Skip to main content
Presented to the
LIBRARY of the
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
THE BATTLE FIELDS ^ ml ^
A Collection of Historical Addresses
THE SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,
District of Columbia Society,
March i8, 1896.
.., . . .^iu::^xx:u
A t • l^T"'COMSf?TEE OI^PUBLICATION.
AUb /k 7
By Dr. G. Brown Goode,
President of the District of Columbia Society,
Sons of the American Revolution.
THE Society of the Sons of the American
Revolution was organized to take part in
measures tending to foster the development
of American patriotism, among which a not un-
important one is the preservation of historic sites
and marking them by monuments.
The War of the Revolution did not cease with
the treaty of Paris, but continued until the con-
quest of the West had been accomplished and the
rights of our people secured by the success of our
second conflict with Great Britain. It is, therefore,
very appropriate that we should listen to-night to
a series of papers on the acquisition of the North-
west and the struggle with the Indians and Great
Britain, up to and including the War of 1812.
This region was traversed during the War of
the Revolution by that intrepid soldier George
Rogers Clark. He, with his band of Kentuckians,
met the Indians at Harrodsburg in 1776, defeated
them in 1777, and ultimately in 1779 compelled the
British commander at Vincennes to capitulate.
Thus was ended the English occupancy, and thus
were made possible the negotiations for the pos-
session of the vast regions beyond the Alleghenies
subsequently conceded by Great Britain.
The papers to be read this evening relate to these
battles in the Northwest. Bills are now before
Congress providing for the permanent preserva-
tion, as the property of the Nation, of the ground
upon which these battles were fought. This is a
matter of national importance, not only on account
of historical association, but because here are
buried over two thousand soldiers from every State
then in the Union. The securing of these sites
will be equivalent to the erection of permanent
monuments to the memory of men and events
of the utmost significance in the history of the
struggle of '' the winning of the West."
It is little less than a national disgrace that there
should have been no monuments erected to com-
memorate these battles, so important to the history
of the United States.
The more formal papers of the evening will be
preceded by a brief address on Indian methods of
warfare intended to make the narratives which
follow more intelligible.
Methods of Indian Warfare.
By Professor Otis T. Mason,
BY WAY of introduction to the addresses of
the distinguished speakers who are to fol-
low me, I have been invited to make
some remarks upon the Indian tribes engaged in
the wars about Maumee River, and their methods
There were three great stocks of Indians center-
ing in this portion of the northwest territory; the
Algonquian stock covered the largest area, embrac-
ing eastern and southern Canada, the New England
States, Maryland, Virginia, and the territory drained
by the Ohio River and the eastern tributaries of
the Mississippi. These Indians depended partly
upon agriculture and partly upon hunting and fish-
ing for their subsistence.
The Iroquoian stock was to be found on both
sides of the Upper Saint Lawrence River and all
about Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and the southern
shores of Lake Huron. Some of their weaker tribes
had pushed their way to the head waters of the
Chesapeake Bay. A large branch of the Iroquoian
stock was to be found also in the mountain region
where the States of Virginia, Tennessee, Carolina,
and Georgia meet.
6 METHODS OF INDIAN WARFARE.
On the west side of the Algonquian were the
Siouan tribes, who resided mostly west of the
Mississippi River and reached as far as the western
shore of Lake Michigan.
Before describing the methods of warfare prac-
ticed by all of the Indians of these three stocks, it
is well to remember that in war there are only
three methods of killing a man, namely, by pierc-
ing weapons, by cutting weapons, by bruising
weapons. These were represented in pre-Colum-
bian times by the war spear, the stone knife or
dagger, and clubs of various kinds. As soon as
these Indians entered into trade relationship with
the whites, whether English, Dutch, French or
Spanish, in exchange for their furs they received
muskets and bullets to replace their arrows,
swords, scalping knives as substitutes for their
stone knives, and cannon balls for clubs. In the
use of these the savages soon became proficient,
and it is no disparagement to the brave soldiers
who conducted for many years the wars in the
northwest, to say that the various tribes engaged
fought desperately with these new weapons for
their homes. As to their tactics they had none,
if we judge them from the point of view of
European warfare. In point of fact, they lived in
that primitive state of society in which the fight-
ing against men and wild beasts have not been
differentiated. It was customary for them to select
some spot where the deer were wont to frequent
and alongside of the valley leading to this place
they placed rude fences made of strong poles.
Through this drive they effectually enticed and
forced their victims until the latter were in an
METHODS OF INDIAN WARFARE. 7
ambuscade where they were quickly and energeti-
The Indian, therefore, used for his tactics
methods similar to those employed in hunting
the deer, the bear, and the wolf. His strategy
consisted of the same ingenious device, by means
of which he inveigled the white man into an am-
buscade just as successfully as he allured animals
into traps. We are not surprised, therefore, in
reading the history of the campaigns in the
Northwest to learn that over and over again many
of the best troops were destroyed by being lead
into ambushes. It was the Indian's method of
entrapping a wild beast applied to warfare with,
those who were better equipped with firearms.
They did not acquire the tactics and strategy of
the white man, but employed new weapons with
It is not within my province to discuss methods
of Indian strategy, although it could be easily
demonstrated that the white man, knowing the
tactics of the civilized warfare, repeatedly adopted
the methods of the savage. The aboriginal tribes
had the misfortune to ally themselves with the
French against the English and subsequently with
the English against the Americans, and as a result
were twice deprived of their land by an inter-
national code which was unknown to them.
At the close of the last century the Indians in
the Northwest, instigated by foreign foes, fought
with desperation against the Americans the last
great fight for the possession of the aboriginal
Settlement of the Northwest Territory,
With the Struggles Against the Indians and British
IN THE Maumee Valley, 1788-1813.
By Mr. William Van Zandt Cox,
THE West has been so busy in making
History that it has been compelled to leave
it to Eastern writers to chronicle. Have
they done their part as satisfactorily as the
makers? I am free to confess that no series of
events in the entire history of this Country has
been more completely lost sight of than those
between 1788-18 13, by means of which the results
of the War of the Revolution were confirmed
to this Country.
It is surprising to find in the '''Narrative and
Critical History of America," edited by so able a
writer as Justin Winsor, that no prominence is
given to those campaigns that gave to America the
empire of the Northwest. Indeed so little im-
portance is attached to them that in the article on
''Wars of the United States between 1 789-1 851"
only nine and one-half lines are given to the
Harmer, St. Clair, and Wayne Campaigns (Vol.
VII, p. 357). Something, however, is said in the
appendix by the editor. In contrast, the War with
Tripoli fills eighteen pages.
The hope of American history is in the Patriotic
Societies, the members of which are doing so
From the Cyclo of American Biography,
Copyright," 1888, by D. Appleton & Co.
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. 9
much to encourage historical research and preserve
the memories of the men who achieved the in-
dependence of the American people.
I have always considered myself fortunate in
having been born in the State of Ohio. When I
reflect that I was born on the banks of the
Muskingum, made memorable in 1788 by the land-
ing of the boat containing Rufus Putnam's band of
pioneers, the ''Mayflower of the great North-
west," 1 know that I am a subject for congratu-
Of whom did this earnest band of home-seekers
and home builders consist?
They were soldiers of the Revolution, the Ameri-
can Revolution, together with their wives and
their children, destined by an all wise Providence
to be the founders of new American States.
"Fresh from the Revolution's fire
They came, to hew the empire's way
Through trackless wastes and to inspire
The sunlight of young Freedom's day."
Five states in the Northwest Territory were
founded. The names of these are also American:
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, a
galaxy of peerless states in the history of our
Nation, that stand resplendant as the stars on the
blue field of our Country's flag.
These brave men and women, still filled with
the courage of '76, were, as events show, equal to
the task before them. Like their pilgrim fathers,
they felled the trees of the forests and built their
homes; with their trusty rifles by their sides, they
cleared the ground and planted their corn. They
10 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY.
endured hardships that only men and women
would be willing to suffer for the sake of con-
science, homes and liberty.
Foes lurked on every side, for in these forests
dwelt the Shawnees, the Chippewas, the Dela-
wares, the Ottawas, the Wyandots, the Potta-
watomis and the warlike Miamis, who, instigated
by the British, were quick to form alliance against
the new settlers. For two years the Frontiers-
men suffered from scalping knife and tomahawk,
and then a small body of regulars enlisted in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, were placed under
the command of General Harmer, with orders to
march against the Indian towns and inflict such
punishment as would prevent future depredations.
Reinforced by over a thousand of militia from
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, General Harmer
started from Fort Washington (now Cincinnati) on
September 30, 1790, to execute the plans of Presi-
Harmer, on October 19, met the Indians under
Little Turtle at the junction of the St. Mary and
St. Joseph rivers, in the present state of Indiana,
and was disastrously defeated, failing in his mis-
sion and losing many of his brave officers and men.
President Washington was greatly distressed
and disappointed at Harmer's misfortune and
designated General Arthur St. Clair, the first
Governor of the Northwest Territory, who was
inaugurated at Marietta July 15, 1788, to take com-
mand and surpress the Indian invasions.
On September 17, 1791, with an army number-
ing twenty-three hundred men, he marched from
Fort Washington and erected Fort Hamilton on
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. I I
the Miami, the first of a line of forts that was to
extend to Lake Erie. On October 12 the construc-
tion of Fort Jefferson was begun. On November 3
the army reached the Wabash. On November 4
Little Turtle, with his warriors, surprised St.
Clair and defeated a second army within a year.
When Washington read the message from St.
Clair announcing his reverses, it is said that he
threw it down and paced the floor in anger, using
language that is not considered appropriate for
even state occasion.
The Ohio settlements were in terror. The en-
tire Country was aroused at the thought of the
veterans of '76 and their families being massacred
by the red men and at the instigation of the old
enemy, the British.
By popular consent General Anthony Wayne of
Pennsylvania, the daring hero of the Revolution,
was selected by Washington to protect the fron-
tier. He consented to serve on the condition that
he was not to begin his campaign until his ranks
were full and his men thoroughly disciplined.
In June, 1792, General Wayne proceeded to
Pittsburg and began organizing and vigorously
drilling his ** Legion."
From Pittsburg he floated his army down the
Ohio and established a camp called Hobson's
Choice, near Cincinnati. On October 7. 1793, he
started on his march to Lake Erie, and soon after
he established winter quarters at Fort Greenville,
in Darke County.
On Christmas, the place made memorable by St.
Clair's defeat was re-occupied. ''Here" said he,
''where the blood of our brothers has enriched
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. I }
The battle of Fallen Timber, for such is its
name, was fought under the walls of Fort Miami.
Alarmed at the defeat of his allies. Major Camp-
bell, commanding the British Post, was anxious to
know in what light he was to view Wayne's near
approach to his garrison. Wayne wrote him as
follows: — "\ think I may, without breach of de-
corum, observe to you, that, were you entitled to
an answer, the most full and satisfactory one was
announced to you from the muzzles of my small
arms, yesterday morning, in the action against the
horde of savages in the vicinity of your post,
which terminated gloriously to the American arms;
but, had it continued until the Indians, etc., were
driven under the influence of the post and guns you
mention, they would not have much impeded the
progress of the victorious army under my com-
mand as no such post was established at the com-
mencement of the present war between the Indians
and the United States."
Major Campbell replied, saying among other
things, 'M have forborne, for these two days past,
to resent those insults you have offered to the
British flag flying at this fort, by approaching
within pistol shot of my works, not only singly,
but in numbers, with arms in their hands. Neither
is it my wish to wage war with individuals; but,
should you, after this, continue to approach my
post in the threatening manner you are at this
moment doing, my indispensable duty to my king
and country, and the honor of my profession, will
oblige me to have recourse to those measures
which thousands of either nation may hereafter
have cause to regret."
14 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY.
Thereupon General Wayne called his attention
to his occupying a post within the limits of the
United States, adding : ''This, sir, appears to be
an act of the highest aggression, and destructive
to the peace and interest of the Union. Hence, it
becomes my duty to desire, and I do hereby desire
and demand, in the name of the President of the
United States, that you immediately desist from
any further act of hostility or aggression, by for-
bearing to fortify, and by withdrawing the troops,
artillery, and stores, under your order and direc-
tion, forthwith, and removing to the nearest post
occupied by His Britannic Majesty's troops at the
peace of 1785, and which you will be permitted to
do unmolested by the troops under my command."
It was the policy of Great Britain, you will
observe, over a hundred years ago, to erect forts
and take position and possession on lines other
than those prescribed in treaties.
Fort Miami, however^ was not attacked by
Wayne, his foresight suggesting the desirability of
erecting a block house nearer the mouth of the
Maumee. This was built and so expeditiously,
that he called it Fort Industry, and it is within the
limits of Toledo, in the very heart of the city.
On August 27, 1794, the army took up its return
march, destroying every village and corn field as
far as Defiance.
The Miami villages were reached in turn, and at
the very spot where Harmer had been defeated
four years previously, a fort was erected, This
place now bears the name of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Having accomplished the objects of his cam-
paign Wayne started with the main body of his
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. I 5
army for Fort Greenville. Here, in negotiating the
famous Greenville treaty with thirteen tribes of
Indians, he proved himself to be as great a diplo-
mat and statesman as he had shown himself to be
On the staff of General Wayne during this cam-
paign was Lieutenant William Henry Harrison, who
was destined to achieve eminence and to complete
the victories begun by his General.
On September 17, 1812, General Harrison having
the year before defeated at Tippecanoe, ''The
Prophet," brother of Tecumseh, was placed in
command of the army of the West and Northwest.
In February, 18 13, he arrived on the Maumee
and built Fort Meigs.
Early in May this fort was attacked by a force of
thirty-two hundred British and Indians under
Proctor and Tecumseh. It was on the west side
of the Maumee that Colonel Dudley, while at-
tempting to capture a battery, was ambuscaded
and lost his life together with 685 of his 810 im-
petuous Kentuckians. Few men taken escaped
alive. It is said that when Tecumseh saw the
American prisoners being murdered, he asked
Proctor why he had not put a stop to the inhuman
massacre. Proctor replied, ''your Indians cannot be
commanded." "Begone" said Tecumseh, in
thundering tones, "you are unfit to command^ go
and put on petticoats."
The attack on Fort Meigs continued several days
but was finally successfully repelled, the enemy
withdrawing to Fort Maiden, in Canada, the stra-
tegic center of British operations in the Northwest.
1 6 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY.
In July, largely reinforced, and during General
Harrison's absence to Lower Sandusky, the British
and Indians again attacked Fort Meigs and for a
second time in two months were compelled to
raise the siege.
On July 4, General Harrison, remembering the
historic date, patriotically ordered a National salute
fired in honor of the ''return of the day which gave
liberty and independence to the United States of
America." He ordered men under sentence and in
confinement released. Court Martials dissolved, and
all troops reported fit for duty were to receive an
extra gill of whiskey. It may be inferred that they
received it, for the order concludes ''this will be
In August, Port Stephenson (now Fremont)
was attacked by the British and Indians. Major
Croghan, a youth who had just passed his twenty-
first year, was in command of the Fort, and wrote
to General Harrison, "we have determined to
maintain this place, and by heavens we can " —
and he did, and was promptly promoted.
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, of Rhode
Island, had at this time about finished the con-
struction of a flotilla at Erie. His fleet, consisting
of the Lawrence and Niagara, carrying twenty
guns each, and seven small vessels carrying four-
teen guns, had been built, manned, and equipped
in the wilderness, men and munitions having been
brought from points four hundred miles distant.
He, in the presence of the enemy, succeeded in
getting his vessel over the bar into Lake Erie. On
this point Knapp says :
"The same course which insured the safety of
From the Cyclo of American Biography.
Copyright, 1888, by D. Appleton & Co.
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. 1 7
the ships while building seemed to prevent their
being of any service. The two largest drew
several feet more water than there was on the bar.
The inventive genius of Commodore Perry, how-
ever, soon surmounted the difficulty. He placed
large scows on each side of the largest ship, filled
them so as to sink to the water's edge then attached
them to the ship by strong pieces of timber and
pumped out the water. The scows then buoyed
up the ship so as to pass the bar in safety."
Unfurling sail. Perry proceeded to Put-in-Bay.
On September lo, 1813, he hoisted the American
jack on the Lawrence. When the crews saw it
and read on it the dying words of Captain James
Lawrence of the illfated Chesapeake, '' Don't give
up the ship," they sent up cheer after cheer.
Every ship now prepared for action and at once
bore down upon the enemy's fleet.
A terrific fire was opened on the Lawrence,
which was not replied to until her short range
guns could be brought into effective service.
Keeping on her course her sides were pierced in
all directions, men were killed and wounded in
every part of the ship. Realizing the danger
of his position. Commodore Perry ordered all sail
made and renewed his efforts to close in upon the
When every brace and bow line on the Lawrence
had been shot away and she became unmanage-.
able, the Commodore decided to shift his flag to
A boat was ordered in which with a gallant
crew he started on his perilous trip. He reached
the Niagara through musketry and broad-sides.
1 8 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY.
and amid cheers, again had the inspiring American
Orders were issued to the entire fleet for close
action. The enemy's ships were hemmed in and
raked with grape and cannister until every one had
struck its colors. Never was victory more com-
Perry then wrote his famous despatch, ''We
have met the enemy and they are ours." The
receipt of which General Harrison celebrated by
ordering a movement upon Maiden, using the
captured vessels for transports.
The enemy retreated^ but was overtaken on
October 5th, a battle was fought and another
victory for the Americans gained. Proctor had
been put to flight, Tecumseh had been slain, and
the supremacy of the Northwest forever estab-
The lives of twenty-five hundred American
heroes were sacrificed in these engagements
against the combined efforts of the Indians and
the British, and to-night they sleep in unmarked
graves on the shores of Put-in-Bay and on the
banks of the Maumee.
Efforts made by the Maumee Valley
Monumental Association towards
preserving Historic Sites in
By Hon. James H. Southard,
Member of Congress from Ohio.
THE condition of the sites of the battle grounds
of the Maumee Valley, including the burial
places on Put-in-Bay Island, of those who
lost their lives in the battle of Lake Erie, is a
matter in which the people of our section of
the country are, and for sometime past have
been, taking a lively interest. It is much to be
regretted that these places, important as they
are in a historic sense, should have been allowed
to pass out of the possession of the general
government and into private hands, and to re-
main without any markings other than the rude
designations which have been inspired by the
patriotism of those who now own them. It seems
almost unaccountable that this should have been
permitted. Certainly it cannot be that a people
whose pride and patriotism are acknowledged
have so soon forgotten the heroic achievements of
their countrymen^ when those achievements were
so important and so far-reaching in their results.
General Anthony Wayne's greatest battle and vic-
tory over the Indians at Fallen Timber practically
reclaimed and saved to the United States what
was then known as the great Northwest.
20 PRESERVING SITES IN NORTHWESTERN OHIO.
The battle of Lake Erie was the most important
naval achievement of the war of 1812. Marble
and canvas have been made to do service in com-
memorating this event. All Americans are proud
of the skill, endurance, and bravery of Commodore
Perry and his men. The genius of the artist has
preserved the memory of that great commander,
but the graves of the men who died in that
terrible conflict are entirely unmarked and uncared
for except in the rudest and most temporary way.
It is stated that at one time the share of the plow-
man was allowed to turn up the bones of these
heroes as though they had been the bones of
beasts, instead of those of patriots who died in
the cause of liberty and justice. Not a little of
the fame of General Harrison was won in success-
fully resisting the two attempts of the allied Eng-
lish and Indians to reduce the stronghold of Fort
Meigs in the war of 18 12.
Fort Meigs is on the southeast bank of the
Maumee River, about twelve miles from its mouth,
and near the village of Perrysburg. Fallen Timber
is on the opposite bank, and about one and a half
miles further up the river, and Fort Miami is also
on the opposite side about the same distance down
the river. Inside^ and immediately without the
walls of Fort Meigs, are the graves of those who
were killed during the two sieges of this fort, and
also many hundred brave Kentuckians of Colonel
Dudley's command who were massacred by the
English forces under Proctor, and the Indians under
Tecumseh, during the early part of the year 1813.
Nature has provided these patriots with a beautiful
resting place, but not a stone or other protection
PRESERVING SITES IN NORTHWESTERN OHIO. 21
has been provided, and the exact burial spots are
known only by the memory of one or two persons
who have been spared beyond the years ordinarily
allotted to man. The outlines of Fort Meigs are
well preserved, as are also those of Fort Miami.
Among the other places of historic interest in
the Maumee Valley, is Fort Wayne, in the State
of Indiana, where General Harmer suffered defeat
with terrible loss in 1790. Fort Defiance, at the
junction of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers, was
built by Anthony Wayne in 1794, and Fort In-
dustry was built in the same year.
In 1885 an organization was formed and incor-
porated known as the Maumee Valley Monumental
Association, the object of which is to procure the
acquirement by the government of these several
sites, and the marking of the same by appropriate
monuments, and to otherwise disseminate and
perpetuate a knowledge of the important his-
torical facts and events of the Maumee Valley.
Chief justice Morrison R. Waite was the first
president of the association, and to the time of
his death was an active promoter of the work for
which it was formed.
In 1888 the Secretary of War was authorized and
directed by act of Congress to cause an ''examina-
tion and inspection to be made of the historic
grounds, locations, and military works of the
Maumee Valley." In pursuance of which, a sur-
vey and map of each of said sites was made and
embodied in a report to Congress in December of
that year. The efforts of the Maumee Valley
Monumental Association have resulted in arousing
a sentiment in fayor of purchasing and preserving
22 PRESERVING SITES IN NORTHWESTERN OHIO.
these historic places. At the centennial celebra-
tion of the victory of Anthony Wayne at Fallen
Timber August 20th, 1894, it is said that more than
ten thousand people were present. The associa-
tion holds a meeting annually on one of these his-
toric spots, and the meetings are always large and
Less than one hundred years ago northwestern
Ohio was a dense forest and the Maumee Valley
was very sparsely settled, but now the territory
comprised within a radius of one hundred and
twenty-five miles contains at least three or four
million people. Fort Meigs and Fort Miami, and
Fallen Timber are located near thriving villages,
and are easily accessible by rail and by water.
Put-in-Bay Island has become a summer resort,
and is visited annually by thousands coming from
all parts of the country.
Many patriotic and enterprising citizens of the
States of Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere, have taken
part in the effort to secure the purchase and preser-
vation of these sites, prominent among whom may
be mentioned the Hon. D. W. H. Howard, whose
voice and pen have been earnestly employed for
many years in the endeavor to arouse public in-
terest in the preservation of their historic grounds,
and the Hon. Samuel F. Hunt, of Cincinnati, whose
addresses at the centennial gatherings at Fort
Washington, Fort Recovery, Fort Defiance and
Fallen Timber are chapters in the history of
this period. The knowledge that the Sons of the
American Revolution are taking an active part in
the good work gives assurance that something
will be accomplished in the near future.
The Present Condition of the Historic
Sites in the Maumee Valley and on
the Island of Put-in-Bay.
By Colonel W. H. Chase,
Of the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
THE present condition of the historic sites in
the Maumee Valley and on the Island of
Put-in-Bay is the subject I bring before you
to-night. If you were to take a boat ride from
Lake Erie down through Maumee Bay, twelve
miles from the Lake you would first land almost
opposite Fort Industry, where now stands the
thriving city of Toledo with 125,000 inhabitants.
Seven miles south of Fort Industry on the west
bank of the Maumee you would come to what
was known as Fort Miami. Follow the river
three miles farther south, you will find on the west
bank of the river the battlefield of Fallen Timber,
and half way between these two, on the east bank
of the river, the site of Fort Meigs.
The most historical sites in the Maumee Valley
are the three battlefields that I have enumerated:
Fallen Timber, Fort Meigs, and Fort Miami.
Fort Miami was established in 1680 by an ex-
pedition sent there by Frontenac, the French Gov-
ernor of Canada. It was at that time both a mili-
tary and a trading post, but was abandoned in a
24 PRESENT CONDITION OF THE HISTORIC SITES
few years. In 1785, two years after the treaty of
1783, it was re-occupied by Glencoe, the British
Governor of Canada, who held it as a military post.
And it was so held by the English at the time
when Anthony Wayne defeated the Indian Allies
under Little Turtle and Turkey Foot in the battle
of Fallen Timber, on August 20, 1794. It was
temporarily abandoned by the English in 1795,
but again occupied by them later and held until
they were finally driven out after the defeat of
Proctor and Tecumseh by Harrison, in 181 3. The
northwestern angle of this Fort and a portion of
each adjacent curtain together with the greater
part of the demilune in advance of the northern
front are still in a fair state of preservation and can
be easily traced. The northwestern bastion can
be fairly inferred, but the south, or river front, has
been destroyed. The site is contained in the town
of Miami and covers 5^ acres.
It was at Fallen Timber on August 20, 1794, that
General Anthony Wayne engaged the allied Indian
forces under Little Turtle, attacking them with such
impetuosity that resistance was impossible. They
had chosen their battlefield among the fallen trees,
prostrated by a recent hurricane, forming a fortifi-
cation such as, to the savages, seemed impreg-
nable, and making indeed an almost impassable
obstruction to Wayne's mounted troops. But like
the wind that had laid low the forest, Wayne came
upon the savages, and his soldiers partaking of his
own fiery, irresistible courage and impetuosity,
swept everything before them. Short as was the
battle it was destruction to the savages and deci-
sive of all further Indian warfare in the northwest.
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON
IN THE MAUMEE VALLEY AND PUT-IN-BAY. 25
The battlefield lies on the west bank of the river,
and is cultivated for farming purposes. The area
comprised within this field is about 2>^ acres.
Fort Meigs lies about half way between the two
points mentioned, but on the eastern bank of the
river. Here it was that General Harrison in the
autumn of i8 12 set his army to work throwing up
the battlements and fortifications which eighty-
four years after their construction are, in many
respects, as perfect and complete as when they
withstood the sieges of Proctor and Tecumseh.
The lines of the fortification are all, or nearly all,
complete, except where they have been destroyed
by roads or cultivation. Unfortunately these
comprise some of the most interesting portions,
such as the battery at the eastern end of the fort,
and the works, of whatever character, at the
southwest corner, together with the connection
between the latter and the nearest lines are still
traceable. The Fort itself covers over fifty-five
acres, and in its present state of preservation, is
one of the most interesting historical sites in the
country, and especially so because here lie buried
between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred
heroes who fell in and around Fort Meigs and
Fort Miami in defense of their flag.
The slaughtered dead of General Harmer's little
army lie buried in the low bank of the river at the
Ford of the Maumee, now Fort Wayne, where they
were cut down by the tomahawk in such numbers
that the river was dammed by their bodies, and
some of the Indians crossed over upon them with-
out wetting their moccasins.
26 PRESENT CONDITION OF THE HISTORIC SITES
Wayne's dead lie buried on the most elevated
portion of the battlefield of Fallen Timber, over
a portion of which passes the public highway,
where hourly the traffic of the farmer and of a
great city passes without a thought of the sacred
dust so ignominiously disturbed.
When General O. M. Poe, of the United States
Engineers visited this spot a few years ago, he
found the corn-field of a Frenchman covering
nearly all the ground where these slaughtered
soldiers of nearly a century lie buried. A few of
the graves just outside of the corn-rows were still
plainly to be seen.
Who were the soldiers who comprised the
rank and file of General Anthony Wayne's army?
They were the veterans of the American Revolu-
tion. The armies of St. Clair, of Harmer, and of
Wayne were almost entirely composed of men
who had followed Washington and other heroes
in the war of the Revolution. It is for that
reason that the patriotic societies of the war of the
Revolution are urging action for the preservation
of these battlefields.
The dead of Fort Meigs lie at four different
places, some of them widely separated from the
others. There are over one thousand buried in
and just outside the walls of the Fort. One grave
only, that of Lieutenant Walker, is marked. This
by a rough bit of river stone about eight inches
square, placed there by the hand of some sorrow-
ing comrade. A few others lie scattered around
this spot, but none are marked. They can only
be found by close and careful investigation.
Two hundred and fifty of the Pittsburg Blues lie
IN THE MAUMEE VALLEY AND PUT-IN-BAY. 27
across the ravine under the remains of an old
wheat stack. Colonel Dudley's gallant six hun-
dred lie east on a high knoll on the bluff of
the river, and the ground is so filled and leveled
by time that one can hardly dream that from five
to six hundred soldiers lie beneath the sod.
The brave and intrepid savage chief, Turkey
Foot, who was one of the commanders of the
allied tribes at the battle of Fallen Timber is
buried near a large rock weighing three or four
tons, known as Turkey Foot Rock, and thousands
of people visit the spot yearly. I am glad that it
is there, for it marks the important battle ground
of Anthony Wayne. The lower half of Turkey
Foot Rock is imbedded in the soil, by the road-
side. The visible portion presents a rounded
oblong surface, six feet long, three feet wide,
and three and a half feet high. On its top is the
track of a turkey's foot rudely carved by an
Indian's tomahawk. No Indian ever approached it
without placing on it a piece of tobacco. In single
file they often passed without halting, each one in
silence and sorrow placing his tribute there. After
the tribes were sent west of the Mississippi, a few
came back to look once more on the fair valley.
They never omitted this token of love and honor
at Turkey Foot Rock. Shall the pale face fall
below the Indian in grateful remembrance? A
century has passed since Wayne led our soldiers
to victory on this same field and not a single stone
marks the resting place of those who fought under
his command. Yes, the answer is sure to come
in a series of noble monuments, in this valley,
worthy of the nation and of the race. One should
28 PRESENT CONDITION OF THE HISTORIC SITES
rise on the brow of Presque Isle hill, in the
memory of him who swept like a whirlwind
over the field of Fallen Timber.
For nearly twenty years more or less effort has
been made to save these graves, and the time has
now come when it must be done, or the project
abandoned forever. All of these burying places
are on private property, and yet this property
once belonged to the United States. It was sold
in 1817 to private individuals, the Government
probably unaware at the time that in this transac-
tion it was bargaining away the bodies of its
preservers. Some of the bones have already been
unearthed. At Fort Meigs not one of them has,
so far, been disturbed, but the owner of the prop-
erty, Michael Hayes, who so nobly sacrificed a
large portion of the best of his farm out of respect
for the achievements of his sleeping tenants, is
rapidly approaching the end of his own life, and
then the property will pass into the hands of
several heirs. For nearly a century nature alone
has guarded these graves wherein rest a nation's
**A tremulous sigh, as the gentle night wind
Through the forest boughs softly is creeping,
While the stars up above with their glittering eyes
Keep guard for the brave that are sleeping."
The burial place on Put-in-Bay Island, where
sleep their last sleep those heroes who, under the
leadership of the intrepid Perry, fell in that con-
flict of the lake which forever swept the British
from our northern shores, is now marked by a
circular inclosure, about thirty feet in diameter,
IN THE MAUMEE VALLEY AND PUT-IN-BAY. 29
consisting of a few wooden posts in the last stages
of decomposition, connected by an iron chain,
while a rough stone at the foot of a willow tree is
said to mark the exact location of the graves.
Sixty feet away is the Bay and between passes a
road, sunken some eighteen inches below the level
of the ground. It is said that in grading this road
some years ago, human bones were excavated and
reinterred within the inclosure.
No more important and glorious victory can be
found in American history than that of Commo-
dore Perry. As an evidence of this is the
magnificent painting hung in the stairway of the
Capitol on the Senate side. Yet what shall I say
of a Government, which, proud of this matchless
achievement, unhesitatingly has spent $25,000 for
adornment, and yet, up to the present time, has
not contributed one cent to preserve the graves
of those who made the adornment possible. A
matchless revelation upon canvas, but not one
word upon marble.
The grateful citizens of Edinburgh have erected
on Colton hill, overlooking the Scottish capital, a
memorial of surpassing proportions to commemo-
rate the great victory of Trafalgar. The inscrip-
tion recites that it is placed there not so much to
express their unavailing sorrow for Nelson's death,
not to celebrate the matchless glories of his life,
but, by his noble example, to teach their sons to
emulate what they admire, and, when duty re-
quires, like him, to die for their country. In like
spirit, stately shafts should, at no distant day,
commemorate these grounds, enriched by the blood
of the men who so freely gave their lives at duty's
30 PRESENT CONDITION OF THE HISTORIC SITES, ETC.
call and which is consecrated by the sleeping
dust of our noble brave who to-day rest in name-
**0n fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.
Now wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight.
Now time's remorseless doom
Shall dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your nameless tomb."
The Influence of the Wayne and Harri-
son Campaigns on the Settlement
of the Northwest.
By the Hon. Stephen A. Northway,
Member of Congress from Ohio.
EVENTS are measured by what is involved in
them and what is accomplished, and not by
their magnitude. A small affair may mark
the foundation of a nation or a nation's liberty,
whereas a great event may involve much of mag-
nificence to the world, and yet nothing of conse-
quence to mankind.
There are but few incidents in history that loom
above the dead level of events. The battle of
Marathon, fought 490 years before Christ, was not
a great event, but the Greeks, ten thousand of
them, under Miltiades, overcame the Persians and
turned back Asiatic invasion. The battle of Chal-
ons, 45 1 years after Christ, was a small affair, and
yet in it Attila, who was called the ''Scourge of
God," was defeated, and with it ended the Asiatic
invasion. The battle of Tours, 732 years after
Christ, was a small affair, and yet in it Charles
Martel overcame the Saracens and protected for-
ever the glory of Europe. In 1066 William the
Norman assumed the English Crown, and from
this event sprang the English people and the Eng-
lish tongue. In the battle of Saratoga in 1777,
where General Gates defeated General Burgoyne,
32 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST.
there were not many soldiers involved, and yet it
was the turning point in the American Revolution,
for the victory won in that battle brought France
as an ally, and so brought victory to our country.
These were small events, yet wonderful in sig-
nificance to the world.
Away out in the Northwest, beyond the reach
of mails, beyond the reach of communication, — in
the dark deep forests of Ohio, and Indiana, and
Michigan, there was displayed a heroism that will
live while immortality shall crown a human being.
Men ''fought as heroes fought, and died as heroes
died," without any of the surroundings of glory
that attach to the battle fought in the face of the
world. Not a large number of men were involved,
but wonderful consequences attached to their acts.
The forces involved in the campaigns of Wayne
and Harrison were not large, but the mortality
stands ready to challenge all history in numbers.
The brave men slain in these campaigns outnumber
those slain in any other campaign where an equal
number were involved. In some of these battles
the forces were completely or nearly wiped out ;
few lived to tell the tale. Brave men leaving their
wives and children and homes, marched into a
deadly enemy's country, beyond the reach of civi-
lization, and cut their way through dense forests
to reach the enemy, and then laid down their lives
in defence of their country. These men will yet
bloom in immortal fields, and their names will
stand like the fixed stars in the firmament, forever
to shine upon our nation, while we have a nation.
Wayne's campaign was a short one, extending
only from April, 1792, to the treaty of Greenville,
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST. 33
August 3, 1795. During that time he formed his
army at Pittsburg, moved across the country to
Fort Washington, then across the State of Ohio to
the northward, where the battle of Fallen Timber
was fought, after having marched hundreds of
miles through swamp lands and primitive forests.
All of the Indian tribes of the West or North-
west were banded together in warfare; and when
we speak of the Northwest, it must be remem-
bered that the term ''Northwest," as used then,
did not signify any country west of the Mississippi
''Mad" Anthony Wayne carried on a cam-
paign against these Indian tribes. They were
banded together for some purpose. Some histor-
ians contend that it is a historical fact resting upon
very substantial grounds, that England incited the
Indian tribes to carry on this warfare. England,
when the treaty of 1783 was signed, agreed to
evacuate all territory in the Northwest, and to
leave this country entirely to ourselves, but failed
to do so, for reasons best known to itself. England
never ran a very swift race to carry out any such
treaty. In the Wayne campaign there were no
British soldiers engaged, and yet the battle of Fal-
len Timber was fought almost under the British
guns at Fort Miami, and when the Indian chief
retreated, he passed directly under the guns of the
British fort, which remained silent. The Indians
were put forward to fight that campaign. The
British troops very likely believed that the Indians
were capable of coping with anything which the
Americans could send against them, and if they
could but throw a barrier across the Northwest,
34 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST.
all that country westward to the Pacific Ocean
would have been to England what Canada is to-
Wayne's campaigns were fought against the
Indians alone; Harrison's against the Indians and
British combined. Wayne's campaign was a short
but bloody one. The courage of the man who had
fought for his country for seven years in the War
of the Revolution flamed out again in immortal
glory far out in the forests of Ohio.
Wayne negotiated the treaty of Greenville in
1795, and on December 15 of that year, looking
out upon the blue waters, he passed from earth,
and was buried at the foot of the flag at Fort Erie.
I do not know that there is anything very singu-
lar in the nature of the disease that a man should
die of. Yet curiously enough General Wayne died
of the gout ; and Little Turtle, thirty years after
he defeated St. Clair, died also of the gout, and
was accorded the burial of a soldier.
The defeat of the Indian tribes broke the spirit
of the tribes. While they were willing and ready
to fight— ready to rush into conflict — they wanted
an ally. Wayne's campaigns had satisfied the
Indians that unaided they could not throw an
effectual barrier in front of the American troops,
and so in the next campaign they fought under
And so it was Wayne who first effectually
cleared the way to the great Northwest. See how
instinctively the savages, as well as the British,
anticipated the fact. Their forts were only seven
or eight miles from the city of Toledo. The sav-
ages were located directly along the line of the
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST. 35
Ohio River, and here they carried on their depre-
dations; and we are told that from 1783 to 1790
more than fifteen hundred men, women and
children were brutally butchered along the Ohio
River in that region, as they were passing up and
down. Kentucky claims that it holds within its
borders the '"dark and bloody ground." Ohio
also claims that title, and while Ohio's braves
fought on Ohio's soil, it gave us the right to say
too that we fought on dark and bloody ground.
1 shall not go into the history that leads to the
Harrison campaign. Sutfice it to say that we met
with two or three defeats and one surrender.
General Harrison organized his campaign for
what purpose ? The British were holding the line
in the Northwest. At Fort Miami, on the Maumee
River, a little way up from Lake Erie, they were
inciting the savages to warfare. In 1796 the
Northwest Territory contained a population of
about 5,000. Immigrants were seeking homes in
the Northwest. People from Virginia and the
Carolinas came to settle in the Northwest. Ohio
had been admitted to the Union in 1803, the only
State carved out of the Northwest Territory, and
people were naturally looking to that country for
a settlement. Immigration poured in from the
East. It struck Ohio in the northeast corner — that
is, after the settlement of Marietta, in 1788. The
first settlement of the Western Reserve was in
Ashtabula, in the very northeast corner of the
county in the northeast corner of Ohio. Before
there was any settlement at Cleveland, before
there was any county in what is known as the
Western Reserve, in 1796 immigration struck that
36 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST.
county, moving westward. They moved all along
the shore of the lake.
English ships appeared. If they could throw a
cordon of men directly across the path of immi-
gration, and check it, the Northwest might yet be
1 need not recount what England did to the
Americans from 1806 to 18 13. She denied to us
the right of neutrals, and ours was the only
nation on the globe affected by its orders in
council, taking our men from vessels and impress-
ing them into service everywhere. We were
weak: England saw its opportunity. If it could
destroy our commerce and close out from us the
Northwest, it would have an empire; and so it
was necessary that the campaign of Harrison
should be entered upon, and it was entered upon,
and in 181 3 the British finally surrendered. After
the terrible massacre of the River Raisin; after the
battle of Tippecanoe, where Tecumseh was not,
but his twin brother. Prophet, was; after these,
then came the other battles, and the final surren-
der, and England was obliged to yield its last hold
along the line of the Northwest.
The victory of Wayne destroyed the Indian
power as a power alone. The victory of Harrison
destroyed the combined Indian and English power
in the Northwest; and while we may have had the
Northwest despite all that, yet those victories as-
suredly gave us the great Northwest in this country,
and made it possible for our nation to place one
hand upon the blue waters of the Atlantic, and the
other upon the rolling waters of the Pacific, and
to say that this is one country and our country.
SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST. 37
and that the boast of the American may be as
great as that of the Briton who glories that the
sun never ceases to shine upon Her Majesty's
Americans can make the same proud claim for
their country, for when the sun goes downward
through the gateways of the westward its occi-
dental rays light up the mountains and glaciers of
Alaska, while at the same time its oriental rays
dance and play along the hill tops and upon the
sparkling waters of Maine.
Out of this Northwest saved by the brave Wayne
and the gallant Harrison, we have carved five great
empires, — Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and
Wisconsin; and where the Indian war whoop was
sounded less than a century ago, to-day there are
millions of men and women engaged in peaceful
pursuits; surrounded by all the luxuries of civiliza-
tion; surrounded by all that goes to make life de-
Where stood the forests of ninety years ago, we
have a great and teeming city; and where the
bloody battlefields were ninety years ago, we have
beautiful villages and magnificent farms.
What a change! When you stop to think of
the result that was wrought by those campaigns,
you can ask yourself whence this change, and it
is impossible for one to answer it in a single night.
Imagination may aid some, but words are power-
less. Imagination can picture the continent and
the many teeming happy people, but you cannot
describe the result. Here we are to-night. Sons
of the American Revolution, taking a just pride in
the fact that we are descended from the host of
38 SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTHWEST.
Revolutionary soldiers who made themselves im-
mortal on Revolutionary fields. I can imagine
how, years from now, the descendants of your-
selves and your children will swell with pride
when they think of the fact that along back through
the years and away back yonder, some ancestor
made himself immortal in defending his country;
will take pride in the fact that his children or grand-
children or great-grandchildren banded themselves
together as the Sons of the American Revolution
or Daughters of the American Revolution, taking
pride in the fact that they had a glorious ancestor,
and that they were doing what they could to per-
petuate his memory.
Let me commend to you your gallant effort^
your heroic effort. Preserve the facts of history.
Gather them up. Gather up all of them to the
end that you may realize the glories of the past,
the glories of a common ancestry, the glories of a
country made free and grand and great by the
heroic efforts of your fathers and your grand-
fathers, and here pledge anew your devotion to a
common country, swearing loyalty to your country
that never more shall any hand be lifted against
her life unless that hand shall be struck by all the
powers of the millions of our countrymen.
The Northwest as Affected by the
Treaty of Ghent.
By Thomas Wilson, LL.D.,
Formerly U. S. Consul at Ghent.
THE direct cause of the war of 1812 was
the exercise by Great Britain of the right
of search of American vessels on the
An indirect cause was Great Britain's interference
with the rights of the people on the northwestern
frontier in their respective dealings with the
Indians. The treaty of 1783 with Great Britain did
not bring peace with the Indian tribes on the north-
west, and so, while the United States were at
peace with Great Britain, the war continued with
the Indians, of which the incidents have been de-
scribed by the other speakers.
In these performances the British soldiery and
the British Government stood back of the Indians.
It was the policy of the British Government to
maintain its frontiers as far south as possible, and
then to keep a strip or border of neutral ground
between the British and Americans, which should
be held by the Indians as a barrier against the
Americans. The British thought the Indians could
push that frontier farther south on the American
territory than England could, and to her, Indian
occupation was equivalent to British occupation,
40 THE NORTHWEST AS AFFECTED
for Britain could then use it — not, perhaps, to the
exclusion of the Indians, but as outposts and
strongholds against the Americans.
The British kept on good terms with the Indians;
they made them their allies against the Americans;
permitted them to occupy the land, and did not
attempt to despoil them of it nor move them to
some distant reservation. Therefore they were
friends. Great Britain continually acted for her
best interests. She sought to use the Indian as a
buffer between her people and those of the United
States, and her own occupation was thus rendered
much safer against attack from the Americans.
This was a wisely selfish policy on the part of
In the meanwhile the Indian conflicts with the
United States continued or broke out sporadically.
The defeats of the Indians each time made them
less aggressive, less obstinate, and more easily
handled. When the action of Great Britain on the
high seas nerved the Government of the United
States to take a stand, war was declared.
The United States authorities vainly sought
peace, but so long as the British instigated the
tribes to war, the savages never thought of ceas-
ing hostilities. The supine indifference of the
people at large forced the administration to try
every means to obtain peace before adopting the
only manly and honorable course, a vigorous war.
The frontiersmen looked at the Regular Army with
suspicion, and regarded the British and Indians
with an equal hatred; they knew that the presence
of the British in the Lake Posts meant Indian war,
and they knew that whether they behaved well or
BY THE TREATY OF GHENT. 4 1
ill the Indians would war on them until the tribes
suffered some signal overthrow; meanwhile they
coveted the Indian lands with a desire as simple
as it was brutal. Nor were revenge and the desire
for Indian lands the only motives for aggression;
meaner feelings were mixed with the greed for
untilled prairie and unfelled forests, and fierce long-
ing for blood. It was about this time the idea
was formulated that ''the only good Indian was a
dead Indian." Then war was declared and prose-
cuted with such success as we know, until at last
our people got tired of it, and a conference was
agreed upon between the contending nations to
be held at Ghent in the attempt to make a Treaty
of Peace. What was done at that conference,
how the treaty was made, and how it affected the
people of the Northwest, will comprise the rest of
The Commissioners on behalf of the United
States were John Quincy Adams, Jonathan Russell,
Albert Gallatin, James A. Bayard and Henry Clay.
They met with the British Commissioners, and
each party presented the points on which they had
been instructed by their respective Governments.
While Mr. Adams was, as the representative of
the New England people, especially those on the
coast, greatly interested in the fisheries, it is not to
be supposed that he neglected or was willing to
give up, the contention against Great Britain in
regard to the Indians. He reports a discussion
with Mr. Goulborn, one of the English Commis-
sioners, from which he became satisfied of the
violence and bitterness of the British against the
42 THE NORTHWEST AS AFFECTED
Americans, and the determination of its commis-
sioners to adhere to its Indian barrier proposition.
Mr. Goulborn declared in unmistakable terms^ the
belief of himself and his colleagues, that the
United States Government, or at least a large
number of its people, had designs upon Canada,
and their astonishment that Canada had not been
attacked at the outset ; that nothing had saved it
but the excellent disposition and military arrange-
ments of the governor v/ho commanded there ;
that, in order to guard against this in future, it
was necessary to make a barrier against our set-
tlement upon which neither party should en-
croach- He admitted that their proposition of
disarmament of the United States upon the lakes
had the same purpose — the security of Canada.
He declared the Indians to be in themselves a
secondary object, but that they could be thus
used for the advantage of Great Britain, while
as her allies in the war she must make provi-
sion to include them in the treaty of peace.
Mr. Adams said, in reply, that wherever the
Indians would form settlements and cultivate
lands, their possessions were undoubtedly to be
respected, and always were respected, by the
United States; that some of them had become
civilized in a considerable degree, but the greater
part of the Indians could never be prevailed upon
to adopt this mode of life; their habits, attach-
ments and prejudices were so averse to settlement
that they could not reconcile themselves to other
conditions than those of wandering hunters. It
was impossible for such people ever to be said to
have landed possessions. Their only right to land
BY THE TREATY OF GHENT. 43
was a right to use it as a hunting ground, and
when those lands became necessary or convenient
for the purposes of civilized settlement, the system
adopted by the United States was, by amicable ar-
rangement with them, to compensate them for
renouncing the right of hunting upon them, and
for removing to remoter regions better suited to
their purposes and mode of life. Between it and
taking the lands for nothing, or exterminating the
Indians who had used them, there was no alter-
native. To condemn vast regions of territory to
perpetual barrenness and solitude, to the end that
a few savages might hunt wild beasts upon it, was
a species of game law that a nation descended
from the Britons would never endure. It was as
incompatible with the moral, as with the physical,
nature of things. If Great Britain meant to pre-
clude forever the people of the United States from
settling and cultivating these territories, she need
not think to do it by means of a treaty. She must
formally undertake, and accomplish, the utter ex-
termination of our people. If the Government of
the United States should ever submit to such a
stipulation, which it was hoped they would not,
all its force, and that of Britain combined, would
not suffice to carry it into execution. It was op-
posing a feather to a torrent. The population of
the United States in 1810 passed seven million,
and now it undoubtedly passed eight. As it con-
tinued to increase in such proportions, was it in
human experience, or in human power, to check
its progress by a bond of paper purporting to ex-
clude posterity from the natural subsistence they
would derive from the cultivation of the soil?
44 THE NORTHWEST AS AFFECTED
Such a treaty, instead of closing the old sources of
discussion, would only open new ones. A war
thus finished would immediately be followed by
another, and Great Britain would ultimately find
that she must substitute the project of extermina-
ting the whole American people for that of oppos-
ing against them her barrier of savages.
It is useless to repeat the arguments, for and
against, made by and before the Commission.
They were varied only with the discussion over
the British demand for free navigation of the
Mississippi and the right of fisheries.
Our Commissioners were pertinacious, full of
courage, always polite, kept on good terms with
the British Commissioners, discussed minor points
when they failed on major, and never allowed the
discussions to close on any point with a decision
against them, or beyond the possibility of renewal
at a more favorable time. They could have broken
off the negotiations almost any day^ but that was
not their policy. In order to succeed they must
not only hold the opposing commissioners, but they
must convince and convert them — they must over-
.power them with their arguments or their elo-
quence, or wheedle or flatter them, or in some
way overcome their opposition and secure an
The treaty as agreed on provided for the estab-
lishment of peace, return of possessions, and release
of prisoners, but most important for the north-
west, it provided for the appointment of commis-
sioners to run the frontier line between the United
States and Canada and the British possessions from
BY THE TREATY OF GHENT. 45
the Bay of Fundy through the Great Lakes to the
The treaty, victory as it was for the United
States, is more remarkable for what it omits
than what it contains. Every principle which
each Government presented at the beginning,
was ignored and omitted. No reference was
made in the treaty to the right of Great Britain
to establish a paper blockade. Nothing was said
about the right of search on the high seas, nor
the impressment of sailors, nor the extra-terri-
torial rights of British subjects ; yet by the
arguments of the American commissioners these
doctrines were overthrown as effectually as if
they had been expressly negatived in the treaty.
The British Government has never since claimed
them as rights for itself, nor recognized them as
rights in others. England's pretensions in this
regard were extinguished in the discussion over
this treaty as completely as were Spain's by the
loss of her great Armada. The contest for equal
rights on the high seas, begun by Philip II. 300
years ago in the British channel and continued
on the German Ocean amid blood and carnage,
was finished in peace at Ghent by the triumph of
Our Commissioners at Ghent turned their atten-
tion to the northern boundary between the two
countries, and it was by them forever settled so as
to make the foundation of the future greatness
of the United States. The Commissioners even
builded wiser than they knew; they provided for
the acquisition of the Great West which is our
pride and strength. What would be our condi-
46 THE NORTHWEST AS AFFECTED, ETC.
tion or what the value of the Revolution if Great
Britain had been successful at Ghent in her conten-
tion for an Indian barrier? The Rocky Mountains,
Yellowstone Park, the Dakotas, Washington, Idaho,
Oregon, with their great agricultural and mineral
wealth, would have been lost. Nor is this all; for
the United States would have lost the great lakes
and a territory which now fornns some of our
strongest and richest States. The treaty of 1783
gave to Great Britain the free navigation of the
Mississippi River from its source to its mouth; the
treaty of Ghent by its silence annulled this right.
I have demonstrated the truth of the proposition
advanced by your president as a justification for
your Society of the Revolution engaging itself in
the history of the Northwest, that is, that the war
of the Revolution involved and included the war
of 18 1 2. I add that the fruits of the Revolu-
tionary victory were secured by the treaty of
Ghent, and that these fruits were obtained by the
superior management of the United States case by
its Commissioners at Ghent. Their positions
then taken became crystalized into the acknowl-
edged rights of the American people, admitted by
all and denied by none.