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From the library of 

Walter Colyer 

Albion, Illinois 

Purchased 1926 




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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by JAMES R. ALBACH, in the 
Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Missouri. 




IN presenting a second Edition of this work, the pro- 
jector and proprietor believes the occasion appropriate 
for an explanation of such circumstances as induced 
the undertaking. 

From his earliest recollection, the study of the histo- 
ry and geography of our country, has afforded pleasures 
to be derived, in an equal degree, from few other sour- 
ces. The memories of childhood recall the delightful 
emotions ever experienced from listening to recitals of 
thrilling events, and descriptions of distant scenes. 

The gratification of similar^ emotions, or rather a pas- 
sion for an acquaintance with historical and topographi- 
cal facts relative to the " Great West," but particularly 
such as might elucidate its beginnings, rise, and pro- 
gress towards its future destiny, has been a principal 
employment of the publisher for nearly thirty years, 
during which time he has traversed most of that exten- 
sive region, and visited nearly every memorable spot, 
for the means of forming an enlightened judgment, and 
correct ideas of men and events in times past. Nothing, 
however, of the materials or knowledge thus acquired, 
was collected with a view to publication, being solely 


the natural and incidental results of researches, entered 
upon and pursued for his private gratification. 

A change of circumstances, however, seemed to jus- 
tify an alteration of purposes ; consequently, in 1844, 
promulgation was commenced by written and oral lec- 
tures ; as one thought originates another, in 1845 the 
idea of publishing in book form, first occurred. 

The proprietor, then residing in Ohio, submitted his 
plan to several gentlemen of eminent standing, who at 
once gave it their cordial approbation. A prospectus 
was immediately circulated, and patrons by hundreds, 
obtained throughout that community. 

Demonstrations of future popularity, sufficient to en- 
sure a successful issue, having thus been made, an en- 
gagement was entered into in the spring of 1846, with 
the late Rev. JAMES H. PERKINS, of Cincinnati, by which 

he took charge of the compilation, and prepared the 

work fer the press ; and no one acquainted with that 

deservedly esteemed and lamented gentleman, need be 
informed, that the trust could not have been committed 
to better or more able hands. 

A volume of 600 pages appeared before the close of 
that year : but an obligation to publish at the promised 
time, made it necessary, somewhat, to depart from the 
projector's plan, and to present the book in a form not 
deemed the most eligible. 

In view of this circumstance, together with a desire 
to extend and amplify the sketches of Illinois, Missouri, 


and other communities more recently developed, the 
present Edition was resolved upon: which is a revision 
of the first, enlarged by the Rev. JOHN M. PECK, of Illinois, 
a gentleman well calculated for this duty, from his long 
residence in the West and familiarity with the history of 
those portions less elaborately treated of in the former 
Edition. Notwithstanding, this edition is still not ar- 
ranged in strict accordance with the plan originally pro- 
jected, yet it is believed that for general accuracy and 
especial fulness of detail, it may be commended to its 
readers in its present form as worthy of attention. 
Although it is not presumed to be wholly free from er- 
rors and imperfections, it will be found to contain a 
faithful narrative of memorable events, deserving the 
perusal of western people, especially the young, and the 
descendants of our Pioneers, to whom the volume is 
most respectfully DEDICATED. 

St. Louis, May, 1850. 


1512. Ponce de Leon discovers Florida. 

1516. Diego Miruelo visits Florida. 

1526. PaBiphilo de Narvaez goes to Florida. 

1538. De Soto asks leave to conquer Florida. 

1539. May, De Soto reaches Tampa and Appalachee bays. 

1541. De Soto reaches Mississippi, and crosses it to Washita. 
DeSoto reaches Mavilla, on the Alabama. 

1542. De SoUo 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 First grants Carolina to Sir Robert Heath, p. 69. 

1G34. 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 iu Canada. 

1671. French take formal possession of the north-west. 
Marquette founds St. Ignatius on Strait of Mackinac. 

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

June 10, Marquette and his companions cross from Fox river to Wiscon- 

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. Returns and rebuilds Fort Frontenac. 

1677. La Salle visits France a second time. 



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

1679. January, La Salle loses his stores. 

August 7, The Griffin sails up Lake Erie ; 27th, at Mackinac. 

1679. Sept. 18, The Griffin sent back to Niagara. 

Nov. 1, La Salle at St. Joseph's river, Lake Michigan. 
Dec. 3, La Salle crosses to Kankakee. 

1680. Jan. 4, La Salle in Peoria Lake; Fort Crevecoeur built. 
Feb. 28, Hennepin sent to explore the Upper Mississippi. 
March, La Salle returns to Canada. 

April&May, Hennepin on the Upper Mississippi. 

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

leave the Illinois. 

Oct. & Nov. La Salle returns to the Illinois. 
November, Hennepin returns to Canada and Europe. 

1681. June, La Salle and Tonti meet at Mackinac. 
August, La Salle a third time goes to the Illinois. 
Nov. 3, La Salle at St. Joseph's again. 

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

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

1683. Dec. 13, La Salle reaches France. 

1684. July 24, La Salle sails flora 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. 

The Iroquois place themselves under England. 

1685. January, La Salle in the Gulf of Mexico. 

February 4, La Salle sends par^y on shore to go eastward foi mouth of Mis- 

Feb. 13, La Salle reaches Matagorda Bay. 

March 15, La Salle left in Texas, by Beaujeu. 

July, Attempts to build a Fort, and is unfortunate, and his men sick 

and die. 

December, La Salle goes to look for Mississippi. 

1686. March, La Salle returns to Matagorda Bay. 

April, La Salle goes again to seek the Mississippi, and find a route to- 


April, Tonti goes down Mississippi 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 s?ven reach Fort St. Louis on Illinois river. 



1688. La Hontan's travels to the "Lcn river." [Doub'.ful.] 

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

the Illinois. 

Kaskaskia founded, dato unknown. 
Cahokia founded, date unknown. 
Peoria a trading post. 

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 Missisippi and meets English. 

1700. January, D'Iberville returns from France. 

D'Iberville goes up the Mississippi. 

D'Iberville sends Le Sueur for copper to Upper Mississippi. 

M. St. Dennis explored Red river. 

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

1703. Settlement on Washita. 

St. Dennis in Texas and the Presidie. 

1705. Missouri river explored to Kanzas. 

1707. First grant of land at Detroit. 

1708. D'Artaguette in Louisiana. 

1710. Governor Spotswood of Virginia explores the Alleghanies. 

1712. Louisiana granted to Crozat. 

1714. Fort Rosalie commenced. 

1716. St. Dennis in possession of Texas. 

1717. Crozat resigns Louisiana. 

September, Louisiana trade granted to Company of West. 

1718. Colonists sent to Louisiana, and New Orleans laid out. 
Fort Chartres commenced. 

1719. Company of the West made Company of the Indies. 
La Harpe builds a Fort in Texas. 

Renault leaves France for Illinois. 
Fort Chartres finished. 

1720. January, Law made minister of finance. 

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

May, Company of Indies bankrupt. 

Renault arrives in Illinois, and sends out mining parties. 

Mine La Motte discovered. 

Spanish invasion of the Missouries from Santa Fe, defeated 
and destroyed. 

La Harpe explores Washita and Arkansas rivers. 

1722. Charlevoix visits Illinois. 

1726. Iroquois a third time place themselves under England. 

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

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


1731. Previous to this, Gov. Keilh wishes West secured to England. 

1732. Company of Indies resign Louisiana to King. 

1735. Vincennes settled according to some, (see pp. 66-68.) 
Daniel Boone born. 

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

May 27, Bienville fails in assault on Chickasaws and 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. 
Renault returns to France. 

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. Forty vessels at New Orleans. 
Dr. Walker explores Kentucky. 

1751. Christopher Gist explores Ohio and Great Miami. 

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 ''Brarfdock's road.'' 
Nov. 15, Washington leaves Will's creek for Ohio. 
Nov. 22, Washington reaches Monougahela. 
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 Forks of Ohio taken by French. 
May, Washington crosses Alleghanies and attacks and kills Jumon- 

viile and his party. 

June, New York sends 5000 to Virginia. 

July, 1. Washington at Fort Necessity, which capitulates the third. 

October, Washington retires to Mount Vernon. 

French hold the whole West. 



1755. January, France proposes a compromise. 
Feb. 20, Braddock lands in Virginia. 

April, France and England send fleets to America. 

April 20, Braddock marches westward. 
May 20, Expedition against Nova Scotia leaves Boston. 
July 8, Braddock reaches Monongahela, defeated the 9th, and died 

the 13th. 

1756. January, Lewis commands an expedition against the Ohio Indians, and 


April, Indians fill the Valley of Virginia. 

May, War declared between France and England. 

September, Armstrong attacks Indians at Kittaning. 
First treaty of Easton. 

1757. Massacre of Fort William Henry. 
June 29, Pitt returns to office. 

1758. Louisburg and Fort Frontenac taken. 

July 15, Post leaves for the Ohio river to conciliate the Indians. 
August 24, Post confers with Indians at Fort Pitt. 
Sept. 21, Grant defeated. 

October, Washington opening a road over the mountains. 
Nov. 5, Washington at Loyalhauna. 

Nov. 25, Washington at Fort Du Quesne, which the French left ou the 

Second treaty of Easton. 

Pest's second mission to Ohio Indians. 

1759. Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Niagara, and Quebec yield to Eng- 


1760. Sept. 8, The French yield Canada. 

Cherokee War. 

General Monk ton treats with the Indians at Fort Pitt for land. 
Settlers go over the mountains. 

Sept. 13, Rogers goes to Detroit ; reaches it the 10th November ; returns 
across Ohio to Fort Pitt in December. 

1761. Alexander Henry visits north-west. 

Christian Post goes to settle on the Muskingum. 

1762. Bouquet warns settlers off of Indian lands. 
Post and Heckewelder go to Muskingum. 

Nov. 3, 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 Indiana. 

June to Aug. Fort Pitt besieged and relieved by Bouquet. 

October, Proclamation to protect Indian lands. 

Nov. 3, M. Laclede arrives in Ste. Genevieve ; and Fort Chartres. 

1764. Feb. 15, St. Louis founded. 

June to Aug. Bradstreet makes peace with northern Indians. 

November, Bouquet makes peace with Ohio Indians. 

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



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

Captain Stirling for England takes possession of Illinois. 
Proclamation of Governor Gage. 

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. 
Captain Pitman in Illinois. 

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. 

Spain obtains possession of St. Louis and Upper Louisiana. 

1771. March, The Boones return to North Carolina. 

1772. Indians killed by whites on Lower Kenawha. 

May 3, Moravians invited by Dela wares, found Shoenbrun on the Mus- 


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

Fort Chartres evacuated. 

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. 

1774. James Harrod in Kentucky. 

January, Dunmore sends Connolly to take possession of Pittsburgh as 

being within Virginia. 
Jan. 25, Connolly calls out the militia ; he is arrested by St. Clair; his 

followers are riotous, and tire on the Indians. 

March 28, Connolly, released on parole, comes to Pittsburgh with an arm- 
ed force. 

He rebuilds the Fort and calls it Fort Dunmore. 
April 16, Cherokees attack a boat on the Ohio. 
April 21, Connolly writes to the settlers to beware of the Indians. 
Cresap, having Connolly's letter, attacks Indians. 
Greathouse murders several Indians. 
Preparations for war. 



1774. 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 &j!2, 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, Maisachusetts Council try to prevent hostility by Iroquoia. 

May, Guy Johnson influences Iroquois against Americans. 

June 28, Oneidas and Tuscaroras adhere to America. 

June, Boones family and several others reach Kentucky. 

July, Congress forms three Indian Departments. 

August, Meeting of Commissioners and Indians at Albany. 

October, Meeting of Commissioners and Indians at Pittsburgh. 
Connolly arrested in Maryland. 

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

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

June 3, Congress authorizes the employment of Indians. 

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

George Rogers Clark in Kentucky. 
June 6, Kentuckiaus petition Virginia for admission as citizens, and 

choose Clark and Jones members of Virginia Assembly. 
August 23, Clark procures powder from Council of Virginia. 
Dec. 7, Virginia admits Kentucky among her counties. 

Clark and Jones return by Pittsburgh with powder. 
Dec. 25, Jones killed while 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 Uarrodsburg. 
Oct. 1, Clark leaves for Virginia. 

October, Brady and party attack St. Joseph. 
Nov. 20, The attack on Detroit urged in Congress. 
Dec. 10, Clark opens his plan for conquering Illinois to Governor of 



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

June 24, Clark passes Falls of Ohio. 

June 16, Boone escapes and relieves Boonesboro' 

May, Mclntosh commands at Fort Pitt. 

Fort Mclntosh built. 

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

Cahokia joins the Americans. 

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 Dela wares at Pittsburgh. 

Maize and party attack St. Joseph. 
October, Virginia grants Henderson and Company 200,000 acres on 

Green river. 
December, Governor Hamilton takes Vincennes. 

1779. January 29, Clark hears of capture of Vincennes. 
January, Delaware objects to land claims of Virginia. 
Feb. 7, Clark's campaign against Vincennes. 

Feb. 24, Hamilton surrenders the Fort and 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 Broadhead at Fort Pitt. 

October, Rogers and Benham attacked by Indians. 

Oct. 13, Land Commissioners open their sessions in Kentucky. 

Oct. 30, Congress asks Virginia to reconsider land laws. 

Colonel John Todd in Illinois. 

1780. Hard winter great suffering. 

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

Spring, Fort Jefferson built on Mississippi. 

Spring, Great emigration to Kentucky. 

May, Vi-ginia grants lands in Kentucky for educatioB. 

May, St. Louis attacked by British and Indians. 

Louisville established by law. 

June, Byrd invades Kentucky. 

July, Clark attacks Shawauese. 

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

Connecticut passes first act of cession of western reserve. 

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. 



1781. Feb. 15, Mr. Jay instructed that he may yield the navigation of the Mis- 

March 1, New York cedes her western lands. 

Brodhead attacks Delawares on Muskingum. 
April 16, Mary Heckewelder born ; first white child in Ohio. 
Americans begin to settle in Illinois. 
Chickasaws attack Firt 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 deserted. 
Kentucky organized. 

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

June, Crawford's expedition, taken prisoner and 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 Offices opened. 

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

1783. Jan. 20, Hostilities of United States and Great Britain cease. 
March, Kentucky formed into one district. 

April 18, Congress calls on States to cede lands. 
April 19, Peace proclaimed to the army. 

English propose to carry away negroes. 
May, Washington protests against course of English. 

June, Rufus Putnam applies for lands in west. 

July 12, Baron Steuben sent to receive western posts. 
August, Cassaty sent to Detroit. 

Virginia withdraws Clark's commission. 
Sept. 3, Definitive treaty of peace. 

Sept. 7, Washington writes to Duane about western lands. 
Sept. 13, Congress proposes terms of cession to Virginia. 
Sept. 22, Congress forbids all purchases of Indian lands. 
Oct. 15, Congress instructs Indian Commissioners. 

Virginia grants Clark and his soldiers lands. 
Nov. 25, British leave New York taking negroes. 

Daniel Brodhead opens a store in Louisville. 
Dec. 20, Virginia authorizes cession on terms proposed. 

1784. Jan. 4, Treaty of peace ratified by United States. 
February, James Wilkinson goes to Lexington, Kentucky. 
March I, Virginia gives deed of cession. 

March 4, Indian Commissioners reinstructed. 

Pittsburgh re-surveyed. 

April 9, Treaty of peace ratified by England. 
June 22, Virginia refuses to comply with treaty. 
July, England refuses to deliver up western posts. 

Oct. 22, Treaty with Iroquois at Fort Stanwix. 




Logan calls meeting at Danville. 
Dec. 27, First Kentucky Convention meets. 

Kentucky receives many emigrants. 

1785. Jan. 21, Treaty with Delawares, &e., at Fort Mclntosh. 

April, An attempt to settle at mouth of Scioto. 

May 20, Ordinance for survey of western lands passed. 
May 23, Second Kentucky Convention meets. 
July, Don Gardoqui comes from Spain. 

August 8, Third Kentucky Convention meets. 

Colony emigrates from Virginia to Illinois. 
August, Indians threaten hostility. 

Great confederacy of north-western Indians formed by Brant. 

Fort Harmar built. 

1786. January, Brant visits England to learn purposes of ministers. 
January, Virginia agrees to independence of Kentucky. 

Jan 10, Putnam and Tuppercall meeting to form Ohio Company. 

Jan. 31, Treaty with Sbawanese at Fort Finney, (mouth of Great 


March I, Ohio Company of associates formed. 

May, 16, Governor of Virginia writes to Congress respecting Indian in- 

May, The negotiations as to Mississippi before Congress. 

May 26, Resolution of Congrass produces cession by Connecticut. 
June 30, Congress authorizes the invasion of north-westeru territory. 
July 29, Pittsburgh Gazette first published. 
August, Mr. Jay authorized to yield navigation of Mississippi for a terra 

of years. 

Sept. 14, Connecticut makes second act of cession. 
October, 8, Clark seizes Spanish property at Vincenues. 
November, Virginia protests against yielding navigation of Mississippi. 

Great dissatisfaction in the west. 

November, Governor of Virginia informed as to Clark's movements. 
Dec. 22, Great Indian Council in north-west ; they address Congress. 

1787. January, Fourth Kentucky Convention meets. 
March 8, Ohio Company chooses Directors. 

May, Meeting in Kentucky relative to navigation of Mississippi. 

June, Wilkinson goes to New Orleans. 

July, Dr. Cutler negotiates with Congress for lands for Ohio Com- 

July 27, Congress make order in favor of Ohio Company. 

July 13, Ordinance passed for government of north-western territory. 

July, Harry Innis refuses to prosecute invaders of Indian lands. 

August 18, Kentucky Gazette established. 

August 29, Symmes applies for land. 

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

Sept. 17, Fifth Kentucky Convention meets. 

Oct. 27, Ohio Company completes contract for lands. 

Oct. 2, Symmes 1 application referred to Board of Treasury. 

Oct Troops ordered west. 

Oct. 5, St. Clair appointed Governor of Horth-western territory. 

Nov. 23, Preparations made by Ohio Company to send settlers west. 



1787. Nov. 2G, Symrnes issues proposals for settlers. 

December, John Brown, first western representative goes to Congress. 

1738. Summer, Indipns expected to make treaty at Marietta. 

Great emigration ; 4,500 persons pass Fort Uarmar. 
January, Denman purchases Cincinnati. 
Feb. 29, The admission of Kentucky debated in Congress. 
April 7. Ohio Company settlers land atMuskingum. 

July 2, Marietta named. 

July 3, The admission of Kentucky refused by Congress. 

July 9, St. Clair reaches north-western territory. 

July 28, Sixth Kentucky Convention meets. 
July 25, First law of north-western territory published. 

Symmes starts for the west. 
August, Losantiville (Cincinnati) laid out. 
Sept. 2, First court held at Marietta. 

Sept. 22, Symmes reaches his purchase. 

Great Indian Council in north-west to forbid treaties with sepa- 
rate nations. 

Nov. 4, Seventh Kentucky Convention meets. 

Nov. 18, Columbia settled by Stites. .!'.,-'' 

Novembe", Dr. Connolly in Kentucky as a British agent. 
DPC. 24, The founders of Cincinnati leave MaysviMe. 
Dec. 28, Cincinnati reached according to McMillan. 
Dec. 29, Virginia passes third act to make Kentucky independent. 

George Morgan removes to New Madrid. 

1789. Jan. 9, Treaties of Fort Harmar concluded. 

Wilkinson goes to New Orleans again. 
Spring, Daniel Story, first teacher and preacher, in Ohio Company's 


June, Symmes' settlements threatened by Indians. 

June, Major Doughty arrives at Symmes' purchase and begins Fort 


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 authorizes 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. Clairgoes 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. ? 



1790. December, Kentuckians petition Congress to fight Indians in their own 


December, Admission of Kentucky to U. 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 authorized 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 (Pennsylva- 
nia] 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. Jan. 7, Peace offered by the United States to the Indians through the 


Jan. 9, Pond and Stedman sent west. 

February, Brant invited to Philadelphia. 

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

Gallipolis settled. 

March, Iroquois chiefs visit Philadelphia. 

April 3, Instructions issued to Truemao. 

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, Tiueraan leaves Fort Washington Hardin also. 

June, General Wayne moves westward. 

June 20, Brant visits Philadelphia. 

Fire lands given to sufferers, by Connecticut. 

July 7, Indians seize 0. M. Spencer, &c. 

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

Sept. 15, Washington issues proclamation on excise law, 

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

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

Nov. 6, Opposition to excise law diminishes. 

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

1793. March 1, Lincoln, Randolph and Pickering, appointed to treat with In- 


April, United States Legion goes down to Cincinnati. 



1793. April 8, Genet reaches United States. 
May 17, Commissioners reach Niagara. 
May 18, Genet is presented to Washington. 

May 30, First Democratic society in Philadelphia. 

June, Commissioners correspond with Governor Simcoe. 

July 15, Commissioners meet Brant and hold a council. 

July 21, Commissioners at Elliott's house, mouth of Detroit river. 

July 31, Commissioners meet Indian delegates. 

Aug. 16, Final action of the Commissioners and Indians. 

Oct. 7, Wayne leaves Cincinnati with h\a legion. 

Oct. 13, Wayne encamps at Greenville. 

Oct. 24, Wayne is joined by Kentuckians under Scott. ^j\ 

Oct. 17, Lowry and Boyd attacked. 

November, French emissaries sent west. 

Dec. 25, Field of St. Clair's defeat taken possession of by Wayne's 


Dec. 25, Dissatisfaction in the west. 

1794. January, Whisky riots recommence. 
February, Lord Dorchester's speech to Indians. 
February, The Mingo Creek Association formed. 
Spring, Wayne prepares for his campaign. 

April, General Simcoe builds a Fort on the Maumee. 

April, Democratic society formed at Pittsburgh. 

May, Spaniards ofler help to Indians. 

May, French emissaries forced to leave west. . , 

Summer, Contest respecting Presqu'isle. 

June 30, Indians attacked Fort Recovery. 

June, Suits commenced against whisky rioters. 

July 16, First gathering about Neville's house; burnt 17th. 

July 23, Meeting at Mingo Creek. 

July 26, Mail robbed by Bradford. 

July 26, Scott, with 1600 men, joins Wayne. 

Aug. 1, Great gathering at Braddock's field. 

Aug. 7, ' Washington issues proclamation against whisky rioters. 

Aug. 8, Wayne near Maumee. 

Aug. 13, Wayne sends his last peace message to Indians. 

Aug. 18, Wayne builds Fort Deposit. 

Aug. 20, Wayne meets and conquers Indians. 

Aug. 21, Commissioners of government meet committee of rioters. 

September, British try to prevent Indians making peace. 

Sept. 11, Vote taken upon obedience to the law in Pennsylvania. 

Sept. 25, Washington calls out militia. 

Sept. &0ct. Fort Wayne built. 

Dec. 28, Indians ask for peace of Colonel Hamtramck. 

1795. Jan. 24, Indians sign preliminaries of a treaty. 
Spring, Prisoners are interchanged. 

May, Connecticut prepares to sell her reserve. 

June 16, Council of Greenville opens. 

July, The Baron de Carondelet writes Sebastian. 

July, Jay's treaty formed. 

Aug. 3, Treaty of Greenville signed. 

Aug. 10, Council of Greenville closed. 



1795. August, Grant by Congress to Gullipolis settlers. 

Sept. 5 or 9, Connecticut sells Western Reserve to Laud Company. 
Oct. 27, Pinckney concludes treaty with Spain. 

Nov. 4, Dayton laid out , 

796. Chillicothe founded. 

M. Adet, French Minister, sends emissaries to disaffect the 

west to the Union. 
Sebastian visits the south-west. 
Sept. Cleveland laid out and named. 

July, British give up posts in north-west. 

August, Difficulties with Spain begin. 
August, General Wayne died. 
August, First paper mill in the west. 

1797. Power visits Kentucky, and writes to Sebastian. 
Oct. Daniel Boone moves west of Mississippi. 

Oct. Occupying claimant law of Kentucky passed. 

1798. W. H. Harrison appointed Secretary of North-west territory. 
Alien and sedition laws passed. 

Nullifying resolutions in Kentucky. 
Death abolished in Kentucky, except for murder. 
Dec. Representatives for north-west territory first chosen. 

1799. Feb. 4, Representatives of north-west territory meet to nominate can- 

didates for Council. 

Feb. Kentucky Constitution amended. 

Sept. 24, Assembly of north-west territory organizes at Cincinnati. 
Oct. 6, W. H. Harrison appointed Delegate in Congress for north- 

west territory. ' , r ' ' 

1800. May 7, Indiana territory formed. 

May 30, Connecticut yields jurisdiction of her reserve to the U. States, 

and United States gives her patents for the soil. 
Oct. 1, Treaty of St. Ildefonso. 

Nov. 3, Assembly of north-west territory meets at Chillicothe. 

Nov. 3, First missionary in Con lectic&t Reserve. 

1801. W. H. Harrison appointed Governor of Indiana territory. 
St. Clair re-appointed Governor of north-west territory. 
Cincinnati, in place of Chillicothe, again made sat of govern- 
ment for north-west territory. 

Dec. Thomas Worthington goes to Washington to procure the erec- 

tion of Ohio into a State. 
1802 January, University at Athens, Ohio, established. 

January, First Bank in Kentucky. 

April 30, Congress agree that Ohio may become a State. 

Oct. 16, The Spanish Intendant forbids the use of New Orleans by the 

Nov. 1, Convention meets to form a Constitution for Ohio. 

Nov. 29, Constitution formed. 
1803. April, New Orleans opened to Americans again. 

April, Livingston and Monroe in France purchase Louisiana. 

April, Lands locatedd for Miami University. 

April, Miami Exporting Company chartered. 

Oct. 21, The Senate ratify the purchase of Louisiana. 



1803. Dec. 20, Louisiana given up to the Americans. 

1804. March 26, Territory of Orleans, & District of Upper Louisiana organized. 
May 14, Lewis and Clark start on their expedition. 

1805. Jan. 11, Michigan territory formed. 
June 11, Detroit burned to the ground. 
June, Burr visits the west. 

June, General Assembly meet in Indiana territory. 

June, Tecumlhe and the Prophet b*gin to influence the Indians. 

June, Steps taken to make National road. 

1806. July 29, Burr's letter to Wilkinson. 
Aug. Spaniards cross the Sabine. 
Aug. 21, Burr goes west; is at Pittsburgh. 
Sept. Lewis and Clark return from Oregon. 
Nov. Davies tries to arrest Burr. 

Dec. 6, Sebastian found guilty by Kentucky House of Representatives. 

Dec. 10, Burr's men go down the Ohio 

Dec. 14, Burr's boats and stores arrested. 

26, Burr meets his men at the mouth of the Cumberland. 

1807. Jan. 17, Burr yields to civil authority of Mississippi. 

Jan. Burr escapes, is seized, and tried at Richmond in May. 

May, Petition for slavery in Indiana. 

1808. Bank of Marietta chartered. 
Bank of Chillicothe chartered. 

June, Tecumthe and the Prophet remove to Tippecanoe. 

1809. Illinois territory formed. 
Feb. 17, Miami University chartered. 

1810. Boone's Lick settled. 

July, C. Cole and others killed by Indians in Missouri. 

August, Meeting of Tecumthe and Harrison at Vincennes. 

1811. Company of rangers raised in Illinois. 
July, Tecumihe goes to the south. 
August, Harrison proposes to visit Indians. 
Oct. Harrison marches toward Tippecanoe. 

First steamer (New Orleans) leaves Pittsburgh for Natchez 

and New Orleans. 

Nov. 7, Battle of Tippecanoe. 

Dec. 16, Great earthquakes begin. *L 

1812. June 1, General Hull marches from Dayton. 

June 28, British at Maiden hear of the declaration of war. 

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 Chicngo. 

Sept. 8, Fort Harrison attacked. 

Sept. 17, W. H. Harrison appointed Commander in north-west. 



1812. 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 Mississinneway. 

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

Jan. 18, British at Frenchtown defeated. 

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

Jan. 23, Massacre of the wounded. 

Jan. 24, Harrison retreats to Portage river. 

Feb. 1, Harrison advaaces to Maumee, and builds Fort Meigs. 

April 28, Fort Meigs besieged. 

May 5, General Green 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, and bravely defended. 

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, and Tecumthe killed. 

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. Me Arthur'^ expedition into Canada. 

Dec. 24, 




Treaty of Ghent. 

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

March, Pittsburgh incorporated. 
March, Columbus made capitol of Ohio. 

Dec. Bank of Shawneetown chartered. 

Dec. General Banking Law of Ohio, passed. 

Dec. 11, Indiana admitted to the Union. 

First steamboat at St. Louis. 

September, North-west of Ohio bought of Indians. 
Jan. & Oct., U. States Bank opens branches in Cincinnati and Chillicothe. 

1818. Aug. 26, Illinois becomes a State. 

1819. First steamboats on the Missouri. 
Military Post established at Council Bluffs. 
Expedition to the Yellow Stone. 

The first steamer on Lake Erie. 
September, Contest of Ohio and the United States Bank. 

1820. December, Nullification resolutions of Ohio. 
Sept. Missouri forms a Constitution. 
May, Cass visits Lake Superior, &c. 

1821. Aug. 12, Missouri received into the Union by proclamation of President. 

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. 

1824. Slavery contest in Illinois. 

1825. Feb. 4 & 5, Ohio passes canal and school laws. 
1326. The first steamer on Lake Michigan. 
1827. Nov. 1. First seminary built and opened in Illinois. 

1830. Treaty by Keokuk at Prairie du Chien. 

1831. Black Hawk hostile, and driven west of Mississippi. 

1832. First steamer at Chicago. 
February, Great flood in Ohio. 

May, Black Hawk war commenced. 

May 14, Stillman's defeat near Rock river. 

May 21, Indian creek settlement destroyed. 

July, Cholera among Scott's troops and along Lakes. 

July 21, Black Hawk defeated on Wisconsin. 

Aug. 2, Black Hawk defeated on Mississippi. 

Aug. 27, Black Hawk delivered to United States. 

Sept., Treaty with Indians. 



1832. Oct. Cholera at Cincinnati and along the Ohio. 

1833. First farming settlements in Iowa. 

July 20, Governor Edwards died at Belleville, Illinois. 

Cholera at St. Louis and throughout the Mississippi Valley. 
Mormon difficulties in Jackson county, Missouri. 
Indian treaty at Chicago. 

1834. Gazetteer of Illinois published at Jacksonville. 
Termination of various bank charters in Ohio. 

1835. Michigan forms a Constitution and makes application to join 

the Union. 
Congress proposes conditions. 

1836. State Bank of Illinois chart-red. 
Michigan rejects the cndi'ions. 
Adopted in a second Convention. 

Territory of Wisconsin (including Iowa) organized. 
Illinois and Michigan canal commenced. 

1837. Michigan received into the Union. 

Internal Improvement System adopted in Illinois. 
Riots at Alton, III., and Lovejoy killed. 
State Houso of Missouri, at Jefferson City, burned. 
1S38. July 4, Territory of Iowa organized. 

Mormon war in Missouri. 
Sept. 1, Death of Governor William Clark. 

1839. Bank Commissioners appointed in Ohio. 

Mormons retreat to Illinois, locate at Commerce, and call it 

Iowa City located and made the seat of government. 

1840. Great political excitement in the presidential canvas. 

1841. April 4, Death of W. H. Harrison, President of the United States, at 

Washington City. 
Canal, Internal Improvement System, and Banks in Illinois 

Great depression in financial affairs throughout the west. 

1842. Cincinnati Astronomical society founded. 

June 20, Death of General Henry Atkinson at Jefferson Barracks, Mis- 

Aug. 15, Death of Hon. Mary P. Leduc, first Secretary of Upper Louis- 
iana, and an old citizen of St. Louis. 

May 14, Death of Hon. A. W. Snyder, Belleville, III. 

Aug. 28, Death of Hon. J. B. C. Lucas, at St. Louis, aged 80. 

1843. Illinois Banks accept of an act by the Legislature and close 

their business. 

Corner stone of Cincinnati Observatory laid in November. 
Mormon troubles in Illinois. 

1844. Great flood on the Mississippi American Bottom submerged. 
Steamboats went from St Louis to the Illinois bluffs. 
Mormon war in Illinois ; Joseph Smith, the leader, and others 


State Constitution formed in Iowa; boundaries not approved by 

1845. Banking law of Ohio creating a State Bank and branches, and 
. <M. independent Banks passed. 

Illinois negotiates with bond-holders to finish canal. 

1846. Work on the Illinois canal resumed. 

Convention in Wisconsin form a State Constitution; rejected 
by the people. 

1847. Convention in Illinois form a new Constitution. 

1848. Constitution of Illinois adopted by the people, and went into 


Wisconsin forms a new Constitution; approved by the people, 
and accepted by Congress. 

1849. Cholera on the western rivers, and in many cities and towns. 
Deaths from all diseases in St. Louis, 8,603; cholera, 4,800. 

May 17, Great fire: 23 steamboats, 400 buildings, and $2,750,OUO worth 

of property burnt. 
Oct. 17, Great Convention in St. Louis on Rail-roaJ to the Pacific. 


Iir a book like the "Annals," it is hardly possible, between authors, compositors and 
proof readers, to avoid some typographical errors. The most frequent that occurs in thii 
work, are misplacing the brackets, intended to distinguish the composition of the Editor 
from that of Mr. Perkins. 
Page 29, Nicholas Parrot, should be Perrot. 

37, A part of the last paragraph should have been in brackets, 

47, The asterisk after " Bidden River," should be out. 

66, Read, "all was still wild except those little spots." 

70, Third paragraph, read 1752 for 7732. 

7 l f A bracket after second paragraph. 

133, The brackets in the middle of the page should be out. 

134, Brackets out at close of first paragraph. 

142, Third paragraph read " a few days after that in the boat," instead, "after that 

at Captina." 

167, Put a bracket at close of the page. 

171, A bracket should be out at the commencement of paragraph second. 
187, A bracket should be at close of the chapter. 
201, A bracket should be at close of first paragraph. 
209, A bracket at close of the page. 
509, Chickasaw Bluffs in line 15 from the top, should be Iron Banks situated a few 

miles below the junction of Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 
261, A bracket should follow asterisk, after last paragraph. 
311, A bracket after third paragraph. 
349, A bracket after third paragraph. 
399, A bracket after first paragraph. 
447, A bracket after first paragraph. 
504, A bracket should be out at first paragraph. 
627, The date should be 1803, instead of 1793. 
534, A bracket at close of the page. 

569, A bracket at the close of last paragraph but one. 

570, Bracket should be left out at the end of second paragraph, after " Illinois." 
574, 575, The captions over these pages are wrong. " Organization of Illinois Terri- 
tory," is found on pp. 676, 577. 

577, A bracket is wanting at the close of fourth paragraph. " Fort Wayne, August 
7, 1818, in some copies should be 1810. 

595, The bracket should be left out at the commencement of the paragraph. 

002, "Fort Wayne" should read "Sandwich," at the 13th line from bottom. 

616, In third paragraph after Cahokia, read Creek. 

619, The bracket should be put at the close of the last of last paragraph. 

636, The caption is wrong. It belongs to page 633. 

643, The bracket at the end of first paragraph, should be left out. 

709, 711, and 713. The captions over these pages should be " Sketches of Indian His- 

744, "Cape au Gris," should be Cape au Ores. It was so called from the gray rock 

795, Second paragraph read "Santeaurs." 

796, In third paragraph, read retailed for "retained this story of Black Hawk." 




Discovery of Florida De Soto's Expedition and Discovery of the Mississippi Marquette 
and Joliet's Expedition Enterprise of La Salle Visit to Illinois Fort Croyeceeur 
Hennepin's voyage up the Mississippi La Salle's Expedition down the Mississippi to the 
Gulf "Proces Verbal" Returns to Illinois and starts to France La Salle returns 
to the Gulf of Mexico Discovers and takes possession of Texas His Assassination 
Tonti's Achievements L Hontan Kaskaskia Founded D'Ibberville's Voyage Grant 
to Crozat Mississippi Company New Orleans Founded The Natchez Extermination 
War with the Chickasaws Mississippi Valley in 1750. 

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. 

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


26 Discovery of Florida. 1522. 

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 
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 tlreir 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.J 

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

fFor facts in relation to Florida see Bancroft's Hist. U. S., Vol. I. 

JThe 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 
Louis Hernandez de Biedma, who was also with the expedition, and presented his 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 in 1557; Hakluyt gave it 
in English in 1609, and it was again published in London in 1686 ; a French translation 
appeared in Paris in 1685. 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 Solo's 
letter arCj in a work published in Paris, called "Voyages, Relations et Memoires originaux 
pour sevir a I'hittoire de decouverte de V Amerique." 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. 

NOTE BY THE ED. There is a narrative by Inca Garcilaso de la Yega, in Spanish, written 
a few years after the return of De Soto's companions and while they were living. From 
this and the other work mentioned above, Theodore Irving, Esq., while in Madrid, a few 
years since compiled his "Conquest of Florida," in two volumes 12 mo. Much of it ap- 
pears like romance, but the whole expedition of De Soto was romance in reality, though a 
historical fact. 

1542. De Sato's Expedition. 27 

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 dare to murmur. Still finding no cities 
of boundless wealth, they turned westward, towards the waters 
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 red men 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 

*De Soto probably was at the lower Chickasaw Bluffs. The Spaniards called the Missis- 
sippi, Rio Grande, Great River, which is the literal meaning of the aboriginal name.-ED. 

28 Death of De Soto. 1643. 

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 
the attempt to rescue themselves by land, they proceeded to pre- 
pare such vessels as they could to take them to 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 oi 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 

* De Biedma says there landed 620 men. 

fThe Wyandota are the same as the Hurons. Heckevrelder's Xarr. 336, note . see their 
traditionary history by J. Badger, a Missionary among them. Cist's Cincinnati Miscel - 
lany I. 153. 

1671. Marquette and Joliet. 29 

Mississippi, that the first Canadian envoys met the savage nations 
of the North-west, at the Sault de Ste. Marie,* 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, 
Nicholas Parrot, as agent for Talon, the intendant of Canada, 
explored lake Michigan as far as Chicago; in 1671 formal pos- 
session was taken of the North west 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 
exploring the lands yet farther towards the setting sun, had been 
growing 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 intendant 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 
Michilimackmac 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 

Marj, tj?or the .above dates, Ac,, s?e Bancroft's U &> Vol. JH 

30 Reach the Mississippi. 1673. 

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 boil 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 
and perpetual thunders that I have ever heard," they entered 
Fox river, and toiling over stones which cut their feet, as they 
dragged their canoes through its strong rapids, reached a village 
where lived in union the Miamis, Mascoutensf and "Kikabeux" 
(Kickapoos.) Here Allouez had preached, and behold ! in the 
midst of the town, a cross, (une belle croixj) on which hung 
skins, and belts, and bows, and arrows, which "these good 
people had offered to the great 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, with 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." 

* The allusion here is to the legend of the Pittsau ox the moaster bird that devourecJ 
men, of which some rude Indian paintings yrere seen thirty years since on the cliffs shore 
the city of Alton, and Indians as they passed in then- canoes made offerings by dropping 
tobacco and other articles, valuable in their estimation in the rmr. John Russell, Esq., of 
Illinois, wove this "Indian Tradition" into a beautiful story that went the rounds of peri- 
odical literature, in 1840. Ed. 

f In Charlevoix's time these occupied the country from the Illinois to the Fox river^ aa3 
from lake Michigan to the Mississippi. See his Map, 

1673. Visit to the Illinois. 31 

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 "Ouisconsin"* (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 buftaloes, 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, Joliet and Father Marquette boldly advanced 
upon 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 them, 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, f which 
the Frenchmen declined, and the whole concluded with roast 
buffalo. 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. 

* Called "Miseonsia" in the printed Journal. Ed. 

f A dog feast is still a feast of honor among the savages. See Fremont's Report of Expe- 
ditions 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. Y. Historical Society 
La 1819, note B-; Lewis and Clark's Journal, II. 165; Godman's Natural History, L 254. 

32 Arrive at the Arkansas. 1673. 

The Illinois, Marquette, like all the early travelers, 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 Pejdtanoni, or Missouri of our day ; the character 
of which is well described; muddy, rushing, and noisy. They 
next passed a dangerous rock in the riverf and then came to 
the Ouabouskigou, or Ohio, a stream which makes but a small 
figure m 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 musquitoes, into, the neigh- 
borhood of the " Akamscas," or Arkansas. Here they were at- 
tacked 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, 

The next day the Frenchmen wenUon to "Akarasca," 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, wild-cats, 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^ 

Piasa Hock, at the present city of Alton, Illinois. -\ThQ Grand Towej 

1675. Death of Marquctte. 33 

London, 1698,) having lost all his papers while returning to Que- 
bec, 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 unques- 
tionable ; 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, 
and ministered to them until 1675. On the 18th of May, in 
that year, as he was passing with his boatmen up Lake Mich- 
igan, he proposed to land at the mouth of a stream running 
from the peninsula, 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 fifty years afterward, found that the wa- 
ters 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 Marquette.f 

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 Hen- 

* This work is now very rare, but Marquette's Journal has been republished by Mr. 
Sparks, at least in substance, in Butler's Kentucky, 2d Ed. 492; and in the American 
Biography, 1st series, vol. X. A copy of the map by Marquette, is also given by Mr. Ban- 
croft, vol. III. We have followed the original in Thevenot, a copy of which is in Harvard 

fCharlevoix's Letters, vol. II. p. 96. New France, vol. VI. p. 20. Marquette spells 
the name of the great western river, "Mississippy;" Hennepin made it "Meschasipi;" 
others have written "Meschasabe," &c. Ac. There is great confusion in all the Indian oral 
names; we have "Kikabeaux," "Kikapous," "Quicapousj" "Ottaouets," "Outnovas;" 
"Miainis," "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 "Louisiana," and "Nadouessans," and in his " Now Me Decou 
verte." The Shawanese are always called the "Chouanouns." 

34 Robert de la Salle. 1675 

La Salle was a native of Normandy, and was brought up, 
as we learn from Charlevoix, 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 pro- 
ject of those ages, a short-cut to China and the East ; and, 
gaining his daily bread, we know not how, was busily plan- 
ning an expedition up the great lakes, and so across the con- 
tinent to the Pacific, when Marquette returned from the Mis- 
sissippi. At once the hot mind of La Salle received from his 
and his companion's narrations, the idea, that, by following the 
Great River northward, 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 Can- 
ada with the Gulf of Mexico by a chain efforts upon the vast 
navigable lakes and rivers which bind that country so won- 
derfully together, lay the germ of a plan, which might give 
unmeasured power to France, and unequalled glory to him- 
self, under whose administration, 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 ap- 
proved by the minister, to whom he presented Frontenac's 
letter; La Salle was made a Chevalier; was invested wilh 
the seignory of Fort Catarocouy or Frontenac, upon condition 
he would rebuild it ; and received from all the first noblemen 
and princes, assurances 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 pro- 

*Charlevoix's New France, Paris edition of 1744, vol. II. p. 263. 

1678. Father Louis Hcnnepin. 35 

gress. 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, with 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' stay, proceeded 
to Fort Frontenac.* 

Here was quietly working, though in no quiet spirit, the 
rival and co-laborer of La Salle, Louis Hennepin, a Francis- 
can friar, of the Recollet variety ; a man full of ambition to 
be a great discoverer; daring, hardy, energetic, vain, and self- 
exaggerating, almost to madness; and, it is feared, more anx- 
ious 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 in the wilder- 
ness. Having been appointed by his religious superiors to ac- 
company the expedition which was 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.f 

*Charlevoix's New France, 1744, vol. II. p. 264, 266. Sparks' life of La Salle. Ameri- 
can Biography, new series, I. 10 to 15. 

f Hennepin's New Discovery, Utrecht edition of 1697, p. 70. Charlevoix's New France 
vol. II. p. 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 Iro- 
quois; they lived where the State of Ohio now is (Charlevoix's New France, vol. II. p. 62;) 
it was also the Lake of Conti. 

Lake Huron, was Karegnondi in early times ( Map of 1656 ; ) and also, Lake of Orleans. 

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 Baie dc Puans. 

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

Ohio River was Ouabouskigou, Onbaohi, Oubache, Oyo, Ouye, Belle Riviere ; and by La 
Salle, River St. Louis. 

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

36 First Schooner on the Lakes. 1679. 

The Chevalier's first step was to send forward men to pre- 
pare the minds of the Indians along the lakes for his coming, 
and to soften their heart by well-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 be- 
tween Kingston and Niagara. Having forced their brigantine 
as far towards the Falls as was possible, our travellers landed ; 
built some magazines with difficulty, for at times the ground 
was frozen so hard that they could drive their stakes or posts 
into it, only by first 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 forth- 
coming 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 Griffin, 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 w r ho had been sent before, 
collect skins, and see all that was to be seen. In thus coming 
and going, buying and trading, the summer of this year slipped 

1679. La Salle in Illinois. 37 

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 were troubled by storms, dreadful as those upon the 
ocean, and were at last forced to take refuge in the road of 
Michilimackinac. 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 
" Baie des Puans,"j- 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 done with all promptness ; and, upon the 18th of 
September, she was dispatched under the charge of a pilot, 
supposed to be competent 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 tke mouth of 
the river of the Miamis, or St. Josephs, as it is now called.J 
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 3rd of December, having mustered all his forces, 
thirty laborers and three monks, after having left ten men to 
garrison the fort, La Salle started again upon "his great voy- 
age and glorious undertaking." Ascending the St. Josephs 
river in the south-western part of Michigan to a point where, 
by a short portage, they passed to the "The-au-ki-ki" (now 
corrupted into Kankakee,) a main branch of the Illinois river. 
Falling down the said river by easy journeys, the better to 

*In reality a very sterile spot. 

(So called from the filthiness of the savages, who lived principally on fish. Ed. 

JSee on this point, North American Review, January 1339, No. OIL p. 74. 

38 Fort Crevccaur Built, 1680. 

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 deter- 
mined in that neighborhood to build another fort, for he found 
that already some of the adjoining 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 chosen about the middle of 
January, and the fort of Crcvcc&ur (Broken Heart,) com- 
menced; 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 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 cold- 
ness and jealousy appeared on the part of his hosts, he went 
to them boldly and asked the cause, and by his frank state- 
ments preserved their good feeling and good will. His disap- 
pointed enemies, 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 Crevecoeur. 

Meanwhile the winter wore away, and the prairies were 

*Charlevoix says it was at the close of 1679; Hennepin, that they did not reach the Il- 
linois, till January 4th, 1CSO. We have no means of deciding, but follow Hennepin, who is 
particular as to dates, and was present. 

1680. Loss of the Griffin. 39 

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 to the Mississippi and explore that stream towards 
its source ; and thatTonti, with the few men that remained, 
should strengthen and extend his relations among the Indians. 

For the leader of the Mississippi exploring party, he chose 
Father Louis 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 dis- 
covery 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 Crevecoeur round 
to fort Frontenac, 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 traveler 
neither the security of winter, nor the comfort of summer. 
But the Chevalier was not to be daunted by any obstacles : his 
affairs were in so precarious 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 

* The commander was D'Acau, corruptly made Dacan by many modern writers. Our 
authority is Dr. Sparks. In a manuscript correspondence on the subject, with the editor, 
Dr. S. says : 

"In my French MSS., I find the word written D'Acau, and I suppose it was commonly 
called Acau. Hence Hennepin writes it from the sound Ako; and from the blind manner 
in which the name was written in Tonti's original MS., D'Acau, was mistaken for Ducan; 
and here we have the origin of the conflict between Hennepin and Tonti, in regard to this 
name, which has puzzled the subsequent writers." 

Hennepin was notorious for misstatements, and [claims to authority he never possessed . 
He was with the expedition and the historian of it. Ed. 

40 Henncpin with the Indians. 1680. 

him ; his creditors had seized his goods. Had his spirit been 
one atom less elastic and energetic, 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 jeal- 
ousy of the neighboring Indians, and the attacks of bands of 
Iroquois, who wandered all the way from their homes in Ne\v 
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 remem- 
bered, left fort CreveccBur 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 llth 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 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 named by Hennepin in 
honor of his patron saint. Here they took to the land, and 
traveling nearly two hundred miles towards the northwest, 
brought him to their villages. These Indians were 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 de Luth, who, in pursuit of trade and game, had 
penetrated thus far by the route of Lake Superior ; and, with 
these fellow countrymen the Franciscan returned to the bor- 

1682. La Salk on the Mississippi. 41 

ders of civilized life, in November, 1680, just after La Salle 
had gone back to the wilderness as we have related. Hen- 
nepin 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 prepa- 
rations for prosecuting his western discoveries ; these being 
made, we find him, in August, 1681, on his way up the lakes 
again, and on the 3d of November at the St. Josephs, as full 
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 
women 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, traveling 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 Crevecreur, which 
they found in good condition, and still going forward, on the 
6th of February, were upon the banks of the Mississippi. On 
the thirteenth they commenced their downward passage, but 
nothing of interest occurred, until, on the 26th of the month, 
at the Chickasaw Bluffs, a Frenchman, named Prudhomme, 
M'ho had gone out with others to hunt, was lost, a circum- 
stance 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 course, they at length, upon 
the 6th of April, 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 

*This volume, called "A description of Louisiana/' he, thirteen years afterwards, en- 
larged 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 publication, 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 successful voyage down the great 
river of the West, a voyage of which we have presently to speak. This account of La 
Clercq's was drawn from the letters of Fatjier Zenobe Membre, 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 Hen- 
nepin's credibility, is presented by Mr. Sparks, in his life of La Salle, with great firmness 
and rrecision, and to that we refer all curious readers. 


42 Mouth of the River. 1682. 

"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 Tonti likewise examined the great middle chan- 
nel. They found these two outlets beautiful, large and deep. 

On the 8th, we reascended the river, a little above its con- 
fluence 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 prepared a column and a 
cross, and to the said column we affixed the arms of France, 
with this inscription : 


The whole party, under arms, chaunted the Te Deum, the 
Exaudiat, the Domine salvum fac Regent ; 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 vic- 
torious 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, harbors, ports, bays, adjacent straits ; and 
all the nations, people, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, 
minerals, fisheries, 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 Chaou- 
nons, Chickasaws, and other people 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 Nadoues- 
sious, and this with their consent, and with the consent of the 
Montantees, Illinois, Mesigameas, Natches, Koroas, which are 

1682. Takes Possession of the Country. 43 

the most considerable nations dwelling therein, with whom, 
also, we have made alliance either by ourselves, or by others 
in our behalf;* 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, which we have received from all these 
nations, that we are the first Europeans 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 preju- 
dice 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 de- 
mand an act of the Notary, as required by law.' 

"To which the whole assembly responded with 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 follow- 
ing Latin inscription. 



After which the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majesty, as 
eldest son of the Church, would annex no country to his crown, 
without making it his chief care to establish the Christian reli- 
gion therein, 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 salvum fac Regem were sung. 
Whereupon the ceremony was concluded with cries of Vive 
le Roi. 

"Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle 
having required of us an instrument, we have delivered to him 

*There is an obscurity in this enumeration of places and Indian nations, which 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 Mississippi 
from its mouth to ite source, and by the streams flowing into it on both sides. Sparks. 

44 Returns to Illinois. 1682. 

the same, signed by us, and by the undersigned witnesses, this 
ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two. 

"LA METAIRE, Notary. 


P. ZENOBE,' Recollect Missionary, GILES MEUCRAT, 





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 bad 
reached. Provisions with 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 some- 
what annoyed by the savages, until they reached Fort Prud- 
homme, where La Salle was taken violently sick. Finding 
himself unable to announce his success in person, the Cheva- 
lier sent forward Tonti to the lakes to communicate with the 
Count de Frontenac : he himself was able to reach the fort 
at the mouth of the St. Josephs, toward the last of September. 
From that post he sent with his dispatches, Father Zenobe, 
to represent him in France, while he pursued the more lucra- 
tive 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 acces- 
sible only on one side.* Having seen this completed, and the 
necessary steps taken to preserve a good understanding with 
the Indians, and also to keep up a good trade \vith them, in 
the autumn of 1683, the Chevalier sailed for his native land, 

-,. *,^ 

which he reacheoVDecember 13th. 

At one time he had thought probably of attempting to estab- 

* After exchanging views and facts with Dr. Sparks, he writes, Nov. 26, 1846. "It ap- 
pears to me that "Bufialo Kock," from your description, is most likely to have been the 
site of La Salle's Fort St. Louis." 

Bvjf'alo Rock is a singular promontory on the north side of the Illinois river in La Salle 
county, six miles below Ottowa. It rises nearly 50 or 60 feet nearly perpendicular on three 
sides, and contains on its surface about 600 acres, of timber and prairie. Gaz. of Illinois 
by Ed. 

1684. La &atte sails to France. 45 

lish a colony on the Mississippi, by means of supplies and per- 
sons sent from Canada ; but farther reflection led him to believe 
his true course to be to go direct from France to the mouth of 
the Mississippi, with abundant means of settling and securing 
the country ; and to obtain the necessary ships, stores, and emi- 
grants, was the main purpose of his visit 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 enemies; and among the foremost 
was La Barre, who had succeeded Frontenac as Governor of 

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 
xvidely promulgated 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 whatever heart that man had ; for it could not 
have required much talk with La Salle to have been satisfied 
of his sincerity, enthusiasm, energy, and bravery. The tales 
of the new governor fell dead, therefore the king listened 
to the prayer of his subject, that a fleet might be sent to take 
possession of the mouth of the Mississippi, and so that the 
great country of which he told them be secured to France. 
The king listened : and soon the town of Rochelle was busy 
with the stir of artisans, ship-riggers, adventurers, soldiers, 
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 seeking. 

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 
hundred and eighty persons, including the crews ; there were 
soldiers, artificers, and volunteers, and also "some young wo- 
men." 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 Beaujeu, were well fitted to quarrel one 
with the other, but never to work together. In truth La Salle 
seems to have been no wise amiable, for he was overbearing, 

46 Returns to the Gulf of Mexico. 1684. 

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 humanity. It was 
when they came to the Tropic of Cancer, where, in those 
times, it was customary to dip 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 for- 
feit paid by those who do not wish a seasoning ; but all these 
expectations were stopped, and hope turned into 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 ar- 
rangements 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 crowded with sick ; La Salle himself 
was brought to the verge of the grave ; and when he recov- 
ered, 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 Spaniards. The sick man 
had to bestir himself thereupon to procure new supplies ; and 
while he was doing so, his enemies were also bestirring them- 
selves to seduce his men from him, so that 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 went 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 alliga- 
tors, and drifting in utter uncertainty, until, on the 28th of De- 
cember, the main land 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 

* Joutel accompanied La Salle, and subsequently wrote his "Journal Historique," which 
was published in Paris, 1713. In the main it appears to be a truthful narrative. ED. 

1685. Lands in Texas. 47 

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 started 
on the 4th of February, and traveled eastward, (for it was clear 
that they had passed the river) during three days, when they 
came to a great stream which they could 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 forthwith 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 of casks and packages, which could not be saved, or were 
worthless when drawn from the salt water. From this un- 
timely fate our poor adventurer rescued but a small half of his 
second stock of indispensables. 

And here, for a moment, let us pause to look at the Cheva- 
lier's condition in the middle of March, 1685. Beaujeu, with 
his ship, is gone, leaving his comrades in the marshy wilder- 
ness, with not much of joy to look forward to. They had 
guns and powder, and shot; eight cannon, too, "but not one 
bullet," that is, cannon-ball, the naval gentlemen having 
refused to give them any. And here are our lonely settlers, 
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 Mata- 
gorda Bay, in Texas. They build from the wreck of their 
ship, we cannot think with light hearts ; every plank and tim- 
ber tells of past ill luck, and, as they looked forward, there is 
vision of irritated savages, (for there had been warring al- 
ready,) of long search for the Hidden River,* of toils and dan- 
gers in its ascent when reached. No wonder, that "during 
that time several men deserted." So strong was the fever for 

* So the Spaniards called the Mississippi. 


48 Difficulties in Texas. 1685. 

desertion, that, of some who stole away and were retaken, it 
was found necessary to execute one. 

And nowLaSalle prepares to issue from his nearly comple- 
ted fort, to look around and see where he is. He has still a 
good force, some hundred and fifty people ; and, by prompt and 
determined 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 com- 
menced in that neighborhood, where seed is planted also ; 
for the men begin to tire of meat and fish, with spare allow- 
ance of bread and no vegetables. 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 tim- 
ber with them in a float. The float or raft was begun "with 
immense labor," says the wearied historian, but all to no pur- 
pose, 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, "wo must now muster all hands, and 
build ourselves 'a large lodgment.' " But there was no tim- 
ber 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 was 
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 Chevalier turned carpenter, marking out 
the tenons and mortises of what timber he could get, and grow- 
ing daily more morose. 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. 

1686. Disastrous Expedition. 49 

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 them." 

And now once more was La Salle ready to seek the Missis- 
sippi. First, he thought 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 Che- 
valier to be his navy. But, after having put all his clothes 
and valuables on board of her, he determined to try \vith 
twenty men to reach his object by land. This was in Decem- 
ber, 1685. From this 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 making ourselves as mer- 
ry 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 

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 wq,s not lost, but only 
ashore. Deserted by her forlorn and diminished crew, how- 
ever, she seems to have been suffered to break up and go to 
pieces in her own way, for we hear no more of the little 

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 
absolutely refused. By and by, however, the men, seeing that 
La Salle did not return, "began to mutter." There were even 
proposals afloat to make away with Joutel, and start upon a 
new enterprise; the leader in which half-formed plan was one 
Sieur Duhaut, an unsafe man, and inimical to La Salle, who 
had, probably, maltreated him somewhat. Joutel, however, 

50 Attempt an Overland Journey. 1687. 

learned the state of matters, and put a stop to all such pro- 
ceedings. Knowing 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 baek, 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 Mississippi, and go on- 
ward to Canada, and thence to France, to get new 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 
proposed journey was delayed from time to time until the 12th 
of January, 1687. 

On that day started the last company of La Salle's adven- 
turers. Among them went Joutel, and also the discontented 
Duhaut ; and all took their Cleaves 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 favorable, 
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 a line, 
"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 
sufferings ;" and so they still toiled on in shoes of green bul- 
lock's 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. 

1687. Assassination of La Salic. 51 

On the 15th of March, La Salle, recognizing the spot 
where they 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 goods were all spoiled, so they 
turned toward the camp again. While coming camp ward 
they chanced upon two bullocks, which was 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 cboice eating, as was usual to do. When La 
Salle heard of the meat that had been taken, he sent his 
nephew and chief confident, M. Moranget, with one De Male 
and his own footman, giving them orders to send all that was 
fit to the camp at once. M. Moranget, when he came to where 
Duhaut and the rest were, and found that they had laid by for 
themselves the marrow-bones, became angry, took from them 
their choice pieces, threatened 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 to- 
gether how they might best have their revenge. The end of 
such counseling, 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 mal- 
contents. 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 riyer, 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 

52 Posts in Illinois. 1687. 

Duhaut had not been a malcontent; but none said, Yes. 
Doubtless there was something in LaSalle'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 carrion-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 him- 
self to La Salle at a good dstance off. Going instantly to 
meet him, the fated man passed near to the spot where Du- 
haut 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 more strongly all the elements that would have borne 
him safe through, if we except that element which 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 anything, together 
with an indefatigable body, which made him surmount all 
difficulties, would have procured a glorious issue to his under- 
taking, had not all those excellent qualities been counterbal- 
anced by too haughty a behavior, which sometimes made him 
insupportable, and by a rigidness toward those that were 
under his command, which at last drew on him an implacable 
hatred, and 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 followers toiled on 
mournfully, 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 

*Sparks, 158. 

1688. Adventures of Tonti. 53 

comrades. This done, the now dominant party determined to 
remain among the Indians, with whom they then were, and 
where they found some who 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 think- 
ing ; 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 September, reached Fort St. Louis, upon the 
Illinois. At this post, Joutel remained until the following 
March that of 16S8 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 gar- 
rison, 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 sight of Fort Crevecceur,) it was 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.* 

*The authorities in relation to La Salle are Hennepin; a narrative published in tlie 
name of Tonti in 1697, but disclaimed by him; (Charlevoix iii. 365. 

54 Mission of Father Gravier. 1689. 

Tonti, left by La Salle when he sailed for France, after 
reaching the Gulf Mexico in 1682, remained as commander 
of that 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 French- 
men who were beginning to wander through that 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 discovering no signs of his old comrade, 
he turned northward again. [There is evidence that in this 
voyage he proceeded up the Arkansas, and left a corps of men 
at the place long known as the " Post," who became the nu- 
cleus of that ancient settlement.] After reaching his post on 
the Illinois, he found work to do ; for the Iroquois, long threat- 
ening, 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 inter- 
vals in the pages of Charlevoix; in the fall of 1687 we have 
him with Joutel, at Fort St. Louis; in April, 1689, he suddenly 
appears to us at Crevecoeur, revealed by the Baron La Hon- 
tan ; 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 Biographic Universelle tells us, that, though he re- 
mained many years in Louisiana, he finally was not there ; 
but of his death, or departure thence, no one knows. 

Next in sequence, we have a glimpse of the above-named 
Baron La Hbntan, discoverer of the Long River, and, as 
that discovery seems to prove, drawer of a somewhat long 
bow. By his volumes, published a la Haye, in 1706, we 
learn, that he too, warred against the Iroquois in 1687 and 
1688; and, having gone so far westward as the Lake of the 
Illinois, thought he would contribute his mite to the discove- 
ries of those times. So, with a sufficient 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. [ It is marked on the map of Mr. Nicollet, as 
a small stream entering the Mississippi a short distance below 

letter of Marcst, xi. 303, original edition. Introduction to Sparks' Life of La Salle:) the 
work of Le Clercq, already mentioned ; Joutel's Journal ; and Sparks' Life : the last is 
especially valuable. 

1693. Kaskaskia and Cahokia Founded. 55 

St. Peters. He represents this river as of immense size, up 
which he sailed more than eighty days, and did not reach half 
the distance of its navigable waters, and that in the depth of 
winter ! Very little dependence can be placed on the story of 
La Hontan.] 

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, "dis- 
persed the French who had gathered upon the Illinois ;" but in 
another, he speaks of Tonti and twenty Canadians, as estab- 
lished among the Illinois three years after the Chevalier's fate 
was known there.* This, however, is clear that before 1693, 
the reverend Father Gravier began a mission among the 
Illinois, and became the founder of Kaskaskia, though in what 
year we know not ; but for some time it was merely a mis- 
sionary 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 let- 
ter written by Father Gabriel Marest, dated "Aux Cascaskias, 
autrement dit de Hmmaculee Conception de la Sainte Vierge, 
le 9 Novembre 1712." In this letter the writer, after tellins: 

' O 

us that Gravier must be regarded as the founder of the Illinois 
Missions, he having been the first to reduce the principles of 
the language 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 the 
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 better 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 gath- 
ered a flock at Cahokia ;J while Peoria arose near the remains 

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

| Bancroft, iii. 195. Lettres Edifiantes, (Paris 1781,) 328, 339, 375. Hall and others 
fpeak of the Kaskaskia records as containing deeds dated 1712; these may have been to 
the French referred to by Marest, or perhaps to converted Indians. 


56 Adventures of D'Iberville. 1699. 

of Fort CrevecoBur.U 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 foundation of Fort Pontchartrain on the Strait, (le 
Detroit)T[ while in the southwest efforts were making to realize 
the dreams of La Salle. The leader in the last named enter- 
prise was Lemoine D'Iberville, a Canadian officer, who, from 
1694 to 1697, distinguished himself not a little by battles and 
conquests among the icebergs of the "Baye d'Udson" or Hud- 
son'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, was 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 attemptf 

Of this D'Iberville we have no very clear notion, except 
that he was a man of judgment, self-possession, and prompt 

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, 

1! There was an Old Peoria on the north-west shore of the lke 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 his address of February, 1839, before the Vincennes Historical Society, 
contends that this post was on the Wabash, and at Vincennes, (p. 14, 15, and note B.) 
Charlevoix, (ii. 266, edition 1744,) says it was "a Ventree A' la Riviere Ouabache, quise 
decharge dans le Micisiipi, 4"c." "At the entrance (or mouth) of the River Oubache which 
discharges itself into the Mississippi." The name Ouabache was applied to the Ohio below 
the mouth of what we now call the Wabash. See all the more ancient maps, &<s. [ Fort 
Massac, on the Ohio, was a missionary station in 1712, and Ohio was then called Ouabache. 

f Charlevoix, ii. 234. Le Detroit was the whole Strait from Erie to Huron. (Charlevoix, 
ii. 209, note : see also his Journal.) The first grants of land at Detroit, i. e. Fort Pont- 
chartrain, were made in 1707. (Seo American State Papers, xvi. 263 to 2S4. Lanman'a 
History of Michigan, 336.) 

*New France, vol. iii. pp. 215, 296. Lettres Edifiantts, vol. x. p. 280. 
I ffcw France, vol. iii. p. 377. 

1700. A British Vessel. 57 

our commander found and entered the Hidden River, whose 
mouth had been so long and unsuccessfully sought. As soon 
as this was done, one of the vessels returned to France to carry 
thither the news of D'Iberville's success, while he turned his 
prow up the Mississippi. Slowly ascending the vast stream, 
he found himself puzzled by the little resemblance which it 
bore to that described by Tonti. So great were the discrepan- 
cies, that he 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, be- 
tween 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 
lieutenant 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 be- 
tween 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 Caro- 
lina, 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, 

* New France, rol. iii. p. 380, et. teq. 


58 Expedition of Le Sueur. 1708. 

and heard of these thing%, he determined to take possession of 
the country anew, and to build a fort upon the banks of the 
Mississippi itself. So, 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 their Kings; and, what was more effectual, a 
little fort was built, and four pieces of cannon placed thereon. 
But even this was not much to the purpose ; for it soon disap- 
peared, and the marshes about the mouth of the Great River 
were again, as they had ever been, and long must be, unin- 
habited by men. 

D'Iberville, in the next place, having been visited and guided 
up the river by Tonti in 1700, 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 cor- 
ner-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'Iber- 
ville once more sought Europe, having, before he left, ordered 
M. Le Sueur to go up the Mississippi in search of a copper 
iRine, which that personage had previously got a clue to, upon 
a. 'branok of the St. Peters river;* which order was fulfilled, 
and much 'metal obtained, though at the cost of great suffer- 
ing. Mining was always a Jack-a-lantern with the first set- 
tlers of America, and our French friends were no wiser than 
their neighbors. The products of the soil were, indeed, scarce, 
though 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, which thus far 
had been the chief port in that southern colony. After this, 
things \vent on but slowly until 1708 ; D'Iberville died on one 
of his voyages between the mother country and her sickly 
daughter, and after his death little was done. In 1708, how- 
ever, M. D'Artaguette came from France as commissary of 

*,Charlevoix, vol. iv. pp. 162, 164. In Long's Second Expedition, p. 318, may be leen 
j detailed account of Le Sueur's proceedings, taken from a manuscript statement of them. 
OUC, vol. iii. p. 389. 

1717. The Great Bank of Law. 69 

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, upbn 1 
the 14th of September, 1712, granted to Crozat, a man of great 
wealth, the monopoly of Louisiana for fifteen years, and the 
absolute ownership of whatever mines he might cause to be 

Crozat, with 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 re- 
gard to the first, after many years' labor, he was entirely dis- 
appointed ; 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 

Then followed the enterprises of the far-famed Mississippi 
Company or Company of the West, established to aid the im- 
mense 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 in- 
creased by increasing the circulating medium in the form of 
notes of credit. The public 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 ex- 
clusive 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 tobac- 
co was also granted to this favored creature of the State; in 
1719, the exclusive right of trading in Asia, and the East 

*The grant may be found, Land Laws 944. 

| By Louisiana here is to be understood Louisiana proper; not the Illinois country com- 
monly included at that period. Ed. 

60 The Great Bankruptcy. 1722. 

Indies; and soon after the farming of the public revenue, to- 
gether with an extension of all these privileges to the year 
1770 ; and as if all this had been insufficient, the exclusive 
right of coining, for nine years, was next added to the im- 
mense grants already made to the Company of the West.* 
Under this hot bed 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 circula- 
tion exceeded two hundred millions of dollars, and this abun- 
dance 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 made minister of finance, and 
as such he proceeded. first, to forbid all persons to have 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 attempt to exchange a bill for specie forfeited both. 
Human folly could go no farther ; in April the stock began to 
Call, in May the Company was regarded as bankrupt, the notes 
of the Bank fell to ten cents on the dollar, and though a de- 
cree made it an offence to refuse them at par, they were soon 
worth little more than waste paper. 

Under the direction of a Company thus organized and con- 
trolled, and closely connected with a bank so soon ruined, but 
little could be hoped for a colony, which depended on good 
management to develop its real resources for trade and agri- 
culture.f 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 without 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 

* After 1719, called the Company of the Indiee. 

fA set of regulations for governing the Company, passed in 1721, may be found in Dil- 
lon's Indiana, 4,1 k> 41. 

1722 Condition of New Orleans. 61 

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 en- 
camped on the river-bank, just sheltered from the weather, 
and waiting for houses. They have a beautiful and regular 
plan for this metropolis, but it will prove harder to execute 
than to draw."f Such, not in words precisely, but in sub- 
stance, were the representations and hopes of the wise his- 
torian 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 done 
for the permanent improvement of the country about it. The 
truth was, the same prodigality 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 became in time what had been hoped, it was long 
before the influence 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 favor which was granted them. 

But though the Company of the West did little for the en- 
during 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 ex- 
pense 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 Kaskaskia, 
Charlevoix found three villages, and about Fort Chartres, the 
head quarters of the Company in that region, the French 
were rapidly settling.]: 

All the time, however, during which the great monopoly 
lasted, was, in Louisiana, a time of contest and trouble. The 

*Charlevoix, iiL 430 ed. 1744. 
fCharlevoix, iii. 441 ed. 1744. 
JSoe Appendix Annals of Illinois. 

62 Destruction of the Natchez. 1729. 

English, who, from an early period, had opened commercial 
relations with the Chickasaws, through them constantly inter- 
fered 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 length 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 abandon- 
ment of the chief town of the Natchez, that the intruders 
.might use its site for a plantation. The inimical Chickasaws 
heard the murmurs of their wronged brethren, and breathed 
into their ears counsels of vengeance ; the sufferers determin- 
ed on the extermination of their tyrants. On the 28th of No- 
vember, 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 re- 
venge, and fearfully did the avengers suffer for their murders. 
Two months passed by, and the French and Choctaws in 
one day took sixty of their scalps; in three months they were 
driven from their country and scattered among the neighbor- 
ing tribes ; and within two years the remnants of the nation, 
chiefs and people, were 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 govern- 
ment of France, it was determined, as a first step, to strike 
terror into the Chickasaws, who, devoted to the English, con- 
stantly interfered with the trade on the Mississippi. For this 
purpose the forces of New France, from New Orleans to De- 
troit, 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, leading a small body of French 
and more than a thousand northern Indians, on the day ap- 
pointed, was at the spot appointed ; but Bienville, who had 
returned as the king's lieutenant to that southern land which 
he had aided to explore, was not where the commanders from 

1736. . D'Artaguette and Vincennes Killed. 63 

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 Illi- 
nois 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, Bien- 
ville and his followers, among whom were great numbers of 
Choctaws, bribed to bear arms against their kinsmen, came 
creeping up the stream of the 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 companions turned their 
prows to the south again. Then came the hour of barbarian 
triumph, and the successful Chickasaws danced around the 
flames in which were crackling the sinews of D'Artaguette, 
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 nearly four thousand white, red and black men, was gath- 
ered upon the banks of the Mississippi, to chastise the Chicka- 
saws. From the summer of 1739 to the spring of 1740, this 
body of men sickened and wasted at Fort Assumption, upon 
the site of Memphis. In March of the last named year, with- 
out 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, we can give no better idea than may be gathered from 
the following extracts of letters written by Vivier, a missiona 
ry among the Illinois. 

Writing "Aux Illinois," six leagues from Fort Chartres, 
June 8th, 1750, Vivier says : "We have here, Whites, Negroes 

#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 Louis- 
iana; Niles' Register, ii. 161, 189; and the collection of documents (mostly official) rela- 
tive to the Company of the West, published at Amsterdam, in 1720, in the work callsd 
''Relations de la Louisiane, et du Fleuve Mississippi," 2 yols. 

64 Population of Rlinois. . 1750. 

and Indians, to say nothing of cross-breeds. There are five 
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 (Kaskaskia.) In the 
five French villages 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 hun- 
dred souls, all told.* Most of 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 from French influence over the Indian neo- 
phytes to have been well founded. Of the three Illinois 
towns, he tells us, one was given up by the missionaries as be- 
yond 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.f 

Again, in an epistle dated November 17, 1750, Vivier says : 
" For fifteen leagues above the mouth of the Mississippi one 
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, 
withm 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 Chicka- 
saws and other savages. Here and at Point Coupee, they 
raise excellent tobacco. Another hundred leagues brings us 

* There was a fourth, (Peoria probably,) eighty leagues distant, nearly as large as the 
three referred to; this is stated in another part of the same letter. See appendix An- 
nals of Illinois, art Aborigines. Ed. 

f Criminals, vagabonds and strumpets, were largely exported to Louisiana, when the first 
settlements were made. Father Poisson in Lettres Edifiantes, (Paris, 1781,) vi. 393, Ac. 

1760. Lead and Copper Mines. 65 

to the Arkansas, where we have also a fort and garrison, for 
the benefit of river traders. There were some inhabitants 
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 
hundred 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 Illi- 
nois 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 sil- 
ver 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."! 

Distances are overrated in all the old French journals. The distance in fact, was about 
400 English miles, instead of French leagues. 
fLettres Edifiantes, (Paris, 1781,) vii. 79 to 106. 
[Se Annals of Missouri, Appendix, for a Sketch of the Lead and Copper mines, Ed J 


English Discoveries by Virginia By Pennsylvania Daniel Cose British Purchases of 
the Five Nations Ohio and other Companies formed Agency of Gist Fort attacked 
by the French, and the Natives killed and Traders carried to Canada Gen. Washing- 
ton's Mission Preparations for War Pittsburgh Taken. 

We have now sketched the progress of French discovery in 
the Valley of the Mississippi. The first travelers reached that 
river in 1673, and when the new year of 1750 broke upon the 
great wilderness of the West, all was still, 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 Wa- 
bash,* 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 diffi- 
culty which besets an inquirer into certain points of our early 
western history. Volney, by conjecture, fixes the settlement 
of Vincennes about 1735 ;f 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."J Mr. Bancroft says a military 
establishment was formed there in 1716, and in 1742, a settle- 
ment of herdsmen tookplace.|| 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 January, 1735, speaks of M. de Vinsenne, as 
"Commandant auPoste de Ouabache." Again, in a petition 
of the old inhabitants at Vincennes, dated in November, 1793, 
we find the settlement spoken of as having been made before 
1742 ;^[ and such is the general voice of tradition. On the 

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

fVolney's View, p. 336. 

JButler's Kentucky, Introduction, xix., note. 

J History United States, iii. 346. 

Law's Address, 1839, p. 21. 

^[American State Papers, xvi. 32. 

1735. Settlement of Vincennes. 67 

other hand, Charlevoix, who records the death of Yincennes, 
which took place among the Chickasaws, (see ante p. 63,) 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 Tennes- 
see and elsewhere. Vivier, a part of whose letters we have 
already quoted, says in 1750, nothing of any mission on the 
Wabash, although writing in respect to western missions, and 
speaks of the necessity of a fort upon the "Ouabache;" 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 "Me- 
moires" on Louisiana, compiled from the minutes of M. Du- 
mont and published in Paris, in 1753, but probably prepared 
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 
Massac or Massacre was built afterwards, and names Fort 
Miami, on the Maumee. f The records of Vincennes, Judge 
Law says, show no earlier mission than 1749.J Still farther, 
in " The Present State of North America," a pamphlet pub- 
lished 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. 

Such is the state of proof relative to Vincennes: one thing 
however, seems certain, which is, that the Wabash 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 

*Memoires Historiques sur La Louisiana, Ac. 

[fThere were/owr places called "Miami," or "Maumee;" one at the junction of the Little 
St. Joseph and Ste. Marie, in Indiana, now called Fort Wayne. 

Th second was on the St. Joseph river of Michigan. 

The third was on the Illinois river, and placed by Charlevoix on his Map of New France 

The fourth was the fort erected by the British at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee, 
about fifteen miles from the west end of Lake Erie. 

Some of the authorities quoted, by the " Ouabache " mean the Ohio river, which had the 
name of "Ouabache," in French and English documents until about 1735. Ed.] 
. f Address, p. 17. 

flHistoire General des Voyages, xiv. 753. 

68 The British in the West. 1749. 

of 1698, is a journal, said to be that sent by La Salle to Count 
Froritenac, in 1682 or '3, which mentions the route by the 
Maumee* and Wabash as the most direct to the great western 

In 1749, therefore, when the English first began to move 
seriously about sending men into the West, there were only 
the Illinois and the lower country settlements, and perhaps 
Vincennes; the present States of Ohio, Indiana, and Ken- 
tucky, being still substantially in possession of the Indians. 
From this, however, it must not be inferred that the English 
colonists were ignorant of, or indifferent to, the capacities of 
the West, or that the movements of the French were unob- 
served 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 was 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 were forced to use horse-shoes, which 
were seldom needed in the soft soil of the eastern vallies. In 
Pennsylvania, also, Governor Keith and James Logan, Secre- 
tary of the Province, from 1719 to 1731 represented to the 
powers in England, the necessity of taking steps to secure 
the western lands.f Nothing, however, was done by the gov- 
ernment of the mother country, except to take certain, diplo- 
matic steps to secure the claim of Britain to those distant and 
unexplored wildernesses. 

England, 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 colonies were through to the South Sea. It was not 
upon this, however, that Great Britain relied in her contest 
with France ; she had other grounds, namely, actual discovery, 
and purchase or title of some kind from the Indian owners. 

*Until this century, usually called the Miami, and sometimes the Tawa or Ottawa Rrrer- 
tBancroft, iii. 344; Jones' Present State of Virginia, (1724,) 14; Universal History, 
*1. 192. 

1742. British Explorations. 69 

Her claim on the score of actual discovery was poorly sup- 
ported 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, we know not by what 
course of conveyance, this grant, which formed the province 
of Carolana (not Carolina,) came into the hands of Dr. Dan- 
iel Coxe, who was, in the opinion of the attorney-general of 
England, true owner of that Province in the year of D'lber- 
ville's discovery, 1699.* 

[We will give a brief sketch of .the British through the dis- 
coveries of Coxe and others. 

Daniel Coxe states that one Colonel Wood of Virginia, dis- 
covered at different times, several branches of the great rivers 
Ohio and "Meschasebe," says that he, (Coxe,) had seen the 
journal of a Mr. Needham, who was employed by Col. Wood. 
He tells of another journal, which he affirms was in his pos- 
session for some time, written by some one in English, who 
had gone up the Mississippi to the "Yellow or Muddy river, 
otherwise called the Missouri," that a number of persons 
went from New England one hundred and fifty leagues beyond 
the river "Meschasebe," to New Mexico. He claims to have 
made discoveries himself, by sailing up the Mississippi in 1698. 
This was probably the English expedition met by Bienville at 
the "English Turn." These statements of Dr. Coxe are 
found in his "Memorial to King William," but are unsup- 
ported by any other authority except his voyage up the Mis- 
sissippi when he came in contact with Bienville, and made 
the "English Turn." 

There is a tradition,! that in 1742 John Howard crossed the 
mountains of Virginia, went down the Ohio in a canoe made 
of a buffaloe skin, and was taken prisoner by the French on 
the Mississippi. In the London edition of Du Pratz, published 

* A Description of the English Province of Carolana,, &c., by Daniel Coxe, Edquire. 
London 1722, pp. 113 et seq. By "Carolana," Coxo includes what is called the "Valley of 
the Mississippi," and not the States of "Carolina." Ed. 

fKercheval's Valley of Virginia. 

70 Purchase from the Iroquois. 1754. 

in 1774, the same facts of Howard are stated in a note, and 
reference given to an official report of the Governor of Vir- 
ginia. This visit of Howard, though it could give the gov- 
ernment no claim to this Valley, is mentioned as the first 
English exploration to the Ohio and Mississippi which is 
fairly authenticated. 

The next adventurer under British authority was Conrad 
Weiser, an Interpreter to the Indians, in 1748. Weiser was 
sent from Philadelphia to the Indians at Logstown on the 
Ohio river, between Pittsburgh and Big Beaver creek, to carry 
presents and a friendly ''talk ;" and English traders are refer- 
red to as residing in that vicinity. That "traders" resided 
amongst the Indians on the Ohio at an early period, is well 

The Government of Pennsylvania recalled its traders from 
Ohio in 1732, in consequence of troubles with the French. 
The Indians at a council in Albany, in 1754, acknowledged 
the English had been on the Ohio thirty years. 

Mr. Butler, in his History of Kentucky, Introduction to the 
second edition, gives the adventures of one "Sailing," in the 
West, as early as 1730, but in a note to Du Pratz, he is named 
as having been with Howard in 1742. 

But the principal ground of claim of the British to the 
country west of the Alleghenies, was by treaties of purchase 
from the "Five Nations," or Iroquois. This was the only con- 
federacy of Indian tribes that deserved the name of govern- 
ment in this part of North America. They had the rude ele- 
ments of a confederated republic, and they were the con- 
querors of most of the other tribes from Lower Canada to the 
Mississippi and even beyond. The facts and proofs of these 
conquests will be found in the Appendix. Different from the 
policy of all the other tribes, they left the conquered nations 
to manage their own internal affairs as they might choose, 
but exacted tributes, and especially claimed the right as con- 
querors to dispose of their country. On this right the Five 
Nations sold in treaty with the British authorities, the country 
on the Ohio, including Western Virginia, and Kentucky; a 
large part of Illinois, and the country along the northern 
lakes into Upper Canada. 

Waiving for the present, all questions as to the justice of 
their claims, we only state a fact now fully established, that 

1754. Claims of the English. 71 

this confederacy did set up claims to the whole country, now 
embraced in Kentucky and Western Virginia north of the 
Cherokee claims, and the Northwestern" Territory except a 
district in Ohio and Indiana and a small section in South- 
western Illinois, which w#s claimed and held by the Miami 

In 1684, Lord Howard, Governor of Virginia, held a treaty 
with the Five Nations, at Albany, when at the request of 
Colonel Dungan, Governor of New York, they placed them- 
selves under the protection of the British ration.* They 
made a deed of sale by treaty to the British Government of a 
vast tract of country South and East of the Illinois river, and 
extending across Lake Huron into Canada. 

Another formal deed was drawn up, and signed by the 
Chiefs of the National Confederacy in 1726, by which their 
lands were conveyed in trust to England, "to be protected and 
defended by his Majesty, to and for the use of the grantors 
and their heirs."f 

If, then, the Six Nations had a good claim to the western 
country, there could be but little doubt that England was justi- 
fied 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.t W shall not enter into the con- 
troversy ; but will only say, that to us the evidence is very 
strong, that, before 1680, the Six Nations had overrun the 
western lands, and were dreaded from Lakes Erie and Michi- 
gan to the Ohio, 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 

* Plain Facts, Philadelphia, 1781, pp. 22, 28. 

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

JSee Harrison's Historical Address, 1837. 

General Harrison, probably, was not aware the Iroqnois made their ingress and egress 
into the Illinois country by the Ohio and the Lakes. We have no evidence they conquer- 
ed the Miami confederacy, and at one period the two confederacies appear to have been 
confirmed by terms. Ed. 

? George Croghan, the Indian agent, took an oath that the Iroquois claimed no farther 
oa the north side of the Ohio than the Great Miami or Stony river; (called also Rocky 

72 Western Lands claimed by ike British. 1744. 

of them in that far land from all writers, genuine and spuri- 
ous, as may be easily gathered from what we have said 
already of Tonti and his wars.* 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 recognized, 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 difference between France and 
England 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. f 

But some of the western lands were also claimed by the 
British, as having actually been 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, written by Witham Marshe, who 
went as secretary with the commissioners for Maryland, we 
now turn. The Maryland commissioners reached Lancaster 
upon the 21st of June, before either the governor of Penn- 
sylvania, the Virginia commissioners, or the Indians had arri- 
ved ; 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 number of two hundred 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 

river, Great Mineatni; and Assereniet.) Hutchin'a Gographical Description, 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 CharlovoLx, De La Hontan, Hennepin, Tonti, Ac. 

f ''In 1774, when the Lancaster treaty was held with the Six Nations, some of their 
number were making war upon the Catawbas." Marsh's Journal, Massachusetts Histori- 
cal Collections, vol. vii. pp. 190, 191. 

[Se the facts stated in the Appendix, Annals of Illinois, Art. Aborigines.] 

1748. Ohio Company Proposed. 73 

court-house, invited the white men with a song to renew their 
former treaties. Cn 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 entertainment. [Here follows a 
minute description of the drunkenness and festivity of the 
Indians, which continued at intervals for several days. It 
appears, however, in Marshe's journal, that the chiefs "nar- 
rowly scanned" the goods paid by the commissioners of 
Maryland for the lands that colony purchased, amounting to 
220 Pennsylvania currency. The commissioners of Virginia 
paid 200 in gold and a like sum in goods, with a promise 
that as settlements increased more should be paid.] The 
commissioners from Virginia, at this treaty of Lancaster, 
were Col. Thomas Lee and Col. William Beverly.f 

On the 5th of July, everything having been settled satisfac- 
torily, the commissioners left " the filthy town" of Lancaster, 
and took their homeward way, having suffered much from the 
vermin and the water, though when they used the latter 
would be a curious 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 
promise of further pay was called to mind, and Weiser was 
sent across the Alleghenies to Logstown, in 1748,J with pre- 
sents, to keep the Indians in good humor; and also to sound 
them, probably, as to their feeling with regard to large settle- 
ments in the West, which some Virginians, with Col. Thomas 
Lee, the Lancaster commissioner, at their head, were then 
contemplating. The object of these proposed settlements 

*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. 

| Plain Facti, being an Examination, 4*c., and a Vindication of the Grant from the 
Six United Nations of Indians to the Proprietors of Indiana, vs. the Decision of the Legis- 
lature of Virginia. Pp. 29-39. Philadelphia : E. Aitken. 1781, Sparks' Washington,, 
vol. ii. p. 480. Marshe's Journal. The whole proceedings may be found in Colden's His- 
tory of the Iroquois, given with proper formal solemnity. 

JPlain Facts, pp. 40, 119, 120. 

^Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 478. Scarce anything was known of the old Ohio Com- 
pany, until Mr. Spark's inquiries led to the note referred to; and even now so littleis 

74 Ohio Company. 1760. 

was 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 competed everywhere 
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 Lon- 
don. Accordingly, after Weiser's conference with the Indians . 
at Logstown, which was favorable to their views, Thomas Lee, 
with twelve other Virginians, among whom were Lawrence 
and Augustine, brothers of George Washington, and also Mr. 
Hanbury of London, formed an association which they called 
the " Ohio Company," 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 tlue petitioners half a million of acres within the 
bounds of that colony, beyond the Alleghenies, two hundred 
thousand of which were to be located at once. This portion 
was to "be held for ten years free of quit-rent, 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 Vir- 
ginia, to colonize the West. Upon the 12th of June, 1749, a 
grant of 800,000 acres, from the line of Canada, on the north 
and west, was made to the Loyal Company ; and, upon the 
29th of October, 1751, another of 100,000 acres to the Green- 
briar 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, 

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 publi- 
cation. No full history of the West can be written, until the facts relative to the great 
land companies are better known. 

#See Charlevoix, first and second volume in many places; especially i. 502, 515, ii. 133, 
269, 373- The English were at Mackinac as early as 1686. 

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

1749. Movements of the French. 75 

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 pos- 
sessions in the West, Vaudreuil, 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 seizure 
of Fort Prudhomme, which was upon the Mississippi below 
the Ohio.f Nor was it for mere sickly missionary stations 
that the governor feared; for, in the year last named, the Illi- 
nois 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, venison, 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.J Having these fears, and seeing the danger of the 
late movements of the British, Gallisoniere, 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 writ- 
ten out the claims of France, in the mounds, and at the 
mouths of the rivers. 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, with the inscription 

* Pownall's Memorial 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 Annalt, vol. ii. p. 23. 

fPownall's Memorial. 

JIbid. ^presentations to Earl of Hillsborough, 1770, quoted in Filson's Kentucky, 
178-1 : 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. 535-641. De Witt Clinton 
received the plate mentioned in the toxt from Mr. Atwater, who says it was found at the 
mouth of the Muskingum, though marked as having been placed at the mouth of the Ve- 
nango (Yenangue) river, (French Creek, we presume.) Celeron wrote from an old Shawnee 
town on tha Ohio to Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania, respecting the intrusion of tra- 
ders from that colony into the French dominions. Minutes of the Council of Pennsylva- 
nia, quoted in Dillon's History of Indiana, i. 66. 

7& Gist's Exploration.. 1751, 

partly defaced, has been found near the mouth of the Muskin- 
gum. Of this plate, the date upon which is August 16th, 1749 r 
a particular account was sent, by De Witt Clinton, to the 
American Antiquarian Society, in whose second volume (p. 
536-41) the inscription may be found at length. By this- 
step, the French, perhaps, hoped t& quiet the title of the 
river, " Oyo ;" but it produced not the least result. In that 
very year, we are told, a trading-bouse was built by the Eng- 
lish, upon the Great Miami, at the spot since called Loramie's 
Store ;* while, from another source, we learn, that two traders 
were, in 1749, seized by the French upon the Maumee. At 
any rate, the storm was gathering; the English company was 
determined to carry out its plan, and the French were deter- 
mined to oppose them. 

During 1750, we hear of no step, by either party; but in 
February, 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 thirty miles from its 
mouth.t In speaking of this tribe, Mr. Gist says nothing of a 
trading-house among them, (at least in the passage from hi 
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 
Loramie'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 Na- 
tions, 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 confederacy ; for he says 
that they are not one tribe, but " many different tribes, under 
the same form of government."J [The journey of Gist com- 

* Contest in America, by an Impartial Hand. Once this writer speaks of this post a 
upon th Wabash, but he doubtless meant that on the Miami. 

fSparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 37. 

JSee Harrison's Discourse, already quoted. Franklin, following a Twigtwee chief pre- 
sent at Carlisle, in 1753, (Minutes of that Council, p. 7. Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 71,) 
peaks of the Piankeshaws, a tribe of the Twigtwees; and again, of the Miamis or Twig- 
twees (ibid. Tol. iii. p. 72.)J The aame 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. 479.) On Evans' map, of 1755, they are called Tawisti, and are mentioned 
among the confederated nations of the West. See also General Harrison's letter of March 
22, 1814, in McAfee, p. 43. 

3.751. Conference at Logstown, 77 

meneed October 31, 1750, and lasted until May 175L From 
the head of the Potomac, he went to the forks of the Ohio 
{Pittsburgh), thence across what is now the State of Ohio to 
the mouth of the Scioto ; then to the Twigtwee towns on the 
Miami; from thence returned to the Scioto, then followed 
the Ohio to within fifteen miles of the Falls, which he dared 
not visit on account of the Indians there ; and thence returned 
to the settlements by Kentucky river and Cumberland Gap. 
A journal of his tour was published as an Appendix to Pow- 
nall's Topography, London, 1776; and large extracts are 
given by Dr. Hildreth.*] 

Having thus generally examined the land upon the Ohio, 
in November Gist commenced a thorough survey of the tract 
south of the Ohio and east of the Kanawha, which was that 
on whick 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 men- 
tioned, to which one hundred thousand acres of land had 
been granted in that region ;f but his proceedings, as well as 
Gist's, were soon interrupted. Meanwhile no treaty of a defi- 
nite character had yet been held with the western Indians ; 
and, as the influence both of the French and of the indepen- 
dent 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, 
which 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 low- 
er posts might be easily attacked, and, beginning at Presqu'Ile, 
or Erie, on the lake, prepared a line of communication with 
the Allegheny. This 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 made, we do not clearly learn ; but 

*Pownall's work was a folio of 46 pages, called, "Topographical Description of such 
parts of North America as are contained in the annexed Map." The Map -was Evans'. 
Grist's Journal occupies ten pages. MS. Letters of L. C. Draper and Dr. Sparks to Mr. 
Perkins. Ed. 

t Stuart's Memoir of Indian War. J3order Warfare, 48. 

78 First English Settlement Destroyed. 1750. 

some time in 1752, we believe.* 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 unauthorized intru- 
ders upon French lands. The Twigtwees, however, were 
neither cowards nor traitors, and refused to deliver up their 
friends.f The French, assisted by the Ottowas and Chip- 
pewas, then attacked the trading-house, [where several fami- 
lies lived,] which was probably a block-house, and after a 
severe battle, in which fourteen of the natives were killed,J 
and others wounded, took and destroyed it, carrying the tra- 
ders away to Canada as prisoners, or, as one account says, 
burning some of them alive. This fort, or trading-house, was 
called by the English writers Picka will any . 

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 re- 
ferred to by the Indians at the Logstown treaty in June. 
What traders they were who were taken, we do not know 
with certainty. Some have thought them agents of the Ohio 
Company ; but the Gist's proceedings about the Kanawha do 
not favor the idea, neither do the subsequent steps of the 
company ; and in the "History of Pennsylvania," ascribed to 
Franklin, we find a gift of condolence made by that Province 
to the Twigtwees for those slain in defence of the traders 

*Washington's Journal of 1753. Mante, in his History of the War, says, early in 1753, 
but there was a post at Erie when the traders were taken, before June, 1752. 

fSparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 71. vol. iii. p. 230. Plain Facts, p. 42. Contest in North 
Ameriea, Ac, p. 36. Western Monthly Magazine, 1833. This fort was always referred to 
in the early treaties of the United States with the Indians ; see Land Lawj and Treaties, 
post. 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 II. chap. ix. See also Burk's Virginia, vol. iii. p. 170. 

JAmong them a king of the Piankesbaws. (Minutes of the Council of Carlisle, 1753.) 
From those Minutes we learn also that the Ottowas and Chippewas aided the French. 

"Washington's Journal (London, 1754) has a map on which the name is printed "Pik- 
kawalinna." A memorial of the king's minister, in 1755, refers to it as "Pickawillanea, 
in the centre of the territory between the Ohio and the Wabash." Sparks' Franklin, vol. 
iv. p. 330.) The name is probably some variation of Piqua or Pickaway : in 1773, written 
by Her. David Jones "Pickawake." (Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 265.) 

1752 Treaty Negotiations. 79 

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 wished to occupy, by fair means or 
foul ; and, in the spring of 1752, Messrs. Fry,f 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, seven- 
teen miles 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.|| Here the Lancaster treaty 
was produced, and the sales of the western lands insisted 
upon ; but the chiefs said, "No : they had not heard of any 
sale west of the'warrior's road,K which ran at the foot of the 
Allegheny ridge." The commissioners then offered goods for 
a ratification of the Lancaster treaty ; spoke of the proposed 
settlement by the Ohio Company ; and used all their persua- 
sions to secure the land wanted. Upon the llth of June, the 
Indians replied : "They recognized the treaty of Lancaster, 
and the authority of the Six Nations to make it, but denied 
that they had any knowledge of the western lands being con- 
veyed to the English by said deed ; and declined, upon the 

*The Twigtwees met the Pennsylvanians at Lancaster, in July, 1743, 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 Shawnees, from the West, went to 
Philadelphia to make treaties, in 1732. (Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylva- 
nia, iii. 491.) 

("Afterwards Commander in Chief over Washington, at the commencement of the French 
war of 17*563 ; he died at Will's Creek, (Cumberland) May 31. 1754. Sparks' Wash- 
ington, ii. 27. note. 

% Plain, Facts, p. 40. Sparks' Washington, vol. iL p. 480. 

g 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 

|| Bancroft's Exptdition, London, 1766, p. 10. Logstown is given on the map accompany- 
ing the volume. 

^ Washington (Sparks' ii. 526,) speaks of a warrior's path coming out upon the Ohio 
about thirty miles above the Great Kanawha; Filsons 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. 

80 Terms agreed upon. 1752. 

whole, having any thing to do with the treaty of 1744." "How- 
ever," said the savages, "as the French have already struck 
the Tvvigtwees, we shall be pleased to have your assistance 
and protection, and wish you would build a fort at once at 
the Forks of the Ohio."* But this permission was not what 
the Virginians wanted ; so they took aside Montour, the inter- 
preter, who was a son of the famous Catharine Montour ,f and 
a chief among the Six Nations, being three-fourths of Indian 
blood, and persuaded him, by valid arguments, (of the kind 
which an Indian mostly appreciates doubtless,) to use his in- 
fluence with his fellows. This he did; and, upon the 13th of 
June, they all united in signing a deed, confirming the Lan- 
caster treaty in its full extent, consenting to a settlement south- 
east of the Ohio, and guaranteeing that it should not be dis- 
turbed by them.J By such means was obtained the first treaty 
w r ith 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 disputed 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 coun- 
try, attacking the Twigtwees, and seizing the English traders, 
nevertheless they did succeed, as the British never did, in at- 
taching the Indians to their cause. As an old chief of the 
Six Nations said at Easton, in 1758: "The Indians 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 

* Plain Facts, p. 42. 

t 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, appa- 
rently. Andrew was taken by the French in 1749. Which of them was at Logstown we 
are sot told ; but, from his influence with the Indians, it was probably Henry. 

J Plain Facts, pp. 38-44. The Virginia commissioners were men of high character, but 
treated with the Indians according to the ideas of their day. 

gSee Smollet ; George II., chap. viii. and ix. 

1753. Preparations for Hostilities. 81 

get them. The French came, they treated us kindly, and 
gained our affections. The Governor of Virginia settled on 
our lands for his own benefit, and, when we wanted help, 
forsook us."* 

So stood matters at the close of 1752. The English had 
secured (as they thought) a title to the Indian lands southeast 
of the Ohio, and Gist was at work laying out a town and fort 
there on Chartier's Creek, about two miles below the Fork.f 
Eleven families also were crossing the mountains to settle at 
the point where 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, how- 
ever, they could not well, and dared not, carry beyond Will's 
Creek, the point where Cumberland now stands, whence they 
were taken by the traders and Indians ; and there was even 
some prospect of a road across the mountains to the Monon- 

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 Mill of even inimical tribes, and pre- 
paring, when all was ready, to strike the blow. Some of the 
savages, it is true, remonstrated. They said they did not un- 
derstand this dispute between the Europeans, as to which of 
them the western lands belonged, 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 preparations, which were in an advanced state 
early in 1753.J 

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 rela- 
tive to the invasion of the West. The Assembly, thereupon, 
voted six hundred pounds for distribution among the tribes, 
besides two hundred for the presents of condolence to the 
Twigtwees, already mentioned. This money was not sent, 

*Plain Facts, p. 55. Pownall's Memoir on Service in North America. 
f Sparks' Washington, voL ii. pp. 433, 482, and map, p. 38. 

J See in Washington's Journal, the speech of Half-king to the French commander and 
his answer. Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 484. 

\ Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 219. 

82 Another Treaty. 1753. 

but Conrad Weiser was despatched in August to learn how 
things stood among the Ohio savages.* Virginia was moving 
also. In June, or earlier, a commissioner was sent westward 
to meet the French, and ask how they dared to invade his 
Majesty's province. The messenger went to Logstown, but 
was afraid to go up the Allegheny, 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 Fair- 
fax met their deputies at Winchester, Virginia, where he con-, 
eluded a treaty, with the particulars of which we are unac- 
quainted, but on which, we are told, was an endorsement, 
stating that such was their feeling, that he had not dared to 
mention to them either the Lancaster or the Logstown treaty ;J a 
most sad comment upon the modes taken to obtain those 
grants. In the month following, however, a more satisfactory 
interview took place at Carlisle, between the representatives 
of the Iroquois, Delawares, Shawnees, Twigtwees and Wyan- 
dots, and the commissioners of Pennsylvania, Richard Peters, 
Isaac Norris, and Benjamin Franklin. At this meeting the 
attack on the 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 af'Wenengo," 
(Venango,) [Mohongiala forks, (Pittsburgh,) Logstown and 
Beaver Creek. The red men complained of the traders as 
too scattered, and killing them with rum; they wished only 
three trading stations, viz : mouth of "Mohongely," (Pitts- 
burgh,) Logstown, and mouth of Conawa." 

Soon after this, no satisfaction being obtained from the 
Ohio, either as to the force, position, or purposes of the 
French, Robert Dinwiddie, then Governor of Virginia, deter- 
mined 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 previous life had inured him to 

* Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 230. 

fSparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 430. 

J Plain Facts, p. 44. 

gMinutes of Treaty at Carlisle in October, 1753, pp. 5 to 8. 

1753. Washington. 83 

hardship and woodland ways ; while his courage, cool judg- 
ment, and firm will, all fitted him for such a mission. This 
young man, as all know, was George Washington, who was 
twenty-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 neighborhood. Here he learned the position of 
the French upon the Riviere aux B(zufs, and the condition of 
their forts. He heard, also, that they had determined not to 
come down the river till the following 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 (Shawnee) 

chiefs would not come either. f 

i . 

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

Finding that nothing could be done with these people, 
Washington left Logstown on the 30th of November, and, 
traveling amid cold and rain, reached Venango,J an old In- 
dian town at the mouth of French Creek, on the 4th of 
the next month. Here he found the French ; and through 
the rum, the flattery, and the persuasions of his enemies, 
he very nearly lost all his Indians, even his old friend, the 

* Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. pp. 428 447. 

f Shingiss, or Shingask, was the great Delaware Warrior of that day, and did the 
British much mischief. See Hackewelder's Narrative, p. 64. 

J A corruption of Innungah; (Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 636, note. ) 
The French fort there was called Fort Machault. Meinoires sur la Derniere Guerre, 
iii. 181.) 

84 Washington's Return. 1754. 


Half-king. Patience and good faith conquered, however, 
and, after another effort through mires and creeks, snow, rain 
and cold, upon the llth he reached the head of French Creek. 
Here he delivered Governor Dinwiddie's letter, took his ob- 
servations, received his answer, and upon the 16th set out 
upon his return journey, having had to combat every art 
and trick "which the most faithful brain could suggest," in 
order to get his Indians away with him. Flattery, liquor, 
guns, and provisions were showered upon the Half-king and 
his comrades, while Washington himself received bows, 
smirks, and compliments, with 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 say, that three out of five men who went with 
them were too badly frost-bitten to continue the journey.* 
In spite of all, however, they reached Will's Creek, on the 
6th 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 
Allegheny ; 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 set- 
tle." These steps were taken by the Ohio Company ; 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 Dinwiddie 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 col- 
lected ; and that Logstown was then to be made head-quar- 
ters, while forts were built in various other positions, and the 
whole country occupied. He also sent expresses to the Gov- 
ernors of Pennsylvania and New York, calling upon them for 
assistance ; and with the advice of his council, proceeded to 

* Sparks' Washington, ii. 55. 

| Gist's Journal of this Expedition maj be found in the Massachusetts Historical Col- 
lections, third series, voL v. (1836,) 101 to 108. 

1754. Fort at Venango Finished. 85 

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 proceed 
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 
settlements, or obstruct the works, those resisting were to be 
taken, and if need were, to be killed.* 

While Virginia was taking these strong measures, which 
were fully authorized by the letter of the Earl of Holdernesse, 
Secretary of State,f written in the previous August, and which 
directed the Governors of the various provinces, after repre- 
senting 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 by force; while Virginia was thus 
acting, Pennsylvania was discussing the question, whether the 
French were really invading his Majesty's dominions, the 
Governor being on one side, and the Assembly on the other ,J 
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. These orders had been sent 
out in consequence of the report in England, that the natives 
would side with the French, because dissatisfied \vith the oc- 
cupancy 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 cur- 

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 an European 
camp, the watch-word, the command, the clang of muskets, 
the uproar of soldiers, the cry of the sutler ; and with these 

*Sparks' Waihington, vol. ii. pp. 1, 431, 446. Sparks' Franklin, TO!, iii. p. 254. 

fSparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 251, where the letter is given. 

% Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. pp. 254, 263. 

gPlain Facts, pp. 45, 46. Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 253. 

^Massachusetts Historical Collections, first series, vol. vii. p. 73. 

86 Volunteers called out. 1754. 

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 movements 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 Allegheny. In Philadelphia, 
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 de- 
sired 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.* 
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 in Virginia, it was deter- 
mined 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 for- 
warded 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 

* Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. pp. 264, 265. 

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

1754. The War Begun. 87 

those that 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 gun- 
powder, 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 inter- 
est. The first birds of spring filled the forest with their songs; 
the redbud was here and there putting forth its flowers on the 
steep Alleghe ny hill-sides, and the swift river below swept by, 
swollen by the melting snows and April showers; a few In- 
dian scouts were seen but no enemy seemed near at hand ; 
and all were 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 wilder- 
ness, 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 Allegheny a sight that 
made his heart 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 ; Con- 
trecoeur, 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 Logstown 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 a 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 Allegheny! 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 1754 TO 1763. 

Fort Necessity Proposed compromise by the French March of Braddock Defeat of 
Braddock Expedition to the Indian Towns on the Ohio Fort Du Quesne taken by the 
British Journey of Post Treaty at Easton Settlements in the West Treaty of Peace 
at Paris. 

Washington was at Will's Creek, (Cumberland,) when the 
news of the surrender of the Forks 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 Lit- 
tle Meadows, on the head waters of a branch of the Youghio- 
gheny, toiling slowly, painfully forward, four, three, sometimes 
only two miles a day ! All the while from traders and others 
he heard of forces coming up the Ohio to reinforce the French 
at the Fork, and of spies out examining the valley of the 
Monongahela, flattering and bribing the Indians. On the 
27 th of May he was at Great Meadows, west of the Youghi- 
ogheny, 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 enemies in the vicinity. Fearing a surprise, 
Washington at once started, and early the next morning at- 
tacked 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 commence- 
ment of the war, and inconsequence of a report made by M. de 
ContreccEur, 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 writers to represent 
the attack by Washington as unauthorized, and the party as- 

1754. Cvpitulation of Fort Necessity. 89 

sailed by him as a party sent with peaceable intentions; and 
this impression was confirmed by the term "assassination of M. 
de Jumonville," used in the capitulation of Great Meadows in 
the following July ; this having been accepted by Washing- 
ton (to whom 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 ap- 
pendix to Washington's papers, vol. ii. pp. 447, 459, has dis- 
cussed 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 
gathering 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 circumstances, was named 
Fort Necessity. On the 1st of July, the Americans reached 
their position ; on the 3d, alarm was given of an approaching 
enemy; at eleven o'clock, A. M., nine hundred in number, 
they commenced the attack in the midst of a hard rain ; and 
from that time until eight in the evening, the assailants 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 
terras of capitulation, which, by a flickering candle, in the 
dripping quarters of his commander, he translated to Wash- 
ington, and as it proved, from intention or ignorance, mis- 
translated. By this capitulation, the garrison of Fort Neces- 
sity 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 observance of these condi- 
tions Captain Vanbraam, the negotiator, and Captain Stobo, 

90 Resignation of Washington. 1754. 

were to be retained by the French as sureties.* 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 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 ; 2nd, the Independent Com- 
panies of Virginia, South Carolina, and New York, all of whom 
were 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, (Dinwiddie,) 
so changed the military organization of the Colony, as to leave 
no one in the army with a rank above that of Captain ; this 
was done in order to avoid all contests as to precedence 
among the American officers, it being clear that troops from 
various Provinces would have to be called into the field, and 
that the different commissions from the Crown, and the Colo- 
nies, would give large openings for rivalry and conflict ; but 
among the results of the measure was the resignation of 
Washington, who for a time retired to Mount Vernon.f 

It was now the fall of 1754. In Pennsylvania, Morris, who 
had succeeded Hamilton, was busily occupied with making 
speeches to the Assembly and listening to their stubborn re- 
plies ; J, while in the north the Kennebec was fortified, and a 
plan talked over for attacking Crown Point on Lake Cham- 
plain 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 balanced between them and the 

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

fSparks' Washington, ii. 64, 67, and generally, the whole volume, as to this war. 
JSparks' Franklin, vol. iii. p. 282. 
^Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. vii. p. 88. 

1755. Braddock in America. 91 

English. The forest of the Ohio shed their leaves, and the prai- 
ries 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 with professions, on both sides, of the 
most peaceful intentions, and preparations on both sides to 
push the war vigorously. France, in January, proposed to re- 
store every thing to the state it was in before the last war, 
and to refer all claims to commissioners at Paris ; to which 
Britain, on the 22nd, 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 compro- 
mise, namely, that the English should retire east of the Alle- 
ghenies, 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 
Braddock, with his gallant troops, had crossed the Atlantic,, 
and, upon the 20th of February, had landed in Virginia, com- 
mander-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 ; fou 
at Brest and Rochelle ships were fitting out, and troops gathr 
ering, 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 gathering the unready sai- 
lors.-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 At- 
lantic and, in Alexandria, Braddock, Shirley, and their fellow- 
officers were taking counsel as to the summer's campaign. 

In America four points were to be attacked ; Fort Du 

^Plain Facts, pp. 51, 52. Secret Journals, vol. iv. p. 74. 

|Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 68. Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. vii. p. 89. 
Smollett. George II, chapter x. 

92 Difficulties of Braddock. 1755. 

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 Massachusetts men, left Boston 
on the 20th of May; while the troops which General Shirley 
was to lead against Niagara, and the provincials which Will- 
iam 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 Louisburg, 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 deceived 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 Potomac 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 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 
gathered to attack the northern posts. Soldiers deserted ; the 
batteaux men dispersed ; and when at length Shirley, since 
Braddock's death the commander-in-chief, managed with infi- 
nite 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 John- 

*Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 77, <tc. Sparks' Franklin, vol. vii. p. 94, &e. 

' -fFor a full account of Shirley's Expedition, see the paper in Massachusetts Historical 
Collections, vol. vii. 

1755. Services of Franklin. 93 

son 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 particu- 
larly 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 second volume of the writings of Washington. 

The defeat of General Braddock, on the banks of the Monon- 
gahela, is one of the most remarkable events in American 
history. Great preparations had been made for the expedi- 
tion, under that experienced 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 Du Quesne, a subscription paper was 
handed about in Philadelphia, to raise money to celebrate his 
victory by bonfires and illuminations, as soon as the intelli- 
gence should arrive. 

General Braddock landed in Virginia on the 20th of Feb- 
ruary, 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 
effect that march. In letters written at Will's Creek, General 
Braddock, with much severity of censure, complained 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 effective 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 companies 
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 Pennslyvania farmers, in pro- 

94 BraddocVs Defeat. 1755. 

curing horses and wagons to transport the artillery, provisions 
and baggage. 

The details of the march were 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 officers. 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 Youghiogheny and Monongahela rivers. At 
this place Colonel Washington joined the advance 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 highest spirits, and firm 
in the conviction, that they should within a few hours, vic- 
toriously enter the walls of Fort Du Quesne. 

The steep and nigged grounds on the north side of the 
Monongahela prevented the army from marching in that di- 
rection, and it was necessary 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 9th, all things were in readiness, and the whole train pass- 
ed through the river a little below the mouth of the Youghio- 
gheny, and proceeded in perfect order along the southern mar- 
gin of the Monongahela. 

Washington was often heard to say during his lifetime, that 
the most beautiful spectacle that he ever beheld was the dis- 
play 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. Officers and men were equally in- 
spired 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 com- 
menced 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 an uneven country, at that time covered 
with woods. 

By the order of march, a body of three hundred men, under 
Colonel Gage, afterwards General Gage, of Boston memory, 

1755. Braddoctts Defeat. 95 

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 ad- 
vance parties, who were now ascending the hill, and had got 
forward 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 con- 
sternation, as no enemy was in sight, and the firing seemed to 
proceed from an invisible foe. They fired in their turn, how- 
ever, but quite at random, and obviously without effect, as 
the enemy kept up a discharge in quick, continued succession. 

The General advanced speedily to the relief of these de- 
tachments; but before he could reach the spot which they oc- 
cupied, they gave way and fell back upon the artillery and 
the other columns of the army, 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 provincials were the only troops who seemed to 
retain their senses, and they behaved with a bravery and reso- 
lution 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 manoeu- 
vring 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 producing 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 wound- 
ed ; the General himself had received a mortal wqund, 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, provisions and baggage ; nor could 
they be persuaded to stop till they had got as far as Gist's plan- 
tation, nor there only in part, many of them proceeding as far 

96 Braddoctts Defeat. 1755. 

as Colonel Dunbar's party, who lay six miles on this side. The 
officers were absolutely sacrificed by their good behavior, ad- 
vancing sometimes 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 13th instant. Secretary 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-seven wounded. The killed and wounded of the 
privates amounted to seven hundred and fourteen. Of these 
at least one-half w r ere 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 bag- 
gage, every thing in the train of the army, fell into the ene- 
my'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 

M. de Contreco3ur, 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 Contrecoeur was hesi- 
tating what measures to take, believing his small force wholly 
inadequate to encounter so formidable an enemy, when 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 re- 
quested 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, 

1755. Braddoctts Defeat. 97 

they agreed to hold a council on the subject, and talk with him 
again the next morning. They still adhered to their first de- 
cision, and when M. de Beaujeu went out among them to in- 
quire the result of their deliberations, 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, affability, and ardor, and much beloved by the savages, 
he said to them, "I am determined to go out and meet the 
enemy. What ! 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 morning 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 actually 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 En- 
glish 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 at- 
tack, which was made at first in front, and repelled by so heavy 
a discharge from the British, that the Indians believed it pro- 
ceeded from artillery, and showed symptoms of wavering and 
retreat. At this moment M. de Beaujeu was killed, and the 
command 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 be- 
came 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 

98 B ruddock's Defeat. 1755. 

every shot brought down a man. The English columns soon 
got into confusion ; 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 route was complete, and the field of battle was left cov- 
ered with the dead and wounded, and all the artillery, ammu- 
nition, provisions, and baggage of the English army. The 
Indians gave themselves up to pillage, which prevented them 
from pursuing the English in their flight. 

Such is the substance of the accounts written at the time 
by the French officers and sent home to their Government. 
In regard to the numbers engaged, there are some slight varia- 
tions in the three statements. The largest number reported 
is two hundred and fifty French and Canadians, and six hun- 
dred Indians. If we take a medium, it will make the whole 
number led out by M. de Beaujeu, at least eight hundred 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. When these facts are taken 
into view, the result of the action will appear much less 
wonderful, than has generally been supposed. And this won- 
der will still 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 cross- 
i ng 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 
crowning 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 dif- 
ferent directions till they terminated in the valley below. In 
these ravines the French and Indians were concealed and pro- 
tected. 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, 
1ill they were approached within a few feet. Indeed, at the 
present day, although the place is cleared from trees, and con- 
verted into pasture, they are perceptible only at a very short 
distance. By this knowledge of the local peculiarities of the 
battle ground, the mystery, that the British conceived them- 
selves 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 

1755. Braddock' s Defeat. 99 

to the incessant fire of the enemy, who discharged their mus- 
kets over the edge of the ravines, concealed during the opera- 
tion by the grass and bushes, and protected by an invisible 
barrier below the surface of the earth. William Butler, a 
veteran soldier still living (1832,) 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 mus- 
kets." A few scattering Indians were behind trees, and some 
were 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 ravines terminated in the valley, and scoured 
them with grape-shot, the same consequence would have fol- 

But the total insubordination of his troops would have 
prevented both these movements, even if he had become ac- 
quainted 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 confidence in 
the prowess of veteran troops, his obstinate self-complacency, 
his disregard of prudent counsel, and his negligence in leaving 
his army exposed to a surprise on their march. He freely con- 
sulted 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 him the importance of these men, and the necessity of 
conciliating and retaining them, but without effect. 

[A report has prevailed in Western Pennsylvania, that 
Braddock was shot by a provincial soldier, whose brother had 
been sentenced and shot by a court-martial, and an old man 
died a few years since who made this claim.] 

When the battle was over, and the remnant of Braddock's 
army had gained, in their flight, the opposite bank of the 
river, Colonel Washington was dispatched by the General to 

100 Testimony of Smith. 1756. 

meet Colonel Dunbar, and order forward wagons for the 
\vounded with all possible speed. But it was not till the 
llth, after they had reached Gist's plantation with great dif- 
ficulty and much suffering from hunger, that any arrived. 
The General was 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 Neces- 
sity at the great meadows. 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 army. 

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 

[Col. James Smith was a prisoner at Fort Du Quesne at the 
time of this celebrated battle, and gives in his "Narrative" a 
particular account of the return of the parties of the French 
and Indians. He saw them when they went out to the field 
and when they returned, and witnessed the horrid scene of 
burning their prisoners. The insertion cannot add to the 
testimony already adduced, nor cast any additional light on 
the disaster to the British and colonial troops.] 

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 tke following 
year ; and even then France was the last to proclaim the con- 
test which she had been so long carrying on, though more than 
three hundred of her merch'ant 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 movements, upon the sea par- 
ticularly, did not lead to the declaration on the part of France, 
is not easily suggested. Early in 1756, however, both king- 

1756. Expedition of Major Lewis. 101 

doms formed alliances in Europe ; France with Austria, Rus- 
sia, 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 par- 
took and suffered. 

Into the details of that war we cannot enter; not even into 
those of the contest of 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 num- 
ber of women and children, in 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 Kanahwa.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. J 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 Washington'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 Din- 
widdie did not leave until January, 1758. 

Upon a larger scale it was proposed during 1756, to attack 
Grown Point, Niagara, and Fort du Quesne, but neither was 

* The lower Shawanese town was just below the mouth of the Scioto. See Croghan's 
Journal Butler's Kentucky, second edition, 472. 

f Sparks' Washington, ii. 527. 

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

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

Mr. L. E. Draper wrote Mr. Perkins he had complete proof from the MS. journal of 
CoL William Preston of this "Sandy Creek" expedition, and that it occurred in 1759, as 
wo have corrected the Text. Ed. 

102 Fort D\L Qucsne Taken. 1758. 

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 Kittan- 
ing, on the Allegheny, 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 mas- 
sacre of its 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 Bri- 
tain 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 subal- 
terns. In North America, Louisburg yielded to Boscawen ; 
Fort Frontenac was taken by Bradstreet; and Du Quesne 
was abandoned upon the approach of Forbes through Penn- 
sylvania. 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 
gathering and the march may be seen in the letters of Wash- 
ington, who, in opposition to Colonel Bouquet, was in favor 
of crossing the mountains by Braddock's road, whereas, Bou- 
quet wished to cut a new one through Pennsylvania. In this 

* Holmes' Annals, vol. ii. p. 73. Burk's Virginia, vol. iii. p. 221. Day's Historical Col- 
lection* 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, 

|He returned to office, June 29th, 1757. 

1758 Route to Pennsylvania. 

division, Bouquet was listened to by the General; and late in 
the season a new route was 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 which 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 was finished by Braddock's 
engineers ; * and this route was now to be given up, and a 
wholly new one opened, probably, as Washington suggested, 
through Pennsylvania influence, that her frontiers might there- 
by be protected, and a way opened for her traders. The 
hardships and dangers of the march from Raystown to Fort 
Du Quesne, where the British van arrived upon the 25th of 
November, may be seen slightly pictured by the letters of 
Washington and the second journal of Post,f and may be 
more vividly conceived by those who have passed through the 
valley of the upper Juniata.J 

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 in- 
iquitous 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 were by presents and 
politeness, and accompanied by no attempts to buy or wheedle 
land from them. Early, therefore, many of the old allies of 
England joined her enemies; and the treaties of Albany, 

^Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 102. 
fProud's Pennsylvania, vol. ii. Appendix. 

JGen. Forbes was go sick on this march as to be carried on a litter. He died in Phila- 
delphia a few days after the British took possession of Fort Du Quesne, now Pittsburgh. 

?3ee Post's Journals; Pownall's Memoir on Service in North America. 

104 Disaffection of the Indians. 1758. 

Johnson Hall, and Easton,* did little or nothing towards stop- 
ping the desolation of the frontiers of Pennsylvania, Mary- 
land, and Virginia. The Quakers always believed, that this 
state of enmity between the Delawares and themselves, or 
their rulers, might be prevented by a little friendly com- 
munion; 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 diffi- 
culty on the other. In the autumn of 1756, a treaty was held 
at Easton with the Pennsylvania Delawares,f 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 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, i or' cm ; ny 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 w r asting away, and 
their homes disappearing before them. "The kings of France 
and England," said Teedyuscung, "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 inheritance, and is taken fronmne by 
fraud." Such being the feeling of the natives, and success 
being of late nearly balanced between the two European pow- 
ers, 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 influence ;J 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' 

*Many treaties were made between 1753 and 1758, which amounted to little or nothing. 
See Massachusetts Historical Collections, -vol. vii. p. 97. Sparks' Franklin, vol. iii. pp. 436 
450, 471. Proxfd's Pennsylvania, vol. ii. app. ; Friendly Association'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, vol. ii. p. 331, 
an inquiry into the causes of quarrel with the Indians, and extracts from treaties, <tc. 

[Sparks' Franklin, vol. vii. p. 125. 
JHeckewelder'* Narrative, p. 53. 

1758. C. F. Post sent West. 105 

army on the eve of starting for Fort Du Quesne, and the 
French being also disheartened by the British success else- 
where, 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 enemies. The whole French 
interest would be against him, and the Indians of the Ohio 
were little to be trusted. Every stream on his way 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 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 Sus- 
quehanna, passing " many plantations deserted and laid 
waste." Upon the 7th of August, he came to the Allegheny, 
opposite French Creek, and was forced to pass under the 
very eyes of the garrison of Fort Venango, but was not mo- 
lested. From Venango he went to "Kushkushkee," 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 oppo- 
site Fort Du Quesne, where there were Indians of eight na- 
tions. The messenger was at first unwilling to go thither, 
fearing 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 Ab>. ,st, 
Post, with his Indian friends, reached the point opposite the 
Fort ; and there immediately followed a series of speeches, 
explanations and agreements, for which we must refer to his 
Journal. At first he was received rather hardly by an old 

106 Conference at Fort Du Quesne. 1758. 

and deaf Onondago, who claimed the land whereon they 
stood as belonging to the Six Nations ; but a Delaware re- 
buked him in no very polite terms. "That man speaks not 
as a man," he said ; "he endeavors to frighten us by saying 
this ground is his ; he dreams ; he and his father (the French) 
have certainly drank 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 with your 
father, 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 colo- 
nists, the general feeling, produced by the prospect of a quick 
approach of Forbes' army, and by the truth and kindness of 
Post himself, was in favor of England. The Indians, howev- 
er, 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 rattlesnake 
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 :oward Philadelphia, setting out upon the 9th of Sep- 
tember; <i.nd, after the greatest sufferings and perils from 
French scouts and Indians, reached the settlements unin- 

WbiK. 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 Loyal- 
hanna, hewing their way as they went. Early in September, 

Sparks' Washington, ii- 312. 

1758. Major Grant Defeated. 107 

the General reached Raystown, whither he had 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 separately, each with his 
party, to reconnoitre Fort du Quesne, and had brought ac- 
counts of its condition up to the 13th of August.* It being 
deemed desirable, however, to have fuller statements than 
they were able to give, a party of eight hundred men under 
Maj. Grant, with whom went Maj. Andrew Lewis of Virginia, 
was pushed forward to gain the desired information. Grant 
appears to have exceeded his orders, which were merely to ob- 
tain all the knowledge relative to the French which he could : 
and after having unwisely divided his force, he, with equal 
want of sagacity, brought on an engagement ; having before 
him, 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 into confusion by their Indi- 
an foes. Lewis, who had been left two miles behind, hasten- 
ing forward when he heard the sound of firearms, to relieve 
his comrades, was unable to check the rout which had com- 
menced, 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 res- 
cued them. Ordering his men to lower their arms, this able 
officer waited until the Indians, who thought the little band 
about to yield, were in full view, then giving the word, poured 
upon the enemy a deadly fire, which was instantly followed 
by a charge with 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 Wash- 
ington received publicly the compliments of the Commander- 
in Chief on account of it.f 

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, where at one time the 
General thought of spending the winter ; on the 15th, he was 
at Chesnut ridge, advancing Irom four to eight miles a day ;, 

*See map in Sparks' Washington, ii.; also plate and account in Am. Pioneer, ii. 147. 

fSparks' Washington; ii. 313; note. Butler's Kentucky, 2d edition. Introduction, xlir. 
Marshall's Life of Washington, (edition 1804, Philadelphia,) ii. fit; This defeat oc- 
curred, September 21. Washington commanded all the Virginia troops. 

108 Fort Du Quesne Taken. 1758. 

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. 

[Another great Indian council was held at Easton, Pa., 
(1758) in October, at which peace was concluded with the 
colonists. Here were the chiefs of the "Six Nations," (the 
Tuscaroras having joined the confederacy in 1715,) and their 
allies. Post, the Moravian, was sent back with this treaty, 
with the messengers to the West, within five weeks after his 
return.*] He followed after Gen. Forbes, from whom he re- 
ceived 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. In- 
deed, but for Post's mission, there would in all probability 
have been gathered a strong force of western savages to way- 
lay Forbes and defend Fort Du Quesne ; in which case, so ad- 
verse 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 

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 Chero- 
kees, who had been assisting Virginia against her foes, were 
roused to war by the thoughtless and cruel conduct of the fron- 
tier men, who shot several of that tribe, because they took 
some horses which they found running at large in the woods. 

*See a note in Burk's "History of Virginia," vol. iii, p. 239. American Pioneer, i. 244, 
taken from the Annual Register for 1759, p. 191.. The Iroquois were angry at the promi- 
nence of Teedyuscung in this treaty. 

1760. Settlements in the West Resumed. 109 

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 frontiers 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 remarka- 
ble chiefs of that day, the Great Warrior and the Little Car- 
penter (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, pro- 
fessedly, in the character of defenders, that Braddock and 
Forbes had come into the 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 pre- 
serve her old allies, the Six Nations, and their dependents, 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 in- 
structions to the Virginia government as would enable them 
to do so.f During 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 vegetables for the use of the garrison .J 
Nor, if we can credit one writer, were the settlements of the 

*Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 328. Post's Journal shows how full of jealousy the Indi- 
ans were ; see there also Forbes' letter, sent by him. 

fSparks' Washington, rol. ii. p. 482. Plain Facts, p. 120, where a letter from the Com- 
pany, dated September 9th, 1761, is given. 

\ Dated August 20th. Plain Facts, pp. 55, 56. 

110 Major Rogers Crosses the Ohio. 1760. 

Ohio Company, and the forts, the only inroads upon the hunt- 
ing 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 settlements in the 
West ; and the report of John Blair, Clerk of the Virginia 
Council, in 1768 or 1769, states that most of the grants be- 
yond 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.f 

But if the Ohio Indians were early ill-disposed to the Eng- 
lish, much more was this the case among the 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 sur- 
render of Vaudreuil, when Major Robert Rogers was sent to 
take charge of Detroit. J 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 November. It was, if we mistake 
not, while waiting for an answer to this summons, that he was 
visited by the great Ottawa chieftain, 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 protection. 
Beleter, meantime, who commanded at Detroit, had not 
yielded ; nay, word was brought to Rogers on the 24th, that 

* Contest in North America, by an Impartial Hand, p. 36. Secret Journals, TO!, iii. p. 
187. Plain Facts. Appendix. 

t Plain Facts, p. 56. See Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 64. 

JSee his Journal, London, 1765. Also, his Concise Account of North America. Lon- 
don. 1765. 

1761. Henry at Mackinac. Ill 

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 suc- 
cess 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,* in 
Bouquet's "Expedition," as the common one from Sandusky 
to the Fork of the Ohio. It went from Fort Sandusky, where 
Sandusky City now is, crossed the Huron river, then called 
Bald Eagle Creek, to " Mohickon John's Town," upon what 
we know as Mohicon Creek, the northern branch of White 
Woman's River, and thence crossed to Beaver's Town, a Del- 
aware 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 the Ohio, through Logs- 
town, to Fort Pitt, which place Rogers reached January 23d, 
1760, precisely one month having,passed while he was upon 
the way. 

In the spring of the year following Rogers' visit, (1761,) 
Alexander Henry, an English trader, went to Michillimackinac 
for purposes of business, and he found everywhere the strong- 
est feeling 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 Canadi- 
an dress, managed to reach Michillimackinac 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, 

* Thomas Hutehins, afterwards Geographer of the United States, was, in 1764, assistant 
engineer in Bouquet's expedition. 

112 Treaty at Paris. 1763. 

you have not conquered us ! We are not your slaves ! These 
lakes, these woods, these mountains, were left to us by our an- 
cestors. They are our inheritance, and we will part with them 
to none. Your nation supposes that we, like the white people, 
cannot 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 

He then spoke of the fact that no treaty had been made 
with them, no presents sent them, and while he announced 
their intention 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 war.* 

Such were the feelings of the north-western savages imme- 
diately after the English took possession of their lands ; and 
these feelings were in all probability fostered and increased by 
the Canadians and French. Distrust of the British was gen- 
eral ; and, as the war between France and England still went 
on in other lands, there was hope among the Canadians, per- 
haps, 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 anything. 

Upon the 10th of February, 1763, the treaty of Paris was 
concluded, and peace between the European powers restored. 
Of that treaty we give the essential provisions bearing upon 
our subject. 

ART. 4. "His most Christian Majesty renounces all preten- 
sions 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 Christian Majesty cedes and guarantees to 
his said Britannic Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its 
dependencies, as well as the island of Cape Breton, and all 
the other islands and coasts in the gulf and river of St. Law- 
rence ; and, in general, every thing that depends on the said 
countries, lands, islands, and coasts, with the sovereignty, 
property, possession, and all rights acquired by treaty or 
otherwise, which the most Christian King and crown of France 
have had, till now, over the said countries, islands, lands, 
places, coasts, and their inhabitants ; so that the most Christian 

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

1763. Treaty at Paris. 113 

King, cedes and makes over the whole to the said King, and 
to the crown of Great Britain, and that in the most ample 
manner and form, without restriction, and without any liberty 
to depart from the said cession and guarantee under any pre- 
tence, or to disturb Great Britain in the possessions above 

ART. 7. "In order to establish peace on solid and durable 
foundations, and to remove forever all subjects of dispute 
with regard to the limits of the British and French territories 
on the continent of America, it is agreed that for the future, 
the confines between the dominions of his Britaninc 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 Pontchartrain, to 
the sea; and for this purpose, the most Christian King cedes, 
in full right, and guarantees to his Britannic Majesty, the 
river and port of the Mobile, and every thing which he pos- 
sesses or ought to possess on the left side of the river Missis- 
sippi, 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 understood that the navigation of the river Mis- 
sissippi 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 
mouth. It is further stipulated that the vessels belonging to, 
the subjects of either nations shall not be stopped, visited, or 
subjected to the payment of any duty whatsoever." 


THE WEST, FROM 1763 TO 1774. 

Indian Conspiracy under Pontiac Stratagem at Detroit DefeatedMassacre atMackinac 
Treaty of Detroit Settlement of St. Louis and transfer of Louisiana Treaty of Fort 
Stanwix Expedition of Col. Croghan Dr. Walker's Company Col. James Smith's 
Expedition to Kentucky Daniel Boone's Exploration Emigration to Kentucky and 

Again, men began to think seriously of the West. Pamph- 
lets were published upon- the advantages of settlements on 
the Ohio ; Colonel Mercer was chosen to represent the old 
Company in England, and try to have their affairs made 
straight, for there were counter-claims by the soldiers who 
had enlisted, in 1754, under Dinwiddie'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 Michi- 
gan 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. Chippe- 
ways, Ottoways, Wyandotts, 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 distant 
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 ? 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 unsus- 
pecting traders journeyed from village -to village; the soldiers 
in the forts shrunk from the sun of 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 horrors of the ten years' war, now, thank 
God ! over. From the Alleghenies to the Mississippi the trees 

1763. Nine Forts Captured. 115 

had leaved, and all was calm life and joy. But, through that 
great country, even then, bands of sullen red men were jour- 
neying from the central valleys to the lakes and the eastern 
hills. Bands of Chippeways gathered about Michillimackinac. 
Ottaways filled the woods near Detroit. The Maumee 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 posses- 
sion of their noble lands ! 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 hollow 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. 

[The forts, or rather trading posts, were those of Green Bay, 
St. Joseph, Ouiatenon, Miamis, Sandusky, Presqu'Ile, Lebceuf, 
Venango, and Michillimackinac. Three others, Niagara, Pitt, 
and Detroit, were attacked but not taken. The master spirit 
of this enterprise was Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, who resided 
near Detroit. He was one of those heroic men who stamp 
their own character on their country and the age. No Ameri- 
can Savage has shown a more marked character, in forming 
great and comprehensive plans, or in executing them with 
energy and boldness. He had been friendly and liberal with 
the French, but he disliked the British, though, as a matter of 
policy, he professed friendship at first. After Canada and its 
dependencies had surrendered to the British arms, in 1760, 
General Amherst of Montreal, dispatched Major R. Rogers 
with a considerable force, to take possession of Detroit and 
Mackinac. These were the first English troops that ever 
penetrated that region. 

Drawing near to Detroit, they received a message from 
Pontiac, informing Major Rogers that their chief was master 
of the country they had entered. The commander was intro- 
duced to the great chief, who condescended to smoke the pipe 
of peace and make a treaty. 

One of the speeches of Pontiac we here insert as illustra- 
tive of the character of that man : 

116 Attempt on Detroit. 1763. 

"Englishmen ! It is to you that I speak and I demand your 
attention. Englishmen ! You know that the French King is 
our father. He promised to be such, and we, in return, 
promised to be his children this promise we have kept. 

"Englishmen ! It is you that have made war with this, our 
father. You are his enemy how then could you have the 
boldness to venture among us, his children? You know that 
his enemies are ours ! 

"Englishmen ! We are informed that our father, the King of 
France, is old and infirm; and that, being fatigued with mak- 
ing war upon your nation, he has fallen asleep. During his 
sleep you have taken advantage of him, and possessed your- 
selves of Canada. But his nap is almost at an end I think 
I hear him already stirring, and inquiring for his children, the 
Indians and when he does awake, what must become of you? 
He will destroy you utterly !" 

After deceiving the British by a treaty, Pontiac laid the plan 
of a sudden and cotemporaneous attack upon all the British 
forts and trading posts on the northern lakes. 

He sent runners with a "talk" and a belt of wampum, which 
he pretended had been sent him by the King of France, to the 
Indian tribes along the line of frontier, by which means he 
brought into a conspiracy the Miamis, the Ottawas, the Chip- 
pewas, the Wyandots, the Potawatamies, the Missisaugas, the 
Shawanoes, the Saukies, the Ottagamies, and the Winneba- 
goes. His measures were taken with so much secrecy that 
the storm burst on each garrison in the month of May, before 
the English had learned the plans of their enemy, or had made 
any preparation for defence. 

Fort Pitt and Niagara, being regular fortifications, were 
successfully defended, and Detroit was saved by detection of 
the stratagem. 

This post was attempted by Pontiac in person, who, with a 
number of braves, presented himself at the gate on the 8th of 
May, and desired to speak with the commanding officer. This 
was Maj. Gladwyn, who, unsuspicious of treachery, and believ- 
ing he desired to trade, and that "the Indians desired to take 
their new father, the King of England, by the hand," gave his 
consent, and the council was to be held next day in the fort. 

The plan of Pontiac was to gain admittance into the fort, 
with a number of his braves, who had cut short their guns so 
as to be concealed under their blankets, and at a signal he 
would give, they were to massacre the officers, throw open 

1763. Macanac Captured. 117 

the gates, admit the other Indians, and complete the destruc- 
tion of the garrison. 

An Indian woman, who had been employed by the comman- 
dant to make moccasins, out of a curiously wrought elk skin, 
betrayed the conspirators. Next morning the garrison was 
under arms, the guards were doubled, and the officers armed 
with swords and pistols. Pontiac, on his arrival, enquired of 
the British commandant the cause of this unusual display, and 
received for answer, it was necessary to keep his young men 
from being idle. The council opened, the speech of Pontiac 
was bold and menacing, and his voice and gesticulations 
vehement. When he was about to give his men the signal, 
the drums beat the charge, the guards levelled their muskets, 
the officers drew their swords, and Pontiac, though a brave 
man, was disconcerted. Major Gladwyn approached the 
chief, turned aside his blanket, discovered the shortened gun, 
exposed his plan, reproached him for his treachery, and 
ordered him and his braves to leave the fort. The garrison in 
the fort consisted of 122 men, officers included, besides some 
forty traders and engagees who resided in the fort. 

As the Indians retired they gave a yell, and discharged their 
guns at the garrison. They also murdered an aged English 
woman and her two sons, and a discharged sergeant and his 
family in the vicinity. A furious attack was made upon the 
fort for several days, and repeated attempts made by the 
Indians to gain possession. At one time they filled a cart 
with combustibles and ran it against the pickets to set them 
on fire. For several months the English were blockaded and 
their supplies cut off. There was great difficulty in sending 
aid to Detroit from the Southern posts. Niagara and Fort 
Pitt had become reduced to great distress, and the latter was 
finally relieved by Colonel Bouquet, who penetrated the 
wilderness of Pennsylvania by Bedford and Fort Ligonier, 
with 300 men and forty horses, loaded with provisions. 

The post of Michillimackinac was attacked, entered, and 
seventy of the garrison killed and scalped, on the 4th of June, 
the same year. The garrison consisted of ninety men, besides 
two subaltern officers, under the command of Major Ethering- 
ton. Sometime previous, this officer had received intelligence 
of the hostility of the Indians, but he would not believe it. 
Besides the garrison, there were \vithin the limits of the stock- 

118 Stratagem at Mackinac. 1763. 

ade, about thirty cabins, inhabited by as many French families. 
Among the traders at this post was Mr. Alexander Henry, 
who, after a narrow escape from the massacre, wrote a narra- 
tive of the events in the Northwest at this period, which is 
reliable history. We give the substance of his account of the 
attack on this post, with copious references. 

"On the 4th of June, the morning was sultry, and the 
Chippeways projected a game of ball called Baggatiway, with 
the Sacks, for a high wager, and they gave an invitation to 
the British officers, to be present. This game is played with 
a bat and ball ; the bat being about four feet long, curved, and 
ending in a sort of racket. Two posts were planted in the 
ground, a half mile or more apart, and the issue of the game 
consisted in striking the ball beyond either post. 

On the ground, midway between the posts, the ball is 
placed. The Indians being divided into two parties, played 
with great animation and much noise and confusion. In the 
heat of the contest the ball was frequently, as if by accident, 
sent over the pickets into the fort, and the commandant, with 
the subalterns and a part of the soldiers, went out to witness 
the game. When the ball was sent within the pickets, num- 
bers of both parties ran within the fort, until the artifice was 
repeated several times, and the British thrown off their guard, 
not suspecting treachery. At this crisis, the ball was again 
thrown over the pickets, and the Indians, in great numbers 
rushed in, as if to recover the ball, but with arms concealed, 
and commenced a furious attack on the garrison. In a short 
time they had possession of the fort. About seventy, including 
the commander, several officers and traders, and the garrison 
and servants, were killed and scalped. The remainder, being 
saved as prisoners, were taken to Montreal, where they were 
redeemed. Carver says, "the Indians had the humanity to 
spare the lives of the greatest part of the garrison and 
traders." The Indians numbered nearly 400 braves."*] 

It was now nearly autumn, and the confederated tribes had 

*For further particulars of Pontiac, the stratagem at Detroit, massacre at Mackinac, 
and events of 1763, the reader is referred to the following authorities. Carver's Travels, 
p. 13, Philadelphia edition, 1796. Henry's Narrative. Drake's Captivities, pp. 289, 292. 
Drake's Book of the Indians, book v, art. Pontiak, pp. 52, 53. Holmes' Annals, vol. ii, p. 
121. Sparks' Washington, vol. ii, map at p. 38. Day's Historical Collections of Penn- 
sylvania, 681. Thatcher's Indian Biography, vol. ii, p. S3. Lanman's History of Michigan, 
pp. 121, 121. Dillon's Indiana, vol. i, pp. 82, 83. Brown's Illinois, pp. pp. 192. 204. 

1763. Royal Proclamation. 119 

failed to take the three most important fortresses in the West, 
Detroit, Pitt, and Niagara. Many of them became disheart- 
ened ; 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 success did not come; jealousies and old 
enmities revived ; the league was broken ; and Pontiac was 
left alone or with few followers. 

In October, also, a step was taken by the British govern- 
ment, in part, for the purpose of quieting the fears and sus- 
picions of the red men, which did much, probably, toward 
destroying their alliance ; a proclamation was issued contain- 
ing the following paragraphs and prohibitions : 

And, whereas, it is just and reasonable, and essential to our 
interest and the security of our colonies, that the several na- 
tions or tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and 
who live under our protection, should not be molested or 
disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and 
territories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, 
are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting 
grounds; we do, therefore, with the advice of our privy coun- 
cil, 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 gov- 
ernments, as described in their commissions ; as, also that 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, which, 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 t> 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 within 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 whatever, or taking possession 

120 Royal Proclamation. 1763. 

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 descri- 
bed, 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 settle- 

And whereas, great frauds and abuses have been committed 
in the purchasing lands from the Indians, to the great preju- 
dice of our interests, and to the great dissatisfaction of the 
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 reason- 
able cause of discontent, we do, with the advice of our privy 
council, strictly enjoin and require that no private person do 
presume 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 pur- 
chased only for us, in our name, at some public meeting or 
assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose, by 
the Governor or Commander-in-chief of our colony, respec- 
tively, within which they shall lie : and in case they shall lie 
within the limits of any proprietaries, 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 take out 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 ap- 
pointed for this purpose, to direct and appoint, for the benefit 
of the said trade ; and we do hereby authorize, enjoin, and 
require the Governors and Commanders-in chief of all our 
colonies, respectively, as well those under our immediate 
government as those under the government 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 regulations as we shall think proper to prescribe 
as aforesaid. 

1763. Settlement of St. Louis. 121 

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 the 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 fol- 
lowing : * 

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 over. 

3. If 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 ful- 
filment of the conditions of the treaty.f 

[During the period of the Indian conspiracy under Pontiac, 
and the negotiations for peace, a series of events were open- 
ing in another quarter, of which, British authorities took no 
notice. We allude to the settlement of St. Louis, and the 
progress of civilization along the Mississippi. The lead busi- 
ness commenced, under Philip Francis Renault, in 1720, and 
was prosecuted at various periods, and the trade with the 
Indians in peltry was conducted by individual enterprise. 
But in 1763, Pierre Ligucste Laclcdc, an enterprising trader, 
obtained a grant from M. D'Abadie, director general of Louis- 
iana, with "the necessary powers to trade with the Indians of 
the Missouri, and those west of the Mississippi, above the 
Missouri, as far north as the river St. Peters." 

*Annual Register, 1764. (State Papers, 181.) 

fHenry's Narrative (New York edition, 1809, pp. 185, 186. Henry was with Bradstreet. 
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 his Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 
314, sayi the same. Others have named the Maumee, where a truce was agreed to, Au- 
gust 6th. (See Henry.) There may have been two treaties, one at Detroit with the Otta. 
was, &c., and one at Erie with the Ohio Indians. 


122 Site of St. Louis Described. 1764. 

Laclede organized a company under the firm of " Laclede, 
Maxan & Co.," fitted out an expedition, and started from 
New Orleans on the third day of August, 1763, and reached 
Ste. Genevieve, (then a small village on the bank of the 
Mississippi) on the 3d of November, just three months after 
his departure. Finding no place in which to store his goods, 
he proceeded to Fort Chartres, then under command of M. St. 
Ange de Belle Rive. He left this point early in February, 
1764, with the men he brought from New Orleans, with a 
reinforcement from Ste. Genevieve, Fort Chartres and Kas- 
kaskia, and stopped a short time at Cahokia, then called 
"Notre Dame des Kahokias" and engaged several families to 
accompany him to his projected settlement. On the fifteenth 
of February, the party landed on the west bank of the Missis- 
sippi, on the spot now occupied by the city of St. Louis, and 
commenced cutting down the trees, and erecting cabins for the 
accommodation of his goods and men. He laid off a village 
plat, with narrow streets, which he named ST. Louis, in honor 
of Louis XV. of France. 

At that time a skirt of tall timber lined the bank of the 
river, free from undergrowth, which extended back to a line 
about the range of Eighth street. In the rear was an exten- 
sive prairie. The first cabins were erected near the river and 
Market street. No"Bloody Island," or "Duncan's Island," then 
existed. Directly opposite the Old Market square, the river 
was narrow and deep, and until about the commencement of 
the present century, persons could be distinctly heard from 
the opposite shore. Opposite Duncan's Island and South St. 
Louis was an island, covered with heavy timber and separated 
from the Illinois shore by a slough. Many persons are now 
living (1850) who recollect the only ferry from Illinois to St. 
Louis, passed from Cahokia, below this island, and landed on 
the Missouri shore near the site of the United States Arsenal. 

It deserves note that at this period, Louisiana belonged to 
Spain, and the Illinois country, the north-west and Canada, to 
Great Britain. 

By a secret treaty, signed on the third of November, 1762, 
between the French and Spanish kings, the former ceded to 
the latter the part of the province of Louisiana, which lay 
on the western side of the Mississippi river, including the 
island and city of New Orleans, on the eastern side, but it 

1769. Change of Government. 123 

was not until the 2lst of April, 1764, that the governor, M. 
D'Abadie, received orders from Louis XV. to proclaim this 
change to the colony. 

The governor was so deeply distressed at these orders, that 
it caused his death.* 

The administration remained in the hands of the French 
under Aubri, the successor of M. D'Abadie. The colonists 
had a great aversion to the Spanish government, and when 
the Court of Madrid sent, as Captain General, Don Antonio 
D'Ulloa, a man of prudence and discretion, he could not 
openly exercise his authority. The colonists sent deputies to 
Versailles for permission from the King to remain subjects of 
France. Louis XV. declared the cession was irrevocable. 

The Spanish general, Don Alexander O'Reilly, was ap- 
pointed as the successor of D'Ulloa in 1769, with special power 
to compel subjection, with three thousand soldiers. The col- 
onists at New Orleans attempted to prevent his landing, and 
it was only by the influence of the French magistrates, who 
saw the hopelessness of a violent contest with the crown of 
Spain, unaided by their former government, that he obtained 
possession. O'Reilly was a tyrant and barbarian, and ruled 
only by superior force. Six principal citizens were con- 
demned and shot by his orders ! f 

For our authority, concerning the appearance of the site 
of St. Louis and the aspect of the river, we are indebted to 
the late Auguste Chouteau, Sen., and several other inhabitants 
of St. Louis, who were living thirty years since. 

We cannot well give the Annals of St. Louis, of Missouri, 
and of Illinois, with the correctness and particularity desirable, 
in the body of the work, prepared by Mr Perkins, without 
trenching on the narrative of events that transpired in other 
parts of the West at the same period. Our readers will find 
the whole in the APPENDIX.] 

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 Wo- 
man'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 pris- 

*Marbois' History of Louisiana, p. 136. 

fTbid. Also, Martin's History of Louisiana, vol. ii. p. 7. 

124 Captives Delivered up. 1765. 

oners, 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 faith, and upon the 
9th of May, 1765, the remaining whites were given up to 
George Croghan, the deputy of Sir William Johnson, at Fort 
Pitt.* Many anecdotes are related in the account of the de- 
livery of the captives to Bouquet, going to show that strong 
attachments had been formed between them aud their cap- 
tors ; and West's pencil has illustrated the scene of their de- 
livery. 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 judgment of this chieftain, he was, in point of 
talent, nobleness of spirit, honor, and devotion, the superior 
of any red man of \vhom we have an account. His plan of 
extermination was most masterly; his execution of it equal 
to its conception. But for the treachery of one of his follow- 
ers, 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 probability both posts 
would have fallen.^ Even disappointed as he was at Detroit, 
had the Six Nations, with their dependent allies, the Dela- 
wares 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 

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

j- " An Historical Account of the Expedition against the Ohio Indians in the year 1764, 
under the command of Henry Bouquet, Esquire, Ac. Published from Authentic Docu- 
ments, by a Lover of his Country. London, 1766. This volume was first printed in 

JThatcher's Indian Biography, vol. ii. Our knowledge of Pontiac and his war is very 
imited. We hope something more may come to light yet. Nicollet in his Report, (p. 81,) 
gives some particulars from one who knew Pontiac. His death was revenged by the North- 
ern nations, who nearly exterminated the Illinois. 

1765. Col. Croghari's Exploration. 125 

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 proclama- 
tion. Indeed, the Mohawks and leading tribes were from the 
first vrith the British ; so that, after the success of Bradstreet 
and Bouquet, there was no difficulty 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 Europeans should not go ; 
and the savages named, as this line, the Ohio or Allegheny 
and Susquehanna ; but no definite agreement was made, 
Johnson not being empowered to act. The other propo- 
sal 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 

[ After the peace of 1763, Col. George Croghan, a commis- 
sioner under Sir William Johnson, was sent to explore the 
country adjacent to the Ohio river, to conciliate the Indians. 
His Journal may be found in the "American Monthly Journal 
of Geology and Natural Science," published in Philadelphia 
in 1831-'32, vol. i. p. 257 ; and in the Appendix to Butler's 
"History of Kentucky," (second edition.) 

Accompanied by the deputies of the Senecas, Shawanese, 
and Delawares, Col. Croghan left Pittsburgh, May 15th, 1765, 
with two batteaux, proceeded dow r n the Ohio river, and on 
the 6th of June reached the mouth of the Wabash. From 
this point he dispatched two Indian runners with letters to 
Lord Frazer, a British officer, who had been sent from Fort 
Pitt to take possession of Illinois, and to M. St. Ange, the 
French commandant at Fort Chartres. 

On the 8th, at daybreak, his party was attacked "by a 
party of Indians, consisting of eighty warriors of the Kicka- 
poos and Musquatimes," (probably Musquakies.) They 
killed two white men and three Indians of his party, wounded 
the commander, and made him and "all the white men 
prisoners," after plundering them of all they possessed. One 
of the Shawanese, who, being wounded, had concealed him- 

*Plmn Facts, p. 60. 

flbid. Butler's History of Kentucky, second edition, p. 479, et. seq. 

126 Col. Croghan Returns. 1765. 

self in the bushes, finding the hostile party were from Illinois, 
came forward, gave them an Indian talk, and threatened 
them with the vengeance of the Shawanese nation. This 
alarmed them, and they set off with their prisoners to their 
towns on the Ouiatenon, up the Wabash. Passing through 
Vincennes, he found a village of eighty or ninety French 
families. The Colonel represents the French as inimical to 
him and the British, and as sharing the plunder with the Indi- 
ans. He gives a description of the country and the fertility 
of the soil with creditable accuracy. He visited the Twigtwee 
and several other Indian villages, passed by the present site 
of Fort Wayne, thence down the Maumee to Lake Erie and 
round to Detroit, which he reached on the 16th of August. 

On the 26th of September he set out from Detroit, passed 
along the north shore of Lake Erie in a birch canoe, and 
reached Niagara on the 8th of October. At the close of his 
Journal is a list of Indian tribes, their localities, and their 
hunting grounds, from New York to Mississippi.] 

Mr. Perkins observes : So stood matters in the West during 
this year, 1765. All beyond the Alleghenies, with the excep- 
tion of a few forts, was a wilderness, until the Wabash was 
reached, where dwelt a few French, with some fellow coun- 
trymen, not far from them, upon the Illinois and Kaskaskia. 
The Indians, a few years since, undisputed 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 evils, 
the deepest and most abiding spirit of revenge was roused 
within them. They had seen the British coming to take their 
hunting-grounds 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 settlers, that prom- 
ised protection would be but an incentive to passion, in case it 
\vas not in good faith extended to them. 

And it was not in good faith extended to them by either 
individuals 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 Monongahela. The Indians, haying received no pay for 
these lands, murmured, and once more a border war was 

1767. Purchase of Lands. 127 

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 remained where they were. * 
And not only were frontier men thus passing the line tacitly 
urged on, but Sir William himself was even then meditating 
a step which would have produced, had it been taken, a gen- 
eral Indian war again. This was the purchase and settle- 
ment 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. Gov- 
ernor Franklin, accordingly, forwarded to his father an appli- 
cation 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 Dinwiddie's 
proclamation had their tale of rights and grievances. Indi- 
viduals, to 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 ministers 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 colo- 
ny Hillsborough opposed to it. 

The Company was organized, however, and the nominally 
leading man therein being Mr. Thomas Walpole, a London 
banker of eminence, it was known as the Walpole Company. 
Franklin continued privately to make friends among the min- 

Plain Facts, p. 65. 

{Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 233, et, teq. 

128 Treaty of Fort Stanwiz. 1768. 

istry, and to press upon them the policy of making large set- 
tlements in the West; and, as the old way of managing the 
Indians by superintendents was just then in bad odor, in con- 
sequence of the expense attending it, the cabinet council so 
far approved the new plan as to present 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 conclu- 
sion 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 the mind by the continued and growing irritation 
of the Indians, who found themselves 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 representations 
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 having 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 administration 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.* No- 
tice was given to the various colonial governments, to the 
Six Nations, the Delawares, and the Shawanese, and a con- 
gress was appointed to meet at Fort Stanwix during the fol- 
lowing October, (1768). It met upon the 24th of that month, 
and was attended by representatives from New Jersey, Vir- 
ginia, and Pennsylvania; by Sir William and his deputies; by 
the agents of those traders who had suffered in the war of 
1763; and by deputies from all the Six Nations, the Dela- 

*For an account of this long-lost treaty see Plain Facts, pp. 65104, or Butler's Ken- 
tucky, 2nd edition, pp. 472488. 

1768. Claims of the Iroquois. 129 

wares 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 Allegheny to Kittaning ; thence across to 
the Susquehanna, &c.; whereby the whole country south of 
the Ohio and Allegheny, to which the Six Nations 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, at- 
torney for twenty-two traders, whose goods had been destroy- 
ed by the Indians in 1763. The tract conveyed by this was 
between the Kanawha 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 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 them- 
selves, their allies and dependents, the Shawanese, Dela- 
wares, Mingoes of Ohio, and others ; but the Shawanese and 
Delaware deputies present did not sign them. 

[On the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in a great measure, rests the 
title by purchase to Kentucky, Western Virginia, and Western 
Pennsylvania, and the authority of the Six Nations to sell this 
country rests on their claim by conquest.] 

But besides 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 Lochabar, 
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 point six miles east of Big or 
Long Island in Holston river, to the mouth of the Great Kana- 
wha ;f although, as we have just stated, their rights to all the 
lands north and east of the Kentucky river was purchased by 
Colonel Donaldson, either for the king, Virginia, or himself 
it is impossible to say which. J 

*There were also given two deeds of lands in the interior of Pennsylvania, one to 
Croghan, and the other to the proprietaries of that colony. 
(Butler, 2nd ed. Introduction, li. 
J Hall's Sketches, ii. 248. 

130 Land Companies in the West. 1770. 

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 Henry Lee, George Washington and 
Arthur Lee. The gentleman 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, however, was again called on to re- 
port upon the application of the Walpole Company, and 
Lord Hillsborough, 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 acknowledged both by the new 
Company and by government, all claims were quieted. No- 
thing was ever done, however, under the grant to Walpole, 
the Revolution soon coming upon America.J After the Revo- 
lution, Mr. Walpole and his associates petitioned Congress 
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 

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 set- 

* Plain Facts, p. 69. Butler's Kentucky, 475. 

f Sparks' Franklin, vol. 4, p. 392. 

J Sparks' Washington, vol. ii, p. 483, et seq. Plain Facts, p. 149. 

1773. Lands of Washington. 131 

tied thereon, notwithstanding 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. f However, surveys did go down even to the Falls of 
the Ohio, and the whole region south of the Ohio was filling 
with white men. 

Among the foremost speculators in western lands at that 
time was George Washington. He had always regarded the 
proclamation 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 Col. Crawford, 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 
Kanawha; and in 1773, being entitled, under the King's pro- 
clamation of 1763, (which gave a bounty to officers and 
soldiers who had served in the French war,) to ten thousand 
acres of land, he became deeply interested in the country be- 
yond 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 lead- 
ing settler of the West, and all our history, perhaps, have been 
changed. J 

But while in England, and along the Atlantic, men were 
talking of peopling the West south of the river Ohio, a few 
obscure individuals, unknown to Walpole, to Franklin, and to 
Washington, were taking those steps which actually resulted 
in its settlement; and to these we next turn. 

* Washington's "Journal to the West, in 1770." Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 531. 
. 378. 

J Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. pp. 346-7. He had patents for 32,373 acres; 9157 on the 
Ohio, between the Kanawhas, with a river front of 13 1-2 miles : 23,216 acres on the great 
Kanhawa, with a river front of forty miles. Besides these lands, 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' Washington, xii, 264, 317. 

132 Dr. Walker's Expedition. 1758. 

Notwithstanding the fact that so much attention had been 
given 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 Ken- 
tucky 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 district ; 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 valleys, 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 un- 
known to them. "While, therefore, the impression which many 
have had, that the entire valley was unknown to the English 
colonists before Boone's time, is clearly erroneous, it is equal- 
ly 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 ex- 

[Here it is necessary to call the attention of the reader to 
another series of events, that opened the way for the ex- 
ploration and settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee. 

About the year 1758, Dr. Thomas Walker, from Albemarle 
county, Va., who had been previously employed as an agent 
among the Cherokees on the Holston river, from 1750, was 
appointed commissioner to take certain Cherokee chiefs to 
England. Dr. Walker had explored the mountain vallies of 
Southwestern Virginia and East Tennessee. While in Eng- 
land, he organized a company to settle the wild lands in 
Western Virginia and Carolina, of which the Duke of Cum- 
berland was patron. He returned to America in the capacity 
of general agent. Dr. Walker subsequently explored the 
country ; gave the name of his patron to Cumberland river, 
and the range of mountains that give origin to the head 
branches. He also explored the upper parts of the Kentucky 
river, and gave to it the name of Louisa, in honor of the 
Duchess of Cumberland, which name it bore for some years. 
He was at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, and had no small influ- 
ence in the purchase of Western Virginia and Eastern Ken- 
tucky from the Six Nations. 

1759. Colonels Martin and Smith. 133 

In March, 1769, Col. Joseph Martin, of Albemarle county, and 
twenty other persons, started to form a settlement in Powell's 
valley ; having received a written pledge from Dr. Walker, 
of a grant of 21,000 acres of land, on condition that they 
reached the valley and made a settlement, before another 
company (commanded by Messrs. Kirkleys) gained possession. 
The party reached the valley on the 1st of April, after great 
effort and suffering, and commenced their improvements on 
the 3d, and thus gained each their thousand acres. The val- 
ley, the river, and the adjacent mountain, were named from 
a hunter who first explored the country and marked his name 
on a tree. 

Colonel Joseph Martin was subsequently an agent among 
the Cherokees, and the father of the late Colonel William 
Martin, of Smith county, Tennessee, in whose possession we 
found papers, and a letter from his father, dated May 9, 1769, 
containing the foregoing facts. The explorations of Dr. 
Walker, and Col. Martin, and the settlement of Powell's val- 
le} r , prepared the way for further progress westward.]* 

The next explorer of Kentucky and Tennessee, was Col. 
James Smith. Mr. Smith had been taken prisoner by the 
Indians, near Bedford, Pa., in 1755, and was with them four 
and a half years. In 1764, he was a lieutenant in General 
Bouquet's campaign against the Indians, and a colonel in the 
continental service in 1778. 

During the summer of 1766, with four white men and a 
mulatto slave, he made an exploration across the mountains 
to the Cumberland, and then to the Tennessee rivers, to ex- 
amine the country in view of future settlements. 

Stone's river, a branch of the Cumberland, was so named 
from Mr. Uriah Stone, one of the party. They explored the 
country on each of the rivers, until they reached the mouth 
of the Tennessee, where Paducah now stands. Col. Smith, 
having stuck a piece of cane in his foot, was unable to travel, 
his companions left him and the boy to aid him, and pro- 
ceeded to the Illinois country. He reached Carolina on his 

*Mr. Butler (History of Kentucky, p. IS,) mentions Dr. Walker's explorations as in 
1747. Stipp's Miscellany, p. 9, says 1750 ; which date is confirmed by facts in Holmes' 
Annals, ii. 304, note. Marshall, vol i. p. 7, says 1758. In the London edition of Wash- 
ington's Journal, printed in 1754, there is a map on which is marked 'Walker's Settle- 
ment, 1750," upon the Cumberland river. There is no discrepancy in these dates, for 
Dr. Walker was engaged several yeare in his explorations and Indian agency. Ed. 

134 John Finletfs Expedition. . 1767. 

return, in October, 1767, having been eleven months in the 
wilderness In a few days he reached Conecocheague valley, 
where his family resided.* 

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 north- 
ward upon what was called the Warrior's road, an Indian path 
leading from the Cumberland 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 communication 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. 

Daniel Boone was born in Backs county, Pa., in the month 
of February, 1735, being the sixth of eleven children. His 
father moved to Berks county when Daniel was a small boy, 
where, in a frontier settlement, he attended school, and where 
in boyhood he received those impressions that were so fully 
displayed in after life. From childhood, he delighted to range 
the woods, watch the wild animals, and contemplate the 
beauties of uncultivated nature. In woodcraft, his education 
was complete. No Indian could poise the rifle, find his way 
through the trackless forest, or hunt the wild game better than 
Daniel Boone. 

Few men ever possessed that combination of boldness, cau- 
tion, hardihood, strength, patience, perseverance and love of 
solitude that marked his character. With these qualities 
he was kind-hearted, humane, good-tempered, and devoid of 
malice. He never manifested the temper of the misanthrope 

^Smith's Life, in "Incidents of Border Life," p. 64. Haywood's Hittory of Tennessee, 
page 33. 
f See map in Filson's Kentucky. 

1769. Colonel Daniel Boone. 135 

or evinced any dissatisfaction with social or domestic life. 
He had a natural sense of justice and equity between man 
and man, and felt, through his whole life, repugnance to the 
technical forms of law, and the conventional regulations of 
society and of government, unless they were in strict accor- 
dance with his instinctive sense of right. 

When Daniel Boone was in the 18th year of his age, his 
father removed from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and 
settled on the Yadkin, in the northwestern part of that State. 
Here he married, and for several years, labored on a farm ; 
hunting at the proper season. About 1762, he was leader of 
a company of hunters from the Yadkin, who ranged through 
the vallies on the waters of the Holston, in the southwestern 
part of Virginia. In 1764, we find him, with another compa- 
ny of hunters, on the Rock Castle, a branch of Cumberland 
river, within the present boundaries of Kentucky, employed, 
as he stated, by a party of land speculators to ascertain and 
report concerning the country in that quarter.* 

The oppression of the governors of the colony, and the 
members of the Council and of the Assembly, who were 
English or Scotch adventurers, produced great dissatisfaction 
with the laboring classes, and drove many to seek their for- 
tunes in the wilds of the West. At the same time Richard 
Henderson, the Harts and others, were projecting a purchase 
of the fertile lands of the West, and encouraged the hunters 
to explore the country. 

On the return of Finley, as already stated, arrangements 
were made for an exploring party to examine the rich vales 
of the Kentucky, of which Boone was the leader ; and he alone 
was in the confidence of the speculators. His companions 
were John Finley, John Stewart, Joseph Holden, James Mon- 
cey, and William Cool. They left the Yadkin settlement, and 
Boone his family, on the first of May, and after much fatigue 
and exposure to severe rains, reached the waters of Red river, 
one of the main branches of the Kentucky, on the 7th of June. 
In this region the party reconnoitered the country, and hunt- 
ed, until December. At that period, the explorers divided 
themselves into parties, that they might have a wider ran&e of 
observation. Boone had for his companion, Mr. Stewart. Of 

History of Tennessee, pp. 32, 35. 

136 Explorers in the West. 1771. 

Finlay, and the rest of the party, we hear nothing more. Of 
their adventures history is silent. 

Boone and Stewart were soon taken by a party of Indians, 
from whom they made their escape after several days' deten- 
tion. Early in January, 1770, Squire Boone, a brother of 
Daniel, and another adventurer, arrived from North Carolina, 
with supplies of ammunition, and intelligence from his family. 
Shortly after this event, Stewart, while hunting, was killed by 
the Indians, and the man who came with Squire Boone got 
lost in the woods and perished. The two brothers, thus left 
alone, pursued their hunting along the banks of the main 
Kentucky river. 

When spring opened Squire returned to the Yadkin for sup- 
plies, while Daniel explored the country along Salt and Green 
rivers. On the last of July Squire returned, and they enga- 
ged in exploring the country on the waters of Cumberland 
river, and hunting in that region until March, 1771. They 
then returned by Kentucky river, and the Cumberland Gap, to 
the settlements on the Yadkin. 

During the same period, another exploring and hunting 
party of about twenty men, left North Carolina and Western 
Virginia, for the country of Tennessee. They passed through 
Cumberland Gap into what is now called Wayne county, 
Kentucky, and, subsequently, moved in a southwestern direc- 
tion, along the waters of Roaring river and Caney fork, and 
returned in April, 1770, after an absence often months. 

The same year another party often hunters built two boats 
and two trapping canoes, loaded them with peltry, venison, 
bears' meat and oil, and made a voyage down the Cumber- 
land, Ohio and Mississippi rivers, to Natchez, where they dis- 
posed of their cargo. 

In 1771, Casper Mansco, who had twice visited the valley 
of the Cumberland, came out again in company with several 
other persons. They traversed the country along the Cum- 
berland river to the region north of Nashville, and into the 
"barrens" of Kentucky. From the period of their absence 
they were called the "Long-hunters."* These several explo- 
rations excited the attention of multitudes in the colonies 

*Eor authorities and further events in detail, the reader is referred toHaywood's Histo- 
ry of Tennessee : Butler's History of the Commonwealth of Kentucky ; and "Life of Daniel 
Boone," by the editor, in Dr. Sparks' American Biography, vol. xxiii. 

1773. Emigration to Kentucky. 137 

south of the Potomac, and turned their thoughts to a home in 
the "Far West."] 

During the same eventful period, (1770), there came into 
Western Virginia, no less noted a person than George Wash- 
ington. 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 set- 
tlement, and he wished with his own eyes, to examine the 
Western lands, especially those about the mouth of the Ka- 
nawha. 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 refer-* 
encc to the position of affairs in the Ohio valley at that time. 
We learn, for instance, that the Virginians were rapidly sur- 
veying and settling the lands south of the river as far down 
as the Kanawhas; and that the Indians, notwithstanding the 
treaty of Fort Stanwix, were jealous and angry at this con- 
stant invasion of their hunting-grounds. 

This jealousy and anger were not suffered to cool during 
the years next succeeding, and when Thomas Bullitt and his 
party 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 undis- 
turbed. 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 the next, John Floyd, the deputy of Colonel 
William Preston, the surveyor of Fincastle county, Virginia, 
in which it was claimed that Kentucky was comprehended, 
also crossed the mountains; while General Thompson, of 
Pennsylvania, made surveys upon the north fork of the Lick- 
ing.* Nor did the projects of the English colonists stop with 

*Marshall, i 11. Butler, second edition, 20. American State Papers, xvi. 583. Gen. 
Thompson was surveying for the Pennsylvania soldiers under the proclamation of 1763, 
and a permit from the Council of Virginia in 1774. 


138 Boone starts for Kentucky. 1773. 

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 emi- 
gration 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.* 

[Anxious as was Boone to remove his family to the fertile 
region of Kentucky, it was not until 1773, that he sold his farm 
on the Yadkin, and, with five other families, took up the line of 
march westward. The company started on the 25th of Sep- 
tember, and were joined by others in Powell's valley, making 
the number of forty men, besides women and children. As 
they approached the last mountain barrier, on the 16th of 
October, seven young men, who had charge of the cattle, 
being five or six miles in the rear, were attacked by a party of 
Indians. Six were slain, amongst whom was Boone's eldest 
son James, and the seventh, though wounded, made his 
escape. The cattle were dispersed in the woods. 

This calamity so disheartened the emigrants, that they gave 
up the expedition and returned to Clinch river.] 

* Holmes' Annals, ii. 183; from original MSS. For a history of Natchez, see Western 
Messenger, September and November, 1838: it is by Mann Butler. See also Ellicott's 
Journal, (Philadelphia, 1803,) p. 129, Ac. 

ANNALS OF 1774 AND 1775. 

Sc ttlement of Wheeling Connolly seizes Fort Pitt Murder of Logan's Family Dun- 
more's War Battle of Point Pleasant Transylvania Land Company Settlement of 
Kentucky First Political Convention in the West Indians in Alliance with the 

. 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 degree disposed to yield their lands without a 
struggle. Wide-spread dissatisfaction prevailed among the 
Shawanese and Mingoes, which was fostered probably by the 
French traders who still visited the tribes of the north-west. 
Evidence of the feeling which prevailed, is given by Washing- 
ton 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 occupied or threatened 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 inevi- 
table than to throw themselves away in a vain effort to with- 
stand 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. 

140 Proclamation of Dr. Connolly. 1774. 

And such acts were not wanting ; in addition to the murder of 
several single Indians by the frontier men, in 1772, five fami- 
lies of the natives on the Little Kanawha, were killed, in 
revenge for the death of a white family on Gauley River, 
although no evidence existed 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. Pennsylvania and 
Virginia laid equal claim to Pittsburgh and the adjoining 
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 anything 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 character. 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 in- 
triguing and ambitious man, determined, by strong measures, 
to assert the claims of Virginia upon Pittsburgh and its vicinity, 
and dispatched Connolly, with a captain's commission, and 
with power to take possession of the country upon the Monon- 
gahela, in the name of the king. The Doctor issued his 
proclamation to the people, in the neighborhood of Redstone 
and Pittsburgh, calling upon them to meet on 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 

Withers' Border Warfare, 106. Monette's History of the Mississippi Valley, vol. .1 
page 369. 

1774. His Arbitrary Measures. 141 

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 end of the matter was this, that 
Connolly, in Lord Dunmore's name, and by his authority, took 
and kept possession of Fort Pitt ; and as it had been dismantled 
and nearly destroyed, by royal orders, rebuilt it, and named it 
Fort Dunmore. Meantime, in a most unjustifiable and tyranni- 
cal manner, he arrested both private men and magistrates, and 
kept some of them in confinement, until Lord Dunmore ordered 
their release. Knowing that these measures were calculated 
to lead to active and violent measures against himself by the 
Pennsylvanians, he took great precautions, and went to con- 
siderable 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 intentionally 
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 possessed 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 hap- 
pened 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 circu- 
lated, 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 obedi- 
ence to the direction of the commandant at Pittsburgh, 
contained in the letter referred to, determined to attack them. 

142 Massacre at Captina. 1774. 

They were, as it chanced, two friendly Indians, who, with two 
whites, had been dispatched by William Butler, when he heard 
that his first messengers were stopped, to attend to his peltries 
down the river, in the Shawanese country.* The project of 
Cresap, (and here we continue in the words of Dr. Dodd- 
ridge,) "was vehemently opposed by Col. Zane, the proprietor 
of the 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 disgrace 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 overboard 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 fofty miles above Wheeling, a few days after 
that at Captina, were unquestionably the sole causes of the 
war, 1774. The last was perpetrated 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 \vounded. This horrid massacre 
was effected by a 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 com- 
mander 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 

*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, Ac. It was said that Dun- 
more thanked Cresap for what he did; American Archives, fourth series, i. 506; but 
no proof exists, we believe, of his having done so. 

*The murder at Balltown took place in 1772. 

1774. The Affair of Greatiwuse. 143 

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 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 ma- 
jority, 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 known. ^ 

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 white 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, 
comprehended the whole of the family of the famous, but un- 
fortunate Logan.* 

This account by Doddridge is confirmed by the evidence of 
Colonel Zane, whose deposition is given by Jefferson ; 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 pioneer relative to the matter, dated June 17, 1798. 

This country was explored in 1773. A resolution was 
formed to make a settlement the spring following, and the 
mouth of the Little, Kan awh a appointed the place of general 

See Doddridge's Notes, p. 226. 

144 Colonel Clark's Account. 1774. 

rendezvous, in order to descend the river from thence in a 
body. Early in the spring the Indians had done some mis- 
chief. Reports from their towns were alarming, which deter- 
red 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 hunters 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 
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 as 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 fol- 
low 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. Messengers were dispatched, 
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 re- 
sult, 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 

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 In- 
dians were not disposed for war, we should have full time to 
return and make our establishment in Kentucky. This was 
adopted ; and in two hours the \vhole were under way. As 
we ascended the river, we met Kill-buck, an Indian chief, with 
a small party. We had a long conference \vith him, but re- 
ceived little satisfaction as to the disposition of the Indians. 
It was observed that Cresap did not come to this conference, 

1774. Colonel Clark's Account. 145 

but kept on the opposite 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 arri- 
val at Wheeling, (the country being pretty well settled there- 
abouts,) the whole of the inhabitants appeared to be alarmed. 
They flocked to our camp from every direction ; and all 
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 Wheeling was soon known at Pittsburgh. 
The whole 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 address- 
ed to the party, letting us know that a war was to be appre- 
hended; 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 inclination to quit our quarters for some 
time. That during our stay we should be careful that the 
enemy did not harrass 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 messenges had re- 
turned from 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 them- 
selves. 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 the most solemn man- 
ner ; and the same evening two scalps were brought into the 

The next day some canoes of Indians were discovered on 
the river, keeping the advantage of an island to cover them- 
selves from our view. They 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 re- 

146 Murder of Logan's Family. 1774. 

freshments. Here the impropriety of executing the projected 
enterprise was argued. The conversation was brought for- 
ward by Cresap himself. It was generally agreed that those 
Indians had no hostile intentions as they were hunting, and 
their party were composed of men, women, and children, with 
all their stuff with them. This we knew ; as I myself and 
others present 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, decamped, and took the road to 

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 murder. From Logan's hearing of Cresap being at 
the head of this party on the river, it is no wonder that he sup- 
posed he had a hand in the destruction of his family.* 

In relation to the murders by Greathouse, there is also a 
variance in the testimony. Henry Jolly, who was near by, 
and whose statement is published in an article by Dr. Hil- 
dreth, in Silliman's Journal for January, 1837, makes no men- 
tion of the visit of Greathouse 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 guns 
were empty, shot them down ; this done, they next murdered 
the woman, and tomahawked the three who were intoxicated. 
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. f But whatever may 
have been the precise facts in relation to the murder of Lo- 
gan'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 was sent to Williamsburgh to inform the Governor 
of the necessity of instant preparation. The Earl of Dun- 
more at once took the needful steps to organize forces ; and 

*Louisville Literary News Letter, quoted in Hesperian, February, 1839. p. 309. 

fSee Am. Pioneer, i. 12 to 24. Am. Archives, 4th Series, i. 467. See also Border War- 
fare, 112, note, where the discrepancies of evidence are stated, also Jacob's Life of Cresap. 

^Border Warfare, 114, 

1774. Expedition against the Indians. 147 

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 unfortu- 
nate 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 Dela- 
wares, 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, how- 
ever, led them to disinter and disperse the remains of their 
victim anew, but the kindness of the Delaware was as perse- 
vering as the hatred of his brethren, and again he collected 
the scattered limbs and in a secret place hid them.* 

[The question, "who killed Logan's family," has been inves- 
tigated, and every source of evidence exhausted. It is now 
certain the murder was not committed by Cresap and his par- 
ty, though from circumstances Logan thought so. Those who 
desire to examine the subject further, are referred to the 
"American Pioneer," vol. i. pp. 7 24.] 

It being, under the circumstances, deemed advisable, by the 
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* Cap tin a Creek, or as some say, Fish Creek, 
where it was proposed to march against the Indian town of 
Wappatomica, on the Muskingum. The march was success- 
fully 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 avowed purpose of 
ailing 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 their chiefs with 
them as prisoners to Williamsburg.t But this invasion did 
nothing toward intimidating the red men. 

*Heckewelder's Narrative, 132. 

Border Warfare, 115. Doddridge, 241. Am. Archives, 4th Series, i. 722. 

148 Arbitrary Acts of Dr. Connolly. 1774. 

The Delawares were anxious for peace ; Sir William John- 
son sent out to all his copper-colored flock, orders to keep 
still:* and even the Shawanese were prevailed on by their 
wiser leader, Cornstalk, to do all they could to preserve friendly 
relations :f indeed they went so far as to secure some wander- 
ing traders from the vengeance of the Mingoes, whose rela- 
tives had been slain at Yellow Creek and Captina, and sent 
them with their property safe to Pittsburgh .J /But Logan, 
who had been turned by the murderers on the i3hio from a 
friend to a deadly foe of the whites, came suddenly upon the 
Monongahela settlements, and while the othei> Indians were 
hesitating as to their course, took his thirteen scalps in re- 
taliation for the murder of his family and friends, and return- 
ing home, expressed himself satisfied, and ready to listen to 
the Long-Knives. I 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 
conducted the traders, who had been among them, safely to 
Pittsburgh, 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. || Indeed, the character developed by 
this man, while commandant at fort Dunmore, wa such as to 
excite universal detestation, and at last to draw down upon 
his patron the reproof of Lord Dartmouth.^! He seized pro- 
perty, and imprisoned white men without warrant or pro- 
priety ; and we may be assured, in many cases beside that 
just mentioned, treated the natives with 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 car- 
ried 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 south- 
ern and western part of the State, under General Andrew 

* Am. Archives, 4th Series, i. 252 to 288. 

t Do- do. JDo. do. Do. 428. 

UDo. 449. CDO. 774. 

1774. Battle of Point Pleasant. 149 

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 
Kanawha. The force under Lewis, amounting to eleven hun- 
dred 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 Kanawha under Colonel 
Christian, General Lewis dispatched runners toward Pitts- 
burgh 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 dispatches 
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 when 
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 Virgini- 
ans, determined then and there to avenge past wrongs and 
cripple vitally the power of the invaders. Delawares, Iro- 
quois, Wyandots, 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 sav- 
ages was discovered ; General Lewis ordered out his brother, 
Colonel Chas. Lewis, and Colonel Fleming, to reconnoitre the 
ground where they had been seen ; this at once brought on the 
engagement. In a short time Col. Lewis was killed, and 
Colonel Fleming disabled ; the troops, thus left without Com- 
manders, wavered, but Colonel Field with his regiment com- 
ing 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 who was 
then Lieutenant in his father's company,) took the command ; 
and the battle still continued. It was now drawing toward 
evening, and yet the contest raged without decided success 
for either party, when General Lewis ordered a body of men 

150 Battle of Point Pleasant. 1774. 

to gain the flank of the enemy by means of Crooked Creek, a 
small stream which runs into the Kanawha about four hundred 
yards above its mouth. This was successfully done, and the 
result was the retreat of the Indians across the Ohio.* 

[The loss on the part of the Virginians in this battle was 
seventy-five men killed, and one hundred and forty wounded 
about one-fifth of their entire number. 

Among the slain were Colonels Charles Lewis and John 
Field; Captains Buford, Morrow, Wood, CundifF, Wilson and 
Robert McClanahan ; and Lieuts. Allen, Goldsby and Dillon, 
"with some other subalterns. The loss of the enemy could 
not be fully ascertained, as, until they are driven from the field, 
they carry off their dead. Next morning Col. Christian ex- 
plored the battle-ground, and found twenty-one Indians lying 
dead, and subsequently twelve others concealed by brush and 


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 Hocking, where he built 
a block-house, called Fort Gower, and remained until after the 
battle at the Point.J 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 inhabitants 
for all they had done. But before reaching the enemy's coun- 
try Dunmore was visited by the 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 towns ; which orders, however, that officer did 
not obey, nor was it till the Governor visited his camp on Con go 
Creek, near Westfall, that he would agree to give up an at- 
tempt upon the village of Old Chillicothe, which stood where 
Westfall now is.|| After this visit by Dunmore, General Lewis 
felt himself bound, though unwillingly, to prepare for a blood- 
less retreat. 

* Border Warfare, 125. Doddridge, 230. American Pioneer, i.381. Letters in Amer- 
ican Archives, fourth series, i. 808-18, <fcc. Thatcher's Lives of Indians, ii. 168. 

f Howe's Historical Collections of Virginia, pp. 361364. 

% Border Warfare, 133. 

\ With them was one Elliott, probably Matthew Elliott, so noted in 1790 to 1795. Amer- 
ican Pioneer, i. 18. || Whittlesey's Discourse, 1840 p. 24. 

1774. Lord Dunmore Retires from the West. 151 

The Commander-in-chief, however, remained for a time at 
Camp Charlotte, upon Sippo Creek, about eight miles from 
the town of Westfall, on the Scioto.* There we met Corn- 
stalk, who, being satisfied of the futility of any further strug- 
gle, was determined to 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 prisoners, who were carried 
to Virginia, and were still in confinement in February, 1775.f 

[It was at this time and place, (Pickaway county, Ohio,) 
that Logan made his famous speech, and not at Camp Char- 
lotte, as Mr. Jefferson supposed (for he would not go there.) 
This and many other facts are sustained by the testimony of 
John Gibson, Esq., an Associate Judge of Alleghany county, 
given at Pittsburgh by affidavit, April 4th, 1800. 

These and other documents may be found in an "Appendix" 
to Mr. Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, Boston edition, 1832.J 

Many of the Virginians were dissatisfied with the treaty, 
as no effectual blow had been struck. The supposition is, the 
Governor of Virginia foresaw the contest between England 
and her Colonies, and desired to gain the friendship of the 

When Lord Dunmore retired from the West, he left one 
hundred men at the mouth of the Great Kanawha, a few 
more at Pittsburgh, and another corps at Wheeling, then called 
Fort Fincastle. These were dismissed as the prospect of war 
ceased. Lord Dunmore agreed to return to Pittsburgh in the 
spring, meet the Indians and form a definite peace ; but the 
commencement of the revolt of the Colonies prevented. The 
Mingoes were not parties to the treaty at Camp Charlotte.^ 
The Shawanese agreed not to hunt south of the Ohio river, 
nor molest travellers. The frontier men were much incens- 
ed against Lord Dunmore for this treaty, but not the inhabitants 
of Old Virginia. || 

[During "Dunmore's War," as these series of hostilities 

* American Pioneer, p. 331. 

f American Archives, fourth series, i. 1222. Border Warfare, 137. American Arckires, 
fourth serie?, ii. 1189. 

J Amer. Archives, ii. 1189. 
gAmer. Archives, fourth series, i. 1170. 
Amer. Archives, fourth series, ii. 170, 301. 

152 Transylvania Land Company. 1775. 

were called, the militia was called out, and Daniel Boone 
was appointed by the Governor to the command of three con- 
tiguous garrisons on the frontier. James Harrod and several 
other pioneers of Kentucky were engaged as scouts. Of these 
last were Simon Girty, Simon Kenton, (under the fictitious 
name of Butler,) and others. 

Boone, Harrod and others, on the return of peace, again 
turned their eyes to the fertile vallies and choice hunting 
grounds of Kentucky. A new Land Company, called the 
"Transylvania Company," was formed in North Carolina, 
through the agency of Richard Henderson, the Harts and 
others. This was one of the several companies formed about 
the same period to purchase lands of the Indians.* As the 
Cherokees claimed the country south of the Kentucky river, 
Henderson & Co. made several unsuccessful attempts at nego- 
tiation, when they employed Boone, who, as their confidential 
agent, had explored the country. The council was held at the 
Indian town of Watauga, on the south branch of Holston 
river, in March, 1775. Boone gave them the requisite infor- 
mation concerning the country, the rivers and other particu- 
lars. In consideration of the sum of ten thousand pounds 
sterling, the Indians transferred to the company two large dis- 
tricts of country, 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 English miles eastward of the 
long island in said Holston river ; thence a direct course to- 
wards the mouth of the Great Canaway, until it reaches the 
top ridge of Powell's mountain ; thence westwardly along the 

* See Patrick Henry's Deposition, in Hall's Sketche.-, i. 249. 

1775. Fort Erected at Boonesborough. 153 

said ridge to the place of beginning."* This transfer, how- 
ever, 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 Tran- 
sylvania Company was believed to be within the bounds 
of the Old Dominion, Governor Dunmore, even before the 
bargain was completed, prepared his proclamation warning 
the world against "one Richard Henderson and other disor- 
derly persons, who, under pretence of a purchase from the 
Indians, do set up a claim to the lands of the crown." This 
paper is dated but four days later than the treaty of Watauga.f 

[Neither did the British, or any other European government, 
recognize the entire sovereignty of the Indians over this coun- 
try, or the title as valid to any purchase made by subjects in 
their own right. 

After a long period of litigation, the matter was settled by 
a compromise ; the State of Virginia granted to the company 
a tract of land on Green river. 

The Company, however, not aware of the defect of their 
title, proceeded to the survey and settlement of the tract in 
Kentucky, and Capt. Boone was employed to manage the 
enterprise. A road was explored and opened, and a fort 
erected at Boonesborough, under the command of Boone.] 

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 
attempts,^ 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 

*Hall, i. 251. See also Butler, 504. Butler, instead of "Cantucky Chenoee" has 
"Kentucky Chenoca." See also Haywood's Tennessee. Life of Boone, by the Editor, in 
Sparks' Library of Amer. Biography, xiii. new series, p. 43, 45. 

fAmerican Archives, 4th series, 174. 

JSee Boone's Narrative, and his letter in Hall's Sketches, i. 254. They do not agree 


154 Settlements in Kentucky. 1775. 

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 companions came 
the 20th of April, following the road marked out by Boone. 

[On the 13th of June, 1775, Mr. Henderson wrote a long 
letter from Boonesborough, Ky., to his associates in North 
Carolina, giving many particulars of the difficulties and the 
progress of this enterprise of which we can give only a brief 
summary. The letter may be found in " Sketches of the 
West," by James Hall, Esq., Appendix, volume second. 

Henderson represents that " things wore a gloomy aspect ; " 
that on their journey out they met people returning, and in 
four days saw not less than one hundred persons, who had 
become alarmed at the hostile appearance of the Indians; 
that "arguments and persuasion were needless." Eight or 
ten were the only persons he could prevail on to proceed 
with the little company of about forty. 

The panic was contagious. But on their arrival at Boones- 
borough, they found Captain Boone and his men wholly free 
from alarm, and with the fort nearly completed. The "plan- 
tations extend nearly two miles in length on the river, and up 
a creek." Here the people worked on "their different lots; 
some without their guns, and others without care." 

We give an extract from the letter to show the condition of 
the country at that period.] 

We are seated at the mouth of Otter Creek on the Ken- 
tucky, 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, perhaps, 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 Vir- 
ginia and elsewhere. * * * On the opposite 
side of the river and north of us, about 40 miles, is a settle- 
ment on the crown lands, of about 19 persons; and lower 
down, towards the Ohio, on the same side, there are some 

* See plan of the fort, Hall's Sketches, i. 


1775. First Political Convention. 155 

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 sur- 
veyor, 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 settle- 
ments, (and is a very good man for our purpose,) Colonel 
Floyd, (the surveyor) and myself, are under solemn engage- 
ments to communicate, with the utmost dispatch 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 impos- 
sible 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 without being tracked, and of course dis- 
covered, if Indians, for our hunters all go on horseback, and 
could not be deceived if they were to come on the trace of foot- 
men. From these circumstances, I think myself in a great 
measure secure against a formidable attack ; and a few skulk- 
ers 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 agree upon a form of government, and to 
make laws for the conduct of the inhabitants. From the 
journal of this primitive legislature, we find, that, besides 
Boonesboro', three settlements were represented, viz : Har- 
rodsburgh, which had been founded by James Harrod in 1774, 
though afterwards for a time abandoned, in consequence 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 Henderson, 
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 bank of the Kentucky, under the 
budding branches of a vast elm, while around their feet sprang 

156 First Political Convention. 1775. 

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 offered an address on behalf of the Pro- 
prietors, from which we select a few paragraphs illustrative 
of the spirit of the men and times. 

"Our peculiar circumstances in this remote country, sur- 
rounded on all sides with difficulties, and equally subject to 
one common danger, which threatens our common overthrow, 
must, 1 think, in their effects, secure to us an union of inter- 
ests, 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 whatever 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 is not to be supposed that a people, anxious and' desi- 
rous to have laws made, who approve of the method of 
choosing delegates, or representatives, to meet in general Con- 
vention for that purpose, can want the necessary and con- 
comitant virtue to carry them into execution. * * 

Among the many objects that must present themselves for 
your consideration, the first in order, must, from its importance, 
be that of establishing Courts of Justice, or tribunals for the 
punishment of such as may offend 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 constitution, let us, in a par- 
ticular manner, recommend the most dispassionate attention, 
while you take for your guide as much of the spirit and genius 
of the laws of England, as can be interwoven with those of 
this country. 

Next to the establishment of courts or tribunals, as well for 
the punishment 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 immi- 
nent 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 cru- 
elty, and given us an opportunity at this time, of forming 
secure defensive plans to be supported and carried into execu- 
tion by the authority and sanction of a well digested law. 

There are sundry other things, highly worthy your consid- 
eration, 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- 

1775. First Political Convention. 157 

morrow, and scarcely a probability remain of its ever becom- 
ing the habitation of any Christian people. This, together 
with the practice of many foreigners, who make a business of 
hunting in our country, killing, driving off, and lessening the 
number of wild cattle and other game, whilst the value of the 
skins and furs, is appropriated to the benefit of persons not 
concerned or interested in our settlement: these are evils, I 
say, that I am convinced cannot escape your notice and atten- 

[It should be kept in mind that this Convention was the first 
ever held in the wilds of the West, to form a government, and 
it is evident these backwoods Kentuckians had in their minds 
the elements of a republican representative government.] 

To the address of Colonel Henderson, the representatives of 
this 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 fol- 
lowing laws ; one for establishing courts ; one for punishing 
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 pre- 
serving game. In addition to these laws, this working House 
of Delegates prepared a compact, to be the basis of relation- 
ship between the people and owners of Transylvania : some 
of its leading articles were these : 

1st. That the election of Delegates in this Colony, be an- 

2d. That the Convention may adjourn and meet again on 
their own adjournment, provided, that in cases of great emer- 
gency the proprietors may call together the Delegates before 
the time adjourned to, and if a majority does not attend, they 
may dissolve them and call a new one. 

3d. That, to prevent dissension and delay of business, one 
proprietor shall act for the whole, or some one delegated by 
them for that purpose, 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 tending to the subversion of our laws, shall, for 
such conduct, be amenable to, and punishable by, the civil 

'See Butler's Kentucky, p. 508. 

158 first Political Convention. 1775. 

5th. That the Judges of Superior or Supreme Courts be 
appointed by the proprietors, but be supported by the people, 
and to them answerable for their mal-conduct. 

9th. That the Judges of the inferior Courts be recommend- 
ed by the people, and approved of by the proprietors, and by 
them commissioned. 

10th. That all civil and military officers be within the ap- 
pointment of the proprietors. 

llth. That the office of Surveyor General, belong to no 
person interested, or a partner in this .purchase. 

12th. That the legislative authority, after the strength and 
maturity of the colony will permit, consist of three branches, 
to wit : the delegates or representatives chosen by the people, 
a council not exceeding twelve men, possessed of landed es- 
tate, residing in the colony, and the proprietors. 

17th. That the convention have the sole power of raising 
and appropriating all public monies, and electing their Trea- 

On the 27th of May this Legislature adjourned to meet 
again upon the first Thursday of the next September, though 
we do not learn 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 expect- 
ed outbreak with England 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 Rev. Samuel Kirkland, 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-opera- 
tion, if possible, of the Penobscot and Stockbridge Indians ; 
the latter of whom replied, that, though they could never un- 
derstand what the quarrel between the Provinces 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.f 

See Butler's Kentucky, p. 514. 

t Stone, vol. 1, pp. 55-58. Sparks' Washington, TO!, iii, pp. 495496. 

1775. Appeals to the Indians. 159 

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 child- 
ren in a father, had died suddenly, in June, 1774, and the wild 
men had been left under the influence of Col. Guy Johnson, 
Sir William's son-in-law, who succeeded him as Superinten- 
dent, 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, op- 
posed the whole movement of the Bostonians, the \vhole 
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 com- 
mencing. But this intention the leading tribe of the great 
Indian confederacy meant to disturb, if possible. The idea 
was suggested, that Guy Johnson 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, holding out to them, as a ter- 
ror, the excitement of the Indians, and the dangers to be feared 
from their rising, if he were seized, or their rights interfered 

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 Revolu- 
tionary committees, resolute never to yield one hair's breadth, 
"never to submit to any arbitrary acts of any power under 
heaven," were denouncing Colonel Guy's conduct as "arbi- 
trary, illegal, oppressive, and unwarrantable." "Watch him," 
wrote Washington to General Schuyler in June ; and> even 
before the order was given, what with the Tryon county men 

160 The Indians Divided. 1775. 

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 July, began to more westward, 
accompanied by his dependents and the great body of the 
Mohawk 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, 
where 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 Sec- 

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 with the others, and upon the 28th of 
June, at German Flats, gave to the Americans a pledge of 
neutrality .f 

\Vhile 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, tam- 
pering,;}; it was determined to have a Congress called at Pitts- 
burgh, to explain to the poor red men the causes of the sud- 
den division of their old enemies, and try to persuade them to 
keep peace. This Congress did not meet, however, until 

Nor was it from the northern and western tribes only, that 
hostilities 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 Delawares, and might, in the hope of securing their free- 
dom, be led to unite, in a warfare of extermination against 
the Carolinas. We find, accordingly, that early in July, Con- 

* Stone, vol. i. p. 77 t Stone, TO!, i. p. 81. 

JOld Journals, vol. i. p. 78. JHeckewelder's NarratiTe, p. 136. 

1775. Conference with Northern Indians. 161 

gress having determined to seek the alliance of the several 
Indian nations, three departments 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 Messrs. 
Franklin, Henry, and Wilson ; and a southern department, 
including all the tribes south of Kentucky, over which com- 
missioners 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 depart- 
ments, 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 attempt 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 urchin re- 
monstrates, but the bad servants misrepresent the matter to 
the father, and the boy gets a still heavier burden, till at last, 
almost broken -backed, he throws off the load altogether, and 
says he will carry it no longer. This allegory was intend- 
ed to make the matter clear to the pack-carrying red men, 
and, if we may judge from Heckewelder's account, it answer- 
ed the purpose; for, he says, the Delavvares reported the 
whole story very correctly. Indeed, he gives their report upon 
the 137th page of his "Narrative," 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.J It did not, however, 

*01d Journals, vol. i. p. 113, <tc. 

t Vol. i. p. 115. See also in Carey's Museum for January, 1789, p. 88 to 91, the speech 
to thelroquois at Philadelphia, delivered July, 13th 1775; in this the pack-proverb is giv- 
en fully and very well. 

% Pp. 94-105. Appendix ir. xxxi. 

162 Conference with Western Indians. 1775. 

fully represent 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 west- 
ern Indians. This was in October, and was attended by the 
Delawares, Senecas, and, perhaps, some of the Shawanese. 
The Delaware nation were, as we have already said, divided 
in their views touching the Americans. One of their chief- 
tains, 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 fre- 
quent, 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 un- 
clouded honesty of his opponent, had many qualities admira- 
bly 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 emissa- 
ries 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 im- 
mediate vicinity of the English and their allies. 

The Shawanese and their neighbors, meantime, had taken 
counsel with Guy Johnson at Oswego, and might be consid- 
ered 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 are, here and there in Kentucky, 
building block-houses and clearing corn-fields. Against those 
block-houses and their builders, little bands of red men con- 
tinually kept sallying forth, supplied with ammunition from 
Detroit and the other western posts, and incited to exertion by 
the well known stimulants of whisky and fine clothes. 

1775. Settlement of Kentucky. 163 

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 council with the Shawanese and others at Oswego, 
for the purpose of concluding with the Brit'sh governor and 
general upon his future course. 

But although the dangers of the posts, more immediately 
exposed 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, Mrs. 
Danton and Mrs. Hogan ; their husbands and children came 
with them, and more than twenty 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 Pennsylvania by means of the Proprietary rule. 
But hope was still predominant, and the characters of Har- 
rod, Floyd, Logan and the Harts, were well calculated to in- 
spire confidence. 

North of the Ohio, during that year, little was doing of 
which any knowledge has reached us : but one settlement be- 
yond the Belle Reviere deserves our notice. 

Our readers will remember the calm and bold Moravian, 
Christian 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, on 
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 Heckewelder, who went out as his assistant. The 
Indians having consented to his living among them, and teach- 
ing their children to read and write, Post prepared to clear a 

* Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 59. 

164 The Moravian Missionary. 1762. 

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 re- 
plied that a teacher must live, and, as he did not wish to be 
a burden to 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 

These proceedings were in 1762, and while they show the 
perfect perception which the Indians had of their dangers, and 
of the English tactics, explain most clearly the causes of the 
next year's war. 

Post continued to till his little garden spot and teach his 
Indian disciples through the summer of 1762, and in the au- 
tumn accompanied King Beaver to Lancaster, in Pennsylva- 
nia, where a fruitless 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 coun- 
try before war came, and was forced back upon the settle- 

From this time, until the autumn of 1767, no Moravians 
visited the West. Then, in the following spring, Zeisberger 
went to the Allegheny, and there established a mission, 
against the will, however, 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 Zeisberger's was a fearless soul, and he 
worked on, despite threats and plots against his life ; and not 
only held his place, but even converted 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 


* Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 98. 

1775. Conspiracy to unite the Indians. 165 

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 
Muskingum, remembering perhaps what Post had done among 
them ten years before, invited the Christian Indians of Penn- 
sylvania 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, Zeisber- 
ger, with twenty-seven of his native disciples, founded Schoen- 
brun, upon the Muskingum, the first true Christian settle- 
ment made within the present State of Ohio, and the begin- 
ning of that which was destroyed by the frontier men ten 
years afterward, in so cruel and cowardly a manner. To this 
settlement, in the course of the next year, the Christian Indi- 
ans of the Susquehanna, and those of the Bis: Beaver, re- 
moved. Though endangered by the war of 1774, it was not 
injured, 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 
existence, 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 afterwards corresponded in relation to 
western lands, and who played so prominent a part as com- 
mandant 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 be- 
came 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 

*See on the whole subject of the Moravian Missions; Heckewelder's account in Ameri- 
can State Papers, vi. 379 to 391. 

fAmerican Archives, fourth series, i. 1179, 

166 Early Pioneers. 1775. 

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, had gone as far 
as Hagerstown, where they were arrested upon suspicion, and 
sent back to Frederick. 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 subject to the proper authori- 
ties, in order to lead to their discovery, but we do not learn 
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.* 

[Dr. Connolly was one of the early explorers of Kentucky, 
and in 1770 proposed to establish a province, which would 
have included the Cumberland, or Shawanee river from a line 
drawn above the Fork to the Falls and the Ohio.f After- 
wards he caused to be surveyed, patented, and advertised, in 
April, 1774, the ground on which Louisville was built.J 

Among the prominent pioneers and explorers of Kentucky, 
this year, was Simon Kenton, Colonel Benjamin Logan, John 
Floyd, William Whitley and George Rogers Clarke. Simon 
Kenton was a tall, robust, athletic man, and of great energy 
of character. He was a ranger and a spy in Dunmore's 
campaign against the Indians in 1774, and with two other 
men, came down the Ohio river in a canoe to the place where 
Augusta is now situated, and spent the season in hunting on 
the waters of the Licking. He became identified with the 
history of Kentucky, and the Indian wars of the north-west. 
He was taken prisoner by the Indians, and sentenced to be 
burnt, but was rescued by the notorious Simon Girty, after he 
was tied to the stake and the fire kindled around him. He 

*American Archives, 4th series, iv. 617, where Connolly's commission and several let- 
ters are given; do. iii. 1660, where his examination is to be found; also, see index of 
both vols. See also Sparks' Washington, iii. 197, 211, 212, 269, 271. Border Warfare, 
133. Old Journals, iii. 36, 121, 122, 125, 385. The whole Etory is in the report of the 
committee of Congress, old journals, iii. 121. See also Smyth's account of the affair in 
the 2nd vol. of his work, p. 243. 

fSparks' Washington, ii. 532. 

JAmcr. Archives, fourth series. Western Garland, February, 1846, p. 98. 

1775. Early Pioneers. 167 

was with Col. G. R. Clarke in the Conquest of Illinois, and in 
Wayne's army in 1795. After the close of the Indian wars 
in the north-west, he settled in Ohio, where he sustained the 
character of a worthy citizen, and died a few years .since with 
the faith of a sincere Christian. 

Colonel Benjamin Logan lived in Kentucky and performed 
an important part in the annals of that Commonwealth. 

One of those men whose name appears prominent in Ken- 
tucky history was Colonel John Floyd, a surveyor from eastern 
Virginia. His first exploration was made in 1774, but in 
1775, he returned to pursue his vocation as a surveyor in lo- 
cating land claims. His location was a few miles from Louis- 
ville, on Bear Grass creek, known to this day as "Floyd's Sta- 

The emigrants to the Transylvania colony continued to in- 
crease in number through the summer, so that on the first of 
November the white population in all the settlements in Ken- 
tucky amounted to three hundred persons, a majority of whom 
were effective men for the defence of the settlements. The 
whole quantity of land in cultivation was two hundred and 
thirty acres, planted in corn. The lands entered at the land 
office by individuals amounted to five hundred and sixty thou- 
sand acres.* 

During the summer of 1775, Harrod's Station and Logan's 
Fort were established. A party of hunters and land explorers 
were encamped on a fertile and delightful tract of country on 
the head waters of the Elkhorn, when an emigrant from Vir- 
ginia brought the news of the battle of Lexington, and the 
outbreak of the American revolution. The feelings of liberty 
and patriotism excited gave name to the encampment as the 
embryo of a future city, and Lexington exists in commemo- 
ration of the fact.f Louisville was a rendezvous for all those 
who came down the Ohio river in boats and canoes. 

*Butler's Kentucky, Introduction, p. 68, 69 Monette's Valley of the Mississippi, L 

tMorehead's Address, p. 33. 


ANNALS OF 1776 AND 1777. 

Employment of Indians in the War Pioneers to Kentucky Capture and rescue of Girli 
Petition of the Inhabitants Efforts of George Rogers Clarke Corn-stalk and Red- 
bud killed Troubles in Kentucky Attack on Wheeling Simon Girty and family. 

In the annals of Kentucky, the year 1776 is remarkable, first, 
for the recognition by Virginia of the Transylvania colony, as 
a part of the Old Dominion ; and secondly, for such a renew- 
al 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 had in a great measure ceased their excur- 
sions against the invaders 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 efficiency against the frontier sta- 
tions. 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, in the contest between the 
French and English, as we have seen ; and few seem to 
have deemed it possible to avoid alliances with the red men. 
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 Massachusetts Congress to 
the Iroquois, in April, 1775.* In that they say, that they hear 
that the British are exciting the savages against the colonies ; 
and they ask the Six Nations to aid them or stand quiet.f And 
in the June following, when James Wood visited the Western 
tribes, and asked them to a council, which he did under the di- 
rection of the Virginia House of Burgesses, he found that 
Governor Carlton had been beforehand, and offered the alli- 

* Sparks' Washington, vol. iii. p, 495. 

t American Archives, fourth series, IT. 110. 

1776. Authority to Employ Indians. 169 

ance 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 
were 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 Commission- 
ers, appointed in the several departments, to do so. But Eng- 
land was of another mind. Promises and threats were both 
used to induce the savages to act with her,f though, at first, it 
would seem, to little purpose, even the Canada tribe of 
Caghnawagas having offered their aid to the Americans. 
When Britain, 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 policy 
being, in all quarrels of the whites, to stick to the strongest. 
Then it was, in June, 1776, that Congress resolved to do what 
Washington had advised in the previous April, that is, to em- 
ploy 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 ;J upon 
the 3d of May, the report on this was considered ; upon the 
25th of May, it was resolved to be highly expedient to engage 
the Indians for the American service ; and, upon the 3d of 
June, the General was empowered to raise Iwo 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 neighboring tribes as he saw fit. 

Such was the course of proceeding, on the part of the colo- 
nies, 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 

*Sparks' Washington, vol. iii. p. 55. flbid., p. 55. 

JSparks' Washington, vol. iii. p. 364. Also, v. 277, where tke views of Burke, Govern- 
or Pownall, and others, are given. 
^Secret Journals, vol. i. pp. 43-47. 

170 The Indians side with England. 1776. 

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 inva- 
sions of their territory by the hunters of Virginia and Carolina, 
and easily accessible by the lakes, were soon enlisted on the 
side of England ; and had a Pontiac been alive to lead them, 
might have done much mischief. As it was, during the sum- 
mer of 1776, their straggling parties so filled the woods of 
Kentucky, that no one outside of a fort felt safe. 

[Amongst other emigrants, the opening of spring brought to 
the country, were Colonel Richard Callaway (an intimate 
friend of Daniel Boone) and his family. 

"On the 14th of July, Betsey Callaway, her sister Frances, 
and Jemima Boone, the two last about fourteen years of age, 
carelessly crossed the river opposite Boonesborough, in a ca- 
noe, at a late hour in the afternoon. The trees and shrubs on 
the opposite bank were thick, and came down to the water's 
edge ; the girls, unconscious of danger, were playing and 
splashing the water with the paddles, until the canoe, float- 
ing with the current, drifted near the shore. Five stout Indians 
lay there concealed, one of whom, noiseless and stealthy as 
the serpent, crawled down the bank until he reached the rope 
that hung from the bow, turned its course up the stream, and 
in a direction to be hidden from the view of the fort. The 
loud shrieks of the captured girls were heard, but too late for 
their rescue. The canoe, their only means of crossing, was 
on the opposite shore, and none dared to risk the chance of 
swimming the river, under the impression that a large 
body of savages was concealed in the woods. Boone and 
Callaway were both absent, and night set in before their 
return and arrangements could be made for pursuit." We sub- 
join the narrative of Colonel Floj^d, who was one of the party, 
remarking that this story was narrated to the writer by one of 
the captured party, in 1818, in terms substantially the same.] 

Colonel Floyd says : "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 traveled upwards of 
thirty miles. We then supposed they would be less cautious 
in traveling, and made a turn to cross their trace ; we had 
gone but a few miles when we found their tracks in a buffalo 
path pursued and overtook them in going about ten miles, 

* Jefferson's Writings, vol. i. p. 456. 

1776. George Rogers Clark. 171 

just as they 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 rush- 
ed on them, by which they were prevented from carrying 
anything away except one shot-gun, without any ammunition. 
Mr. Boone and myself had each a pretty fair shot, as they be- 
gan to move off. I am well convinced I shot one through the 
body. The one he shot dropped his gun mine had none. 
The place was covered thick with cane, and being so much 
elated on recovering the three poor little heart-broken girls, 
we were prevented from making any further search. We sent 
the Indians off without their moccasins, and not one of them 
with so much as a knife or tomahawk."* 

[Mr. Butler justly remarks, on this incident, "These are 
the unembellished circumstances of a transaction, which a 
lively and most interesting writer [Mr. Flint] has, through mis- 
information, historically disfigured into a beautiful romance." 
We add, that the romantic incidents told by Mr. Flint, and the 
oath sworn by Boone, and administered to his followers, are 
wholly fictitious ,f] 

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 November 19, 1752, in Albemarle county, Vir- 
ginia.;}; In early life, he had been, like Washington, a sur- 
veyor, and more lately had served in Dunmore's war. He 
first visited Kentucky in 1775, and held, apparently, at that 
time, the rank of major. Returning to Virginia, in the au- 
tumn of 1775, he prepared to. move permanently to the West, 
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 

9 Life of Boone, in Sparks' American Biography, xxiii. 59, 60 Butler's Kentucky, 
pages 32, 33. 

| Flint's Life of Boone, p. 89. 

J Clark's papers, in possession of L. C. Draper, in his own writing, give this date. 

\ He was west of the mountains in 1772, as far as the Kanawha 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. 

172 Protection of Virginia Invoked. 1776. 

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 civ- 
ilization, and unconnected with any of the elder provinces, 
while at the same time the title to it was in dispute, had not 
impressed all minds as they should. Clark knew that Vir- 
ginia entirely denied the purchase of Henderson ; he was 
sure, also, that the Virginia settlers would never be easy under 
a proprietary government, however founded ; and saw al- 
ready, with his quick eye, wide-spread dissatisfaction. One of 
two 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 independent commonwealth. 
These views had been partially formed in 1775, probably, 
for we find that by June 6th, 1776, they had attained suf- 
ficient currency to cause the gathering of a general meeting 
at Harrodsburg, 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 election 
of envoys authorised to lay the whole business before the As- 
sembly of Virginia, and ask the admittance of Kentucky, by 
itself, into the number of her counties. As it was, he and Ga- 
briel Jones were chosen members of the Virginia Assembly, 
and a petition was prepared to be laid before that body. 

[The following is the substance : They stated they had be- 
come adventurers in the country from the advantageous re- 
ports of their friends who had explored it ; that they expect- 
ed to obtain land in fee simple by an indefeasible title ; that 
the proprietors had advanced the price of the purchase money 
from twenty shillings to fifty shillings sterling per hundred 
acres, and "increased the fees of entry and surveying to an ex- 
orbitant price; that they had heard the lands bought of the Iro- 
quois Indians at Fort Stanwix in 1768, included that part of 
Kentucky, and, therefore, doubted the validity of the purchase 
of the proprietors made from the Cherokees ; and they ask 
to be taken under the protection of the colony of Virginia, 
and that measures might be adopted to restore peace and har- 
mony to the settlement. And they add, "If your honors ap- 
prehend that our case comes more properly before the honor- 

* So farFincastle county had been held to include Kentucky, but the inhabitants had no 
rights or protections as citizens of Virginia. Marshall, i. 47. 

1 776. Supplies of Powder Granted. 173 

able, the General Congress, that you in your goodness recom- 
mend the same to your worthy delegates to espouse it as the 
cause of the Colony." This petition was signed by James 
Harrod and eighty-seven other men.*] 

Clark knew perfectly well that the Legislature of his native 
State would not acknowledge the validity of the election of 
Delegates from the frontiers, but hoping, nevertheless, to effect 
his object, he and his companion took the southern route by the 
Cumberland 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 proceedings, 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, there- 
fore, in waiting upon Patrick Henry, then Governor, and, ex- 
plaining 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, gunpowder. The Gover- 
nor listened patiently 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 presented, and again presented the impossibility of his 
conveying the powder to so great a distance, through a coun- 
try swarming with foes. The Council listened patiently, but 
dared not run any risk. An order was issued for the pow- 
der 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 overlooked, the 
whole matter was again weighed in the Council, and probably 
the Governor's advice taken, after which, upon the 23d of 
August, an order was issued for placing the ammunition re- 
quired at Pittsburgh, subject to Major Clark's order, for the 
use of the inhabitants of "Kentucki."f 

* See Hall's Sketches, ii. p. 236. | Butler, second edition, 433, gives the order. 

174 County of Kentucky Created. 1776. 

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. 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 Del- 
egates 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 as- 
sociate were on the point of returning at once to the frontier 
by the southern route, as we presume, when they fortunately 
heard that their gunpowder was still at Pittsburgh. The 
truth was, that Clark's letter to his western friends had mis- 
carried. 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 Pitts- 
burgh they learned that many Indians, it was thought with 
hostile intentions, were lurking thereabouts, who would pro- 
bably follow them down the river ; but no time was to be lost, 
no matter what dangers threatened, so with seven boatmen 
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 
attention, 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 
\vith 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, 

* Morehead's Address, 56. Butler says December 6th, in Chronology, p. 2T. 

1776. Situation of the Country. 175 

and Jones with two others were killed.* Clark, however, 
reached Harrodsburg in safety, and a party was sent thence 
which brought the gunpowder to the forts. 

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 North-west, 
where the agents of England could act to the greatest advan- 
tage, dissatisfaction spread rapidly. The nations nearest 
the Americans found themselves pressed upon and harrassed 
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 con- 
tinual dread of incursion. f No incursion, however, took 
place during the winter or spring of 1777 ; though the 
blow was delayed, why, 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 vio- 
lent 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.J This truly great 
man, who was himself for peace, but who found all his neigh- 
bors, 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 Kanawha, in order to talk 
the matter over with Captain Arbuckle, who commanded 
there, and with whom he was acquainted. This was early 
in the summer of 1777. The Americans, knowing the Shaw- 
anese to be inclining to the enemy, thought it would be a 

*Clark's Journal in Morehead, 161. Also Clark's Account in Dillon's Indiana, 128 to 130. 
fSee Stone, vol, i. p. 191. Doddridgc's Indian Wars, <tc. 
JJournal of the Old Congress. Stone, &c 

176 Treacherous Murder of Hostages. 1777. 

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 pro- 
tect 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 Ellinipsco, 
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 ; Corn- 
stalk met them at the door, and fell, pierced with seven bul- 
lets ; his son and Redhawk died also, less calmly than their 
veteran companion, and more painfully. From that hour 
peace w r as not to be hoped for.* 

But this treachery, closed by murder, on the part of the 
Americans, in no degree caused, or excuses the after-steps of 
the British agents ; for almost at the moment when Cornstalk 
was dying upon the banks 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 brethren and their 
heathen allies.f 

In Kentucky, meanwhile, Indian hostilities had been un- 

[Colonel Clark in his Diary gives various details, but our 
space will not permit more than a brief abstract. 

*Doddridge, 237. Withers' Border Warfare, 151. -{Stone, vol. i. p. 186. 

1777. James Ray. 177 

On the 6th of March, Thomas Stores and William Ray 
were killed at the Shawanee Spring. On the 28th, a large 
party of Indians attacked persons outside the fort and 
killed several. On the 7th of April, forty or fifty Indians at- 
tacked Boonesborough, killed and scalped Daniel Goodman, 
and wounded several persons. During all of the summer 
months the Indians were troublesome, attacked the forts, and 
not a week passed without loss of life.*] 

At times, the stations were assailed by large bodies of sav- 
ages ; at times, single settlers were picked off by single skulk- 
ing foes. The horses and cattle were driven away ; the corn 
fields remained uncultivated ; the numbers of the whites be- 
came fewer and fewer, and from the older settlements little 
or no aid came to the frontier stations, until Col. 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 borne ; but none suffered 
more, or showed more courage and fortitude, 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 Illi- 
linois and against Vincennes, which turned the oft-tottering 
fortunes of the great struggle. 

But, however we may think on 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 precisely ; but the essence of romance is in them. 
In illustration, we 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 

*See Clark's Diary in Morehead's Address, p. 162. 

178 Benjamin Logan. 1777. 

the service for a distressed garrison, of which we are about 
to speak. It was the winter of 1776-7, a winter of starva- 
tion. Ray lived at Harrodsburg, which, like the other sta- 
tions, 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 circumstances, Ray resolved to 
hunt at a distance. There was one horse left of a drove of 
forty, which Major Me Gary 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 noiselessly 
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 disinter- 
ested 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 ap- 
proach, 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, una- 
ble 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 ventured from either side into the open ground, 
where Harrison lay writhing and groaning, would instantly 
become a target for all the sharp-shooters of the opposite 
party. For some moments Logan stood it pretty well ; he 

1777. Benjamin Logan. 179 

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 won't help Harrison?" At last, one, half inspired by Lo- 
gan'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 companion 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 com- 
rade like a child in his arms, and regained the fort without a 

But this rescue of a fellow-being, though worthy of record 
in immortal verse, was nothing compared with what this same 
Benjamin 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 procur- 
ed except by crossing the mountains. To do this, the neigh- 
boring forest must be passed, thronging with Indians, and a 
journey of some hundreds of miles accomplished, along a path, 
every portion of which might be waylaid, and at least 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 hun- 
dred miles and back ; he estimated the aid from other quar- 
ters ; and in the silence of night asked wisdom and guidance 
from God. Nor did he ask in vain; wisdom was given him. 

180 Benjamin Logan. 1777. 

At night, with two picked companions, he stole from the sta- 
tion, 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 east- 
ward, walking forty or fifty miles a day, the three woodsmen 
passed onward till the Cumberland 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 theHolston 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 pow- 
der. 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 Septem- 
ber 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 Harrodsburg, near by Logan's sta- 
tion. Such was the frontier life ! 

It was a trying year, 1777, for those little forts in the wil- 
derness. At the close of it, three settlements only existed in 
the interior. Harrodsburg, Boonesborough, and Logan's;* and, 
of these three, the whole military population was but one 
hundred and two in number! 

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, 

See Butler, Marshall, McClung, ic. 

1777. Indian Attack upon Fort Henry. 181 

and here, in 1774, Connolly, or the settlers, by his direction, had 
built a fort called Fort Fincastle,* the name of the western 
county of Virginia. In this a body of men was left by Lord 
Dunmore, when he made his treaty with the Shawanese,f 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 ,J and was the central point between Fort Pitt and 
the works at the mouth of Kanawha. In the early autumn 
of 1777, word frora 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 Ohio. This news was 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 scanty supply of gun- 
powder, as the event proved. The night of the 26th passed 
without 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 men to see to them. These \veresuffered to march 
after the six, who seem to have been merely a decoy, until 
they were within the Indian lines, when, suddenly, in front, 
behind, and on every side, the painted warriors showed them- 
selves. The little band fought bravely against incalculable 

George K. Clark is said to have planted it. (American Pioneer, ii. 303.) 
f American Archives, 4th series, ii. 1189. 
J American Pioneer, ii. 304. 

\ Isaac Zane was with the Wyandots from the time he was nine years old. American 
State Paperi, xvi, 93-121. 

182 Indians led by Simon Girty. 1777. 

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 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 somewhat 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 whom, as 
we shall sec, none were braver or calmer within the walls of that lit- 
tle fortress. 

The Indians were led by Simon Girty, who was acting as 
an agent for the British in the attempt to secure the aid of a 
part, at any rate, of the frontier men, in the Revolutionary 

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 traveler in the 
West is acquainted with, were twenty or thirty log huts. 
When Girty, then, as we have said, led his red troops against 
the fort, he at once took possession of the houses ol the vil- 
lage 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. Col. Shepherd 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 valley, through which the quiet 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 
Eort Henry, ceased not to load and discharge musket or rifle 
till it was too hot to hold. About noon the fire of the assail- 
ants 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 

1777. Elizabeth Zanc. 183 

that time was wasted in adjusting claims to what was almost 
sure death. The rest of the story we must let Mr. George 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 extrava- 
gant that it met with a peremptory refusal ; but she instantly 
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 re- 
presented to her that either of the young men, on account of 
his superior fleetness and familiarity with scenes of danger, 
would be more likely than herself to do the work successfully. 
She replied that the danger which would attend the enter- 
prise 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 open- 
ing of the gate arrested 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 In- 
dians suspecting, no doubt, the character of her burden, eleva- 
ted their firelocks and discharged a volley at her as she swiftly 
glided towards the gate ; but the balls 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 extemporary cannon, and having bound a hollow 
maple with chains, having bored a touch hole, and plugged up 
one end, they loaded it liberally and leveled it at the gate of 
the impregnable castle. It was now evening, and the disap- 
pointed Wyandots gathered about their artillery, longing to 
see its loading of stones open to 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 no one else f 

* See American Pioneer, vol. ii. p, 309. 

f This incident, and the heroic act of Elizabeth Zane, are placed by Withers in the sieo-e 
of Fort Henry in 1782, (Border Warfare, 263-264.) We follow the writer in the Pioneer, 
who is represented as an accurat e man ; Withers was not always so. 

184 Exploits of Maj. McColloch. 1777. 

During that night many of the assailants withdrew disheart- 
ened. 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 Mc- 
Colloch, 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-western border. He had parti- 
cipated in so many rencounters that almost every warrior 
possessed a knowledge of his person. Among the Indians his 
name was a word of terror ; they cherished against him feel- 
ings of the most phrenzied hatred, and there was not aMingo 
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. At length the hunter reached the top of the hill, 
and, turning to the left, darted along the ridge with the inten- 
tion 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 returning 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 dis- 
covering some other avenue to escape. A few paces only of 
his countermarch had been made, when he found himself con- 
fronted by his original pursuers, \vho had, by this time, gained 
the top of the ridge, and a third party was discovered press- 
ing up the hill directly on his right. He was now completely 
hemmed in on three sides, and the fourth was almost a perpen- 
dicular precipice of one hundred and fifty feet descent, with 
Wheeling Creek at its base. The imminence of his danger 
allowed him but little time to reflect upon his situation. In 
an instant he decided upon 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. McColloch immediately dashed 
across the creek, and was soon beyond the reach of the Indians.* 

* American Pioneer, vol. ii. p. 312. 

1777. Captain Joseph Ogle. 185 

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 

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 hundred perished.* 

[The Zanes, and a number of other families, came from the 
South branch of the Potomac, and located themselves on the 
site of Wheeling, in 1769. Of the number were Capt. Joseph 
Ogle and his brother Jacob Ogle. The latter was mortally 
wounded in the siege of Fort Henry, and the former, with 
twelve men, went out to the rescue of Captain Mason, who 
had been dispatched with fourteen men, by Colonel Shepherd, 
to drive the Indians from the corn-field, where they were 

The self-devoted band under Captain Ogle, in their eager- 
ness to relieve their fellow-soldiers under Mason, fell into an 
ambuscade, and two-thirds of their number were slain on the 
spot. The fort now contained but thirteen men and boys, 
with a large number of women and children, when Girty and 
his four hundred Indians entered the village and called on them 
to surrender. Captain Ogle escaped in the brush wood, ran 
to the nearest settlement, rallied Major McColloch, and the 
men of Short Creek, and accompanied them next morning to 
the fort. In this manner the garrison was saved. 

Captain Ogle, in 1785, emigrated to the Illinois country, 
where he was one of its bravest defenders, and has left a 
numerous posterity .f 

As Simon Girty will figure in the Annals as a leader in the 
marauding enterprises of the Indian^, and as a partisan of the- 
British, it will be interesting to the reader to have some par- 
ticulars of his history and that of his family and associates. 
We copy from the life of Boone, in the Library of American 
Biography, vol. xxiii. 

"Amongst the Indians north-west of the Ohio, were two 

* See Wither.,' Border Warfare, 160. American Pioneer, ii. 302-314-339. Tha usual 
date of the attack is September 1. Mr. McKiernan gires good authority for his dates,, 
which we follow. 

f How's Virginia, pp. 409-413. See Appendix, Illinois. 


186 The Girty Family. 1777. 

white men of the names of McKee and Girty, whose agency 
and influence were most disastrous to the frontier settlements. 
Colonel McKee was the official agent of the British govern- 
ment, and obtained great influence over the tribes of the 
north-west, and had an infamous notoriety for the atrocities 
committed under his sanction, and the success of his intrigues. 
His name must ever remain associated with the darkest deeds 
recorded in the annals of the West. Doubtless, the barbari- 
ties committed on the defenceless inhabitants, and even on 
prisoners in his presence and by his sanction, have been ex- 
aggerated by rumor, and magnified by the resentment of those 
who have suffered by his cruelties ; yet enough appears of 
known official conduct, attested by American officers of high 
station, and by witnesses of unimpeachable character, to blast 
his reputation, and cause his name to be held in abhorrence." 

Simon Girty was a native of Pennsylvania, a soldier and 
spy under Lord Dunmore, and a companion of Simon Kenton 
in the campaign of 1774. He had three brothers, George, 
James and Thomas. Girty, their father, was an emigrant 
from Ireland, and settled in Pennsylvania, where he be- 
came idle, thriftless, and intemperate. He was killed by In- 
dians, according to some accounts, but according to others, by 
his wife's seducer, who subsequently married her. In 1755, 
their home was attacked by the Indians, burnt, and the whole 
family taken prisoners. The husband and step-father was 
burnt at the stake in their presence, and the mother and four 
brothers scattered among the north-western tribes. 

Thomas made his escape, fell in with General Armstrong, 
and got back to Western Pennsylvania, where he settled and 
lived a worthy citizen to the close of his life, which took place 
in 1820, in the ninetieth year of his age. 

George was adopted by the Delawares, and lived with them 
until his death. He becqjne a perfect savage, and to consum- 
mate cunning he added fearless intrepidity. He fought in the 
battles of Point Pleasant, Blue Licks and Sandusky. He was 
beastly intemperate in the latter part of his life, and died 
about 1S18, on the Maumee of the Lake. 

James fell into the hands of the Shawanese, who adopted 
him as a son, and trained him in all the arts of savage war- 
fare. His repeated visits to Kentucky as the leader of ma- 
rauding parties, were a terrible scourge to the people, for he 
was bloodthirsty, cruel, ferocious and hard-hearted. Many 
of his barbarous deeds were attributed to his brother Simon. 

1777. Exploits of Simon Girty. 187 

Yet this monster was caressed by Elliott and Proctor in the 
war of 1812. 

The family were exchanged in 1758, at Gen. Forbes' treaty, 
but only the mother and Simon returned. 

Simon had been adopted by the Senecas, and became an ex- 
pert hunter, and after his return, was for a time in Western 
Pennsylvania. He left that region at the commencement of 
the Revolutionary war, being a decided tory. He joined the 
Indians and often led their marauding parties. His residence 
was at Sandusky, where he kept a trading-house. Here he 
witnessed the burning of Colonel Crawford, and there is some 
evidence, that he made an unsuccessful effort to save his life. 

Here he saved the life of Simon Kenton, after he was tied 
to the stake, for they were fellow soldiers in Dunmore's war, 
and "shared the same blanket." His friendship to the Indians 
and British, and his hatred to the United States, continued 
through life. 

When intoxicated, which was frequent, he was violent and 
abusive, and spared neither friend or foe. During the last 
ten years of his life he suffered much from rheumatism. He 
was in the war of 1812, was at Proctor's defeat on the river 
Thames, and was killed by Col. Johnson's mounted men,"* 

* American Pioneer, ii. 302-314. Incidents of Border Life, p. 133. Howe's Virginia* 
pp. 409-413. 


". r 


Proposition of Col. Clark to the Governor of Virginia Private instructions by the Council 
Raises troops in the Weat Expedition to the Illinois country Kaskaskia and Caho- 
kia taken Post Vincent surrendered Indian Treaties Vincennes retaken by Colonel 
Hamilton Col. Clark's Expedition to Vincennes and success Hamilton a prisoner and 
senl to Virginia The results to the United States. 

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 Callaway, burgesses to represent them in the As- 
sembly of the parent State. Early in the following Septem- 
ber, the first court was held at Harrodsburg; and Col. Bowman, 
who, as we have mentioned, had arrived from the settlements 
in August, was placed at the head of a regular military organi- 
zation which had been commenced the March previous. Thus, 
within herself, feeble as she was, Kentucky was organizing ; 
and George Rogers Clark, her chief spirit, he that had repre- 
sented her beyond the mountains the year before, was medi- 
tating 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, Kas- 
kaskia, and the other western posts which gave them easy 
arid constant access to the Indian tribes of the north-west 
that the British hoped to effeet such an union of the wild men 
as would annihilate the frontier fortresses. He knew that 
the Delawares were divided in feeling, and the Shawanese 
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 na- 
tives might be easily awed or bribed into neutrality ; and by 
spies sent for the purpose, and who were absent from April 

1777. Conquest of Illinois. 189 

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. Fortunately, while he was 
upon his road, on the 17th of October, Burgoyne had surren- 
dered, 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 expedi- 
tion against the forts on the far distant Mississippi, to Patrick 
Henry, who was still governor, he met with a favorable hear- 
ing ; 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 pre- 
sented to the consideration of Congress ; as early as April 29, 
1776, the committee on Indian Affairs were instructed to re- 
port upon the possibility of taking Detroit;* 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 dis- 
affection from spreading among the frontier inhabitants.! 
Three Commissioners, also, were chosen to go to Fort Pitt, for 
the purpose of enquiring into the causes of the frontier dif- 
ficulties, 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 Wash- 
ington was also requested to send Colonel William Crawford, 
an old pioneer, to take active command in the West ; and he 
accordingly left head quarters upon the 25th. All this ended 
in nothing, but it proved the correctness of Clark's views, and 
aided, we may suppose, 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. 

* Secret Journals, i. 43. 

I Old Journals, vol. ii. p. 340. 

190 Conquest of Illinois. 1777. 

[We purposely omit the annals of the earl}* settlements of 
Illinois, that we may give them in consecutive order, with 
many facts in detail in our Appendix.] 

Clark, having satisfied the Virginia leaders of the feasibility 
of his plan, received, on the 2d of January, two sets of in- 
structions the one open, authorising him to enlist seven com- 
panies 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 : 

Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark : 

You are to proceed, with all convenient speed, to raise 
seven companies of soldiers, to consist of fifty men each, of- 
ficered in the usual manner, and armed most properly for the 
enterprize; and with this force attack the British force at 

It is conjectured, that there are many pieces of cannon and 
military stores, to considerable amount at that place ; the 
taking and preservation of which, would be a valuable ac- 
quisition 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 State. 

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 Capt. Smith to secure the two men from Kaskasky. 
Similar conduct will be proper in similar cases. 

It is earnestly desired that you show humanity to such 
British subjects, and other persons, as fall in your hands. If 
the white inhabitants at that post and 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 per- 
sons and property duly secured. Assistance and protection 
against all enemies whatever, shall be afforded them; and the 
Commonwealth of Virginia is pledged to accomplish it. But, 
if these people will not accede 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 
conduct, and from which you are, in no instance, to depart. 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 191 

The corps you are to command, are to receive the pay and 
allowance of militia, and to act under the laws and regula- 
tions 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 se- 
cured, as circumstances will make necessary. 

You are to apply to General Hand, at Pittsburgh, for pow- 
der and lead, necessary for this expedition. If he can't supply 
it, the person who has that which Captain Lynn brought from 
New 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 Pittsburgh. 
It had been thought best to raise the troops needed, beyond 
the mountains, as the colonies were in want of all the soldiers 
they could muster east of the Alleghanies, to defend them- 
selves against the British forces. Clark, therefore, proposed 
to enlist men about Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh, Clark found great opposition to the intention of 
carrying men away to defend the outposts in Kentucky, while 
their own citadel and the whole region about it, were threat- 
ened 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, 
commenced his descent of the Ohio, which he navigated as 
far as the Falls, where he took possession of, and fortified, 
Com Island, opposite to the spot now occupied by Louisville. 
At this place, he appointed Colonel Bowman to meet him with 
such recruits as had reached Kentucky by the southern route, 
and as many men as could be spared from the stations. Here 
also, he ann ounced to the men, their real destination. 

*See Butler's History of Kentucky, p. 489. 

192 Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

[He was joined on Corn Island by Captain Bowman, and a 
company from Kentucky, under Captain Dillard. His prin- 
cipal officers were Captains Bowman, Helm, Harrod, Mont- 
gomery and Dillard ; and he daily expected a reinforcement 
from the Holston country, under Major Smith, which failed. 
He now disclosed to his troops that their point of destination 
was Kaskaskia, in the Illinois country. The project met the 
enthusiastic approbation of his men, except the company 
from Kentucky under Captain Dillard; a large part of which, 
with the Lieutenant, on the morning appointed for starting, 
the worthy Captain had the mortification to find, had waded 
the river and deserted. They were pursued in the morning, 
overtaken in the woods, about twenty miles from the Falls, 
eight taken back, and the rest, wandered about in the woods 
for some weeks, where they suffered greater deprivations and 
hardships than their comrades who had gone on the expedi- 
tion, before they got shelter in a fort.*} 

Having waited until his arrangements 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, and thence to go by land direct to Kaskaskia. His 
troops took no other baggage than they could carry in the In- 
dian fashion, and, for his success, he trusted entirely to sur- 
prise. 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 with- 
out bloodshed. One of these important items was the alli- 
ance of France with the colonies; 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 the inhabitants of 
Kaskaskia, and 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 

*Clark's Journal Butler's Kentucky, p. 49. 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 193 

management would readily dispose them to submit from fear, 
if surprised, and then to become friendly from gratitude, when 
treated with unlocked for clemency. 

[Near the mouth of the Tennessee river, he found John 
Duff, with a party of hunters, who had recently come from 
Kaskaskia, and who could give him important information. 
They reported that M. Rocheblave was the commander ; that 
the militia, (chiefly French citizens) were kept in good discip- 
line; that spies were stationed along the Mississippi ; that a 
rumor had reached Kaskaskia that the " Long-Knives " * had 
projected an attack, and that the hunters and Indians had re- 
ceived orders to keep watch, and report if any American 
troops were coming that way. The fort near the town was 
kept in order as a place of retreat if the village was attacked, 
but it had no regular garrison. The hunters offered to return 
with Clark, and one John Saunders was employed as a guide. 

The party landed near the old site of Fort Massac, and se- 
cured their boats in the mouth of a small creek. Heavy 
rains had fallen, succeeded by hot, sultry weather. Their 
route lay through a wilderness without a path. Cypress 
swamps, ponds, and deep, muddy, sluggish streams had to be 
forded. Their success depended on a secret and rapid march 
through the woods and prairies. For most part of the route, 
the game on which they relied for subsistence was scarce, and 
to send out hunting parties would expose them to discovery. 
On the prairies, a July sun beat on them and water was 
scarce. The distance, as they traveled, was over one hundred 
miles. On the third day the guide got so bewildered that he 
could not direct their course. A suspicion arose amongst the 
men that he designed to betray them, and they earnestly de- 
manded that he should be put to death ! He begged that 
under a guard he might go a short distance into the prairie 
and try to find his course. In an hour or two, the poor fellow 
exclaimed, "I know that point of timber," and pointed out 
the direction of Kaskaskia. It was on the Fourth of July, 
1778, that this party of invaders, with their garments torn 
and soiled, and their beards of three weeks' growth, ap- 
proached the town, and secreted themselves among the hills 
east of the Kaskaskia river. Clark sent forward his spies to 

*The Indians and French of Illinois, called the New Englanders " Bostonais," and tha 
Virginians "Long-Knives." 

194 Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

watch the proceedings of the people, and after dark put his 
troops in motion and took possession of a house, where a 
family lived, about three quarters of a mile above town. 
Here they found boats and canoes. The troops were divided 
into three parties, two of which were ordered to cross the 
river, while the other, under the immediate command of Col. 
Clark, took possession of the Fort. 

Kaskaskia then contained about two hundred and fifty 
houses. Persons who could speak the French language, were 
ordered to pass through the streets and make proclamation, 
that all the inhabitants must keep within their houses, under 
penalty of being shot down in the streets. 

The few British officers, who had visited these French 
colonies since the commencement of the rebellion of their 
Atlantic colonies, as they termed the Revolution, had told 
the most exaggerated stories about the brutality and fero- 
city of the "Long-Knives;" that they would not only take 
the property of the people, but would butcher, in a most 
horrible manner, men, women and children ! The policy of 
these stories was to excite in the minds of these simple- 
hearted French people the most fearful apprehensions against 
the colonists, that they might be watchful and be prepared 
for a determined resistance, should any attempt be made on 
these remote posts. These stories were a stimulus to the 
French traders to supply the Indians with guns, ammunition 
and scalping-knives, to aid their depredations on the settle- 
ments of Kentucky. 

Colonel Clark gained this intelligence from the hunters, 
and in his Journal says, "I was determined to improve upon 
this, if I was fortunate enough to get them into my possession; 
as I conceived the greater the shock I could give them at 
first, the more sensibly would they feel my lenity, and become 
more valuable friends."* 

Few men have had a quicker and keener sagacity than 
Clark. His plan was to produce a terrible panic and then 
capture the town without bloodshed, and well did he succeed. 

The two parties, having crossed the river, entered the 
quiet and unsuspecting village at both extremes, yelling 
in the most furious manner, while those who made the procla- 
mation in French, ordered the people into their houses on pain 

*Clark's Journal in Dillon's Indiana, i. p. 137. 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 195 

of instant death. In a moment, men, women and children 
were screaming, " Ics long Coutcaux ! Ics long Coutcaux ! " 
the Long-Knives ! the Long-Knives ! 

In about two hours after the surprise of the town, the in- 
habitants had all surrendered and delivered up their arms to the 
conqueror. Not a drop of blood had been shed, though the vic- 
tory was complete. The whole management displayed in a 
most admirable manner, what the French style ruse de guerre, 
the policy of war. M. Rocheblave, the Governor ,was taken in 
his chamber ; but his public papers and documents were ad- 
mirably concealed or destroyed by his wife. 

Throughout the night the Virginia troops were ordered to 
patrol the streets, with yells and whoopings after the Indian 
fashion, which, though exceedingly alarming to the conquered 
inhabitants, was a stratagem of Clark to accomplish his pur- 

One of the richest and most distinguished citizens of Kas- 
kaskia at that period, was M. Cerre, said by Col. Clark to have 
been a most bitter enemy to the Americans. In this, probably, 
he was misinformed. None of the French families in Illi- 
nois were particularly friendly to the government of Great 
Britain. But, probably, M. Cerre had partaken of the feel- 
ings of his townsmen concerning the "Long-Knives." He 
had long been a successful trader, but had left the place be- 
fore the arrival of the Americans, and was then at St. Louis 
on his way to Quebec. 

The commander at once determined to bring him and all 
his influence to the side of the American interest. Accord- 
ingly he took possession of his house and extensive stock of 
merchandize and placed a guard over the property. Another 
stratagem was to prevent all intercourse between his own 
men and the citizens, and to admit none of the latter to his 
presence except by positive command for them to appear be- 
fore him ; or, apparently, in great condescension, when urgent- 
ly solicited, to grant audience to some humble petitioner. By 
this course of policy he contrived, at first, to confirm all the 
worst suspicions the British had instilled into the minds of the 
simple villagers, of the ferocity of the " Long -Knives," and, 
then, by undeceiving them to produce a revulsion of feelings, 
and gain their unlimited confidence. In this he was com- 
pletely successful. The town was in possession of an enemy, 

19G Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

the inhabitants had been taught were the most ferocious 
and brutal of all men, and of whom they entertained the 
most horrible apprehensions, and all intercourse was strictly 
prohibited between each other, and the conquerors. After 
five days the troops were removed to the outskirts of the 
town, and the citizens were permitted to walk in the streets. 
But finding them engaged in conversation, one with another, 
Col. Clark ordered some of the officers to be put in irons, 
without assigning a single reason, or permitting a word of 
defence. This singular display of despotic power in the con- 
queror, did not spring from a cruel disposition, or a disregard 
to the principles of liberty, but it was the course of policy he 
had marked out to gain his object. 

Of all commanders, perhaps, Col. Clark had the readiest 
and clearest insight into human nature. The effect of this 
stretch of military power, at first, was to fill the inhabitants 
with consternation and dismay. 

After some time M. Gibault, the parish priest, got permis- 
sion to wait on Colonel Clark, with five or six elderly gentle- 

If the inhabitants of the town were filled with astonish- 
ment at the suddenness of their captivity, these men were far 
more astonished at the personal appearance of Clark and his 

Their clothes were dirty and torn (for they had no change 
of apparel) their beards of three and four weeks' growth, 
and, as Clark states in his Journal, they looked more frightful 
and disgusting than savages. 

Some minutes passed before the deputation could speak, 
and then they felt at a loss whom they should address as com- 
mandant, for they saw no difference in the personal appear- 
ance between the chieftain and his men. 

Finally, the priest, in the most submissive tone and posture, 
remarked, that the inhabitants expected to be separated, per- 
haps never to meet again, and they begged through him, as a 
great favor from their conqueror, to be permitted to assemble 
in the church, offer up their prayers to God for their souls, and 
take leave of each other ! 

The commander observed, with apparent carelessness, that 
the Americans did not trouble themselves about the religion of 
others, but left every man to worship God as he pleased, that 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 197 

they might go to church if they wished, but on no account 
must a single person leave the town. All further conversa- 
tion was repelled, and they were sent away, rather abruptly 
that the alarm might be raised to the highest pitch. 

The whole population assembled in the church, as for the 
last time, mournfully chaunted their prayers, and bid each 
other farewell never expecting to meet again in this world ! 
But so much did they regard this as a favor, that the priest 
and deputation returned from the church to the lodgings of 
Col. Clark, and in the name of the people expressed thanks 
for the indulgence they had received. They then begged 
leave to address their conqueror upon their separation and 
their lives. They claimed not to know the origin or nature 
of the contest between Great Britain and the colonies. What 
they had done had been in subjection to the British command- 
ers, whom they were constrained to obey. They were willing 
to submit to the loss of all their property as the fate of war, 
but they begged they might not be separated from their fami- 
lies, and that clothes and provisions might be allowed them 
barely sufficient for their present necessities. 

Col. Clark had now gained the object of his artful manoBU- 
vre. He saw their fears were raised to the highest pitch, and 
he abruptly thus addressed them : 

" Who do you take me to be ? Do you think we are sav- 
ages that we intend to massacre you all ? Do you think 
Americans will strip women and children, and take the bread 
out of their mouths ? My countrymen," said the gallant 
Colonel, " never make war upon the innocent! It was to 
protect our own wives and children that we have penetrated 
this wilderness, to subdue these British posts, from whence the 
s avages are supplied with arms and ammunition to murder 
us. We do not war against Frenchmen. The King of 
France, your former master, is our ally. His ships and sol- 
diers are fighting for the Americans. The French are our 
firm friends. Go, and enjoy your religion and worship when 
you please. Retain your property and now please to inform 
all your citizens from me that they are quite at liberty to con- 
duct themselves as usual, and dismiss all apprehensions of 
alarm. We are your friends, and come to deliver you from 
the British." 

This speech produced a revulsion of feelings better im- 

198 Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

gined than described. The news soon spread throughout the 
village, the bell rang a merry peal,- the people, with the 
priest, again assembled in the church, Te Dcum was loudly 
sung, and the most uproarious joy prevailed throughout the 
night. The people were now allowed all the liberty they 
could desire. All now cheerfully acknowledged Col. Clark 
as the commandant of the country. 

An expedition was now planned against Cahokia, and Maj. 
Bowman with his detachment, mounted on French ponies, 
was ordered to surprise that post. Several Kaskaskia gentle- 
men offered their services to proceed ahead, notify the Caho- 
kians of the change of government, and prepare them to give 
the Americans a cordial reception. The plan was entirely 
successful, and the post was subjugated without the disaster 
of a battle. Indeed, there were not a dozen British soldiers 
in the garrison. 

In all their intercourse with the citizens, Col. Clark instructed 
his men to speak of a large army encamped at the Falls of 
the Ohio, which would soon overrun and subjugate all the 
British posts in the West, and that Post Vincent would be in- 
vaded by a detachment from this army. He soon learned 
from the French that Governor Abbott was gone to Detroit, 
and that the defence was left with the citizens, who were 
mostly French. M. Gibault, the priest, readily undertook an 
embassy to the Post, and to bring over the people to the 
American interests without the trouble and expense of an in- 
vasion. This was also successful, and in a few days the 
American Flag was displayed on the fort, and Captain Helm 
appointed to the command, much to the surprise and conster- 
nation of the neighboring Indians. 

M. Gibault and party, with several gentlemen from Vin- 
cennes, returned to Kaskaskia about the first of August with 
the joyful intelligence. 

The reduction of these posts was the period of the enlist- 
ment of the men, and Colonel Clark was at a loss to know 
how to act, as his instructions were vague and general. To 
abandon the country now, was to loose the immense advan- 
tages gained, and the commander, never at a loss for expedi- 
ents, opened a new enlistment, and engaged his own men 
on a new establishment, and he issued commissions for 
French officers in the country to command a company of 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 199 

the inhabitants. He then established a garrison at Cahokia, 
commanded by Capt. Bowman ; and another at Kaskaskia, 
commanded by Capt. Williams. Capt. William Linn took 
charge of a party that was to be discharged when they ar- 
rived at the Falls, (Louisville) and orders were sent to remove 
the station from Corn Island, and erect a fort on the main 
land, and a stockade fort was erected. 

Capt. John Montgomery, in charge of M. Rocheblave, the. 
late British commander, and as bearer of dispatches, was 
sent with a corps of men to Virginia. 

For the command of Post Vincent, he chose Capt. Leonard 
Helm, in whom he reposed great confidence. Capt. Helm 
had much knowledge and experience in Indian character, and 
Col. Clark appointed him agent for Indian affairs in the de- 
partment of the Wabash. About the middle of August, he 
went out to take possession of his new command. 

At that period, an Indian of the Piankashaw tribe that had 
their principal village near Vincennes, possessed great influ- 
ence among his people. He was known by the name of "Big 
Gate," or "Big Door," and called by the Indians, "The Grand 
Door to the Wabash," because nothing could be done by the 
Indian confederacy on the Wabash without his approbation. 
His father, who had been known as "Tobacco," or, more com- 
monly, "Old Tobac," sent him "a spirited compliment by 
Priest Gibault, who had influence with these Indians. Big Door 
returned it. Next followed a regular "talk," with a belt of 

Captain Helm arrived safe at Vincennes, and was received 
with acclamation by the people, and soon sent the "talk" and 
the wampum to the Grand Door. These Indians had been 
under British influence, and had done no small mischief to the 
frontier settlements. The proud and pompous chief was taken 
with the courtesy of the shrewd Captain, and sent him a mes- 
sage that he was glad to see one of the Big Knife chiefs 
in town ; that here he joined the English against the Big 
Knives, but he long thought they "looked a little gloomy;" 
that he must consult his counsellors, take time to deliberate, 
and hoped the Captain of the Big Knives would be patient. 
After several days of very constant and ceremonious pro- 
ceedings, the Captain was invited to council by Old Tobac 
who played quite a subordinate part to his son. 

230 Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

After the customary display of Indian eloquence, about the 
sky having been dark, and the clouds now had been brushed 
away, the Grand Door announced "that his ideas were quite 
changed" and the "Big Knives was in tke right," "and that 
he would tell all the red people on the Wabash to bloody the 
land no more for the English." 

"He jumped up, struck his breast, called himself a man 
and a warrior, said that he was now a Big Knife, and took 
Capt. Helm by the hand. His example was followed by all 

This was a most fortunate alliance, for, in a short time, all 
the tribes along the Wabash, as high as the Ouiatenon, came 
to Post Vincennes and followed the example of the Great 
Door chief, and the interests of the British lost ground daily in 
all the villages south of lake Michigan. 

The French citizens at the different posts, enlisted warmly 
in the American cause. 

Captain Montgomery reached Williamsburg, then the seat 
of government in the "Old Dominion," with Mr. Rocheblave, 
the Governor of Illinois, a prisoner of war, and the dispatches 
of Colonel Clark, announcing that the British posts were cap- 
tured, and the vast territory of the north-west subjugated. 
Only four persons had known the real destination of Clark 
when] he left the seat of government at the commencement 
of the year. These were the Governor, Patrick Henry, and 
his confidential counsellors, Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe 
and George Mason. They had assumed a fearful responsi- 
bility in giving him private instructions, authorising an attack 
on these remote British posts. The degree of success was 
beyond the expectations of the most sanguine. 

In October, the H< use of Burgesses created the county of 
Illinois, and appointed John Todd, Esq., then of Kentucky, 
Lieutenant Colonel and Civil commandant. The act, which 
we have in manuscript, with the seal of the Commonwealth, 
contained the following provisions : 

All the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, "who 
are already settled, or shall hereafter settle, on the western 
side of the O/iio, shall be included in a distinct county which 
shall be called Illinois county : and the Governor of this Com- 
monwealth, with the advice of the Council, may appoint a 

* Journal of Clark, in Dillon's Indiana, p. 144. 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 201 

county Lieutenant, or Commandant-in-chief, in that county, 
during pleasure, who shall appoint and commission so many 
deputy Commandants, militia and officers, and Commissaries, 
as he shall think proper, in the different districts, during plea- 
sure, all of whom, before they enter into office, shall take the 
oath of fidelity to this Commonwealth, and the oath of office, 
according to the form of their own religion. And all civil 
officers to which the inhabitants have been accustomed, neces- 
sary to the preservation of peace, and the administration of 
justice, shall be chosen by a majority of citizens in their res- 
pective districts, to be convened for that purpose, by the 
county Lieutenant or Commandant, or his deputy, and shall 
be commissioned by the said county Lieutenant, or Command- 

In November, the Legislature passed the following compli- 
mentary resolution to Clark and his men : 

Monday, the 23d Nov. 1778. 

Whereas, authentic information has been received, that 
Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, with a body of Vir- 
ginia militia, has reduced the British posts in the western part 
of this Commonwealth, on the river Mississippi, and its 
branches, whereby great advantage may accrue to the com- 
mon cause of America, as well as to this Commonwealth 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 persever- 
ance, in so hazardous an enterprize, and for their important 
services thereby rendered their country.* 

Test, E. RANDOLPH* C. H. D. 

[After organizing a civil government, and providing for an 
election of magistrates by the people, Col. Clark directed his 
attention to the subjugation of the Indian tribes. In this he 
displayed the same tact and shrewdness, the same daring, and 
his acts were crowned with the same success as in the con- 
quest with the British posts. 

He always reprobated the policy of inviting and urging the 
Indians to hold treaties, and maintained that such a course 
was founded upon a mistaken view of their character. He 
supposed they always interpreted such overtures from the go- 
vernment as an evidence of the fear and conscious weakness of 
the whites. Hence, he avoided every intimation that he de- 

*See Butler's History of Kentucky, p. 490. 


202 Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

sired peace, and assumed a line of conduct that would appear 
that he meant to exterminate them at once. He always 
waited for them to apply and beg for a treaty. 

These and other measures, which displayed great penetra- 
tion into Indian character, were completely successful. No 
commander ever subjugated as many warlike tribes, in so 
short a time, and at so little expense of life. 

His management of the Indians presents a wide field of 
historical research which the limits of these Annals compel us 
to leave unexplored.] 

His meetings with them were opened at Cahokia, in Sep- 
tember, and 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 with the Americans, as peace was not yet con- 
cluded ; 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 own notes. 

"Men and warriors : pay attention to my words. You in- 
formed me yesterday, that the Great Spirit had brought us to- 
gether, and that you hope, 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 
for us to those that desire to be in peace ; that the women 
and children may \valk 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 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 203 

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 faithfully to the 
party, which you 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 the 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 the 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 ; some 
made blankets for their 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 
\vould not let our women spin, nor our men make powder, nor 
let us trade with any body else. The English 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 become 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 assem- 
bled at the fire ; they took up the hatchet, sharpened 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 nations, 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 

204 Conquest of Illinois, 1778. 

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 sur- 
rounded 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 your friends, the English; we will then try 
like warriors, who can put 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 friends, 
the French, should you then listen to bad birds, that may be 
flying through 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 be- 
fore, 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 one heart and one tongue."* 

This speech produced the desired effect, and upon the fol- 
lowing 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 sonue 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 the Indian negotiation, sat down with Col. 
Clark in a common sense way, and talked and listened, ques- 
tioned and considered, until he was satisfied that the rebels 
had the right of the matter ; after which he became, and re- 
mained a firm friend of the Big Knives. 

While the negotiations between the conqueror of Kaskas- 
kia and the natives were going forward, an incident occurred, 

* See Butler's History of Kentucky, p. 63. 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 205 

so characteristic of Col. Clark, that we cannot omit its men- 
tion, as follows : A party of Indians, known as Meadow In- 
dians,* had come to attend ihe council with 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 quarters. In this plan they failed, and their purpose was 
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 council house, where he whom they pro- 
posed 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 treachery upon my life, 
amidst the sacred deliberations of a council. I had determin- 
ed 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 
warriors, 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.f" 
These few cutting words concluded, the Colonel turned 
away to converse with others. The children of the prairie, 
who had looked for anger, not contempt punishment, not 
freedom were unaccountably stirred by this treatment. 
They took counsel together, and presently a chief came for- 
ward 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 

f These were a remnant of the Mascoutin tribe, or Prairie Tribe, as the name signi- 
fies. Ed. 

{ This was a mode of punishment used by the Indians as a mark of disgrace. An In- 
dian thus degraded, never after could be a man. He must do the drudgery of a Squaw. 

206 Conquest of Illinois 1778. 

American said he did not wish to hear them, and lifting a 
sword which lay before him, he shattered the offered pipe, 
Avith the cutting expression that "he did not treat with wo- 
men." The bewildered, 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 offend- 
ing 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 inci- 
dent excited. Still, all 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, approach- 
ing 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 lam ready to grant peace to your broth- 
ers; I take you by the hands as chiefs, worthy of being such." 
Here again the fearless generosity, the generous fearlessness 
of Clark, proved perfectly successful, and while the tribe in 
question became the allies of America, the fame of the occur- 
rence, which spread far and wide through the north-west, 
made the name of the white negotiator everywhere respected. 
Before the act of the legislature was carried into effect, 
Vincennes was recaptured by Henry Hamilton, the British 
Lieutenant Governor of Detroit. Having collected an army of 
about thirty regulars, fifty French volunteers, and four hundred 
Indians, he went from Detroit, to the Wabash, thence down 
that river, and appeared before the fort on the 15th of Decem- 
ber, 1778. The people made no effort to defend the place. 
Captain Helm and a man by the name of Henry, were the 
only Americans in the fort. The latter had a cannon well 

1778. Conquest of Illinois. 207 

charged, placed in the open gate-way, while the Command- 
ant, Helm, stood by it with the lighted match. When Col. 
Hamilton and his troops approached within hailing distance, 
the American officer called out, with a loud voice, "Halt !" 
This show of resistance caused Hamilton to stop,^ and demand 
a surrender of the garrison. 

Helm, exclaimed, "No man shall enter here until I know the 
terms." Hamilton responded, "You shall have the honors of 
war;" and the fort was surrendered, and the one officer, and 
the one private, received the customary mark of respect for 
their brave defence.* 

A portion of Hamilton's force was dispatched with the In- 
dians to attack the settlements on the Ohio and Mississippi 
rivers- Capt Helm was detained in the fort as a prisoner, 
and the French inhabitants were disarmed. Col. Clark's posi- 
tion became perilous. Detached parties of hostile Indians, 
sent out by Col. Hamilton, began to appear in Illinois. He 
ordered Maj. Bowman to evacuate the fort at Cahokia, and 
meet him at Kaskaskia. "I could see," says Clark, "but little 
probability of keeping possession of the country, as my num- 
ber of men was too small to stand a siege, and my situation 
too remote to call for assistance. I made all the preparation 
I possibly could for the attack, and was necessitated to set fire 
to some of the houses in town, to clear them out of the way." 
At this crisis, the bold and hazardous project of capturing 
Col. Hamilton, and retaking Post Vincennes, became the 
theme of his daily and nightly meditations. 

He employed Col. Francis Vigo, then a resident of St. 
Louis, to make an exploration of the circumstances and 
strength of the enemy at Post Vincennes. Col. Vigo, though 
a Spanish subject, possessed an innate love of liberty; an at- 
tachment to republican principles, and an ardent sympathy 
for an oppressed people, struggling for their rights. He dis- 
regarded personal consequences, for as soon as he heard of the 
arrival of Col. Clark at Kaskaskia, and the possession of Illi- 
nois by the Americans, he went there and tendered his wealth 
and influence to sustain the cause of liberty. 

At the request of Col. Clark, Col. Vigo, with a single ser- 
vant, proceeded to Vincennes. At the Embarrass he was 

* Butler's Kentucky, note, p. 80. 

208 Conquest of Illinois. 1779. 

taken prisoner by a party of Indians, plundered and brought 
before Col. Hamilton. Being a Spanish subject, though sus- 
pected of being a spy for the Americans, the Governor had no 
power to hold him as a prisoner of war, but forbid him to leave 
the fort. Entreated by the French inhabitants to allow him 
to depart, and threatened with the refusal of all supplies fop 
the garrison, the Governor reluctantly yielded, on condition 
that Col. Vigo would sign an article "not to do any act dur- 
ing the war, injurious to the British interests." This he re- 
fused, but consented to a pledge not to do any thing injurious 
on his way to St. Louis. This was accepted, and Col. Vigo was 
permitted to depart in a pirogue down the Wabash and Ohio, 
and up the Mississippi to St. Louis. He kept his pledge 
most sacredly. On his way to St. Louis, he abstained from 
all intercourse with the Americans but he only staid at home 
long enough to change his dress, when he returned to Kas- 
kaskia, and gave Col. Clark full and explicit information of 
the condition of the British force at Vincennes, the projected 
movements of Hamilton, and the friendly feelings of the 
French towards the Americans. From him Col. Clark learn- 
ed that a portion of the British troops were absent on maraud- 
ing parties with the Indians, that the garrison consisted of 
about eighty regular soldiers, three brass field pieces, and 
some swivels, and that Governor Hamilton meditated the re- 
capture of Kaskaskia early in the spring. Col. Clark deter- 
mined on the bold project of an expedition to Yincennes, of 
which he wrote to Gov. Henry, and sent an express to Vir- 
ginia. As a reason for this hazardous project, Col. Clark 
urged the force and designs of Hamilton, saying to Governor 
Henry in his letter, "/ knew if I did not take him, he watdd take 

A boat fitted up as a galley, carrying two four pounders 
and four swivels, and commanded by Capt John Rogers, with 
forty-six men, and provisions, was dispatched from Kaskaskia 
to the Ohio, with orders to proceed up the Wabash as secretly 
as possible to a place near the mouth of the Embarrass. Two 
companies of men ware raised from Cahokia, and Kaskaskia, 
commanded by Captains McCarty and Charleville, which, with 
the Americans, amounted to one hundred and seventy men. 

The winter was unusually wet and the streams all high, but 
on the 7th of February, 1779, this fragment of an army com- 

1779. Conquest of Illinois. 209 

menced its march from Kaskaskia to Post Vincent. Their route 
lay through the prairies and points of timber east of the Kas- 
kaskia river, a north-easternly course, through Washington and 
Marion counties, into Clay county, where the trail visible thirty 
years since, would strike the route of the present road from 
St. Louis to Vincennes. This was one of the most dreary 
and fatiguing expeditions of the Revolutionary war. After 
incredible hardships, they reached the Little Wabash, the low 
bottoms of which, for several miles, were covered with water, 
as Col. Clark's report affirms, "generally three feet deep, never 
under two, and frequently over four feet." They arrived at 
the "two Wabashes," as Bowman in his journal calls the two 
branches, (now known as the "Little Wabash" and "Muddy" 
rivers,) on the 13th. Here they made a canoe, and on the 
15th, ferried over their baggage, which they placed on a scaf- 
fold on the opposite bank. Rains fell nearly every day, but 
the weather was not cold. Hitherto they had borne their ex- 
treme privations and difficulties with incredible patience, but 
now the spirits of many seemed exhausted. There was an 
Irish drummer in the party who possessed an uncommon talent 
in singing comic, Irish songs. 

While the men were wading to the waist, and sometimes to 
the arm-pits in mud and water, the fertile ingenuity of Col. 
Clark, who never failed in resources, placed the Irishman on 
his drum which readily floated, while he entertained the ex- 
hausteed troops with his comic and musical powers. 

On the 18th day of February, eleven days after their depar- 
ture from Kaskaskia, they heard the morning gun of the fort, 
and at evening of the same day, they were on the Great Wa- 
bash, below the mouth of the Embarrass. The party were 
now in the most exhausted, destitute and starving condition, 
and no signs of their boat with supplies. The river was out 
of its banks, all the low grounds covered with water, and 
canoes could not be constructed to carry them over before the 
British garrison would discover and capture, or massacre the 
whole party. February 20th, they hailed and brought to a 
boat from Post Vincent, and, from the crew, whom they de- 
tained, they learned that the French population were friendly 
to the Americans, and that no suspicion of the expedition had 
reached the British garrison. 

Here we shall let Col. Clark tell the story in his journal : 

210 Conquest of Illinois. 1779. 

"This last day's march, [February 21st,] through the water, 
was far superior to any thing the Frenchmen had any idea of: 
they were backward in speaking said that the nearest land 
to us was a small league, called the sugar camp, on the 
bank of the slough. A canoe was sent off, and returned with- 
out finding that we could pass. I went in her myself, and 
sounded the water : found it deep as to my neck. I returned 
with a design to have the men transported on board the ca- 
noes 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 con- 
fusion 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, marched 
into the water, without saying a word. The party gazed, fell 
in, one after another, without saying a word, like a flock of 
sheep. I ordered those near me to give a favorite song of 
theirs : It soon passed through the line, and the whole went 
on cheerfully. I now intended to have them 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 itso; 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 dif- 
ficulty, where there was about half an acre of dry ground, at 
least not under water, where we took up our lodgings. 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 they would bring from their own houses provisions, with- 
out the possibility of any person knowing it; that some of 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 

1779. Conquest of Illinois. 211 

we had. The ice in the morning \vas 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 I for- 
get ; but it may be easily imagined by a person that could 
possess my affections for them at that time : I concluded by 
informing 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 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 halted and called to Major Bowman, order- 
ed him to fall in the rear with twenty-five men, and to 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 approba- 
tion, and on we went. This was the most trying of all the dif- 
ficulties 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, 1 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 loading, 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 them- 
selves almost beyond their abilities the weak holding by the 
stronger. * * * The water never got shallower, but con- 
tinued deepening. Getting to the woods where the men ex- 
pected land, the water was up to my shoulders: but gaining 
the woods was of great consequence : all the low men and 
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 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 were coming up to town, and took thro' 
part of this plain as a nigh "way. It was discovered by our ca- 
noes as they were out after the men. They gave chase and took 

212 Conquest of Illinois. 1779. 

the Indian canoe, on board of which was near half a quarter 
of buffalo, some corn, tallow, kettles, &c. This was a grand 
prize, and was in valuable. 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 something cheering to their comrades. 
This little refreshment and fine weather, by the afternoon, 
gavelife to the whole. Crossing a narrow 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 
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 suffered 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 display 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 
half a 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 were a good many Indians in town. 

Our situation was now truly critical no possibility of re- 
treating in case of defeat and in full view of a town that had 
at this time upwards of six hundred men in it, troops, inhab- 
itants, and Indians. The crew of the galley, though not fifty 
men, would now have been a reinforcement of immense mag- 
nitude 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 determined, 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 interest 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 a friend to the Big Knives. 
These were favorable circumstances ; and as there was but 
little probability of our remaining until dark undiscovered, I 
determined to begin the career immediately, and wrote the 
following placard to the inhabitants : 

1779. Conquest of Illinois. 213 

To the inhabitants of Post Vinccnnes. 

Gentlemen : Being now within two miles of your village, 
with my army, determined to take your fort this night, and not 
being willing to surprise you, I take this methpd to request 
such of you as are true citizens and willing to enjoy the lib- 
erty 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 on 
being well treated ; and I once more request them to keep out 
of the streets. For every one I find in arms on my arrival, I 
shall treat him as an enemy. 

[Signed,] G. R. CLARK. 

[This singular epistle, as Clark designed, had a two-fold ef- 
fect, and displayed his astonishing insight, into human nature. 
Its imposing character inspired the inhabitants who were friend- 
ly with confidence, and filled the enemy with terror and dis- 
may. As no one imagined an expedition, at that season, 
could cross the waters from Illinois, the impression was made 
that the town was about to be invaded by a large army from 
Kentucky. This impression was confirmed by several messa- 
ges being sent in under assumed names of gentlemen known 
in Kentucky, to their acquaintances in Vincennes. 

The same day about sunset, (Feb. 23,) the American forces 
set off to attack the Fort. To confirm the impression that the 
invaders consisted of a large army, Col. Clark divided his 
men into platoons, each displaying a different flag, and after 
marching and countermarching around some mounds, within 
sight of the fort, and making other demonstrations of numbers 
and strength, till after dark, when Lieut. Bayley with fourteen 
men, was sent to attack the Fort. This party lay within thirty 
yards of the Fort, defended by a bank and safe from the ene- 
my's guns. No sooner was a port hole opened than a dozen 
rifles were directed to the aperture one soldier was killed and 
the rest could not be prevailed upon to stand to the guns. 

On the morning of the 24th, at 9 o'clock, Col. Clark sent a 
flag of truce with the following letter, while his men, for the 
first time in six days, were provided with breakfast. The 
letter of Col. Clark is characteristic of the man : 

" Sir In order to save yourself from the impending storm 
that now threatens you, I order you immediately to surrender 

214 Conquest of Illinois. 1779. 

yourself, with all your garrison, stores, &c. &c. For if I am 
obliged to storm, you may depend upon 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. G. R. CLARK. 

" To Gov. Hamilton." 

The reply of Gov. Hamilton shows that this daring course 
of Col. Clark had its intended effect. He replies : 

" Governor Hamilton begs leave to acquaint Col. Clark, that 
he and his garrison are not disposed to be awed into any action 
unworthy British subjects." 

The attack was renewed with vigor and soon produced an- 
other message: 

" Gov. Hamilton proposes to Col. Clark a truce for three 
days, during which time he promises, that there should be no 
defensive works carried on in the garrison, on condition that 
Col. Clark will observe, on his part, a like cessation of offen- 
sive work : that is, he wishes to confer with Col. Clark, as 
soon as can be, and promises that whatever may pass between 
them two, and another person, mutually agreed on to be pres- 
ent, shall remain secret till matters be finished ; as lie wishes, 
that whatever the result of the conference may be, it may tend 
to the honor and credit of each party. If Col. Clark makes a 
difficulty of coming into the Fort, Lieut. Gov. Hamilton will 
speak with him by the gate. HENRY HAMILTON." 

February 24th, '79. 

To which the following reply was sent : 

" Col. Clark's compliments to Governor Hamilton, and begs 
leave to say, that he will not agree to any terms, other than 
Mr. Hamilton surrender ing himself and garrison prisoners at dis- 
cretion. " 

" If Mr. Hamilton wants to talk with Col. Clark, he will 
meet him at the Church with Capt. Helm." 

A conference was held as proposed, when Col. Clark de- 
manded a surrender, and threatened to massacre the leading 
men in the Fort for supplying the Indians with the means of 
annoyance, and purchasing scalps, if his terms were not ac- 
cepted. In one hour after, Col. Clark dictated the following 
terms, which were accepted : 

1779. Conquest of Illinois. 215 

"1st. Lieutenant Governor Hamilton agrees to deliver up to 
Colonel Clark, 'Fort Sackville,' as it is at present, with its 
stores, &c. 

"2d. The garrison are to deliver themselves as prisoners of 
war, and march out with their arms and accoutrements. 

"3d. The garrison to be delivered up to-morrow, at ten 

"4th. Three days' time to be allowed the garrison to settle 
their accounts with the inhabitants and traders. 

"5th. The officers of the garrison to be allowed their neces- 
sary baggage, &c. 

"Signed at Post St. Vincennes, this 24th day of February, 
1779; agreed to for the following reason : 1st. Remoteness from 
succor: 2d. the state and quantity of provisions : 3d. The 
unanimity of the officers and men in its expediency: 4th. The 
honorable terms allowed : and, lastly, the confidence in a 
generous enemy. HENRY HAMILTON, 

Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent" 

On the 25th of February, Fort Sackville was surrendered to 
the American troops, and the garrison treated as prisoners of 
war. The American flag waved on its battlements, and thir- 
teen guns celebrated the victory. 

Seventy-nine prisoners, and stores to the value of 50,000 
dollars, were obtained by this bold and desperate enterprise, 
and the whole country along the Mississippi and Wabash, re- 
mained ever after in the peaceable possession of the Ameri- 
cans. Gov. Hamilton was sent to Richmond, and his men 
permitted to return to Detroit on parole of honor. 

Six were badly, and one man mortally wounded on the part 
of the British, and only one man wounded on the part of the 

The Governor and some others were sent prisoners to Vir- 
ginia, where the council ordered their confinement in jail, fet- 
tered 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 mur- 
der ; the Indians driving captives within si^ht of the British 
forts and then butchering them. As this rigid confinement, 
however just, was not in accordance with the terms of Ham- 
ilton'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 

216 Conquest of Illinois. 1778. 

consequence of which the Council of Virginia released the 
Detroit " hair-buyer" from his irons. * 

Clark returned to Kaskaskia, where, in consequence of the 
competition of the traders, he found himself more embarrassed 
from the depreciation of the paper money which had been ad- 
vanced him by Virginia, than he had been by the movements 
of the British ; and where he was forced to pledge his own 
credit 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 been 
but able to raise as many soldiers as were starving and idling 
at Forts Laurens and Mclntosh. [Col. Clark, in his letter to 
Mr. Jefferson, says, that with five hundred men, when he 
reached Illinois, or with three hundred after the conquest of 
Post Vincennes, he could have taken Detroit. The people of 
Detroit rejoiced greatly when they heard of Hamilton's cap- 
ture.] Gov. 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 cam- 
paign ; and, if Mr. Stone be correct in his suppositions, Brant 
and his Iroquois were to act in concert with him.J 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 history changed. 

[The conquest of Clark changed the face of affairs in rela- 
tion to the whole country north of the Ohio river, which, in all 
probability, would have been the boundary between Canada 
and the U. States. This conquest was urged by the American 
Commissioners in negotiating the definite treaty of 1793.] 

Sparks' Washington, vi. 315. Almon'a Remembrancer for 1779, pp. 337. 340. Jef- 
ferson's Writings, i. 451 to 458. 
| Butler, p. 80. t Stone's Brandt, i. 400. Notes, Boston Edition. 


Captivity of Boone Siege of Boonesborough Invasion of the Six Nations Treaty with the 
Delawares Virginia land laws Claims of France and Spain Invasion of Kentucky 
Civil organization of the same Invasion of St. Louis Brents in Ohio. 

[We now return to bring forward the annals of Kentucky. 
The people had suffered much for salt, and the labor and risk 
of packing it over the mountains on horseback were too great; 
for only by that mode of transportation could they obtain the 
necessaries of life which the wilderness did not furnish. It 
was arranged that thirty men, under the guidance of Captain 
Boone, should proceed to the Lower Blue Licks, on Licking 
river, and manufacture salt, The enterprise was commenced 
on new year's day, 1778.] 

Boone was to be guide, hunter, and scout; the rest cut wood 
and attend to the manufacturing department. January passed 
quietly, and before the 7th of February, enough of the pre- 
cious 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 weather 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 two foes, two 
Canadians, the remainder Indians, Shawanese apparently. 
Boone fled ; but their swiftest runners were on his trail, and 
he was soon their prisoner. Finding it impossible to give his 
companions at the Licks due notice so as to secure their es- 
cape, he proceeded to make terms on their behalf with his 
captors, and then persuaded his men by gestures, at a dis- 
tance, 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 such good luck 
as they had met with changed their minds, and, turning upon 

218 Boone a Captive. 1778. 

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 Hamil- 
ton, the British Commander 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 dispatched for the North, and, after twenty days of jour- 
neying, 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 had also 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 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 the family of Blackfish, a Shawanese Chief, 
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 knew 
how to allay any suspicions they might harbor Jest he should 
runaway. 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 smil- 
ed in his quiet eye when he witnessed their joy at having 
done better than the best of the Long 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, except that he 
never showed the Indian's blood thirstiness, when excited. 

1778. His Fortunate Escape. 219 

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 hunting, shooting, swimming, and other Shawanese 
amusements, the newly made Indian 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 reach- 
ed, 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 need- 
ed to ask whither they were bound ; his heart told him 
Boonesborough ; and already in imagination he saw the blaz- 
ing 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 all ease and 
joy. He was a long way from his own white homestead ; one 
hundred and fifty miles at least, and a rough and inhospitable 
country much of the way between him and it. But he had 
traveled 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, un- 
heard, he departed. He left his red relatives to mourn his 
loss, and over hill and valley sped, forty miles a day, for four 
successive 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 consequence of Boone's flight. The sav- 
ages had relied on surprising the stations, and their plans be- 
ing foiled by their adopted son Daniel, all their determinations 
were unsettled. Thus it proved the salvation of Boonesbo- 

220 Boonesborough Attacked, 1778. 

rough, and probably of all the frontier forts, that the founder 
of Kentucky was taken captive and remained a captive as long 
as he did. So often do seeming misfortunes prove, in God's 
hand, our truest good. 

Boone, finding his late relatives so backward in their pro- 
posed call, determined to anticipate them by a visit to the 
Scioto valley, where he had been at salt-making ; and early 
in August, with nineteen men, started for the town on Paint 
Creek. He knew, of course, that he was trying a somewhat 
hazardous experiment, 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, consist- 
ing of one man, Simon Kenton, discovered two natives riding 
one horse, and enjoying some joke as they rode. Not consid- 
ering that, these two might be, like himself, the van ot 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, and 
learning from spies whom he sent forward, that the town he in- 
tended to attack was deserted, came to the opinion that the 
band just met was on its way to join a larger body for the in- 
vasion 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. 

[Shortly after their return, on the 7th of September,* the 
whole Indian army, four hundred and forty-four in number, 
commanded by Blackfish, with eleven Canadians under Capt. 
Du Quesne, with British and French colors flying, appeared 

*Eilsen from Boone's dictation, says it was the 8th of August, and Marshall, Flint, 
Butler, and others follow this date. This is certainly a mistake, as at that time, Boone 
and his party were on this expedition at Paint Creek. Col. Bowman's letter tfc Col. GK K. 
Clark, is the date we follow, and this accords with the recollection of the late Flanders 
CaUaway of Missouri. See Life of Boone in Sparks' Biography, p 18 Ed. 

1778. Indian Treacliery. 221 

before Boonesborough. The summons was to " surrender the 
fort in the name of his Britannic Majesty," with promises 
of liberal treatment.] 

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 Shawanese 
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 suc- 
cessful 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 represent- 
ative of his gracious Majesty for giving the garrison time to 
prepare for their defence, and announced their determination 
to fight. Capt. Du Quesne was much grieved at this ; Gov- 
ernor Hamilton was anxious to save bloodshed, and wished the 
Kentuckians taken alive ; and rather than proceed to extremi- 
ties, 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, arid be scalped, and he thought, remembering 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 garrison, as desired, 
safely venture into the open field ? It might be all a trick to 
get possession of some of the leading whites. Upon 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 every white man when a 

222 Hostility of the Mohawks. 1778. 

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 re- 
fuse 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. 

[Of the nine men, we can give the names of five ; from 
four of whom, we have heard the story : They were Daniel 
Boone, Flanders Callaway, Stephen Hancock and William 
Hancock, all of whom were living in Missouri in 1818. Squire 
Boone, the brother of Daniel, was the fifth. Neither party was 
armed. In rushing to the fort, Squire Boone was slightly 
wounded in the shoulder.] 

The treaty trick having thus failed, Capt. 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 Au- 
gust, 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.* 

[In the "Pioneer History," by Dr. Hildreth, we learn that in 
January, 1778, provisions became very scarce in the region 
about Pittsburgh. Flour was $8 per hundred pounds.] 

Meanwhile the United States had not lost sight entirely of 
western affairs. A fort was built early in the summer of this 
year, upon the banks of the Ohio, a little below Pittsburgh, near 
the spot where Beaver now stands. It was built by General 
Mclntosh, who had been appointed in May to succeed General 
Handf in the West, and was named with his name.J 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 

*See Butler, 534. Marshall i. Boone'a Narrative, Ac. 

fSparks' Washington, v. 361, 382. 

JDoddridge, p. 243. Silliman's Journal, vol. xxxi. Art. i. p. 18. 

1778. Operations in Ohio. 223 

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 at hand.* The Senecas, Cayu- 
gas, Mingoes, (by which, we presume, were meant, the Ohio 
Iroquois, or possibly the Mohawks,) Wyandots, Onondagas, 
Ottawas, Chippeways, Shawanese and Delawares, were all 
said to be more or less united in opposition to America. Con- 
gress, 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 
thousand continental troops and two thousand five hundred 
militia were voted ; an appropriation was made of nearly a 
million of dollars; and General Mclntosh was to carryfor- 
ward the needful operations. 

[Washington mentions Mclntosh as an officer of great worth 
and merit, possessing firmness, love of justice, assiduity, and a 
good understanding.!] 

All the flourish which was made about taking Detroit, how- 
ever, 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,J and a body of troops was 
accordingly 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 pres- 
ent town of Bolivar. In these quiet, commercial days the 
Ohio canal passes through its midst. It was named Fort Lau- 
rens, in honor of the President of Congress.J 

While these warlike measures were pursued on the one 
hand, the Confederacy, on the other, by its Commissioners, An- 
drew 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. 

*Journals of the Old Congress, vol. ii. p. 585. 
{Journals of the Old Congress, vol ii. p. 633. 

JSilliman's Journal, x.xxi. 57; where the name as in many treaties, <tc. is misprinted. 

224 Hostility of the Iroquois. 1779. 

We have already noticed the erection of Fort Laurens. At 
that point, seventy miles from Fort Mclntosh, and exposed to 
all the fierce north-western tribes, Col. Jno. Gibson had been left 
with one hundred and fifty men to get through the winter of 
1778-9, as he best could, while Mclntosh 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 definite advice, knowing nothing of those details 
which must determine the course of things for the winter. 
Mclntosh, 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 re- 
lieved, 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. 

Turning from the west to the north, we find a new cause of 
trouble arising there. Of the six tribes of the Iroquois, the 
Senecas, Mohawks, Cayugas, and Onondagas, had been, from 
the outset, inclining to Britain, though all of these, but the 
Mohawks, had n/rw and then tried to persuade the Americans 

/to the contrary. | During the winter of 1778-9, the Onondagas, 
who had been for a while nearly neutral, were suspected, by 
the Americans, of deception ;/and, this suspicion having be- 
come nearly knowledge,|a bamt 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 sud- 
den act of severity startled all. I The Oneidas, hitherto faith- 
ful to their neutrality, were alairoed, 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, it was not to be 
hoped that they wtfuld sit down under such treatment ; and 
we find, accordingly, that some hundred of their warriors 
were at once in the field, and from that time forward, a por- 

1779. General Sullivan's Expedition. 225 

tion of their nation remained, and, we think, justly, hostile to 
the United Colonies.* 

The Continental Congress, meanwhile, had become con- 
vinced, from the massacre 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 hostile tribes of the Six Nations 
being the most numerous and deadly foes, it was concluded to 
begin by strong action against them. Washington had al- 
ways said, that the only proper mode of defence against the 
Indians was to attack them, and this mode he determined to 
adopt on this occasion. Some difference of opinion existed, 
however, as to the best path into the country of the inimical 
Iroquois. 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 
on 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 Allegheny and French Creek. Upon further thought, 
however, the movement from the West was countermanded. f 
All the arrangements for this invasion were made in March 
and April, but it was the last of July before General Sullivan 
could get his men on their march 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 Johnsons, and their followers stood ready to receive 
the invaders. 

They were not, however, strong enough to withstand the 
Americans; and, having been defeated at the battle of New- 
ton, were driven from village to village, and their whole coun- 
try 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 towns, he tells us, were burnt, and more 
than one hundred and sixty thousand bushels of corn destroy- 

* Stone, vol. i. p. 205. 

t Sparks' Washington, vol. vi. pp. 183 ct. seq. 

226 Attack on Detroit Projected. 1778. 

ed. Well did the Senecas name Washington, whose armies 
did all this, "the Town Destroyer." Having performed this 
portion of his work, Sullivan turned homeward from the 
beautiful valley of the Genessee ; 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 destruction 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 proposed plan to attack Niagara ; 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 opera- 
tions 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 Mclntosh at Fort Pitt, that an 
incursion into the country of the Six Nations was in prepara- 
tion, and that in connection therewith, it might be advisable 
for a force to ascend the Allegheny to Kittaning, and thence 
to Venango, and having fortified both points, to strike the Min- 
goes and Munceys upon French Creek and elsewhere in that 
neighborhood, and thus aid Gen. Sullivan in the great blow he 
was to give by his march up the Susquehanna. ABrodhead 
was also directed to say to the Western Indians, niat 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 direct- 
ed 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 with- 
drawn again, we have no means of learning; but Brodhead 
proceeded as originally directed ; marched up the Allegheny., 
burned the towns of the Indians, and destroyed their crops<t J) 

The immediate results of this and other equally prompt > ail 
severe measures, was to bring the Delawares, Shawanese, and 
even Wyandots, to Fort Pitt, on a treaty of peace. There 
Bcodhead met them, on his return in September, and a long 
conference was held, to the satisfaction of both parties. 

*Life of Brant, vol. ii. p. 30. 

t Sparks' Washington, vol. vi. pp. 120, 146, 162, 205, 224, 384, 387. 

1779. Contests with the Indians. 227 

Farther west, during this summer and autumn, the Indians 
were more successful. In July, the stations being still trou- 
bled, Colonel Bowman undertook an expedition into the 
country of the Shawanese, acting upon the principle, that to 
defend yourself 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 Ben- 
jamin 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 one 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 

Nor was it long before they showed themselves south of the 
Ohio again, and unexpectedly \von a victory over the Ameri- 
cans of no slight importance. The facts, so far as we can 
gather them, are these : 

An expedition which had been in the neighborhood of Lex- 
ington, 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 Cap- 
tain Benham reached the same point on their way up the 
river in boats. A few of the Indians were seen by the com- 
mander 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. J It was in connection with this skirmish that 
an incident occurred which seems to belong rather to a fajri- 
ciful story than to sober history, and which yet appears to be 
well authenticated. In the party of whites was Captain 

Marshall i. 91. See General Ray's opinion, note to Butler, 110. 

tHolmes' Annals, ii. 304; note. American Pioneer, ii. 346. Butler, 101. Marshall, 
L 198. 

J Butler, 2d edition, 102. (In this account there is confusion; the Indians are re- 
presented as coining, on their return from Kentucky, down the Little Miami.) McClung, 

Singular Co-partnership. 1779 

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 evening of the second day, seeing a raccoon, he shot it, 
but no sooner was the crack of his rifle heard than he distin- 
guished a human voice not far distant ; supposing it to be 
some Indian, he reloaded 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 survivors of the combat, (ex- 
cept those who had entirely escaped,) with one pair of legs 
and one pair of arms between them. It will be easily be- 
lieved that they formed a co-partnership for mutual aid and 
defence. Benham shot the game which his friend drove to- 
wards him, and the man with sound legs then kicked it to the 
spot where he with sound arms sat ready to cook it. To pro- 
cure 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 after- 
wards 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 descendants. Of these laws we can 
give at best but a vague outline, but it may be enough to 
render the subject in some degree 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 Gov- 
ernment : none of these had been perfected by patents, how- 

2. Claims founded on the military bounty warrants of 1763; 
some of these were patentedj 

1779. Claims for Lands. 229 

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 occu- 

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 mtoney into the old co- 
lonial treasury for land. 

8. The claims of 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 ap- 
pointed to examine the various claims which might be pre- 
sented, and give judgment according to the evidence brought 
forward ; their proceedings, however, to remain open to revi- 
sion until December 1, 1780. And as the subject was a per- 
plexed 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 College, and founded upon charter ; upon importation 
rights duly proved ; upon treasury rights, (money paid into 
the colonial treasury ;) upon entries not exceeding four hun- 
dred acres, made before October 26, 1763; upon acts of the 
Virginia Assembly resulting from orders in council, &c.; 
upon any warrant from a colonial governor, for military 
services, &c. were to be good ; all other surveys null and 

II. Those who had not made surveys, if claiming under im- 
portation rights ; under treasury rights ; 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. 

*Morehead, 166. 

230 Claims for Lands. 1779. 

IV. Those who had settled in villages before January 1, 
1778, were to receive for each family four hundred acres, ad- 
jacent to the village, at $2 25 per hundred acres ; and the 
village property was to remain unsurveyed until the Gene- 
ral 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 
mountains, 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 public lands at 
forty cents an acre : the money was to be paid into the Trea- 
sury and a warrant 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 special and distinct, that the ad- 
joining 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 
westward 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 ef the surveyor commenced; 
and Mr. George May, \vho 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. 

1779. Virginia Land Laws. 231 

[The Governor of Virginia appointed and commissioned 
William Fleming, Edmund Lyne, James Barbour and Stephen 
Trigg as Commissioners for Kentucky ; but it was not until 
some time in October, 1779, they arrived in the country and 
opened court. The law itself was vague, and the proceed- 
ings of the court, and the certificates granted to claimants 
under the law, were more indefinite and uncertain. The de- 
scription of tracts were general, the boundaries not well 
defined, and consequently the claims, when located, inter- 
fered with each other. Every family that settled on waste or 
unappropriated lands belonging to Virginia, upon the western 
waters, was entitled to a pre-emption right to any quantity of 
land not exceeding four hundred acres ; and, upon the pay- 
ment of two dollars and twenty-five cents on each one hun- 
dred acres, a certificate was granted, and a title in fee simple 

Each settler could select and survey for pre-emption any 
quantity of waste or unappropriated lands, not exceeding one 
thousand acres to each claimant, for which forty dollars for 
each hundred acres were required. Payments could be made 
in the paper currency of Virginia, which had depreciated 

We give the following specimen from the record of the 
Commissioners' Court, to illustrate the vague manner in 
which tracts of land were described in the entry: 

" Michael Stoner this day appeared, and claimed a right of 
settlement and pre-emption to a tract of land lying on Sto- 
ner's Fork, a branch of the south fork of the Licking, about 
twelve miles above Licking Station, by making corn in the 
country in the year 1775, and improving said land in 1776. 
Satisfactory proof being made to the court, they are of opin- 
ion that said Stoner has a right to a settlement of four hun- 
dred acres of land, including the above mentioned improve- 
ment, and a pre-emption of one thousand acres adjoining the 
same, and that a certificate issue accordingly." 

"Joseph Combs, this day claimed a right to a pre-emption 
of one thousand acres of land lying on Comb's, since called 
Howard's creek, about eight miles above Boonesborough, on 
both sides of the creek, and about three or four miles from 
the mouth of it, by improving the said land, by building a 
cabin on the premises, in the month of May, 1775. Satisfkc- 
tory proof being made to the court, they are of opinion that 

*Life of Boone, in Sparks' Biography, p. 95. 

232 Commissioner's Court. 1779. 

the said Combs has a right to a pre-emption of one thousand 
acres, including the said improvement, and that a certificate 
issue accordingly." 

The sessions of this court were held at different places in 
Kentucky, to accommodate the claimants, for the period of 
one year, during which, about three thousand certificates 
were granted. The foregoing extracts illustrate the vague 
and undefined descriptions of localities. Many of the claims 
were rendered null from more specific and definite surveys 
covering the same land ; and many of the old pioneers, 
amongst whom was Daniel Boone, lost the lands they had 
entered and surveyed, by subsequent law suits.* 

The winter of 1779-80, was uncommonly severe through- 
out the United States, and has been distinguished as "the hard 
winter" The effect on the new settlements in the West was 
great distress and suffering. In Kentucky, the rivers, creeks 
and branches were frozen to an uncommon thickness where 
the water was deep, and became exhausted in shallow places. 
Horses and cattle died from thirst and starvation. The snow, 
from continuous storms, became of unusual depth and con- 
tinued a long time. Men could not hunt. Families were 
overtaken in the wilderness on their journey, and their pro- 
gress arrested, and there was great suffering. The supplies 
of the settlements were exhausted, and corn became extremely 

When the snow melted, and the ice broken up in the rivers, 
the low r grounds and river bottoms were submerged, and much 
of the stock that had survived the severity of the winter, per- 
ished in the waters. The game of the forest furnished meat, 
which was the only solid food to be obtained until the corn 
was grown. The summer brought large accessions to the 
population by emigration.] 

With the year 1780, 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 Con- 
gress 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 

* Marshall's Kentucky, rol. i. pp. 99, 100. 

1778. Claims of France and Spain. 233 

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 [of France,] being informed 
of the appointment of a Minister Plenipotentiary to treat of 
an alliance between the United States and his Catholic Ma- 
jesty, [of Spain,] has signified to his Minister Plenipotentiary 
to the United States, that he wishes most earnestly for such 
an alliance ; and in order to make the way more easy, has com- 
manded 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 themselves \vi\\\. 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 Uni- 
ted States. 

2. The exclusive navigation of the river Mississippi. 

3. The possession of the Floridas; and, 

4. The land on the lelt or eastern side of the river Missis- 

That on the first article, it is the idea of the Cabinet of 
Madrid, that the United States extend to the westward no far- 
ther than settlements were permitted by the Royal Proclama- 
tion, bearing date the 7th day of October, 1763, (that is to say, 
not west of the Alleghenies.) 

On the second, that the United States do not consider them- 
selves as having any right to navigate the river Mississippi, no 
territory belonging to them being situated thereon. 

On the third, that it is probable the King of Spain will con- 
quer the Floridas, during the course of the present war ; and 
in such an event, every cause of dispute relative thereto, be- 
tween 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 arms of Spain 
may be employed, for the purpose of making a permanent con- 
quest for the Spanish crown. That such conquest may, pro- 
bably, 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.* 

* See Pitkin's History of the United States, ii. p. 92. 


234 Increase of Immigration. 1779. 

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. Madison, and sent to the Ambassador at 
Madrid. f Meantime, as Virginia considered the use of the 
Great Western river very necessary to her children, Governor 
Jefferson had ordered a fort to be constructed upon the Mis- 
sissippi 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 wri- 
ter of the Declaration of Independence. This fort, for some 
purposes, may have been well placed, but it was a great mis- 
take 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 re- 
sented 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 Shawanese and Wyandots. 
The inhabitants of these stations, meanwhile, were increas- 
ing with wonderful rapidity under the inducements presented 
by the land laws. 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 ; f 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 Mississippi ; an attempt in which they failed. ; Nor 
was it to western lands and territorial boundaries alone that 

f Pitkin, ii. 512, 91. Life of John Jay./i. 108, &c. 

* Butler, second edition, 99. 

t Morehead, p. 83. 

I Marshall, i. 113. Holmes' Annals, ii. 304, note 3d. 

1780. Provision for Education. 235 

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 belonging 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 Com- 
monwealth always to promote and encourage every design which 
may tend to the improvement of the mind and the diffusion of use- 
ful knowledge even among its remote citizens, whose situation, in a 
barbarous neiglworhood and a savage intercourse, might otherwise 
render unfriendly to science : be it therefor enacted, that eight 
thousand acres of land, within the said county of Kentucky, 
late the property of those British subjects, (Robert McKenzie, 
Henry Collins, and Alexander McKee,) 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 within the said county, as soon as its circumstances 
and the state of its funds will permit.' " 

Thus was early laid the foundation of the first western 
Seminary of Literature, just five years after the forts of 
Boonesborough and Harrodsburg rose amidst the woods. 
Thus was the foundation laid for the establishment of Tran- 
sylvania University at Lexington. 

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, w r ith two field-pieces, marched up the 
valley of Licking. It first appeared, on the 22d of June, be- 
fore Ruddle's station, on the south fork of that river, and re- 
quired instant surrender. The demand could not- be resisted, 
as the Kentucky stockades were powerless against cannon. 
Martin's station on the same stream was next taken : and 
then, from some unexplained cause, the whole body of in- 
vaders 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 reasona- 
ble 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 

236 Clark's Invasion of the Indian Country. 1780. 

means a hopeless one of depopulating the woods of Ken- 

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 
ja 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 situated where the post de- 
stroyed by the French in 1752 had been, and was known in 
later days as Loramie's store. When, however, 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 accord- 
ingly given, accompanied by a full statement of the reasons 
for the. proceeding. The result proved, as usual, Clark's 
sagacity ; volunteers flocked to his standard, and soon, with a 
thousand men, he was at the mouth of the Licking. Silently 
and swiftly 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 thus broke down 
the influence of the British in that quarter. This expedition, 
the first efficient one ever undertaken against the Miami In- 
dians, for a time relieved Kentucky from the attack of any 
body of Indians sufficiently numerous to produce serious 
alarm. f During this period of comparative quiet, those mea- 
sures 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 con- 
federation were under discussion in Congress, the objections 

* Butler, 100. Marshall, i. 106, 107. Life of Boone in Sparky, 101. 

f For a particular account of this expedition, see' Stipp's Miscellany, 63 to 70. Butler 
1,17. Marshall i. 109. American Pioneer, i. 346. Boone's Life, 102. 

1778. Controversy about Lands. 237 

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 derived from a successful contest were to be general 
and proportionate ; and that the property of the common 
enemy, falling in consequence of a prosperous issue of the 
war, would belong to the United States, and be appropriated 
to their use. We are therefore greatly disappointed in find- 
ing no provision made in the confederation for empowering 
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 jurisdiction 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 Crown 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 abili- 
ties ; 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 advantage 
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 con- 

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 Confedera- 
tion, also passed certain resolutions, and one of them was in 
these words : 

Resolved also, That this state consider themselves justly en-- 
titled 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 United States, the property of which 
was not vested in, or granted to, individuals at the commence- 
ment of the present war. That the same hath been, or may 
be, gained from the king of Great Britain, or the native In- 
dians, by the blood and treasure of all, and ought therefore 
to be a common estate, to be granted out on terms beneficial 
to the United States.f 

But this protest, however positive, was not enough for 
Maryland, the representatives of which, in Congress, present- 

* See Secret Journal, i. p. 377. 
f See Secret Journal, i. p. 429. 

238 Controversy about Lands. 1780. 

ed 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 follow- 
ing passages : 

Virginia, by selling on the roost moderate terms a small 
portion of the lands in question, would draw into her trea- 
sury 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 comparatively 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 consequence in 
the scale of the confederated States would sink of course. A 
claim so injurious to more than one-half, if not the whole of 
the United States, ought to be supported by the clearest evi- 
dence 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 coun- 
try 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 pro- 
perty, subject to be parceled out by Congress, into free, con- 
venient, and independent governments, in such manner, and 
at such times as the wisdom of that assembly shall hereafter 

Thus convinced, we should betray the trust reposed in us 
by our constituents, were we to authorize you to ratify on 
their behalf the confederation, unless it be further explained. 
We have coolly and dispassionately considered the subject ; 
we have weighed probable inconveniences and hardships 
against the sacrifice of just and essential rights ; and do in- 
struct you not to agree to the confederation, unless an article, 
or articles be added thereto in conformity with our declara- 
tion. Should we succeed in obtaining such article or articles, 
then you are hereby fully empowered to accede to the con- 

These difficulties towards perfecting the Union were in- 
creased by the passage of the laws in Virginia, for disposing 
of the public lands ; this, as we have stated, was done in 
May, 1779. Apprehensive 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, 

*See Secret Journals, i. p. 435. 

1780. Controversy about Lands. 

and that she, and all other States claiming wild lands, be re- 
quested to grant no warrants during the continuance of the 
war. 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 common proper- 
ty, 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 March, 1780, 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 following resolution which formed the basis of 
all afler action, and was the first of those legislative meas- 
ures 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 particu- 
lar 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 States, 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 shall be so formed shall contain a suit- 
able extent of territory, not less than 100 nor more than 160 
miles square, or as near thereto as circumstances will admit : 
that the necessary and reasonable expenses which any par- 
ticular State shall have incurred since the commencement of 
the present war, in subduing any British posts, or in maintain- 
ing forts or garrisons within and for the defence, or in acqui- 
ring 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 under such regulations, as shall hereafter be agreed on by 
the United States in Congress assembled, or in any nine or 
more of them.f 

Such were the steps taken in relation to the great western 
wilderness during the year of which we are treating. 

[Kentucky was divided into three counties, by the Legisla- 

*01d Journals, iii. 384 385, 516, 535, 582. Land Laws, 338. 
tSee Land Laws, p. 338. 

240 Projected Attack on Detroit. 1780. 

ture of Virginia, in November, and a civil and military organi- 
zation provided in each. These were Jefferson, Fayette, and 
Lincoln. John Todd, an estimable man, was made Colonel, 
and Daniel Boone, Lieut. Colonel of Fayette county; John 
Floyd was appointed Colonel, and William Pope, Lieut. Co- 
lonel of Jefferson county ; Benjamin Logan was Colonel, and 
Stephen Trigg, Lieut. Colonel of Lincoln county. The three 
regiments were formed into a brigade, and placed under the 
command of Gen. G. R. Clark. 

Every county had a court of qualified civil and criminal 
jurisdiction; but there was no court competent to try capital 
offences nearer than Richmond, Virginia.*] 

In December of that year, the plan of conquering Detroit 
was renewed again. In 1779 that conquest might have been 
effected by Clark had he been supported by any spirit; in Janua- 
ry 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 October so 
weak was that establishment that Fort Pitt itself was threatened 
by the savages and British, while its garrison, destitute of bread, 
although there was an abundance in the country, were half dis- 
posed to mutiny. Under these circumstances, Congress being 
powerless for action, Virginia proposed to carry out the origi- 
nal 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.f How far the 
preparations for this enterprise 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 to Venango, (Franklin, 
mouth of French creelO with a force of refugees, and thence 
to Fort Pitt, with blank commissions for some hundreds of dis- 
satisfied men believed to be in that vicinity .J From this it 
would seem probable that the Detroit expedition was not 
abandoned at that time. 

^Marshall, i. p. 111. Butler, 114. 

fSparks' Washington, vi. 433; yii. 270, 343. 

J Sparks' Washington, viii. 25. This letter is not in the Index to Mr. Sparks' work. 

1780. Condition of St. Louis. 241 

It was in May, 1780, that an Act was passed for establishing 
the town of Louisville. 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 Campbell, 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, '83, and '84, were passed protecting and 
securing his interests while the share of his refugee partn er 
was disposed of.* 

[We now return to the condition of St. Louis. The troubles 
which followed the attempt of Spain to take possession of 
Lower Louisiana, left the upper settlements for some years in 
the hands of the French, in whose possession it remained until 
1770. According to the archives, M. St. Ange continued to 
officiate as commandant until that year. 

On the 29th of November, 1770, Piernas, the Spanish Com- 
mandant, arrived at St. Louis, but there is no official docu- 
ment or record to show that he exercised the functions of his 
office until February, 1771. Of his administration we give 
the language of Wilson Primm, Esq., in his oration at the 
"Celebration of the Anniversary" in 1847. 

The inhabitants were soon reconciled to the change of do- 
minion, for Piernas tempered all his official acts with a spirit 
of mildness, which characterized the course of nearly all his 
successors. Such measures, were, indeed, imperatively re- 
quired towards men who had come with ill humor under the 
Spanish power, and who would not, otherwise, have hesitated 
to follow the example before set, by their brethren at New 

The policy thus pursued, brought about the strongest at- 
tachment to Spain; and when, in 1800, the retrocession to 
France took place, the people manifested the deepest regret 
and dissatisfaction. 

The mildness of the form of government, the liberal spirit 
with which grants of valuable lands were made, in connection 
with the advantages which the trade of the country presented, 
soon attracted immigration from the Canadas, and Lower 
Louisiana. Settlements were formed along the Missouri and 

*Collection of Acts, &c., relative to Louisville, 1837, pp. 3-6. 

242 Condition of St. Louis. 1780. 

Mississippi rivers ; and as early as 1767, Vide Poc/ic, after- 
wards called Carondclct, in honor of the Baron de Caronde- 
let, was founded by Delor de Tregette. In 1776, Fiorisant, 
afterwards called St. Ferdinand, in honor of the King of 
Spain, was founded by Beaurosier Dunegant; and in 1769, 
Les Petite Cotes, now St. C/iarles, was established by Blan- 
chette Chasseur ; and numerous other small settlements sprang 
up, on the borders of the two rivers before named, and in the 
interior of the country. 

Piernas was succeeded in his office of Lieutenant Governor, 
by Don Francisco Cruzat, in 1775, and he in his turn was sup- 
planted by Don Fernando de Leyba, in the year 1778. 

At this time a material change had taken place in the po- 
litical relations which had previously existed between the 
European powers which claimed the northern portion of the 
American continent. 

The provinces had declared their independence of England, 
had published to the world, in language which even an un- 
willing memory could not forsret, the principles of self-govern- 
ment and of untrammelled freedom which belong to man 
wherever born, and wherever might be his home. England 
had called them traitors, and had treated them as rebels ; she 
had not hesitated, in her proud resentment, to use the most un- 
usual and barbarous means to enforce a blind and servile 
obedience to her power. But the American people remained 
unappalled in the direful conflict that ensued. Trusting in 
the justice and holiness of their cause, they eventually remain- 
ed unconquered, because they WILLED to be free. 

At the same time, in France, the faint glimmerings of man's 
rights to freedom from vassalage, began to be perceived, and 
the elements were at work, which, at a later period, led to the 
horrors of the Revolution, but eventually enabled the French 
people to establish, through a baptism of blood, a limited and 
constitutional monarchy. 

It must not be supposed that such a commotion in the po- 
litical world would be unfelt or unnoticed upon the western 
shores of the Mississippi. On the contrary, the feelings of 
aversion to England which had prompted the people of St. 
Louis to escape from the jurisdiction of the eastern shore, still 
lingered in their hearts ; and although Spain had exercised 
the most paternal rule over them, still they could not view 
unmoved, the conflict which was raging almost within their 
hearing, between the spirit of tyranny on the one hand, and 
the spirit of freedom on the other. 

The history of the invasion of St. Louis by the British and 
Indians in 1780, is involved in perplexity, owing to the state- 
ments made, and repeated by respectable authorities, concern- 
ing the proffered 'aid of Gen. G. R. Clark from the Illinois 

1780. Clark's Assistance to St. Louis. 243 

country, and the denial by others equally entitled to credit. 
The Editor to this edition, has spared no pains to decide this 
question, and has been obliged to leave it in some doubt, 
though he is satisfied there is some truth in the statement. 
To give the reader a full view of the subject, he will give the 
somewhat contradictory statement of different authors, and 
the result of his own reflections. 

W. Primm, Esq., an intelligent citizen of the place, and 
who has had access to every existing record, civil and eccle- 
siastical, gives the following :* 

In February, 1779, Col. George Rogers Clark, under au- 
thority of Virginia, after having struck many severe blows 
against the British power on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 
was in the neighborhood of St. Louis, raising men from 
amongst the French inhabitants of Cahokia and Kaskaskia, 
for the purpose of capturing St. Vincent's, now called Vin- 
cennes, and which was then in possession of the English under 
Governor Hamilton. 

Understanding from some source, that an attack was med- 
itated upon St. Louis, by a large force under British influence, 
that, too, at a time when Spain \vas contending with England 
for the possession of the Floridas, Clark, with that chivalrous 
spirit which has earned for him one of the brightest pages in 
American history, at once offered to the Lieutenant Governor 
Leyba, all the assistance in his power to repel the contem- 
plated attack. The offer of assistance was rejected, on the 
ground that no danger was really apprehended. 

In my former sketch of the history of St. Louis, I had placed 
the time of this offer by Clark in 1780.* Satisfied that' it was 
made anterior to that year, and whilst he was raising troops 
for the re-capture of Vincennes, I am not, however, permitted 
to withdraw the statement that such an offer was made. The 
testimony of witnesses then living, upon whose authority it 
was then made, leaves in my raind no room to doubt the cor- 
rectness of \he fact. In this, too, I am borne out by the au- 
thority of Stoddard in his Historical Sketches of Louisiana. 

The territory on which St. Louis stood, that on which sev- 
eral other towns had been located, and the surrounding country, 
were claimed by the Illinois Indians, but they had acquiesced 
in the intrusion of the whites, and had never molested them. 
But when the rumor of an attack upon the town began to 
spread abroad, the people became alarmed for their safety. 

The town was almost destitute of works of defence, but the 
inhabitants amounting to a little more than a hundred men> 
immediately proceeded to enclose it with a species of wall, 

* Celebration, February, 1847. 

244 Attack made on St. Louis. 1780. 

formed of the trunks of small trees, planted in the ground, 
the interstices being filled up with earth. The wall was some 
five or six feet high. It started from the half moon, a kind of 
fort in that form, situated on the river, near the present Float- 
ing Dock, and ran from thence a little above the brow of the 
hill, in a semi-circle, until it reached the Mississippi, some- 
what above the bridge, now on Second street. Three gates 
were formed in it, one near the bridge, and two others on 
the hill, at the points where the roads from the north-western 
and south-western parts of the common fields came in. At 
each of these gates was placed a heavy piece of ordnance, 
kept continually charged, and in good order. Having com- 
pleted this work, and hearing no more of the Indians, it was 
supposed that the attack haJ been abandoned. Winter 
passed away, and spring came; still, nothing was heard of 
the Indians. The inhabitants were led to believe that their 
apprehensions were groundless, from the representations of 
the commandant Leyba, who did everything in his power to 
dissipate their anxiety, assuring them that there was no dan- 
ger, and that the rumor of the proposed attack was false. The 
month of May came, the labors of planting were over, and 
the peaceful and happy villagers gave themselves up to such 
pursuits and pleasures as suited their taste. 

A few days before the attack, an old man named Quenelle, 
being on the opposite side of the river, saw another Frenchman 
by the name <if Ducharme, who had formerly absconded from 
St. Louis, who told him of the projected attack. The Govern- 
or called him "an old dotard," and ordered him to prison. 

In the meantime, numerous bands of the Indians living on 
the lakes and the Mississippi the Ojibeways, Menomenies, 
Winnebagoes, Sioux, Sacs, &c., together with a large number 
of Canadians, amounting, in all, to upwards of fourteen hun- 
dred had assembled on the eastern shore of the Mississippi, 
a little above St. Louis, awaiting the 26th of May, the day 
fixed for the attack. The 25th of May was the feast of Corpus 
C/iristi, a day highly venerated by the inhabitants, who were 
all Catholics. Had the assault taken place then, it would 
have been fatal to them; for, after divine service, all, men, 
women and children, had flocked to the prairie to gather 
strawberries, which were that season* very abundant and fine. 
The town, being left perfectly unguarded, could have been 
taken with ease, and the unsuspecting inhabitants, who were 
roaming about in search of fruit, could have been massacred 
without resistance. Fortunately, however, a few only of the 
enemy had crossed the river, and ambushed themselves in the 
prairie. The villagers frequently came so near them, in the 
course of the day, that the Indians, from their places of conceal- 

1780. Attack made on St. Louis. 245 

ment, could have reached them with their hands. But they 
knew not how many of the whites were still remaining in the 
town, and in the absence of their coadjutors, feared to attack, 
lest their preconcerted plan might be defeated. 

On the 26th, the body of the Indians crossed, and marched 
directly towards the fields, expecting 1 to find the greater part 
of the villagers there ; but in this they were disappointed, a 
few only having gone out to view their crops. These perceiv- 
ed the approach of the savage foe, and immediately com- 
menced a retreat towards the town, the most of them taking 
the road that led to the upper gate, nearly through the mass 
of Indians, and followed by a shower of bullets. The firing 
alarmed those who were in town, and the cry, "To arms ! to 
arms !" was heard in every direction. They rushed towards 
the works, and threw open the gates io their brethren. The 
Indians advanced slowly, but steadily, towards the town, and 
the inhabitants, though almost deprived of hope, by the vast 
superiority in numbers of the assailants, determined to defend 
themselves to the last. 

In expectation of an attack, Silvio Francisco Cartabona, a 
governmental officer, had gone to Ste. Genevieve for a com- 
pany of militia, to aid in defending the town, in case of neces- 
sity ; and had, at the beginning of the month, returned with 
sixty men, who were quartered on the citizens. As soon as 
the attack commenced, however, neither Cartabona nor his 
men could be seen. Either through fear or treachery, the 
greater part concealed themselves in a garret, and there re- 
mained until the Indians had retired. The assailed, being de- 
prived of a considerable force by this shameful defection, were 
still resolute and determined. About fifteen men were posted 
at each gate ; the rest were scattered along the line of defence, 
in the most advantageous manner. 

When within proper distance, the Indians began an irregu- 
lar fire, which was answered with showers of grape shot from 
the artillery. The firing, for a while, was warm; but the In- 
dians perceiving that all their efforts would be ineffectual, on 
account of the entrenchments, and deterred by the cannon, to 
which they were unaccustomed, from making a nearer ap- 
proach, suffered their zeal to abate, and deliberately retired. 
At this stage of affairs, the Lieutenant Governor made his ap- 
pearance. The first intimation that he received of what was 
going on, was by the discharge of artillery, on the part of the 
inhabitants. He immediately ordered several pieces of can- 
non, which were posted in front of the government house, to 
be spiked and filled with sand, and went, or rather icas rotted 
in a whcclbarroiv, to the scene of action. In a very perempto- 
ry tone, he commanded the inhabitants to cease firing, and 
return to their houses. Those posted at the lower gate, did 
not hear the order, and consequently kept their stations. The 

246 Massacre near St. Louis. 1780. 

commandant perceived this, and ordered a cannon to be fired 
at them. They had barely time to throw themselves on the 
ground, when the volley passed over them, and struck the 
wall, tearing a great part of it down. These proceedings, as 
well as the whole tenor of his conduct, after the first rumor of 
an attack, gave rise to Suspicions, very unfavorable to the 
Lieutenant Governor. It was freely said, that he was the 
cause of the attack, that he was connected with the British, 
and that he had been bribed into a dereliction of duty, which, 
had not Providence averted, would have doomed them to de- 
struction. Under the pretext of proving to them that there 
was no danger of an attack, he had, a few days before it oc- 
curred, sold to the traders all the ammunition belonging to 
the government; and they would have been left perfectly des- 
titute and defenceless, had they not found, in a private house, 
eight barrels of powder, belonging to a trader, which they 
seized in the name of the king, upon the first alarm. These 
circumstances gave birth to a strong aversion to the Comman- 
dant, which evinces itself, even at this day, in execrations of 
his ch aracter, whenever his name is mentioned to those who 
have known him. Representations of his conduct, together 
with a detailed account of the attack, were sent to New Or- 
leans by a special messenger, and the result was, that the 
Governor General reappointed Francisco Cruzat to the office 
of Lieutenant Governor. 

As soon as it was ascertained that the Indians had retired 
from the neighborhood, the inhabitants proceeded to gather 
and bury the dead, that lay scattered in all parts of the prai- 
rie. Seven were at first found, and buried in one grave. Ten 
or twelve others, in the course of a fortnight, were discovered 
in the long grass that bordered the marshes. The acts of the 
Indians were accompanied by their characteristic ferocity. 
Some of their victims were horribly mangled. With the ex- 
ception of one individual, the whites who accompanied the 
Indians, did not take part in the butcheries that were commit- 
ted. A young man, named Calve, was found dead, his skull 
split open, and a tomahawk, on the blade of which was writ- 
ten the word, "Calve," sticking in his brain. He was sup- 
posed to have fallen by the hand of his uncle. Had those 
who discovered the Indians in the prairie, fled to the lower 
gate, they would have escaped ; but the greater part of them 
took the road that led to the upper gate, through the very 
ranks of the enemy, and were thus exposed to the whole of 
their fire. About twenty persons, it is computed, met their 
death in endeavoring to get within the entrenchments. None 
of those within them were injured, and none of the Indians 
were killed ; at least, none of them were found. Their ob- 
ject was not plunder, for they did not attempt, in their retreat, 
to take with them any of the cattle or horses that were in the 

1780. Traitorous Conduct of Leyba. 247 

prairie, and which they might have taken ; nor did they at- 
tack any of the neighboring towns, where the danger would 
have been less, and the prospect of success greater. The 
only object they had in view, was the destruction of St. 
Louis ; and this would seem to favor the idea that they were 
instigated by the English, and gives good ground, when con- 
nected with other circumstances, to believe that Leyba was 
their aider and abettor. 

Thus ended an attack, which, properly conducted, might 
have been destructive to the infant town, and which, from 
the number of the enemy, and the danger incurred, was 
calculated to impress itself deeply on the minds of those 
who witnessed it. It forms an era in the history of the 
place ; and the year in which it occurred, has ever since 
been designated by the inhabitants as the year of the blow 
"L'annee du Coup" 

Leyba, aware that representations of his course had been 
specially forwarded to the Governor General at New Or- 
leans, and fearful of the consequences, and unable to bear 
up under the load of scorn and contempt which the inhabi- 
tants heaped upon him, died a short time after the attack, 
suspected by many of having hastened his end by poison. 

Upon his death, Cartabona performed the functions of 
government until the following year, when Cruzat returned 
to St. Louis, and assumed the command as Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor a second time. 

There can be no doubt that Leyba, like another Arnold, 
was seduced into defection from his duty, and that it was only 
the unflinching daring of the people of St. Louis, that saved 
this infant outpost from utter destruction. 

The population of St. Louis at the period of this attack 
was about eight or nine hundred, of all ages and classes. 
Hutchins* says (1"71) "At Ste. Genevieve there were two 
hundred and eight whites and eighty negroes, capable of 
bearing arms ; and at St. Louis, four hundred and fifteen 
whites and forty blacks. He further states there were one 
hundred and twenty houses in St. Louis, some of which were 
of stone, large and commodious." The whole white popula- 
tion he makes eight hundred, and of negroes, one hundred 
and fifty. 

Stoddard,in his "Sketches of Louisiana," (p. 79) says : 

" The commandant of Michilimackinac in 1780, assembled 
about fifteen hundred Indians, and one hundred and forty 
English, and attempted the reduction of St. Louis, the capital 

*!Iistorical and Topographical Description of Louisiana. 

248 Sketches of Major Stoddard. 1780. 

of Upper Louisiana. During the short time they were be- 
fore that town, sixty of the inhabitants were killed, and thirty 
taken prisoners. Fortunately, General Clark was on the op- 
posite side of the Mississippi with a considerable force. On 
his appearance at St. Louis with a strong detachment, the 
Indians were amazed. They had no disposition to quarrel 
with any other than Louisianians, and charged the English with 
deception. In fine, as the jealousy of the Indians was ex- 
cited, the English trembled for their safety, and therefore 
secretly abandoned their auxiliaries, and made the best of 
their way into Canada. The Indians then returned to their 
homes in peace. 

This expedition, as appears, was not sanctioned by the Eng- 
lish court, and the private property of the commandant was 
seized to pay the expenses of it most likely because it proved 

Major Amos Stoddard, author of the " Sketches, Historical 
and Descriptive, of Louisiana,'' 1 was an officer of the United 
States, and constituted the agent of France to receive Upper 
Louisiana from the Spanish authorities and make the transfer 
to the United States. He was an accomplished scholar in 
science and general literature, read French, and was in the 
country in the discharge of his official duties from March, 
1804 to 1809. A part of the time his head quarters were in 
St. Louis. He was personally acquainted and intimate with 
the more intelligent inhabitants of the place, had access to 
public archives, which he carefully examiued, and made ex- 
tensive excursions throughout the country. Respectable men 
in most of the districts, and especially at St. Louis, furnished 
him with such local information as they possessed. And in 
carefully comparing his statements in general with the pub- 
lished authorities and other documents from whence he 
derived many facts in his Sketches, we find him accurate. 
Yet, in thi^ statement of the attack he is certainly inaccurate, 
though, doubtless, he wrote as he was informed from the re- 
collections of the people. The number of British officers and 
troops is much overrated. And, certainly, General Clark at 
the time of the invasion was not "onthe opposite side of the 
Mississippi," nor did he make "his appearance at St. Louis 
with a strong detachment," for at that eventful crisis, he was 
below the mouth of the Ohio establishing Fort Jefferson. From 
thence he proceeded by land to Harrodsburg in Kentucky, in 
the month of June : was at the Falls (Louisville) the 14th of 

1780. Document of Mr. Nicollet. 249 

July, and by the 2nd of August had an army of one thousand 
men raised to march against the Indians in Ohio. Besides, 
Colonel John Todd, was "County Lieutenant," or command- 
ant at Kaskaskia, in May, 1780. 

As subsequent historians have followed mainly the state- 
ment of Major Stoddard, we have no occasion to examine 
their testimony. 

Mr. Nicollet, in a documentary report of an exploration of 
the Upper Mississippi, published by the United States' Senate, 
February, 1841, containing a "Sketch of the Early History of 
St. Louis," and who examined the papers of the late Col. Au- 
guste Chouteau, denies the offer or the interference of Gen. 
Clark, alleging that, "with his men, he then occupied the impor- 
tant post of Kaskaskia, which is more than fifty-six miles S. 
E. of St. Louis; and that, consequently, this gallant officer could 
not have had time, even if it had fell within the line of his 
duty, to aid in an affair that concerned the Spaniards and the 
British, which was planned as a surprise, and lasted but a few 

Mr. Nicollet was mistaken in the date, or else a typographi- 
cal error crept into the printed copy, for it was not the 6th, 
but the 26th, of May the assault was made. This is evident 
from the records of the church, concerning the burial of the 
slain, and is sustained by Mr. Primm in the document already 
given. He was also mistaken in supposing General Clark to 
have been at Kaskaskia at that time. Judge Martin* says : 

' In the fall, [1780] the British commanding officer at Mich- 
illimackinac, with about one hundred and forty men from 
his garrison, and near fourteen hundred Indians, attacked the 
Spanish post at St. Louis ; but Col. Clark, who was still at 
Kaskaskia, came to its relief. The Indians, who came from 
Michiliirnackinac, having no idea of fighting any but Span- 
iards, refused to act against Americans, and complained of 
being deceived. Clark released about fifty prisoners that had 
been made, and the enemy made the best of his way home." 

Judge Marlin refers to Stoddard. Judge Hall has given a 
graphic description of the assault, the substance of which he 
had from the Address of W. Primm, Esq., before the St. Louis 
Lyceum, in 1831, and subsequently published in the Illinois 
Magazine, of which Judge Hall was Editor. He says nothing 
about the interference of General Clark.f 

* History of Louisiana, vol. ii., p. 53. 
t Sketches of the West, vol. 1 : 171, 172. 


250 The Explanation. 1780. 

Amidst this conflicting testimony, the reader naturally in- 
quires, what is the truth ? 

We subjoin the following facts and suggestions : 

There was constant intercourse between the inhabitants of 
St. Louis and those of Cahokia and Kaskaskia, and each 
party felt interested in the welfare of the other. 

In the spring of 1779, when Clark was at Cahokia and 
Kaskaskia, St. Louis was threatened by a British and Indian 
force from the North. This the gallant General learned from 
the Indians of Illinois, who were friendly, and he communi- 
cated the intelligence to the inhabitants, and, through them, 
to Governor Leyba, by the medium of his French associates of 
Illinois. It was then he proffered aid, should the town be at- 
tacked. When the attack was made, a year after, he had 
left the Illinois country, and was at the Chickasaw Bluffs, 
establishing Fort Jefferson, to which point he went early in 
1780, by the Mississippi river. 

This proffered aid, in case of an invasion, made in 1779, 
was not without its effect. It produced a friendly feeling in 
St. Louis, and the contiguous settlements, to the Americans, 
\vhich was subsequently manifested in the encouragement 
given by the commandants to emigration across the Missis- 
sippi. We conceive the statement of Mr. Primm, heretofore 
given, to be the correct one. 

There is one fact that must remain unexplained. Taking 
the lowest statement of the invading force, and, with an im- 
becile commander, as Leyba unquestionably was, they could 
have destroyed St. Louis, and massacred all its inhabitants. 
It appears, from all accounts, the Indians, after killing and 
scalping about twenty persons, who were out of the town in 
the fields, and making an attack on the gates, suddenly re- 
tired, refusing to co-operate any longer with their British al- 

Tradition says, they were instigated to make this attack by 
a renegade French trader, in revenue for some injury he had 
received at St. Louis, and that finding persons they knew, and 
with whom they had formerly associated, and whom they 
recognized as friends, they withdrew of their own accord. 
Be this as it may, we regard their relinquishment of the at- 
tack as a merciful interposition of Providence. 

1780. Proposition Made by Virginia. 251 

"In the autumn of 1780, La Balme, a native of France, 
made an attempt to carry an expedition from Kaskaskia 
against Detroit. With twenty or thirty men, he marched 
from Kaskaskia to Post Y mcennes > where he was joined by a 
small reinforcement. He then moved up the Wabash, and 
reached the British trading post, Ke-ki-ong-a, at the head of 
the Maumee. After plundering the traders, and some of the 
Indians, he marched from the post, and encamped near the 
river Aboite. A party of the Miami Indians attacked the 
encampment in the night. La Balme and several of his fol- 
lowers were slain, and the expedition was defeated." *] 

We now enter on the Annals of 1781. 

Virginia, in accordance with the recommendation of Con- 
gress already noticed, upon the 2d of January of this year, 
agreed to yield her western lands to the United States, upon 
certain conditions ; among which were these : 1st, no person 
holding ground under a purchase from the natives to him or 
his grantors, individually, and no one claiming under a grant 
or charter from the British crown, inconsistent with the char- 
ter or customs of Virginia, was to be regarded as having a 
valid title ; and 2d, the United States were to guarantee to 
Virginia all the Territory south-east of the Ohio to the Atlan- 
tic, as far as the bounds of Carolina. These conditions Con- 
gress 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.f 

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 Brit- 
ish posts of the north-west. Whether this attempt originated 
in a desire to revenge the English and Indian siege of St. 
Louis, in the previous year, or whether it was a mere pre- 
tence 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 impossible 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 Eng- 

* Dillon's Indiana, vol. 1, p. 190. 
| Old Journals, ir. 265 to 267. 

252 Birth of Mary Hcckewelder. 1781. 

lish : 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 Mississippi again, and left the Long Knives 
to prosecute the capture of Detroit, as they best could.* 

In the spring of this year, an army of eight hundred men, 
under command of Colonel Brodhead, marched from Wheel- 
ing, the place of rendezvous, to destroy some Indian settle- 
ments at Coshocton, near the forks of the Muskingum river. 
This army reached the principal village, on the east side of 
the river, and took a number of prisoners, of which sixteen 
were killed with the tomahawk, and scalped. Their march 
further, was arrested by the river, which was unusually high, 
and the villages on the west side escaped destruction, and the 
army retired. f > 

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 relative to the Christian Delawares and 
their teachers. 

Soon after my birth, times becoming very troublesome, the 
settlements were oiten in danger from war parties ; and finally, 
in the beginning of September, of the same year, we were all 
made prisoners. First, four of the missionaries were 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 Sho2nbrun. 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, g^oing 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, 

* Diplomatic Correspondence, iii. 339; viii. 150. Secret Jownals, iv. 64, 74. 
t Dillon'8 Indiana, i. 190. 

1781. Sufferings of the Moravians. 253 

consented on condition that she should be brought 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 flourishing settlements, and forced to march 
through a dreary wilderness to Upper Sandusky. We went 
by land through Goseachguenk to the Walholding, and then 
partly by water and partly along the banks of the river, to 
Sandusky Creek. All the way I was carried by an Indian 
woman, carefully wrapt 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 provi- 
sions and everything they had saved. Those that went by 
land drove the cattle, 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 continuation of 

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 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 noth- 
ing to satisfy the cravings of hunger ; and the poorest of the 
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 betrayed the red men's in- 
terests to their religious white kinsfolk ; the pale-faced In- 
dian-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 jealousies assumed form, and the missionaries having 
actually been guilty of the crime of interpreting to the Dela- 

* American Pioneer, ii. 224. 

* la October, 1777, a party of Americans crossed the Ohio to attack the Morayian 
towns. Heckewelder's Narrative, 165. 

254 The Missionaries on Trial. 1781. 

ware chiefs, certain letters received from Pittsburgh, measures 
were taken by the English, as early, it seems, as 1779, to re- 
move 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 Chris- 
tians, as the settlements were in the country claimed by the 
Five Nations. The New York savages were perfectly will- 
ing the thing should be done, but were not willing to do it 
themselves, so they sent to the Ottawas and Chippeways* a 
message to the effect that they might have the Moravian con- 
gregations to make soup of. The Ottawas, in their turn, de- 
clined 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 \vish 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 Oc- 
tober, Heckewelder and his co-laborers were 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 
Sandusky, toward the close of November. f 

While the English and their red allies were thus persecut- 
ing 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 op- 
portunity to destroy the Moravian towns, and it was with dif- 
ficulty 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 

* The Ojibeways or Odjibways, as it is lately written in conformity with the true sound 
and old writing. Schoolcraft's Algic Researches. American State Papers, v. 707. 718. 

t See a full account in Ilecke welder's Narrative, 230 299. 

1781. An Ambuscade. 255 

of safety to Brodhead's camp, was also murdered by a noted 
partisan, named Wetzel.* 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. f 

The particular cause of this attempt, on the part of the 
Americans, was the series of attacks made during t^iis year by 
small bands of Indians, along the whole range of stations, 
from Laurel Hill to Green river. The details of these incur- 
sions may be found in Withers' Border Warfare, 225, and 
Marshall's Kentucky, I. 115. Among these details, the mass 
of which we, of necessity, omit, is the following, which seems 
worthy of especial notice. Squire BooneV station, near 
Shelbyville, being very much exposed, those within it deter- 
mined to seek a place of greater security : while on their way 
to the Beargrass settlements, they were attacked by the In- 
dians. Colonel Floyd, hearing of this, 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 ex- 
hausted, 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.J 

Colonel Wells removed to Missouri in 1817, settled in St. 
Charles county, where he died, beloved and respected by his 

In addition to the incursions by the northern Indians, this 

* 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 
frem Heckewelder, who says 1781. For a full account of Lewis Wetzel, the very embodi- 
ment of the most reckless class of frontier-men, gee Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 121, 
161, 169, 177. 

f Border Warfare, 229. Doddridge, 262. 

J Butler, 2d edition, 119. Marshall, i. 115. Marshall, says this took place in April, 
Butler in September, and refers to Colonel F's. MS. letters. 

256 Officers Appointed in Kentucky. 1781. 

year witnessed the rising of the Chickasaws against Fort Jef- 
ferson, 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 ac- 
quired great influence with the tribe, and whose descendants 
have since been among the 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, wtyen under a flag of truce, which provoked the sav- 
ages beyond all control, and had not Clark arrived with rein- 
forcements, 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 settle- 
ments, and of very little use at any rate.* 

Meantime the internal organization of Kentucky was pro- 
ceeding 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 intercept 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 ; while Thomas Marshall was appointed to the 
same post in Fayette, and James Thompson in Lincoln. Of the 
three, however, only the last opened his office during the 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 depreciated curren- 
cy, the effect of which was to make land cost in specie only 
half a cent an acre. 

[Towards the autumn of 1781, marauding parties of In- 
dians again visited the frontiers of Kentucky. Boonesborough 
being now an interior station remained unmolested. The 
people at a station in the vicinity of Shelbyville became 
alarmed at Indian signs and attempted to remove to Fort Nel- 

*Butler, 2d edition, 119. 

1781. Attack on the McAfee Station. 257 

son. They were attacked by a large body of Indians, defeated 
and dispersed. 

Amongst the resolute and active men among the pioneers 
of Kentucky were the McAffees, three brothers, Samuel, 
James and Robert McAffee, who made a station in the vicinity 
of Harrodsburgh. They were vigorous, athletic men, of 
honorable principles, and members of the Presbyterian church. 
Like the other pioneers, they were frequently brought into 
deadly conflict with the Indians. 

It was in the month of May, 1781, that Samuel McAffee 
and another man were fired on by Indians and the man fell. 
McAffee turned and ran towards the fort, but in a few yards 
met another Indian in the path. Each attempted to fire at 
the same instant, but the Indian's gun missed fire, while 
McAffee shot him through the heart. The two other brothers, 
hearing the guns, came to the rescue, but had a most peri- 
lous escape to the fort. 

In a few moments the fort was assailed by a large party, 
and while the men used their rifles, the women cast the 
bullets, and provided refreshments. The firing was heard at 
other stations, and Major McGary and forty men were soon 
on the trail of the Indians, whom they overtook and routed.* 

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.] 

*Marsball'8 Kentucky, i. 11 T. 



Massacre of the Moravian Indians Capture and burning of Glonel Crawford Defeat of 
Colonel Laughery Attack on Bryant's Station Battle of the Blue Licks Expedition 
against the Indians in Ohio by General Clark Peace with Great Britain Instructions 
to Ind;an Commissioners Difficulties abjut carrying out certain conditions of .the 

[ We have already noticed the establishment of Fort Jeffer- 
son, on the Mississippi, a few miles below the mouth of 
the Ohio, by General Clark. The country was claimed by 
the Chickasaw Indians, and they remonstrated at this intrusion 
on their territory. The remonstrance being disregarded, they 
prepared to repel the invaders by force. Early in the sum- 
mer of 1781, when the garrison was reduced to about thirty 
men, many of whom were invalids, the Indians attacked the 
fort with a large force. These Chickasaws were led by Col- 
bert, a half breed chief, whose father was a Scotch trader. 
The siege was pressed with vigor six days, and several assaults 
made by the invaders, who were driven back by the artillery, 
loaded with grape and musket balls. The garrison was re- 
lieved by. the timely appearance of General G. R. Clark, with 
a' reinforcement and a supply of provisions. Shortly after- 
wards, the Governor of Virginia ordered it to be dismantled 
and abandoned. The order being executed, the Chickasaws 
were at peace.* 

This year the crops of wheat, corn, and provisions of all 
kinds were abundant in the West, and the autumn brought 
great numbers of emigrants to Kentucky. 

We have already noticed the sufferings of the Moravians 
on the Muskingum, in 1781. These' people were religiously 
opposed to war in every form, and taught their Indian con- 
verts this lesson. Hence the savage Indians despised and 
persecuted them, and were notorious for charging the depre- 
dations committed by themselves, on the "praying Indians," 
as the Moravian converts were called. 

As early as 1769, the praying Indians upon the Delaware 
river had removed westward, and commenced three settle- 

ucky, i. 112; Butler, 119; Monette, ii. 122. 

1781. The Moravian Indians. 259 

ments upon the Muskingum river, which were called Gnaden- 
hutten, Sehoenbrun, and Salem. They were situated in the 
south part of Tuscarawas county. The Missionaries, through 
whose benevolent labors they were converted, were David 
Zeisberger, Michael Jung, Christian Frederic Post, (already 
mentioned, page 105,) and John Heckewelder. Here they 
intended to live in peace, and extend their truly Christian 
labors to the tribes of the north-west. 

The converted Indians had adopted civilized habits, were 
able to read, and had cleared and cultivated farms in common 
fields. They had several hundred acres of corn on the rich 
bottom lands of the river had two hundred cattle, and four 
hundred hogs. These Indians were chiefly Delawares, and 
as a portion of the uncivilized Delaware nation were un- 
friendly to the United States, the frontier people entertained 
strong prejudices against the jM'lTftjtg Delawares. 

Many persons thought, or pretended to think, that, although 
these Christian Indians had renounced war and theft, they 
gave information to the savage tribes. They treated all 
Indians that passed through their towns with Christian hospi- 
tality, and, therefore, were accused of furnishing supplies to 
war parties. 

Nor did they fare any better from the other side. The 
Wyandots were mortal enemies to the United States, and at 
war with them, and they accused the Moravian Indians of 
being in communication with the Americans, and even with 
the military of the United States. 

The British officers, at Detroit, in the year 1781, made ap- 
plication to the Six Nations, to have the praying Indians re- 
moved, and the subject was considered in a council at Niaga- 
ra, where the Iroquois, in their figurative language, authorized 
the Ottawas and Ojibeways to kill them. " We herewith 
make you a present of the Christian Indians, to make soup \X 
of," was the form of address ; to which both the Ojibeways 
and Ottawas returned for answer, " We have no cause for 
doing this." 

The same year, the Wyandots, led by a noted chief, called 
the Half-King, arrived at the Moravian towns, with two hun 
dred warriors, on their way to the settlements in Western Vir- 
ginia, and threatened these peaceable Indians with destruction. 

260 Colonel Williamson's Volunteers. 1781. 

The fact has long since been established beyond all dispute, 
that these praying Indians lived according to their profession 
that they did all they could to prevail on the Ohio Indians 
to live in peace, and that when they knew of any hostile 
parties intending an attack on the settlements, they sent run- 
ners and gave them timely warning. 

Those renegadoes, Girty, McKee and Elliott, who held 
commissions in the British service, did what they could to ex- 
cite hostilities against them. The Half-King and Captain Pipe 
were their enemies. Finally, British officers employed the 
Wyandots to remove them and their teachers from their own 
towns and country, to San dusky. Their corn was left in the 
field and their cattle in the woods. 

During the following winter, their missionaries were sepa- 
rated from them, and sent as prisoners to Detroit. Not only 
the missionaries, but the people, were treated with great 
severity. The British finally released them, and suffered 
them to return. 

In the autumn of 1781, Colonel David Williamson raised a 
corps of volunteers in Western Pensylvania, and marched to 
the Moravian towns, with the design of removing the inhabi- 
tants to Pittsburgh, but he had been anticipated by the Wyan- 
dots and British. 

A few persons were still at the towns, whom he took pri- 
soners, and removed them to Pittsburgh. 

It is supposed that Colonel Williamson thought that the re- 
moval of the praying Indians to Sandusky was proof enough 
of their treachery. During the winter, several persons and 
families were killed along the Ohio river, probably by Wyan- 
dots, and these massacres were laid to the Christian Dela- 
wares. {Unfortunately, about one hundred and fifty, men, 
women r^nd children, returned to their towns in February, of 
which fact Colonel Williamson learned, and early in March, 
with an irregular force collected from the regions of the Ohio 
and Monongahela rivers, of about sne hundred men, without 
authority from any civil or military power, he made a rapid 
march to the Muskingum, where the party arrived on the 7th 
of March, 

Their professed object was to capture and remove the 
Christian Delawares, and destroy their houses and fields. A 

ive it tot 
re given \ 

17S2. Massacre of the Moravian Indians. 261 

number of the people were at work in their corn fields, when 
this hostile force appeared, who ran to the village of Gnaden- 
hutten. Several men and one woman were killed. They were 
told it was the intention to take them to Pittsburgh, where they 
would be protected, and were directed to enter two houses 
and remain for the night. 

The commander of the party then proposed to leave 
his men to decide by vote their fate, and orders were 
that those who were for sparing their lives should step out in 
front. Of some ninety men present, only seventeen or eigh- 
teen voted to spare their lives ! This sentence was then an- ^ 
nounced to the people. They spent the night in prayer and &j 
in singing hymns. In the'morning the terrible slaughter com-<^ 
menced. No resistance was made. Guns, tomahawks, and 
hatchets were used. Two only escaped; one, a young man 
about seventeen years of age, wounded, bleeding and scalped, 
crept into the bushes and lived ; another crawled under the 
floor, where he lay until the blood <of his murdered relations 
poured in streams upon him. /7l/yLC t^O ^ 

The buildings were set oh fire, and the bodies partially con- 
sumed. Colonel Williamsom and his men returned to receive 
the execrations of their countrymen. Both the civil and mil- 
itary authorities of the State and nation reprobated the dire- 
ful deed ! 

Forty men, twenty-two women, and thirty-two children 
were thus destroyed ! jf 

It would seem, from all the testimony in the case, that Wil- 
liamson was inclined to mercy. Such was his plea in justifi- 
cation of the part he acted, but he was the commander, and 
ought to have known his duty. /'The only palliation that can 
be offered, is the infatuation under which they labored, that 
these Indians were concerned in the murder of the frontier 

It was in March of 1782, that this great murder was com- 
mitted. And as the tiger, having once tasted blood, longs for 
blood, so it was with the frontier-men ; and another expedi- 

*For further details the reader is referred to HecFe welder's Narrative, pp. 313-328 
Brown's History of Missions; History of Missions by Smith and Choules ; American Pi-; 
oneer, vol. ii. pp. 425-432; Monette's Valley of the Mis-issippi, vol. ii. pp. 129-131; 
Doddridge, pp. 248, 255 ; Withers' Border Warfare, pp. 232-239 ; and var'ous public 
documents. [Ed. 

262 Crawford Taken. 1782. 

tion was at once organized, to make a dash at the towns of 
the Moravian Delawares and Wyandots, upon the Sandusky. 
No Indian was to be spared; friend or foe, every red man 
was to die. The commander of the expedition was Colonel 
William Crawford, Washington's old agent in the West.' He 
cR^io i r i WSPPf8^go7n3Ut 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 
deserted, and the savages on the 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 chirty-three miles distant ; they had 
eleven prisoners of us- 1 , and four scalps, the Indians being sev- 
enteen in number. 

Colonel Crawford 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 time 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 
informed him that his son-in-law, Colonel Harrison, and his 
nephew, William Crawford, were made prisoners by the Shaw- 
anese, 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 paint- 
ing me he told me I should go to the Shawanese 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 to see his friends at 
the Wyandot to\vn. When we marched, the Colonel and I 
were kept back between Pipe and Wyngenirn, the two Dela- 
ware 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 

1782. Crawford's Death. 2G3 

other. When we arrived within half a mile of the place 
where the Colonel was executed, we overtook the five prison- 
ers 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 number of squaws and boys, who fell on the five pris- 
oners .and tomahawked them. There was a certain John 
McKinly amongst the prisoners, formerly an officer in the 13th 
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 were then conducted along to- 
ward the place where the Colonel was afterwards executed ; 
when we came within 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 be- 
hind, could not hear what passed between them. 

Almost every Indian we met, struck us either with sticks 
or their fists. Girty waited till I was brought up, and asked, 
was that the Doctor? 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 Colo- 
nel then called to Girty, and asked if they intended to burn 
him? Girty answered, 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 feet as far up as his 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 con- 
sequence thereof. 

The fire was about six or seven yards from the post to which 

264 Crawford's Death. 1782. 

the Colonel was tied; it was made of small hickory poles, 
burnt quite through in the middle, each end of the poles re- 
maining 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 tormentors 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 midst 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 de- 
rision, told the Colonel he had no gun, at the same time turn- 
ing about to an Indian who was behind him, laughed heartily, 
and by all his gestures seemed delighted at the horrid scene. 
Girty 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 Shawanese towns. He swore by G d I need not 
expect to escape death, but should suffer it in all its enormities. 
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 matter, but being at the time in great 
anguish and distress for the torments the Colonel was suffer- 
ing 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 suffering, besought 
the Almighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, and 
bore his torments with the most manly fortitude. He con- 
tinued in all the extremities 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 rny face, 
telling me, "that was my great captain." An old squaxv 
(whose appearance every way answered the ideas people en- 
tertain 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 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 

1782. Treatment of the Moravians by the British. 265 

spectacle. Next morning 1 , 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 gav<e 
the scalp halloo. 

In strange, but pleasant contrast to the treatment of the 
Christian Indians upon the Muskingum, we have to record 
next, the conduct of the British toward their religious leaders 
during this same spring. Girty, who early in the season had 
led a band of Wyandots against the American frontiers, had 
left orders to have Heckewelder 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 consideration, aid- 
ing 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 
settlement 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 un- 
importance ; we refer to Estill's defeat by a party of Wyan- 
dots. 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 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 hos- 
tility toward the Indian races. 

* Heckewelder 's Narrative, 308, 329-349. 

f Marshall (i. 126) says May; we follow Chief Justice Kobortson, quoted hy Butler (124 
note) who says March 22. See also Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, L 3. This is a detailed 


266 Defeat of Colonel Laughery. 1782. 

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 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 Pontiac, or a Tecumthe, it is impossible to esti- 
mate the injury they might have inflicted. 

[ It was the same spring, that the calamitous defeat of Col- 
onel Archibald Laughery occurred. This gentleman had been 
requested, by Colonel Clark, to raise one hundred volunteers 
in the county of Westmoreland, Pa., to aid him against the 
Ohio Indians. The company was raised principally at his 
own expense, and he also provided the outfit and munitions 
for the expedition. In this he was aided by the late Robert 
Orr, by birth an Irishman, but who manifested a deep and 
generous interest in his adopted country. Mr. Orr was one of 
the officers, and next in command under Colonel Laugh- 

There were one hundred and seven men in the expedition, 
who proceeded in boats down the Ohio, to meet General 
Clark, at the Falls. At the mouth of a creek in the south- 
eastern part of Indiana, that bears the name of the com- 
mander, the boats were attacked by the Indians. Of the 
whole detachment, not one escaped. Colonel Laughery 
was killed, and most of his officers. Captain Orr, who com- 
manded a company, had his arm broken with a ball. The 
wounded, who were unable to travel, were dispatched with 
the tomahawk, and the few who escaped with their lives, 
were driven through the wilderness to Sandusky. Captain 
Orr was taken to Detroit, where he lay in the hospital for 
several months, and, with the remnant who lived, was ex- 
changed, in the spring of 1783. On the 13th of July, while 
Mr. Orr was in captivity, Hannahstown, in Westmoreland 
county, where his wife and children resided, was attacked and 
burnt by the Indians, and his house and all his property de- 
stroyed. Captain Orr, subsequently, was one of the associate 
Judges of the county, maintained a highly respectable char- 

1782. Attack on Bryant's Station. 267 

acter, and died in 1833, in the eighty-ninth year of his 

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 sta- 
tion, a post on the bank of the Elkhorn, about five miles from 
Lexington. The garrison of this post had heard, on the even- 
ing of the 14th, of the defeat of a party of whites not far dis- 
tant, and during that night were busy in preparations to 
march, with day-break, to the assistance of their neighbors. 
All night long their preparations continued, 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 cap- 
tivity or death. Rushing to tjie 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 instantly to rush forth upon the attackers, 
but there was something in the manner of the Indians so pe- 
culiar, 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, 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. t These opponents, however, had still a sad 
difficulty 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 

* Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, p. 97 ; MS. Letters of Robert Orr, Esq., 
of Pittsburgh. ED. 

268 Attack on Bryant's Station. 1782. 

it was equally so ; and how it could be procured, was a ques- 
tion which made many a head shake, many a heart sink. At 
length a plan, equally sagacious and bold, was hit upon, and 
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 garrison 
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'attacking 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 re- 
turned in such a manner as not to suggest to the quick-sighted 
savages that their presence in the thicket was suspected. 
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 discharge of all the rifles left within 
the station. Astonished and horror-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 
messengers had broken through their line, bearing to Lexing- 
ton tidings of the seige of Bryant's station, and asking suc- 
cors. These 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 fight- 
ing, only two were killed and four wounded. The Indian's 
courage rarely supports him through long-continued exertion ; 

1782. Attack on Bryant's Station.. 269 

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 seige. This 
their leader was very unwilling to do : 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 rein- 
forcements with 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 look- 
ed at one another withjuncertainty and fear ; against cannon 
they could do nothing, and cannon had been used in 1780. 
Seeing ihe effect of Girty's speech, and disbelieving every 
word of it, a young man, named Reynolds, took it upon him- 
self to answer the renegade. " You need not be so particu- 
lar," he cried, k ' 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 dry- 
ing 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 
Girty had to return to the Indian council-fire unsuccessful. 
But he and the chiefs well knew that though their reinforce- 
ments and cannon were all imaginary, the expected aid of the 
whites was not. Boone, Todd, and Logan would soon be 
upon them ; the ablest 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. 

> >, 

llt.i, , I_ . !Ml,aj./vJIJ J |U ''.;<.Jii !> .'Jit i -J: : .- '.:t,f.,ff 

270 Battle of the Blue Licks. 1782. 

By noon of the ISth of August, about one hundred and 
eighty men had gathered at Bryant's station ; among them 
were Boone and his son. After counting the fires, and notic- 
ing other signs, they determined on immediate pursuit, with- 
out waiting for the arrival of Colonel Logan and his party ; 
accordingly, on the 18th, the whole body set forward under the 
command of Colonel John Todd. 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 de- 
signated by Boone as the one where an attack might be ex- 
pected ; and as they came in sight of the opposite bankj 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 with- 
out 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 wooded, 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 and flank and rear, any who were pursuing the main 
trace along the higher ground : in these ravines, Boone, who 
was looked to by the commanders 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 far- 
ther up, and fall upon the Indians in the rear, while the re- 
maining 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, 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 follow- 
ed McGary, than from a hope of a successful fight with the 

1782. Battle of the Blue Licks. 271 

Indians." [The late Col. Benj. Cooper, of Missouri, who was 
in the action, makes this statement. Col. Boone, in a letter 
to the Governor of Virginia, dated August 30th, 1782, gives 
the following particulars.] " 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 com- 
manded 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 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 fif- 
teen 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, first, as to the probability that Boone would 
entirely omit all reference to the conduct of McGary ; and, 
second, as to the likelihood of McGary and his followers paus- 
ing when once under way. It is also to be noticed that Col- 
Cooper, Marshal and Stipp, say nothing of the pause alluded 

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 them- 
selves to be led by McGary the remainder, perhaps a third 

272 Battle of the Blue Licks. 1782. 

of the whole number, lingered a while with Todd and Boone 
in council. All at length passed over, and at Boone's sugges- 
tion, the commanding officer ordered another halt. The pio- 
neer then proposed, a second time, that the army should 
remain where it was, until an opportunity was afforded to re- 
connoitre 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 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, espe- 
cially 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.* 

[After this disastrous defeat, the sorest calamity that ever 
befel Kentucky, those who escaped, on foot, plunged into the 
thickets, and made their way to Bryant's station, thirty-six 
miles distant, and the nearest place of shelter. 

Colonel Logan, and his party, was met by the fugitives, 
within six miles of the station, to which he returned until the 
most had arrived. Of the one hundred and eighty-two per- 
sons who went out to the battle, about one-third were killed, 
twelve wounded, and seven carried off prisoners, who were 
put to the torture when they reached the Indian towns.] 

In this short, but severe action, Todd, Trigg, Harlan, and 
Boone's son, all fell. It was a sad day for Kentucky. The 
feelings and fears of the Fayette county settlers may be 
guessed from the following extract from Boone's letter to Vir- 
ginia : when he felt anxiety, what must they have suffered ! 

By the signs, we thought the Indians had exceeded four 
hundred; while the whole of the militia of this 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 ne- 

* Morehead's Address, p. 99. 

1782. Treaty of Peace. 273 

cessary, it may be the means of saving our part of the coun- 
try ; 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 possi- 

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 the impression made 
by Clark upon the Shawanese, that no large body of Indians, 
thenceforward, invaded the territory south of the Ohio, 

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 foundation for infinite litigation and heart- 

[The defeat of the British army at Yorktown, Virginia, and 
the capture of Lord Cornwallis, prepared the way for prelimi- 
naries of peace with Great Britain, and put a check upon 
their Indian allies.] 

Upon the 30th of November, 1782, provisional articles of 
peace had been arranged at Paris, between the Commissioners 
of England and her unconquerable colonies. Upon the 20th 

*See Morehead's Address, p. 173. 

f Clark's lettrr in Butler, 2d edition, 536; also in Almon's Remembrancer, for 1783, 
part ii. p. 93. 

274 Land Speculation Stronger than Law. 1783- 

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 .September, 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 Superior; thence through Lake Superior, 
northward to the isles Royal and Philipeaux, to the Long 
Lake ; thence through the middle of the said Long Lake, and 
the water communication between it and the Lake of the 
Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods ; thence through the 
said lake, to the most north-western point thereof; and, from 
thence, on a due west course, to the river Mississippi ; thence, 
by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Mis- 
sissippi, 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 men- 
tioned, in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the equa~ 
tor, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Chatahouche ; 
thence along the middle thereof, to its junction with 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 At- 
lantic Ocean." 

But the cessation of hostilities with England, was not, 
necessarily, 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. Vir- 
ginia, at an early period, (in October, 1779,) had, by law, dis- 
couraged 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 desperation, was a 
problem which engaged the ablest minds. Washington, upon 
the 7th of September, 1783, writing to James Duane, in Con- 

* Revised Statutes of Virginia, by B. Watliins Leigh, ii. 378. 

1783. Settlements Restricted. 273 

gress, enlarged upon the difficulties which lay before that body 
in relation to public lands. He pointed out the necessity 
which existed for making the settlements compact ; and pro- 
posed that it should be made even felony to settle or survey 
lands west 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 
northwarJ so as to include Detroit ; or, perhaps, from the Fort 
down the river to Lake Erie. He noticed the propriety of ex- 
cluding 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, Con- 
gress, or the State Legislature, as the case might be. Unless 
some such stringent measures were adopted, he prophecied re- 
newed border wars, which would end only after great expendi- 
ture of money and of life.* But before the Congress of the 
Colonies could take any efficient steps to secure the West, it 
was necessary that those measures of cession which commen- 
ced in 1780-81, should be completed. New York had, condi- 
tionally, given up her claims on the 1st of March, 1781,f 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 tQ, stated the terms upon which they would re- 
ceive 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 condition, that the territory so ceded shall be laid out 
and formed into States, containing a suitable extent of terri- 
tory, 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 repub- 
lican States, and admitted members of the Federal Union, 
having the same rights of sovereignty, freedom, and indepen- 
dence, as the other States. 

* Sparks' Washington, viii. 477. f Land Laws, 95. J Old Journal', iv. 189-267. 

276 Terms of Cession ly Virginia. 1778. 

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 cjefence, or in acquiring 
any part of the territory so ceded or relinquished, shall be 
fully reimbursed by the U. States; and that one Commissioner 
shall 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 expen- 
ses incurred by this State, which they shall judge to be com- 
prised within the intent and meaning of the act of Con- 
gress of the tenth of October, one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty, respecting such expenses. That the French and 
Canadian inhabitants, and other settlers of the Kaskaskies, St. 
Vincents, and the neighboring villages, who have professed 
themselves citizens of Virginia, shall have their possessions 
and titles confirmed to them, and be protected in the enjoy- 
ment of their rights and liberties. That a quantity not ex- 
ceeding one hundred and fifty thousand acres of land, promised 
by this State, shall be allowed and granted to the then Colo- 
nel, now General George Rogers Clark, and to the officers and 
soldiers of his regiment, who marched with him when the 
posts of Kaskaskies, and St. Vincents were reduced, and to 
the officers and soldiers that have since been 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 
northwest 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 conti- 
nental establishment, should, from the North Carolina line, bear- 
ing in further upon the Cumberland lands than was expected, 
prove insufficient for their legal bounties, the deficiency should 
be made up to the said troops, in good lands, to be laid off be- 
tween the rivers Scioto and Little Miami, on the north-west 
side of the river Ohio, in such proportions as have been enga- 
ged to them by the laws of Virginia. That all the lands with- 
in 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 al- 
liance of the said States, Virginia inclusive, according to their 
usual respective proportions in the general charge and ex- 

1784. Instructions to Indian Commissioners. 277 

penditure, and shall be faithfully and bonafide disposed offer 
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 ac- 
tion of Virginia, before taking some steps to soothe the In- 
dians, and extinguish their title. On the 22d of September, 
therefore, Congress forbade all purchases of, or settlements on, 
Indian lands,! an( l on tne l^th 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 : 

4. 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 Maumee, and thence 
down the Maumee to the Lake : 

5th. To hold, if possible, one convention with all the tribes: 

# # * * * # * 

7th. To learn all they could respecting the French of Kas- 
kaskia, &c. 

8th. To confirm no grants by the natives to individuals; 

9th,. To look after American stragglers beyond the Ohio, to 
signify the displeasure of Congress at the invasion of the In- 
dian lands, and to prevent all further intrusions. Upon the 
19th of the following March, the 4th and 5th of these instruc- 
tions were entirely 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 different times.J 

Meanwhile steps had been taken by the Americans to ob- 
tain possession of Detroit and the other western posts, but in 
vain. Upon the 12th of July, Washington had sent Baron 

* See Land Laws, p. 98. 

| Old Journals, iv. 275. 

I Secret Journals, i. 225, 261, 264. 

278 Efforts to obtain the Western Posts. 1784. 

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 to do what he might to make the 
American side popular.* 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, "tor his very 
great and singular services. "f 

[This dismission was on the 2d July, 1783, and Benjamin 
Harrison, the Governor of Virginia, wrote to General Clark 
a letter from which we give the following extract. 

"The conclusion of the war, and the distressed situation of 
the State, with respect to its finances, call on us to adopt the 
most prudent economy. It is for this reason alone, I have 
come to a determination to give over all thoughts for the 
present of carrying on offensive war against the Indians, 
which you will easily perceive will render the services of a 
general officer in that quarter unnecessary, and will, there- 
fore, consider yourself out of command. But, before I take 
leave of you, I feel myself called upon, in the most forcible 
manner, to return you my thanks, and those of my Council, 
for the very great and singular services you have rendered 
your country, in wresting so great and valuable a territory 
out of the hands of the British enemy, repelling the attacks 
of their savage allies, and carrying on successful war in the 
heart of their country. This tribute of praise and thanks, so 
justly due, I am happy to communicate to you as the united 
voice of the executive."JJ 

Clark, 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 was 
then founded. 

* Secret Journal, i, 225. 261, 264. 

t Sparks' Washington, viii. 463, 470. Marshall (i. 175,) gives the letters of Steuben 
and Halditnand. 

J But'er, 2d edition, 490. Dillon's Indiana, i. 195. 
I Revised Statutes of Virginia, by G. W. Leigh, ii. 405. 

1784. Difficulties between Britain and the United States. 279 

While these various steps, bearing upon the interest of the 
whole West, were taken by Congress, Washington and the As- 
sembly of Virginia, Kentucky herself was organizing upon a 
new basis Virginia having united the three counties, with their 
separate 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 icstored the for-a-time-discarded 
name, Kentucky. The sessions of the court thus organized 
resulted in the foundation 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 pro- 
visions of the treaty which had been concluded, and Britain 
was not willing to comply on he 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 lead- 
ers. Among the provisions of that treaty were the follow- 

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. 6. It is agreed that the Congress shall earnestly re- 
commend it to the Legislatures of the respective States, to 
provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and proper- 
ties, which have been confiscated, belonging to real British 
subjects, and also of the estates, rights, and properties of per- 
sons resident in districts in the possession of his Majesty's 
arms, and who have not borne arms against the said United 
States. 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, unmo- 
lested in their endeavors to obtain the restitution of such of 
their estates, rights and properties, as may have been confis- 
cated; and that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to 
the several States 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 prevail. And that Con- 
gress shall also earnestly recommend to the several States, 
that the estates, rights and properties, of such last mentioned 

Marshall, p. 159. 

280 Provisions of Treaty of Peace. 1784. 

persons, shall be restored to them, they refunding to any per- 
sons who may now be 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 impedi- 
ment 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 per- 
sons 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 confine- 
ment on such charges, at the time of the ratification of the 
treaty in America, shall be immediately set at liberty, and the 
prosecutions so commenced be discontinued. 

ART. 7. There shall be affirm and perpetual peace between 
his Britannic Majesty and the said States, 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.* 

That these stipulations were wise and just, none, perhaps 
doubted ; but they opened a door for disputes, 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 be- 
tween England 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 

*See Land Laws, p. 11. 

1784. Provisions of Treaty of Peace. 281 

with them from New York certain negroes claimed as the 
" propert) r of the American inhabitants," none of which, by 
the terms both of that and the definitive treaty, was to be re- 
moved. Against this intention, Washington had remonstrat- 
ed, and Congress resolved in vain : in reply to all remon- 
strances, it was said that the slaves were either booty taken 
in war, and as such, by the laws of war, belonged to the cap- 
tors, and could not come within the meaning of the treaty ; 
or, were freemen and could not be enslaved.* It was un- 
doubtedly 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 por- 
tion of them consisted of runaways, and by the terms of the 
treaty, as the Americans all thought, should have been restor- 
ed or paid for. [This case was argued by the Hon. John Jay, 
and its facts and principles clearly set forth. 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 a mere pretext.!] It was 
in April, 1783, that the purposes of England, in relation 
to the negroes, became apparent ; in May, the Commander- 
in-chief and Congress tried, as we have said, ineffectually, 
to bring about a different course of action. Upon the third 
of September, the definitive treaty was signed at Paris ; on 
the twenty-fifth of November, the British left New York, 
carrying the negroes claimed by the Americans with them ; 
while upon the fourth of the following January, 1784, the 
treaty was ratified 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 twenty-second of next June, after the ratification of peace 
by both parties, the Old Dominion expressly declined to fulfil 
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 possession of the western posts, and threatened to in- 
volve the two countries again in open warfare. 

* Marshall, i, 173. 

t Secret Journals, iv. 275. Sparks' Washington, iv. 163. 179. 


282 Provisions of Treaty of Peace. 1784. 

The dispute, therefore, originated in a difference of opinion 
between the parties as to the meaning of that part of the 
seventh article, which relates to the ' carrying away ne- 
groes :" this was followed 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 Britain. 

[The posts, or forts, were situated at Oswego, Niagara, 
Presque Isle, (Erie,) Sandusky, Detroit, Michillimackinac, and 
Prairie du Chein.] 

In March, 1785, John Adams was sent to England to " re- 
quire" 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 Con- 
gress, that body, in March, 1787, pressed upon the States the 
necessity of repealing all laws violating the treaty ; but Vir- 
ginia, in substance, refused to comply with the requisition re- 
specting British creditors, until the western forts were evac- 
uated, and the slaves that had been taken, returned or paid 

From what has been said, it will be easily surmised that, to 
the request of Governor Clinton of New York, relative to the 
abandonment of the posts within that state, 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 
uncertain, 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 direction 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 im- 
mediately began ; though, as would appear from the follow- 
ing extract from Arthur Lee's Journal, who passed through 

* Secret Journals, iv. 185 to 287. Pitkin, ii. 192 to 200. Marshall, i. 167 to 188. 
t Marshall, i. 177, ic. 

1784. Settlements in Kentucky. 283 

Pittsburgh on his way to the Indian council at Fort Mclntosh, 
it was not, late in its first year, very prepossessing or promis- 
ing 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 Bal- 
timore. They take, in the shops, money, \vheat, 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 considerable."* 

The detention of the western fortresses, however, though 
of little momen$ to Pennsylvania, \vas a very serious evil to 
the more distant settlers of Kentucky. The northern savages 
again prepared their scalping knives, and the traders from 
Canada, if not the agents of the British government, urged 
them to harrass the frontiers. 

[During this year of comparative peace and quiet, new set- 
tlements were made in Kentucky, and a large increase added 
to the population. Simon Kenton returned to the improve- 
ment he made in 1775, where Washington now stands in Ma- 
son county, which soon became the nucleus of an extensive 
settlement. Here a block house was erected. 

At the Lower Blue Licks, the Messrs. Tanner had a small 
settlement the preceding year. Limestone (now Maysville) 
became the place of landing for immigrants, and the route by 
the Blue Licks to Bryant's station and Lexington a thorough- 
fare. An immense accession to the population was made by 
immigration in autumn, and consequently settlements were 
much extended the ensuing winter and spring. f 

The population of all the settlements up to 1783, exceeded 
twelve thousand persons, and this number was augmented by 
the arrivals of the succeeding summer, to more than twenty 

*Amerlcan Pioneer, i. 304. 
t Marshall,!. 188, 195. 

284 Virginia Military Lands Surveyed. 1784. 

Merchandize, from Philadelphia, was transported in wag- 
ons across the mountains to Pittsburgh, and from thence, on 
keel-boats and flats, floated down the Ohio to Limestone and 
Louisville. A dry goods store was opened at Louisville, by 
Daniel Brodhead, and the next year, another store was 
opened, in Lexington, by Colonel James Wilkinson. In 1784, 
Louisville contained sixty -three houses, finished; thirty-seven 
partly finished ; twenty-two, raised, but not covered ; and 
more than one hundred log cabins.* 

.In the autumn of 1784, Colonel Benjamin Logan, appre- 
hending the Cherokees meditated an invasion of Kentucky, 
made a call for a convention of the citizens at Danville, to 
take measures for the defence of the country.] 

At this meeting the whole subject of the position and dan- 
ger of Kentucky was examined and discussed, and it was 
agreed that a convention should meet in December, to adopt 
some measures for the security of the settlements in the wil- 
derness. 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 conception was general, when the 
delegates /to this first convention 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 inter- 
esting to those who were called on to think and vote a 
complete separation from the parent state political indepen- 
dence, f 

It was during 1784, also, that the military claimants of 
land, under the laws of Virginia, began their locations. All 
the territory between the Green and Cumberland rivers, ex- 
cepting that granted to Henderson & Co., was to be appro- 
priated 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, con- 
cluded with him a contract, under which, upon the 20th of 
the following July, he opened his office near Louisville ; and 

*Monette, ii, 143. Letters of an American Planter, from 1770 to 1786, vol. iii. p. 422. 
Marshall, i. 181. 
f Marshall,!. 190 to 195. 

1784. Virginia Land Claims Surveyed. 285 

entries at once began. The first entry north of the Ohio, 
however, was not made until August 1, 1787.* 

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 
measure adopted by Congress for the government of the new 
territory ; the latter, the first treaty with the Indians relative 
to the West. 

* McDonald's Sketches, 22 to 24. He gives the contract Also letter of W. M. Ander- 
on. (American Pioneer, i. 438.) The number of soldiers in the "Virginia Continental 
JLine proved to be 1124. (American State Papers, xviii. 535.) 



Cession of the North-western Territory by Virginia Treaties with the Indians Procla- 
mation of Congress against settlers on Indian Lands Ordinance for Surveying the 
Public Lands Convention in Kentucky Negotiation with the Shawanese Council at 
the Mouth of the' Great Miami Negotiations with Spain Great Dissatisfaction in 
the "West Company formed to settle Ohio. 

[One of the most important events to the North-western 
States that occurred in 1784, was the cession by Virginia to 
the United States, of all claims to the country to the northwest 
of the Ohio river. The names of the Commissioners, and an 
outline of the conditions of the cession, we copy from Dillon's 
" Historical Notes" on Indiana, volume first, page 197. 

On the first day of March, 1784, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel 
Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James Monroe, delegates in Congress 
on the part of Virginia, executed a deed of cession, by which 
they transferred to the United States, on certain conditions, 
all right, title, and claim of Virginia to the country northwest 
of the river Ohio. The deed of cession contained the follow- 
ing conditions, viz : " That the territory so ceded shall be laid 
out and formed into states, containing a suitable extent of ter- 
ritory, 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 indepen- 
dence, as the other states. That the necessary and reasona- 
ble expenses incurred by Virginia, 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. 
That the French and Canadian inhabitants, and other settlers 
of the Kaskaskias, Post Vincennes, and the neighboring villa- 
ges, who have professed themselves citizens of Virginia, shall 
have their possessions and titles confirmed to them, and be 
protected in the enjoyment of their rights and liberties. That 
a quantity not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand acres 
of land, promised by Virginia, 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 Kaskaskia and Vincennes were reduc- 
ed, and to the officers and soldiers that have been since 

1784. Cession of Virginia. 287 

incorporated in 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 northwest side of the Ohio, as a majority of the 
officers shall choose, and to be afterwards divided among the 
officers and soldiers in due proportion, according to the laws 
of Virginia. That in case the quantity of good lands on the 
southeast side of the Ohio, upon the waters of 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 ex- 
pected, prove insufficient for their legal bounties, the defi- 
ciency shall be made up to the said troops, in good lands to be 
laid off between the rivers Scioto and Little Miami, on the 
northwest 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 as a 
common fund for the use and benefit of such of the United 
States as have become, or shall become, members of the con- 
federation or federal alliance of the said states, Virginia in- 
clusive, according to their usual respective proportion 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."] 

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 Mclntosh. Upon the 22d of the pre- 
vious October, this gentleman, in connection with Richard 
Butler and Oliver Wolcott, had met the hostile tribes of the 
Iroquois,* at Fort Stanwix, and had there concluded a treaty 
of peace, among the articles of which was the following : 

ART. 3. A line shall be drawn, beginning at the mouth of a 
creek, about four miles east of Niagara, called Oyonwayea, 
or Johnson's Landing Place, upon the lake, named by the In- 
dians Oswego, and by us Ontario ; from thence southerly, in 
a direction always four miles east of the carrying path, be- 
tween 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 the 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 

* See Land Laws, p. 132. 

288 Provisions of the Treaty of Fort Mclntosh. 1785. 

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 ot 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 same. 

[The "hostile tribes" referred to were the Mohawks, Onon- 
dagas, Cayugas, and Senacas, who had joined the British ; 
while the Oneidas and Tuscaroras were on the American 

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 Mclntosh, upon 
the 21st of January, 1785. The nations represented were the 
Wyandots, Delawares, Chippeways, and Ottowas ; and among 
the representatives, it is said, was the celebrated war chief of 
the Delawares, Buckongahelas: the most important provi- 
sions of the treaty agreed upon, were the seven following: 

ART. 3. The boundary line between the United States and 
the Wyandot and Delaware nations, shall begin at the mouth 
of the river Cayahoga, and run thence, up the said river, to the 
portage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of the Mus- 
kingum ; then, down the said branch, to the forks at the cross- 
ing place above Fort Lawrence, [Laurens;] then vvestwardly, 
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 fifty-two ; then, 
along the said portage, to the Great Miami or Ome river, and 
down the south-east side of the same to its mouth ; thence, 
along the south shore of Lake Erie, to the mouth of the Cay- 
ahoga, 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 reserving, 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 

1785. Settlements Prohibited North of the Ohio. 289. 

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 

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 side of Lake Erie, 
and running west six miles up the southern bank of the said 
river, thence, northerly, and always six miles west of the strait, 
till it strikes the Lake St. Clair, shall also be reserved to the 
sole use of the United States. 

ART. 81 In the same manner, the post of Michillimackinac, 
with its dependencies, and twelve miles square about the 
same, shall be reserved to the use 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 offender may belong, shall be bound to deliver them up 
at the nearest post, to be punished according to the ordinances 
of the United States. 

[To prevent intrusion on the Indian lands, and consequently 
collision with the aborigines, the Continental Congress, on the 
15th of June, 1785, sent furth the folio wing ^proclamation, 
which was circulated in the Western country. 

"Whereas, it has been represented to the United States, in 
Congress assembled, that several disorderly persons have cross- 
ed the Ohio and settled upon their unappropriated lands; and, 
whereas, it is their intention, as soon as it shall be surveyed, 
to open offices for the sale of a considerable part thereof, in 
such proportions and under such other regulations as may suit 
the convenience of all the citizens of the said States and others 
who may wish to become purchasers of the same : and as 
such conduct tends to defeat the object they have in view ; is 
in direct opposition to the ordinances and resolutions of Con- 
gress, and highly disvespectful to the federaj authority ; they 
have, therefore, thought fit, and do hereby issue this, their 
proclamation, strictly forbidding all such unwarrantable intru- 
sions, and enjoining all those who have settled thereon to de- 
part with their families and effects, without loss of time, as 
they shall answer the same at their peril.*] 

* Dillon's Indiana, i. 199. 

290 Ordinance Relative to Western Lands. 1785. 

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 

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 
features 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,* 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, un- 
til Massachusetts 1 , as well as New York and Virginia, had 
ceded her claims to the Union-; which she did upon the 19th 
of April in this 3 T ear, the Act authorizing the cession having 
been passed upon the 13th of the previous November.f 

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 Pennsylvania, and the first east and west line to 
begin at the same point, and extend throughout the territory. 
The ranges of townships thus formed were to be numbered 
from the Pennsylvania line westward ; the townships them- 
selves from the Ohio northward. Each township was to be 
subdivided into thirty-six parts or sections, 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 therefrom one- 
seventh part, by lot, for the use of the late Continental army ; 
and so of every seven ranges as surveye.d and returned : the 

* There was an ordinance reported May 28, 1784, (Old Journals, iv. 416;) a second, 
April 26th, 1785, (Old Journals, iv. 507 j) that of May 20th differed in several respects. 

f Old Journals, iv. 500 to 504. Lands Laws, 102. 

J By the first ordinance these were to have been ten mile?, and by the second seven miles 
square. See Journals. 

1785. Ordinance Relative to Western Lands. 291 

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, town- 
ship 2d in sections, and so on alternately; while in range 2d, 
township 1st was to be sold in sections, and township 2d en- 
tire, retaining throughout, both as to the ranges and town- 
ships, the principle of alternation. The price was to be at 
least one dollar per acre in specie, " loan office certificates re- 
duced to specie value," or " certificates 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 refu- 
gees ; secured to the Moravian Indians their rights ; and ex- 
cluded from sale the territory between the Little Miami and 
Scioto, in accordance with the provisions made by Virginia, 
in her deed of cession, in favor of her own troops. Many 
points in this law were afterwards changed, but its great 
features remained.* 

It had been anticipated, that so soon as the treaty of Fort 
Mclntosh 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 Com- 
missioners were authorized in June, to issue a Proclamation 
commanding all persons northwest of the river to leave with- 
out loss of time, or stay at their peril, announcing the inten- 
tion of government as soon as possible to sell the soil as fast 
as surveyed. f The peril to be 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 

* Land Laws, 349 to 354. Old Journals, iv. 520 to 522. 
t Land Laws, 354. Old Journals, ir. 538. 

292 Third Convention in Kentucky. 1785. 

two men were killed) were glad enough to abandon their en- 
terprize, and take refuge at Limestone or Maysville.* Fur- 
ther West the experiment succeeded better, and some years 
before the time of which we are writing, in 1781, a settlement 
was made in the neighborhood of the old French forts, by 
emigrants from Western Virginia, who were joined during the 
present year by several other families from the same region. 

[A sketch of the early American settlements in Illinois will 
be found among the Annals of that State, in the Appendix.] 

In Kentucky during 1785, events were of a different charac- 
ter 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 pte- 
sented themselves for discussion and answer. The Conven- 
tion which met late in 1784, finding a strong feeling prevalent 
in favor of separation from Virginia, and unwilling to assume 
too much responsibility, had proposed, as we have stated, a 
second Convention to meet in the following May. It met upon 
the 23rd of that month, and the same spirit of self dependence 
being dominant, an address to the Assembly of Virginia and 
one to the people of Kentucky, together with five resolutions, 
all relative to separation, and in favor of it, were an- 
imously carried. Two of these resolutions deserve especial 
notice ; one of them recognized, what the Constitution of 
Virginia 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 re- 
presentation, and for the very purpose of considering the 
question of independence, it is by no means clear why this re- 
ference to a third assembly was made. It may have been 
from great precaution, or it may have been through the 
influence 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, elo- 
quence, intellect, and character. This gentleman, there ap- 

* American Pioneer, i. 56. 

1785. Third Convention in Kentucky. 293 

pears 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 words. And his wish, if such was his 
wish, was fulfilled. Upon the 8th of August, a third Conven- 
tion 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 
prepare for offensive movements against the Indians, without 
waiting to be attacked.* 

That Wilkinson, in this address to the people of Kentucky, 
somewhat exaggerated the danger of Indian invasion is pro- 
bable ; 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 unpre- 
pared, were not wholly without cause. 

[At this period hostile feelings and movements were again 
manifested, as appears from the following extract from Dil- 
lon's " Historical Notes." 

" A large Indian council, composed of deputies from dif- 
ferent tribes, was held at Ouiatenon, on the river W abash, in 
the month of August, 1785. About the same time an Indian 
killed one of the French inhabitants of Post Vincennes. A 
party of the friends of this man then fell upon the Indians, 
killed four and \vounded some more. Soon afterwards an 
Indian chief waited on the French inhabitants, and told them 
that they must remove at a fixed time that the Indians were 
determined to make war on the American settlers and that 
if the French remained at Post Vincennes, they would share 
the fate of the Americans."! 

In October the Southern Indians became hostile, made in- 
cursions into Kentucky, attacked the family of Mr. McClure, 
massacred three children, and took his wife and one child 
prisoners. They were rescued by a party under the command 

* Marshall, i. 195, 196 to 220; where all the original papers at length, 
t Correspondence of Captain John Armstrong, in Dillon's Indiana, i. 201. 

294 Virginia offers Kentucky Terms. 1786. 

of Captain William Whitley. Other families and stations 
were attacked.*} 

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 north-west 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 lat- 
ter 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 the parent State, was by that body duly 
received and listened to, and the reasons for an early separation 
appearing cogent, Virginia, in January, 1786, passed a law by 
which Kentucky might claim independence, provided she 
were willing to accept of the following conditions, as ex- 
plained in a letter from Mr. Madison, to Gen. Washington, 
dated December 9th, 1785.J 

" Kentucky made a formal application for independence. 
Her memorial has been considered, and the terms of separation 
fixed by a Committee of the Whole. 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 Virginia have 
appropriated them ; that the Ohio shall be a common high- 
way for the citizens of the United States, and the jurisdiction 
of Kentucky and Virginia, as far as the remaining 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 share of our State debts ; and that the separation 
shall not take place unless these terms shall be approved by a 
convention 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 ot the proposed State are to be the 
same with the present limits of the district. The apparent 
coolness of the representatives of Kentucky, as to a separa- 
tion, 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." 

*Marshall, i. 221 

|Amcrican Pioneer, i. 25-30 and frontispiece. Monette, ii. 222. 

JSparks' Washington, ix. 510. 

1786. Convention with Western Tribes Proposed. 295 

These conditions were to be submitted to a Fourth conven- 
tion to be held in the following September. If those were 
agreed to, the convention was to select a day posterior to Sep- 
tember 1st, 1787, after which the laws of Virginia were to 
cease forever to be force within the western district; for 
which, meanwhile, a constitution and laws were to be pre- 
pared 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 advo- 
cates 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 
for the Fourth convention took place without disturbance, 
and in September it would undoubtedly have met to attend to 
the business confide'd 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, howev- 
er, it is necessary to mention the steps taken by Congress du- 
ring the early part of this year to secure and perpetuate peace 
with the north-western tribes. The treat} 7 of Fort Stanwix 
with the Iroquois, was upon the 22d of October, 1784; that 
of Fort Mclntosh, with the Delawares, Wyandots, &c., upon 
the 21st of January, 1785; upon the 18th of March following, 
it was resolved that a treaty be held with the Wabash Indi- 
ans at Post Vincent on the 20th of June, 1785, or at such other 
time and place as might seem best to the commissioners. f 
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 G. 
R. Clark, Richard Butler and Sam'l. H. Parsons, not, however, 
with the Piankishaws and others named in the original reso- 
lution, but with the Delawares, Wyandots and Shawanese.J 

^Marshall, i. 222. 

tOld Journals, iv. 487. 

JThose first named were the Potawatama, Twigtwee?, Piatika?haw and other west- 
ern nations. See Old Journals, iv. 528, 53.3, 538, 542. The resolution on the page 
last cited ( June 29, 1785, ) changes the place to the mouth of the Great Miami or 
the Falls. 

296 Letter of General Parsons. 1786. 

That treaty, in addition to the usual articles, contained 
the following.* 

ART. 2. The Shawanee nation do acknowledge the United 
States to be the sole and absolute sovereigns of all the terri- 
tory ceded to them by a treaty of peace made between them 
and the king of Great Britain, the fourteenth day of January, 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four. 

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 be- 
low the old fort which was taken by the French in one thous- 
and seven hundred and fifty-two ; thence, due west, to the 
River De La Panse ; then, down that river, to the river Wa- 
bash; beyond which lines none of the citizens of the United 
States shall settle, nor disturb the Shawanees in their settle- 
ment 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.! 

The absence of the Wabash Indians from this council was 
not the result of any change of plans on the part of the Ameri- 
cans, but solely of a growing spirit of hostility among the sav- 
ages, 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 Fort Harmar, dated " Fort Fin- 

[Major Finney was a witness to the treaty. " Fort Finney" 
was at the mouth of the Great Miami .]J 

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 exam- 
ine 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 

*01d Journals, iv. 627. Land Laws, 299. 

f See Land Laws, 299. 

}. Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 33. 

1786. Clark's Treatment of the Indians. 297 

for ; that we were desirous ofliving in peace with them ; and 
for that purpose had come with offers 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 Brit- 
ish agents haoVtaken to deceive them. That if they came to 
the 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 refused 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 con- 
vinced 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 received *s belt of Wampum and a twist of tobacco, with 
a message, that they would be in when we had smoked the 
tobacco. From our information, 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, 1 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 let- 
ter. Notwithstanding all treaties we can make, I am con- 
vinced we shall not be in safety until we have posts estab- 
lished 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 in- 
fluence, neither attended, nor took any notice of the messages 
sent them ;f and those who did finally attend, came, if tradi- 
tion 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. 

[Of this treaty the following account is given, out of which, 
probably, the graphic sketch was drawn by a western writer, 
and may be found in the first edition of these annals.] 

The Indians came in to a treaty at Fort Washington in the 
most friendly manner, except the Shawanese, the most con- 
ceited and warlike of the aborigines, the first in at a battle, 
and the last at a treaty. Three hundred of their finest war- 

*See North American Review, October, 1341, p. 330. 
t Old Journals, jr. 657. 


298 Clark's Treatment of the Indians. 1786. 

riors set off in all their paint and feathers, and filed into the 
council-house. Their number and deireanor, so unusual at an 
occasion of this sort, was altogether unexpected and suspi- 
cious. 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 marau- 
ders; 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 
council-sachem and a war chief took the lead. The latter, a 
tall, raw-boned fellow, with an impudent and villanous look, 
made a boisterous and threatening speech, which operated 
effectually on the passions of the Indians, who set up a pro- 
digious 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 unalter- 
ed and careless countenance 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 off the table, with very little ceremony. 
Every Indian at the same time started from his seat with one 
of those sudden, simultaneous, and peculiar 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 symbol, and ordered them to 
leave the hall. They did so, apparently 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 Encyclo- 
paedia Americana, iii. 232.) 

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 Congress, 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 lea -J ing Unit- 
ed States' officer.* We do not learn that it was nominally 
under this resolution that General Clark's expedition of the en- 
suing fall was undertaken ; but at any rate this act on the part 
of Congress justified offensive measures on the part of the Ken- 
tuckians when they became necessary ; and it being thought 
necessary to act upon the Wabash before winter, a body of a 

* Old Journals, iv. 65T to 660. 

1786. Clark's abortive Expedition up the Wabash. 299 

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 ad- 
vice,* and proved fatal to the expedition. The soldiers be- 
came restive, and their confidence in the General being de- 
stroyed, 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. 

An expedition conducted by Colonel Logan against the 
Shawanese, who, in spite of their treaty, had resumed hostili- 
ties, terminated very differently from that under the conqueror 
of Illinois ; their towns were burned and their crops wasted. 

It was the gathering of the men of Kentucky for these ex- 
peditions, 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 forth the causes which made a convention 
at that time impossible, and asking certain changes in the Act 
of Separation. f This done, they continued their meetings by 
adjournment during the remainder of the year, hoping a 
quorum might still be gathered ; which was not done, how- 
ever, until the ensuing January. J 

Meanwhile, beyond the Alleghenies, events were taking 
place which produced more excitement in Kentucky than In- 
dian wars, or Acts of Separation even : we refer to the 
Spanish negotiations, involving the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi. In 1780, as we have stated, Spain expressed her de- 
termination 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 northwest in the name of his Catholic Majes- 

* Marshall, i. 250. Butler, 153. 

t Marshall, L 251. J Ibid, 253. 

300 Negotiations with Spain. 1786. 

ty : 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 Americans, 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, 
appeared before Congress as the representative of Spain ;f on 
the 20th of the same month, Mr. Jay, the Secretary of foreign 
affairs, was authorised to negotiate with him ; and in May, 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.J He pointed out the import- 
ance 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 boundaries. 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 cir- 
cumstances, the interests of the whole Union demanding the 
conclusion of the Spanish commercial treaty, while that 
treaty could apparently be secured only by giving up the 
right to navigate the Mississippi, which was in a manner 
sacrificing the West, Mr. Jay proposed, as a sort of compro- 
mise, to form a treaty with Spain for twenty-five or thirty 
years, and during that time to yield the right of using the Mis- 
sissippi below the boundaries of the United States. To this 
proposition, the Southern members in Congress were vehe- 
mently 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 con- 
tinue his negotiations, without being bound to insist, at all 

* Secret Journals, iv. 63 to 80. Diplomatic Correspondence. 

t Old Journals. IT. 544. J Secret Journals, IT. 43. 45. 

1786. Dissatisfaction in the West. 301 

hazards, upon the, immediate use of the river.* The discus- 
sion 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 represent- 
ing 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 expedi- 
tion, was well calculated to cause many to think that the lead- 
ing minds were already prepared for action. On the 8th of 
October, a board of field officers at Vincennes, determined to 
garrison that point, to raise supplies by impressment, and to 
enlist new troops. Under this determination, Spanish pro- 
perty 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 Governor, Council 
and Legislature of Georgia which State was involved in the 
boundary quarrel with Spain that Spanish property 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 sufficient" to take 
possession of the lands in dispute, if Georgia would counte- 
nance him. This letter Clark said he never saw, but as he paid 
equally with Green towards 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 terri- 
tory, whatever they may have been. And what they were, in 
some minds at least, may perhaps, 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, 1786. 

Our situation is as bad as it possibly can be, therefore every 

Secret Journals, iv. 81 to 132. 

302 Expedition against Spain proposed. 1787. 

exertion to retrieve our circumstances must be manly, eligible 
and just. 

We can raise twenty thousand troops this side the Alle- 
gheny and Apalachian Mountains; and the annual increase 
of them by emigration, from* other parts, is from two to four 

We have taken all the goods belonging to the Spanish mer- 
chants 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 neces- 
sary) 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 alle- 
giance 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 resour- 
ces for our supplies. When once re-united to them, "fare- 
well, 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 America. 
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 enclosed 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 Gen. Clark's conduct, disavowed 
the powers assumed by him, ordered the prosecution of the per- 
sons 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,f and upon the 24th of that month, it was 
resolved that the troops of the United States he employed to 
dispossess the unauthorized intruders who had taken ppssession 
of St. Vincents.J 

All these things naturally tended to excite speculation, in- 
quiry 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. 

* Secret Journals, iv. 323. 

t Secret Journals, iv. 301 to 323. 

j Old Journals, iy. 740. 

1786. Putnam and Tupper propose to move West. 303 

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, author- 
ized by government, 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 service till the close of the war, or until discharged by 
Congress ; and to the representatives of those who should be 
slain by the enemy.* In June, 1783, peace having been pro- 
claimed, General Rufus Putnam forwarded to Washington a 
memorial from certain of those having claims under these 
resolutions; which Washington transmitted to Congress, to- 
gether with General Putnam's letter, f But as the States 
claiming the western territory had not made their final ces- 
sions, Congress was forced, on the 29th of October, 1783, to 
announce their inability to make any appropriation of land.J 
From that time, nothing further was done until, upon the 18th 
of July, 1785, Benjamin Tupper, a Revolutionary officer be- 
longing 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 re- 
newal 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 February, and choose, for each 
county of Massachusetts, one or more delegates ; these dele- 
gates were to assemble on the 1st of March, at the Bunch of 
Grapes tavern in Boston, there to agree upon a system of as- 
sociation. 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 

*Land Law*, 337. 

(The letters relating to this petition were sent by Mr. Sparks to the Committee for the 
Celebration of the Settlement of Ohio, 1835; and were published by them. 
JLand Laws, 339. 
gNye's Address, Transactions Ohio Historical Society, p. 317. 

304 Ohio Company fanned . Cession by Connecticut. 1786. 

these : a fund of a million dollars, mainly in continental cer- 
tificates, was to be raised for the purpose of purchasing lands 
in the western 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 mak- 
ing 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 the 
agents were to choose the Directors.* The plan was approv- 
ed, 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 claim to the United States. This, on the 
31st of January, 1781, was referred, together with the reso- 
lutions of New York and Virginia, to a committee.-)- Various 
reports were made, and discussions had, relative to the mat- 
ter, 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 coun- 
try west of a line one hundred and twenty miles beyond the 
western boundary of Pennsylvania and parallel thereto, were 
given up to the confederation. J 

We have mentioned that a minority of the Convention 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 relative to 
separation, the feeling was still, as before, strongly in favor of 
it. But scarce had this been ascertained when a second act 

*See Nye's Address in Transactions of Ohio Historical Society, Part 2d. Also, an article 
on Ohio, in North American Review, for October, 1841; vol. liii. 320 to 359 : this article is 
full of original matter. 

|0ld Journals, iii. 571. 

JBy this transfer, Connecticut retained hoth the soil and jurisdiction of what is now- 
known as the Connecticut or Western Reserve. The compromise with her was disapproved 
by Washington and others. See Sparks' Wa'hington, ix. 178 and note. Virginia, in her 
cessign, (?ee p. 258) had resigned her jurisdiction, and her "reserve" was merely of tho 
lands necessary to recompense her soldiers. 

1786. Navigation of the Mississippi. 305 

upon the subject, passed by Virginia in October, 1786,* 
reached the West, and the whole question was again post- 
poned, to be laid before a 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 1778. There were many, beyond doubt, to whom 
this delay was a source of vexation and anger, but the people 
of the district generally evinced no such feelings; the elec' 
tions 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 a formation of Kentucky into a State before July 4, 1788. f 
Nor was the spirit of moderation shown this year by the 
Kentuckians 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 re- 
lated, had been authorized by Congress to abandon the right 
of using the Mississippi for a term of years, but not to yield 
the pretensions of the United States to its navigation, after 
that period closed. In October, 1786, under these instructions, 
he resumed his negotiations with Don Gardoqui, but without 
success, as Spain required an entire relinquishment of the 
American claim.J 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. When, therefore, the peo- 
ple 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 that little or nothing was to be done ; the plan 
of the Secretary was not likely to succeed, and had been 
fully protested against : the assembly at Danville, having 
been informed of these things, quietly adjourned. 

What connection, if any, existed between this calmer 

#Morehead, 124. 

fMarshall, i. 253-256. 27^258. The "date July 4, 1788," is misprinted "1787" in 
Marshall, 256. 

JSecret Journals, iv. 297-301. 

306 Growing Dissalisfaclion in the West. 1787. 

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 ad- 
vantages 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 
\vay 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 government 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, that the West 
would separate from the East, seems to have been grow- 
ing 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 pros- 
ecute 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 govern- 
ment.'^ This opinion was 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 on the uncertain 
state of the navigation question, in respect to which the 
western men had reason, perhaps, to think that some of the 
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 favorite projects, the opening of lines of inter- 
nal navigation, connecting the Ohio with the Potomac and 
James River. J In these sentiments both Henry Lee and Rich- 

*Mar<.hall, i. 259, 261, 267. 
t Marshall, i. 270. 

% Sparks' Washington, ix. 119, 172, 261. For Washington's views on internal improve- 
ments see 30, 291, 471, 301, 326, 80, Ac. 

1787. First Papers in the West. 07 

ard Henry Lee agreed.* How far these views of the great 
Virginians were known, we cannot 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 attachment to the 
powerless, almost worthless confederation. Nor did the pros- 
pect of a new government at first help the matter. The view 
which Patrick Henry and others took of the proposed fede- 
ral constitution, was the favorite view of the Western Virgin- 
ians ; 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.f And this re- 
jection 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.J That mere party influ- 
ence 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. 

[The Kentucky Gazette, commenced in Lexington, in Au- 
gust of this year, by Mr. John Bradford, was the second news~ 
paper established west of the Allegheny mountains. The first 
was the Pittsburgh Gazette, established by John Scull and 
Joseph Hall, two poor, but enterprizing young men. The first 
number was issued July 29, 1786- These papers contributed- 
much to the growth and prosperity of this central valley.] 

*For Henry Lee's views, see Sparks, ix. 178, note, 205, nets; Richard Henry Les^ 
views, Washington's letter to him, Sparks, is. 261, 
f Marshall, i. 287. 
Butler, 166, note, 
g Marshall, i, 234 Butler, 1Q3. American Pioneer, i, 305, 


The Ohio Company Negotiate for L*nd Their Purchase of Congress Mr. Jefferson's 
Project of Ten States Ordinance of 1787 Settlements on the Muskingum Symmes' 
Purchase end Settlements made on the Miami Cincinnati Founded Trade opened 
with New Orleans General AVilkiuson's Movements Affairs in Kentucky. 

While, soutn of Ohio, dissatisfaction with the federal union 
was spreading, not secretly and in spirit of treason, but openly 
and as the necessary consequences of free 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 sub- 
scription : on the 8th of that month, 1787, a meeting of Agents 
chose General Parsons, General Putnam, and the Rev. Ma- 
nasseh Cutler, Directors for the Company ; and these Direc- 
tors appointed Dr. Cutler to go to New York and negotiate 
with Congress 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 Jour- 
nal, 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. Holton and several other 
gentlemen. Was introduced, by Dr. Ewings and Mr. Ritten- 
house, 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. 
Hutchins. 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 west- 
ern country Attended the committee before Congress opened, 
and then spent the remainder of the forenoon with Mr. 

Attended the committee at Congress chamber ; debated on 
terms, but were so wide apart, there appears little prospect of 
closing a contract. 

* Vol. liii. 334 to 343. 

1787. Dr. Cutler negotiates with Congress for Lands. 309 

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 given at length in the article of the 
North American Review, of October, 1841, already quoted. 
The other extracts which we take from the Doctor's Journal, 
refer to the " manoeuvres," as he terms them, by which was 
effected a contract at least as favorable to the Union as it was 
to the Company. 

Colonel Duer came to me with proposals from a number of 
the principal characters in the city, to extend our contract, and 
take in another company ; but that it should be kept a profound 
secret. He explained 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 improbability of 
closing a bargain when we were so far separated ; and told 
them I conceived it not worth while to say anything 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 my 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 purchase more land, if 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 dis- 
position ; and believed, if I renewed my request I might ob- 
tain conditions as reasonable as I desired. I was very indif- 
ferent and talked much of the advantages of a contract with 
one of the States. This 1 found had the desired effect. At 
length I told him that if Congress would accede to the terms 

310 Dr. Cutler negotiates with Congress for Lands. 1787. 

I proposed, I would extend the purchase to the tenth town- 
ship from the Ohio to the Scioto inclusively ; by which Con- 
gress would pay more than four millions of the public debt ; 
that our intention was, an actual, large, and immediate settle- 
ment of the most robust and industrious people in America, 
and that it would be made systematically, which would in- 
stantly advance the price of the Federal lands, and prove an 
important acquisition to Congress. On these terms, I would 
renew the negotiation, if Congress was disposed to take the 
matter up again. 

I spent the evening with Mr. Dane and Mr. Milliken. They 
informed me that Congress had taken up my business again. 

July 23. My friends had made every exertion, in private 
conversation, 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 be- 
fore 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 be- 
holden to Colonel Duer and Major Sargent. 

# * # # * # 

Having found it impossible to support General Parsons, as 
a candidate for Governor, after the interest that General Ar- 
thur 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 south- 
ern members. 

# * * * * * 

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 ap- 
pointment. I immediately went to Sargent and Duer, and we 
now entered into the true spirit of negotiation with great 
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, after 
adjusting my baggage for my return, 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 

1787. Purchase by Ohio Company. 311 

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, con- 
sidering the circumstances of that country were not acceded 
to, we must turn our attention to some other part of the coun- 
try. New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts would sell us 
lands at half a dollar, and give us exclusive privileges beyo'nd 
what we have asked of Congress. The speculating plan con- 
certed between the British of Canada, was now well known. 
The uneasiness of the Kentucky people, with respect to 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 country, conducted by men 
thoroughly attached to the federal government, and composed 
of young, robust and hardy laborers, who had no idea of any 
other than the Federal Government, I conceived to be an ob- 
ject worthy of some attention. 

[This business was now managed, carried through Congress 
and brought to a conclusion in great haste. At that time the 
fiscal concerns of government were deplorable ; the treasury 
of the nation was exhausted, money could not be raised on 
loan, as the whole revolutionary debt was a terrible incubus 
on the national credit, and the only alternative was to sell 
lands. Dr. Cutler's own journal shows he managed the ne- 
gotiation shrwedly, but we will not say, quite honorably. 

On the 23rd of July, Congress authorized the Board of 
Treasury to make the contract; on the 26th, Messrs. Cutler 
and Sargent stated, in writing their conditions ; and on the 
27th Congress referred their letter to the Board, and an order 
of the same date was obtained. Of this, his Journal says : 

By this ordinance we obtained the grant of near five mil- 
lion 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 Ameri< a are con- 
cerned. 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 exe- 

312 Purchase by the Ohio Company. 1786. 

cuted in form on the 27th of the following October.* By this 
contract, the vast region bounded south by the Ohio, west by 
Scioto, east by the seventh range of townships then survey- 
ing, and north by a due west line drawn from the north boun- 
dary 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, how- 
ever, was not paid for, or taken by the company even their 
own portion of a million and a half of acres, and extending 
west to the eighteenth range of townships,! was not taken ; 
and in 179.2, the boundaries of the purchase proper were fixed 
as follows: the Ohio on the south, the seventh range of town- 
ships on the east, the sixteenth range on the west, and a line 
on the north so drawn as to make the grant seven hundred 
and fifty thousand (750,000) acres, besides reservations; this 
grant being- the portion which it was originally agreed the 
Company might enter into possession of at once. In addition 
to this, two hundred and fourteen thousand, two hundred aud 
eighty-five (214,285) acres of land were granted as army 
bounties, under 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 purchase as above defined. J 

While Dr. Cutler was preparing to press his suit with Con- 
gress, that body was bringing into form an ordinance for the 
political and social organization of the Territory 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. 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 
till the 23J, the plan was debated and altered, and then pass- 

* See Land Laws 262, to 264. Old Journals, iv. Appendix, 17, 18. 

f North American ReTiew, vol. liii, 343, 344. 

J Laud Laws, 364 to 36S. North American Review, liii. 344. 

g See in Old Journals, iv, 293, a proposition to organize a western District, made Octo- 
ber 14, 1783. 

11 Old Journals, iv. 373. 

1787. Project of ten new States. 313 

ed 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 ;f this, it 
was thought, would have made ten States, which were to 
have been named as follows, beginning at, the north-west cor- 
ner and going southwardly ; Sylvania, Michigania, Cherso- 
nisus, Assenispia, Mesopotamia, Illinoia, Saratoga, Wash- 
ington, Polypotamia, and Pelisipia.J Surely the hero of 
Mount Vernon must have shuddered to find himself in such 

[We shall refer to this subject in the Appendix, Annals of 
Illinois, and give the facts and references concerning the 
prohibition of slavery in the Western Territory.] 

But a more serious difficulty existed to this plan than its 
catalogue of names namely, the number of States which it 
was proposed 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 Massachusetts in their grants, so as to 
make 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 passed in favor of a 
division of not less than three nor more than five States, 
to which resolution, Virginia, at the close of 1788, assented. 
On the 29th of Sept. 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. || We 
give it entire as it is the corner-stone of the Constitutions of 
our north-western States. 

* Old Journals, iv, 380. 

fOld Journals, iv. 379 ; Land Laws, 347. 

JSparks' Washington, ix. 48. 

I Land Laws, 338, 100, 101. 

I} Old Journals, iv, 701, <fcc., 746, &c., 751, <tc, North American Ryiew, Hii, 336. 


314 Ordinance of 17S7. 1787. 

An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United 
States Northwest of the River Ohio. 

Be it ordained by the United States in Congress assembled, 
That the said territory, for the purposes of temporary govern- 
ment, be one district, subject, however, to be divided into two 
districts, as future circumstances may, in the opinion of Con- 
gress, make it expedient. 

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the estates, 
both of resident, and non-resident proprietors in said territory, 
dying intestate, 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 de- 
scendants, then in equal parts to the next of kin in equal de- 
gree ; and, among collaterals, the children of a deceased 
brother or sister of the intestate 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 intestate, 
'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 remain in full force until altered by the legisla- 
ture of the district. And, until the governor and judges shall 
adopt laws as hereinafter mentioned, estates in the said terri- 
tory 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, sealed, 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 thereof duly proved, and be 
recorded within one year after proper magistrates, courts, and 
registers, shall be appointed for that purpose ; and personal 
property may be transferred by delivery; saving, however, to 
the French and Canadian inhabitants, and other settlers of the 
Kaskaskias, iSt. Vincents, and the neighboring villages who 
have heretofore professed themselves citizens of Virginia, 
their 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 appointed, from time to time, by Congress, a governor, 
whose commission shall continue in force for three years, un- 
less sooner revoked by Congress; he shall reside in the dis- 
trict, and have a freehold estate therein in 1000 acres of Tand, 
while in the exercise of his office. 

There shall be appointed, from time to time, by Congress, 

1787. Ordinance of 1787. 315 

a secretary, whose commission shall continue in force for four 
years, unless sooner revoked ; he shall reside in the 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 legislature, and the 
public records of the district, and the proceedings of the gov- 
ernor in his Executive department ; and transmit authentic 
copies of such acts and proceedings, every six months, to the 
Secretary of Congress : 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 jurisdiction, 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 publish 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 therein, 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 commissioned by Congress. 

Previous to the organization of the General Assembly, the 
governor shall appoint such magistrates and other civil offi- 
cers, 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 organized, the powers 
and duties of magistrates and other civil officers, shall be reg- 
ulated 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 ap- 
pointed by the governor. 

For the prevention of crimes and injuries, the laws to be 
adopted or made shall have force in all parts of the district, 
and for the execution of process, criminal and civil, the gov- 
ernor shall make proper divisions thereof; and he shall pro- 
ceed, 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 townships, subject, 
however, to such alterations as may thereafter be nvade by 
the legislature. 

So soon as there shall be 5090 free male inhabitants 
of full age in the district, upon giving proof thereof to 
the Governor, they shall receive authority, with time and 
place, to elect representatives from their counties or townships 

316 Ordinance of 1787. 1787. 

to represent them in the General Assembly : Provided, That, 
for every 500 free male inhabitants, there shall be one repre- 
sentative, 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 representa- 
tives shall be regulated by the Legislature : Provided, That 
no person be eligible or qualified to act as a representative 
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 ei- 
ther case, shall likewise hold in his own right, in fee simple, 
two hundred acres of land within the same : Provided, also, 
That a freehold in fifty 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 Representa- 
tives. The Legislative Council 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 mem- 
bers of the Council shall be nominated and appointed in the 
following 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 five hundred acres of land, and return their names 
to Congress ; five of whom Congress shall appoint and com- 
mission 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 tuo persons, quali- 
fied as aforesaid, for each vacancy, and return their names to 
Congress ; one of whom Congress shall appoint and commis- 
sion for the residue of the term. And every five years, four 
months at least before the expiration of the time of service of 
the members of the Council, the said House shall nominate 
ten persons, qualified as aforesaid, and return their names to 
Congress ; five of whom Congress shall appoint and commis- 
sion to serve as members of the Council five years, unless 
sooner removed. And the Governor, Legislative Council, 
and House of Representatives, shall have authority to make 
laws in all cases, for the good government of the district, not 

1787. Ordinance of 1787. 317 

repugnant to the principles and articles in this ordinance es- 
tablished and declared. And all bills, having passed by a ma- 
jority in the House, and by a majority in the Council, shall be 
referred to the Governor for his assent ; but no bill, or legisla- 
tive 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 offi- 
cers before the Governor. As soon as a Legislature shall 
be formed in the district, the Council and House assembled in 
one room, shall have authority, by joint ballot, to elect a del- 
egate to Congress, who shall have a seat in Congress, with a 
right of debating, but not of voting, during this temporary 

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 hereafter shall be formed in the 
said territory; to provide also for the establishment 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 interest : 

It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority afore- 
said, That the following articles shall be considered as ar- 
ticles of compact between the original States and the people 
and States in the said territory, and forever remain unaltera- 
ble, 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 peo- 
ple in the Legislature ; and of judicial proceedings according 
to the course of 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 be deprived of his liberty or property, but by the judg- 
ment of his peers or the law of the land ; and, should the 
public exigencies make it necessary, for the common preserva- 
tion, to take any person's property, or to demand his particular 

318 Ordinance of 1787. 1787. 

services, fall compensation shall be made for the same. And, 
in the just preservation of rights and property, it is understood 
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 
fide, and without fraud, previously formed. 

ART. 3. Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessa- 
ry 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 
injustice 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 confedera- 
cy of the United States of America, subject to the Articles of 
Confederation, and to such alterations therein as shall be con- 
stitutionally 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 
subject to pay a part of the federal debts contracted, or to be 
contracted, and a proportional part of the expenses of gov- 
ernment, 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 au- 
thority 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 districts or new States, shall never 
interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United 
States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Con- 
gress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to 
the bona fide 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 leading into the Mississippi and St. Law- 
rence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be 
common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabi- 
tants of the said territory as to the citizens of the United 
States, and those of any other States that may be admitted 

*Act of 25th February, 1811, provides the same in Louisiana; and, al?o, that lands sold 
by Congress shall not be taxed for five years after sale; in Mississippi, by act of 1st 
March, 1817, and so of all others. 

1787. Ordinance of 1787. 319 

into the Confederacy, without any tax, impost or duty, there- 

ART. 5. There shall be formed in the said territory, not 
less than three nor more than five States ; and the bounda- 
ries of the States, as soon as Virginia shall alter her act of 
cession, and consent to the same, shall become fixed and es- 
tablished 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. Vincent'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 direct line 
drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami, to the 
said territorial line. The eastern State shall be bounded by the 
last mentioned 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 here- 
after 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 re- 
publican, and in conformity to the principles contained in 
these articles ; and so far as it can be consistent with the gen- 
eral 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 sixty thousand. 

ART. 6. There shall be neither slavery or involuntary ser- 
vitude 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 ser- 
vice as aforesaid. 

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the resolu- 
tions 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. 

320 Symmes Applies for Land. 1788. 

The passage of this ordinance, and the grant to the New 
England associates, was soon followed by an application to 
government by John Cleve 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, (Brownsville,) who had examined the vallies 
of the Shawanese soon after the treaty of January, 1786.f 
Symmes found them all, and more than all they had been rep- 
resented 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 re- 
ferred to the Board, with power to act, and a contract was 
concluded the next year. Upon the 18th of the month last 
named, another application was made by Royal Flint and Jo- 
seph Parker, for lands upon the Wabash and Mississippi ;J 
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 ensuing spring, and upon the 23d of November, made ar- 
rangements for a party of forty-seven men, under the superin- 
tendence 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 Hartford, and go westward ; and the remain- 
der 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 prevent unauthorized 
intrusions ; and two days later appointed St. Clair governor 
of the North-western Territory.|| 

The two leading causes of disquiet to the western people 
through 1787, the Indian incursions, and the Spanish posses- 
sion of the Mississippi, did not cease to irritate them during 
the next year also. 

* Land Laws, 372. See also Burnet's Letters in the Ohio Historical Transactions, p. 335 
to 347. 

f Cincinnati Directory, 1819, p. 16. The Historical sketch in this Tolume was compiled 
from the statements of the earliest settlers. The Miami country had been entered in 
1 785, and some "improrements" made. Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 33. 

J Old Journals, iv. Appendix 19. 

\ North American Review, liii. 341. Old Journals, iv. 785, 786. 

1788. Measures to preserve Peace. 321 

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 
too late in the year, and the proposed meeting was postponed 
till April. Of this meeting Messrs. Marshall, Muter, and oth- 
ers, when writing to Virginia, gave information, and suggested 
that the government should take Clark's place in it. The 
Council of Virginia coincided with the suggestion, and recom- 
mended to Congress James Wilkinson, Richard C. Anderson 
and Isaac Shelby,* as commissioners on behalf of the United 
States. Congress, however, received notice of Clark's move- 
ments too latef 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 
convenient place, and there hold a council with the Wabash 
Indians and Shawanese, for the purpose of putting an end to 
warfare. J Favorable notice was also taken of a council 
which had been held at the mouth of Detroit river, in Decem- 
ber, 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 instruct- 
ed on the subject, on the 26th of the month last mentioned. || 
At the same time, however, that measures were thus taken to 
preserve peace, troops were placed at Venango, Fort Pitt, Fort 
Mclntosh, the Muskingum, the Miami, Vincennes, and Louis- 
ville, and the governor of Virginia was requested to have the 
militia of Kentucky in readiness for any emergency. All these 
measures, however, produced no results during 1788 ; the Indi- 
ans were neither overawed, conquered, nor satisfied ; from May 
until the middle of July they \vere expected to meet the 
whites upon the Muskingum, but the point which had been 

* Secret Journals, iv. 313, 314, 309, 306. 
f April 12th. Secret Journals, iv. 301. 
J Old Journals, iv. 761. 

|| Lanman's History of Michigan, 149. Old Journals, iv. 762, 7G3, 786. Secret Jour- 
nals, i. 276. 

I Old Journals, iv. 762. 

322 Emigrants Land at Muskingum. 1788. 

selected, and where goods had been placed, being at last at- 
tacked 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 opera- 
tions. During the winter of 1787-8, their men were press- 
ing on over the Alleghenies by the old Indian path which had 
been opened into Braddock's road, and which has since been 
followed by the national turnpike from Cumberland westward. 
Through the dreary winter days they trudged on, and by April 
were all gathered on the Yohiogany,* -where boats had been 
built, and started for the Muskingum. On the 7th of April 
they landed at the spot chosen, and became the founders of 
Ohio, unless we regard as such the Moravian Missionaries. 

As St. Clair, who had been appointed governor the preced- 
ing October, had not yet arrived, it became necessary to erect 
a temporary 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 administer 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 compro- 
mised.f 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, properly, and 
strength will be its characteristics. I know many of the set- 
tlers 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 born city and its public squares. As yet the 
settlement had been merely "The Muskingum,"|| but the name 

* A list of the- forty-eight is given, N<5rth American Review, liii. 34.6. 
t Western Monthly Magazine, 1833, vol. i. p. 395. 
J Sparks' Washington, ix. 384. 
$ American Pioneer, i. 83. 

|| Some of the settlers called it the city of Adelphi: See a letter dated May 16th, 1788, 
to the Massachusetts Spy in Imlay (Ed. 1797) p. 595. 

1788. Marietta Founded. 323 

Marietta was now formally given it, in honor of Marie Antoi- 
nette ; 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 Via.* 

On the 4th of July an oration was delivered by James M. 
Varnum,f who, with H. S. Parsons and John Armstrong,^ had 
been appointed to the judicial bench of the territory, on the 
16th of October, 1787. Five days after the Governor arrived, 
and the colony began to assume form. The ordinance of 1787 
provided two distinct grades of government for the north- 
west territory, under the first of which the whole power \vas 
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 regulating and establishing the mili- 
tia," was published upon the 25th of July; and the next day, 
appeared the governor's proclamation, erecting all the coun- 
try that had been ceded by the Indians east of the Scicto river 
into the county of Washington. 

From that time forward, notwithstanding the doubt yet ex- 
isting as to the Indians, all at Marietta went on prosperously 
and pleasantly. On the 2d of September the first court was 
held, with becoming 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 at the 
garrison at Fort Harmar ; 4th, the members of the bar; 5th, 
the Supreme Judges ; 6th, the Governor and Clergyman ; 7th, 
the newly appointed Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, 
Generals Rufus Putnam and Benjamin Tupper. 

They 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 blessing. The Sheriff, Col. Ebenezer 

*Carey's Museum, vol. iv. p. 390. In the fifth volume (March, 1789) 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." 

t See this oration in Carey's Museum for May, 1789, 453 to 455. 

J Mr. Armstrong declined serving. John Cleve Syinmes was chosen in his stead, Feb. 
19th, 178S. 

** Chase, vol. i. p. 92. Carey's Museum, iv, 433. 

324 Great Emigration Westward. 1788. 

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 
innocent, without respect to 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 ex- 
hibited thus early in the settlement of the State, few ever 
equalled it in the dignity and exalted character of its princi- 
pal participators. Many of them belonged to the history of 
our country, in the darkest as well as the most splendid peri- 
ods of the Revolutionary war. To witness this spectacle, a 
large body of Indians was collected, from the most powerful 
tribes then occupying the almost entire West. They had as- 
sembled for the purpose of making a treaty. Whether any of 
them entered the hall of justice, or what were their impres- 
sions, we are not told. (American Pioneer, i. p. 165.) 

The progress of the settlement, says a letter from Muskin- 
gum, "is sufficiently rapid for the first year. We are con- 
tinually erecting 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 progress of society in this new world ; where I be- 
lieve we shall vie with, if not excel, the old States, in every 
accomplishment necessary to render life agreeable and hap- 

The emigration westward, even at this time, was very great; 
the commandant at Fort Harmar reporting four thousand five 
hundred persons as having passed that post between Februa- 
ry and June, 1788; many of whom would have stopped on 
the purchase of the Associates, had they been ready to re- 
ceive them. 

During the following year, and indeed until the Indians, 
who, in spite of treaties, had been committing small depreda- 
tions all the time, stealing horses and sinking boats, went 
fairly and openly to war, the settlement on the Muskingum 
grew slowly, but steadily, and to good purpose ; the first at- 
tack made by Indians on the Muskingum settlements, began 
January 2d, 1791. 

Nor were Symmes and his New Jersey friends idle during 
this year, though his purchase was far more open to Indian 
depredations 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 2d of Oct. 1787. 

1788. Syrnmes 1 Purchase. 325 

Upon the 26th of the next month, Symmes issued a pamph- 
let, 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, on 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 per acre, till May, 
1788 ; then one dollar till November ; and, after that time, 
\vas to be regulated by the demand for land. Every locator 
\vas bound to begin improvements within two years, or forfeit 
one-sixth of his purchase to whoever would settle thereon and 
remain seven years. Military bounties might be taken in this 
as in the purchase oft he associates. For himself, Symmes re- 
tained 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 w r ould 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 diffi- 
culty 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.* 

In January, 1788, Mathias Denman, of New Jersey, took an 
interest in Symmes' purchase, and located, among other tracts, 
the sectional and fractional section upon which Cincinnati 
has been built. f Retaining one-third of this particular lo- 
cality, he sold another third to Robert Patterson, and the re- 
mainder to John Filson ; and the three, about August, 1788, 
agreed to lay out a town on the 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 

* Manuscript Letters of Symmes. See Burnet's Letters, 136. 

t 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. 

326 Cincinnati laid out. 1788. 

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 pro- 
phetic perception of the mixed race that were in after days to 
inhabit there, he named it Losantiville, which, being interpre- 
ted, means vitte, the town ; anti, opposite to; os, the mouth ; L, 
of Licking. J This may well put to the blush the Campus 
Martins of the Marietta scholars, and the Fort Sokm of the 

Meanwhile, in July, Symmes got thirty people and eight 
four-horse w r agons under way for the West. These reached 
Limestone (no w Maysville) in September, where they found 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 ex- 
pected 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 gov- 
ernment, he wishing to have the whole Ohio from between the 
Miamies, while the Board of Treasury wished to confine him 
to twenty miles upon the Ohio. This proposition, however, 
he would not for a long time agree to, as he had made sales 
along nearly the whole Ohio shore. Leaving the bargain in 
this unsettled state, Congress considered itself released from 
its obligation to sell ; and, but for the 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 appointed one of the judges of the North-west 
Territory, in the place of Mr. Armstrong, who declined serv- 
ing. 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 of his endangering the contract to which they had 
become parties. With these murmurs and reproaches behind 
him, he saw before him danger, delay, suffering, and, perhaps, 
ultimate failure and ruin, and, although hopeful by nature, 
apparently he felt discouraged and sad. However, a visit to 
his purchase, where he landed upon the 22d of September, 
revived his spirits, and upon his return to Maysville, he wrote 
to Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, who had become in- 

J Cincinnati Directory {for 1819, p. 18. 

1788. Troubles of Symmes. 327 

terested with him, that he thought some of the land near the 
Great Miami " positively worth a silver dollar the acre in its 
present state." 

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 22d 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 ex- 
ceed one-third the depth. On the 15th of May, 1788, 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 concluded a contract with 
government, bearing date May 15th, for one million of acres, 
beginning 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 thou- 
sand acres ; but even this Symmes could not pay for, and, 
when his patent issued upon the 30th September, 1794, it 
gave him and his associates but two hundred and forty-eight 
thousand five hundred and forty acres, exclusive of reserva- 
tions, which amounted to sixty-three thousand one hundred 
and forty-two acres. This tract was bounded by the Ohio, 
the two Miamies, and a due east and west Jine, run so as to 
comprehend the desired quantity. As Symmes made no far- 
ther payments after this time, the rest of his purchase revert- 
ed to the United States, who gave those that had bought 
under Symmes ample pre-emption rights. See Land Laws, 
pp. 272-382, et scq and post. 

About this time 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 defending himself; for, while three hundred 
men were stationed at Muskingum, he had ' but one ensign 

328 Troubles of Symmcs. 1788. 

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-five soldiers came to 
Maysville in December, they came without provisions, and but 
made bad worse. Nor did their coming answer 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 cattle 
were drowned, and their provisions lost, and so the settlement 
was prevented. But the fertile mind of a man like our ad- 
venturer could, even under these circumstances, find comfort 
in the anticipation of what was to come. In the words of 
Return Jonathan Meigs, the first Ohio poet with 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 b'>w 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 
fifteen feet under w r ater. 

But, before Symmes left Maysville, which was upon the 
29th of January, 1789, two settlements had been made within 
his purchase. The first was by Mr. Stites, the original pro- 
jector of the whole plan ; who, with other Redstone people, 
had located themselves 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 The land at this point was so 
fertile, that from nine acres were raised nine hundred and 
sixty-three bushels of Indian corn. But they were agreeably 

* Poem delivered at Marietta, July 4th, slightly altered, 
t Cincinnati Directory for 1849, and Symmes' Letters. 

1788. Columbia Settled. 329 

disappointed : the Indians came to them, and though the 
whites answered, as Symmes says, " in a blackguarding man- 
ner," the savages sued for peace. One, at \vhom a rifle was 
presented, took off his cap, trailed his gun, and held out his 
right hand, by which/pacific gestures he induced the Ameri- 
cans 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 at the Indian 
camps;" and the red-men and squaws " spending whole days 
and nights" at Columbia, " regaling themselves with whis- 
ky." 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 examining the coun- 
try about the Great Miami, had prevented some Kentuckians, 
who were in his company, from injuring a band of the sav- 
ages that came within their power ; which proceeding, he 
says, " the Kentuckians thought unpardonable." 

The Columbia settlement 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 into 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 Denrnan 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 anything else could have donel 

[John Filson was killed by the Indians in the Miami valley 

in the autumn of 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 


330 Cincinnati Settled. 1788. 

Symmes' surveyor. This gentleman, with Colonel Patterson, 
one of the other proprietors, 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 of a 
town opposite Licking." The river was^illed with ice " from 
shore to shore ;" but, says Symmes, in May, 1789, " persever- 
ance 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 discus- 
sions as to dates and localities with which scholars now and 
then amuse the world, that the date of the settlement of Cin- 
cinnati is unknown, even though we have the testimony of 
the very men that made the settlement. Judge Symmes says 
in one of his letters, " On the 24th of December, 1788, Colo- 
nel Patterson, of Lexington, who is concerned with Mr. Den- 
man in the section at the mouth of Licking 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 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 Jan- 
uary, 1789;" while William McMillan testifies that he " was 
one of those who formed the settlement of Cincinnati on the 
28th day of December, 1788." As we know of nothing more 
conclusive on the subject than these statements, we must 
Jeave 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 
placed their dwellings in the most exposed situation, yet, says 
Symmes they " suffered nothing from the freshet." 

South of the Ohio, during this year, matters were in scarce 
as good a train as upon the " Indian" side of the river. The 
savages continued to annoy the settlers, and the settlers to re- 
taliate 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 

1788. General Wilkinson's Plans. 331 

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 men- 
tioned Wilkinson's trip to New Orleans, in June, 1787 ; but 
as that voyage was the beginning of that long and mysterious 
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 Louis- 

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^settlements on the Ohio was laid, 
which daily increased. Previous to that time, all those who 
ventured on the Mississippi had their property seized by the 
first commanding officer they met, and little or no communi- 
cation was kept up between the two countries. Now and 
then, an emigrant who wished to settle in Natchez, by dint of 
entreaty, and solicitation of friends who had interests in New 
Orleans, procured permission to remove there with his family, 
slaves, cattle, furniture and farming utensils ; but was allowed 
to bring no other property, except cash. An unexpected in- 
cident, however, changed the face of things, and was produc- 
tive of a new line of conduct. The arrival of a boat, belong- 
ing to General Wilkinson, loaded with tobacco and other pro- 
ductions of Kentucky, was 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 supe- 
riors, who might wish to show some respect to the property of 
a general officer ; at any rate, the boat was proceeding to Or- 
leans, and they would then resolve on what measures they 
ought to pursue, and put into execution. The government, 
not much disposed to show any mark of respect or forbear- 
ance towards the general's property , he not having at that 
time arrived, was about proceeding in the usual way of con- 
fiscation, when a merchant in Orleans, who had considerable 

* Wilkinson says the partnership was formed without his knowledge or consent. (Me- 
moir?, ii. 113.) 
| American State Papers, xx. 704. 

332 Trade Opened with New Orleans. 1788. 

influence there, and who was formerly acquainted \vith the 
general, represented to the governor that the measures taken 
by the Intendant would very probably give rise to disagreea- 
ble events ; that the people of Kentucky were already exas- 
perated at the conduct of the Spaniards in seizing on the prop- 
erty of all those who navigated the Mississippi ; and if this 
system was pursued, they would very probably, in spite of 
Congress and the Executive of the United States, take upon 
themselves to obtain the navigation of the river by force, 
which they were well able to do ; a measure 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 man, 
who could influence the whole of that country ; and probably 
that his sending 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 tor- 
rent, 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 Ameri- 
can Government, 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 In- 
tendant 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 Orleans, some time after, was informed of 
the obligation he lay under to the merchant who had im- 
pressed 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 inter- 
view with the governor, that he might not seem to derogate 
from the character given of him, by appearing concerned in 
so trifling a business as a boat-load of tobacco, hams, and but- 
ter, he gave him to understand that the property belonged to 
many citizens of Kentucky, who, availing themselves of his 
return to the Atlantic States, by way of Orleans, wished to 
make a trial of the temper of this government, as he, on his 

1788. Trade Opened with New Orleans. 333 

arrival, might inform his own what steps had been pursued 
under his eye, that adequate measures might be afterwards ta- 
ken 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 the court, and he had not the power to 
relax them according to circumstances. Convinced by this 
discourse that the general rather wished for an opportunity of 
embroiling affairs, than sought to avoid it, the governor be- 
came 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 fear- 
ful 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 disposition, 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 instructions. 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 Wilkin- 
son the offer of a permission 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 peo- 
ple, without yielding the point of navigation, as the com- 
merce 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 offices in preaching 
peace, harmony, and good understanding with his govern- 

334 Kentucky not Made a State. 1788. 

< % 

ment, until arrangements were made 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 unfortunate 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 Louis- 
iana at that time produced, and which was paid for at about 
$9.50 per cwt. In Kentucky it cost but $2, and the profit 
was immense. In consequence, the general had appointed 
his friend, Daniel Clark, his agent here, returned by way of 
Charleston in a vessel, with a particular permission to go to 
the United States, even at the very moment of Gardoqui's in- 
formation ; 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.* 

[This Daniel Clark, we suppose, was the father of Mrs. 
Gaines ] 

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 recep- 
tion as be had met with at New Orleans, was surely calculat- 
ed to make him and his friends feel that by either intimida- 
tion, 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 agree- 
ment 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 February,! ^ was hoped the matter 
would soon be disposed of. But such was not the case ; from 

* See American State Papers, xx. p. 707. Clark's Memoir is said by Wilkinson to bft 
substantially correct. (Memoirs, ii. 110.) 
t Old Journals, iv. 811, 819, 828, 829, 830. 

1788. Offers of Spain to Kentucky. 335 

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 gov- 
ernment about to be 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 making a Constitution, when 
news reached them* that their coming together was all to no 
purpose, as the Legislature of the Union had not given the 
necessary sanction to the act of Virginia. This news amazed 
and shocked them, and being accompanied or followed by in- 
timations 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 south-western 
rulers, while Brown wrote home such sentiments as these : 

" The eastern States would not, nor do I think they ever 
will assent to the admission of the district in 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 government is made the ostensible 
objection to the measure; but, the jealousy of the growing im- 
portance of the western country, and an unwillingness to add 
a vote to the southern interest, are the real causes of opposi- 
tion. The question which the district will now have to de- 
termine upon, will be whether, or not, it will be more expe- 
dient to continue the connexion with the State of Virginia, 
or to declare their independence and proceed to frame a con- 
stitution of government? 

In private conferences which I have had with Mr. Gardo- 
qui, the Spanish minister, at this place, I have been assured 
by him in the most explicit tei\ris, that if Kentucky will de- 

*The difficulty of communicating news to the West may be judged of by the following 
extract from a letter by John Brown to Judge Muter. 

"An answer to your favor of the 16th of IVfareh was, together with several other letters, 
put into the hands of one cf 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 ea=y and cer- 
tain." (Marshall, i. 304.) 

336 A Seventh Convention Called. 1788. 

clare her independence, and empower some proper person to 
negotiate \vith him, that he has authority, 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 
United States, by reason of commercial treaties existing be- 
tween that court and other powers of Europe. 

As there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of this declara- 
tion, I have thought proper to communicate it to a few confi- 
dential friends in the district, with his permission, not doubting 
but that they will make a prudent use of the information 
which is in part confirmed by despatches yesterday received 
by Congress, from Mr. Carmichal, our minister at that court, 
the contents of which I am not at liberty to disclose.* 

But even under the excitement produced by such prospects 
offered from abroad, and such treatment at the hands of their 
fellow-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 determined to adjourn, and in doing so advised the call- 
ing of a seventh Convention, to meet in the following Novem- 
ber, and continue in existence until January, 1790, with full 

To take such measures for obtaining admission of the dis- 
trict, 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 organize 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.f 

These terms, although they contain nothing necessarily im- 
plying a separation from Virginia against her wish, or direct- 
ly authorizing the coming Convention to treat with Spain, 
were still supposed to have been used for the purpose of ena- 
bling or even inviting that body to take any steps, however 
much against the letter of the law; and as Mr. Brown's let- 
ters showed that strong temptations were held out to the peo- 
ple of the District to declare themselves independent and then 
enter into negotiations with Spain, George Muter, Chief Jus- 
tice of the District, on the 15th of October, published a letter 
in the Kentucky Gazette, calling attention to the fact that a 

*See Marshall's History of Kentucky, i. p. 305. 
|See Marshall's History of Kentucky, L p. 290. 

1788. Connolly in Kentucky. 337 

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 
adherence to legal proceedings, were not in vain. The elec- 
tions took place, and on the 4th of November the Convention 
met; the contest 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 prevent- 
ed. 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 afterw r ards dropped, Congress was memorialized 
respecting the Mississippi, Virginia was again asked for an 
act of separation, and the Convention quietly adjourned until 
the 1st Monday of the following August.* It is not improba- 
ble 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 Sep- 
tember, 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 following statement sent by Colonel 
Thomas Marshall, to General Washington, in the month of 
February, 1789. 

About this time, (November, 1788,) arrived from Canada 
the famous Doctor (now Colonel) Connolly ; his ostensible 
business was to enquire after, and repossess himself of, some 
lands he formerly held at the Falls of the Ohio ; 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 op- 
position 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 acquaintance with him. 

He was introduced by Colonel John Campbell, his old co- 

See Marshall, i. 238 to 341. Marshall gives all the papers. Butler Ifi2 to 181517 to 
523. Carey's Museum, April 1789, p. 331 to 333. 
f Secret Journals, iv. 4.49 to 454. 

338 Connolly in Kentucky. 1788 

purchaser of the land at the Falls, formerly a prisoner taken 
by the Indians, and confined in Canada, who previously in- 
formed us of the proposition he was about to make. He 
(Connolly) presently entered upon his subject, urged the great 
importance the navigation of the Mississippi must be to the 
inhabitants of the western waters, showed the absolute neces- 
sity of our possessing it, and concluded with assurances that 
were we disposed to assert our right respecting that naviga- 
tion. Lord Dorchester, (formerly Sir Guy Carlton,) was cor- 
dially disposed to give us powerful assistance, that his Lord- 
ship 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 cul- 
tivate 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 

I told him that the minds of the people of this country were 
so strongly prejudiced against the British, not only from cir- 
cumstances 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 savages continued to commit such 
horrid cruelties on our defenceless frontiers, and were received 
as friends and allies by the British at Detroit, it would be im- 
possible 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 dis- 
posed to be our friend, he must begin by showing his disap- 
probation of the ravages of the Indians. 

He admitted 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 Dorchester 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 Loniship on the sub- 
ject, and hopes, he says, to succeed. At taking his leave he 
begged very politely the favor of our correspondence ; we 
both promised him, providing he would begin it, and devise a 
means of carrying it on. He did not tell me that he was au- 
thorized by Lord Dorchester to make us these offers in his 
name, nor did I ask him ; but General Scott informs me that 

1788. Connolly in Kentucky. 339 

he told him that his Lordship had authorized him to use his 
name in this business.* 

Colonel George Morgan, during this year, was induced to 
remove for a time to the Spanish territories west of the Mis- 
sissippi, and remained at New Madrid between one and two 
months ; thence he went to New Orleans.f 

[The projected city and settlement of New Madrid by Col. 
Morgan, may be found in the Appendix, Annals of Mis- 

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 
Muskingum settlement : but it was not till Jan. 9th of this year, 
that the natives were brought to agree to distinct terms. On 
that day, one treaty was made with the Iroquois,J confirming 
the previous one of October, 1784, at Fort Stanwix ; and 
another with the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas, 
Pottawatamies and Sacs, confirming and extending the treaty 
of Fort Mclntosh, made in January, 1785. Of the additions 
we quote the following : 

ART. 4. It is agreed between the 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, with- 
out hindrance or molestation, so long as they demean them- 
selves peaceably, and offer no injury or annoyance to any of 
the subjects or citizens of the said United States. 

ART. 7. Trade shall be opened with the said nations, and 
they do hereby respectively engage to afford protection to the 
persons and property of such as may be duly licensed to re- 
side among them for the purpose of trade, and to their 
agents, factors, and servants ; but no person shall be permit- 
ted to reside at their towns, or at their hunting 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 per- 
sons shall intrude themselves without such license, they prom- 

* See Butler, 520. 

f American State Papers, xx. 504. 

J Collection of Indian treaties. Land Laws, 123. 

g Land Laws, 149. See also CuTey'i Museum for April, 1789, p. 415. 

340 Treaties of Fort Harmar. 1789 

ise to apprehend him or them, and to bring them to the said 
Governor, or one of his deputies, for the purpose beforemen- 
tioned, to be dealt with according to law ; and that they may 
be defended 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 every 

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 knowledge 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 
States, or either of them, attempt to pass through their coun- 
try, they will endeavor to prevent the same, and, in like man- 
ner, 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 States : 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 them, that shall come to 
their knowledge ; and do all in their power to hinder and pre- 
vent the same, that the friendship between them may be 

But these treaties, if meant in good faith by those who made 
them, were not respected, and the year of which we now 
write, saw renewed the old frontier troubles in all their bar- 
barism 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,f and the Kentuckians retaliated, striking foes and 
friends, even "the peaceable Piankeshaws who prided them- 
selves on their attachment to the United States. "J Nor could 
the President take any effectual steps to put an end to this 
constant partisan warfare. In the first place, it was by no 
means clear that an attack by the forces of the government 
upon the Wabash tribes, could be justified. Says Wash- 
ington : 


I would have it observed forcibly, that a war with the Wa- 
bash Indians ought to be avoided by all means consistently 

"Sea Land Laws, p. 152. 

t Marshall, i, 348, 351. American State Papers, vol. v. 84, 85. Carey's Museum, 
April 1789, p. 416, and May, pp. 504, 608. 

J Gen. Knox. American State Papers, v. 13. , 

1789. Troubles with the Indians. 341 

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 States. But, if, after 
manifesting clearly to the Indians the disposition of the Gene- 
ral Government for the preservation of peace, and the exten- 
sion of a just protection to the said Indians, they should con- 
tinue their incursions, the United States will be constrained to 
punish them with severity.* 

But how to punish them was a difficult question, again, 
even supposing punishment necessary. Says Gen. Knox : 

By the best and latest information it appears that, on the 
Wabash and its communications, there are from fifteen hun- 
dred to two thousand warriors. 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 expe- 
dition. 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 quarter- 
master'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 indispen- 
sable objects. 

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 Presi- 
dent to call out the militia to protect the frontiers, and he, on 
the 6th of October, authorized Governor St. Clair to draw 
1500 men from the western counties of Virginia and Penn- 
sylvania, if absolutely necessary; ordering him, however, to 
ascertain, if possible, the real disposition of the Wabash 
and Illinois Indians. f In order to do this, speeches to them 
were prepared, and messengers 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 with- 
drawal of the Virginia scouts and rangers, who had hitherto 

* American State Papers, v. 13, 97, pp. 34 to 93. 
I American State Papers, 97, 101, 102. 

342 Muskingum Settlements Spread. 1789. 

helped to protect her. This was done in July, by the Govern- 
or, in consequence 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 convention held in July, and that body 
at once authorized a remonstrance against the measure, repre- 
senting 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.* 

[We have the authority of Judge Innis, of Kentucky ( Amer. 
State Papers, v. p. 88,) that in seven years, 1500 persons, 20,- 
000 horses, and 15,000 worth of property had been destroy- 
ed or taken away from that district, by the savages.] 

Nor was the old separation sore healed yet. Upon the 29th 
of December, 1788, Virginia had passed her third act to make 
Kentucky independent; but as this law made the District lia- 
ble 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 Dan- 
ville, 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 present State, but 
new proceedings throughout were at the same time ordered, 
and a ninth Convention directed to meet in the following 


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 Rev. Dan'l. Story, under a 
resolution 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 Nevv- 
bury, one at Wolf Creek,|| one at Duck Creek, one at the 

9 Marshall, i 352. American State Papers, v. 84, &c. 

t.Ibid, 342, 350. Butler, 187. 

J American Pioneer, i. 86. 

H Here was built the first mill in Ohio. (American Pioneer, ii. 99, and plate.) 

1789. Fort Washington Founded. 343 

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 "Slaugh- 
ter House," and commenced the building of Fort Washington 
on the site of Losantiville. 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 de- 
tachment 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 offi- 
cer commanding the detachment was examining the neigh- 
borhood, 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 advan- 
tageous situation for a military work. This opinion he com- 
municated to Judge Symmes, who contended, very strenu- 
ously, 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 
conviction, that the Bend was not to be compared with Cin- 
cinnati. 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 

* Han ij Tour, 191,192. 

fSymmes' Letters in Cist's Cincinnati, 231, 229, 219, 

344 Reason for placing the Fort at Cincinnati. 1789. 

or Cincinnati was to be the great commercial town on the 
Miami purchase. This anecdote was communicated by 
Judge Symmes, and is unquestionably authentic. As soon as 
the troops removed to Cincinnati, and established the garrison, 
the settlers at the Bend, then more numerous than those at 
Cincinnati, began to remove; and in two or three years, the 
Bend was literally deserted, and the idea of eslablishing 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. 
Losantiville, 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 South Bend might be finished 
and occupied, that would be exactly in the centre, and proba- 
bly would take the 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 encouragement. The lands back of South 
Bend 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 South Bend will effect the settlement of 
this new village in a very short time.f" 

The truth is, that neither the proposed city on the Miami, 
North Bend or South Bend, could compete, in point of natu- 
ral advantages, 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 mys- 
terious dwellers along the Ohio had reared the earthen walls 
of one of their vastest temples.J 

*Tran?actions Historical Society, Ohio, p. 17. fCist's Cincinnati, p. 230. 

JSee Transactions of Ohio Historical Society, part ii. vol. i. 35. Drake's Picture of 
Cincinnati, 202. 

1789. Contest with the Spaniards. 345 

We have referred to Wilkinson's voyage to New Or- 
leans, in 1787 ; in January of this year, (1789,) he fitted 
out twenty-five large boats, some of them carrying 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 Colonel Armstrong of the Cum- 
berland settlements, who sent down six boats manned by 
thirty men; these were stopped at Natchez, and the goods 
being there sold without permission, an officer and fifty soldiers 
were sent by the Spanish commander to arrest the transgres- 
sors. 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 

*Letter in Carey's Museum for February, 1789, pp. 209, 313. Wilkinson's Memoirs, ii. 

fCarey's Museum, April, 1789, p. 417. 

THE INDIAN WAR OF 17901795. 

Organization of the North-western Territory Sketch of Governor St. Clair The Ex- 
cursion to the Illinois Country Claims of the United States on Indian Lands Difficul- 
ties with the Indians Gamelin's Mission Agency of British Officers and Traders 
Harmar's Campaign Expedition of General Charles Scott Campaign of St. Clair 
Disastrous Defeat. 

[The ordinance of Congress, as already shown, passed in 
August, 1787, but the government was not organized until 
the following year. In the month of July, General Arthur 
St. Clair, who had been appointed Governor by the Old Con- 
gress, appeared at Marietta, and put the machinery of the 
new government in motion. This was on the 15th of July, 
1788, when the governor, who had arrived on the 9th, pub- 
lished the ordinance of Congress for the government of the 
Territory, and the commissions of the officers.* The organ- 
ization was what has been called, the first grade ; consisting 
of a Governor, Secretary, and three Judges, who, conjointly, 
constituted the law-making power. 

Winthrop Sargent, one of the Ohio immigrants of the pre- 
ceding year, was appointed Secretary, and Samuel H. Par- 
sons, James M. Varnum and John Armstrong, Judges. The 
latter not accepting the office, John Cleves Symmes was ap- 
pointed in his stead. On the 26th of July, by proclamation 
of the governor, the county of Washington \vas organized. 
This was the first organized county in the North-western Ter- 
ritory. It contained within its limits about one-half of the 
present State of Ohio. 

In September the Governor and Judges prepared and adopt- 
ed a code of laws, which have been perpetuated, with few 
alterations, in all the North-western States. 

As the executive authority of Governor St. Glair extended 
over the vast territory Out of which five states had been 
organized, a brief sketch of his life will be read with interest. 

He was a native of Scotland, from which country he came 
to the British Colonies of North America in 1755; having 

* Atwater's History of Ohio, p. 129 ; Dillon's Indiana, 232. 

1788. Sketch of Governor St. Clair. 347 

joined the Royal American or 60th British regiment, and 
served under General Amherst at the taking of Louisburg, in 
1758. He carried a standard at the storming and capture of 
Quebec, under General Wolfe, in 1759. *,' 

Soon after the peace of 1763, he settled in Ligonier valley, 
in Western Pennsylvania, where he continued to reside until 
the revolutionary war. Being a firm friend of liberty and the* 
rights of the colonies, he received from Congress the commis- 
sion of Colonel, and joined the American army with a regi- 
ment of seven hundred and fifty men. Having been promot- 
ed to the rank of Major-General, he was tried by a court 
martial, in 1778, for evacuating Ticonderoga and Mount In- 
dependence, and unanimously acquitted with the highest 
honors.* The late General James Wilkinson, \vho was a Ma- 
jor under St. Clair, at the time, states in the " Memoir of his 
own Times," that the General said to him, " I know I can 
save my character by sacrificing the army, but were I to do 
so, I should forfeit that which the world cannot restore, and 
which the world cannot take away my own conscience."-]- 
He continued in the service with honor until peace. He 
was rigid, some thought arbitrary, in his government, and, 
therefore unpopular, but he was scrupulously honest had no 
talent for speculation, and died poor. In a letter to the Hon. 
W. B. Giles, of Virginia, he wrote as follows : 

In the year 1786, I entered into the public service in civil 
life, and was a member of Congress, and President of that 
body, when it was determined to erect a government in the 
country to the west, that had been ceded by Virginia to the 
United States; and in the year 1788, the office of Governor 
was in a great measure forced on me. The losses I had sus- 
tained in the revolutionary war, from the depreciation of the 
money and other causes, had been very great ; and my friends 
saw in this new government means that might be in my power 
to compensate myself, and to provide handsomely for my 
numerous family. They did not know how little I was quali- 
fied to avail myself of those advantages, if they had existed. 
I had neither taste nor genius for speculation in land, neither 
did I think it very consistent with the office. J 

On entering upon the responsible office of Governor of 
this new Territory, instructions were received by him from 
Congress. He was authorized and required : 

* Dillon's Indiana, 231. 

| Wilkinson's Memoirs, i. 85. 

t Dillon's Indiana, 231. 

348 Instructions to Governor St. Glair. 1788. 

1. Tfc. examine carefully into the real temper of the Indians. 

2. To remove, if possible, all causes of controversy with 
them, so that peace and harmony might exist between them 

\ and the United States. 


3. To regulate the trade with them. 

/" 4. To use his best efforts to extinguish the rights of the In- 
dians to lands westward to the Mississippi, and northward to 
the forty-first degree of latitude. 

5. To ascertain, as far as possible, the names of the real 
head men and leading warriors of each tribe, and to attach 
these men to the United States. 

6. To defeat all combinations among the tribes by concilia- 
tory means.* 

About the first of January, 1790, the Governor and Judges, 
with Winthrop Sargent, the Secretary, proceeded down the 
river from Marietta to Fort Washington, (now Cincinnati,) 
and the Governor laid off the county of Hamilton, and ap- 
pointed magistrates and other civil officers for the administra- 
tion of justice. At this time Losantiville received the name 
of Cincinnati. On the 5th of January, a law was enacted by 
the Governor and Judges, requiring courts to be held fouv 
times in a year. 

The Governor and Secretary continued down the river, and 
on the 8th of January, they were at Clarksville, near the foot of 
the Falls, where magistrates were appointed for that portion of 
the North-western Territory, now included within the State of 
Indiana. From this point, the Governor and Secretary pro- 
ceeded by land to Vincennes. Here Major Hamtramck was in 
command. At that period corn was very scarce, and the peo- 
ple were suffering, and the Governor proffered to have corn 
transported from the Falls, where it was plenty and cheap, 
provided the citizens could pay for it. And although he had 
no authority from the government, he offered to provide for 
the starving who had not means to pay, and trust to the 
liberality of Congress. f Such was also the condition of the 
inhabitants in the Illinois country. 

Governor St. Clair and the Secretary reached Kaskaskia in 
February, and soon after organized the county of St. Clair, 

* Dillon's Indiana, 1. 232. 
t Dillon's Indiana, i. 242. 

1790. County of St. Clair Organized. 349 

appointed magistrates and other civil officers, and directed the 
citizens to exhibit to him their titles and claims to the lands 
which they held, that they might be confirmed in their 

As many of the events of Illinois will appear more in de- 
tail, in the Appendix, we pass to the annals of the Indian 
wars of this period. 

The most important and interesting events connected with 
the West, from the commencement of 1790 to the close of 
1795, were those growing out of these 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 recall to 
our readers some matters thai 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, Kas- 
kaskia, &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 ; and even this grant, it will be re- 
membered, was not respected by those who actually hunted 
on the grounds transferred.^Next came the war of 1774, Dun- 
more's war, which termirrated without any transfer of the 
Indian possessions to the whites J and when, at the close of 
the Revolution, in 1783, Britain nfade over her western claims 
to the United States, she made over nothing more than she 
had received from Prance, save the title of the Six Nations and 
the southern savages to a portion of the territory south of the 
Ohio : as against the Miamies, western Delawares, Shawa- 
nese, Wyandots or Hurons, and the tribes still farther north 
and west, she transferred nothing. [Mr. Perkins has over- 
looked the cession by the Iroquois to Great Britain, of a large 
portion of the North-Western Territory in 1701, which they 
claimed by right of conquest.] 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 In- 
dian title as forfeited by the hostilities of the Revolution, pro- 
ceeded, not to buy the lands of the savages, but to grant them 

350 Mode of acquiring Indian lands. 1790-95. 

peace, and dictate their own terms as to boundaries.* In 
October, 1784, the United States acquired in this way what- 
ever title the Hd^fipl^ossessed to the western country, both 
north and south of the OhioJby the second treaty of Fort 
Stanwix ; a treaty openly ana fairly made, but one, the va- 
lidity 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 Indian 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 bor- 
dering upon the great lakes. Our readers may remember that 
the instructions given the Indian Commissioners in October, 
1783, provided for one convention with all the tribes ; and 
that this provision was changed in the following March for 
one, by which as many separate conventions were to be had, 
if possible, as there were separate tribes. In pursuance of 
this last plan, the Commissioners, 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 oppo- 
sition to Brant, Red Jacket and other influential chiefs of the 
Iroquois, concluded the treaty of Fort Stanwix. Then came 
the treaty of Fort Mclntosh, in January, 1785, with the " Wy- 
andot, Delaware, Chippewa and Ottawa nations " open to 
the objections above recited, but the validity of which, so far 
as we know, was never disputed, at least by the Wyandots 
and Delawares ; /although the general council of north-west- 
ern Indians, representing sixteen tribes, asserted in 1793, that 
the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Fort Mclntosh and Fort Finney, 
(mouth of the Great Miami,} were not onty 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 ._J 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 re- 
fused to attend. The fourth and fifth, which were acts of con- 
.firmation, were made at Fort Harmar, in 1789, one with the 
Six Nations, and the other with the Wyandots and their asso- 

* See in proof, the Report to Congress of October 15, 1783, (Old Journals, IT. 294;) the 
instructions to the Indian Commissioners, October 15th, 1783, (Secret Journals, i. 257;) the 
various treaties of 1784, '85, and '86 (ante); General Knox's Report of June 15, 1789, 
(American State Papers, v. 13); and the distinct acknowledgment of the commissioner! in 
1793, (American State Papers, v. 353.) 

1790-95. Treaty of Fort Harmar. 351 

elates, namely, the Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pota- 
watamies, and Sacs. This last, fifth treaty, the confederated 
nations of the lake especially, refused to acknowledge 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 the year 1788, at 
this place ; and that general council was invited by your com- 
missioner, 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 

Brothers : We are in possession of the speeches and letters 
which passed on that occasion, between those deputed by the 
confederate Indians, 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 con- 
federacy, and who were in no manner authorized to make any 
grant or cession whatever. 

Brothers: How then was it possible for you to expect to en- 
joy peace, and quietly to hold these lands, when your com- 
missioner was informed, long before he held the treaty of Fort 
Harmar, that the consent of a general council was absolutely 
necessary to convey any part of these lands to the United 

And in 1795, at Greenville, Massas, a Chippewa chieftain, 
who signed the treaty at Fort Harmar, said : 

Elder Brother: When you yesterday read to us the treaty 
of Muskingum, I understood you clearly : at that treaty we 
had not good interpreters, and we were left partly unac- 
quainted with many particulars of it. /I was surprised when 
1 heard your voice, through a good interpreter, 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 Potawatamies, were the true 

* American State Papers, r. p. 356, 357. 

352 Indian relations in 1789. 1789. 

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 received 
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. 

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 Greenville, and who had also signed at FortHarmar 

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 that agreement 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 us Indians.* 

The truth in reference to this treaty of Fort Harmar seems 
to have been, that the confederated nation, as a whole, did 
not sanction it, and in their council of 1778 could not agree 
one with 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 Hurons, 
Chippewas, Ottawas, Potawatomies, 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, Miamies and Kickapoos, who are now so much 
addicted to horse-stealing, that it will be a difficult task to 
break them of it, as that kind of business is their best harvest, 
will of course declare for war, and not giving up any of their 
country, which, I am afraid, will be the means of our sepa- 
rating. 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, the rest maybe 
brought to, as nothing shall be wanting on my part to con- 
vince them of their error. j- 

* American State Papers, v. p. 570, 571. 
| Stone, ii, 278. 

1790-95. Grounds of United States claims. 353 

Le Gris, the great chief of the Miamies, in April, 1790, said to 
.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 sanc- 
tioned it, as well as Captain Pipe of the Delawares, while 
Brant himself was present. f 

Thus then stood the relations of the Indians and the United 
States in 1789. Transfers of territory had been made by the 
Iroquois, the Wyandots, the Delawares and the Shawanese, 
\vhich were open to scarce any objection ; but the Chippewas, 
Ottawas, Kickapoos, Weas, Piankeshaws, Po taw atomies, Eel 
River Indians, Kaskaskias, and above all the Miamies, % were 
not bound by any existing agreement to yield the lands north 
of the Ohio. [ If the story of a confederacy being in i-eality 
formed between these nations, and their statement is correct, 
which we doubt, then, as they afterwards said, they had for- 
bidden the treaty at Fort Harmar, and warned Governor St. 
Clair that it would not be binding.] /They wished the Ohio 
to be a perpetual boundary between the white and red men -JT 
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 not be restrained from warfare upon the invading Long 
Knives, and thence resulted the unceasing attacks upon the 
frontier stations and the emigrants. 1 [Probably they had been 
put up to take this ground by the British traders. They were 
interested in keeping the Americans from the north side of 
the Ohio river, and did much to disafFect these Indians.] 

Washington expressed doubts as to the justness of an offen- 
sive 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 
North-western 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 beyond the lands ceded. Of this we have proof in 
the third article of the ordinance of 1787, passed the day 

* American State Papers, v. 94. t Stone, ii. 281. - 

354 Gamdiri's Mission. 1790. 

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 north-west 
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 govern- 
ment acted unwisely ; and that it should then, at the outset, 
have done what it did in 1793, after St. Glair's terrible defeat, 
namely, it should have sent commissioners of the highest 
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 ajid just, the govern- 
ment 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 armfes of 
the confederacy than afterward. The full bearing of these 
remarks will 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 hundred additional troops.* 

[Having learned from Major Hamtramck, commanding at 
Vincennes, the hostile feelings of the Wabash and Maumee 
tribes, he left Kaskaskia, on the llth of June, started for 
Fort Washington, and reached that point upon the 13th day 
of July.] 

The feelings alluded to had been obtained in the following 
manner. Washington having desired that great pains should 
be taken to learn the real sentiments of the north-western In- 
dians, Governor St. Clair instructed Major Hamtramck at 
Vincennes, (Fort Knox,) to send some experienced persons to 
ascertain the views and feelings of the Miamis and their con- 
federates. The person chosen was Anthony Gamelin, an in- 

* Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, ii. 124. 

1790. Gamelin's Missicni. 355 

telligent French trader, of Vincennes, who, on the fifth of 
April, proceeded upon his mission. The Piankeshaws, Kicka- 
poos, and Ouiatenons, (Ouias or Weas,) all referred him to 
their elder brethren, the Miamis, so that he had to journey on 
to the point where the Miamis, Chaouanons,* (Shawanese) 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 tra- 
ders, 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 Harmar.) be- 
tween his excellency Governor St. Clair and sundry nzftions, 
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 peace, which made disappear their pleasure. The 
great chief told me that he was pleased with the speech ; that 
he would give me an answer. In a private discourse with the 
great chief, he told me not to mind what the Shawanese 
would tell me, having a bad heart, and being the perturbators 
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 Sha- 
wanese ; his young men going out only for to hunt. 

The 25th of April, Blue Jacket, chief warrior of the Sha- 
wanese, invited me to go to his house, and told me, " My 
friend, by the name and consent of the Shawanese and Dela- 
wares I will speak to you. We are all sensible of your 
speech, and pleased with it : but, after consultation, we can- 
not give an answer without hearing from our father at De- 
troit ; 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 his 
answer. From all quarters we receive speeches from Ameri- 
cans, and not one is alike. We suppose that they intend to 
deceive us. Then take back your branches of wampum." 

The 26th, five Potawatomies 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 Les Gris. His 
chief warrior was present. I told him how I had been served 
by the Shawanese. He answered me that he had heard of it : 
that 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 old French orthography used by CharleTix and all others. 

356 Gamelin's Journal. 1790. 

The 28th April, the great chief desired me to call at the 
French trader'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 neighbors, and to the lake 
nations. We cannot give a definitive answer without con- 
sulting 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 } r oung 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 confederates, having 
resolved among them not to do anything without an unani 
mousLconsent. 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 something ; that five of them, and 
three Wyandots, were in this village with branches of wam- 
pum. 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 Shawanese, invited 
me to his house for supper ; and, before the other chiefs, told 
me that, after another deliberation, they thought necessary 
that I should 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 td 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 peacea- 
ble with the Americans, I would go to him very willingly, if it 
was in my directions, being sensible of his sentiments. I told 
them t 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 sup- 
per with him, told me, in a private manner, that the Sha- 

1790. Gamclirfs Journal. 357 

wanese 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 a great deal of pain, forget these 
affronts. Moreover, that some other nations were apprehend- 
ing that offers of peace would, may be, tend to take away, 
by degrees, their lands ; and would serve them as they did be- 
fore : a certain proof that they intend to encroach on our 
lands, is their new settlement on the Ohio. If they don't keep 
this side (of the Ohio) clear, it will never be a proper recon- 
cilement with the nations Shawanese, Iroquois, Wyandots, 
and, perhaps many others. Le Gris, 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 ap- 
proved? They went to the treaty clandestinely, and they in- 
tend to make mention of it in the next council to be held.* 

On the 8th of May, Gamelin returned to Fort Knox, and 
on the llth, some traders from the Upper Wabash arrived, 
bringing news that parties from the north had joined the 
Wabash savages ; that the whole together had already gone 
to war upon the Americans ; and that three days after Game- 
lin left the Miamis, an American captive had been burned in 
their village :f 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 we 
know relative to the agency of the British in keeping up In- 
dian hostility after the peace of 1783. 

Most of the tribes, as our readers have seen, adhered to 
England 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, 

* American State Papers, y. p. 93. 
f American State Papers, v. 87. 

358 Agency of Britain. 1790. 

regarding the lands of the hostile tribes as conquered and for- 
feited, 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.* 
To assist the purposes of this union, it was very desirable that 
the British should still hold the posts along the lakes, and sup- 
ply the red men with all needful things. The forts they 
claimed a right to hold, because the Americans 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, un- 
doubtedly and purposely, aid and abet the Indians hostile to 
tlie United States. In 1785, after the formation of his confed- 
eracy, Brantwent to England, and his arrival was thus an- 
nounced 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 fhe con- 
' duct 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 ; and it 
is conjectured that his embassy to the British Courtis of great 
importance. This country owes much to the services of 
Colonel Brant during the late war in America. He was edu- 
cated at Philadelphia ; is a very shrewd, intelligent person, 
possesses great courage and abilities as a warrior, and is in- 
violably attached to the British nation. f 

On the 4th of January, 1786, he visited Lord Sidney, the 
Colonial Secretary, and after plainly and boldly stating the 
trouble of the Indians at the forgetfulncss of Britain the en- 
croachments 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. J 

The English minister returned a perfectly non-committal 
answer; arid when the Mohawk chieftain, upon his return, 
met the confederated natives in November, 1786, he could 

* Heckewelder's Narrative, 379. Stone's Life of Brant, ii. 24T. 240. 
t Stone, ii. 249. J Ibid, 254. 

1790. . Brant's Movements. 359 

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 interest to sit still and see the Ameri- 
cans attempt the posts. It is for your sakes chiefly, if not 
entirely, that we hold them. If you become indifferent 
about them, they may perhaps be given up ; what security 
would you then have ? You would be left at the mercy 
of a people whose blood calls aloud for revenge ; whereas, 
by supporting them, you encourage us to hold them, and en- 
courage the new settlements, already considerable, and every 
day increasing by numbers coming in, who find they can't 
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 States, by en- 
deavoring to make further encroachments on you, disturb 
your quiet.* 

This letter was written in March, 1787 ; and two months 
afterwards, Major Matthews, who had been in the suite of 
the Government of Canada, Lord Dorchester, after being ap- 
pointed to command at Detroit, speaks still more explicitly, 
and in the Governor's name also : " His Lordship was sorry to 
learn," he says 

That while the Indians were soliciting his assistance in their 
preparations for war, some of the Six Nations had sent depu- 
ties 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 Niagara ; but that, not- 
withstanding 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 their interest; he cannot begin a war with the 
Americans, because some of their people encroach and make 
depredations upon parts of the Indian country ; 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 secur- 
ity 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 In- 
dians to decide what is most for their own interest, and to let 
his lordship know their determination, that he may take his 

* Stone, ii, 268, 

360 British Views. 1790. 

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 become strong ; but if they 
divide, and act one part against the other, they will become 
weak, and help to destroy each other. This is a substance of 
what his lordship desired me to tell you, and I request you 
will give his sentiments that mature consideration which their 
justice, generosity, and desire to promote the welfare and 
happiness of the Indians, must appear to all the world to 

In your letter to me, you seem apprehensive that the Eng- 
lish 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 estab- 
lished in their country, they ought to declare it, that the Eng- 
lish need no longer be put to the vast and unnecessary expense 
and inconvenience of keeping posts, the chief object of which 
is to protect their Indian allies, and the loyalists who have 
suffered 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 Indians 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, from their hostile 
perseverance, even without that advantage, 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 na- 
tions, dated December, 1786, led to the general council of 
1788 ; 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 Miatnies 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. [Some of the Delawares and Miamies so far 
quarrelled, that the former left the Miami country, and settled 
in Upper Louisiana.] At that time, however, the British in- 
fluence over the Miamies and their fellows, was in no degree 
lessened, as is plain from the entire reference of their affairs, 

* See Stone, in. 271. 

1790. British Agents urge Indians to War. 361 

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. 

In 1773, the Rev. D. Jones found Alexander McKee living 
about three miles from Paint Creek, Ohio, among the Shaw- 
anese. (See his Journal in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 262.) 
On the 29th of February, 1776, Col. Butler, the refugee hero 
of Wyoming and Indian agent for England, 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 be- 
came a Colonel, and was a leader among the north-west In- 
dians 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 Brit- 
ish and joined them, for which he received a Captain's com- 
mission. In 1790-95 he lived at the mouth of Detroit river, 
and carried on trade and farming. (See Heckewelder's Nar- 
rative, 147, 170.) 

It is hard to say how far the British agents aided the savages 
in 1790 and 1791. The following is from a certificate by 
Thomas Rhea, taken by the Indians in May, 1781, and who 
escaped in June. He is stated to have been untrustworthy, 
(American State Papers, v. 196,) but his account is in part 
confirmed by other evidence. 

At this place, the Miami, were Colonels Brant and McKee, 
with his son Thomas ; and Captains Bunbury and Silvie, of 
the British troops. These officers, &c., 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 Potawatomies and other Indians ; 
in these they had stores of goods, with arms, ammunition, and 
provision, which they issued to the Indians in great abun- 
dance, 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 Mr. McKee 
and the Indian officers, clothing, arms, ammunition, provisions, 

* Girty we have already spoken of. Alexander McKee, (sometimes written McKay and'. 
McGee) was an Indian agent before the Revolution. 


362 British Supply Indians. 1790. 

&c., and set out immediately for the upper Miami towns, 
where they understood the forces of the United States were 
bending their course, 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, Cap- 
tain 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 
Wyandots. Mr. McKee was about to purchase 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, pro- 
bably, see his narrative, American 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 \vas dressed and armed 
for war ; could not get speaking to him. About the 5th of June, 
in the Detroit river, I met from sixty to one hundred canoes, 
in three parties, containing a large party of Indians, who ap- 
peared 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 re- 
ceive them, though offered to them. They said they were 
three moons on their way. The other Indians called them 
Manitocs. About this time there was a field day of the troops 
at Detroit, which I think is from five to six hundred in num- 
ber; the next day a field day of the French militia took 
place, and one hundred and fifty 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, 
after being plentifully supplied with arms and ammunition, 
clothing, and provisions, &c., to fit them for the march. While 
I was at the Miami or Ottawa river, as they call it, I had 
mentioned to Col. McKee, and other officers, that I had seen 
Col. Procter on his way to Fort Franklin ; that I understood 
that he was on his way to the Miami, or Sandusky, with some 
of the Senecas, 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 those people to the Miami, or Sandusky, &c. 
That the officers, in their conversation with each other, said, 
if they were 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 Col. Procter,) or any other Yan- 
kee messenger, came there, they should never carry messages 

1790. Views of the Indians. 363 

back. This was frequently 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, appear- 
ance, and declaration, seemed hostile to the United States. 
And I understood that Col. McKee, and the other officers, in- 
tended 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 
Capt. 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 Dun- 
more sailed for Fort Erie, in which I got a passage. We ar- 
rived 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 artil- 
lery troops, destined, as I understood, for Detroit and the up- 
per 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 re- 
fused to take, and Col. McKee then ordered me clothes out of 
the Indian store." (Amer. State papers, v. 196.) 

"You invite us," said one of the war-chiefs to Gamelin, "to 
stop our young men. It is impossible to do it, being con- 
stantly encouraged by the British." 

"We confess," said another Indian, "that we accepted the 
axe, but it is by the reproach we continually receive from the 
English and other nations, 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 wishing 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. 

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, before the success of the savages 
had made their demands such as could not be granted, we can- 
not but think it would have been true wisdom to have sent to 
the northern tribes, not an Indian trader, but such a represen- 

* American State Papers, v. 93. 

364 Stale of the Kentucky Troops. 1790. 

tation as was sent three years later. Such, however, was not 
the course pursued. Governor St. Clair, under the acts of 
Congress passed the previous year, on the 15th of July, called 
upon Virginia for one thousand, and upon Pennsylvania for 
five hundred militia. Of these, three hundred were to meet 
at Fort Steuben (Jeffersonville) to aid the troops from Fort 
Knox (Vincennes) against the Weas and Kickapoos of the 
Wabash ; seven hundred were to gather at Fort Washington, 
(Cincinnati) ; and five hundred just below Wheeling ; the two 
latter bodies being intended 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 being the day named. 
Of their fitness for service, we may judge by Major Ferguson's 

They were very illy equipped, being almost destitute of 
camp kettles and axes ; nor could a supply of these essential 
articles be procured. Their arms were, generally, very bad, 
and unfit for service ; as I was the commanding officer of ar- 
tillery, they 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 re- 
paired 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 an- 
swer, that they were told in Kentucky 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 number 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 encouraged both by men and 
officers, who openly declared, unless Colonel Trotter com- 
manded 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 

* American State Papers, v. 94, 92. 

1790. Expedition against the Miami Villages. 365 

arrived on the 25th September. They were equipped nearly 
as the Kentucky militia, 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 to 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, that is, the smart active woodsman, well ac- 
customed 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 num- 
bers came far short of what was ordered, as may be seen by 
the returns.* 

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 col- 
lected were to be used against the Indians alone, so that no 
excuse might be given McKee & Co., for co-operation ;f and 
when upon the 30th September Harmar left Fort Washing- 
ton every step seemed to have been taken which experience 
or judgment could suggest to secure the success of the expedi- 
tion. The same seems to have been true of the march, the 
Court of Inquiry held in 1791, having approved every ar- 
rangement. On the 13th of October, the army being then 
thirty or thirty-five miles from the Miami villages, it was de- 
termined, in consequence of information given by a captured 
Indian, to send forward Colonel John Hardin with a detach- 
ment of six hundred militia men, and one company of regu- 
lars, to surprise the enemy, and keep them in their forts until 
the main body could come up with the artillery. 

The troops were organized and moved forward, as follows : 

" The Kentuckians composed three battalions, under the 
the Majors Hall, McMullen and Bay, with Lieutenant Colonel 
Commandant Trotter at their head. The Pennsylvanians 
were formed into one battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel 
Trubley and Major Paul, the whole to be commanded by 

* American State Papers, xii. 20. 
I American State Papers, v. 96. 100. 

366 Expedition against the Miami Villages. 1790. 

Colonel John Hardin, subject to the orders of General Har- 
mar. The 30th, the General having got forward all the sup- 
plies that he expected, he moved out with the federal troops, 
formed into two small battalions, under the immediate com- 
mand of Major Wyllys and Major Doughty, together with 
Captain Ferguson's company of artillery, and three pieces of 
ordnance. On the 3d 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 explaining 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 

The whole of General Harmar's command then may be 
stated thus : 

3 battalions of Kentucky militia, ^ 

1 do. Pennsylvania do. > 1133 

1 do. Light troops mounted do. ; 

2 do. Federal troops, - - 320 

Total, - 1453 

(American State Papers, xii. 24. 30. to 33.) 
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 arriv- 
ed, and the work of destruction commenced ; by the 21st, the 
chief town, five other villages, and nearly twenty thousand 
bushels of corn in ears, had been destroyed. When Harmar 
reached the Maumee towns and found no enemy, he thought 
of pushing forward to attack the Wea and other Indian set- 
tlements 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. The Wabash plan being dropped, Colonel Trot- 
ter was dispatched with three hundred 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 

1790. Destruction, of Villages and other Property. 367 

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 Harmar 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 officers 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 immediately fell into confusion, upon which 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 
my 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 me many questions, ordered one subaltern and 
twenty militia to join my command. With these I reached the 
river St. Joseph about ten at night, and with a guide proceed- 
ed to an Indian town, about two miles distant, where I con- 
tinued with my party until the morning of the nineteenth. 
About nine o'clock I joined the remainder of the detachment 
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 dis- 
tance 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 remain- 
der of the troops. Some time after, I informed Colonel Har- 
din a gun had fired in our front, which might be considered as 

* See the statements of Major Ferguson and Lieutenant Denny, in American State 
Papers, xii. 21, 25; also, Cist's Miscellany, i. 195, 196. Ed. 

368 Ferguson's Account of Harmar' s Fjrst Action. 1790. 

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 discovered 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 conceived 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 
18th, agreeably to his orders, having killed the enemy's sen- 
tinel's, he would have surprised their camp, and with ease de- 
feated 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, ascribe to 
two causes; the unofficer-like conduct of Colonel Hardin, 
(who, I believe, was a brave man,) and the cowardly be- 
havior 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.* 

At this 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 Hardin, the army officers despised the militia, 
and the militia hating them, were impatient under the con- 
trol 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 confidence 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 a"hd wasted, and upon 
the 21st of October, the army commenced its homeward 
march. But Hardin 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 de- 
stroyed, supposing the savages would have already returned 

* American State Papers, xiL p. 26. 

1790. Jealousy between the Regulars and Militia. 369 

thither. The General was not very willing to try farther ex- 
periments, but Hardin urged him, and at last obtained an 
order for three hundred and forty militia, of which forty 
were mounted, and sixty 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, oc- 
casioned by the militia's halting, we did not reach the banks 
of the Omee [Maurnee] till some time after sunrise. 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 commanding officers of corps. Those 
orders were not communicated to me. Major Wyllys reserv- 
ed the command of the federal troops to himself. Major 
Hall, with his battalion, was directed to take a circuitous 
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 com- 
mence with Major McMullen'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 the enemy, and that if Colonel Hall, who had 
gained his ground undiscovered, had not wantonly 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 unsupported, became an easy sacrifice to 
much the largest party of Indians that had been seen that 
day. It was 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 Mc- 
Mullen, with their battalions, met in the town, and after dis- 
charging, cleaning, and fresh loading their arms, which took 
up about half an hour, proceeded to join the army unmolest- 
ed. 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 in- 

370 Harmar's Second Action. 1790. 

formed a battalion under Major Ray was ordered out for that 

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 morn- 
ing, 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 Miamis ; of 
the whole army, only two !f Before reaching Fort Washing- 
ton, however, new trouble occurred. 

At old Ohillicothe, 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 offenders 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, ordered a file of 
men to take him immediately and carry him to the six poun- 
der, and for the drummer to tie him up and give him six lashes ; 
I was shortly after met by Colonel Trotter and Major McMul- 
len, and a number of militia soldiers, who in an abrupt man- 
ner asked me by what 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 McMullen 
a very severe reprimand, ordered the federal troops to parade, 
and the drummer to do his duty, swearing he would risk his 
life in support 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 Washington. When 
the army arrived at the mouth of Licking, the General in- 
formed me he had determined to arrest some of the militia 
officers for their bad conduct, and send them home with dis- 
grace ; but I opposed his intention, alleging that it would be a 
disgrace to the whole militia; that he would perhaps stand in 

* See American State Papers, xii. 28. Sea account in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 
1S3 ; also, McClung'a 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. 

t See in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 105, an account of Harmar's Campaign, by ono 

1790-95. Indian view of Harmar' s Campaign. 371 

need of their assistance on some future occasion, and it would 
sour their minds and cause them to turn out with reluctance ; 
and that his discharging them generally with honor, perhaps, 
would answer a better purpose: the General readily indulged 
my request.* 

To this last act, which caused much discontent among the 
frontier men ; to the two defeats of the 19th and 22d of Oc- 
tober (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, com- 
pared with such men as Clark, and " Mad Anthony," must 
be ascribed the great unpopularity of this campaign. The 
army, as a wb,ole, effected all that the popular 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 ;f but in reality, 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, Miamies, and Pota- 
watomies were, I understand, the principal tribes who were 
engaged; but I do not learn that any of the nations have re- 
fused their alliance or assistance, and it is confidently re- 
ported that they are now marching against the frontiers on 
the Ohio.J 

Nor was the report of the invasion of the settlements on 
the Ohio shore far from the truth, as may be seen from the 
following letter : 

On the evening of the 2d [Jan. '91] says Rufus Putnam, 
writing to the President, bet.veen 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, 

* American State Papers, xii. 35. 

t This is clear, as we know, fro:n Harmar'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, T. 105, 104.) 

% See Stone, ii. 294. 

372 Letter from Rufits Putnam. 1791. 

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 situation is truly 
critical ; the Governor and Secretary both being absent, no 
assistance from Virginia or Pennsylvania can be had. The 
garrison at 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 du- 
ring 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 
Kanawha, 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 en- 
close the proceedings of the Ohio company and justices of 
the sessions on this occasion, and beg leave, with the greatest 
deference, to observe, that, unless Government speedily send 
a body of troops for our protection, we are a ruined people. 
The removal of the 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 
conjecture, and most of them have nothing left to buy with. 
But my fears do not stop here ; we are a people so far de- 
tached from all others, in point of situation, that \ve can hope 
for no timely relief, in case of emergency, from any of our 
neigbors ; and among the number that compose our present 
military strength, almost one-half are young men, hired into 
the country, intending to settle by and by ; these, under pre- 
sent circumstances, will probably leave us soon, unless pros- 
pects should brighten ; and, as to new settlers, we can expect 

1791. Plan of another Campaign, 373 

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 shall be so reduced and dis- 
couraged as to give up the settlement, unless Government 
shall give us timely protection. It has been a mystery with 
some, why the troops have been withdrawn from this quarter, 
and collected 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 rein- 
forced with several thousand men, whereas, we are not with- 
in two hundred miles of any settlement, that can probably 
more than protect themselves.* 

The spirit thus manifested by the tribes which had just 
been attacked, and the general feelings along the frontier- in 
relation to Harmar's expedition, made the United States Gov- 
ernment sensible that their first step in the conduct of back- 
woods warfare, had been a failure, and that prompt and 
strong measures, calculated 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 with of- 
fers of peace, to be accompanied 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 would fail in his mis- 
sion ; and 

3d. To prepare a grand and overwhelming force with 
which to take possession of the country of the enemies and 
build forts in their midst. 

[The act for protecting the frontier was signed March 3d. 
1791, and Governor St. Clair was appointed to the command 
on the 4th. American State Papers, xii. 36.] 

The person selected to convey messages of peace was Col. 
Thomas Procter, who received his commission upon the 10th 
or llth of March, 1791, and upon the 12th left Philadelphia 
for the settlement of Cornplanter, or Captain O'Beel or Abeel, 
the chief warrior of the Senecas, and the firm friend of Wash- 
ington and the Union. This chief, with others of similar sen- 

*See American State Papers, T. 121. See a full account of the settlement on Big Bot- 
tom, and the attack upon it, by Dr. Hildreth, American Pioneer, ii. 101. 

j-See Knox's Report, American State Papers, v. 112. 

374 Views of the British in 1791. 1791. 

timents, had been in Philadelphia 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 further 
bloodshed. In this hope, however, Washington and Knox 
were disappointed ; for, when, with great difficulty, the Amer- 
ican 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 

But in order to understand the difficulties which Procter met 
with, we must look at the views of the British, and of those 
Indians who remained firm to the British at this period. Af- 
ter Harmar's campaign, the tribes of the north- west sent a dep- 
utation 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 Gordon, the British commandant at 
Niagara, who afterwards stopped Procter, was also an advo- 
cate 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 neighbor- 
hood, to use your endeavors 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. f 

[It is evident from their whole course of procedure that 
the British authorities did their utmost to prevent American 
settlements from being made in the North-western Territory. 
They wished to h,ave their Indian allies continue in possession. 
This was their chief motive for retaining the western posts.] 

Brant himself, on the 7th of March, writing to McKee, (the 
agent among the Miamies,) says : 

*American State Papers, v. 140-145. 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. 

fStone, ii. 296, 297, 298. 

1791. Reasons of Indian and British Dissatisfaction. 375 

I have received two letters from the States, from gentlemen 
who have lately been in Philadelphia : by which it appears 
the Americans secretly 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 become 

With these views prevailing, why 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,f 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. Secondly, it is clear that 
the representatives of England, in Canada, were 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 were closely connected 
with the British agents, and under their control, and Lord 
Dorchester, Colonel Gordon and Brant looked for an appeal 
to them as mediators in the quarrel about to burst forth ; or 
at any rate, for an acceptance by the Americans of their me- 
diation, if asked by the Indians ; an acceptance of the kind 
given in 1793, after St. Glair's defeat; and which was not, of 
course, dishonorable or degrading. Thirdly, both the In- 
dians and English were 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 with 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 quench- 
ing the destructive brand. 

From the inconsistent proceedings of the Americans says 
Colonel Gordon to Brant, upon the llth of June I am per- 
fectly 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 Pitts- 
burgh, 23d April, inviting them to take up the hatchet against 
their brothers, the western nations. 

*Seo Stone, ii. 298. 

IjAmerican State Papers, v. 167; stated by General Knox. 

376 Branfs Movements in 1791. 1791. 

Can any thing be more inconsistent ? or can they possibly 
believe the Indians are 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 strike you very 
forcibly, that in all the proceedings of the different Commis- 
sioners from the American States, they have cautiously avoided 
applying for our interference, as a measure they affect to think 
perfectly unnecessary: wishing to impress the Indians with the 
ideas of their own consequence, and of the little influence, they 
would willingly believe we are possessed of. This, my good 
friend, is not the way to proceed. Had they, before matters 
were pushed to extremity, requested the assistance of the British 
government to bring about a peace on equitable terms, I am 
convinced the measure would have been fully accomplished 
long before this time. 

I would, however, willingly hope they will yet see the pro- 
priety of adopting this mode of proceeding ; and that peace, 
an object so much to be desired, will at length be perma- 
nently settled. 

I am the more sanguine in the attainment of my wishes, by 
your being on the spot, and that you will call forth the exer- 
tion of your influence and abilities on the occasion.* 

The Americans also were desirous to enlist Brant as a 
peace-maker, and Governor Clinton, of New York, was writ- 
ten to by General Knox, in the hope that he might influence 
the Mohawk leader ; but the chieftain was beyond his reach, 
in the far west, among the tribes who were likely to be fore- 
most in the contest ; nor could any learn whether he went 
thither as a peace-maker or promoter of war. Early in May 
the United States Government was informed that he had re- 
vived his plan of a great Indian confederacy; and about the 
19th of that month Procter, at Buffalo, heard from the West 
that Brant was there not to pacify, but to inflame the Miamies 
and their allies ; but yet, as the chiefs of the Six Nations re- 
presented his purpose to be that of a messenger sent to learn 
the feelings of the western tribes, and asked Procter again 
and again to wait his return ; the impression produced upon 
the American Government was that he had nothing in view 
but the cessation of hostilities. f 

Before Procter, (his mission proving in vain,) left Buffalo 
creek, which he did upon the 21st of May, measures had been 

* Stone, ii, 300. 

f American State Papers, v. 117; also, 161, 168, and 181. 

1791. Expedition of General Scott. 377 

taken to secure a council of the Six Nations on the 16th of 
June, at the Painted Post, near the junction of the Coshocton 
and Tioga rivers The purpose of this council was to secure 
the neutrality of the Iroquois by presents and fine words; and 
the plan appears to have succeeded. " Treaty," says Knox, 
writing to St. Glair on the 4th of August, " closed on the 15th 
(of July,) and the Indians returned satisfied. Colonel Picker- 
ing did not attempt to persuade any of them to join our army, 
as he found such a proposal would be very disagreeable to 

It had been calculated when Procter left Philadelphia upon 
the 12th of March, that he would either succeed or distinctly 
fail in his enterprise, in time to reach Fort Washington by 
the 5th of May. This expectation, as we have seen, was en- 
tirely defeated, as he was so delayed that he did not reach 
Buffalo creek until the 27th of April, and did not make his 
first application for a vessel to cross Lake Erie until May 5th. 
But upon the above calculation, mistaken as it proved, were 
based the arrangements of the United States for carrying into 
effect the second part of the plan for the campaign, " the 
desultory operations" (as they were termed) for annoying the 
enemy in case Procter failed. These operations were to be 
carried out by the backwoodsmen under their own comman- 

The inhabitants of Kentucky, in December, 1790, after 
Harmar's return, had petitioned Congress for permission to 
fight the Indians in their own way, and upon the 9th of March, 
1791, orders were issued to Brigadier General Charles Scott, 
authorizing him, in conjunction with Harry Innis, John Brown, 
Benjamin Logan, and Isaac Shelby, to organize an expedition 
of mounted volunteers against the nations upon the Wabash, 
to start upon May 10th, unless countermanded. f These or- 
ders in substance were obe} r ed. The troops were, however, 
delayed for news from the north; but by the 23d of May, no 
news of peace arriving, the detachment took up its line of 
march from the Ohio ; Colonel John Hardin, who burned to 
retrieve his fame, acting as a volunteer, without commission, 
and having the post of commander of the advanced party and 

* American State Papers, v. 181. 

t American State Papers, v. 129. St. Glair was empowered to postpone the expedition,, 
and did to. See his Narrative, p. 7. 


378 Expedition of General Scott. 1791. 

director of the guides. On the 1st of June, the towns of the 
enemy were discovered ; of the after-movements no fairer 
view can probably be given than by General Scott himself. 
Having noticed the villages, 

I immediately detached Colonel John Hardin, says he, with 
sixty mounted infantry, and a troop of light-horse under Cap- 
tain McCoy, to attack the villages to the left, and moved on 
briskly with my main body, in order of battle, towards the 
town, the smoke of which was discernible. My guides were 
deceived with respect to the situation of the town ; for, in- 
stead of standing at the edge of the plain through which I 
marched, I found it on the low ground bordering on the Wa- 
bash : on turning the point of woods, one house presented in 
my front. Captain Price was ordered to assault that with forty 
men. He executed the command with great gallantry, and 
killed two warriors. 

When I gained the summit of the eminence which over- 
looks the villages on the banks of the Wabash, I discovered 
the enemy in great confusion, endeavoring to make their es- 
cape over the river in canoes. 1 instantly ordered Lieutenant 
Colonel-commandant Wilkinson to rush forward with the first 
battalion. The order was executed with promptitude, and 
this detachment gained the bank of the river just as the rear 
of the enemy had embarked ; and, regardless of a brisk fire 
kept up from a Kickapoo town on the opposite bank, they, 
in a few minutes, by a well directed fire from their rifles, de- 
stroyed all the savages with which five canoes were crowded. 
To my great mortification, the Wabash was many feet beyond 
fording at this place: I therefore detached Col. Wilkinson to a 
ford two miles above, which my guides informed me was more 
practicable. [Wilkinson moved the first battalion up to the 
fording place, found the river impassable, and returned to 

The enemy still kept possession of Kickapoo town : I de- 
termined to dislodge them ; and for that purpose ordered 
Captain King's and Logsdone's companies to march down the 
river below the town, and cross, under the conduct of Major 
Barboe. Several of the men swam the river, and others pass- 
ed in a small canoe. This movement was unobserved ; and 
my men had taken post on the bank before they were discover- 
ed by the enemy, who immediately abandoned the village. 
About this time word was brought to me that Colonel Hardin 
was encumbered with prisoners, and had discovered a stronger 
village further to my left than those I had observed, which he 
was proceeding to attack. I immediately detached Captain 
Brown with his company, to support the Colonel: but the 
distance being six miles, before the Captain arrived the busi- 
ness was done, and Colonel Hardin joined me a little before 

1791. Expedition of Wilkinson. 379 

sun-set, having killed six warriors, and taken fifty-two 
prisoners. Captain Bull, the warrior who discovered me in 
the morning, had gained the main town, and given the alarm, 
a short time before me ; but the villages to my left were un- 
informed of my approach, and had no retreat. 

The next morning I determined to detach my Lieutenant 
Colonel-commandant, with five hundred men, to destroy the 
important town of Keth-tip-e-ca-nunk,* eighteen miles from 
my camp, on the west side of the Wabash ; but, on examina- 
tion, I discovered my men and horses to be so crippled and 
worn down by a long, laborious march, and the active exer- 
tions of the preceding day, that three hundred and sixty men 
only could be found in a capacity to undertake the enterprise, 
and they prepared to march on foot. Col. Wilkinson marched 
with this detachment at half after five in the evening, and 
returned to my camp the next day at one o'clock, having 
marched thirty-six miles in twelve hours, and destroyed the 
most important settlement of the enemy in that quarter of the 
federal territory. 

Many of the inhabitants of the village [Ouiatenon] were 
French, and lived in a state of civilization. By the books, 
letters, and other documents found there, it is evident that 
place was in close connection with, and dependent on, Detroit. 
A large quantity of corn, a variety of household goods, pel- 
try, and other articles, were burned with this village, which 
consisted of about seventy houses, many of them well fin- 

As the expedition under Scott, although successful, had not 
reached the higher towns upon the Wabash, Governor St. 
Clair thought it best to send another, (the Secretary of War 
having authorized such a step,) against the villages of Eel 
river; and Wilkinson was appointed to command. He march- 
ed from near fort Washington, upon the first of August, and 
on the 7th reached the Wabash, just above the mouth of the 
river he was in search of. While reconnoitering, however, in 
the hope of surprising the natives, word was brought him that 
they were alarmed and flying ; a general charge was imme- 
diately ordered. 

The men, says Wilkinson, forcing their way over every ob- 
stacle, plunged through the river with vast intrepidity. The 
enemy was unable to make the smallest resistance. Six war- 
riors, and (in the hurry and confusion of the charge) two 
squaws and a child were killed, thirty-four prisoners were ta- 
ken, and an unfortunate captive released, with the loss of two 
men killed and one wounded. 

* This, in modern orthography, has been corrupted into Tipptcanoe. Ed. 
f American S;ate Paper?, v. 131. 

80 Wilkinson's Expedition. 1791. 

I found this town scattered along Eel river for full three 
miles, on an uneven, scrubby oak barren, intersected alter- 
nately by bogs almost impassable, and impervious thickets of 
plum, hazel, and blackjacks. Notwithstanding these difficul- 
ties, if I may credit the report of the prisoners, very few who 
were in town escaped. Expecting a second expedition, their 
goods were generally packed up and buried. Sixty warriors 
had crossed the Wabash to watch the paths leading from the 
Ohio. The head chief, with all the prisoners, and a number of 
families, were out digging a root which they substitute in the 
place of the potato ; and about one hour before my arrival, 
all the warriors, except eight, had mounted their horses, and 
rode up the river to a French store to purchase ammunition. 
This ammunition had arrived from the Miami village that very 
day, and the squaws informed me was stored about two miles 
from the town. I detached Major Caldwell in quest of it; 
but he failed to make any discovery, although he scoured the 
country for seven or eight miles up the river. 

I encamped in the town that night, and the next morning I 
cut up the corn, scarcely in the milk, burnt the cabins, mounted 
the young warriors, squaws, and children, in the best manner 
in my power, and leaving two infirm squaws and a child, with 
a short talk, I commenced my march for the Kickapoo town in 
the prairie.* 

The Kickapoo prairie metropolis was not reached ; the 
horses were too sore, and the bogs too deep ; but as General 
Wilkinson said, four hundred acres of corn were destroyed, 
and a Kickapoo town given to the flames; for which the 
General was duly thanked by his country. Meantime, while 
Procter was attempting to hurry the slow-moving Iroquois, 
who told him it took them a great while to think ; and Wil- 
kinson was floundering up to his arm-pits in mud and water, 
among the morasses of the Wabash; the needful preparations 
were constantly going forward for the great expedition of St. 
Clair, which, by founding posts throughout the western coun- 
try, from the Ohio to Lake Erie, and especially at the head of 
the Maumee, was to give the United States a sure means of 
control over the savages. At a very early period (1785) the 
admirable position of the Miami village at the junction of the 
St. Mary and St. Joseph, had struck Washington's sagacious 
mind, as we know from his correspondence ;f and when Har- 
mar's expedition was undertaken, one purpose of it would, 
doubtless, have been the founding of a military post at the 

* American State Papers, v. 134. 
t Sparks' Washington, ix. 109. 

1791. Instructions to St. Clair. 381 

Miami town, had it been compatible with the public finances.* 
But Harmar's defeat having proved the necessity of some 
strong check upon the northern savages, it became the main 
purpose of the effort of 1791, to build a fort at a point desig- 
nated, which was to be connected by other intermediate sta- 
tions, with Fort Washington'and the Ohio. Of this we have 
proof in the language of the government after St. Glair's de- 
feat : "the great object of the late campaign," says General 
Knox, in his official report, dated December 26, 1791, "was 
to establish a strong military post at the Miami village j" 
and this language is used more than once.f This object, too, 
was to be attained, if possible, even at the expense of a con- 
test which might be otherwise avoided ; [for the posts were to 
be established, whether the Indians remained hostile or made 
peace,] but the instructions to St. Clair upon this and other 
points, we prefer to give in the clear and condensed lan- 
guage of Knox himself, omitting such portions only, as have 
not a bearing upon the general subject, and treat of details 

The President of the United States having, by and with the 
advice and consent of the Senate, appointed you a Major 
General in the service of the United States, and of conse- 
quence invested you with the chief command of the troops 
to be employed upon the frontiers during the ensuing cam- 
paign, it is proper that you should be possessed of the views of 
the government respecting the objects of your command. I 
am, therefore, authorized and commanded, by the President of 
the United States, to deliver you the following instructions, in 
order to serve as the general principles of your conduct. 

But, it is only general principles which can be pointed out. 
In the execution of the duties of your station, circumstances 
which cannot now be foreseen may arise to render material 
deviations necessary. Such circumstances will require the 
exercise of your talents. The Government possesses the se- 
curity of your character and mature experience, that your 
judgment will be proper on all occasions. You are well in- 
formed of the unfavorable impressions which the issue of the 
last expedition has made on the public mind, and you are 
also aware of the expectations which are formed of the suc- 
cess of the ensuing campaign. 

An Indian war, under any circumstances, is regarded by the 
great mass of the people of the United States as an event 
which ought, if possible, to be avoided. It is considered that 

* See Knox's letter to St. Clair, September 12, 1790. American State Papers, v. 100. 
f Americano Stat Papers, v. 197, 198. 

382 Instructions to St. Clair. 1791. 

the sacrifice of blood and treasure in such a war exceed any 
advantages which can possibly be reaped by it. The great 
policy, therefore, of the General Government, is to establish 
a just and liberal peace with all the Indian tribes within the 
limits and in the vicinity of the territory of the United States. 
Your intimations to the hostile Indians, immediately after the 
late expedition, through the Wyandots and Delawares; the 
arrangements with the Senecas who were lately in this city, 
that part of the Six Nations should repair to the said hostile 
Indians, to influence them to pacific measures; together with 
the recent mission of Colonel Procter to them for the same 
purpose, will strongly evince the desire of the General Gov- 
ernment to prevent the effusion of blood, and to quiet all dis- 
turbances. And when you shall arrive upon the frontiers, if 
any other or further measures to effect the same object should 
present, you will eagerly embrace them, and the reasonable 
expenses thereof shall be defrayed by the public. But, if all 
the lenient measures taken, or which may be taken, should 
fail to bring the hostile Indians to a just sense of their situa- 
tion, it will be necessary that you should use such coercive 
means as you shall possess, for that purpose. You are in- 
formed that, by an act of Congress, passed the 2d inst., 
another regiment is to be raised, and added to the military es- 
tablishment, and provision made for raising two thousand 
levies, for the term of six months, for the service of the fron- 
tiers. It is contemplated that the mass of the regulars and 
levies may be recruited and rendezvous at Fort Washington, 
by the 10th of July. In this case, you will have assembled a 
force of three thousand effectives at least, besides leaving 
small garrisons on the Ohio, in order to perform your main 
expedition, hereinafter mentioned. But, in the mean time, if 
the Indians refuse to listen to the messengers of peace sent to 
them, it is most probable they will, unless prevented, spread 
themselves along the line of frontiers, for the purpose of com- 
mitting all the depredations in their power. In order to avoid 
so calamitous an event, Brigadier General Charles Scott, of 
Kentucky, has been authorized by me, on the part of the 
President of the United States, to make an expedition against 
the Wea, or Ouiatenon towns, with mounted volunteers, or 
militia from Kentucky, not exceeding the number of seven 
hundred and fifty, officers included. You will perceive, by 
the instructions to Brigadier General Scott, that it is confided 
to your discretion, whether there should be more than one of 
the said expeditions of mounted volunteers or militia. Your 
nearer view of the objects to be effected, by a second desul- 
tory expedition, will enable you to form a better judgment 
than can at present be formed, at this distance. The pro- 
priety of a second operation would, in some degree, depend 
on the alacrity and good composition of the troops of which 

1791. Instructions to St. Clair. 383 

the first may have been formed ; of its success ; of the proba- 
ble effects a second similar blow would have upon the Indians, 
with respect to its influencing them to peace ; or, if they 
should be still hostilely disposed, of preventing them from 
desolating the frontiers by their parties. 

You will observe, in the instructions to Brigadier General 
Scott, which are to serve as a basis for the instructions of the 
commanders who may succeed him, that all captives are to be 
treated with great humanity. It will be sound policy to at- 
tract the Indians by kindness, after demonstrating to them our 
power to punish them, on all occasions. While you are 
making such use of desultory operations as in your judgment 
the occasion may require, you will proceed vigorously, in every 
operation in your power, for the purpose of the main expedi- 
tion ; and having assembled your force, and all things being in 
readiness, if no decisive indications of peace should have been 
produced, either by the messenger, or by the desultory opera- 
tions, you will commence your march for the Miami village, 
in order to establish a strong and permanent military post at 
that place. Jn your advance, you will establish such posts of 
communication with Fort Washington, on the Ohio, as you 
may judge proper. The post at the Miami village is intended 
for the purpose of awing and curbing the Indians in that 
quarter, and as the only preventive of future hostilities. It 
ought, therefore, to be rendered secure against all attempts 
and insults of the Indians. The garrison which should be sta- 
tioned there ought not only to be sufficient for the defence of 
the place, but always to afford a detachment of five or six 
hundred men, either to chastise any of the Wabash, or other 
hostile Indians, or to secure any convoy of provisions. The 
establishment of such a post is considered as an important 
object of the campaign, and is to take place in all events. In 
case of a previous treaty, the Indians are to be conciliated 
upon this point, if possible ; and it is presumed, good argu- 
ments may be offered, to induce their acquiescence. The 
situation, nature, and construction of the works you may di- 
rect, will depend upon your own judgment. Major Ferguson, 
of the artillery, will be fully capable of the execution. He 
will be furnished with three five and a half inch howitzers, 
three six pounders, and three three-pounders, all brass, with a 
sufficient quantity of shot and shells, for the purpose of the 
expedition. The appropriation of these pieces will depend 
upon your orders. 

Having commenced your march, upon the main expedition, 
and the Indians continuing hostile, you will use every possible 
exertion to make them feel the effects of your superiority ; 
and after having arrived at the Miami village, and put your 
works in a defensible state, you will seek the enemy with the 
whole of your remaining force, and endeavor, by all possible 

384 Instructions to St. Clair. 1891. 

means, to strike them with great severity. It will be left to 
your discretion whether to employ, if attainable, any Indians 
of the Six Nations, and the Chickasaws or other southern Na- 
tions. Most probably the employment of abcut fifty of each, 
under the direction of some discreet and able chief, would be 
advantageous, but these ought not to be assembled before the 
line of march is taken up, because they are soon tired and 
will not be detained. The force contemplated for the garri- 
sons of the Miami village, and the communications, has been 
from a thousand to twelve hundred non-commissioned officers 
and privates. This is mentioned as a general idea, to which 
you will adhere, or from which you will deviate, as circum- 
stances may require. The garrison stationed at the Miami 
village, and its communications, must have in store at least 
six months good salted meat, and flour in proportion. 

It is hardly possible, if the Indians continue hostile, that you 
will be suffered quietly to establish a post at the Miami vil- 
lage ; conflicts, therefore, "may be expected; and it is to be 
presumed that disciplined valor will triumph over the undisci- 
plined Indians. In this event it is probable that the Indians 
will sue for peace ; if this should be the case, the dignity of 
the United States will require that the terms should be liberal. 
In order to avoid future wars, it might be proper to make the 
Wabash, and thence over to the Miami, and down the same 
to its mouth at Lake Erie, the boundary, excepting so far as 
the same should relate to the Wyandots and Delawares, on 
the supposition of their continuing faithful to the treaties. 
But, if they should join in the war against the United States, 
and your army be victorious, the said tribes ought to be re- 
moved without the boundary mentioned. You will also judge 
whether it would be proper to extend the boundary, from the 
mouth of the River au Panse of the Wabash, in a due west 
line to the Mississippi. Few Indians, besides the Kickapoos, 
would be affected by such a line ; this ought to be tenderly 
managed. The modification of the boundary must be confid- 
ed to your discretion, with this single observation, that the 
policy and interest of the United States dictate their being at 
peace with the Indians. This is of more value than millions 
of uncultivated acres, the right to which may be conceded by 
some, and disputed by others. The establishment -of a post 
at the Miami village will probably be regarded, by the British 
officers on the frontiers, as a circumstance of jealousy : it may, 
therefore, be necessary that you should, at a proper time, 
make such intimations as may remove all such dispositions. 
This intimation had better follow than precede the possession 
of the post, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. As it is 
not the inclination or interest of the United States to enter 
into a contest with Great Britain, every measure tending to 
any discussion or altercation must be prevented. The delicate 

1791. Instructions to St. Clair. 385 

situation of affairs may, therefore, render it improper, at pre- 
sent, to make any naval arrangement upon Lake Erie. After 
you shall have effected all the injury to the hostile Indians of 
which your force may be capable, and after having established 
the posts and garrisons at the Miami village and its communi- 
cations, and placing the same under the orders of an officer 
worthy of such high trust, you will return to Fort Washington 
on the Ohio. 

It is proper to observe, that certain jealousies have ex'sted 
among the people of the frontiers, relative to a supposed in- 
terference between their interest, and those of the marine 
States; that these jealousies are ill-founded, with respect to 
the present Government, is obvious. The United States em- 
brace, with equal care, all parts of the Union ; and, in the 
present case, are making expensive arrangements for the pro- 
tection of the frontiers, and partly in the modes, too, which 
appear to be highly favored by the Kentucky people. 

The high stations you fill, of commander of the troops, and 
Governor of the Western Territory, will afford you frequent 
opportunities to impress the frontier citizens of the entire 
good disposition of the General Government towards them in 
all reasonable things, and you will render acceptable service, 
by cordially embracing all such opportunities.* 

Under these instructions St. Clair proceeded to organize his 
army. At the close of April he was in Pittsburgh, toward 
which point troops from all quarters, horses, stores and am- 
munition, were going forward. The forces, it was thought, 
would be assembled by the last of July or first of August. 
By the middle of July, however, it was clear that the early 
part o-f September would be as soon as the expedition could 
get under way ; but the commander was urged to press every 
thing, and act with the utmost promptness and decision. But 
this was more easily urged than accomplished. On the 15th of 
May, St. Clair had reached Fort Washington, and at that time, 
the United States' troops in the West amounted to but two 
hundred and sixty-four non-commissioned officers and privates 
fit for duty; [of these seventy-five were at Fort Washington, 
forty-five at Fort Harmar, sixty-one at Fort Steuben, and 
eighty-three at Fort Knox.] On the 15th of July this number 
was more than doubled, however, as the first regiment, con- 
taining two hundred and ninety-nine men, on that day reached 
Fort Washington. General Butler, who had been appointed 
second in command, was employed through part of April and 
May in obtaining recruits; but when obtained, there was no 

* American State Papers, v. 171. 

386 St. Clair marches into the Interior. 1791. 

money to pay them, nor to provide stores for them. In the 
quarter-master's department, meantime, everything went on 
slowly and badly ; tents, pack-saddles, kettles, knapsacks,and 
cartridge boxes were all "deficient in quantity and quality." 
Worse than this, the powder was poor or injured, the arms 
and accoutrements out of repair, and not even proper tools 
to mend them.* [Of six hundred and seventy five stand 
of arms at Fort Washington, (designed by St. Clair for the 
militia) scarcely any were in order ; and with two travel- 
ing forges furnished by the quarter-master, there were 
no anvils. See American State Papers, xii. 36, 37.] And 
as the troops gathered slowly at Fort Washington, after 
wearisome detentions at Pittsburgh and up^on the river, 
a new source of troubles arose, in the habits of intemperance 
indulged and acquired by the idlers ; to withdraw them from 
temptation, St. Clair was forced to remove his men, now 
numbering two thousand, to Ludlow's station, about six miles 
from the Fort : by which, however, he more than doubled his 
cost of providing for the troops. t Here the army continued 
until September 17th, when, being two thousand three hun- 
dred strong, (including the garrisons of Forts Washington and 
Hamilton) exclusive of militia, it moved forward to a point 
upon the Great Miami, where Fort Hamilton was built, the 
first in the proposed chain of fortresses. This being completed, 
the troops moved on forty- four miles farther, and on the 12th 
of October commenced Fort Jefferson, about six miles south 
of the town of Greenville, Darke county. On the 24th the 
toilsome march through the wilderness began again. At 
this time the commander-in-chief, whose duties through the 
summer had been very severe, was suffering from an indispo- 
sition which was by turns in his stomach, lungs and limbs ; 
provisions were scarce, the roads wet and heavy, the troops 
going with "much difficulty," seven miles a day; the militia 
deserting sixty at a time.J Thus toiling along, the army, 
rapidly lessening by desertion, sickness, and troops sent to 
arrest deserters, on the 3d of November reached a stream 
twelve yards wide, which St. Clair supposed to be the 

Proofs of all these facts are found in the American State Papers, vol. T. 26, 37, 42 
HI, 176, 179, 180. [Ed. 

(American State Papers, xii. 37. 

JSt. Glair's Journal. (American State Papers, T. 136-7.) 

1791. Defeat of St. Glair. 387 

St. Mary of the Maumee, but which was in reality a branch 
of the Wabash, just south of the head waters of the stream 
for which the commander mistook it. Upon the banks of 
this creek, the army, now about fourteen hundred strong, en- 
camped in two lines. 

The right wing, says St. Clair, in his letter to the Secretary 
of War, after the battle, composed of Butler's, Clark's and 
Patterson's battalions, commanded by Major General Butler, 
formed the first line ; and the left wing, consisting of Bedin- 
ger's and Gaither's battalions, and the second regiment, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel Darke, formed the second line, 
with an interval between them of about seventy yards, 
which was all the ground would allow. The right flank was 
pretty well secured by the creek; a steep bank, and Faulk- 
ner's corps, some of the cavalry, and their picquets, covered 
the left flank. The militia were thrown over the creek, and 
advanced about a quarter of a mile, and encamped in the 
same order. There were a few Indians who appeared on 
the opposite side of the creek, but fled with the utmost pre- 
cipitation, on the advance of the militia. At this place, 
which I judged to be about fifteen miles from the Miami vil- 
lage, I determined to throw up a slight work, the plan of 
which was concerted that evening with Major Ferguson, 
wherein to have deposited the men's knapsacks, and every 
thing else that was not of absolute necessity, and to have 
moved on to attack the enemy as soon as the first regiment was 
come up. But they did not permit me to execute either; for, 
on the 4th, about half an hour before sunrise, and when the 
men had just been dismissed from parade, (for it was a con- 
stant practice to have them all under arms a considerable 
time before day-light,) an attack was made upon the militia. 
Those gave way in a very little time and rushed into camp 
through Major Butler's battalion, (which, together with a part 
of Clark's they threw into considerable disorder, and which, 
notwithstanding the exertions of both those officers, was 
never altogether remedied,) the Indians following close at 
their heels. The fire, however, of the front line checked 
them ; but almost instantly a very heavy attack began upon 
that line ; and in a few minutes it was extended to the second 
likewise. The great weight of it was directed against the 
centre of each, where the artillery was placed, and from 
which the men were repeatedly driven with great slaughter. 
Finding no great effect from our fire, and confusion beginning 
to spread from the great number of men who were falling in 
all quarters, it became necessary to try what could be done by 
the bayonet. Lieutenant Colonel Darke was accordingly or- 
dered to make a charge with a part of the second line, and to 

388 Defeat of St. Clair. 1791. 

turn the left flank of the enemy. This was executed with 
great spirit. The Indians instantly gave way, and were 
driven back three or four hundred yards ; but for want of a 
sufficient number of riflemen to pursue this advantage, they 
soon returned, and the troops were obliged to give back in 
their turn. At this moment they had entered our camp by 
the left flank, having pushed back the troops that were posted 
there. Another charge was made here by the second regi- 
ment, Butler's and Clark's battalions, with equal effect, and 
it was repeated several times and always with success; but 
in all of them many men were lost, and particularly the offi- 
cers, which, with so raw troops, was a loss altogether irreme- 
diable. In that I just spoke of, made by the second regiment 
and Butler's battalion, Major Butler was dangerously wound- 
ed, and every officer of the second regiment fell except 
three, one of which, Mr. Greaton, was shot through the body. 

Our artillery being now silenced, and all the officers killed 
except Captain Ford, who was very badly wounded, and more 
than half of the army fallen, being cut off from the road, it 
became necessary to attempt the regaining it, and to make a 
retreat if possible. To this purpose the remains of the army 
was formed as well as circumstances would admit, towards 
the right of the encampment, from which, by the way of 
the second line, another charge was made upon the enemy, 
as if with the design to turn their right flank, but in fact, to 
gain the road. This was effected, and as soon as it was open, 
the militia took along it, followed by the troops; Maj. Clark, 
with his battalion, covering the rear. 

The retreat, in those circumstances, was, as you may be 
sure, a very precipitate one. It was, in fact, a flight. The 
camp and the artillery were abandoned ; but that was una- 
voidable ; for not a horse was left alive to have drawn it off", 
had it otherwise been practicable. But the most disgraceful 
part of the business is, that the greatest part of the men threw 
away their arms and accoutrements, even after the pursuit, 
which continued about four miles, had ceased. I found the 
road strewed with them for many miles, but was not able to 
remedy it ; for, having had all my horses killed, and being 
mounted upon one that could not be pricked out of a walk, I 
could not get forward myself; and the orders I sent forward 
either to halt the front, or to prevent the men from parting 
with their arms, were unattended to. The rout continued 
quite to Fort Jefferson, twenty-nine miles, which was reached 
a little after sun-setting. The action began about half an 
hour before sunrise, and the retreat was attempted at half an 
hour after nine o'clock. I have not yet been able to get re- 
turns of the killed and wounded ; but Major General Butler, 
Lieutenant Colonel Oldham, of the militia, Major Ferguson, 
Major Hart, and Major Clark, are among the former : Colo- 

1791. Defeat of St. Glair. 389 

nel Sargent, my Adjutant General, Lieutenant Colonel Darke, 
Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, Major Butler, and the Viscount 
Malartie, who served me as Aid-de-camp, are among the lat- 
ter; and a great number of captains and subalterns in both. 
I have now, sir, finished my melancholy tale a tale that 
will be felt sensibly by every one that has sympathy for pri- 
vate distress, or for public misfortune. 1 have nothing, sir, to 
lay to the charge of the troops, but their want of discipline, 
which, from the short time they had been in service, it was 
impossible they should have acquired, and which rendered it 
very difficult, when they were thrown into confusion, to reduce 
them again to order, and is one reason why the loss has fallen 
so heavy on the officers, who did every thing in their power to 
effect it. Neither were my own exertions wanting : but, worn 
down with illness, and suffering under a painful disease, un- 
able either to mount or dismount a horse without assistance, 
they were not so great as they otherwise would, and perhaps 
ought to have been. We were overpowered by numbers; but 
it is no more than justice to observe, that, though composed 
of so many different species of troops, the utmost harmony 
prevailed through the whole army during the campaign. At 
Fort Jefferson I found the first regiment, which had returned 
from the service they had been sent upon, without either over- 
taking the deserters, or meeting the convoy of provisions. I 
am not certain, sir, whether I ought to consider the absence of 
this regiment from the field of action, as fortunate or other- 
wise. I incline to think it was fortunate : for, I very much 
doubt whether, had it been in the action, the fortune of the 
day had been turned; and, if it had not, the triumph of the 
enemy would have been more complete, and the country 
would have been destitute of every means of defence. Taking 
a view of the situation of our broken troops at Fort Jefferson, 
and that there was no provisions in the Fort, I called upon the 
field officers, viz : Lieutenant Colonel Darke, Major Ham- 
tramck, Major Zeigler, and Major Gaither, together with the 
Adjutant General, [Winthrop Sargent,] for their advice what 
would be proper further to be done ; and it was their unani- 
mous opinion, that the addition of the first regiment, un- 
broken as it was, did not put the army on so respectable a 
foot as it was in the morning, because a great part of it was now 
unarmed ; that it had been found unequal to the enemy, and 
should they come on, which was possible, would be found so 
again ; that the troops could not be thrown into the fort, both 
because it was too small, and that there were no provisions in 
it; that provisions were known to be on the road, at the dis- 
tance of one, or at most tftvo marches ; that, therefore, it would 
be more proper to move without loss of time, to meet the pro- 
visions, when the men might have the sooner an opportunity 
of some refreshment, and that a proper detachment might be 

390 Defeat of St. Clair. 1791. 

sent back with it, to have it safely deposited in the fort. This 
advice was accepted, and the army was put in motion at ten 
o'clock, and marched all night, and the succeeding day met 
with a quantity of flour. Part of it was distributed immedi- 
ately, part taken back to supply the army on the march to 
Fort Hamilton, and the remainder, about fifty horse loads, 
sent forward to Fort Jefferson. The next day a drove of 
cattle was met with for the same place, and I have informa- 
tion that both got in. The wounded, who had been left at 
that place, were ordered to be brought to Fort Washington 
by the return horses. 

I have said, sir, in a former part of this letter, that we were 
overpowered by numbers. Of that, however, I have no other 
evidence but the weight of the fire, which was always a most 
deadly one, and generally delivered from the ground few of 
the enemy showing themselves afoot, except when they were 
charged ; and that, in a few minutes our whole camp, which 
extended above three hundred and fifty yards in length, was 
entirely surrounded and attacked on all quarters. The loss, 
sir, the public has sustained by the fall of so many officers, 
particularly General Butler and Major Ferguson, cannot be 
too much regretted; but it is a circumstance that will alle- 
viate the misfortune in some measure, that all of them fell 
most gallantly doing their duty. I have had very particular 
obligations to many of them, as well as to the survivors, 
but to none more than Colonel Sargent. He has discharged 
the various duties of his office with zeal, with exactness, and 
with intelligence, and on all occasions afforded me every as- 
sistance in his power, which I have also experienced from my 
Aid-de-camp, Lieutenant Denny, and the Viscount Malartie, 
who served with me in the station as a volunteer.* 

[ To this official account of the commander, we add the fol- 
lowing sketch by Benjamin Van Cleve, who was in the Quar- 
ter-master General's service on the occasion ; so that he 
fought as a volunteer. Mr. Van Cleve was a resident of Cin- 
ciunati, early in 1790; removed to Dayton in 1797, and during 
the principal part of his life, kept a journal or memoranda of 
the events that transpired. This sketch vividly portrays the 
confusion of the battle and flight f] 

On the fourth [of November] at daybreak, I began to pre- 
pare for returning, [to Fort Washington] and had got about 
half my luggage on my horse, when the firing commenced. 
We were encamped just within the lines, on the right. The 
attack was made on the Kentucky militia. Almost instanta- 

* American State Papers, T. 137. 
t American Pioneer, ii. 143 153. 

1791. Defeat of St . Clair. 39 1 

neously the small remnant of them that escaped broke 
through the line near us, and this line gave way. Followed 
by a tremendous fire from the enemy, they passed me. I 
threw my bridle over a stump, from which a tent pole had 
been cut, and followed a short distance, when finding the 
troo'ps had halted, I returned and brought my horse a 
little farther. I was now between the fires, and finding the 
troops giving way again, was obliged to leave him a second 
time. As I quitted him he was shot down, and 1 felt rather 
glad of it, as I concluded that now I should be at liberty to 
share in the engagement. My inexperience prompted me to 
calculate on our forces being far superior to any that the sav- 
ages could assemble, and that we should soon have the 
pleasure of driving them. Not more than five minutes had 
yet elapsed, when a soldier near me had his arm swinging 
with a wound. I requested his arms and accoutrements, as 
he was unable to use them, promising to return them to him, 
and commenced firing. The smoke was settled down to 
about within three feet of the ground, but I generally put one 
knee on the ground, and with a rest from behind a tree, 
waited the appearance of an Indian's head from behind his 
cover, or for one to run and change his position. Before I 
was convinced of my mistaken calculations, the battle was 
half over, and I had become familiarized to the scene. Hear- 
ing the firing at one time unusually brisk near the rear of the 
left wing, I crossed the encampment. Two levy officers were 
just ordering a charge. I had fired away my ammunition, and 
some of the bands of my musket had flown off. I picked up 
another, and a cartridge box nearly full, and pushed forvyard 
with about thirty others. The Indians ran to the right, where 
there was a small ravine filled with logs. I bent iry course 
after them, and on looking round, I found I was with only 
seven or eight men, the others having kept straight forward, 
and halted about thirty yards off. We halted also, and being 
so near where the savages lay concealed, the second fire from 
them, left me standing alone. My cover was a small sugar 
tree or beech, scarcely large enough to hide me. I fired away 
all my ammunition ; I am uncertain whether with any effect or 
not. I then looked for the party near me, and saw them re- 
treating and half way back to the lines. I followed them, 
running my best, and was soon in. By this time our artillery 
had been taken, I do not know whether the first or second 
time, and our troops had just retaken it, and were charging 
the enemy across the creek in front; and some person told me 
to look at an Indian running with one of our kegs of pow- 
der, but I did not see him. There were about thirty of our 
men and officers lying scalped around the pieces of artillery. 
It appeared that the Indians had not been in a hurry, for 
their hair was all skinned off. 

392 Defeat of St. Clair. 1791. 

Daniel Bonham, a young man raised by my uncle, and 
brought up with rne, and whom I regarded as a brother, had 
by this time received a shot through his hips, and was unable 
to walk. I procured a horse and got him on. My uncle had 
received a ball near his wrist that lodged near his elbow. 
The ground was literally covered with dead and dying men, 
the commander gave orders to take the way perhaps 
they had been given more explicitly. Happening to see 
my uncle, he told me that a retreat had been ordered, and 
that I must do the best I could, and take care of myself. 
Bonham insisted that he had a better chance of escaping 
than I had, and urged me to look to my own safety alone. I 
found the troops pressing like a drove of bullocks to the 
right. I saw an officer whom I took to be Lieutenant Mor- 
gan, an aid to General Butler, with six or eight men, start 
on a run a little to the left of where I was. I immediately 
ran and fell in with them. In a short distance we were so 
suddenly among the Indians, who were not apprised of our 
object, that they opened to us, and ran to the right and left 
without firing. I think about two hundred of our men passed 
through them before they fired, except a chance shot. When 
\ve had proceeded about two miles, most of those mounted 
had passed me. A boy had been thrown or fell off a horse, 
and begged my assistance. I ran, pulled him along about two 
miles further, until I had become nearly exhausted. Of the 
last two horses in the rear, one carried two men, and the 
other three. I made an exertion and threw him on behind 
the two men. The Indians followed but about half a mile fur- 
ther. The boy was thrown off some time after, but escaped 
and got in safely. My friend Bonham I did not see on the 
retreat, but understood he was thrown off about this place, 
and lay on the left of the trace, where he was found in 
the winter and was buried. I took the cramp violently in 
my thighs, and could scarcely walk until I got within a 
hundred yards of the rear, where the Indians were toma- 
hawking the old and wounded men ; and I stopped here 
to tie my pocket handkerchief round a wounded man's knee. 
I saw the Indians close in pursuit at this time, and for a mo- 
ment rny spirit sunk, and I felt in despair for my safety. I 
considered whether I should leave the road, or whether I was 
capable of any further exertion. If I left the road, the In- 
dians were in plain sight and could easily overtake me. I 
threw the shoes off my feet, and the coolness of the ground 
seemed to revive me. I again began a trot, and recollect 
that when a bend in the road offered, and I got before half a 
dozen persons, I thought it would occupy some time for the 
enemy to massacre them, before my turn would come. By 
the time I had got to Stillwater, about eleven miles, I had 
gained the centre of the flying troops, and, like them came to 

1791. Defeat of St. Clair. 393 

a walk. I fell in with Lieutenant Shaumburg, who, I think, 
was the only officer of artillery that got away unhurt, with 
corporal Mott, and a woman who was called red-headed 
Nance. The latter two were both crying. Mott was lament- 
ing the loss of a wife, and Nance that of an infant child. 
Shaumburg was nearly exhausted, and hung on Mott's arm. 
1 carried his fusil and accoutrements, and led Nance ; and in 
this sociable way we arrived at Fort Jefferson a little after 

The commander-in-chief had ordered Colonel Darke to 
press forward to the convoys of provisions, and hurry them on 
to the army. Major Truman, Captain Sedan and my uncle 
were setting forward with him. A number of soldiers, and 
pack-horsemen on foot, and myself among them, joined them. . 
We came on a few miles, when all, overcome with fatigue, 
agreed to halt. Darius Curtius Orcutt, a pack-horse master, 
had stolen, at Jefferson, one pocket full of flour and the other 
full of beef. One of the men had a kettle, and one Jacob 
Fowler and myself groped about in the dark, until we found 
some water, where a tree had been blown out of root. We 
made a kettle of soup, of which I got a small portion among 
the many. t lt was then concluded, as there was a bend in the 
road a few miles farther on, that the Indians might undertake 
to intercept us there, and we decamped and travelled about 
four or five miles further. I had got a rifle and ammunition 
at Jefferson, from a wounded militia-man, an old acquaint- 
ance, to bring in. A sentinel was set, and we lay down and 
slept, until the governor came up a few hours afterward. I 
think I never slept so profoundly. I could hardly get awake, 
after I was on my feet. On the day before the defeat, the 
ground was covered with snow. The flats were now filled 
with water frozen over, the ice as thick as a knife-blade. I 
was worn out with fatigue, with my feet knocked to pieces 
against the roots in the night, and splashing through the ice 
without shoes. In the morning, we got to a camp of pack- 
horsemen, and amongst them I got a doughboy or water- 
dumpling, and proceeded. We got within seven miles of 
Hamilton on this day, and arrived there soon on the morning 
of the sixth. 

Thus were all the plans, hopes, and labors of Washington, 
Knox and St. Clair, in reference to the Indian campaign, in 
one day, overthrown. The savages, again victorious, coukl 
neither be expected to make terms or exercise forbearance ;. 
and along the whole line of the frontier there were but few 
that did not feel anxiety, terror, or despair. 

We give in illustration the following. Representation from 
tfte inhabitants of the town of Pittsburg, dated, Pittsburgh Dt~ 

394 Effect of St. Claims Defeat. 1790 

cember llth, 1791 Sir: In consequence of the late intelli- 
gence of the fate of the campaign to the Westward, the 
inhabitants of the town of Pittsburg have convened, and 
appointed us a committee for the purpose of addressing your 
Excellency. The late disaster of the army must greatly effect 
the safety of this place. There can be no doubt but that the 
enemy will now come forward, and with more spirit, and 
greater numbers, than they ever did before, for success will 
give confidence and secure allies. 

We seriously apprehend that the Six Nations, heretofore 
wavering, will now avow themselves ; at least, their young 
men will come to war. Be that as it may, the Indians at 
present hostile, are well acquainted with the defenceless 
situation of this town. During the late war there was a gar- 
rison at this place, though, even then, there was not such a 
combination of the savage nations, nor so much to be dreaded 
from them. At present, we have neither garrison, arms, nor 
ammunition to defend the place. If the enemy should be dis- 
posed to pursue the blow they have given, which it is morally 
certain they will, they would, in our situation, find it easy to 
destroy us ; and, should this place be lost, the whole country 
is open to them, and must be abandoned. (A. Tannehill and 
others, to the Governor of Pennsylvania.) 

Memorial from the inhabitants of the counties of Westmoreland, 
Washington, Fayette, and Allegheny, to the Governor of Penn- 
sylvania : To his Excellency Thomas Mifflin, Esq., Governor 
of the State of Pennsylvania : Your Excellency is well aware 
of the great extent of our frontier ; and, when you consider 
the high degree of spirit which the savages, animated by two 
successive victories, entertain, you may more easily conceive, 
than we can describe, the fears which pervade the breasts of 
those men, women and children, who are more immediately 
subject to their barbarities and depredations. Had the peo- 
ple a sufficiency of arms in their hands, they might, in some 
measure, defend themselves until the General Government, to 
whose care the common defence is entrusted, should adopt 
efficient steps for that purpose. At the same time, we beg 
leave to state to your Excellency, what occurs to us as the 
most speedy and effectual mode. When the extent of coun- 
try to be protected is taken into view, we conceive that eight 
hundred effective men will not be deemed more than suf- 
ficient. They should be active partisans, under experienced 
officers, and provided with good rifles, to suit the grand object 
of meeting the enemy upon equal terms ; of scouting, and 
Diving the alarm when needful. Such a body should have 
encouragement proportioned to the price of common labor in 
1his country, which averages fifty shillings per month, as the 
pay allowed to the troops of the United States would not be a 

1790 Effect of St. Claims Defeat. 395 

sufficient inducement to able-bodied men, possessing the requi- 
site qualifications. We suggest these general ideas from our 
knowledge of local circumstances, which they who are at a 
distance, unacquainted with the actual situation of the wes- 
tern country, cannot so well perceive. It is not our wish to 
enter into a minute detail, being convinced that your Excel- 
lency is not only fully acquainted with, but feelingly alive to, 
those impressions, which a state, such as ours, must give rise 
to ; nor can we apply to any person more proper than your- 
self to procure that assistance which it requires. 

From the Representatives of the County of Ohio to the 
Governor of Virginia : Sir : The alarming intelligence lately 
received, of the defeat of the army in the western country, 
fills our minds with dreadful fears and apprehensions, con- 
cerning the safety of our fellow-citizens in the country we re- 
present, and we confidently hope will be an excuse to your 
Excellency, whose zeal has been so frequently evinced in be- 
half of the distressed frontier counties, for the request we are 
now compelled to make. In the course of last year, upwards 
of fifty of our people were killed, and a great part of our 
country plundered, notwithstanding the aid afforded by the 
Pennsylvanians, who joined the Virginians in our defence. 
The success of the Indians in their late engagement with Gen- 
eral St. Clair, will, no doubt, render them more glaring and 
bold in their future incursions and attacks upon our defence- 
less inhabitants ; those adjoining the county of Harrison, ex- 
tending a hundred miles ; covering the county of Monongalia ; 
and we conceive that not less than sixty or seventy men will 
be sufficient to defend them. Through you, sir, we beg leave 
to request this assistance. (American State Papers, v, 215. 
216. 222.) 

[In Braddock's defeat, of one thousand, two hundred men, 
there were seven hundred and fourteen killed and wounded. 
In St. Glair's defeat, out of fourteen hundred men, eight hun- 
dred and ninety were killed and wounded. Braddock's 
officers were eighty-six in number, of which sixty-three were 
killed and wounded. St. Clair had from eighty-six to ninety 
officers, of which sixteen were killed and wounded. In its 
effects, this was like a second Braddock's defeat. How was it 
in its causes ?] General Knox assigned as the chief reasons of 
St. Glair's overthrow first, the deficiency of good troops : 
second, the want of appropriate training among those he (St. 
Clair) had : third, the lateness of the season.* The committee 
of the House of Representatives which examined the matter. 

. * American State Papers, v. 198. 

396 Effect of St. Claims Defeat. 1791. 

upon the 8th of May, 1792, reported the causes of the catas- 
trophe of the previous November to have been, in their opin- 
ion first, the delay in preparing estimates, &c., for the de- 
fence of the frontiers, and the late passage of the Act (March 
3d,) for that purpose : second, the delay caused by the neglect 
in the Quartermaster's department : third, the lateness of the 
season when the expedition was commenced : and, fourth, the 
want of discipline and experience in the troops. This Com- 
mittee, also, expressly declared General St. Clair free of all 
blame in relation to everything, both before and during the 
action.* Will the causes thus assigned fully explain the de- 
feat ? In answer it may be observed,, even by one wholly 
ignorant of military matters, that the late passage of an act 
of Congress the want of proper measures by the Quarter- 
master, and the lateness of the season, were obviously not 
among the leading causes of the rout of November 4th, 
1791 ; these things might have prevented the accomplishment 
of the plan for erecting a fort at the Miami village, even had 
St. Clair been victorious on that day, but they did not cause 
his defeat. Was it, then, the want of good troops ? We think 
a re-perusal of the General's letter will show that his troops 
were not worthless by any means. The action began about 
half an hour before sun-rise, on the fourth of November, and 
lasted until half-past nine in the morning. This could not 
have been the case with undisciplined troops, unless they had 
possessed, at least, the raw material of soldiers, and had been 
men who, well situated, would have done well. However 
much, then, the troops may have been wanting in a proper 
training, it seems clear to us that this alone would not explain 
the fortune of the day unless the enemy had been present in 
overwhelming numbers ; and such was not probably the case, 
the best evidence we have going to show that the Indians 
were but about one thousand in number,f while the Americans 
were fourteen hundred. Leaving then the reasons officially 
assigned, we suggest that, to the reader ignorant of military 
science, it seems that two striking causes of the melancholy 
result are unnoticed by the Secretary of War and the Com- 

* American State Papers, xii. 38, 39. 

t American State Papers, xii. 37. The Secretary of War in December, 1791, estimated 
the Indians at three thousand, but the Committee of the following May, having his and 
other eTidence,cut the number down to 1040. American State Papers, v. 198. American 
State Papers, xii, 44. 

1791. Causes of St. C lair's Defeat. 397 

mittee of Congress, viz. : the surprise by the Indians, who 
were in no degree expected by the army ; and the confusion 
introduced at the outset by the flying militia. Had the 
attack been expected, the troops prepared, all chance of con- 
fusion avoided, and had the very able officers who command- 
ed been obeyed with all the disadvantages of raw troops, 
the event might have been, probably would have been, wholly 
different. We are, then, led to ask, how it happened that the 
troops were surprised were proper measures taken to guard 
against surprise ? The militia, as St. Clair says, were a quar- 
ter of a mile in advance of the main army, and beyond the 
creek ; still farther in advance was Captain Slough, who, 
with a volunteer party of regulars, went out to reconnoitre ; 
and orders had been given Colonel Oldham, who commanded 
the militia, to have the woods thoroughly examined by the 
scouts and patrols, as Indians were known to be hanging 
about the outskirts of the army. In all this St. Clair seems to 
have done his entire duty, as far as sickness would permit him ; 
could he have seen in person to the essential steps it would 
have been better. During the night Captain Slough, who 
was a mile beyond the militia, found so large a body of sava- 
ges gathering about him, that he fell back and reported his 
observations to General Butler. But the General, for reasons 
unexplained, made no dispositions in consequence of this in- 
formation, and did not report it to the Commander-in-chief. 
Colonel Oldham also obeyed his orders, the woods were 
searched, and the presence of the enemy detected, but he, too, 
reported, through Captain Slough, to General Butler, beyond 
whom the information did not go. 

[There is evidence in the various documents that there was 
a misunderstanding between Generals St. Clair and Butler 
during the campaign. The latter was killed in the battle, or 
that part of his conduct which is involved in mystery might 
have been explained. Various stories have obtained circu- 
lation about the manner and circumstances of his death. 

A paper from John Johnson, published in Cist's Miscellany, 
(ii. 299,) states that he was killed by his own son, a half-breed 
Shawanee chief, which we think is more than improbable. 
Mr. Stone, in his life of Brant, (ii. 310,) says he was badly 
wounded, and being left on the field, implored Simon Girty to 
kill him, but he refused, and an Indian put him out of pain; 

398 Causes of the Defeat of St. Clair. 1791. 

taking his scalp and heart as trophies. Mann Butler, Esq., 
states (History of Kentucky, 204,) on what authority we do 
not exactly perceive, that an Indian "at the sacrifice of his 
own life, darted into the camp and tomahawked and scalped 
Major General Butler while his wounds were dressing, though 
the Indian was instantly put to death." Another statement 
in Cist's Miscellany (ii. 31) by J. Matson, is, that he belonged 
to a party sent back by General Wilkinson the following win- 
ter to the battle field, where they found, as they thought, 
Butler's body "in the thickest of the carnage." 

In the "Narrative" by St. Clair (p. 221) Colonel Semple de- 
poses, that he saw four soldiers putting General Butler in a 
blanket after he fell. 

When such conflicting statements exist concerning the cir- 
cumstances of the death of the distinguished officer who was 
second in command, we cannot expect accuracy in tracing the 
causes of the disastrous defeat. General Butler had been an 
Indian trader at an early day. It appears from the documen- 
tary testimony, that he did not report to the Commander-in- 
chief (St. Clair) the information he received from the recon- 
noisance of Colonel Oldham and Captain Slough during the 
preceding night. Oldham, too, appears to have been diligent 
in making his report, but he also was among the slain. St. 
Clair said, had he received the reports of Colonel Oldham and 
Captain Slough, he would have attacked the Indians in the 
night. (Narrative, p. 135.) 

To all these circumstances we repeat the fact, that General 
St. Clair was suffering, from severe indisposition, and for 
a portion of the march had to be carried in a litter. And in 
the morning of the attack the army was taken by surprise and 
unprepared. Even under these disadvantages there was a 
great chance of victory for the American army, had the troops 
not been unexpectedly attacked and thrown into disorder at 
the onset. It could not have been the single fact, (as many 
have supposed) that they were militia or volunteers, for in too 
many instances have this class of troops from this western 
valley, stood their ground in severe and deadly conflicts with 
Indians, British and Mexicans. Proofs enough of firmness and 
self government have been given by this class of men, to put 
an end to the prejudices heretofore existing against volunteer 

1791. Causes of the Defeat of St. Clair. 399 

The following communication from Colonel John Armstrong, 
an experienced warrior with Indians, and the hero of Kittan- 
ning, deserves attention.* 

"It seems probable, that too much attachment to regular or 
military rule, or a too great confidence in the artillery (which 
it seemed formed part of the lines, and had a tendency to ren- 
der the troops stationary,) must have been the motives, which 
led to the adopted order of action. I call it adopted, because 
the General does not speak of having intended any other, 
whereby he presented a large and visible object, perhaps in 
close orders too, to an enemy near enough to destroy, but from 
their known modes of action comparatively invisible ; where- 
by we may readily in