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Full text of "Fort Harrison on the banks of the Wabash, 1812-1912;"

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COPYRIGHT DEPOSnV 



Fort Harrison 

ON THE BANKS OF THE WABASH ^^f 



1812-1912 



Published at the Direction of the 

Fort Harrison Centennial Association 



Compiled and Edited by the Historical Committee 

DR. J. T. SCOVELL, Chairman; MRS. ALICE P. DRYER, MAX EHRMANN, 

JOHN D. BELL, JAMES B. HARRIS, EDWARD GILBERT, 

JOHN C. WARREN, WILLIAM H. WILEY, DR. E. T. SPOTSWOOD, 

PROF. HERBERT BRIGGS, C. T. JEWETT 



t, ^ ^ ^ 
■ HSFl 



COPYRIGHT 1912 

JOHN MORTON CHAPTER, SONS OF THE 
AMERICAN REVOLUTION 



THE MOORE-LANGEN PRINTING CO., TERRE HAUTE, INO. 



£CI.A319548 



}^KO the descendants of 
^^ the men and women 
who participated in the Bat- 
tle of Fort Harrison and of 
the pioneers who made pos- 
sible the peaceful settlement 
of the Wabash Valley this 
work is offered as a patriotic 
tribute. 



INTRODUCTION 

Four hundred years ago North America was a panorama of Nature. 
All the geological and geographical forms were represented in generous 
proportions. Mountains and plains, forests and prairies, great lakes and 
mighty rivers, all abounding with the varied forms of life. There were 
vast areas of rich agricultural lands and quantities of coal and iron, and 
of copper, lead and zinc, of silver and gold and of many useful minerals. 
It was an ideal home for the fisherman and hunter, and for the savage 
who accepted nature as he found it, being scarcely more than another 
feature of the panorama. There were perhaps 500,000 of these native 
people in North America. They were called Indians. Physically they 
were fully developed with acute senses and strong passions; but intel- 
lectually and morally they were more like children. For their support 
they did not utilize even a tithe of the natural products so abundant 
everywhere. 

Through a more complete utilization of these natural resources, North 
America has become the home of more than a hundred million of people. 
The history of North America for the last four hundred years will be the 
story of this transformation of a continent; an account of the gradual 
crowding out of the savage or child-like races by stronger races, those 
able to utilize more fully the gifts of nature. In reality the history of 
North America is a record of human development. 

The story of Fort Harrison discusses an important incident in the his- 
tory of the United States, and through it Terre Haute is brought into 

conspicuous connection with national affairs. 

J. T. S. 



Chapter I. 

THE BATTLE OF FORT HARRISON. 
By Edward Gilbert. 

"The Battle of Fort Harrison" is a high-sounding title to be applied 
to what was, from a material point of view, a very small affair. When 
is taken into consideration the fact that not more than fifty persons 
were present, and, according to the report of Captain Taylor, not more 
than ten or fifteen men were capable of duty, as well as all the particu- 
lars we can now know, why should we be celebrating memories of the 
event one hundred years after it happened ? 

Like many small affairs in the world's historj^, it was not the battle 
itself, it was not that these few men — and women — behind that stockade, 
for one night withstood the efforts of the savages and were not massacred. 

It was the events preceding and the results following, as well as the 
heroic efforts of the few, which render their defense of Fort Harrison 
one of the important items in the history of the United States. 

That those few men and women and children had been killed and 
scalped by the Indians would not have been fatal to the cause nor in itself 
would have been even as bad as many other massacres that did take place 
previously and subsequently during the same troublous times. 

Not one word shall be written by this hand that would detract from 
the credit due them. All their doings were heroic; every one of them 
was a patriot. True, they were fighting for their lives, the first incen- 
tive of all such, but they were also doing patriotic, noble duty. 

These people represented a phase of the contest between civilization 
and barbarism. All was fighting and contest around them. These people 
were of the advance guard of the world-wide warfare between that ele- 
ment of humanity which has always sought to advance and improve, on 
the one side and, on the other, savagery and barbarism, which is devoid 
of pride of ancestrv'^ or hope of posterity, caring for and seeking nothing 
but present comfort or gratification of present passions. 

These Englishmen had emigrated originally from their foraier homes, 
and had progressed far into the wilderness, for what? To improve their 
condition. That is a broad projDosition that is not controvertible. They 
found here a race that had inhabited the country, God only knows how 
long. In that time they had killed game, caught fish, raised a scanty 
supply of the simplest grains by the simple.st methods, the same from 



8 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

one generation to another. No student of the Indian race has ever dis- 
covered that any generation of them had ever done on its own incentive, 
any, even the simplest thing by a better method than its ancestors. 

These Englishmen belonged to a race that believed the injunction 
laid upon them in the first chapters of Genesis, to replenish the earth, 
populate it, cultivate its soil and utilize its natural resources. They 
found here a people and a land barren of results. They found a 
people evidently diminishing in numbers by brutish wars and ravaging 
diseases, which they were too simple-minded to try to overcome. They 
believed a Divine Providence intended the land for those who would 
make the best use of it. And if any of them did not stop to think out the 
question, the simplest knew that he could utilize such a land and that 
the Indian did not. The Anglo-Saxon race was dynamic and the Indian 
race was static. Therefore they were in opposition, and the history of 
the world is that the war was on perpetually between them. 

That they were heroic, that they were brave and that they all showed 
the highest intelligence is proven by the simple story of what took place. 
This little garrison found themselves isolated, fifty miles, through the 
wilderness to the nearest succor. Fifty men, thirty-five to forty of them 
sick with that vile, bone-racking malaria that pervaded the country, 
which makes one wish he were dead, even if to be scalped afterward; 
nine women and children. The little stockade was impervious to the 
bullets of the then known rifles, but the walls were not proof against fire. 
The official report tells that the commandant had for some time very 
seriously doubted his ability to withstand an attack. 

At dusk four shots are heard. What does this mean? Out of the 
stillness of nature comes this warning alarm. There is no known reason 
for it except hostility. Two white men are known to be somewhere in 
the vicinity of the shots making hay. But they could not have fired the 
four shots in quick succession from the rifles of those days. Caution was 
the watchword of every experienced Indian fighter. Captain Taylor 
dared not investigate so near dark. He placed his little force on the best 
footing for defense. In the morning he sent out a detachment, warned 
to be wary of ambush, to investigate. These found the two hay-makers, 
citizens — one named John GufFy, the name of the other not known — 
had been shot, twice each, from a sneaking foe without opportunity to 
defend themselves. Their bodies had been mutilated in a shocking man- 
ner. Yet the detachment saw no signs of Indians. 

The next evening there appeared before the gates of the Fort, old 
Lenar, accompanied by some thirty chiefs and "old men" of several 
tribes, pretending to seek a friendly conference in want of food. 

This was a naive attempt on their part to gain admission to the 
Fort under false pretense, when, without doubt, a massacre would have 



The Battle of Fort Harrison. 9 

taken place. These thirty, with their amis beneath their blankets, once 
inside, outnumbering the effective force, were there for no other purpose. 

Inexperienced and confiding people often have been taken in by such 
pretenses on the part of Indians. But Captain Zachary Taylor was not 
of that class. He knew his enemies. He had studied the Indian charac- 
ter, in an experience with them in the Illinois country, he had learned 
that the Indian's word was never to be taken at its face value. 

He refused the interview, which was postponed until the morrow, 
when the Indians were again to come for peaceable pow wow. 

What other fighting people would have, in the face of the atrocious 
outrage of the evening before, expected to be received as friends? This, 
with man}' other examples, goes to prove that the primitive mental 
condition of the Indian was not in advance of his material status. His 
norm of war was the deceit of his adversary. He could not see that the 
white man had learned by experience, and expected him to be imposed 
on, over and over again by the same ruse. What other race of people 
would have come in such manner, not under a flag of truce, as from 
avowed enemies seeking parley, but under the pretense of friendship? 
None. It was an act of men in primitive ignorance. 

Captain Taylor, on the contrary, proceeded at once to prepare, as far 
as his limited resources would permit, for defense. He says he had not 
been able for some time to mount a full guard, that his effective force 
was not to exceed ten or fifteen men. These he stationed to the best ad- 
vantage, made a close inspection, personally of all arms, distributed am- 
munition to the extent of sixteen rounds to the man, and ordered the 
strictest watch at all points. He required his subaltern to parade the 
rounds of the Fort all night and to give the alarm at the first indication 
of hostilities. 

Contrary to the usual habits of the Indians, who very often made 
their secret attacks an hour or two before daylight it came on about eleven 
o'clock. The first alarm was from the firing of one of the sentinels who 
discovered that an Indian, under cover of the darkness, had set fire to 
the blockhouse at the southwest angle of the Fort. 

Legend says this was done by placing coals of fire in a kettle and 
covering it with a blanket, not to attract attention while being carried to 
the stockade in the dark. Also, it is told that there were holes in the 
logs of the block house made by the cattle licking the logs for the salt 
that was stored in the blockhouse among the supplies of the army con- 
tractor, and through them the coals of fire were dropped. 

The only official account of the proceedings of the night is in the re- 
port of Captain Taylor to General Harrison at Vincennes. This plain, 
straightforward account of his performance of his duties is given in a 
separate chapter. He gives a graphic account of his feelings, when the 



10 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

apparent condition has its effect on the men and women. At first, with 
shrieks of terror, all was confusion and helplessness. The yells of the 
savages, the fire destroying what seemed their only protection, together 
with constant rifle firing and showers of arrows which poured into the 
Fort. All these were enough to quail the stoutest heart. It presaged, 
not only death, but death of the most horrid kind, torture and mutilation. 

No wonder that, as he tells, near the first, two of his little force, men 
on whom he had relied for strong support, should become panic-stricken, 
jump the palisades and seek safety by flight under cover of the darkness. 

Immediately after the first there was a recovery of nerve. There 
were a few cool heads who inspired the others and determination showed 
itself, not to supinely give up, but defend themselves as best they could 
or at least sell their lives at greatest cost to the enemy. In his report, 
Captain Taylor speaks of those who helped bring it about, and were 
most efficient both in work and in inspiring the others. It is regrettable 
that he mentions only one name that we can place in the hero class. 
Doctor William A. Clark was the surgeon of the post, and to him Cap- 
tain Taylor gives all honor for his personal efforts. He seemingly in- 
spired the erection of a breastwork that would prevent the entrance 
of the Indians after the blockhouse was destroyed, and led in the ex- 
tinguishing of the fire so that it was confined to the one place. As an 
example of the bravery shown by the men, it is told that William Cowen, 
one of the soldiers killed inside the Fort, stood on the bastion. He had 
fired and turning to his companions, laughingly shouted, "I killed an 
Indian that time." In doing so he neglected to stoop behind the ram- 
parts and the next second was struck by an Indian bullet and instantly 
killed. A brother, Josey Cowen, a mere boy, a soldier, was among those 
sick of the malaria and died the next day. This family furnished two 
heroes of Fort Harrison. 

It has been told before that Captain Taylor had distributed sixteen 
rounds of ammunition to each man. This, in the day of rapid-firing 
arms, seems a very small amount in the face of the prospective fight. 
But it must be taken into consideration that those old muskets or squirrel 
rifles were slowly loaded at the muzzle And they were not pumped out 
at random, as in modern war, when it is said to take more than a man's 
weight in lead to kill or wound one. Those Indian fighters each waited 
to find his mark and when found he drew a bead and shot as if after a 
wild turkey or deer for his dinner. 

Legend also brings another reason for this limited ammunition. It 
was probably all he had. For it is told how, long before the fight was 
over, several of the women in the Fort were busy moulding bullets. 

There was another dreadful condition that was met by heroic action 
on the part of one of the women. The only supply of water was from a 



The Battle of Fort Tlcm-ison. 11 

well, and that was raised by the slow process of lowering and winding 
up a bucket. And soon it was discovered that, as the fire raged the 
fiercest the water in the well had been so nearl\' exhausted that the 
bucket came up only partly filled. Some were again panic-stricken. 
Julia Lambert— and her name should go down to posterity in the list 
of heroines — said: "Lower me into the well and I will fill the buckets 
with a gourd." This was done and not only did her energetic work send 
up a full supply, but to the surprise of all the water soon appeared to 
raise so that the buckets filled when let into it. This was hailed as a 
miracle, enacted for the sakes of these beleaguered mortals. 

It was explained, however, that in dipping the water she had dipped 
so much sand that the bottom of the well had been lowered beyond the 
water level. 

Soon after daylight came, the Indians retired beyond rifle range, and 
the battle practically ended. They hovered around for some time and 
disappeared. With no force sufficient to make a reconnoissance Captain 
Taylor and his little band were in a sad plight. Their stores destroyed 
by fire, their cattle killed, they were forced, as he says, to subsist on green 
corn. 

All this happened on the fourth of September, the battle, but it was 
not until the tenth of the same month, if it may be judged by the date of 
Captain Taylors letter to General Harrison, that he thought it safe to 
attempt to send even one of his small force out to try to open com- 
munication. This was done first by sending two men down the river in 
a canoe. They started by night, hoping to escape detection. On arriv- 
ing at the narrows, a little below where Terre Haute now^ stands, they 
found Indian camp fires on both sides and, a guard out watching for 
them. They were forced to return. Captain Taylor then wrote a sup- 
plemental letter, which is dated September 13, 181:2. Captain Taylor 
says in his letter that he will send this by the hands of the orderly ser- 
geant and one other, though there is a popular legend that one man by 
the name of Peter Mallory carried it. He, or they, were ordered to go 
through the woods, avoiding all roads, and taking the greatest care to 
not attract the attention of any Indians, wliether presumably friendly 
or not. 

It is unfortunate that the records of the War Department at Wash- 
ington are so meagre or so unsatisfactorily arranged, that they can not 
furnish a roster of the soldiers of the company under the command of 
Captain Taylor. The names of Captain Zachary Taylor, afterwards so 
notable as a general of the army in Mexico and elsewhere, and as 
President of the United States, with that of Dr. William A. Clark, 
spoken of before, are the only ones the department can give. It is, how- 



12 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

ever, known that these soldiers were of the Seventh United States regu- 
lar infantry. 

Of the citizens, settlers and others, together with the women and 
children, a pretty accurate account is given elsewhere in this history. 

Dr. Clark remained here some years after, and was a valued citizen 
and practicing physician. 

There should, however, be recorded here, though it is so elsewhere, 
the remarkable fact that Fort Harrison was built and first commanded 
by William Henry Harrison, and later, at the time of the only hostilities 
ever occurring there, by Zachary Taylor, both of whom gained fame, 
not only as soldiers but as statesmen. Each later became President of 
the United States. And each died in office as such. General Harrison 
was the first to be succeeded by a Vice-President, John Tyler, and Gen- 
eral Taylor the second by Millard Filmore. 

As to exactly who the attacking parties were at Fort Harrison, Cap- 
tain Taylor says he is unable to be positive. He mentions several chiefs 
and parts of tribes, but as there appeared in daylight, only some forty 
who sought the interview, he merely surmises as to the rest. It was 
thought at the time that the Indians were merely a marauding band of 
miscellaneous origin. 

Later developments of historical research have shown that the at- 
tempt to capture Fort Harrison was a part of the plan of campaign of 
the British Army in Canada. In August, 1812, an expedition was 
started out from Maiden, Canada, under command of Major Muhr. 
This was composed of a small company of British regulars, some 
Canadian volunteers and a host of Indians. These numbers were never 
definitely known. 

The object, so soon after the declaration of war, was to capture the 
two outposts of Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison. Both of these objects 
failed. We have seen how Captain Taylor successfully defended Fort 
Harrison. Fort Wayne was stubbornly defended for a short time until 
reinforcements arrived and the besiegers driven out of the country. The 
British regulars and the Canadians all went in the expedition against 
Fort Wayne. It was left to the Indians to proceed against the less 
strongly defended Fort on the Wabash. 

The attacks on the two posts were made on Fort Wayne September 
3, 1812, and on Fort Harrison September 4, at night. 

General Hull had ignominiously surrendered Detroit to the British 
a short time before. This left the way open for the enemy almost to 
the Ohio River, except for these two posts. It was no doubt the idea of 
the British General Brock that if Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison were 
subdued, the seat of the war would be transferred from the Lakes to the 
Ohio River. But for the stubborn and gallant defense of these posts, the 
history of the War of 1812 in the Northwest might have been differently 
written. 



Chapter II. 

CAUSES LEADING UP TO FORT HARRISON 
By Edward Gilbert. 

The history of Fort Harrison covers part of two epochs. The causes 
that led up to the building of the Fort, followed by the Tippecanoe cam- 
paign, are a part of the history of the troubles that continued to exist 
between the United States and Great Britain after the treaty of peace at 
Paris in 1783. The Battle of Fort Harrison, the defense by Captain 
Taylor, was a part of the war between the same nations, openly declared 
June 18, 1812, known commonly as the War of 1812-15. 

That marvelous expedition of General George Rogers Clark, con- 
ceived by him almost alone, and executed almost without any help from 
the general government, encouraged by the peace loving French settlers 
of the Mississippi and Wabash valleys, and supported by the financial aid 
of "Colonel" Francis Vigo, the "Spanish Merchant" of Vincennes and 
Kaskaskia, had won an empire for our people. 

At the Paris convention in 1783, His British Majesty's envoys asserted 
that the western boundary should be the Allegheny mountains, or at 
most the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. They insisted that Clark's little 
band had merely taken possession of unimportant posts of French in- 
habitants the sovereignty over which had been ceded to Britain by 
France. Nevertheless there was the fact that this territory was held, at 
the close of the war, by right of conquest. British power had been 
represented there by the garrisons at Vincennes and Kaskaskia, had been 
overcome and extinguished. And no feasible effort had been made on 
His Majesty's part to recover it. 

Failing to make that claim good the British envoys sought to have 
the land of our later Northwest Territory declared neutral ground, a 
land for the Indians. This obnoxious proposal was promptly rejected 
by our commissioners, and insistence made that it was conquered terri- 
tory to be transferred or there could be no agreement. England was 
whipped, and had to concede the terms. 

While this agreement was made and the terms of peace settled, they 
were not carried out on the part of England in good faith. Under one 
excuse or another, or with no pretense of excuse, the land was practically 
held, and garrisons were maintained on American territory. 

13 



14 Fort Hamson Centennial, 1812-1912. 

Many historians hold that England, from the declaration of peace 
in 1783, foresaw another war which was to recover to her, if not the 
Colonies she had lost, at least a part of this territory. The United States 
was poor, heavily loaded with debt, her army exhausted and her re- 
sources unavailable. Her government for some years a mere fabric, and 
later, still an experiment. It required the constant encroachments of 
England to drive our jDcople into this second war. 

These encroachments consisted largely of interference with our com- 
merce on the high seas. But the features that concern our story of Fort 
Harrison were the interference with our Indian relations, sub rosa, by 
the British powers through Canada. 

While His Majesty's ministers were claiming innocence of any offense 
against the tenns of the treaty, there was ample proof that the Indians 
of the Northwest were being encouraged in every opposition to the set- 
tlement of the country. As a single instance of proof : General Harrison, 
then Governor of Indiana Territory, in 1809, wrote to the Secretary of 
War that the Indians of the Northwest Territory were receiving subsidies 
from the British. He found the Indians equipped with arms and cloth- 
ing beyond their means of procuring by purchase, and amply supplied 
with provisions. To corroborate his suspicions he sent trusted agents 
among them to offer to sell them clothing and even anns and ammuni- 
tion. To these offers the Indians replied no, we get all we want from 
English traders free of cost. He found that the Indians were being con- 
stantly incited to deeds of violence and outrage by English. 

About this time came into great prominence, Tecumseh and his 
brother, "The Prophet." "The Prophet" was an old fraud of a medicine 
man who had gained a temporary influence over part of the restless In- 
dians by his mystical arts, played on the ignorant minds. Tecumseh was 
perhaps as near being a statesman as an Indian ever was. He conceived 
the idea that he could unite all the Indians of America into a great con- 
federacy and drive the whites into the sea. He had been preaching his 
crusade among the northern people for some time, and had gone among 
those of Alabama and Georgia, and perhaps as far as Florida. 

Tecumseh's contention on the question of treaty cession of land by 
the Indians was that the land belonged to the whole Indian race, and 
that cession could not be justly made by the different tribes, but on the 
full consent and approval of all the tribes. What basis there was for 
such claim it is hard to understand, in the light of the fact that ever 
since Europeans knew them, the Indians had been fighting among them- 
selves over these same lands. War and pestilence therefrom was the rule. 
Whole tribes were at times exterminated. 

Tecumseh was far-seeing, being an Indian, and no doubt believed that 
the race war would ultimately result in the extinction of one race. He 



Causes Leading up to Fort Harrison. 15 

could not dispute that the several Indian Treaties had been freely entered 
into, so, like the advocate desiring to save his case, he attacked the treaty 
making power. 

It was during his absence that General Harrison, seeing the coming 
storm of, to say the least, great disturbance, having exerted all his influ- 
ence to dissuade the Indians against their foolhardy plan, decided that 
aggressive measures must be adopted and the poor creatures brought to 
a sense of their duty, or severely punished. It is believed that Tecumseh 
had enjoined on "The Prophet" that under no conditions was a battle 
to be risked until he had returned, having succeeded in uniting the whole 
of the various tribes. 

In stating in the first paragraph of this chapter that the causes that 
led up to the building of Fort Harrison were the troubles that continued 
to exist between our country and Great Britain, it is not claimed that 
there would have been none with the Indians except for British inter- 
ference. 

But for the support, before mentioned, and the encouragement, which 
later historical investigation has proven, principally to Tecumseh and 
"The Prophet," their dream of a confederation would never have been. 
The Indians had never prevailed in any of their wars with the Ameri- 
cans, but were persuaded they might, at least, as allies of Britain. 

Sundry missions and emissaries to "The Prophet's" town having 
brought no satisfactory response to General Harrison, he resolved on a 
demonstration into the enemy's country. He would have a renewed 
peaceable agreement, or must resort to punishment. 

The organization of his army at Vincennes, its personality, and its 
march and the Battle of Tippecanoe are told in another chapter. 

There has been for a hundred years in America a controversy between 
philanthropists and fanatics on the one side and the settlers and radical 
Indian haters on the other as to the justice and himianity of the treat- 
ment of the Indians. Especially has this applied to the question of how 
the lands have been transferred. The contention on the part of the for- 
mer has been that the Indians owned the lands and they should not have 
been taken from them except by their full and free consent, which means 
by purchase at prices that made them anxious to sell. The latter have 
contended that the Indians were an inferior, a worthless race, and that 
they had no rights. Xow, history shows that as between the two views the 
general practice has leaned largely towards the philanthropic side. Xo 
set of land traders ever came together for a deal without at least a sem- 
blance of sharp practice being a feature of their transactions. There 
have been instances of trickery. The ignorance of the Indians has been 
taken advantage of more than once. But the basis of every accession of 



16 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

land by the United States Government has been on terms of proper com- 
pensation. With exceptions enough to prove the rule, this is an historical 
fact that cannot be disjDuted. 

Others will say that, admitting the purchase of the lands, the prices 
given haven't been commensurate with the values. Here brings us back 
to the question of value as based on the uses to which they were put. 
Taking all that is known of the Indians in their primal state, they made 
a precarious living in squalor and hardship, using only the superficial 
products that came without labor. The fish in the lakes and rivers and 
the game in the forest were increasing, and the soil, none richer in the 
world, capable of bountiful production, was idle. With this condition 
the Indians lived in poverty and want. They did not utilize the land, 
and they were paid for it, more than the value, based on their occupation. 



Chapter III. 

CAPTAIN TAYLOR'S REPORT 

Letter from Captain Z. Taylor, commanding Fort Harrison, Indiana 
Territory, to General Harrison. 

Fort Harrison, September 10, 1812. 

Dear Sir:— On Thursday evening, the 3rd instant, after retreat 
beating, four guns were heard to fire in the direction where two young 
men (citizens who resided here) were making hay, about four hundred 
yards distant from the fort. I was immediately impressed with an idea 
that they were killed by the Indians, as the Miamis or Weas had that 
day infomied me that the Prophet's party w^ould soon be here for the 
purpose of commencing hostilities, and that they had been directed to 
leave this place which we were about to do. I did not think it prudent 
to send out at that late hour of the night to see what had become of 
them; and their not coming in convinced me that I was right in my con- 
jecture. I waited until eight o'clock next morning, when I sent out a 
corporal with a small party to find them, if it could be done without 
running too much risk of being drawn into an ambuscade. He soon 
sent back to inform me, that he had found them both killed, and wished 
to know my further orders; I sent the cart and oxen, had them brought 
in and buried; they had been shot with two balls, scalped and cut in the 
most shocking manner. Late in the evening of the 4th inst. old Joseph 
Lenar and between 30 and 40 Indians arrived from the Prophet's town, 
with a white flag; among whom were about ten women, and the men 
Avere composed of the chiefs of the different tribes that compose the 
Prophet's party. A ShaAvanoe man. that spoke good English, informed 
me that old Lenar intended to speak to me next morning, and try to get 
something to eat. At retreat beating I examined the men's arms and 
found them all in good order, and completed their cartridges to 16 
rounds per man. xVs I had not been able to mount a guard of more 
than six privates and two non-commissioned officers, for some time past, 
and sometimes part of them every other day from the unhealthiness of 
the company, I had not conceived my force adequate to the defense of 
this post should it be vigorously attacked, for some time past. As I had 
just recovered from a very severe attack of the fever, I was not able to 
be up much through the night. After tattoo, I cautioned the guard to 
be vigilant, and ordered one of the non-commissioned officers, as the sen- 

17 



18 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

tinels could not see every part of the garrison, to walk around on the 
inside during the whole night to prevent the Indians taking advantage 
of us provided they had any intention of attacking us. About 11 o'clock 
I was awakened by the firing of one of the sentinels. I sprang up, run 
out and ordered the men to their posts, when my orderly sergeant (who 
had charge of the upper block-house) called out that the Indians had 
fired the lower block-house, which contained the property of the contrac- 
tor which was deposited in the lower part, the upper having been as- 
signed to a corporal and ten privates as an alarm post. The guns had 
began to fire pretty smartly from both sides. I directed the buckets to 
be got ready and water brought from the well and the fire extinguished 
immediately, as it was perceivable at that time. But from debility or 
some other cause, the men were very slow in executing my orders. The 
word fire seemed to throw the whole of them into confusion, and by the 
time they had got the water and broken open the door the fire had un- 
fortunately communicated to a quantity of whiskey (the stock having 
licked several holes through the lower part of the building after the salt 
that was stored there through which they had introduced the fire with- 
out being discovered, as the night was very dark), and in spite of every 
exertion we could make use of, in less than a moment it ascended to the 
roof and baffled every effort we could make to extinguish it. As that 
block-house adjoined the barracks that made part of the fortifications 
most of the men immediately gave themselves up for lost, and I had the 
greatest difficulty in getting my orders executed ; and, sir, what from the 
raging of the fire — the yelling and howling of several hundred Indians 
■ — the cries of nine women and children (a part soldiers' and a part citi- 
zens' wives, who had taken shelter in the Fort) — ^and the desponding of 
so many of the men, which was worse than all — I can assure you that 
my feelings were very unpleasant — and indeed there were not more than 
ten or fifteen men able to do a great deal, the others being either sick or 
convalescent — and to add to our other misfortunes, two of the stoutest 
men in the fort, and that I had every confidence in, jumped the picket 
and left us. But my presence of mind did not for a moment forsake 
me. I saw that by throwing off part of the roof that joined the block- 
house that was on fire, and keeping the end perfectly wet, the whole 
row of buildings might be saved, and leave only an entrance of eighteen 
or twenty feet for the Indians to enter after the house was consumed; 
and that a temporary breastwork might be erected to prevent their even 
entering there. I convinced the men that this could be accomplished, 
and it appeared to inspire them with new life, and never did men act 
with more firmness or desperation. Those that were able (while the 
others kept up a constant fire from the other block-house and the two 
bastions) mounted the roofs of the houses, with Dr. Clark at their head 



Captain Taylor's Report. 19 

(who acted with the greatest firmness and presence of mind the whole 
time the attack lasted, which was seven hours) under a shower of bul- 
lets, and in less than a moment threw off as much of the roof as was 
necessary. This was done only with the loss of one man and two 
wounded, and I am in hopes neither of them dangerous. The man that 
was killed was a little deranged, and did not get off the house as soon as 
directed, or he would not have been hurt; and, although the barracks 
were several times in a blaze, and an immense quantity of fire against 
them, the men used such exertion that they kept it under and before 
day raised a temporary breastwork as high as a man's head, although 
the Indians continued to pour in a heavy fire of ball and innumerable 
quantity of arrows during the whole time the attack lasted, in every part 
of the parade. I had but one other man killed, nor any other wounded 
inside the fort, and he lost his life by being too anxious. He got into 
one of the galleys on the bastions and fired over the pickets, and called 
out to his comrades that he had killed an Indian, and neglecting to 
stoop down in an instant he was shot dead. One of the men that jumped 
the pickets returned an hour before day, and running up towards the 
gate begged for God's sake for it to be opened. I suspected it to be a 
stratagem of the Indians to get in, as I did not recollect his voice. I 
directed the men in the bastion, where I happened to be, to shoot him 
let him be who he would, but fortunately he ran up to the other bastion, 
where they knew his voice, and Dr. Clark directed him to lie close to the 
pickets behind an empty barrel that happened to be there, and at day- 
light I had him let in. His arm was broke in a most shocking manner, 
which he says was done by the Indians w-hich I suppose was the cause 
of his returning. I think it probable that he will not recover. The 
other they caught about 130 yards from the garrison and cut him all to 
pieces. After keeping up a constant fire until six o'clock the next morn- 
ing, which we began to return with some effect after daylight, they re- 
moved out of the reach of our guns. A party of them drove up the 
horses that belonged to the citizens here, and as they could not catch 
them very rapidly shot the whole of them in our sight, as well as a num- 
ber of their hogs.' They drove off the whole of the cattle, which amounted 
to sixty-five head, as well as the public oxen. I had the vacancy filled 
up before night (which was made by the burning of the block-house) 
with a strong row of pickets, which I got by pulling down the guard 
house. We lost the whole of our provisions, but must make out to live 
upon green com until we can get a supply, which I am in hopes will not 
be long. I believe the whole of the Miamies or Weas were among the 
Prophet's party, as one chief gave his orders in that language which re- 
sembled Stone Easter's voice, and I believe Negro Legs was there like- 
wise. A Frenchman here understands their different languages, and 



20 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

several of the Miamies or Weas that have been here frequently, were rec- 
ognized by the Frenchman and soldiers next morning. The Indians 
suffered smartly, but were so numerous as to take off all that were shot. 
They continued with us until the next morning, but made no further at- 
tempt on the Fort, nor have we seen anything more of them since. I 
have delayed informing you of my situation, as I did not like to weaken 
the garrison, and I looked for some person from Vincennes, and none 
of my men were acquainted with the woods, and therefore I would either 
have to take the river or the road, which I was fearful was guarded by 
small parties of Indians that would not dare attack a party of rangers 
that was on a scout ; but being disappointed, I have at length determined 
to send a couple of my men by water and am in hopes that they will ar- 
rive safe. I think it would be best to send the provisions under a pretty 
strong escort, as the Indians may attempt to prevent their coming. If 
you carry on an expedition against the Prophet this fall, you ought to be 
well provided with everything, as you may calculate on having every 
inch of ground disputed between this and there that they can defend 
with advantage. Wishing, &c. 

„. ^ „ ^ (Signed) Z. Taylor. 

His Excellency Governor Harrison. 

Fort Harrison, Sept. 13, 1812. 

Dear Sir: — I wrote you on the 10th inst., giving you an account of 
the attack on this place, as well as my situation which account I at- 
tempted to send by water, but the two men whom I despatched in a canoe 
after night found the river so well guarded that they were obliged to 
return. The Indians had built a fire on the bank of the river a short 
distance below the garrison, which gave them an opportunity of seeing 
any craft that might attempt to pass, and were waiting with a canoe to 
intercept it. I expect the Fort as well as the road to Vincennes is as 
well or better watched than the river. But my situation compels me to 
make one other attempt by land, and my orderly sergeant, with one 
other man, sets out tonight with strict orders to avoid the road in day- 
time and depend entirely on the woods, although neither of them have 
ever been to Vincennes by land, nor do they know anything of the coun- 
try, but I am in hopes they will reach you in safety. I send them with 
great reluctance from their ignorance of the woods. I think it very 
probable there is a large party of Indians waylaying the road between 
this and Vincennes, likely about the Narrows, for the purpose of in- 
tercepting any party that may be coming to this place, as the cattle they 
got here will supply them plentifully with provisions for some time to 

come. Please, «&c., &c. /«• in v rp ^ 

TT- T^ n r. TT • (Signed) Z. Taylor. 

His Jiixcellency Governor Harrison. 

(Nile's Register, Vol. 3, p. 90.) 




ZACHARY TAYLOR 



Chapter IV. 

ZACHARY TAYLOR 
A Biographical Sketch by Herbert Briggs. 

Zachary Taylor, the hero of Fort Harrison, was the twelfth President 
of the United States. He was baptized into the world of fame within 
the shadow of Terre Haute. 

He was born in Orange County, Virginia, September 24, 1784, soon 
after the Treaty of Paris, which closed the Revolutionary War. His 
father. Colonel Richard Taylor, had borne a conspicuous part in the 
struggle for independence, and was on intimate terms with General Wash- 
ington. 

His mother was Mary Strother, said to have been a handsome young 
lady of nineteen whose marriage August 20, 1779, to Colonel Richard 
Taylor, then almost a grizzled veteran of thirty-six, was one of the ro- 
mances of the time. But the marriage seemed in every way to have been 
a happy one, and Zachary was the third son of that union. One son 
and three daughters were born after Zachary, but the father made ample 
provision for all of his eight children. 

Like Indiana, Kentucky was once a part of the Old Dominion, and 
was known as one of the western counties of Virginia. To compensate 
her soldiers who had fought in the Revolution, Virginia gave liberally 
of her grants of land, and Colonel Taylor, accepting the bounties of his 
native State, moved his family to a large tract near the present City of 
Louisville, Ky., when Zachary was one year old. 

Colonel Taylor was not a total stranger to these Kentucky wilds ; as a 
young man less than twenty-one, he journeyed westward through Ken- 
tuck}^ to the Mississippi river, thence southward as far as Xatchez, then 
as one biographer remarks, "without guide or companion, through path- 
less woods, over rivers and mountains, fearless alike of the seasons, of sav- 
ages, or of any peril of his long and lonely way, he walked back to his 
father's house in Virginia." 

The spirit of adventure and the courage of the pioneer seemed to have 
been an integral part of the Taylor family — it was the summons to the 
new and untried that led early members of the Taylor family to leave 
their English home and seek their fortunes in Virginia — the lure of the 
wilderness that had induced Hancock Taylor, a brother of Colonel Tay- 

21 



22 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

lor, to lead the way to Kentucky, and thus it was that a welcome had been 
provided for the family of our hero when they arrived at their wilder- 
ness home. 

Zachary's father decided that the boy should be a farmer, but destiny 
seemed to have ordered his life differently. But whatever parental plans 
included, nothing received more careful attention than the education of 
his children, and for that purpose Elisha Ayres, a young New England 
school teacher, was installed in a school house nearby, so that the chil- 
dren of Colonel Taylor as well as those of his neighbors for several miles 
around might be properly instructed. Zachary was said to have been 
"quick in learning and still patient in study." 

There were other means of education for the boy — his mother's force 
of character and strong influence, say his biographers, exerted a guidance 
all but controlling. 

Again, the neighbors must not be overlooked ; in many instances they 
had been the father's companions in arms during the revolution. They 
gathered around the hospitable Taylor family hearthstone, entertained 
themselves and instructed the children Avith rehearsals of their hardships, 
adventures and triumphs; the almost daily encounter of some settler with 
the Indians; the killing of the uncle, Hancock Taylor, by an Indian in 
British uniform — all left their imprint on the minds of the youthful lis- 
teners. Ideals of life were thus formed — ideals not necessarily at vari- 
ance with the paternal plans, but more in harmony with the ambitions 
and environments of the one who was to become the real responsible per- 
son, not only for his, but the Nation's destinies. 

Then there came the position of Collector of the Port of Louisville — 
an appointment from President George Washington, bestowed upon Colo- 
nel Taylor in recognition of faithful performance of duties in past days 
of trial. 

The Aaron Burr episode in American history, that real or imaginary 
prospect of a hostile southwestern empire, served to take young Zachary 
away from his home for a few months where he joined a volunteer com- 
pany to receive training both in the instincts and art of warfare; this 
was his initial step in serving his country. If his ambitions had been 
dormant, they were now thoroughly aroused ; the axe, the plough and the 
scythe, those instruments of peace and production, no longer entertained 
him — the Kentucky farm no longer satisfied his aspiration — w^ar seemed 
to have been his trade, surely his ambition. Opportunity was not long 
in opening her doors to him. In the early days of the two States, Ken- 
tucky and Indiana, held many things in common; many pioneers left 
their Kentucky homes and sought the fertile soil of the Wabash Valley. 
The two States had a common enemy, the Indian. William Strother 
Taylor, older brother of Zachary, and a second lieutenant of artillery. 



Zachary Taylor. 23 

died removing whatever obstacle that might have been in the way so that 
President Jeti'erson appointed Zachary first lieutenant in the Seventh 
Regiment of Infantry, May 3, 1808. His first assignment took him to 
New Orleans, but an uncongenial climate compelled him to seek the re- 
cuperating attention of his home and his mother. He remained on fur- 
lough for about two years, during which time he completed one of his 
greatest conquests, the winning of Miss Margaret Smith, of Calvert 
County, Maryland, to be his wife throughout his long and eventful ca- 
reer. His biographers agree that the domestic life of Mr. and Mrs. Tay- 
lor, so far as exigencies of camp life would permit, was ideal — an ex- 
ample to be imitated. His affection for Mrs. Taylor was thoroughly 
reciprocated, and when General Taylor became President she declined the 
honors and duties of the first lady of the land, and surrendered to her 
daughter, Miss Betty, or Mrs. Bliss, and pronounced her husband's 
elevation to the presidency a part of a plan to deprive her of his society 
and to shorten his life by unnecessary care. 

With the election of James Madison to the presidency. Lieutenant 
Taylor's plans suffered no relapse, and on November 30, 1810, he was 
promoted to the rank of Captain. About one-half of the Seventh Eegi- 
ment to which he had been assigned, was sent north to Vincennes there 
to join General Harrison, Governor of the Northwest Territory. This 
was a favorable time for a young man with Captain Taylor's ambition. 
Great influences were at work to test the defensive power of the Na- 
tional Government. The British Government had as yet failed and re- 
fused to carry out the terms of the Treaty of 1783, and even in that treaty 
the independence of the United States was not recognized. England 
recognized ''thirteen free, separate and independent sovereignties," and 
demanded of the American Commissioners making the Treaty of Paris 
that the old Northwest Territory be left as neutral gi-ound to be occupied 
by the Indians. English Emissaries were busy everywhere with their 
allies, the Indians. Pioneers in frontier districts were in constant dan- 
ger of Indian fury. Aggravated by the English conspirators, this state 
of affairs was especially true in the Wabash Valley where the great 
natural resources were attracting vast numbers of settlers. Many Indian 
tribes under the leadership of Tecumseh, a Shawnee Chieftain of great 
sagacity and influence, had been organized to resist the encroachments of 
the Whites. 

That Tecumseh was a force with which the United States must deal 
was well illustrated by a Canadian historian, who said : "No one can fully 
calculate the inestimable value of those devoted red men, led on by the 
brave Tecumseh during the struggle of 1812. But for them it is probable 
that we should not now have a Canada, and if we had we would not en- 
joy the liberty and privileges we possess in so eminent a degree." 



24 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

Tecumseh's brother, Ellskwatawa, known as the "Prophet," a mixture 
of medicine man and sorcerer, also exercised great influence over many 
Indians. 

Many things combine to confirm the belief that the British Govern- 
ment had a working agreement with the Indians. Tecumseh had received 
a commission as Brigadier-General in the British Royal Army, 1812-1813, 
and led two thousand warriors at Fort Meigs; it was upon Tecumseh's 
advice that the final place was selected for the Battle of the Thames, 
where he put aside his English uniform and sword, and donned his na- 
tive costume, the better to inspire his savage warriors. He was killed in 
a hand to hand encounter with a United States soldier, said to have been 
Colonel Richard M. Johnson, but the controversy as to who killed the 
famous Chief has never been settled. 

The Prophet received a pension from the British Government until 
1826. Other instances of Indian loyalty to English plans might be re- 
cited, but enough has been given to convey an understanding of the diffi- 
cult task undertaken by Governor Harrison when he attempted to acquire 
possession of a large tract of land from the Delaware, Pottawatomies and 
Miamis, extending along the Wabash river to a point a few miles north 
of where Terre Haute is now situated. General Harrison's headquarters 
were at the territorial capital, Vincennes. Indians under the leadership 
of the Prophet had assembled at Prophets Town near the present site of 
Lafayette. It was against this formidable foe that General Harrison 
marched from Vincennes, September 26, 1811, At a point about three 
miles due north of the court house, in Vigo County, he built the Fort 
named in his honor. About one year later, September 4, 1812, this Fort 
was commanded by Captain Zachary Taylor, who had about fifty men 
under his command, less than a score of whom were available for mili- 
tary duty, the others having been incapacitated by sickness. Some citi- 
zens and their families who had sought refuge in the Fort aided in the 
defense. The Indians fought with all their savage fury. All facts go 
to show the attacking Indians were an adjunct to the British plan to ex- 
terminate Fort Harrison. Captain Taylor's conduct on that trying night 
was characteristic of his entire life — he superintended every detail of the 
defense. His heroic conduct won for him the rank and title of Major by 
brevet, an unusual thing in Indian warfare. Peaceable settlement could 
now go forward. English hope of an internal empire in any part of what 
is now the United States seemed more and more remote, a very signifi- 
cant victory for a young man not yet twenty-eight years old. Today 
the Northwest Territory, much of which was made accessible by Captain 
Taylor's achievement, contains more than eighteen millions of people, 
about one-fifth of the population of the United States. 



^ Zachary Taylor. 25 

At the close of the War of 1812, Congress ordered the National stand- 
ing army reduced to ten thousand men, and as a consequence Captain 
Taylor ^vas reduced in rank, but rather than submit to the humiliation 
in the face of the service he had rendered, he resigned without comment 
or complaint, returned to his Kentucky farm *'to make a crop of corn/' 
Without any effort on his part he was restored to the army with the rank 
of Lieutenant-Colonel of the First Regunent of Infantry. 

During the next twenty-four years Captain Taylor was engaged in 
defending frontier settlements against the encroachments of the Indians. 
Black Hawk, Chief of the Sacs and Foxes, was his chief adversary. It 
was during the northwestern campaign that an episode in the story of 
Captain Taylor changes the scene from English conspiracies and savage 
conquests to the more peaceful pursuit of that prince of archers, Master 
Cupid. This dauntless sprite had enlisted with a young officer, Cap- 
tain Davis, later known as Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern 
Confederacy. Captain Davis disappeared and with him had gone Miss 
Sarah Taylor, daughter of Colonel Taylor. Captain Davis resigned im- 
mediately from the army, and became a cotton planter in Mississippi, 
served with distinction in the Mexican War, and later wrote the bio- 
graphy of General Taylor in which he refers to his own elopement, say- 
ing "Sarah, the oldest daughter of General Taylor, became the wife of 
Jefferson Davis." 

Colonel Taylor continued in the northwest until 1836, when repeated 
depredations of the Indians in Florida and on the Gulf coast required a 
man of his caliber to restore order and safety to the settlers from the 
ferocity of the Seminoles. He was now fifty-two years old. He had had 
a quarter of a century of successful experience with the Indians. In a 
decisive battle at Okechobee he won the title of Brigadier-General by 
brevet, and was appointed to the chief command in Florida. 

The trouble between the United States and Mexico on account of the 
annexation of Texas brought General Taylor again to a conspicuous 
place, but the story of his achievements in the war which followed con- 
stitutes a volume too great in proportion for this sketch. His success in 
the Mexican War was the culmination of a great military career — a 
hero's part in a foreign war that added an empire to our National do- 
minions and made of him a popular idol of national dimensions. He had 
been respected, honored and trusted by every President, beginning with 
Jefferson and ending with Polk, a period of nearly forty years. General 
Taylor's hope of retirement to the quiet and peaceful walks of a farmer's 
life was rudely shocked by his election to the presidency of the United 
States by the Whigs in 1848. He was President but sixteen months, 
though in that brief period he is said to have fully comprehended the 
nation's perils and by his sturdiness, sagacity and devotion to the Union, 



26 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

postponed the Civil War for ten years. The brevity of his term as Presi- 
dent forbids a conclusive opinion of his ability as an executive officer ad- 
ministering civil affairs. He was candid and straightforward in his 
methods. His state papers show models of pure forcible English and un- 
doubted honesty of purpose. He urged the building of an isthmian canal ; 
he ordered the preliminary surveyal for the railroad to the Pacific Ocean ; 
he urged the establishment of the Department of Agriculture to promote 
the productive resources of the country, and favored many other pro- 
gressive measures. 

General Taylor's successes were due to his simplicity of character, his 
moral courage, his exalted patriotism, moderation in the exercise of 
power, justice, magnanimity, benevolence, his wisdom. 

He died July 9, 1850, in the full consciousness of "having always done 
his duty." His death was probably due to the effect of excessive heat 
while attending the exercises of the laying of the corner-stone of the 
Washington monument. His remains are buried on the old Taylor farm, 
now within the City of Louisville, Ky. 



Chapter V. 

COMMANDANTS AT FORT HARRISON 
By J. T. Sco\t:ll. 

Lieutenant Colonel James Miller was in command from October 
31 to November 14 while the army was on the Tippecanoe campaign. 

Captain Josiah Snelling, of the Fourth Regiment of the United 
States Infantiy. He was in command from November U, 1811, to some 
time in June, 1812. He was promoted to Colonel of the Fifth Infantry, 
June 2, 1819. Fort Snelling, Minn., is named for him. 

Captain Zachary Taylor, of the Seventh Regiment of the United 
States Infantry. Captain Taylor was in command from some time in 
June, 1812, to' September 16, but we find no date of appointment or 
transfer. He defended Fort Harrison September 4 and 5, 1812. He 
afterward became General Taylor, "Old Rough and Ready," of the 
Mexican War, and later President of the United States. 

It is known that Major Willoughby Morgan was in command of the 
Fort December, 1815. When he succeeded Captain Taylor or whether 
there was another officer between them is not known. In about May, 
1816, he was ordered to other duty by General Jackson, then Comman- 
der-in-Chief of the Army, and left Major John T. Chunn in command 
of the Fort. It is said that he rebuilt the Fort. 

Major John T. Chunn having reported to Major-General Arthur 
McComb. Commandant of the Department at Detroit, the departure of 
Major Morgan, General McComb issued an order May 10, 1816, trans- 
ferring Major Chunn from Fort Knox, and placing him in command at 
Fort Harrison. This order instructed Major Chunn to remove govern- 
ment property from Fort Knox to Fort Harrison. This apparently was 
the end of Fort Knox as a government post. Major Chunn had helped 
to build the Fort at the time of the Harrison campaign to Tippecanoe. 
He was then a Lieutenant in one of the companies of that army^ He 
Avas appointed Captain of the Nineteenth Regiment of the U. S. In- 
fantrv. April 14. 1812. He was transferred to the Third Regiment on 
May IT. 1815. He resigned from the army June 12, 1821. after a long 
and honorable service. He returned to Terre Haute to spend the rest of 
his life, and leave a long list of descendants to honor his name. 

2T 



28 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

There was no trouble with hostile Indians during the time of Major 
Chunn's command of the Fort. But in 1816 there w^as a scare. Reports 
came to the Fort of depredations by the Indians in Michigan and North- 
ern Indiana, and the Fort was thronged with refugees. An autograph 
letter from Major Chunn to Mr. Gilbert, dated September 8, 1816, indi- 
cated possible danger, but no attack was made. During the succeeding 
years, 1817 and 1818, 1819 and 1820, even after the Fort had been aban- 
doned by the garrison, there were these scares about the Indians. 

Major Robert Sturgis. Appointed Ensign of the Second Infantry, 
September 28, 1812. Promoted to First Lieutenant March 9, 1814, and 
resigned February 10, 1818. He had served as a volunteer private in 
Captain Benj. Parks' troop of light dragoons, in the Tippecanoe cam- 
paign, and so was a builder of Fort Harrison. From many legends, he 
was so interesting a character, 'tis a pity more is not known of his his- 
tory. He never married. He died in Terre Haute about 1828. July 4, 
1817, was the first one ever celebrated in Terre Haute. The celebration 
ball was in Henry Redford's new hewn log house, known as The Eagle 
and Lion Tavern. The record says, "Major Chunn with his officers. Lieu- 
tenants Sturgis and Floyd, Drs. Clark and McCullough, with several 
other gentlemen with their ladies residing at the Fort, were of the happy 
crowd of celebrants." According to these dates. Major Chunn was trans- 
ferred and Major Sturgis was appointed Commandant after July 4, 1817. 
As Major Sturgis resigned from the army February 10, 1818, he was 
Commandant but a few months. He was Treasurer of Vigo County 
1823-1824, and Sheriff 1825-1826. Probably Fort Harrison ceased to be 
a military post about the time Major Sturgis resigned. 



Chapter VI. 

INMATES OF FORT HARRISON 
By J. T. ScovELL. 

At time of siege, September 4 and 5, 1812, there were in the fort some 
sixty persons, soldiers and citizens. We only know the names of the fol- 
lowing : 

Captain Zachary Taylor, Commandant. 

Dr. William A. Clark, Army Surgeon. He was commended by Cap- 
tain Taylor as acting with the greatest firmness and presence of mind in 
defense of the Fort. Dr. Clark also practiced among the citizens outside 
the Fort. 

Drummer Davis, a deserter from the English army, w^ho joined the 
Americans as a musician. After the war he lived across the river. Died 
in 1847. 

William Bandy, a Virginian and soldier. Lived in Fayette Town- 
ship after the war. 

William Cowen, who was killed in the fight. 

Josey Cowen, his brother, who died the next day of disease. 

Joseph Dickson and family, wife and children. 

Jonathan Graham and wife. No further notice of Jonathan Graham. 

Isaac Lambert and wife, Julia Lafferty Lambert. 

Mrs. Briggs and her daughter, Mary. 

Mrs. Isaac Anderson and her daughter, Matilda. 

Mary Dickson and Joseph Dickson, young children of John Dickson, 
in cure of their aunt, Julia Lambert. 

Peter Mallory and family, wife and children. 

John Clinton Bradford, a baby about a year old. 

PIONEERS OF THE WABASH VALLEY 

Joseph Liston, who helped to build the Fort, writes that Isaac Lam- 
bert, John Dickson, Mr. Hudson, Mr. Chatry and ^Ir. Mallory cultivated 
the lands under the protection of the Fort. Mr. Hudson and Mr. Chatry 
may have been in the Fort, but we find no evidence of it. One report 
says that John Dickson and family were in the Fort September 4, 1812, 
but a reliable family history shows that Mr. Dickson and wife were in 
Vincennes September 4, 1812. In his report. Captain Taylor speaks of 

29 



30 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

"nine women and children, a part citizens' and part soldiers' wives, who 
had taken shelter in the Fort." The above list contains the names of 
six women, one a soldier's wife, and there are the names of several 
children. 

Joseph Dickson came to Indiana in 1811 and cultivated lands under 
the jDrotection of the Fort. Joseph Dickson and family were in Fort Har- 
rison September 4 and 5, 1812, and helped in the defense. Joseph Dickson, 
a son, and another man, were killed by the Indians as they were return- 
ing to the Fort. The daughters of Joseph Dickson were Margaret Dick- 
son Handy, Elizabeth Dickson McFadden, Nancy Dickson Lee, Mary 
Dickson Clarke, and Hannah Dickson Harris. 

Margaret Dickson married Stephen D. Handy at the Fort in 1813. 

Eliza Handy, daughter of Margaret, married Samuel Archer. 

Orinthia Archer, daughter of Eliza, married Alexander McGregor. 
Alexander Archer McGregor is the only child. 

Isadora Archer, daughter of Eliza, married Jacob White in 1867. 
The children are Cecil Duleny White, Eliza White Bartholomew, Charles 
Archer White and Effie Aileen White Davison. 

Sarah Handy, daughter of Margaret Dickson Handy, married James 
Lawrence, father of Edward E. Lawrence, Terre Haute. 

John Dickson came to Vigo County some time in 1811, and may have 
helped to build the Fort. John Dickson had a contract to supply beef 
and other materials to the garrison in the Fort. Goods belonging to 
him were burned in the block-house September 4, 1812. John Dickson 
lived in the Fort, but September 4, when the Fort was attacked he and 
his wife, Elizabeth Lambert Dickson, were in Vincennes, but two of their 
children, Mary and Joseph, were in the Fort at the time of the siege 
under the care of their aunt, Julia Lambert. Rebecca Dickson was born 
March 23, 1813, at Vincennes, and John Wesley Dickson was born June, 
1815, at Fort Harrison. Eebecca Dickson married William Durham, son 
of Daniel Durham. Their daughter, Harriet Durham, married Samuel 
Royse in 1875. Samuel Royse was Auditor of Vigo County from 1870 
to 1878. There are four children: Samuel, William, Martha and Anna. 

Isaac Lambert came to the region in 1811 and cultivated lands under 
the protection of the Fort. Isaac Lambert and family were in the Fort 
September 4, 1812, and helped in the defense. Mrs. Julia Lambert was a 
sister of James Lafferty, and aunt of Aquilla Lafferty. Isaac Lambert 
and his brother-in-law, John Dickson, built Lambert & Dickson's mill on 
Honey Creek. Isaac Lambert was a member of the first Board of Com- 
missioners of Vigo County. Julia Lambert helped to settle the estate of 
Isaac Lambert in 1829 and 1830. 



Inmates of Fort Harrison. 31 

Matilda Anderson, daughter of Isaac Anderson, was born at Fort 
Knox June 7, 1804. Isaac Anderson belonged to the army, and was mail 
carrier between Fort Knox and St. Louis. Isaac Anderson was an Or- 
derly Sergeant in General Harrison's army. When Matilda was eight 
years old, Mr. Anderson moved his family to Fort Harrison, so that 
IVIrs. Anderson and Matilda Anderson were in the Fort at the time of 
the siege. After the siege, Matilda became acquainted with an Indian 
who claimed that he set fire to the block-house. He said lie filled a camp 
kettle with bark and soaked it with bear's grease, put it in a hole under 
the block-house and set fire to it. In 1824, Matilda Anderson married 
William Taylor. Caroline Taylor, daughter of Matilda and William 
Taylor, was born in September, 1831, and in September, 1850, married 
Isaac Ball. Mr. Ball was an undertaker, a prominent and much re- 
spected citizen. Isaac Ball and Caroline Ball are survived by two chil- 
dren, Mrs. Matilda E. Ball Hess and Frank H. Ball, who reside in Terre 
Haute. 

Peter Mallory came to this region in 1811, and probably helped to 
build the Fort. He was in Vincennes when Governor Harrison and Te- 
cumseh had a conference during which the Indians sprang to their feet 
threatening attack. Mr. Mallory cultivated lands under the protection 
of the Fort, sometimes plowing with his loaded gun strapped to his 
back in anticipation of an attack from Indians. Mr. Mallory and wife 
were in the Fort at the time of the siege September 4 and 5, and helped 
in the work of putting out the fire and in defending the Fort. Peter 
Mallory was one of the messengers from Captain Taylor to General Har- 
rison at Vincennes after the siege. 

Dr. Thomas Bradford was an Army Surgeon under General Har- 
rison. His son, John Clinton Bradford, wms in Fort Harrison Septem- 
ber 4, 1812. John Clinton Bradford and wife. Mary Bradford, owned 
land in the southeast part of Lost Creek Township. They had two 
daughters : 

Jane Bradford Coif man and Mary Bradford Brannon. 

Amelia Brannon, daughter of Mary, married Daniel B. Joice. They 
live in Terre Haute. 

Josephine Brannon, daughter of Mary, married George Stump. Mrs. 
Stump lives in Terre Haute. 

Mary Briggs and another girl molded bullets in Fort Harrison Sep- 
tember 4, 1812. Mary Briggs married George Wright. There was one 
son, William Wright, who had three sons. George Wright, Terre Haute: 
Lincoln Wright, Clinton, Ind., and Charles Wright, Xew Goshen, Ind. 

Joseph Liston came to what is now Vigo County in 1811. He was 
in company with Edmond Liston, his father, Reuben Moore, his brother- 



32 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

in-law, William E. Adams, Martin Adams and William Drake. They 
planted, cultivated and harvested seventy-five acres of corn and sold the 
com to General Harrison for use of the army while they were building 
the Fort. Liston and perhaps others of his company were militia sol- 
diers. The location of the corn field, the location chosen for the Fort 
and the time of the army movement look very much as if General Har- 
rison had planned the whole thing several months before. Joseph Lis- 
ton was a scout. He was famous for his skill in getting knowledge of 
the movements of the Indians, and thus preventing the destruction of 
the property and loss of life. It was the boast of the old man that he 
had never taken a human life. Joseph helped to build the Fort, but 
did not go to Tippecanoe and was not in the Fort September 4 and 5, 
1812. 

Some descendants of Joseph Liston by his first wife: 

Thomas Liston, of Clay County. Gilbert Liston, son of Thomas, 
lives near Lewis, Ind. Mary Liston, a daughter of Thomas, married 
Moses Pierson. Mary and Moses Pierson had two sons, Moses and Isaac 
T. Pierson, and one daughter, Lida, who married Thomas Donham, of 
Terre Haute. Moses Pierson and wife have two sons, Charles and Frank, 
and one daughter, Mary, who married Gustave Willius, Jr. 

Joseph Liston by his second wife, Louisiana Lloyd, a widow, had one 
son, Henry Clay Liston. 

A son of Henry Clay Liston, Samuel Liston, lives in the southern part 
of Vigo County. 

There are several Listons in Vigo County, but they seem to be 
descendants of the brothers of Joseph Liston. 

Abraham Markle and Joseph Richardson, of Genesee County, New 
York, visited Fort Harrison in 1815, making the trip on horseback. In 
1816 they crossed the mountains to Olean on the Allegheny river. There 
a large boat was built for the accommodation of both families, and late 
in the spring the voyage began. At Pittsburg Mr. Richardson left the 
company for a trip to Washington, the family with Mr. Markle continu- 
ing the voyage and reaching Fort Harrison July 4, 1816. 

Mrs. Richardson occupied a house near the Fort, but was greatly an- 
noyed by the Indians. There was considerable alarm among the whites. 
There were rumors of war dances and other signs of mischief. One night 
Mrs. Richardson and others went into the Fort, as there were signs 
of an Indian attack. Mrs. Richardson remained in the Fort three days, 
then loaded her family and goods in a boat, and against the advice of 
the commandant and others started for Vincennes, arriving there in 
safety. 



Inmates of Fort Ilarnson. 33 

George Berkely Richardson, a son, became a citizen of Terre Haute. 
H. S. Kichardson, his son, is well known in Terre Haute. 

Sarah Elizabeth Richardson married Edward V. Ball, for man}^ years 
a prominent physician in the city. They had four children : Matilda Ball 
Mancourt, Caroline Ball Cheever, Lawrence S. Ball, of Prairieton, whose 
children are Edward Halsey Ball, Agnes Ball Ogle and Bertram E. Ball, 
and Mary E. Ball Peddle. Her children are Caroline Peddle Ball, wife 
of Bertram E, Ball, Mary Peddle Peckham, Margaret Peddle Bodde, 
John B. Peddle. 

Curtis Gilbert, then a young man, not quite of age, arrived at Fort 
Harrison in December, 1815. He had visited the settled portions of 
Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky, and had spent some months 
in New Orleans, prospecting for a location. On his return up the river 
to Louisville, Ky., he was so impressed with the stories told him of the 
richness of the Wabash Valley that he immediately went to Vincennes 
and there formed a partnership with Mr. X. B. Bailey, and pushed on 
to Fort Harrison with a stock of goods for trade with the settlers as well 
as the Indians. He was so well pleased with the value of the country 
that he remained here for sixty-five years, until his death. 

As a government licensed trader, he spent some time on the Ver- 
million river. It was to him there in September, 1818. that Major 
Chunn, Commandant of Fort Harrison, wrote of the atrocities of the 
Indians at Machinac, and the unrestfulness of those in Northern Indiana, 
advising Mr. Gilbert to return to the Fort until the scare was over. 
Major Chunn might have ordered him to come down the river, but he 
did not consider there was any real danger, so gave him the information 
and left him to act on his own judgment. 

He returned some time later and remained at the Fort as trader 
and postmaster until the fall of 1818, when he removed to Terre Haute, 
where he was the first Clerk, Auditor and Recorder of the county, and 
held the office for twenty-one years. 

His old account books, kept at the Fort, have largely helped the 
Historical Committee in settling locations and dates. 

He was the fifth in direct descent from Jonathan Gilbert, one of the 
founders of Hartford, Conn., in 1635, and was the founder of the Gilbert 
family of Terre Haute. 

Abraham Markle came to Fort Harrison along with the Richardson 
family in 181G. As a soldier in the war of 1812. ^Ir. Markle had a war- 
rant for several quarter sections of land which were located in the vi- 
cinity of Fort Harrison. The family settled on Otter Creek, where Mr. 
Markle had a mill built. Abraham ^larkle and his family have been 
prominent citizens of Terre Haute and Vigo County, but did not have 
much to do with the Fort. Two of the sons were with the father in the 



34 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

war of 1812. One was in the Blackhawk War, and several of the de- 
scendants were in the Civil War. Major Markle's children were: Sons 
William, Abraham, Henry, Nelson, George, Frederick, Joseph and Na- 
poleon Bonaparte, and daughters Sarah and Aula. 

Nelson Markle had two sons, George and Theodore. Gertrude Mar- 
kle, daughter of George, married Arthur Richmond. Theodore Markle 
has two sons, Augustus E. and Paul, and two daughters, Grace Markle 
Starr and Florence Markle. 

Frederick Markle had two sons, Abraham and William. William 
lives in Otter Creek Township, and has two sons, Herbert and Daniel, 
and one daughter, Mabel, who married William Wier. 

James Matthew Stewart was one of the pioneers at Fort Harrison. 
He came with his bride in 1817, and remained a few months. He re- 
turned to the Falls of the Ohio where he had large contracts as a builder. 
But as soon as they were completed (1819) he came back to Terre Haute 
to live. Two sons. Colonel Robert R. Stewart and Lieutenant Colonel 
James Stewart, were noted cavalry officers in the Civil War. Another 
was William H. Stewart, a leading and highly honored citizen. Mayor of 
Terre Haute and Sheriff of Vigo County. The family were for years 
identified by the "'Stewart House," a noted hostlery. 

Dr. Charles B. Modesitt came to the Fort in 1816. The doctor was a 
public-spirited man of affairs. He was a good doctor, a good business 
man and a good citizen. His sons were James A. Modesitt and Wilton 
M. Modesitt, and he had one daughter, Frances Anna, who married 
Chauncey Warren. At her death, in 1904, she left surviving her, and 
who now reside in Terre Haute, three daughters, Eliza B. Warren, Clara 
W., wife of Egbert Curtis, Frances Deming Warren, and one son, John 
Crawford Warren. 

Susan Spencer was in the Fort about 1816 with her uncle, Andrew 
Brooks. She married Andrew Wilkins, who was at one time Sheriff of 
Vigo County, and at another time Clerk of the county. The children 
were: Emily Wilkins Early, Rachel E. Wilkins, Mary B. Wilkins, Lida 
Wilkins Merrill, John E., William and George D. Wilkins. 

Caleb Crawford and family came to Fort Harrison, May, 1817. 
One daughter, Ann Mary, married David W. Rankin. Their children 
were Sarah E. Rankin, Morton C. Rankin and Oscar Rankin. Another 
daughter, Emeline, married Henry Fairbanks. Their son, Crawford 
Fairbanks, built the Public Library, and named it for his mother. Caleb 
Crawford and his descendants were not closely related to the Fort, but 
were under its protecting wings as living on the farm at a short dis- 
tance during the Indian scares of 1817 and 1818, and have been promi- 
nent and valuable citizens of Vigo County. 



Chapter VII. 

THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY 
By J. T. ScovELL. 

The larger part of North America is a great plain extending from 
the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. On the west are the Eocky 
mountains. On the east are the Alleghenys This great plain is drained 
by the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes into the North Atlantic; by the 
Saskatchewan into Hudson Bay; while the southern portion is drained 
to the Gulf by the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers. The region be- 
tween the Ohio and the Great Lakes and between the Alleghenys and the 
Mississippi river is called "The Northwest Territory. 

European Discovery and Division. 

AYhen the Europeans about 1500 discovered North America, the w^hole 
country was occupied by tribes of savages whom they called Indians. 
Spain, France and England claimed the whole continent by right of dis- 
covery. These natio^ns did not consider that the Indian had any proprie- 
tary rights in this broad domain, in these lands which he called home. 

The Claims of Spain. 

Spain made the earliest discoveries, the West Indies, the regions bor- 
dering on the Gulf and on the Carribbean Sea. Spain, at first, was dis- 
posed to claim the whole continent, but occupied regions along the Gulf 
and across to the Pacific with indefinite northern boundaries. Spain 
built St. Augustine and held the region for many years not for indus- 
trial purposes, but as a protection to her commerce with Mexico. Spain 
made no attempt to explore the Mississippi river nor to occupy its valley 
for agricultural purposes, but later treaties show that her claims were 
recognized as extending as far north as the sources of the Mississippi 
river. 

The Claims or France. 

France claimed the Valley of the St. Lawrence and the "wilderness 
world westward and southward to its uttermost bounds? The French 
early discovered the Great Lakes and the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers. 
They established a chain of trading posts and missionary stations from 

35 



36 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912, 

the mouth of the St. Lawrence along the Mississippi to the Gulf of 
Mexico, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, one on 
Red river, one near Natchez, and another near the site of New Orleans. 
Among the French leaders were Champlain, Joliette, La Salle and Mar- 
quette. The French engaged in the fur trade doing but little agriculture. 
Thus the French were the first Europeans to occupy the Northwest Ter- 
ritory. 

The Claims or England. 

The English claimed the regions along the Atlantic coast, south of 
the St. Lawrence valley, and westward from "sea to sea." England made 
grants to Virginia, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut with such 
indefinite western boundaries that each claimed an interest in the North- 
west Territory. English, Dutch, French Huguenots, Germans and others 
settled along the coast regions and engaged in agriculture, built towns, 
established manufacturing industries, engaged in mining, fishing, fur 
trading and other lines of commerce. These people increased rapidly 
in numbers encroaching continually upon the hunting grounds of the 
Indians, and restricting the fur trade of the French. In some cases 
treaties were made with the Indians and they were paid for their in- 
terest in the lands, but there was no definite uniform custom in the mat- 
ter and there was continual strife. In the last half of 1600, Dutch and 
English traders began to compete with the French in the fur trade. In 
1684 the Iroquois Indians placed themselves under the protectorate of 
King Charles which gave the English some claim to the Northwest Ter- 
ritory. During the first half of 1700, many English crossed the moun- 
tains. In 1754 General Braddock was defeated with great loss of life 
by the French and Indians. In 1758 Colonel Forbes drove the French 
out of the upper Ohio Valley, and in 1759 Quebec was captured by the 
English under General Wolfe, and the French dominion in America was 
at an end. By the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the King of France ceded 
to his Britanic Majesty, in full right, Canada and all its dependencies, 
the western boundary to be a line drawn along the middle of the Missis- 
sippi river. 

Great Britain and the Indians. 

The Indians at first did not seem to object to the British supremacy 
in America. The English seemed inclined to treat the Indian about as 
the French treated him. But during the year 1762 Pontiac, an Ottawa 
Chief, formed a conspiracy involving several Indian tribes. They hoped 
to capture all of the military posts and to drive all the white people out 
of the country. In 1763 these Indians captured Mackinaw, Sandusky, 
Ouiatenon, Fort Miamis, Venango and others, but failed in their at- 
tack upon Detroit, and they failed at Fort Pitt. A vigorous campaign 
under General Bradstreet and Colonel Boquet broke up the Indian power 



The Northwest Territory. 37 

so completely that they sued for peace and all the tribes interested con- 
cluded treaties with the English. For several years the Indians were 
peaceable, "although in the meantime many English colonists, disregard- 
ing the proclamation of the King, the provisions of treaties and the re- 
monstrances of the Indians, continued to harass the Indians by making 
settlements upon their lands." "The fur trader seldom had trouble with 
the Indian ; he probably paid a small price for furs and cheated the In- 
dian in other ways, but he did not destroy his hunting grounds. The 
farmer was continually in difficulty. He cut down the forests and pol- 
luted the streams, destroying both hunting grounds and fishing ponds. 
The British as fur traders were friends; the colonists, the settlers, chang- 
ing forests into corn fields, were not friends. 

Clark's Campaign. 

During the War of the Revolution, in the summer of 1778, George 
Rogers Clark, a Virginian, with an army of Virginians, captured and 
occupied the British posts of Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes. 
The success of the expedition was largely due to the active co-opera- 
tion of the French priest. Father Gibault. The jDeople living about 
these posts were chiefly of French descent. Father Gibault explained the 
situation to these people and they transferred their allegiance to Vir- 
ginia with scarcely a murmur. Later, Francis Vigo, a "'Spanish Mer- 
chant" of St. Louis, saved the expedition from probable failure by ad- 
vancing money to pay the expenses of the army. At the close of the 
war with Great Britain by the treaty of peace concluded at Paris in 1783, 
"His Britanic Majesty acknowledges the United States to be free and 
independent states and relinquishes all claims to the government, pro- 
priety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof." The 
territory mentioned being south of the St. Lawrence and the Great 
Lakes and east of the middle of the Mississippi river, excepting Florida. 
Spain preferred claims to portions of this territory, and objected to 
the Mississippi boundary, and France also objected to that boundary, 
but both finally waived their objections and signed the treaty. Thus all 
the title and all the claims of European countries to the Northwest Ter- 
ritory were vested in the United States. 

Colonial Claims. 

The close of the war found the United States deeply in debt with no 
prospective resource except as might be derived from the sale of public 
lands. The title to the lands in the Xorthwest Territory was not quite 
clear. The cession of lands by Great Britain had been to the United 
States as a nation. Virginia, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut 



38 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

had valid claims to the lands in the Northwest Territory. By an Act 
of Congress passed September 6, 1780, the States preferring claims to 
lands in the Northwest Territory were recommended to cede their claims 
to the General Government for the good of the Union. In accordance 
with this suggestion, New York in 1781, Virginia in 1784, Massachusetts 
in 1785, and Connecticut in 1786, ceded their claims to lands in the 
Northwest Territory to the General Government, Virginia and Connecti- 
cut making some minor reservations. 

Acquiring the Indian Title. 

Immediately after the conclusion of the treaty with Great Britain, 
Congress undertook measures for acquiring the Indian title to the lands 
in the Northwest Territory. At Fort Stanwix October 22, 1784, the 
Iroquois, or the Six Nations, yielded to the United States all claims to 
the territory west of a line running from Johnson's Landing, about four 
miles east of Niagara river, southerly to the Ohio river in the extreme 
western part of Pennsylvania. On January 21, 1785, the United States 
concluded a treaty with the Delaware, Wyandot, Chippewa and Ottawa 
Indian tribes by which lands in Ohio east of the Cuyahoga and Musk- 
ingum rivers were ceded to the United States. The territory northwest 
of the Ohio river was organized in 1787, and General Arthur St. Clair 
was appointed Governor and Minister of Indian Affairs. 

The Ordinance or 1787. 

The Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the Northwest Terri- 
tory, guarantees religious liberty, the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus 
and of the trial by jury. Article 3 is as follows: "Eeligion, morality and 
knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of man- 
kind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. 
The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indian ; their 
lands and property shall never be taken from them without their con- 
sent, and in their property rights and liberty they never shall be invaded 
or disturbed unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but 
laws formulated in justice and humanity shall from time to time be 
made for preventing wrongs being done to them and for preserving 
peace and friendship with them." For several years there had been 
desultory warfare between the Indians and the settlers for the most part 
carried on between small parties conducted by irresponsible persons. 
Such warfare was often accompanied by treachery and shocking cruelty 
on both sides. After the appointment of Governor St. Clair, the war 
assumed a different character as far as the Whites were concerned. There 
was more humanity in the treatment of prisoners and non-combatants, 
and all operations were under the direction of the government. 



INDIANA IN 1811 



Dearboti 



^yf) 




OhI 



GENERAL HARRISON'S LINE OF MARCH FROM VINCENNES 
TO PROPHET'S TOWN IN 1811 

Chart prepared by Prof. W. D. Pence of Purdue University 



39 



The Northwest Territory. 41 

General Wayne and the Greenville Treaty. 

All efforts of Governor St. Clair to make peace with the Indians 
failed. The military expeditions sent out ajrainst the Indians were fail- 
ures or disasters, so that in 1794 Indian ali'airs were in a very critical 
condition. On August 20, 1794, General Wayne near the Falls of the 
Maumee defeated the Indians. He says: "The enemy were routed from 
their position and driven more than two miles through the woods. The 
savage hordes with their British and Canadian allies abandoned them- 
selves to flight and dispersed with terror and dismay, leaving our vic- 
torious army in full and quiet possession of the field of battle." General 
Wayne returned to Greenville for the winter. During the winter, parties 
of Indians from several different tribes visited General Wayne and 
signed preliminary articles of peace. 

At Greenville, August 3, 1795, General Wayne concluded a treaty of 
peace with the Wyandots, Ottawas, Chippewas, Sacs, Eel Rivers, Kas- 
kaskias, Kickapoos, Pottawattomies, Weas, Miamis and Shawnees by 
which old boundary lines, including all of what is now Ohio, were con- 
firmed, and for "the same considerations, and as an evidence of returning 
friendship, and to provide for that convenient intercourse which will be 
beneficial to both parties, the said Indian tribes do also cede to the United 
States certain pieces of land, to-wit, one piece six miles square at the old 
Wea towns on the Wabash, and fourteen other pieces of land in the 
Northwest Territory. The Indians also release the lands granted to Gen- 
eral Clark, and the lands in other places in possession of the French peo- 
ple, or others, of which the Indian title has been extinguished. Consid- 
erations. And for the same considerations and with the views above 
mentioned, the United States now deliver to the said Indian tribes a 
quantity of goods to the value of $20,000, the receipt whereof they do 
hereby acknowledge and thenceforward every year forever, the United 
States will deliver at some convenient place, northward of the Ohio, like 
useful goods to the value of $9,500, reckoning that value as the first cost 
of the goods. Mutual concessions. And the said Indian tril)es will al- 
low the people of the United States free passage by land or water 
through their country. And the said Indian tribes shall be at liberty to 
hunt within the territory which they have now ceded to the United 
States. 

This treaty was signed by several Indians from each tribe, by Gen- 
eral Wayne and General Harrison, and several other army officers and by 
several sworn interpreters. 

From this time, 1795 to 1810, the United States maintained pacific 
relations with the Indian tribes that were parties to the Greenville treaty. 



42 Fort Harrison Centennial, 1812-1912. 



Indiana Territory Organized. 

Indiana Territory was organized in 1800 and May 13, 1800, William 
Henry Harrison was appointed Governor. The United States "author- 
ized Governor Harrison to promote peace and harmony among the differ- 
ent tribes of the Northwestern Indians and to induce them, if possible, 
to abandon their modes of living, and to engage in the practice of agri- 
culture and other pursuits of civilized life." The Governor was also 
authorized to negotiate treaties for the purpose of extinguishing the 
Indian title to lands within the boundaries of the territory. 

The principal subjects which attracted the attention of the people 
of Indiana were the purchase of Indian lands, the adjustment of land 
titles, and the hostile proceedings of Tecumseh and his brother, the 
Prophet. 

Indian Treaties. 

Treaties for land in Indiana along the Ohio river as far west as the 
Wabash and up the Wabash to a point above Vincennes were made with 
the Delaware, Pottawattomies, Miamis, Eel River, Wea and other tribes 
who at the time were recognized as having title. These treaties seem to 
have been made in good faith and were signed by the Indians after full 
consideration and discussion. But the consideration paid, including the 
initial payment and the annuities, seem small and inadequate, at least 
for agricultural lands. Considered as hunting grounds, the price seems 
inadequate. The lands certainly were worth more to the world, but 
were they worth more to the Indian than the United States paid him for 
them Did the colonists and the speculators who obtained grants from 
England pay more than the United States paid the Indians? The prices 
though small, must have been about what public sentiment considered 
fair. 

Opposition to Indian Treaties. 

August 21, 1805, a treaty was made which conveyed to the United 
States certain lands along the Ohio river. Some Indians, as Tecumseh 
and his brother, the Prophet, and others, began to realize something of 
the value of the land for agriculture, and tried to hinder the making of 
treaties, claiming that the Indians were being robbed. This idea was 
encouraged by certain speculators who opposed the government policy 
of making treaties for the Indian title, as it prevented them from buying 
direct from the Indian. Then it is well known that British emissaries 
were trying to make trouble between the Indians and the United States. 
This opposition was strong, and for several years no treaties were made. 



The Noi^thwest Tenitonj. 43 

Treaty of Fort Wayne, 1809. 

But September 30, 1809, at Fort Wayne, General Harrison, in spite 
of the opposition, was able to conclude a treaty with the chiefs and head 
men of the Delaware, Miami, Eel River, Wea and Kickapoo tribes, by 
which about 2,900,000 acres of land, southeast of the Wabash below the 
mouth of Raccoon Creek, were sold and ceded to the United States. 
And December 9, 1809, the Kickapoos ceded to the United States about 
113,000 acres of land lying west of the Wabash river and below the Ver- 
million river, beino- about twelve miles wide along the Wabash. The 
northeastern boundary of this Fort Wayne cession of 1809 runs from 
northwest to southeast, and is called the ten o'clock line, as it runs 
toward the sun at ten o'clock. Why was the line run in that direction? 

General Harrison's Letter. 

General Harrison writes: "I was extremely anxious that the cession 
should extend to this river (the Vermillion) by the Treaty of Fort 
Wayne, but there was objection because it would include a Kickapoo vil- 
lage. This small tract of land, about twenty miles square, is one of the 
most beautiful that can be conceived, and is moreover believed to con- 
tain a rich copper mine. I have myself frequently seen specimens of the 
copper, one of which I sent Mr. Jetferson in 1802." The letter was dated 
at Vincennes, December 10, 1809. This letter seems to explain the ten 
o'clock line. It included more of the beautiful country that contained 
a rich copper mine than an east-w^est line would include. 

Tecumseh and the Prophet. 

Tecumseh and his brother continued their opposition to the making 
of treaties for the disposal of Indian lands. In fact they were more 
active after the treaty made in 1809. August. 1810, in a conference with 
General Harrison, Tecumseh intimated that he would resist any attempt 
to survey the lands ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Fort 
Wayne. Tecumseh claimed that the lands belonged to the Indians as a 
nation, not as individual tribes. In fact each tribe had special rights 
in some territory which Tecumseh and his brother had to recognize. 
Tecumseh and his brother were Shawnees. They were crowded out of 
Delaware towns on the White river to Greenville in Ohio. The people 
in that region desired them to move on, and by permission of the Pot- 
towattomies and Kickapoos, they settled on the Wabash near the mouth 
of the River Tippecanoe. 

The new settlement was called Prophets Town. 



44 Fort Harrison Centennial, 1812-191'2. 

General Harrison and Tecumseh. 

There were many, both Indians and Whites, who denounced Te- 
cumseh and the Prophet and their followers as enemies of the United 
States. The General at length came to regard Tecumseh and his brother 
as dangerous persons who, having received some encouragement from the 
British, were endeavoring to form a confederacy of Indian tribes which 
in the event of war between the United States and Great Britain, would 
become allies of Great Britain, Tecumseh and the Prophet did not have 
supreme power over the Indians. At a conference of Indian tribes in 
May, 1810, Winamac, a Pottawattomie Chief, and some Delawares op- 
posed the Proj^het, and prevented the Ottawas, Pottawattomies and 
Chippewas from placing themselves under the control of the Prophet. 
At this time Winamac and others estimated the warriors following the 
Prophet at about 650, made up mainly of restless bands from several 
different Indian tribes, but not the leading men of any of the tribes. On 
one occasion the Prophet declared, "That it was not his intention to 
make war on the Whites, that some of the Delawares and others had 
been bribed to make false charges against him. Tecumseh was haughty, 
claimed that the land was sold by only a few of the members of the 
tribes and that the Fort Wayne Treaty was made through the threat 
of Winamac. Tecumseh threatened the Chiefs who sold the lands, and 
said to General Harrison, "If you do not restore the lands you will have 
a hand in killing them." About the 1st of August, 1811, Tecumseh 
with a few followers went south for conference with southern tribes. 

Treatment of Indians by the Whites. 

In a message in 1806 Governor Harrison said, "The Indians will never 
have recourse to arms unless driven to it by injustice and oppression. 
Of this they already begin to complain, and I am sorry to say that their 
complaints are far from being groundless. The laws of the territory 
provide the same punishment for offenses committed against the Indians 
as against White men. Experience shows that there is a wide difference 
in the execution of those laws. The Indian always suffers and the White 
man never. This partiality has not escaped their notice. Every regula- 
tion which would promise more impartiality in the execution of the 
laws in favor of those unhappy people will be highly acceptable to the 
United States and honorable to yourselves. I pray you lose no oppor- 
tunity of inculcating among your constituents an abhorrence of that de- 
testable doctrine which would make a distinction of guilt between the 
murder of a White man and an Indian. The principal matters of which 
the Indian comj^lained were: The encroachments of the White people 
upon the lands which belonged to the Indians; the invasion of their 
hunting grounds and the unjustifiable killing of some of their people. 




WILLIAM HKNR\' HARRISON 



T?ie Northwest Territory. 45 

These complaints were not groundless, but neither the hnvs of the United 
States nor those of Indiana Territory were sufficiently strong to prevent 
the evil conduct of a few bad White men." 

Subsequent events and later dealings with the Indians apparently 
convinced General Harrison that he was in error regarding the traits of 
the savages. 

The Tippecanoe Campaign. 
Pre'parations for War. 
July 31, 1811, at a meeting of the citizens of Vincennes and vicinity, 
a petition was made to the President for protection from the depreda- 
tions of the Indians. The President fully informed as to Indian affairs 
in Indiana Territory, had, earlier in the season, authorized the Governor 
to call out the militia and at his discretion to call into service the Fourth 
Regiment of the United States Infantry under the command of Colonel 
John P. Boyd. The General was instructed to preserve pacific relations 
with the Xorthwestern Indians by the use of all means consistent with 
the protection of the citizens of the territory and the maintenance of 
the rights of the General Government. Governor Harrison having de- 
termined to erect a new fort on the Wabash river, and to break up the 
assemblage of hostile Indians at Prophets Town, ordered Colonel Boyd's 
regiment of infantry to move from the Falls of the Ohio to Vincennes, at 
which place the regulars were to be reinforced by militia. 

Galling Out the Militia. 

About the 1st of September, according to Mr. William Naylor, "Gen- 
eral Harrison sent a requisition to Colonel Joseph Bartholemew to raise 
three companies of militia and one troop of horse and equip them accord- 
ing to law and to march to Vincennes. 

Colonel Bartholomew mustered the companies into service September 
10, 1811, equipped with ten days' rations in their knapsacks, Aveighing 
about thirty-five pounds exclusive of arms and accoutrements. This 
command consisted of Captain Biggers' volunteer company of riflemen 
from Clark County, Captain Spencer's company of mounted riflemen 
from Harrison County, Captain John Xorris' comi)any of infantry, and 
Captain Beggs' troop of horse. This detachment reached Vincennes 
September 20, 1811. John T. Chunn was Lieutenant in Captain Big- 
gers' company, and ^Ir. William Xaylor was a private. The militia 
from the vicinity of Vincennes were under the connnand of Lieutenant 
Colonel Luke Decker. The command consisted of Captain Warrick's 
company, infantry, Captain Hargrove's company, infantry. Captain 
Scott's company, infantry. Captain Wilson's company, infantry, Captani 
Wilkins' company, infantry, and a troop of horse commanded by Cap- 
tain Parke. 



46 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

The Regulars. 

The Fourth Regiment, United States Infantry, consisted of Captain 
Josiah Snelling's company, Captain George Prescott's company, Captain 
William C. Bean's company, Captain Joel Cook's company. Captain 
R. B. Brown's company, Captain Robert C. Barton's company, a com- 
pany commanded by Lieutenant Charles Fuller and a company com- 
manded by Lieutenant O. G. Burton. 

The Organization of the Army. 

The army was organized as follows: "The infantry, both the regu- 
lars and the State militia, are to form one brigade under the com- 
mand of Colonel John P. Boyd as Brigadier General. Lieutenant 
Colonel Miller will command the first line composed of all the reg- 
ular infantry, and Lieutenant Qolonel Bartholomew wdll command 
the second line composed of the militia infantry. These two offi- 
cers will report to and receive orders from Colonel John P. Boyd, 
Josejjh Hamilton Davies, from Kentucky, is appointed and commis- 
sioned Major of Dragoons in the militia and to command the whole of 
the cavalry. Major Daviess will receive orders from the Commander- 
in-Chief. Captain Spier Spencer's company of mounted volunteers will 
act as a detached corps. Captain Spencer is to receive orders from the 
Commander-in-Chief." Captain Robert Buntin was appointed Quarter- 
master for the militia. The time from September 21st to September 
26th was spent in drilling the men and in making other preparations for 
the campaign. September 26, 1811, the army moved northward, encamp- 
ing October 3rd on the east bank of the Wabash river, about two and 
one-half miles north of the site of Terre Haute. 

Fort Harrison. 

The Fort was to be a storehouse of supplies for the army and a pro- 
tection in case of a defeat or disaster in the campaign. Tlie site selected 
was the point nearest the Indian boundary that was suitable for a fort. 
It was on a sharp eastward bend of the river so that there was a good 
view both up and down stream. The land rises twenty-five to thirty feet 
above low water and was covered with light forest of oak, honey locust 
and others, which furnished the timber used in building the fort. The 
fort was about 150 feet square. The west side consisted of a two-story 
block-house about twenty feet square at each comer with barracks between. 
These were stoutly built log houses with shed roofs, the upper stories 
of the block-houses projecting beyond the lower so that the outside of 
the three walls of the fort could be seen from the block-houses. The 
guard house on the north was a log house. The balance of the structure 



The Northwest Territory. 47 

including the bastions on the east, were of palisades in a trench about four 
feet deep. The gate was on the east. The fort was finished October 23, 
1811. Soon afterward the army was called out and Major Joseph Ham- 
ilton Daviess, after a little speech, broke a bottle of spirits on the gate 
and named the structure Fort Harrison. 

Lack of Supplies and Threatened Mutiny. 

The first crop of corn raised in Vigo County was used to feed the 
army while building the fort. Joseph Liston. who helped cultivate the 
crop, was a soldier, and it is supposed that Liston and his companies 
were sent out by General Harrison to raise corn for the army. Other 
supplies were. shipped by the river. "The water was low; the boats were 
delayed; the men were on short rations, and many of them were ready 
to turn back toward Vincennes. General Harrison called them together, 
made a little speech, explaining the situation, and said that no more 
flour and beef should be used in his tent than was assigned to a com- 
mon soldier. He then made an appeal to the army and said if any com- 
pany- or individual wanted to go home they could have the privilege. 
He then said all that were willing to bear the privations of the army 
and want of provisions and go to the Prophet's town would manifest it 
by raising their firearms or swords. There was not one down in the 
whole army, and there was not a murmur heard in the camp afterwards." 

Appeal to Kentucky. 

General Harrison appealed to Kentucky for volunteers as they were 
interested in breaking up the power of the hostile Indians. AYhile build- 
ing the fort Captain Fred Guiger's company of mounted riflemen of the 
Kentucky militia and Peter Funk's company of mounted Kentucky 
militia joined the army. The new fort was garrisoned by a small com- 
pany of men under Lieutenant Colonel James Miller. A number of these 
men were invalids. October 29, 1811, the army took up its march toward 
Prophets Town, the boats having arrived with the belated sup^Dlies. 

March to Fort Boyd. 

October 31st, the army crossed the AVabash at a point about three 
miles below the mouth of the Big Vermillion river. Prophets Town was 
west of the river; the route east of the river was shorter, but mostly 
through forests; the route west of the river was longer, but mostly 
through prairie, less danger of ambuscade. It was considered safer to 
cross near the mouth of the Vermillion with the aid of boats than near 
Prophets Town in the face of the enemy. Near the mouth of the Vermil- 
lion they built a block-house twenty-five feet square, and called it Fort 



48 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

Boyd. Here a Sergeant and eight men were left as guard of boats and 
supplies. "From Fort Boyd General Harrison detailed twelve men, in- 
cluding William Bruce of Captain Dubois' company, to return to Vin- 
cennes for the purpose of keeping the militia alert, and to keep up a daily 
patrol between Vincennes and White river, to prevent the Indians from 
making incursions against the settlers in the rear of the army." This 
account was written by William Bruce. On November 3rd the army 
resumed its march up the river. They waded the Vermillion and other 
streams. It was cold, sometimes below freezing. The roads were bad, 
in some places dangerous, but no Indians were seen until November 6th, 
when they reached the vicinity of Prophets Town. General Harrison 
was urged to attack at once, but he finally turned aside and camped in 
order of battle for the night. Toward morning the Indians attacked the 
camp with great vigor, but they were defeated and driven away. The 
loss of life was heavy on both sides and many were wounded. The In- 
dian town was burned, the dead were buried, and November 9th the re- 
turn march was begun. Fort Harrison was reached November 13th with- 
out special incident. Leaving Captain Snelling with his company of 
regulars at Fort Harrison the army continued its march southward. 

General Harrison''s Farewell Speech. 

At Shakers Town the General made a speech eulogizing the dead and 
praising the bravery and soldierly conduct of the living. The General 
said: "The larger part of the troops had never been in action, and yet 
they behaved in a manner that can never be too much applauded." Gen- 
eral Harrison speaks highly of the officers and men of the Fourth Regi- 
ment and of Posey's company of the Seventh Regiment, commanded by 
Lieutenant Jacob W. Albright of the First Infantry. In short they sup- 
ported the fame of American regulars. The General also says, "that several 
of the militia companies were in no wise inferior to the regulars. He 
mentions specially Spencer's, Warrick's, Guiger's and Robb's companies, 
and calls attention to their heavy losses. And that Wilson's and Scott's 
companies charged with the regular troops and proved themselves worthy 
of doing so. Norris' company behaved well. Hargrove's and Wilkins' 
companies had no opportunity of distinguishing themselves or I am sat- 
isfied they would have done so." 

Some Resnlts of the Campaign. 

Dillon says that among the immediate results of the Tippecanoe ex- 
pedition were the breaking up of the Indian settlements at Prophets 
Town, the destruction of the Prophet's influence among the northwestern 
Indian tribes, the defeat of the plans of Tecumseh, and a temporary relief 
to the frontier settlements from Indian depredations. 



The Northwest Territory. 49 

The battle at Tippecanoe was considered a great victory. The adven- 
tures incident to this campaign furnished fireside talks for many years 
in both Indiana and Kentucky. It became an unwritten law of those 
days that new counties should be named after some hero of Tippecanoe 
as: Spencer, Tipton, Daviess, White, Parke. Warrick, Dubois. Barthol- 
omew, Floyd and Randolph. Many of the men who perished in the cam- 
paign were volunteers, not on duty as soldiers, but as men, as citizens, 
who recognized a crisis in the affairs of Indiana, a crisis in the affairs 
of Kentucky, and that duty to humanity called them to arms and perhaps 
to death. 

Fort Harrison as a Refuge for Settlers. 

Fort Harrison was built as a refuge in case of defeat at Tippecanoe. 
It served the army as a storage for supplies. When the army disbanded 
Captain Snelling and company were left as a protection for the settlers 
on the frontier. The victory at Tippecanoe so crippled the power of the 
Indians that there was no danger of a large body of hostile warriors. 
But the successes of the British and the Indians at the opening of the 
War of 1812 did encourage a number of small war parties to invade 
the Indiana settlements, killing stock, burning houses and murdering 
settlers. Block-houses were built on the frontiers, one on the farm of 
William Bruce, east of Vincennes, large enough to protect several fami- 
lies. Sometime during the summer of 1812 Captain Zachary Taylor was 
made Commandant at Fort Harrison with a garrison of fifty men. It 
was a sickly season, and seldom more than one-third of the force were 
fit for duty. Many families moved into the Fort and block-houses, the 
men going out to do a little farming or hunting. 

The Siege of Fort Harrison and Subsequent Events. 

September 3rd, occurred the Pigeon Roost Massacre in which twenty- 
four persons were killed and the same day two men were killed near Fort 
Harrison. In the afternoon of September 4th a body of Indians ap- 
proached the Fort under a flag of truce, asking for a conference regarding 
provisions. CajDtain Taylor, suspecting treachery, would not treat with 
them, but made careful preparations to resist an attack by the Indians. 
Beside the garrison there were several citizens in the Fort, as Joseph 
Dickson. Peter :Mallory and others, and there were several women and 
children in the Fort for protection. About midnight the attack was made 
and immediately came the cry of "Fire.*' The southwest block-house con- 
taining the stores of the contractor was on fire. The citizens and their 
wives under Dr. Wm. Clark battled with the fire, and the soldiers battled 
with the Indians. Captain Taylor ordered out buckets and soon there were 
buckets of water passing from the Avell to the fire. By the time the door 



50 Fort Harrison Ceritennial, 1812-1912. 

was broken out the fire had reached a quantity of whiskey and there was 
no hope of saving the block-house. The roof next the barracks was 
thrown off and the barracks kept so wet that the fire did not spread to 
them. The burning of the block-house would make an opening in the 
walls of the Fort about twenty feet wide. When the fire was under con- 
trol a number of men were put to work building a barricade across this 
opening, and before the fire had cooled down so that persons could pass 
through, a baiTicade had been completed and the walls of the Fort were 
again suitable for defense. During the fire the women drew the water 
from the well and the men passed it up to the roof. In a short time the 
water got so low in the well that they could not dijD the bucket full. Then 
Julia Lambert said, "Let me down into the well and I will fill the 
buckets." In doing this Julia dijoped up so much sand that after a 
while the well was made deeper so that the buckets dipped full again. 
This was talked of as a miracle. It is said that Julia never recovered 
from the fatigue and exposure in the well. xA^fter the fire was under 
control, the women loaded the guns for the men and the girls moulded 
bullets. Soon after the attack, two frightened men jumped over the 
palisade, thinking it safer outside than inside a burning Fort. One was 
killed in a few minutes. After a while the other, severely wounded, 
crawled back to the shelter of the walls of the Fort. The contest was 
kept up until morning. As it began to get light so that the fire from the 
Fort became more effective, the Indians retired, giving up the fight. 
They drove away the cattle, shot the horses they could not catch, and 
killed a number of hogs. The losses were two killed and two wounded 
in the Fort, one killed and one wounded outside the Fort. Two killed 
in the field September 3rd and two were killed on the 4th as they were 
coming into the shelter of the Fort. Total loss seven killed and three 
wounded. Nothing is known of the number of Indians engaged in the 
attack and nothing is known about their losses, but they were thought to 
have been small. When news of the attack on Fort Harrison reached 
Vincennes, about 1,200 men under Colonel William Russell, marched to 
the relief of the Fort. The force consisted of Colonel Wilcox's Regiment 
of Kentucky Volunteers, three companies of rangers under Colonel Jor- 
dan, and two regiments of Indiana militia under Colonel Evans. When 
these troops without opposition reached the Fort September 16th, the 
Indians had retired. The Kentucky Volunteers remained at the Fort 
for some time. The others returned to Vincennes. 

Early in October, 1812, General Hopkins with an army of about 
2,000 mounted riflemen moved northward from Vincennes for the pur- 
pose of destroying villages of hostile Indians on the Wabash and Illinois 
rivers. They crossed the river near Fort Harrison and the Fort was to 
serve as a refuge in case of accident. The expedition was a failure. The 



The Northwest Temntory. 51 

men turned back in spite of efforts of General Hopkins, Major Lee, Cap- 
tain Taylor and others. 

Another expedition under General Hopkins reached Fort Harrison 
November 5, 1812, on the way to Prophets Town and vicinity. Captain 
Zachary Taylor connnanded a small company of rej^ulars on this expe« 
dition. The expedition was successful and several villages were de- 
stroyed. General Hopkins speaks highly of the behavior of officers and 
men, especially of Captain Z. Taylor. Again Fort Harrison was the base 
of operations. 



Chapter VIII. 

DISTINGUISHED MEN AT FORT HARRISON 
AND TIPPECANOE 

By J. T. ScovELL. 

William Henry Hareison was a great man. He was successful as a 
Greneral, as Governor, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs and as a poli- 
tician, having been elected ninth President of the United States in 1840. 
He came from a distinguished family, his father, Benjamin Harrison, 
signed the Declaration of Independence; was a delegate to the first 
Colonial Congress; was elected Governor of Virginia in 1782, and was 
twice re-elected. William Henry Harrison was born February 9, 1773. 
He abandoned the study of medicine for the military. He was commis- 
sioned Ensign in 1791. He served with General Wayne in the campaign 
against the Indians in 1794. Was Governor of Indiana Territory 1801- 
1813. At the same time he was Superintendent of Indian Affairs he 
built Fort Harrison, and gained a victory over the Indians at Tippecanoe 
in the fall of 1811. In 1812 Governor Harrison was commissioned Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Kentucky forces, later he was made Brigadier 
General in the United States Army, and assigned to the command of the 
Northwestern army. In general he was successful in his military opera- 
tions against the British and Indians, defeating the joint forces at the 
battle on the Thames, thus regaining all that General Hull lost. William 
Henry Harrison was especially successful in dealing with the Indians, 
concluding many treaties with them. Tecumseh and others were hostile; 
Winemac, Captain Logan, and others were generally friendly. After 
the battle on the Thames General Harrison resigned his commission. 
William Henry Harrison was a member of Congress from Ohio 1816- 
1819, and United States Senator 1825-1828. In 1836 he was defeated as 
Whig candidate for the Presidency, but was elected ninth President of 
the Uunited States in 1840. He died April 4, 1841, one month after his 
inauguration. President Harrison was a strong and convincing speaker, 
and in general was popular with the people. General Harrison, a grand- 
son of William Henry Harrison, was elected twenty-third President of 
the United States in 1888. He was born on August 20, 1833. He was 
a distinguished lawyer in IndianajDolis. He was breveted Brigadier 
General in the Civil War; was United States Senator 1881-1887. He was 
elected to the Presidency in 1888. Benjamin Harrison was an excejDtion- 
ally strong man, and made a good President, but he lacked some elements 
of popularity so characteristic of his great ancestor, and failed of re- 

52 



Distinguished Men at Fort Hanison and Tippecanoe. 53 

election. It is seldom that three such conspicuously strong men occur 
in one family. The celebration of the Centennial of Fort Harrison em- 
phasizes our relations with these distinguished men. 

There are a great number of descendants of General Harrison. Among 
whom are John Scott Harrison, a brother of President Benjamin Harri- 
son, lives in Kansas City, Mo. 

Mrs. Anna H. Morris, a sister of President Benjamin Harrison, lives 
in Minneapolis. 

Colonel Russell B. Harrison, son of President Benjamin Harrison, 
lives in Indianapolis. William Henry Harrison, son of Russell Harri- 
son, born in Terre Haute, lives in Omaha, and daughter, Mrs. Martina 
Harrison Williams, lives in Norfolk, Va. 

Mrs. J. R. McKee, daughter of President Benjamin Harrison, and 
her children, Benjamin Harrison McKee and Mary Lodge McKee, live in 
New York. 

Colonel John P. Boyd, of the Fourth Regiment of the United States 
Infantry. He helped to build Fort Harrison. In the battle General 
Harrison says, "He manifested equal zeal and bravery in carrying into 
execution my orders." Colonel Boyd was shortly after Major General 
Boyd, and in command of the Department of New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. 

Marston G. Clark came to Vincennes as a volunteer private in on© 
of the militia companies. His"" standing as a citizen and capacity as a 
man prompted General Harrison to make him Brigade Inspector on his 
personal staff. He served with credit through the campaign. After- 
wards he took prominent position in civil affairs. Among other things, 
he was one of the commissioners appointed by the Governor to establish 
Vigo County. 

Captain Robert Buntin, Quartermaster of the Brigade, had seen ac- 
tive service before in the Indian wars. He served with and later wrote 
an interesting account of the defeat of General St. Clair in 1791. 

TomssAiNT Dubois, Captain of Guides and Spies. He was an influen- 
tial man with the Indians and early pioneers. United States Senator 
Fred T. Dubois of Idaho is a grandson of Captain Dubois. Dubois 
County, Indiana, was named for Captain Dubois. 

John Tipton, promoted on the field to Captain in command of 
Captain Spencer's company after the death of Captain Spencer 
and of First Lieutenant Richard McMahon. He afterward became Major, 
then Colonel, and then General Tipton. After the war, General Tipton 
was a member of the State Legislature, and in 1831 became United States 
Senator. General Tipton in 1829 bought the ground on which the Battle 



54 Fort Harrison Gentennml^ 1812-1912. 

of Tippecanoe was fought, and in 1836 conveyed sixteen and one-half 
acres of it to the State of Indiana. Tipton County was named for Gren- 
eral Tipton. 

William Bruce, a volunteer in Captain Toussaint Dubois' company 
of guides and spies, lived in the neighborhood of Vincennes. He was 
Captain and later Major Bruce of the Indiana militia He is an ancestor 
of Professor Bruce of the Indiana State Normal School 

Captain Andrew Wilkins, of the Indiana militia. The Captain's 
nephew, Andrew Wilkins, was for several years Sheriff of Vigo County, 
and later Clerk of the county. 

Captain James Bigger of a company of riflemen of the Indiana 
militia. The company was from Clark County. 

Isaac Naylor, Sergeant in Captain Bigger's company. Afterward 
Judge at Crawfordsville, Ind. 

William Naylor, private in Captain Bigger's company. Business 
man in Terre Haute, also Assessor and Justice of the Peace, and author 
of interesting reminiscences of the Tippecanoe campaign. 

Davis Floyd, Sergeant in Captain Beggs' company. Floyd County, 
was named for Sergeant Floyd. 

Major George Croghan, Aide-de-Camp of Colonel John P. Boyd. 
About twenty years old. Afterward distinguished himself at the defense 
of Forts Meigs and Stephenson in 1813. 

James Hite, private in Peter Funk's company of Kentucky mounted 
militia. About eighteen years of age. He is said to have acted bravely 
in battle. For many years a citizen of Terre Haute. 



Chapter IX. 

TERRE HAUTE UNDER FOUR FLAGS 

"Terre Haute Under Four Flags" is one of the historical sketches 
prepared by EdAvard Gilbert, and read in the city schools. The Avork of 
Mr. Gilbert was undertaken under the direction of John Morton Chap- 
ter, Sons of the American Revolution. 

How many of the school children know that this land has been under 
four flags? At difl'erent times four separate nations have held dominion 
over our country. It is not meant that each has held some part of the 
United States, but over this very land on which Terre Haute now stands. 

And these four flags do not include the Indians or aboriginal inhabi- 
tants. The Indians did not have flags. There is nothing in Indian 
archeology that shows anything that stood to them as the flags of civ- 
ilized nations stand to their people. Some of the first known tribes of 
parts of America had what they called "Totem poles." These generally 
had carved on them emblems of the tribe or family, such as a beaver, bear 
or a fox. These were fixtures and stood where for the time the tribe 
might be located ; they were not carried about and there was supposed to 
be but one for each tribe. 

The first claim to this land by an European was more than three hun- 
dred years ago, when the Spanish adventurer, DeSoto, landed on the 
shores of Tampa Bay, Florida, and traversed a great part of the western 
country. Though he did not come so far north as Indiana, he took for- 
mal possession of the whole country which was watered by the Mississippi 
river and its tributaries, in the name of the King of Spain. Besides, the 
Pope, who claimed jurisdiction over the whole world, had given North 
America to the King of Spain. 

This part of the world was first explored by Frenchmen. About the 
year 1680 men of that nation were the first to tread this land. These 
were called "voyaguers" or "couriers de bois." Their trading or explor- 
ing expeditions were voyages made up or down the rivers or lakes, as it 
might be. from the points where the first settlements were located. 

The "voyaguers" were the forerunners of such explorers as LaSalle, 
Marquette and Joliette, who made great exploring expeditions and took 
possession in the name of the King of France. This was often done with 
elaborate ceremonies, especially if. as usual, they were accompanied by 
priests or missionaries. Sometimes it was done by hewing a cross on the 
flattened side of a great tree, or carving on a rock the arms of the King 
of France. 

55 



56 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

For many years there was undisturbed French possession, undisputed 
by any other European nation. At times there was much trouble with 
the Spanish, who invaded the land from the west side of the Mississippi 
river, who established mission posts, nominally for the conversion of the 
heathen, but more for the sake of the trade with the Indians. This trade 
was very profitable for, to the Indians, everything the foreigners had 
was new, and consequently, so they thought, very valuable. The Indians 
would give great stacks of the most costly furs for the cheapest trinkets. 
These furs were sent to Europe and sold at enormous profits. 

There was for years, in places, much controversy between the French 
and Spanish for control, which ultimately resulted in the Spanish being 
confined to the west side of the Mississippi river and the French to the 
east side. 

The French and the French flag held sway for about ninety years, 
until, in consequence of the capture of Quebec by the English General, 
Wolfe, in 1759, all French possessions in this part of North America 
passed to the hands and under the flag of England. 

So our land was English territory until 1778 during the Revolution- 
ary War, when, by the capture of Kaskaskia, on the east bank of the 
Mississippi river and Vincennes on the east bank of the Wabash by Gen- 
eral George Rogers Clark, all this western country came under the con- 
trol of the American Confederation, and the Star Spangled Banner. 

As a consequence of this campaign and capture by General Clark, 
when the treaty of peace was made between the United States and Eng- 
land, at the close of the Revolutionary War, the western boundary of our 
country was made the Mississippi river, whereas, but for that expedition, 
it would have been the Allegheny mountains or the Ohio river, leaving 
all to the north and west as part of Canada. 

There was more or less trouble with the Indians all the time after 
the peace with England. The Indian nature is so different from that of 
the Whites that they have never been able to live together in peace, except 
when the Indians were under a strong control backed by force. All ex- 
periences with them shows that force was the only characteristic they 
respected. As an example: After the treaty there were a number of forts 
throughout the West that had to be transferred. The English soldiers 
remained in some instances for months. It is told that at one of these 
there was a large English garrison and that but few Americans were in 
the party to succeed them. The Indians that were about and witnessed 
the transfer were utterly disgusted at their English friends for giving 
up the fort. They said it was cowardly for so large a force to surrender 
to a smaller, and without even a fight. They could not understand that 
the war was over and the two nations were now friends. 



Terre Haute Under Four Flags. 57 

The Indian character had little respect for obligations or treaties. 
It is true many treaties have been neglected or violated on the part of the 
Whites, but always at least with the pretense of an excuse. The Indian 
characteristic was, when there w^as a chance in case of a fight, then fight. 

For nearly thirty years, until the Battle of Fort Harrison in 1812, 
there was always trouble with them and danger to all who lived away 
from the larger settlements. The defeat of the Indians at that battle so 
completely ended all depredations that there has been peace all over this 
part of the country ever since, for a hundred years. And until there is 
no one living who personally knew of or had personal experience of dan- 
ger from Indians. It is this century of peace that we propose to cele- 
brate this September, as the beginning of a new school year and century 
for the school children of Terre Haute. 



Chapter X. 

THE BLUE GRASS OF FORT HARRISON PRAIRIE 
By C. T. Jewett. 

Fort Harrison's lasting reward to the valiant Kentucky Mounted Rifle- 
men for the important j)art they played in building and defending the 
historic post on the bank of the Wabash was the seed for the now famous 
blue grass. Sod of the Fort Harrison prairie, transplanted in the beauti- 
ful hills of Kentucky, gave to that Commonwealth a State name that is 
historic. 

The incident of the campaign of 1812 was almost forgotten in the 
stirring events of the half century following, but from oft repeated tra- 
dition and musty letters of the soldiers, authentic evidence is supplied 
to bear out the claim that Indiana really is the original blue grass state. 
Not wath the intention of taking the least bit of honor from the coun- 
try south of the Ohio is this item set down. What the Wabash Valley 
and the highlands of Terre Haute gave to the followers of William 
Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor, Kentucky has given to the world. 

In the campaign against Tippecanoe, when Fort Harrison was built, 
were volunteers from Kentucky. These men provided their own mounts 
and not the least concern to them was suitable provision for their horses. 
Next to the beautiful women of his Commonwealth the thoroughbred 
holds the affections of the true Kentuckian. 

When the soldiers went into camp during the erection of Fort Har- 
rison the army of the Northwest Territory was short of provisions for 
men, and there was little forage for the horses. The Kentuckians were 
willing to go hungry if need be, but they insisted that their horses suffer 
nothing from neglect or lack of feed. This point they were not slow in 
impressing on Captain Buntin, Quartermaster of the Fort. 

Their complaint called attention to the fact that there was "no feed 
for the horses except that coarse grass out on the prairie." One of the 
letters from a soldier to his home told of the incident. Quoting from that 
message we have the following: 

"Captain Buntin, who had been here before, replied. 'Turn your horses 
out on that coarse grass and listen to what he says about it.' Morgan 
took to it like a duck to water and in a few days I had never seen him 
with so sleek a coat and generally in such fine fettle." 

58 



The Blue Grass of Fort Harrison Prairie. 59 

The Kentiickians were not slow to appreciate the ofFerinjr of the 
prairie. When the time came to return home each saddle bag contained 
a parcel of seed of blue grass. The soil of Kentucky was rich and soon 
the blue grass took root. The hardy vegetation of the Fort Harrison 
prairie became the luxurious blue grass of the hills of Kentucky. 

Not less patriotic Kentuckian than Henry Clay attested to the truth 
of this incident. In the prime of his eventful life, when the country 
rang with his eloquent voice the repeatedly recalled what he confessed 
was Kentucky's debt to Indiana and the AVabash valley — the blue grass. 

Terre Hauteans of the present day offer as their authority for this 
the frequent statement of the late Judge John G. Crane, an intimate 
of Henry Clay. Judge Crane often repeated the words of the great 
Kentuckian Avho honored Indiana in his graceful acknowledgment that 
Kentucky was proud to be known as the Blue Grass State, and re- 
vered the soil of Fort Harrison prairie — -the first home of the blue grass. 

COPPER AND COAL MINES ON THE WABASH 
By Edward Gilbert. 

In one of General Harrison's reports he speaks of the difficulty of 
securing the inclusion in a treaty of certain lands which he much desired, 
but was objected to by the Indians, partly on account of the location 
thereon of a valuable copper mine. He speaks of having seen samples 
of the copper, one of which he had sent to ^Ir. Jefferson, in 1802, The 
immediate location of this mine was held a profound secret by the In- 
dians, but General Harrison supposed it to be somewhere on the west 
side of the AVabash between about where Lafayette now stands and Vin- 
cennes. General Harrison no doubt hoped that this would in time prove 
a valuable item in the possession of Indiana. Later research proved 
that the supply of copper was limited to light washings of several small 
creeks. And the hopes of development have never been realized. 

At the same time it is of record that when the scouts of the Tippe- 
canoe army advanced up the river ahead of the army, they found several 
settlers freely working drifts for the coal that cropped out. Ensign 
Tipton, in his journal of his investigations, niakt's many references to 
these coal mines. 

In those days copper Avas an object of great worth, for it was scarce 
and of great value. AA^hile the forests were being cut down to clear the 
land, coal as a fuel was not so interesting. In these modern time.s. con- 
ditions are reversed. The cojiper mine has vanished from memory, but 
those drifts of coal have opened the way to the discovery, fifty years 
later, of the enormous deposits under this whole region, which have 
proven the basis of all our prosperity. 



60 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

THE FIRST CROP OF CORN ON FORT HARRISON PRAIRIE 

By Edward Gilbert. 

Early in the spring of 1811 there appeared five men, in the vicinity 
of what is now the southeast part of the City of Terre Haute. These 
men proceeded to break up the land and plant a crop of seventy-five 
acres of corn. Why they selected this remote place was a mystery at 
the time. By their own statement there were no inhabitants of the coun- 
try roundabout, nearer than Carlisle, the town long the capital of Sulli- 
van County, some thirty miles away. Where were they to get a mar- 
ket for their crop ? While there is no historical authority for the state- 
ment, it is believed that it was an example of the long headedness of 
General Harrison, who foresaw the coming expedition, and sent these 
men here to prepare the crop for the use of his army that was to march 
through the country in the Fall. It is told how four of the five were 
wary of reports of Indian threats, and being willing to abandon their 
enterprise, the fifth bought out their interests and secured the crop. It 
was, as expected, later sold either to the army direct or to the contrac- 
tors who supplied the expedition. 

It is true that one of the men was a soldier enlisted in the army, and 
that he disappears from the rolls for a time. 

Whatever may have been the inducement that led to the enterprise, 
it is admitted by all historians that then was the first plowing of Fort 
Harrison prairie for cultivation by civilized people. 

PICTURE OF FORT HARRISON 
By Edward Gilbert. 

The picture of Fort Harrison presented to our readers is a photo- 
graphic copy of a print made and copyrighted in 1848 by Luther G. 
Hager and James A. Modesitt. 

It can well be called the only existing, authentic picture portrayal of 
what Fort Harrison looked like. 

Luther G. Hager was a young and enthusiastic amateur artist who 
came here in 1836. James A. Modesitt was a son of Dr. Charles B. 
Modesitt, one of the early pioneers of the county, who was at and in 
Fort Harrison for some time during its maintenance as a post. He was 
the father of Mrs. Chauncey Warren, perhaps the last person to live 
who had known Fort Harrison as such. 

On the occasion of a "Grand Barbecue" held at Fort Harrison Grove, 
half a mile east of the Fort, in October, 1848, during the campaign 
which resulted in the election of General Zachary Taylor to the Presi- 
dency of the United States, these two young men of Terre Haute filled 
with the same patriotic sentiments that have inspired this centennial 



Picture of Fort Harrison. 61 

observance, undertook to preserve the Fort by the aid of the "printer's 
art." 

Luther G. Hager had never seen the Fort in its original state, but 
James A. Modesitt, as a boy, had. They consulted with several then 
living citizens who "knew it like a book," among them Curtis Gilbert, 
who had spent near three j^ears under the shadow of its stockade. They 
made the picture to represent it as it had been. 

Originally the block-houses were covered b}^ shed roofs, slanting in- 
ward. In rebuilding, after the destruction of one by fire during the 
battle, and, later, in repairing the other the hip roofs, as shown in the 
picture, were put on. 

These young men who made the picture sold scores of them at the 
"barbecue." They also utilized some of the old walnut logs of the 
stockade, which were yet solid, turning them into walking canes which 
they sold to visitors. It is the regret of the Historical Committee that 
they are not able to find one of these canes to show at this time. 

Fort Harrison Grove, some time the home of Judge Elisha M. Hunt- 
ington, of the Indiana Supreme Court, was a beautiful hillside, studded 
with massive maple and oak trees. It was a favorite picnic ground. 
Many a venerable man and woman of Terre Haute remembers how 
they looked forward to the annual Sunday school picnic, a great feature 
of which was the ride up and back on a canal boat. 



Chapter XL 

THE CENTENNIAL OF THE BATTLE OF 
FORT HARRISON 

By James B. Harris. 

A few miles north of the City of Terre Haute lies the beautiful site 
of Old Fort Harrison, conspicuous in the history of the territory of the 
Northwest for its great influence in the national life. It is located on 
high ground at a bend in the Wabash river and affords a beautiful and 
commanding view of the country beyond for many miles. 

The United States Government has from time to time been solicited 
to assist in the acquisition and i^reservation of such historic spots, and 
the National officials, recognizing that the patriotic spirit of the people 
is largely promoted by favorable action, has adopted a liberal policy, 
friendly to such appeals. 

Among the many purely patriotic societies with unselfish ends and 
exclusively devoted to patriotism is, "The Sons of the American Revolu- 
tion." That organization has been regularly incorporated by the Con- 
gress of the United States. 

There is a National Society, State Societies in nearly every State of 
the Union, and local chapters. Also, there are chapters under the con- 
trol of the National Society located in Hawaii and the Phillipines, of 
Americans living there, and in Paris, France, where descendants of the 
Frenchmen who heli>ed in the Revolutionary War are also members. 
The organization is under the system of our National and State and 
local form of political organization. 

"The Sons of the American Revolution" is composed of lineal de- 
scendants of those American colonists and of their French allies who 
took part in the American struggle for independence, either in military, 
naval or civil action. 

The purpose and object of such corporations are declared to be 
patriotic, historical and educational, and shall include those designed 
to perpetuate the memory of the men who, by their services or sacrifices 
during the war of the American Revolution, achieved the independence 
of the American people; to unite and promote fellowship among their 
descendants; to inspire them and the community at large with a more 
profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our 
forefathers; to encourage historical research in relation to the American 
Revolution; to acquire and preserve the records of the individual serv- 

62 



«*e >r-^ 
















■iH 



lifiii:;^ 




/: — 



The Centennial of the Battle of Fort TlarA^on. 63 

ices of the ])atri()ts of the war as well as documents, relics and land- 
marks; to celebrate the anniversaries of the prominent events of that 
period: to foster true patriotism and extend institutions of freedom. 

The story told elsewhere ati'ords justification for the appeal for the 
acquisition, improvement and dedication of Fort Harrison site as a Na- 
tional Park by the government of the United States. 

The conception of a Fort Flarrison Centennial celebration has long 
been entertained in the John Morton Chapter of the Indiana Societj- 
of the Sons of the American lievolution, located at Terre Haute. The 
project was brought before the annual meeting of the Indiana State 
Society of the Sons of the American Revolution at Indianapolis in 1907 
by the delegates from John Morton Chapter, and was received with 
grand acclamation, but no action could be taken at that time. The next 
year, February, 1908, the State meeting was held at Terre Haute. There 
was a large attendance and the compatriots were conveyed in carriages 
to the old site and the meeting was held there in a modern building, in 
the construction of which a few of the old logs of the Fort stockade had 
been retained and which were carefully and reverently inspected by the 
visitors. 

Resolutions looking to the preservation of the site of Fort Harrison 
and its dedication as a National Park were presented by Compatriot 
James B. Harris, of John Morton Chapter, Terre Haute. Mr. Harris 
said: 

"At a meeting of John Morton Chapter. Sons of the American Revo- 
lution, the desirability of securing Fort Harrison for a National His- 
torical Park was discussed and a resolution passed looking toward its 
acquisition for this purpose. It is desired to enlist the interest, ap- 
proval and assistance of the Local, State and National Societies, S. A. R., 
and also the general public and the State and National Governments. 

"It is appropriate that the Sons of the American Revolution should 
inaugurate this movement as it is the mission of the organization to in- 
spire sentiments of loyalty, patriotism and veneration. 

"We must preserve the sites of these actions that our children's chil- 
dren may read them and visit them and become enthused with patriotism. 
Nothing could show so baneful a lack of patriotism as allowing this 
evidence of the deeds of our ancestors to go unmarked, to fade in memory 
and become mythical by loss of records and markers from neglect or de- 
struction for conunercial ends. 

"The Fort was built and named in honor of a lineage noted for 
patriotism and statesmanship and prominently devoted in patriotism to 
the National service for several generations. 

"The following resolutions are therefore ottered for adoption: 



64 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

'■'•Resolved^! That the Indiana Society of the Sons of the American Eev- 
olution approve and recommend that the site of Fort Harrison be secured 
and dedicated as a National Historic Park. 

''■Resolved, That this action shall also be placed before the National 
Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the approval and 
influence of that organization be requested to aid in said purpose. 

'"''Resolved, That the President of the Society appoint a committee to 
formulate a memorial to the Congress of the United States that the Na- 
tional Government take appropriate action to acquire and dedicate the 
site of old Fort Harrison as a National Historic Park." 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Indiana Society 
of the Sons of the American Revolution, 

At a regular meeting of John Morton Chapter held April 1, 1912, 
it was resolved to call a meeting of all citizens of Terre Haute for the 
purpose of fonning a Fort Harrison Centennial Association. 

Such a meeting was held at the rooms of the Terre Haute Commer- 
cial Club on April 5, 1912. There was a large and enthusiastic attend- 
ance and the organization was completed. The aim and object was de- 
cided to be "to provide for the suitable patriotic observance of the one 
hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Fort Harrison, fought between 
the United States soldiers, under Captain Za chary Taylor, and the hos- 
tile Indians, under Chief Lenar, at Fort Harrison, on the banks of the 
Wabash, September 4, 1812. 

"To initiate a movement for the proper and permanent marking of 
the battle field. 

"To collect and preserve historical records and records of the battle. 

"To provide a suitable memorial to the men and women who partici- 
pated in the campaign that made possible the peaceful settlement of the 
Wabash valley." 

The following officers and committees were selected : 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 

Thatcher A. Parker, President. 

Miss Mary Alice Warren, Vice-President. 

Mrs. Mary Murphy, Vice-President. 

Lawrence Burget, Vice-President. 

David J. Williams, Vice-President. 

Harry T. Schloss, Vice-President. 

Will W. Adamson, Vice-President. 

Clarence F. Williams, Vice-President. 

Capt. a. W. Dudley, Vice-President. 

Edward Gilbert, Secretary. 

George W. Krietenstein, Treasurer. 



The Centennial of the Battle of Fort llarnson. ■ 65 



COMMITTEES 

On Finance— W\ W. Adamsox, Chairman. 

On /Municipal and State — Adolph Herz, Chainnan. 

On Publicity— W. L. Staiil, Chairman. 

On Buildings and Grounds— Mxx Ehrmann, Chairman. 

On Transportation— ^^iiAAA^i Penn, Chairman. 

On Parades— C. T. .Tewett, Chairman. 

On Invitations— 'Presidb:st W. W. Parsons, Chairman. 

On Speakers— D. J. Williams, Chairman. 

On Decorations — Marx Myers, Chairman. 

On Schools and School Children— Ht^miFAiT Briggs, Chairman. 

On History— Db.. J. T. Scovell, Chairman. 



ADVISORY COMMITTEE 

George O. Dix, Chairman. Judge C. M. Fortune. 

W. R. McKeen. President C. Leo Mees. 

President W. W. Parsons. John L. Crawford. 

Crawford Fairbanks. Adolph Herz. 

David W. Henry. Judge John E. Cox. 

Rabbi E. Leipziger. Chapman J. Root. 

The present result of these efforts is this observance of the Centennial 
of the Battle of Fort Harrison, September 4, 1912. 



Chapter XII. 



ROLL OF MEMBERS OF JOHN MORTON CHAPTER, 

INDIANA SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE 

AMERICAN REVOLUTION 



Floyd Allen. 

William Ward Adamson. 
Frank Baird. 
David Bacon. 
Herbert Briggs. 
Ealph Albin Coltharp. 
Orville E. Conner. 
Charles Edward Conner. 
George Oscar Dix. 
Charles R. Dryer. 
Jacob Drennon Early. 
Charles E. Erwin. 
Linus A. Evans. 
Isaac Flenner. 
Edward Gilbert. 
Chalmers Martin Hamill. 
William A. Hamilton. 
Lloyd B. Hamilton. 
Paul Bitner Hamilton. 
James B. Harris. 
Benjamin G. Hudnut. 



Charles Timothy Jewett. 

John Patton Kimmel. 

Earle Portmess Lee. 

John M. Manson. 

William Payne Martin. 

Austin A. Miller. 

Thatcher Anspenk Parker. 

Lemuel Ford Perdue (deceased), 

Eli Hilton Redman. 

James Ellis Somes. 

John D. Steele. 

Robert J. Scovell. 

Henry Keys Stormont. 

Richard Sibley. 

George Albert Schaal. 

Dalton B. Shourds. 

Wilbur Topping. 

Horace E. Tune. 

David Russ Wood. 

H. E. Wildy. 



66 



Chapter XIII. 

ROLL OF DESCENDANTS. 

One of the objects of the Fort Harrison Centennial Association was 
to collect and preserve records of the descendants of the pioneers of Fort 
Harrison. The connnittee gave every ejffort to obtain names, but in many 
instances all trace of families has been lost. The following names are 
from the register of the Association, and are of the known living descend- 
ants of those who assisted in building and maintaining the fort or par- 
ticipated in its defense: 

Descendants of William Heiwy Harrison. 

Russell B. Harrison, John Scott Harrison, Mrs. Sallie H. Devin, Mrs. 
Anna H. Morris, Miss Anna H. Devin, S. H. Devin, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Reed, Mr. Sam S. Morris, Jr., Allen Morris, Mrs. Charles Stevenson, 
Mrs. Madge Curtiss, Scott Harrison, Mrs. William T. Buckner, Scott 
Harrison Morris, Scott Harrison Eaton, Mrs. John C. Lewis, Seymour 
Hunt, John Scott Harrison, W. H. Harrison, Miss J. W. Farrar, 
James Findley Harrison, Arch I. Harrison, Captain J. T. Taylor, 
Mrs. Bessie Ogden, Mrs. D. W. McClung, A. T. Harrison, Lytle Har- 
rison, J. S. Harrison, Jr., Mrs. M. S. Robinson, Benjamin Harrison, 
William H. Harrison, Mrs. J. R. McKee, Mrs. Benjamin Harrison 

Descendants of Robert Buntin. 

Mrs. Emma Buntin Wagner, Miss Frances Buntin, Davis C. Buntin, 
Mr. Henry Shannon Buntin's children, Touissiant C. Buntin, George 
C. Buntin, Mr. RoUin H. Buntin. 

Descendants of Susan Spencer Wilkins. 

Noyes E. Anderson, Ora Davis, Mrs. Addie Davis, Charles M. Trout, 
Susan Early Trout, George D. Wilkins, John E. Wilkins, Edwin 
Wilkins, David Wilkins, Mrs. George Wilkins, Mrs. Beulah Wilkins. 

Descendants of Major John T. Chunn. 

Charles Chunn, Miss Caroline Chunn, J. T. Chunn, Miss Maoma 
Hale, Mrs. Bruce Whitesell, S. C. Wright, David Wright, W. G. 
Wright, Margaret Wright, Mrs. Levi Taylor, Mrs. E. D3-er, Miss 
Maria Van Dyne. 

Descendants of Stephen D. Handy. 

William A. Handy, Sol. Handy, Mrs. Charles Prevo, W. W. Handy. 

67 



68 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

Descendants of Peter Malloi^. 

Mrs. John Tobery, Isaac Brady, Scott Green. 

Descendants of y\'in. Naylor. 

W. N. Garrtrell, Charles Xaylor, Louis Naylor, Mrs. Anna Naylor, 
Miss Marie Naylor, Samuel S. Shumard, John W. Swindler, Glenn 
Swindler, Mrs. Lena Swindler, Lena Swindler-Spencer, Esther 
Swindler, Harrison Swindler, Mayme Swindler. 

Descendant of Major John D. White. 
James M. Chandler. 

Descendants of General John A. Thornas. 

Charles Thomas, Ralph L. Thomas, Frank H. Thomas, John D. 
Thomas, William H. Thomas, George M. Thomas, Charles L. Thomas, 
William Tichenor, W. E. Robinson, Overton Thomas, Clem Thomas, 
George Thomas, George W. Shanks, Ed. F. Moster, W. H. McLaugh- 
lin, Raymond Neice, Victor Vancheiser, Ernest Lackard, Willard P. 
Hedrick, Robert W. Thomas. 

Descendants of Joseph Liston. 

Mrs. Thomas Donham, Gilbert Liston, Moses Pierson and family, 
Isaac Pierson. 

Descendants of John Harrh'ilton. 

Andrew C. Nelson and Sister C. Nelson. 

Descendants of Isaac and Julia Lambert. 

Mrs. Irene Casto, Mrs. Virginia Eppert, Mrs. J. S. Hamaker, Mrs. 
Alice H. Harris, Mrs. Jane Kelley, James Laverty, Geo. W. Laverty, 
C. H. Lambert, Mrs. Louise Moore, Mrs. Sarah C. Meredith, Paul J. 
Meredith, John McCune, R. W. McCune, Mrs. Josephine Pickard, 
Mrs. Almeda Thompson, Mrs. Ermine Ten Brook. 

Descendant of Rev. Soldier Woodruff. 
Rula Woodruff. 

Descendants of John Dickson. 

Mrs. Charles Bartholomew, William C. Durham, John C. Durham, 
Joseph H. Durham, Mrs. Jos. G. Cannon, Jr., John Dickson, Isaac 
Dickson, Mrs. E. G. Davison, Mrs. O. A. McGregor, Alex. Mc- 
Gregor, Mrs. W. H. Shephard, Mrs. W. B. Schofield, Mrs. Samuel 
Royse, Samuel Royse, Martha Royse, Anna Royse, William Royse, 
Mrs. I. A. White, Charles White, Cecil D. White.*^ 



Roll of Descendants. 69 

Descendants of Major John Bond. 

Mrs. Cedelia Van Hoiitiii, J. B. Johnson, John W. Jones, William 
Jones, John Murray. 

Descendants of Curtis Gilbert. 

Joseph Gilbert, Mrs. Sadie Gilbert Cooter, Mrs. Helen L. Gilbert 
Gillum, Curtis Gilbert, Mrs. Madge Gilbert Champion, Edward Gil- 
bert, Helen Steel Gilbert, Mrs. Emma Gilbert Curtis, Henry Curtis 
Gilbert, Kichard Law Gilbert, Mary Gilbert, Henry Curtis Gilbert, 
Jr., Mrs. Susan B. Ball, Miss Mary G. Beach, Mrs. Mary G. Gilbert 
Blake, Mrs. Helen G. B. Boss, Mrs. Helen C. Gilbert Warner. Mr. 
Gilbert Warner, Mrs. Ethel W^arner Greeson, Mrs. Alice AVarner, Miss 
Susan B. Warner. 

Descendants of Ahraham Markle. 

Mrs. Oscar Anderson, Augustus R. Markle, Miss Laura Markle, Ray- 
mond Denman, Abraham Markle, John M. Markle, William D. Mar- 
kle, Herbert M. Markle, Mrs. Mable Weir, Miss Sarah Markle, Harry 
Markle, Ed. Markle, William Green, Charles Green, Mrs. Bertha 
Hornberger, Mrs. Myrtle Tanner, Harry Green, George Markle, Her- 
bert Markle, Miss Anna Markle, Guert Markle, Harvey Markle, 
Robert Markle, Miss Florence Markle, Paul S. Markle, Harry Markle, 
Clay C. Markle, Ermina Markle, Maurice Markle, Mrs. Morton Gris- 
mer, Miss Matilda Markle, Miss Eva Markle, Napoleon B. Markle, W. 
Lincoln Browning, John Brockway, James Baldwin, Warren Brock- 
way, Chauncey Baldwin, Mrs. Ernest Drake, George Duffield, Fred- 
erick Elkin, Walter Green, Mrs. Ivan B. Harris, Mrs. Arthur Rich- 
mond, Mrs. Mary Ross, Mrs. George Starr. 

Descendants of Henry Bedford. 

Mrs. Raymond Cummings, Mrs. Kate Markle, Mrs. Dr. Scott, Mrs. 
M. S. Tyler. 

Descendants of Joseph Richardson. 

Dr. Lawrence S. Ball, E. H. Ball and family, Mrs. S. R. Freeman, 
Jr., Miss Maude Freeman. Mrs. H. B. Hibbon, William R. Richard- 
son, Mrs. J. A. Root, Mrs. Josephine Lake, Mrs. Charles Minshall and 
family, Mrs. R. H. Pritchard, Miss Clint Richardson, Wm. P. Rich- 
ardson, John M. Richardson, Mrs. Mary E. Peddle, John Peddle, 
Mrs. Matilda Ball Mancourt. 

Descendant of John Clinton Bradford. 
Mrs. Amelia Brannon Joice. 



70 Fort Harrison Centennial^ 1812-1912. 

Descendants of Dr. Charles B. Modesitt. 

Mrs. Catherine Curtis, Mrs. Cora E. Carter, Chaimcey Warren Cur- 
tis, Mrs. George B. Mathews, Welton Modesitt, John C. Warren, Miss 
Frances Warren, Miss Mary Alice Warren, Miss Eliza Warren, Mrs. 
Herbert Westfall, Miss Helen Frances Warren, Eobert E. Warren 
and family, Frederick Warren and family, Miss Mary Elizabeth 
Warren. 

Descendants of Mary Briggs. 

George Wright, Lincoln Wright, Charles Wright. 

Descendants of Caleh Crawford. 

Walter Crawford, Fred Crawford, H. F. Crawford, W. G. Crawford, 
Miss Florence Crawford, Wm. David Crawford, Crawford Fairbanks, 
Mrs. Bruce F. Failey, Grant Fairbanks, Mrs. William Fairbanks, Mrs. 
Nellie Jordan, E. P. Fairbanks, Miss Helen Fairbanks, Mrs. Hallie 
Freeland, Henry S. Montagnier, Mrs. Daisy E. Noe, Morton L. Ran- 
kin, Oscar Rankin, Mrs. James Townley, Miss Minnie Martin, Miss 
Janie Martin, Sarah E. Rankin. 

Descendants of John E. Wilmoth — Kentucky Volunteer. 
G«orge T. Smith and family. 

Descendants of Matilda A. Taylor Ball. 
Mrs. M. E. Ball Hess, Frank Ball. 

Descendant of Captain Touissiant Duhols. 
Hon. Fred Dubois. 

Descendants of James Burgan. 

W. C. Burgan, James J. Burgan, Samuel W. Burgan, Mrs. E. A. 
Perkins, Miss Elizabeth J. Burgan, Lyman M. Burgan, Mrs. Josephine 
Bowsher, James A. Burgan, Samuel Burgan. 



CHRONOLOGY OF FORT HARRISON 

DeSoto landed on Tampa Bay, Florida, and, later "took possession" of all 
the land drained by the waters of the Mississippi river, in the name of 
the King of Spain 1540 

LaSalle traversed a part of Indiana on his voyage of discovery of Ohio river 1676 

LaSalle again crossed a part of Indiana, from the St. Joseph river, near 

where South Bend now is, to the Illinois river 1678 

The Five Nations claimed to have driven out, or massacred the aborigines, 

whoever they were, and taken possession of Indiana 1621 

The Five Nations ceded all lands west and south of Albany, N. Y., to King 

William III I'^^l 

The claims of Spain to the region were transferred to France .... 1702 

Francis Vigo born at Mondovia, Sardinia 1740 

Francis Vigo died at Vincennes, I\Iar. 22, 1836. 

Mons. de Aubry marched his 400 French recruits and 100 tons of flour up 
the Wabash from Vigo County to assist the French at Quebec. This con- 
nects our land with the French-English wars 1759 

Conspiracy of Pontiac 1"^! 

After the treaty between England and France, St. Ange, commandant of Fort 
Chartres (Vincennes) surrendered the post to Captain Sterling of the 
British army Oct. 10, 1765 

General George Rogers Clark started on his expedition of conquest of the 

land from about where Ix)uisville, Ky., now is on June 24, 177S 

General Clark captured Kaskaskia on the Mississippi river . . . July 4, 1778 

Father Gibault secured the transfer of the allegiance of the French in- 
habitants of Vincennes from England to the American colonies . Fall of 1778 

Captain Helm and his cook took possession of Vincennes in the name of 

the United States Dec. 1778 

The British General, Hamilton, with thirty British regulars, fifty French 
Canadian volunteers and four hundred Indians, marched across Vigo 
County, enroute to recapture Vincennes, the only connection of Vigo 
County soil with the Revolutionary War Dec. 1778 

Captain Helm and his cook, the only garrison of Vincennes, surrendered to 

General Hamilton on honorable terms Dec. 1778 

First meeting of General George Rogers Clark and Francis Vigo at Kas- 
kaskia Jan. 29, 1779 

British General Hamilton surrendered Vincennes to General George Rogers 

Clark Feb. 24, 1779 

Peace of Paris between Great Britain and the United States, Great Britain 

surrendered all claims on land east of the Mississippi river . . . 1783 

Virginia surrendered all claims to the Northwest Territory to the United 



States 



1784 



The Northwest Territory organized by Congress, under General Arthur 

St. Clair as Territorial Governor 1"^"^ 

Indiana Territory organized by Congress, and General William Henry 

Harrison made Territorial Governor -^ 1800 

Plan of survey by range, township and sections adopted by Congress May 7, llbi 

Survev of lands in Indiana Territory authorized by Congress 1804 

General William Henry Harrison marched up the Wabash to locate and 
and build Fort Harrison. 

Left Vincennes Sept. 26, 1811 

Arrived at location and commenced building the Fort .... Oct. 30. 1811 

Completed the Fort O^t. 30, 1811 

General Harrison, with his army, started on his march to the Prophets Town^ ISll 
General Harrison defeated the Indians under Elskamatawa, the Prophet Nov 7, 1811 
Battle of Fort Harrison, defense by Captain Zachary Taylor, against the 

Indians under the old chief, Lenar Sept. 4, 1812 

First public sale of lands of Vigo County at the Vincennes land office Sept. 13-14, 1816 
Terre Haute platted by the Terre Haute Company, and first sale of lots in 

Terre Haute Oct. 31, 1816 

Vigo County organized • • z?}^ 

Indiana became a State in the Union Dec, isib 

71 



FREEDOM'S LAND 

The New National Anthem 

By dr. E. T. SPOTSWOOD 

Sung to the Tune Dixie Land 

The land we love, the land of glory 
Famed in song and grand in story 

To thee ! To thee ! To thee we sing. 
United free and strong and grand 
We'll keep and hold our Fatherland. 

For Aye ! For Aye ! ! For Aye ! ! ! in Freedom's land. 

Chorus — 

Our glorious Union ever, 

Hurra ! Hurra ! ! 
In freedom's land we all will stand 
And live and die for freedom's land. 
Hurra ! Hurra ! ! Hurray for the Union ever. 

No North. No South. No East. No West, 
But one grand Union heaven blessed; 

For Aye ! For Aye ! ! For Aye ! in Freedom's land. 
To keep it pure and keep it right 
We'll always for its honor fight 

For Aye ! For Aye ! ! For Aye ! ! ! in Freedom's land. 

And this shall be our battle song, 

To hold the true and right the wrong, 

Alway ! Alway ! ! Alway ! ! ! in Freedom's land. 
For we love our own our Freedom land. 
To guard her rights we'll ever stand. 

Alway ! Alway ! ! Alway ! ! ! in Freedom's land. 

O, may our God within whose hand 
Is held the future of our land, 

Alway. Alway. Alway in Freedom's land. 
From strife and danger keep us free. 
And lead us on to victory. 

We pray ! We pray ! ! We pray for Freedom's land. 

72 



LEJa'13 



Fort Harrison 

ON THE BANKS OF THE WABASH 

1812-1912 




LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 



011 895 184 



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