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Full text of "The Battle fields of the Maumee Valley : a collection of historical addresses delivered before the Sons of the American Revolution, District of Columbia Society, March 18, 1896"

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Presented to the 
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A Collection of Historical Addresses 



District of Columbia Society, 

March i8, 1896. 




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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, 

Smithsonian Institution. 

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 
of fighting. 

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. 


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 


ambuscade where they were quickly and energeti- 
cally dispatched. 

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 
old methods. 

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, 

National Museum. 

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. 


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 


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- 
dent Washington. 

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 


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 


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." 


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 


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 
a soldier. 

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. 



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 
fatigue day." 

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. 


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 
enemy's vessels. 

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 
the Niagara. 

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. 




and amid cheers, again had the inspiring American 
jack hoisted. 

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 

Northwestern Ohio, 

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. 


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 


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 


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 


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. 



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. 


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 


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 


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, 


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 


call and which is consecrated by the sleeping 
dust of our noble brave who to-day rest in name- 
less graves. 

**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, 


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, 


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, 


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 
British allies. 

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 


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 


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. 


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 


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 
high seas. 

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, 


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 
Great Britain. 

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 


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 
this paper. 

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 


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 


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? 


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 


the Bay of Fundy through the Great Lakes to the 
Stony Mountains. 

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 
American diplomacy. 

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- 


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.