196. See above,) but that was after Harmar's 

t See Ante, p. 319. 

:J American State Papers, v. 94, 92. 


338 StaU of the Kentucky Troops. 1790-95. 

being the day named. — Of their fitness for service we may judge 
by Major Ferguson's evidence. 

They were very ill equipped, being almost destitute of camp kettles 
•<md axes ; nor could a supply of these essential articles be procured. 
There arms were, generally, very bad, and unfit for service ; as I was 
the commanding officer of artillery, ihey came under my inspection, in 
making what repairs the time would permit ; and as a specimen of their 
badness, I would inform the court, that a rifle was brought to be repair- 
ed without a lock, and another without a stock. I often asked the 
owners what induced them to think that those guns could be repaired at 
that time ? And they gave me for answer, that they were told in Ken- 
tucky that all repairs would be made at Fort Washington. Many of 
the officers told me, that they had no idea of there being half the num- 
ber of bad arms in the whole district of Kentucky, as was then in the 
hands of their men. As soon as the principal part of the Kentucky 
militia arrived, the General began to organize them : in this he had 
many difficulties to encounter. Colonel Trotter aspired to the command, 
although Colonel Hardin was the eldest officer, and in this he was en- 
couraged both by men and officers, who openly declared, unless Colonel 
Trotter commanded them, they would return home. After two or three 
days the business was settled, and they [i. e. the Kentucky men] were 
formed into three battalions, under the command of Colonel Trotter, and 
Colonel Hardin had the command of all the militia, [both Pennsylvania 
and Virginia.] As soon as they were arranged, they were mustered ; 
crossed the Ohio, and, on the 26th, marched, and encamped about ten 
miles from Fort Washington. The last of the Pennsylvania militia ar- 
rived on the 25th September. They were equipped nearly as the Ken- 
tucky, but were worse armed ; several were without any. The General 
ordered all the arms in store to be delivered to those who had none, and 
those whose guns could not be repaired. Amongst the militia were a 
great many hardly able to bear arms, such as old, infirm men, and young 
boys ; they were not such as might be expected from a frontier country, 
viz. the smart active woodsman, well accustomed to arms, eager and 
alert to revenge the injuries done them and their connexions. No, there 
were a great number of them substitutes, who probably had never fired 
a gun. Major Paul, of Pennsylvania, told me, that many of his men 
were so awkward, that they could not take their gun locks off to oil 
them, and put them on again, nor could they put in their flints so as to 
be useful ; and even of such materials, the numbers came far short of 
what was ordered, as may be seen by the returns.* 

* American SUte Papers, xii. 20. 

1790-95, Expedition against the Miami Villages. 339 

Trouble had been anticipated from the aversion of the frontier 
men to act with regular troops,* General Harmar had been 
warned on the subject by the Secretary of War, — and every pains 
had been taken to avoid the evils apprehended. Notice had also 
been given to the British that the troops collected were to be used 
against the Indians alone, so that no excuse might be given 
McKee & Co., for co-operation;! and when upon the 30th of 
September Harmar left Fort Washington, every step seemed to 
have been taken which experience or judgment could suggest to 
secure the success of the expedition. | The same seems to have 
been true of the march, the Court of Inquiry held in 1791, hav- 
ing approved every arrangement. || On the 13th of October, the 
army being then thirty or thirty-five miles from the Miami villages, 
it was determined, in consequence of information given by a cap- 
tured Indian, to send forward Colonel John Hardin with a 
detachment of 600 militia men and one company of regulars, to 
surprise the enemy, and keep them in their forts until the main 
body could come up with the artillery. 

On the 14th this party marched forward, and upon the next day 
about three o'clock reached the villages, but they were deserted. 
On the morning of the 17th the main army arrived, and the work 

* American State Papers, v. 100. 

t American State Papers, v. 'SG. 

I The troops were organized and moved forward, as follows : 

"The Kentuckians composed three battalions, under the Majors Hall, McMullen and 
Ray, with Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Trotter at their head. The Pennsylvanians 
were formed into one battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel Tnibley and Major Paul, the 
whole to be commanded by Colonel John Hardin, subject to the orders of General Har- 
mar. The 30th, the General having got forward all the supplies that he expected, he 
moved out with the federal troops, formed into two small battalions, under the imme- 
diate command of Major Wyllys and Major Doughty, together with Captain Ferguson's 
company of artillery, and three pieces of ordinance. On the 2d of October, General 
Harmar joined the advanced troops early in the morning ; the remaining part of the day 
was spent in forming the line of march, the order of encampment and battle, and explain- 
ing the same to the militia field officers. General Harmar's orders will show the several 
formations. On the 4th the army took up the order of march as is described in the orders. 
On the 5th a reinforcement of horsemen and mounted infantry joined from Kentucky. 
The dragoons were formed into two troops; the mounted riflemen made a company, and 
this small battalion of light troops were put under the command of Major Fontaine. 

The whole of General Hamar's command then may be stated thus; 
3 battalions of Kentucky militia,^ 

1 do. Pennsylvania do. S 1133 

1 do. Light troops mounted do. ) 

2 do. Federal troops, - - - 320 

Total, - 1453" 

(American State Papers, xii. 24.) 

3 American State Papers, xii. 30 to 33 : all the plans are given. 

340 Bestruction of Villages and other property . 1790-95, 

of destruction commenced; by the 21st, the chief town, five other 
villages, and nearly 20,000 bushels of corn in ears had been 
destroyed. * When IIpj mar reached the Maumee towns and 
found no enemy, he thought of pushing forward to attack the Wea 
and other Indian settlements upon the Wabash, but was prevented 
by the loss both of pack horses and cavalry horses, which the 
Indians seem to have stolen in quantities to suit themselves, in 
consequence of the wilful carelessness of the owners, who made 
the United States pay first for the use of their nags, then for the 
nags themselves, f The Wabash plan being dropped, Colonel 
Trotter was despatched with 300 men to scour the woods in 
search of an enemy, as the tracks of women and children had 
been seen near by ; and we cannot give a better idea of the utter 
want of discipline in the army, than by some extracts^ from the 
evidence of Lieutenant (afterwards Captain) Armstrong ; || this 
gentleman was with Trotter during the 18th of October, and also 
with Hardin, who, on the 19th, took the command. General Har- 
raar being much dissatisfied with Trotter's ineffective Indian chase 
of the previous day. 

After we had proceeded about a mile, says Armstrong, the cavalry 
gave chase to an Indian, who was mounted, him they overtook and 
killed. Before they returned to the column a second appeared, on which 
the four field olficers left their commands and pursued, leaving the troops 
near half an hour without any directions whatever. The cavalry came 
across the second Indian, and, after he had wounded one of their party, 
killed him also. When the infantry came up to this place they imme- 
diately fell into confusion, upon w^hich I gained permission to leave them 
some distance on the road, where I formed an ambuscade. After I had 
been some time at my station, a fellow on horseback came to me who 
had lost the party in pursuit of the first Indian ; he was much frighten- 
ed, and said he had been pursued by fifty mounted Indians. On my 
telling this story to Colonel Trotter, notwithstanding ray observations 
to him, he changed his route, and marched in various directions until 
night, when he returned to camp. 

On our arrival in camp. General Harmar sent for me, and after asking 
rae many questions, ordered one subaltern and twenty militia to join my 
command. AVith these I reached the river St. Joseph about ten at 

* Lieutenant Denny. American State Papers, xii. 25. 

t Major Ferguson. American State Papers, xii. 21. 

\ Slightly altered in language ; see also Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 195-6. 

U He was promoted, says Judge Burnet, March 1791. He resigned his commission in 
1793, and was afterwards Colonel of the militia. — See Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 
7, 37, 66. 

1790-95. Fergusoii's Account of Harmar^s First Action. 341 

night, and with a guide proceeded to an Indian town, about two 
miles distant, where I continued with my parly until the morning of 
the nineteenth. About nine o'clocic I joined the remainder of the de- 
tachment under Colonel Hardin. We marched on the route Colonel 
Trotter had pursued the day before, and after passing a morass about 
five miles distant, we came to where the enemy had encamped the day 
before. Here we made a short halt, and the commanding officer 
disposed of the parties at a distance from each other ; after a halt of 
half an hour, we were ordered to move on, and Captain Faulkner's 
company was left on the ground ; the Colonel having neglected giving 
him orders to move on. After we had proceeded about three miles, we 
fell in with two Indians on foot, who threw off their packs, and the 
brush being thick, made their escape. I then asked Colonel Hardin 
where Captain Faulkner was ? He said he was lost, and then sent 
Major Fontaine with part of the cavalry in search of him, and moved 
on with the remainder of the troops. Some time after, I informed 
Colonel Hardin a gun had fired in our front, which might be considered 
as an alarm gun, and that I saw where a horse had come down the road, 
and returned again ; but the Colonel still moved on, giving no orders, 
nor making any arrangements for an attack. Some time after, I dis- 
covered the enemy's fires at a distance, and informed the Colonel, who 
replied, that they would not fight, and rode in front of the advance, 
until fired on from behind the fires ; when he, the Colonel, retreated, 
and with him all the militia except nine, who continued with me, and 
were instantly killed, with twenty-four of the federal troops ; seeing my 
last man fall, and being surrounded by the savages, I threw myself into 
a thicket, and remained there three hours in day-light ;* during that time 
I had an opportunity of seeing the enemy pass and re-pass, and con- 
ceived their numbers did not amount to one hundred men ; some were 
mounted, others armed with rifles, and the advance with tomahawks 
only. I am of opinion that had Colonel Trotter proceeded, on the 18lh, 
agreeably to his orders, having killed the enemy's sentinels, he would 
have surprised their camp and with ease defeated them ; or had Colonel 
Hardin arranged his troops, or made any military disposition, on the 
19th, that he would have gained a victory. Our defeat I therefore 
ascribed to two causes ; the unofficer-like conduct of Colonel Hardin, 
(who I believe was a brave man,) and the cowardly behaviour of the 
militia ; many of them threw down their arms loaded, and I believe that 
none, except the party under my command, fired a gun.t 

* Various accounts in addition to this statement by Annstrong, say tliat he was in a 
swamp or pond, up to his neck ; (Butler, 192. — Cist, in his Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 183.) 
Other accounts say he was merely concealed in the swamp, or up to his waist in water, 
(McClung's Sketches, 241. Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 39.) Our readers must take their 
choice among the different statements as to the Lieutenant's position. 

t American State Papers, xii. p. 26. 

342 Jealousy between the Regulars and Militia. 1790-95. 

At tills time probably the jealousy between the regulars and 
militia which had been anticipated, and which had threatened 
trouble at Fort Washington, began effectually to work mischief; 
the regular troops disliked to be commanded by Trotter and Har- 
din, the army officers despised the militia, and the militia hating 
them, were impatient under the control of Harmar and his staff. 
Again, the rivalry between Trotter and Hardin was calculated to 
make the elements of discord and disobedience yet more wide- 
spread ; so that all true confidenee between the officers and men 
was destroyed, and with it, of necessity, all true strength. 

But though the troops had been disappointed and defeated, the 
houses and crops had been burned and wasted, and upon the 21st 
of October, the army commenced its homeward march. But Har- 
din was not easy under his defeat, and the night of the 21st being 
favorable, he proposed to Harmar to send back a detachment to 
the site of the villages just destroyed, supposing the savages 
would have already returned thither!- The General was not very 
walling to try farther experiments, but Hardin urged him, and at 
last obtained an order for 340 rnilitia, of which 40 were mounted, 
and 60 regular troops; the former under Hardin himself, the latter 
under Major Wyllys. How they fared shall be told by Captain 
Asheton, an actor in the affray. 

The detachment marched in three columns, the federal troops in the 
centre, at the head of which I was posted, with Major Wyllys and 
Colonel Hardin in my front ; the militia formed the columns to the right 
and left. From delays, occasioned by the militia's halting, we did not 
reach the banks of the Omee [Maumeej till some time after sun-rise. 
The spies then discovered the enemy, and reported to Major Wyllys, who 
halted the federal troops, and moved the militia on some distance in 
front, where he gave his orders and plan of attack to the several com- 
manding officers of corps. Those orders were not communicated to 
me. Major Wyllys reserved the command of the federal troops to 
himself. Major Hall, with his battalion, was directed to take a circuit- 
ous route round the bend of the Omee River, cross the Pickaway Fork, 
(or St. Mary's) which brought him directly in the rear of the enemy, 
and there wait until the attack should commence with Major M'Mullen's 
battalion. Major Fontaine's cavalry, and Major Wyllys with the federal 
troops, who all crossed the Omee at, and near, the common fording 
place. After the attack commenced, the troops were by no means to 
separate, but were to embody, or the battalions to support each other, as 
circumstances required. From this disposition it appeared evident, that 
it was the intention of Major Wyllys to surround die enemy, and that 

1790-95. Harmar^s Second Action. 343 

if Colonel Hall, who had gained his ground undiscovered, had not wan- 
tonly disobeyed his orders, by firing on a single Indian, the surprise 
must have been complete. The Indians then fled with precipitation, the 
battalions of militia pursuing in different directions. Major Fontaine 
made a charge upon a small party of savages — he fell the first fire, and 
his troops dispersed. The federal troops, who were then left unsup- 
ported became an easy sacrifice to much the largest party of Indians 
that had been seen that day. It is my opinion that the misfortunes of 
that day were owing to the separation of troops, and disobedience of 
orders. After the federal troops were defeated, and the firing in all 
quarters nearly ceased. Colonel Hall and Major McMuUen, with their 
battalions, met in the town, and after discharging, cleaning, and fresh 
loading their arms, which took up about half an hour, proceeded to join 
the army unmolested. I am convinced that the detachment, if it had 
been kept embodied, was sufficient to have answered the fullest expecta- 
tions of the General, and needed no support ; but I was informed a 
battalion under Major Ray was ordered out for that purpose.* 

When Hardin returned to camp after this skirmish, he wished 
the General either to send another party, or take the whole army to 
the battle ground, but Harmar would not favor either plan. He 
did not wish, he said, to divide his troops; he had little food 
for his horses; and he thought the Indians had received "a very 
good scourging ;" upon the next morning, accordingly, the army 
took up its line of march for Fort Washington, in a regular, soldier- 
like way. Two men, says Hardin, wished to have another tussle 
with the Miamies ; — of the whole army only two ! f Before reach- 
ing Fort Washington, however, new trouble occurred. 

At old Chillicothe, on Little Miami, says Colonel Hardin, a number 
of the militia, contrary to orders, fired off their guns. I endeavored to 
put a stop to such disorderly behavior, and commanded that those offend- 
ers that could be taken should be punished agreeably to general orders ; 
and having caught a soldier myself in the very act of firing his gun, or- 
dered a file of men to take him immediately and carry him to the six 
pounder, and for the drummer to tie him up and give him six lashes ; I 
was shortly after met by Colonel Trotter and Major McMuUen, and a 
number of militia soldiers, who in an abrupt manner asked me by what 

* American State Papers, xii. 28. — See account in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 1S3 ; — 
also,McClunK's (Sketches of Western Adventure, p. 241,) and others. — We prefer that of 
an eye-witness. — We have verbally changed Asheton's statement, which is given in the 
third person. See also Hardin's deposition, American State Papers, xii. 34. 

tSee in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 105, an account of Harmar's Campaign, by one 

344 Indian view of Harmar^s Campaign. 1790-95. 

authority I ordered that soldier whipped ; I replied in support of general 
orders ; on which a very warm dispute ensued between Colonel Trotter, 
Major McMullen, and myself. The General being informed of what 
had happened, came forward, and gave Colonel Trotter and Major Mc- 
Mullen a very severe reprimand, ordered the federal troops to parade, 
and the drummer to do his duty, swearing he would risk his life in sup- 
port of his orders : the man received the number of lashes ordered, and 
several that were confined were set at liberty ; numbers of the militia 
seemed much pleased with what was done. This intended mutiny 
being soon quashed, the army proceeded in good order to Fort Wash- 
ington. When the army arrived at the mouth of Licking, the General 
informed me he had determined to arrest some of the militia officers for 
their bad conduct, and send tliem home with disgrace ; but I opposed 
his intention, alleging that it would be a disgrace to the whole militia ; 
that he would perhaps stand in need of their assistance on some future 
occasion, and it would sour their minds and cause them to (urn out with 
reluctance ; and that his discharging them generally with honor perhaps 
would answer a better purpose ; the General readily indulged my 

To this last act, which caused much discontent among the fron- 
tier men; — to the two defeats of the 19th and 22d of October (for 
such they were ; ) and to the want of any efficiency on the part of 
Harmar, who, though guilty of no breach of military care or common 
skill, acted like an old woman, compared with such men as Clark, 
and "Mad Anthony," must be ascribed the great unpopularity of 
this campaign. The army, as a whole, effected all that the popu- 
lar expeditions of Clark in 1782, and of Scott and Wilkinson in 
1791, did, we mean the annihilation of towns and corn, and was 
by Harmar and St. Clair considered very successful ;t but in real- 
ity, in the view of the Indians, it was an utter failure and defeat. 
Their account of it was this : 

There have been two engagements about the Miami towns, between 
the Americans and the Indians, in which it is said, the former had about 
five hundred men killed, and that the rest have retreated. The loss was 
only fifteen or twenty on the side of the Indians. The Shawanese, 
Miamis, and Pottawottamies were, I understand, the principal tribes 
who were engaged ; but I do not learn that any of the nations have 

* American State Papers, xii. 35. 

t This is clear, as we know, from Harrnar's general orders, upon October 21, when he 
took up his march for Fort Washington, and from his report to the Secretary of' War. 
(American State Papers, v. J 05. 104.) 

1790-95. Letter from Rufus Putnam,. 345 

refused their alliance or assistance, and it is confidently reported that 
they are now marching against the frontiers on tha Ohio.* 

Nor was the report of the invasion of the settlements on the 
Ohio shore far from the truth. 

On the evening of the 2d [Jan. '9 1] says Rufus Putnam, writing to the 
President — between sunset and daylight-in, the Indians surprised a new 
settlement of our people, at a place on the Muskingum, called the Big 
Bottom, nearly forty miles up the river, in which disaster eleven men, 
one woman, and two children^ were killed : three men are missing, and 
four others made their escape. Thus, sir, the war, which was partial 
before the campaign of last year, is, in all probability, become general : 
I think there is no reason to suppose that we are the only people on 
whom the savages will wreak their vengeance, or that the number of 
hostile Indians have not increased since the late expedition. Our situa- 
tion is truly critical; the Governor and Secretary both being absent, no 
assistance, from Virginia or Pennsylvania can be had. The garrison ai; 
fort Harmar, consisting at this time of little more than twenty men, can 
afford no protection to our settlements, and the whole number of men, 
in all our settlements, capable of bearing arms, including all civil and 
military officers, do not exceed two hundred and eighty-seven, and these, 
many of them, badly armed. We are in the utmost danger of being 
swallowed up, should the enemy push the war with vigor during the 
winter; this I believe will fully appear, by taking a short view of our 
several settlements, and I hope justify the extraordinary measures we 
have adopted, for want of a legal authority in the territory to apply for 
aid in the business. The situation of our people is nearly as follows : 

At Marietta are about eighty houses, in the distance of one mile, with 
scattering houses about three miles up the Ohio. A set of mills at Duck 
Creek, four miles distant, and another mill two miles up the Muskingum. 
Twenty-two miles up this river is a settlement, consisting of about 
twenty families ; about two miles from them, on Wolf Creek, are five 
families and a set of mills. Down the Ohio, and opposite the Little 
Kenawha, commences the settlement called Belle Prairie, which extends 
down the river, with little interruption, about twelve miles, and contains 
between thirty and forty houses. Before the late disaster, we had 
several other settlements, which are already broken up. I have taken 
the liberty to enclose the proceedings of the Ohio company and justices 
of the sessions on this occasion, and beg leave, with the greatest defe- 
rence, to observe, that, unless Government speedily send a body of 
troops for our protection, we are a ruined people. The removal of the 

* See Stone, ii, 294. 

346 Plan of another Campaign. 1790-95. 

women and children, etc. will reduce many of the poorer sort to the 
greatest straits ; but if we add to this the destruction of their corn, 
forage, and cattle, by the enemy, which is very probable to ensue, I 
know of no way they can be supported; but, if this should not happen, 
where these people are to raise bread another year, is not easy to con- 
jecture, and most of them have nothing left to buy with. But my fears 
do not stop here ; we are a people so far detached from all others, in 
point of situation, that we can hope for no timely relief, in case of emer- 
gency, from any of our neighbors ; and, among the number that com- 
pose our present military strength, almost one half are young men, hired 
into the country, intending to setde by and by ; these, under present 
circumstances, will probably leave us soon, unless prospects should 
brighten; and, as to new settlers, we can expect none in our present 
situation ; so that, instead of increasing in strength, we are likely to 
diminish daily ; and, if we do not fall a prey to the savages, we sliall 
be so reduced and discouraged as to give up the settlement, unless Gov- 
ernment shall give us timely protection. It has been a mystery with 
some, why the troops have been withdrawn from this quarter, and col- 
lected at the Miami; that settlement is, I believe, within three or four 
days' march of a very populous part of Kentucky, from whence, in a 
few days, they might be reinforced with several thousand men, whereas, 
we are not within two hundred miles of any settlement, that can proba- 
bly more than protect themselves.* 

The spirit thus manifested by the tribes which had just been 
attacked, and the general feelings along the frontier in rela- 
tion to Harmar's expedition, made the United States Government 
sensible that their first step in the conduct of backwoods warfare, 
had been a failure, and that prompt and strong measures, calcu- 
lated either to win, or force a state of peace, must be adopted. f 
The plan which was resorted to was a three-fold one; 1st, to send 
a messenger to the western Indians wath offers of peace, to be ac- 
companied by some of the Iroquois chieftains favorable to America ; 
2d, at the same time to organize expeditions in the west, to strike 
the Wea, Miami and Shawanee towns in case it should be clear 
the peace messenger Avould fail in his mission ; and 3d, to prepare 
a grand and overwhelming force Avith which to take possession of 
the country of the enemies and build forts in their midst4 The 

* See American State Papers, v. 121. — See a full account of the settlement on Big Bot- 
tom, and the attack upon it: by Dr. Hildreth, American Pioneer, ii. 101. 

+ See Knox's Report, American State Papers, v. 112. 

I The act for protecting the frontier was signed March 3d, 1791. (American State 
Papers, xii. 36.) St. Clair was appointed to the command on the 4th. (do.) 

1790-95. Views of British in 1191. 347 

person selected to convey messages of peace was Colonel Thomas 
Procter, who received his commission upon the 10th or 11th 
of March, 1791, and upon the 12th left Philadelphia for the settle- 
ment of Cornplanter, or Captain O'Beel or Abeel, the chief warrior 
of the Senecas, and the firm friend of Washington and the Union. 
This chief, with others of similar sentiments, had been in Philadel- 
phia in the previous December, and had promised to use all their 
influence to secure peace.* To them Procter was sent, in the hope 
that they would go with him westward, and be the means of 
preventing farther bloodshed. In this hope, however, Washington 
and Knox were disappointed; for, when, with great, difficulty, the 
American messenger had prevailed upon certain of the Iroquois to 
accompany him, provided a water passage could be had, the 
British commandant at Niagara would not allow an English vessel 
to be hired to convey the ambassadors up Lake Erie ; and as no 
other could be obtained, the whole enterprise failed. 

But in order to understand the difficulties which Proctor met 
with, we must look at the views of the British, and of those Indi- 
ans who remained firm to the British at this period. After Har- 
mar's campaign, the tribes of the north-west sent a deputation to 
Lord Dorchester to learn what aid England would give them in 
the contest now fairly opened. What answer precisely was given 
by the governor we do not know, but his wishes seem to have 
been that peace might be restored and preserved.! Colonel Gor- 
don, the British commandant at Niagara, who afterward stopped 
Procter, was also an advocate of peace ; and on the 4th of March 
wrote to Brant in these words : 

I hope you will embrace the present opportunity of the meeting of 
the chiefs of the Five Nations in your neighborhood, to use your endea- 
vors to heal the wounds between the Indians and Americans. I dare say 
the States wish to make peace on terms which will secure to the Indians 
their present possessions in the Miami country, provided the young men 
are restrained from committing depredations in future.| 

Brant himself, on the 7th of March, writing to McKee, (the 
agent among the Miamies,) says: 

I have received two letters from the States, from gentlemen who have 
been lately in Philadelphia ; by which it appears the Americans secretly 

* American State Papers, v. 140 to 145. Cornplanter, like Brant, was a half breed ; his 
father's name was O'Beel : See a particular account of him in Day's Historical Collec- 
tions of Pennsylvania, 655 ; also Stone's Life of Red Jacket. 

t Stone, ii. 296. 298. \ See Stone, ii. 297. 

348 Reasons of Indian and British Dissatisfaction. 1790-95. 

wish to accommodate the matter — which I should by all means advise, 
if it could be effected upon honorable and liberal terms, and a peace be- 
come general.* 

With these views prevailing, Avhy did Brant, Gordon, and the 
other officers of Britain do so little afterwards to preserve pacific 
relations ? First, it would seem that the Mohawk chieftain was 
offended by the favor shown Cornplanter, his deadly foe,t and by 
the attempt of the Americans to divide the Iroquois ; and in regard 
to the latter point at least the British sympathized with him. 2dly, 
it is clear that the representatives of England, in Canada, w^ere 
offended, and we think naturally, at the entire disregard shown 
by the American Government of their influence over the savages 
of the north-west. Those tribes w^ere closely connected with the 
British agents, and under their control, and Lord Dorchester, Col- 
onel Gordon and Brant looked for an appeal to them as mediators 
in the quarrel about to burst forth ; or at any rate, for an accept- 
ance by the Americans of their mediation, if asked by the Indi- 
ans: — an acceptance of the kind given in 1793, after St. Clair's 
defeat; and which was not, of course, dishonorable or degrading. 
Thirdly, both the Indians and English w^ere puzzled and excited 
by the seeming (though our readers will know in no degree actual) 
want of good faith on the part of the States ; which, at the same 
moment almost, commissioned Scott to war upon the Miamies, 
Procter to treat of peace w^ith them, St. Clair to invade and take 
possession of their lands, and Pickering to hold a council with 
their brethren for burying the fatal hatchet, and quenching the de- 
structive brand. 

From the inconsistent proceedings of the Americans, — says Colonel 
Gordon to Brant, upon the 11th of June, — I am perfectly at a loss to 
understand their full intentions. Whilst they are assembling councils at 
different quarters with the avowed purpose of bringing about a peace, 
the Six Nations have received a speech from General St. Clair, dated at 
Pittsburgh, 23d April, inviting them to take up the hatchet against their 
brothers the western nations. 

Can any thing be more inconsistent? or can they possibly believe the 
Indians arc to be duped by such shallow artifices ? This far from being 
the case; the Indians at Buffalo Creek saw the business in its proper 
light, and treated the invitation with the contempt it deserved. It must 

• See Stone, ii. 298. 

t American State Papers, v. 167; stated by General Knox, 

1790-95. BranVs Movements in 1791. 349 

strike you very forcibly, that in all the proceedings of the different 
Commissioners from the American States, they have cautiously avoided 
applying for our interference, as a measure they affect to to think per- 
fectly unnecessary ; wishing to impress the Indians with the ideas of 
their own consequence, and of the little influence, they