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Correspondence and other Papers 




Vol. I 





It is evident, from the popular interest manifested in the 
centennial celebrations of the past six years, that the prin- 
ciples involved in the Revolutionary War are no less dear 
to the American he^rt to-day thaii when Lord Cornwallis 
surrendered at Yorktown, October 19; 1781, and that what- 
ever contributes to a more thorough understanding of that 
remarkable contest ; whatever tends to bring into clearer 
view the labors and the sacrifices of the principal charac- 
ters — Washington and his faithful associates — will receive 
a hearty welcome. The first of these volumes presents 
new material covering the period of the war and the en- 
suing years of political uncertainty down to the time when 
Arthur St. Clair retired from the President's chair of the 
Continental Congress. In some respects, it is cumulative 
of the facts contained in the Writings of Washington as 
to the privations and sufferings, the patriotism and cour- 
age of the Continental soldiers; and on that account has a 
certain value. But the reader will find new evidence bear- 
ing on disputed points and a new presentation of facts 
heretofore misrepresented, notably concerning the enter- 
prises on the Delaware in December, 1776, and the evacua- 
tion of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence in the fol- 
lowing year, whereby it is hoped something more than the 
shadow of justice is rendered at last to the memory of one 
of Washington's most loyal friends. The correspondence 
*betweeen St. Clair and President Reed, and between St. 
Clair and Washington, is especially interesting, as it pre- 
sents in bold and striking colors the difficulties that con- 


iv Preface. 

stantly beset the commander-in-chief, arising from short 
enlistments, want of a treasury, the jealousies of the States, 
and inefficiency of the central authority. 

That a people living in communities with distinct gov- 
ernments, without experience in military affairs, without a 
common treasury, without arms other than those provided 
for the protection of their own homes, without organized 
means of defense, should have the temerity to contest the 
field with a powerful kingdom, having unlimited financial 
resources and trained soldiery, was remarkable. But more 
remarkable was the exhibition of self-control and wisdom, 
after the demoralization of an eight years' war, which es- 
tablished a national government, acceptable to the thirteen 
distinct communities — founded a republican government 
upon the rock of constitutional law. The same wisdom, 
contemplating an extension of the blessings of free govern- 
ment, even before the Union was sealed, formed and es- 
tablished an Ordinance for the government of the vast 
territory lying north-west of the river Ohio, containing 
every principle and privilege essential to the happiness 
and greatness of a people. From the presidency of the 
body that created this famous Ordinance, Arthur St. Clair 
passed to the control of the government under it. 

Of the actual work done by Governor St. Clair in laying 
the foundations of government under the Ordinance of 
1787, little is known. The information that has come 
down to us has been fragmentary and unofficial. The sec- 
ond volume of this work is an attempt to supply this de- 
fect. The large amount of wholly new material employed 
in it has been obtained from various sources — from the 
papers left by General St. Clair and preserved by his fam- 
ily, from the archives of the State and War Departments, 
and from private sources. 

It will be expected that reference should be made here 

Preface. v 

to the noble part taken by the State of Ohio in scenring 
and preserving from destruction the valuable papers left 
by St. Clair. When, in 1869, the Western Reserve Histor- 
ical Society announced that these papers were in the pos- 
session of the heirs of Colonel Robert Graham, deceased, 
residing in Kansas, an unsuccessful eftbrt was made in the 
General Assembly to secure an appropriation for their 
purchase. Subsequently, upon the recommendation of 
that society. Governor Hayes appointed Mr. Joseph Per- 
kins, of Cleveland, to represent the State in a negotiation 
for the purchase. Mr. Perkins, unable to make a journey 
to Kansas to examine the papers, appointed Mr. Alfred T. 
Goodman, secretary of the society, his agent for that pur- 
pose. Mr. Goodman made a careful examination. He 
reported that the papers were in bad condition, " many of 
the important manuscripts being mice eaten, and rendered 
almost worthless from the ravages of time." He fixed the 
value at two thousand dollars, whereas they were sched- 
uled in the list of the personal property of Colonel Gra- 
ham at five thousand. Judge R. St. Clair Graham, ad- 
ministrator, subsequently produced the papers at Cincin- 
nati for further examination by the members of the Ohio 
Historical and Philosophical Society. While they were 
lying here, other descendants of St. Clair were induced to 
go before Judge Storer, of the Superior Court of Cincin- 
nati, and apply for an injunction against Graham, to re- 
strain the latter from selling the manuscripts. This was 
done to set at rest the title. The court appointed the 
sheriff receiver. The final decision was in favor of the 
heirs-at-law represented by Mr. Graham. The question 
of title having been settled, the Ohio Historical and Phi- 
losophical Society sent a memorial to the General Assem- 
bly, praying for the purchase and preservation of the pa- 
pers. Governor Hayes recommended the measure in a 

vi Preface. 

special message, and with characteristic public spirit the 
Legislature, during the session of 1870, made the necessary 
appropriation. The papers were carefully arranged by 
Miss Mary C. Ilarbaugh, assistant librarian. The task 
was a difficult one, as many of the papers were mutilated, 
many without beginning or end, and many more without 
address or signature. 

Since then, there has been great uncertainty as to the 
preservation of the autograph letters. The Commissioners 
of the Ohio State Library recommended their publication, 
in order that " they be not left a prey to be carried off 
piece-meal by seekers after literary curiosities," and, in his 
last annual message. Governor Foster gave the recom- 
mendation his approval. The General Assembly, wisely 
and with commendable unanimity, directed the publica- 
tion of the papers, in a joint resolution adopted on the 
21st day of February last. The action of the pre<^ent 
Commissioners, uriJer the authority above recited, is 
shown by the following transcript from their records : 

The Board of Library Commissioners, having considero<l tho rosolii- 
lion of the General Assembly of February 21, 18SI, directing the pub- 
lication of the St. Clair Papers, and the method for carrying out the 
instructions of the said resolution, it is hereby 

licsolvcii, That the Librarian be authorized to receive propositions from publishers 
who are prepared to exe< ute the work w itliin the time prescribed, and in a credita- 
ble manner, and to arrange with Home one familiar with the papers and the subjects 
embraced therein, to prepare them for publication. 

After consultation with various publishers, and careful consideration 
of tlie whole subject, it was deemed advisable to employ the well known 
house of Robert Clarke & Co. to publish the work, and to place the 
pajiers in the hands of Hon. Wm. Henry Smith, formerly Secretary 
of State of Ohio, who, it was known, had spent yeai's in studying the 
career of Arthur St Clair, and in collecting material covering that in- 
teresting j)eriod of American history. 

Bnard of /.;-r CHARLES FOSTER. Covervnr, 

brnry Com-\ T'HARLES TOWNSEND, Secretary of State, 
viissioncrs. (.JOS. II. GEIGER, Librarian. 

An examination of the papers showed that not only 

Preface. vii 

were they badly defaced and fragmentary, but that the 
letters in the handwriting of St. Chiir were original drafts, 
which frequently differed from the perfected letters as 
transmitted to his correspondents. To correct these, it 
became necessary to have recourse to my own private col- 
lection, and to originals in possession of manuscript col- 
lectors in different parts of the country. While occasion- 
ally meeting with disappointments, I have succeeded be- 
yond my most sanguine expectations, though only through 
infinite labor. 

To present to the reader a truthful picture of the theater 
to which Arthur St. Clair was invited bv the last Conti- 
nental Congress, and include in the work a comprehensive 
history of the North-western Territory under him, it be- 
came necessary to draw liberally from a collection of 
Ilarmar papers, originally intended for use in another 
work, and from a compilation of the official records of 
the Executive of the North-western Territory from 1795 
to the close of 1802, also designed for an independent 
work. The records in possession of the State come down 
no later than the year 1795. 

I am indebted to General James T. AVorthington, of 
Chillicothe, for the privilege of using the manuscripts of 
his distinguished father. Governor AVorthi'ngton, to ex- 
plain more fully than the papers of St. Clair do the politi- 
cal contest from 1800 to 1803, which ended in the removal 
of the Governor and the admission of the Eastern District 
into the Union. Thus both sides are presented to the 
reader. The political methods by winch the downfall of 
the friend of AVashington and the leader of the Federalist 
party in the AVest was accomplished, and a new Republi- 
can State secured for the support of Mr. Jefferson in his 
ambitious political schemes, arc here laid before the reader 
for the first time. 

viii Preface. 


It only remains for me to acknowledge my indebtedness 
to Colonel Charles Whittlesey, Mr. John T. Perry, Mr. 
C. W. Butterfield, and Mr. Robert Clarke, for valuable 
suggestions; and to Mr. Joseph G. Sicbeneck (of Pitts- 
burgh), Mr. B. H. Hinds (of the Treasury Department), 
Mr. E. T. Hall (of the State Executive Department), and 
Colonel D. C. Cox (when a Government official at Wash- 
ington), for aid in procuring copies of correspondence. 
The importance of this service can only be fully appre- 
ciated by those who have attempted to obtain access to 
the treasures of a hundred years ago. 

December 8, 1881. 




1734-1775 — Birth axd Edi'catiok — Services in the Frekch War — Map- 
RiAGE — Lord Bunmork's War akd the Boitxdart Troubles betweex 
Pexnstltakia axd Yiroikia 1 


J 775-1 777 — Meeting at Haxxastown to Protest against Aggressions 
OF Great Britain — Treaty with Indians at Pittsburgh — St. Clair 
Suggests Expedition to Detroit — Appointed Colonel of Second 
Pennsylvania — Covers Retreat fkom Canada — Sickness and De- 
moralization OP Army on Border of Lake Champlain — St. Clair 
Ordered to Reinforce Washington — Desperate Straits of the 
Army — Suffering in the Winter — Battles of Trenton and Prince- 
ton — St. Clair Sugg e.sts an Ingenious Movement by which the Army 
Eludes THE British — Brilliant Results 12 


1777 — St. Clair, Promoted to be Major-General, Ordered to an Im- 
portant Command in the Northern Department — Evacuation of 
Forts Ticonderoga and Independence — It Results in the Sur- 
render of Burgoyne and the Triumph of the American Cause 45 


1777-1783 — St. Clair joins General Washington, and becomes a Mem- 
ber OF his Military Family — Participates in the Battle of Bran- 
DYWiNE — Important Services — Shares lv the Sufferings of Valley 
Forge — St. Clair faithful to Washington in the Midst of Cabals 
— Troubles in the Pennsylvania Line, and Labors of President Reed 
AND St. Clair to adjust them — Assault on Stony Point — Post of 


X . Contents. 

Honor held by St. Clair's Division, ix 1780 — A Commissioker to ar- 
range A Cartel for Exchange of Prisoners — Treason of Arnold and 
Death op Andr^ — St. Clair sent to command West Point — Offered 

VANIA Line — Recriiting for the Final Struggle — Marches to Sup- 
port OF Greene in South Carolina — Close of the War — Mutiny of 
Pennsylvania Recruits — Alarm in PHiijiDELPniA — St. Clair sent 
FOR — Congress adjourns to Princeton 97 


1783-1787 — Return to Civil Life — Loss of Fortune — Engages in Busi- 
ness — A Member of the Board of Censors — Elected a Delegate to 
Congress from Philadelphia County — Chosen President of the 
last Continental Congress — Great Gift to Freedom — History of 
THE Ordinance of 1787 — St. Clair Elected Governor of the North- 
western Territory 116 


The North-western Territouy-t- Arrival op Governor St. Clair at Fort 
Harmar — Interesting Ceremonik.s — Address to the Settlers at Cam- 
pus Martius — Auspicious Beginning of the Work of Establishing 
Civil Government — Claim of the Indians to the Territory, and its 
Importance to Them — Adopting Laws — Difference with the Judges 
— Establishment of the First Court in the North-west — Social 
Life on the Muskingum — Louisa St. Clair — Treaty at Fort Har- 
mar — Influence of Joseph Brant and his British Allies — Confed- 
EKACY OF Indian Nations — Arrival at Fort W^a.shington — Cincinnati 
Named, and why — Organization of Counties and Local Governments 
IN the Illinois and Wabash Countries — Temitation to Return to 
Political Life in Pennsylvania — Proposition to Make St. Clair 
Governor of that State 137 


Ominous Si(;ns observed in the Indian Country — The Chieftain Brant 


Failure of Attempt.^ to Negotiate a Peace — The Indians Demand 
THAT the Whites Shall Remove east of the Ohio — Vigorous Meas- 
ruEs Kksolved on — St. Clair's Conferences with Secretary of War 
— Successful Expkditions of Scott and Wilkinson — Expedition op 

Contents. xi 

Gbxeral Harmae and Severe Encounters with the Indians — St. 
Clair appointed Major-Gbneral and Commander-in-Chief — IIis Dis- 
AgTRous Campaign — Responsibiutt of the War Department — 
Scandalous Conduct of the Quartermaster-Qeneral — Report of 
Congressional Committee Vikdicatino St. Clair from Blame — 
Massacres of the White Settlers — Reorganization of Armt 
Under General Wayne — Failure of Negotiations Result in 
Conquering a Peace — Murder of Messengers — Legend of Louisa 
St. Clair 167 


1793-1798 — Interest in National Politics — Against the French Par- 
ty — The Scheme to Return to Pennsylvania Abandoned — Second 
Stage of Government in the North-western Territory — Meeting 
OF THE Legislature — Important Work in the Revision of the 
Code of Laws — Rapid Increase in Population — The Connecticut 
Land Company — Commotion at Post Vincennes and Judge Tur- 
ner — Political Excitement — Spanish and British Intrigues in 
the North-western Territory and Kentucky — Influence and 
Brilliant Talents of Wilkinson — Proclamation of St. Clair 
Warning Against the French Agents — George Rogers Clarke a 
French Major-Gbneral — Division of People of Territory into 
Parties 186 


1797-1802 — Advancement of Winthrop Sargent — Wiluam Henry Harri- 
son appointed Secretary — New Stage in the Territorial Govern- 
ment — Popular Election of Legislatuive — Ahsolute Veto of the 
Governor — Right to Erect New Counties in Dispute — Popularity of 
St. Clair — His Efforts to Preserve the Rights of the People — 
The Common Law — Important Services of Jacob Buknet — Influ- 
ence OF THE Great Land Holders — .Attempts to introduce Slav- 
ery — Kentucky Claims Jurl^idiction over Ohio River — Addri-iss to 
President Adams — Division ok the Territory — Harrison Governor 
OF Indiana Territory — The Virginia Colony in the Scioto Valley 
— Poutical Schemes — Antagonism to Governor St. Clair — His 
Abiijty as a Leader and Strength with his Party — Intrigue to Se- 
cure HIS Removal Defeated — Reappointed Governor by President 
Adams — Movement for a State Government — Counter Movement — 

xii Contents, 

Bitterness of Political Divisions — Colokel Worthixgton in Wash- 
ington — Triumph op the State Party — Attempt to Secure the 
Remotal of St. Clair through Jefferson, and its Failure — Con- 
vention TO Form a State Constitution — Address of Governor St. 
Clair and its Consequences — True History of tub Intrigues against 
Him and His Removal 207 


1803-1818 — Closing Days — Importance of the Work of St. Clair in the 
North-western Territory — A Wilderness Civilized and a People 
made Prosperous and Happy — Return of the Veteran to Ligonier 
— Financial Affairs — The Government op the United States pleads 
the Statute op Limitations, which Act, with the Aid op the Em- 
bargo Law^ brings St. Clair's Estate to Forced Sale, and reduces 
THE OLD Soldier and Family to Poverty — Depth op Party Prejudi- 
ces — St. Clair removes to Chestnut Ridge — Visited by Distin- 
guished Citizens — Interesting Relic of the Revolutionary Period 
— Privations endured — Sympathy of New York Ladies — Ingrati- 
tude — The Last of Earth 248 



1771-1775 — Boundary Troubles between Pennsylvania and Virginia — 
Lord Dunmore's Indian War 257 


Correspondence between St. Clair and Washington, Schuyler, Reed, 
Wilson, and others 363 





1734-1775 — Birth and Education' — Sekvices ix the French War— Mar- 
RiAiiE— Lord Dunmore's War and the Bouxdart Troubles between 
Pennsyltania and Virgixia. 

The St. Clairs fi^re prominently in history, song, and 
story.* In XormanJy, they controlled lands, castles, and 
troops of men, and were closely allied to royal blood. In 
the eleventh century, TVilliam de St. Clair, second son of 
Valderne Compte de St. Clair, and Margaret, daughter to 
Richard, Duke of Normandy, settled in Scotland, and 
soon his name appeared on the roll of the followers of 
^lalcom C^enmore, and, thenceforward, for generations, his 
descendants are found in loyal support of the monarchs 
of that country. The St. Clairs shared in the triumphs 
and the humiliations of the House of Stuart, receiving 
honors on the one hand, and accepting exile and poverty 
on the other. Reconciled to the union of Scotland with 
England and the Protestant succession, they continued 
devotedly attached to royalty, without exception, until the 
signal gun in the American war of Independence was 
tired; but whether as Catholic or Protestant, monarchist 
or republican, always displaying a martial spirit, and al- 

»See Song of Harold ("bard of brave St. Clair"), and Note, in 
*• The Lay of the Last Minstreiy Canto VI. And also Captain Wedder- 
burn's Courtship, English and Scottish Ballads, Vol. Vil T. 

2 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

ways true to the cause espoused. TVc have here to do with 
the republican St. Clair, one of the best and noblest of the 
race, whose good fortune it was to be the friend and asso- 
ciate of Washington and La Fayette in the struggle for 
Independence, and the first Chief Magistrate under the 
Ordinance of 1787. 

Arthur St. Clair was born in the town of Thurso, in 
Caithness, Scotland, in the year 1734. The month or day 
is not known. He was a descendant of a noble family,* 
and inherited the fine personal appearance and manly 
traits, remarked iu both French and English history, of the 
St. Clairs. His father, being a younger son, possessed 
neither lands nor title, and died at an early age, from the 
effects of a life of idleness and pleasure. In his other 
parent Arthur St. Clair was more fortunate, as she sup- 
plied not only the affection and tender care of a devoted 
mother, but also the aid and counsel which had been due 
from the father. At an early age, St. Clair was entered at 
the University of Edinburgh, and, it having been deter- 
mined that he should follow a professional life, in due 
course he was indentured to the celebrated Dr. William 
Hunter, of London. But it is evident the life of a student 
of medicine had no charms for him, since upon the death 

^ The generally accepted opinion that Arthur St. Clair was a grandson 
of the then Earl of Koslin, is erroneous. They were descendants of a 
common ancestor. When Arthur St. Clair was Governor of the North- 
western Territory, he was applied to by William St. Clair, youngest 
son of the Earl of Roslin, and brother of Lieutenant-Colonel James 
St. Clair, of the British Army, for assistance in getting into business in 
the North-western Territory. He was then in Canada (as the Detroit 
country was called), and had been unfortunate in some business enter- 
prise. When Governor St. Clair organized the Illinois country, he 
appointed William St. Clair Clerk of the Courts of St. Clair County. 
William St. Clair invested largely in lands, and located at Cahokia. 
Ilis family failing to get replies to letters addressed to him, finally ap- 
plied to Governor St. Clair for information. William St. Clair died at 
Cahokia while Arthur St Clair was yet Governor, and it was reported 
left his landed property to Arthur St. Clair, Jr. General Arthur St. 
Clair was related by marriage to General Thomas Gage, who was re- 
called by his government after ihe ct)utiict with the Colonists tit Lex- 


hift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 8 

of his mother in the winter of 1756-57, little more than a 
year after he was indentured, he purchased his time with 
a part of the money he inherited, and through the influ- 
ence of friends obtained an ensign's commission in the 
Sixtieth or Royal American regiment of Foot. * The com- 
mission bears date May 13, 1757, so that St. Clair was 
about twenty-three years of age when he entered the mili- 
tary service of the King of Great Britain. The succeed- 
ing year was passed in acquiring familiarity with the 
duties of his position. On the 28th of May, 1758, St. Clair 
arrived, with Amherst, before Louisburg. There were 
gathered here men soon to become famous, and Ensign St. 
Clair was offered an opportunity to study the art of war 
on the most active field. With such men as Wolfe and 
Moncton, Murray and Lawrence, there was little chance 
for idleness, while the martial spirit ever displayed by 
them was calculated to stir a youth to deeds of emulation. 
So well had Ensign St. Clair borne his part in the affair 
of Louisburg, he received the commendation of his su- 
perior officers, and a recommendation for promotion. A 
lieutenant's commission was issued to him, bearing date 
April 17, 1759. It was his good fortune now to be assigned 
to the command of General Wolfe, who had been selected 
to reduce Quebec. Since the 13th of September of that 
memorable year, which decided the fate of the French in 
America, the story of the first battle on the Plains of 
Abraham has continued to thrill the hearts of the youth 
of two nations, and keep green the memory of the oppos- 
ing heroes — Wolfe and Montcalm, equal in military genius, 
in courage and patriotic devotion to country. That story 
need not be repeated here. This only interests us, that 
our St. Clair took a conspicuous part in that brilliant and 

^The Royal American regiment was projected by the Duke of 
Cumberland. It consisted of four battalions of 1,000 men each. The 
First and Se<Jond battalions, which were the most noted, were com- 
manded respectively by Moncton and Lawrence. In 1758, Major Gen- 
eral Amherst was appointed Commnnder-in-Chief of all of the forces 
in America, and Colonel of the Sixtieth regiment. St. Clair was a 
Mibordinate in the second battalion. 

4 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

fatal affair, and that he bore himself as a brave soldier 
should in battle. His battalion had been joined with other 
light troops under command of Colonel Ilowe, ^ who had 
been elected to the post of honor in scaling the heights. 

These, " who found themselves borne by the current 
a little below the intrenched path, clambered up the steep 
hill, staying themselves by the roots and boughs of the 
maple and spruce and ash trees that covered the precipitous 
declivity, and, after a little firing, dispersed the picket 
which guarded the height. The rest ascended safely by 
the pathway. A battery of four guns on the left was 
abandoned to Colonel Howe."' Then came the fatal 
struggle on the plains, during which Lieutenant St. Clair 
seized the colors, which had fallen from the hand of a 
dying soldier, and bore them until the field was won by 
the British. ^ 

General Murray, with five thousand men, including 
the Royal Americans, was left in the garrison. He pushed 
his outposts as far as Lorette, and Sainte-Foye, two or 
three leagues from Quebec; and a war of skirmishings 
continued, despite the season's rigor. Through great 
effort the defenses were completed so as to sustain a siege, 
in time to check the French, who, under De Levis, were 
moving in strong force to recapture the ancient capital of 
Canada. The garrison was greatly reduced by death, 
caused by lack of fresh provisions. St. Clair shared in all 
of the labors and privations of the ^vinter, and in the 

* Afterward. Sir William Howe, and Commander-in-Chief of the 
British army in America. 

^Bancroft, Vol. IV., p. 333. M. Garneau in his '' L! Histoire du 
Canada," says the light infantry were headed by Wolfe, but the state- 
ment made by Bancroft, that Colonel Howe was the leader, and by his 
troops covered the ascent of the main body, is confirmed by Hildreth. 
It is also confirmed by Alex. John.ston, friend and neighbor of St. 
Clair, in his declining years, who has furnished the Western Reserve 
Historical Society with " Recollections " of conversations with St. Clair. 

'MS. See also Wi/kin.wns Memoirs, Chap. L>, p. 84: "He" [St. 
Clair] " served at the taking of Louisburg under General Amherst, 
and in the next campaign carried a pair of colors on the Plains of 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 5 

severe battle of the Buttes-il-NeVcu, which was brought 
on by the rash bravery of Murray. The French now 
entered on a regular siege ; the position of the British be- 
came desperate, and they were only saved from defeat and 
the loss of Quebec by the opportune arrival of some ships, 
which caused De Levis to raise the siege,* and retire to 
Montreal. Thither he was followed by Murray, who was 
joined by Amherst with a large force of fresh troops, and 
the French were besieged in turn. It soon becoming evident 
to M. de Vaudreuil that his cause was hopeless, he directed 
De Levis to arrange with the enemy for terms, and articles 
of capitulation were signed September 8, 1760. By this 
act, Montreal, Presque Isle, Detroit, Mackinaw, and all of 
the other posts in the Western country which had been 
founded by the Jesuits, and had so long been the pride of 
the French, passed under the control of the British. The 
time was not distant when these became of deeper interest 
and far greater importance to the American colonists; 
when from their very gates issued a savage foe, the allies 
of brethren here present, whose cruelties filled with terror 
the borders stretching to the southward for a thousand 
miles ! 

Doubtless, to none in the British army was the cessa- 
tion of severe campaign work more welcome than to young 
St. Clair. He had, since his arrival in America, formed a 
tender attachment, and it is reasonable to suppose that his 
ardent temperament would lead him to prefer the society 
of his beloved to associations on the tented field, though 
never so glorious. It appears that after the siege of Que- 
bec was raised he obtained a furlough and repaired to 
Boston, where he was married to Miss Phoebe Bayard, 
daughter of Bel thazar Bayard and Mary Bowdoin, his wife, 
who was a half-sister of Governor James Bowdoin. How 
an acquaintance was brought about between these young 
people is not known, but it is presumed that during St. 
Clair's service and frequent visits to Boston, where he was 
sent on military business to the governor, he made the 
acquaintance of the Bowdoins and Bayards, and improved 

^ Knox's Historical Journal. 

6 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

the opportunity to fall in love with the young lady, who 
was thoroughly educated, of amiable disposition and agree- 
able manners. Ensign St. Clair, a favorite of popular 
British commanders, a descendant of an ancient and dis' 
tinguished Scotch family, tall, graceful, dignified, with 
chestnut hair, handsome blue-gray eyes, and blonde com- 
plexion, master of all of the accomplishments of the draw- 
ing-room, including the art of entertaining conversation, 
could not fail to be an acceptable visitor in the best fami- 
lies of Boston, and suitor for the hand of such a young 
lady as Miss Phoebe Bayard. It has been suggested by 
Hon. Robert C. AVinthrop/ that there may be a clue to 
St. Clair's marriage with a Bowdoin, in the fact that 
Major William Erving (who endowed the Erving Profes- 
sorship of Chemistry at Harvard College), was a brother 
of Mrs. Governor Bowdoin, and served as an Aide-de- 
Camp to Wolfe at Quebec. He and St. Clair were doubt- 
less friends, and through him a proper introduction at 
Boston would follow. 

By this marriage, St. Clair received the sum of £14,000, 
being a legacy to his wife from her grandfather, James 
Bowdoin. This sum, added to what he had saved of his 
own fortune, made St. Clair a man of wealth, and the 
brilliant prospect before him influenced him to hasten the 
time when he should retire from the armv. On the IGth 
of April, 1762, he resigned his commission, and spent some 
time in Boston. Mr. Alex. Johnston, and other friends of 
St. Clair in Western Pennsylvania, were of the opinion 
that he assisted in repelling the Indians from that section 
in 1703, the year when the articles of peace were signed, 
and that he commanded, for a time, at Fort Ligonier, in 
which service he received the title of Captain. A writer 
in the National Infrllff/Ofcrr, in a sketch of the services of 
St. Clair, declared that General Gage appointed him to 
take command of the forts in Western Pennsylvania. The 
onlv doi-umentarv confirmation of this, in St. Clair's own 
hand, is a letter^ written to the President of Pennsylv^ania 

Mil a letter to Alfred T. Goodman, Esq. 

^ Pennsylcanij, Archives^ Vol. X, p. 483: It is said by one writer, 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 7 

in 1785, in which he says that a part, of the grounds at 
Fort Pitt were granted to him by General Gage.* It is 
certain that he resigned from the British army in 1762, as 
before stated, and if he served in Western Pennsylvania, 
it must have been under a different commission. Be this 
as it may, there is reason to believe that in the year 1764, 
St. Clair and his young wife removed first to Bedford, and 
then to the Ligonier Valley, where he had acquired a 
large tract of land, partly by purchase and partly by grant 
by the King, for his services in the French war. The fine 
stretch of valley land, where the village of Ligonier was 
afterwards built, was a part of that located by St. Clair. 
The fact that a number of Scotch families, ' all prominent 
in the stirring times that followed, had settled here, was 
an additional inducement for St. Clair to become a pioneer. 
He entered actively on the improvement of his property,' 

that when the French war was closed, St. Clair " had the command of 
Fort Ligonier assigned him; and also received a grant of one thousand 
acres of land in that vicinity, which he fancifully chose to lay out 
in the form of a circle." — History of Western Pennsylvania, p. 281 
Among the St. Clair papers are letters of Colonel Boquet, of that date, 
and in a letter of Boquet to CTOVornor Penn, 1763, from camp in West- 
ern Pennsylvania, there is a humorous allusion to St. Clair. When St. 
Clair died, two towns, Ligonier and Greensburg, disputed for the honor 
of having his body buried in their cemeteries. Colonel Ramsay, an 
old citizen, who laid out the town of Ligonier on behalf of the former, 
appealed to Mrs. Robb, a daughter of St. Clair, in the presence of Alex. 
Johnston, and urged upon her the fact that her father had once been 
the captain of C>ld Fort Ligonier. A correspondent of the Pittsburgh 
Chronicle, in a letter recently published, claims that he has seen in the 
Land Office at Harrisburg, a record stating that St. Clair commanded 
at Fort Ligonier in 1769. 

^ .'V letter after the war to Gov. Penn. This does not assert that he 
was in command of the posts, but that, having a family connection 
with General Gage, he was requested to confer with that officer for 
military protection for the frontier. 

' Here came the Wilsons, the Harbisons, the McFarlands, the Mc- 
Dowells, the Campbells, and the Hannas. — Letter of Alex. Johnston. 

•St. Clair must have owned in Pennsylvania more land than the 
records of the Land Office show. In addition to the grants of the 
King, a Greensburg correspondent of the Pittsburgh Chronicle, before 

8 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

erected a fine residence, and built a grist-mill — the first, 
and for many years, the only one in that section. The 
situation here is one of the most romantic in all Pennsyl- 
vania, and had attracted the attention of the Scotch Gen- 
eral Forbes and companions, one of whom afterwards 
furnished a description of it, which doubtless induced the 
families before referred to, to settle there. When that 
General, in 1758, marched over the Alleghany Mountains 
for the purpose of taking Fort Du Quesne, after crossing 
the main range, he passed for a dozen miles through forest 
glades, until he reached another mountain range running 
north and south, almost parallel to the Alleghanies. This 
was called the Laurel Hill. At its western foot his army 
entered a valley about six miles in width and thirty in 
length, formed of the Laurel Hill on the eastern side, and 
the Chestnut Ridge on the western. Midway in this val- 
ley Forbes struck a stream called by the Indians Lyal- 
henning, and now known as Loyalhanna. Near this 
stream, on his return, he erected a fort, which he called 
Ligonier, in honor of Lord Ligonier, commander of the 
British armies. The fort was about half wav between 
Fort Pitt and Fort Bedford, and it was calculated that it 
would afford needed protection to frontier settlers. The 
healthfulness and pieturesqueness of the situation, the 
abundance of timber and game of every kind, insured an 
early settlement. 

Hither came St. Clair, and entered actively on civil life. 
"We shall see that his own private affairs were not permitted 
long to have his exclusive attention. On the 5th of April, 
1770, he was appointed Surveyor for the District of Cum- 
berland, which then embraced the western part of the 
State. A month later, the offices of Justice of the Court 
of Quarter Sessions and Common Pleas, and Member of the 

quoted, makes tho following statement: "In 1783, ho was granted, by 
warrant dated September 24, a tract of 6,219 acres along the Loyal- 
hanna Creek. In all there were 10,881 acres of land, the property of 
St. Clair, and of these, 8,270 acres lay within the confines of West- 
moreland county." The Journals of the Old Continental Congress 
s'.iow that in 1786, Congress granted St. Clair 5 000 acres in one body. 

Liift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 9 

Proprietary, or Governor's Council for Cumberland county 
were conferred upon him. When Bedford county was 
erected, in 1771, the Governor made St. Clair a Justice of 
the Court, Recorder of Deeds, Clerk of the Orphan's Court, 
and Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas for that 
county.* The same year, St. Clair, in connection with 
Moses McLean, ran a meridian line, nine and a half miles 
west of the meridian of Pittsburgh. In 1773, Westmore- 
land was erected from Bedford, when Governor Penn sent 
St. Clair appointments, corresponding with those held by 
him for Bedford. 

The year 1774 was one of thrilling interest to the in- 
habitants of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and it proved to be 
the last in which, as British subjects, they participated in 
Indian warfare. In that year Lord Dunmore moved 
against the Ohio Indians, and the killing of Logan's fam- 
ily, and other Indians, was committed by the white inhabi- 
tants settled upon the Ohio, near Wheeling and Yellow 
Creek. There was wide dissatisfaction amongst the tribes 
that had shown a friendly disposition, and, with a view to 
prevent a more serious outbreak, Sir William Johnston's 
deputy Indian agent caused a meeting to be held at Pitts- 
burgh, which St. Clair attended. The conference with 
the Indians, who embraced deputies from the Six Nations, 
the Delawares, Shawanese, Munsies, Mohickons, and 
Twightwees, really extended over a good part of the 
month of May, beginning on the first. The threatened 
depredations were checked, but only for a brief season. 

* "At a Council held at Philadelphia on the 23d of November, 1771, a 
special commission for holding a Court of Oyer and Terminer at Bed- 
ford. Pa., was appointed to try Lieut. Robert Hamilton, of II is Majesty's 
18th Regiment of Foot, who stood charged with the murder of Lieut. 
Tracy, of the same regiment, in the county of Bedford. The Governor 
issued a special commission, appointing the three eldest justices of the 
peace in Bedford county to hold said Court. The commission was di- 
rected to John Frazer, Bernard Docherty, and Arthur St. Clair, Esquires. 
The reason for the appointment of this commission was that it would 
be inconvenient for the Judges of the Supreme Court to take a journey 
at this season so far as Bedford." — From the Record of Proceedings of 
Oovemor and Executive Council. 

10 Lift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

and twenty years were yet to pass before the red man was 
conquered, and the settlers on the border could lie down 
at night without dread of the stealthy tread and bloody 
tomahawk of the savage. 

During this year, the controversy which had broken out 
in 1752, between the proprietors of Pennsylvania and the 
Governor of Virginia, as to the right of jurisdiction in 
that part of country bordering on the head- waters of 
the Ohio, was renewed, and what with this and the Indian 
depredations the unhappy inhabitants were driven to des- 
perate straits. The lands in the neighborhood of Pitts- 
burgh had been surveyed for the proprietors of Penn- 
sylv^ania in 1769, and the year following Pennsylvania 
magistrates were appointed, who continued in the exercise 
of their duties without molestation from Virginia until 
the beginning of 1774. At this time. Dr. John Connolly, 
a native of Pennsylvania, and '' a man of much energy and 
talent, but without i)rinciple," appeared on the ground, 
and having authority from Lord Dunmore, Governor of 
Virginia, took possession of Fort Pitt, which had been 
abandoned by the British government, calling it Fort 
Dunmore; and, as Captain Commandant of the Virginia 
Militia, issued his proclamation, calling on the people to 
meet him, as a militia, on the 25th of January, 1774. For 
so doing, St. Clair, then a magistrate of Westmoreland 
county, issued a warrant against him, and had him com- 
mitted to jail, at Ilannastown, tlie seat of justice of West- 
moreland, which embraced Pittsburgh ; from which, Iiow- 
ever, he was soon released, by giving his word for his ap- 
'pearance at court. Hereupon, a lengthy correspondence 
took place between the Governors, which, on the part of 
Lord Dunmore, was arrogant and unbecoming his position. 
In rehearsing the claims of Virginia, his Lordship insisted 
that Mr. St. Clair should be punished for his temerity in 
arresting his agent by dismissal from office, unless he could 
prevail upon Connolly to apply for his pardon. In his re- 
ply, which was in admirable temper. Governor Penn de- 
clined to remove St. Clair, who, he said, as a good magis- 
trate, was bound to take legal notice of Mr. Connolly. 

Ijife. and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 11 

" Mr. St. Clair is a gentleman," continued the Governor, 
" who for a long time had the honor of serving his maj- 
esty in the regulars with reputation, and in every station 
of life has preserved the character of a very honest, worthy 
man ; and though, perhaps, I should not, without first ex- 
postulating with you on the subject, have directed him to 
take that step, yet you must excuse my not complying 
with your Lordship's requisition of stripping him, on this 
occasion, of his offices and livelihood, which you will allow 
me to think not only unreasonable, but somewhat dic- 

Counter arrests and much correspondence followed, but 
the controversy was soon obscured somewhat by the stir- 
ring events of Lord Dunmore's War. After this had 
ended, disturbances were again renewed. Connolly was 
again arrested ; but a counter arrest of three of the Penn- 
sylvania justices caused his release. Now, however, the 
Boundary Troubles were lost sight of for some years by 
that storm of war which burst over the whole country. 
It was to this new and more importantHtheater that St. 
Clair was invited. 

12 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 


1775-1777 — Meeting at Hanxastown to Protest against Aggressions 
OF Great Britain — Treaty with Indians at Pittsburgh — St. Clair 
Suggests Expedition To Detroit — Appointed Colonel of Second 
Pennsyltania — Covers Retreat from Canada — Sickness and De- 
moralization OF Army on Border of Lake ChamI»lain — St. Clair 
Orderf.d to Rkinfokce Washington — Desperate Straits of the 
Army — Suffering in the Winter—Battle.s of Trenton and Prince- 
ton — St. Clair Suggests an Ingenious Movement by which the Army 
Eludes the British — Brilliant Results. 

When the difFercnees between the Colonies and the 
mother-country finally cuhnimited in preparations for co- 
ercion on the one side and resistance on the other, St. 
Clair was in the prime of life. He is spoken of in the 
correspondence of contemporaries as a man of imposing 
appearance, graceful, cultivated, w^hose agreeable and in- 
telligent convei^tion, captivating manners, and honorable 
principles won all hearts. We shall see in what respect 
and enduring friendship he was held by Washington, 
La Fayette, Hamilton, Schuyler, Wilson, Reed, and others 
of the most distinguished of the patriots of the Revolu- 
tion. The brilliant and versatile Wilkinson referred to it 
as a piece of great <rood fortune that he was pcMi'iitiod to 
be associated with St. Clair, and wrote of him ns the 
"great St. Clair." Later in life, when he had known 
something of both the smiles and frowns of Fortune, 
Judge Burnet spoke of him as " unquestionably a man of 
superior talents, of extensive information, and of great up- 
rightness of purpose, as well as suavity of manners. . . . 
He had been accustomed from infancy, to mingle in the 
circles of taste and refinement, and had acquired a polish 
of manners, and a habitual respect for the feelings of others, 
which might be cited as a specimen of genuine polite- 
ness."* He was at this time (1775) in the enjoyment of 

^ Notes on the North-western Territory^ p. 378. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 13 

all that man need wish for to secure happiness. He pos- 
sessed in a large degree the public confidence^ "In this 
situation," says Wilkinson/ " the American Revolution 
found him, surrounded by a rising family, in the enjoy- 
ment of ease and independence, with the fairest prospects 
of affluent fortune, the foundation of which had been al- 
ready established by his intelligence, industry, and enter- 
prise. From this peaceful abode ; these sweet domestic en- 
joyments, and the flattering prospects which accompanied 
them, he was drawn by the claims of a troubled country. 
A man known to have been a military officer, and dis- 
tinguished for knowledge and integrity, could not in those 
times be concealed, even by his favorite mountains, and, 
therefore, without application or expectation on his part, 
he received the commission of a colonel, in the month of 
December, 1775, together with a letter from President Han- 
cock, pressing him to repair immediately to Philadelphia. 
Ue obeyed the summons, and took leave not only of his 
wife and children, but, in effect, of his fortune,^ to embark 

* Memoirs of My Own Timcs^ p. 84. 

James Wilkinson was a native of Maryland. lie entered the army 
at an early age, and was first assigned to a position in connection with 
^Jeneral Washington's headquarters. He served on the staff of Gen- 
♦ ral St. Clair, and was his brigade major at the battles of Trenton and 
Princeton, which he so graphically describes in his Memoirs. He ac- 
companied General Gates to the Northern Department, and was ap- 
pointed Adjutant General of that Department, and was at the battle of 
Saratoga. It was about this time that Washington remarked that 
Wilkinson possessed a more promising military genius than 
any he knew. Wilkinson emigrated to Kentucky, at the close of the 
war, and went into business there. When St. Clair became Governor 
of the North-western Territory, their acquaintance was renewed, and 
Wilkinson soon received an appointment in the army. lie eventually 
became Commander-in-Chief, and, after a brilliant career, died in 1825. 
Wilkinson was well educated, was a fine orator, and was one of the 
most accomplished men of his day. 

'"At the commencement of the Revolution, St. Clair owned seven 
hundred acres of good land, on which the town of Ligonier now stands. 
This was the only grant St. Clair obtained before the Revolution, but 
it was a most beautiful property, and promised to become very valua- 
ble. The losses of St. Clair in the war were such that he was forced 

14 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

in the cause of liberty and the United Colonies." "I 
hold," wrote St. Clair to his intimate friend James Wil- 
son,^ " I hold that no man has a right to withhold his ser- 
vices when his country needs them. Be the sacrifice ever 
so great, it must be yielded upon the altar of patriotism." 
The Scotch residents of Westmoreland were not indif- 
ferent to the perils ot the times, and on the 16th of May 
a meeting was held at Hannastown for the purpose of 
protesting against the aggressions of the mother-country, 
which was participated in by St. Clair. " My first connec- 
tion with the United States," says he, in that pathetic let- 
ter to the Congressional Committee, in his old age, " my 
first connection with the United States began in the year 
1775. Congress had appointed commissioners to repair to 
Fort Pitt to treat with the Indians, and induce them to a 
neutrality during our contest with Great Britain. These 
were the late Judge Wilson, of Pennsylvania, General 
Lewis Morris, of New York, and Dr. Walker, of Virginia. 
The two first wore members of that body and my particu- 
lar friends. On their way to the rendezvous they called 
upon me, and requested that I would accompany them 
and act as theirsecretaryduring the negotiations, to which 
I consented ; and, in the course of time, formed the pro- 

to give up his Ligonier estate. It passed from St. Clair to James 
Qalbraith, from him to James Ramse}', and from him to his son, John 
Ramsey, who founded upon it the town of Ligonier. He attempted to 
have the town called Ramsey, but old Fort Ligonier gave its name not 
only to the town, but to the whole valley, of which one township is 
called St. Clair." — MS. letter of Alex. Johnston. 

> James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and 
one of the most distinguished men of the Revolutionary period, was, 
like St. Clair, a native of Scotland. He came to Philadelphia in 1766, 
when he was twenty-four years of age, and studied and practiced law 
there. In the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution, he 
ranked high as a debater, and was Chairman of the Committee which 
reported the Constitution. In 1789, he was appointed a judge of the 
United States Supreme Court, which position he held until his death, 
in 1798. He was devotedly attached to St. Clair, and, after the latter 
was appointed Governor of the North-western Territory, he tried to 
prevail on him to return to Pennsylvania and enter political life there. 

Lift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 15 

ject of a volunteer expedition to surprise Detroit, which I 
thought very practicable in that way, provided the Indians 
would engage not to oppose it. That project I communi- 
cated to the commissioners, who entered into it warmly; 
and, in consequence of their approbation, I engaged be- 
tween four and five hundred young men, in a very short 
time, who were to furnish their own horses, forage, and 
provisions ; they required nothing from the public but 
ammunition, which could not be procured in that part of 
the country. The commissioners strongly recommended 
the measure to Congress ; but, after a delay of many 
weeks, it was disapproved, and the reason assigned was 
that General Arnold was before Quebec, and the fall of 
that place was counted on as certain, and Detroit, as a 
dependency must fall with it, and would be included in 
the capitulation. The true reason I suppose to have been 
the scarcity of ammunition." 

But Arnold's expedition ended in disaster.^ K the plan 
suggested by St. Clair had been carried out, and Detroit 
surprised and captured, would the possession of that im- 
portant western post by the colonists have proved a check 
upon the Indians ? 

The letter from President Hancock called St. Clair to 
Philadelphia. He resigned his civil offices, and repaired 
to that city for orders. On the 22d of January following, 
he received instructions to raise a regiment to serve in 
Canada, and in six weeks (such was the popular confidence 
in St. Clair) the regiment ^ was completed, " not a single 
man wanting," and on the 12th of March it left Philadel- 
phia, for the north, fully equipped. " I had six companies 
of it," says St. Clair, " in the vicinity of Quebec, on the 

* " Men of different opinions concerning the policy of nations will 
judge differently with regard to this expedition ; but whether they de- 
termine the ends of it good or evil, all must allow, that it was a great 
undertaking, and conducted with much intrepidity." — Murrat/s **An 
Impartial History of the Present War in America,'^ Vol. II. p. 669. 

• This was the Second Pennsylvania, regarded as the crack regiment 
of that province. 

16 Ziife and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

11th of May, just in time to cover the retreat of the army 
from that place, and the other four companies at Sorel, 
on the St. Lawrence." 

The situation of the American army when St. Clair 
arrived in Canada was very critical. While Congress was 
resolving to send reinforcements and hard money ^ to keep 
the good-will of the Canadians, Arnold was contriving 
how to escape from Montreal, and General Thomas was 
attempting to remove his sick and cannon from before 
Quebec to a place of safety, agreeably to the decision of 
a council of war held on the 5th of May. The good-will 
of the Canadians, which had been manifested to the noble 
Montgomery the yearbefore, had lately been withdrawn, 
on account of the lawless conduct of the American troops, 
and supplies could no longer be obtained. Washington 
had expressly instructed Arnold to see that the Canadians 
were not despoiled of their goods, and were made to feel 
that the colonists were their brethren ; but they were rob- 
bed and cheated on every hand, and, to add to the dis- 
grace, vast quantities of valuable goods were carried away 
from Montreal by Arnold's express command. 

Disaster quickly followed disaster. An important post 
at the Cedars was surrendered in the most cowardly man- 
ner to Captain Forster, of Detroit, whose force consisted of 
only one hundred and forty men, besides Indians, while 
reinforcements for the garrison were on the way from 
Montreal, and General Arnold was prepared to follow with 
several hundred more. 

The departure from Quebec had been so long delayed 
that General Carleton, greatly strengthened by recent ac- 
cessions from without, was enabled to take the oftent^ive. 
Thomas, with the few men he could collect, not exceeding 
two hundred and fifty, retreated in great disorder to Point 
Deschambault, forty-eight miles above Quebec. '^Many 
of the sick, with all of the military stores, fell into the 
hands of the enemy. Unfortunately, to their quantity 

' The whole amount of hard money in the Continental Treasui y tit 
this period was £1,G62 Is Ad. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 17 

were added two tons of powder, just sent down by General 
Schuyler, and five hundred stand of small arms."^ After 
halting at Point Deschambault for a few days, General 
Thomas retreated to the mouth of the SoreP "in a con- 
dition not to be expressed by words ; but had the satis- 
faction of being joined there by four regiments that were 
waiting for them,"^ of which the Pennsylvania troops 
brought by St. Clair constituted a part. Shortly after his 
arrival, General Thomas was taken ill of the small-pox, 
and removed to Chambly, where,-on the 2d of June, he died. 

Colonel St. Clair had left Montreal, where he had been 
to consult with the Committee of Congress, on the 15th 
of May, for Sorel. A plan for fortifying Deschambault 
had been agreed on.* 

During the illness of General Thomas, and for several 
days after his death, General Thompson * was in command 

* Marshaits Life of Washington, Vol. II., p. 327, who also adds: " Much 
to the honor of General Carleton, he pursued the wise and humane 
policy of treating with gentleness the sick and other prisoners that 
fell into his hands." 

* M. Garneau says : ** They halted not till they arrived at Sorel." 
Hildreth makes the same mistake. The authorities for the statement 

made in the text, are manuscripts in the State Department Gordon 

and Marshall, who, writing of events when they were fresh, must be 
accepted as the highest authorities, Bancroft and Irving. The fact 
of a second council being held at Deschambault, and that the place 
was declared to be untenable, is distinctly stated. 

* Gordon — Vol. II., p. 253. "The Americans have lost in him one of 
their best generals." Ibid, General Thomas " had prohibited inocu- 
lation among his troops, because it put too many of their scanty num- 
ber on the sick list; he probably fell a victim to his own prohibition." 
Irving' 8 Life of Washington, Vol. II., p. 251. GeneralJohn Thomas served 
in the old French and Indian war and was appointed from Massachusetta 

^Forces American Archives, Fourth Series, Vol. VI., p. 578. — The letter 
of the Commissioners to General Schuyler is interesting, as showing 
the delusion the Americans were under as to the number of British 
troops in Canada. 

•Carrington, in his *' Battles of the Revolution," p. 166, remarks that 
" Chief Justice Marshall supplies a fact in this connection which rec- 
onciles other historical accounts, and shows that during the four days 
which intervened between the death of General Thomas and the ar^ 

18 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

of the forces at Sorel, and it was at this time that St. Clair 
suggested to him the " practicability of retarding, at least, 
if not preventing entirely, the British transports from 
passing up the river by taking post at the village of Three 
Rivers, from which place he had seen in the former war 
a division of them very much injured and obliged to fall 
back, and proposed to gain possession of it with six hun- 
dred men."^ 

General Thompson agreed to it, and on the fifth day of 
June St. Clair marched from the camp of Sorel to the vil- 
lage of Nicolet, which is opposite to the lower end of 
the lake St. Peter, on the south side, whence he intended 
to cross the St. Lawrence, and the boats that were neces- 
sary were ordered to join him there in the night. A few 
hours after S.t. Clair's departure. General Sullivan arrived 
at Sorel, and being informed of what had been done, de- 
tached General Thompson, with two or three regiments, 
including Colonel Irvine's and a detachment of Wayne's, 
to join the forces at Nicolet. lie arrived there that 
night and took the command. All the next day was spent 
in working on the redoubts, and on the succeeding night 
General Thompson crossed the lake without any accident, 
landing about two hours before day, but at a point sev- 
eral miles beyond the one designated.^ It was now that 
General Thompson committed the blunder that lost the 
day and defeated the object of the expedition. 

St. Clair's plan had been to surprise the enemy at Three 
Rivers, where, it was supposed, from information com- 
municated bv the Canadians, there was but a small de- 
tachment, from live to eight hundred men, fortify and 
delay or prevent the British transports from passing up 

rival of General Sullivan, General Thompson was in command, and 
that he sent St. Clair to Xicolet for the purpose of surprising the Brit* 
ish post at Three Rivers.'" It is singular that historical writers of a 
later dav overlook this fact, and treat of the movement to Three Riven 
as having been ma<le directly under orders of General Sullivan. Gen^ 
eral Sullivan's real responsibility, and an inaccuracy of Colonel Car. 
rington's, are noticed in the text. 

' St. Clair s Narrative. Appendix, pp. 236-38. 

^ Joun^al of Colonel Irvine, Hist. Mag., Vol. VI IT. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 19 

the river. General Sullivan had approved of the plan, 
and having more reliable information than his subordi- 
nates, had thought it advisable to increase the force to two 
thousand men. Even then, out of abundant caution, he 
instructed Thompson not to attack the encampment at 
Three Rivers " unless there was great prospect of success, 
as his defeat might prove the total loss of Canada." ^ 

But it is evident that Sullivan was not aware of the ex- 
tent to which the British troops had been reinforced, and 
that he had the most buoyant anticipations of the result 
of his enterprises in Canada. To Washington he wrote : 
" I venture to assure you, and the Congress, that I can in 
a few days reduce the army to order, and, with the assist- 
ance of a kind Providence, put a new face to our affairs 
here, which a few days since seemed almost impossible." 
If success was had at Three Rivers, he would fortify at 
Point Deschambault, and make that the base of operations 
against Quebec. The confidence of the Canadians had 
been restored to the Colonists, and all would go well. 

The Canadians were deceiving him, perhaps, with a view 
of regaining the friendship of the British, who, since their 
friendly greeting to Montgomery, had been suspicious of 
them. The American forces had scarcely effected a land- 
ing on the hither side of St. Peter, when a Canadian^ has- 
tened to General Eraser's encampment, at Three Rivers, 
and apprised him of the movements of the Americans. 
Meanwhile, the rumor had been adroitly spread among 
the American troops that the British had a post, distant 
about three miles, at a white house on the main road to 
the village, and it soon reached General Thompson. We 
will let St. Clair finish the story : 

" It had been the intention not to pursue the main road, 
but to strike off from it into another that lay nearly par- 
allel, but at some distance from the river, and the point of 
separation was between us and the white house. General 
Thomp&on, on hearing that the British were in his neigh- 

^ Irving* s Washington, Vol. II., p. 252. 

' Gordon. Garneau says by a Captain of Militia. P. 152. 

20 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

borhood, instantly put the detachment in motion to sur- 
prise them; but, when we reached the house, there were 
no troops there, nor had any been there ; the place, how- 
ever, where the roads separated had been passed, and we 
were full two miles advanced of it ; the guide, a very in- 
telligent man, thought we might gain the intended road 
by marching across the forest, in less time than must nec- 
essarily be spent in going back to the place first proposed, 
but without any path; it was accordingly attempted, but 
a considerable time was spent without reaching it, and the 
General became suspicious that the guide was misleading 
him, and impatient of the delay, and the sun being near 
the rising, he ordered the troops back on their track to 
the main road they had quitted, where they were soon dis- 
covered and fired upon from an advanced guard-boat. The 
colors were then displayed and the drums ordered to beat, 
and he resolved attempting that by open force which had in- 
tended to be done by surprise. The detachment marched 
but a short distance, before an armed vessel, posted lower 
down the river, opened her fire and annoyed it a good deal, 
which induced the officer, who led the front division, to 
strike off into a road that presented itself, leading obliquely 
from the river, and that seemed as if it would fall into the 
same road after crossing what appeared to be a small 
wood, which would, in the mean time, cover the men from 
the fire of the vessel. It led us, indeed, into the wood, 
which was far from being a small one, as had been sup- 
posed, and was crossed with the utmost labor and difficulty, 
being a morass the whole way through it, full three miles 
over, knee deep nearly at every step, and intersected by a 
small rivulet, which had to be crossed many times, and 
took the men to their breasts.* It opened at last upon a 
cultivated plain at no great distance from the village, but 
beyond it. Here we saw the transports were arrived, and 
the troops- busily debarking, and a considerable body, with 

* "A worse march, for about a mile and a half, did not offer in all 
Arnold's Expedition. The men were almost mired." — Gordon, Vol. Ill, 
p. 257. 

* The forces of General Nesbit. 

Life and Fublic Services of Arthur St. Clair. 21 

some pieces of artillery, coming to meet us. The advance 
of the two corps were soon engaged, but they were not 
equal, and ours were obliged to give way, and we were 
forced to trace back our steps through the same dismal 
swamp by which we had advanced." 

The Americans lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners, 
about two hundred;^ among the latter were General 
Thompson, Colonel Irvine, and several other officers. The 
British loss was trifling.^ 

The command of the Americans now fell to St. Clair, 
who led them to the landing place. Here they found the 
^nemy formed in good order on a rising ground above the 

* Gordon, Vol. Ill, p. 258. 

'Charles Henry Jones, in his *' History of the Campaign for the Conquest 
of Canada," gives the American loss as twenty-five killed and two hundred 
prisoners, and the British loss as eight killed and nine wounded. The ac- 
counts of the hattle of Three Kivers differ as to details, and as to the part 
taken by prominent officers. The author of " Campaign for the Conquest 
of Canada" says the Americans, after emerging from the swamp, con- 
tinued their march for three-quarters of a mile, within fifty yards of the 
river, "under a galling fire from the shipping, when they were driven off 
from the shore by the effect which the fire began to produce upon their 
ranks, and soon became entangled in the swamp again. At this point the 
divisions of St. Clair and Irvine separated from the divisions of Maxwell, 
Wayne, and Hartley, the two former with General Thompson, marching in 
a north-easterly direction back from the river; the three latter divisions 
continuing their march near the shore. . . . Wayne at once attacked the 
advance-guard of the enemy and drove them in upon the main body, 
two thousand or three thousand strong, under Brigadier-General Fraser, 
strongly intrenched before tlie town. The Americans . . . displayed 
great courage and gallantry, but the enemy opened such a murderous fire 
upon them from behind their works that they were forced to give way." 
Meanwhile, St. Clair's and Irvine's divisions, with General Thompson, were 
advancing to support Wayne and Maxwell, but the enemy had, by landing 
troops in the rear of the Americans, thrown them into confusion, and 
General Thompson ordered the whole force to fall back to the cover of the 
woods. " Lieutenant-Colonel Hartley, perceiving the confusion, led up the 
reserves, and endeavored to cover the retreat," but was obliged, by the force 
of the enemy, to fall back. (See pp. 74, 75.) 

M. Garneau, in his "History of Canada" (Vol. II., p. 163), says the en- 
counter took place near a wood one and a half miles distant from the town, 
and does not mention intrcnchments. St. Clair says that as the Americans 
appeared they saw the enemy landing from their vessels, and soon after they 
came into collision. Gordon, Marshall, and St. Clair say that Thompson 
directed the attack, which is probably correct. 

22 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

point of the lake, and their boats removed. There seemed 
nothing left but to lay down their arms, but St. Clair, de- 
termining to make an eftbrt to escape, hastily formed his 
men as with the design to attack, and making a move- 
ment to the right, which threw a point of woods between 
them and the enemy, gave the order to continue in the road 
until a road should be reached which led to an Acadian 
village and crossed the Riviere de Loups, beyond which 
St. Clair thought it improbable they would be pursued. 
This proved a wise movement. The enemy amused them- 
selves by firing a harmless volley, but did not attempt to 
follow. In two or three days they again reached Sorel 
torn,, and demoralized, to the astonishment and chagrin 
of poor Sullivan, who had gone so far while Thompson's 
forces w^ere encountering the enemy at Three Rivers, as to 
write Washington of his supposed success. Alas! the 
painful and humiliating task now fell to him of relating 
the details of the unexpected disaster, and of preparing to 
save his broken army from capture by the victorious 
enemy, now numbering near thirteen thousand, and led 
by Carleton, Burgoyno, and Fraser. 

But Sullivan did not immediately come to the conclu- 
sion to abandon the impossible enterprise of regaining 
Canada. After the defeat at Three Rivers, he wrote to 
Washington that he was employed day and night in forti- 
fying and securing his camp, and that he was determined 
to hold it as long as a person would stick to him.^ 

The camp at Sorel, says St. Clair, with a view to de- 
fense, had been ill chosen. " It was placed in low ground 
lying along the St. Lawrence, from the mouth of the Sorel 
downwards, and no otherwise fortified than by a four-gun 
battery in front, on the edge of an extensive beach of mov- 
able sand, of which every high wind took up great quan- 
tities, and so filled the embrasures of the battery that the 
cannon had to be dug out very frequently. The left flank 
was perfectly secured by the Sorel, but on the right flank 
there was nothing but a sort of abattis formed of very 

^ Force s American Archives. ^ Gordon. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 28 

tall pine saplings, which effectually hid every thing below 
it, and would have covered completely the approach of an 
enemy, and nothing more would have been requisite to 
drive every man out of camp, than to set fire to the abattis 
with a favorable wind.'' St. Clair had often remarked to 
General Sullivan the danger of the situation,^ and pressed 
him to change it and occupy the high ground. He did 
not think it necessary, but after he had seen a strong 
column of the enemy pass on the other side of the St. 
Lawrence, called a council of his officers. There was a 
unanimous expression of opinion in favor of an immedi- 
ate abandonment of the position. Thereupon, the General 
directed that the boats be got above the rapids — a difficult 
task, which could not have been accomplished but for the 
Generals's own exertions- — dismounted his batteries and 
retreated with his artillery and stores to the Isle-aux-Noix 
in Lake Champlain, " and so critical was the movement, 
that before the last of the boats were out of the reach of 
musketry, the enemy entered the fort." ' 

The retreat was conducted with consummate ability, 
and the praise which it called forth was some compensation 
for poor Sullivan. His field officers, numbering twenty- 
seven, including St. Clair, De Haas, Wayne, and Maxwell, 
addressed him a letter on the occasion of his withdrawal 
from the Northern Department, expressing their confidence 
in him and appreciation of his labors.* 

Thus ended " an eight months' campaign of checkered 
fortunes, varying according to the dispositions, favoring or 
unfavoring of the Canadians," ^ the Americans having been 
driven from every post, and having lost in the field, and by 
sickness and desertion about five thousand men. Besides 
this, their prestige as soldiers was gone, and their treasury 

* '* After the unlucky affair at Three Rivers, by his counsel to Gen- 
eral Sullivan at Sorel, he saved the army we had in Canada. — Wilkin- 
son! s Memoirs, Vol. I., p. 85. 

■ St. Clair's account. • Ibid. 

* Forceps American Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. I., p. 127. 

* Gameau, Vol. II., p. 153. 




I ■ 

24 />>//: and Public Serriees of Arthur St. Clair. 

«;xhaijhU;d of "hard money." The outlook was gloomy 

Vrhui Ii*lo.aiix-Xoix the Americans passed to Crown 
iV/int, and thenr<; to Ti<ronderoga. 

'Viikii a look at the army at Crown Point: 

"Atthirt place I ibund not an army, but a mob, the 
^haftenrd remjiinn of twelve or fifteen very fine battalions, 
riiified by HiiikneHs/ fatigue, and desertion, and void of 
o.wi'.ry 'uU'ii of diHcijjiiiie or Hubordination. . . . We 
have now tliHT tliourtaiid sick, and about the same num- 
ber well; lITiH Iravcrt near live thousand men to be ac- 
eonnted \\)\\ Of these the enemy has cost us perhaps one, 
hirkncHH an(»ther thousand, and the others, God alone 
knows in what nninner they are disposed of. Among the 
fi'W \V(^ have renuiining, there is neither order, subordina-* 
lion, nor harnionv: the ofiieers as well as men of one 
eol(»ny insulting and (piarreling with those of another."' 

And this sanu* condition of demoralization was to be 
eontinutul for another year, and transferred to Tieonderoga 
to wn^ek the fortunes of brave and patriotic oflicers, be- 
cause the master-spirits in Congress, who were conducting 
tlu» war, feared lest liberty might suiter something if men 
Were permitted with muskets in their hands for over one 
liundreil and eiij^htv davs! 

A council of idlicci-s with General Schuyler at the head, 
decided that (^*own Point was untenable, and thereupon 
Congress called in question the decision. General Gates, 
NY ho had meanwhile been placed in command by the same 
intaUiblc authority, dcteuilcd the decision with some spirit 
\u a letter to Washiuirton.^ lie said that the mo.*t im- 

*riu» siokiios^s was prinoijKillv frv>m small-jK^x. "I left them [the 
»iok I yiiKi walkvNl ArvHUid tho isUuvl. and fv>uiul the sick of the whole 
AnuY in iho <huio situaiiv^i. amountini: iv> thousands, some dead, others 
vl> inj: Vir\Mt turubors could not <tiind. oaUin^ on us ^^the physicians) 
tor holp. auvl wo lud noihiiij: to iiive thoni It brv>ke my heart, and I 
w^i>c u II til I h^vl no moro row or to w^vp/' — Dr. Sx-muii J. ^fyrick, of 

* y^.'^^j An.^c2* A •'■:'» -f. K::th >t*rtes. Vol. I. p f^ •'> ^ 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 25 

portant of the field-officers — '' Colonel St. Clair and Col- 
onel De Haas, in particular, men whose long service and 
distinguished characters deservedly give their opinions a 
preference " — acquiesced in the opinion of the general offi- 
cers. He added : " The ramparts are tumbled down, the 
casements are fallen in, the barracks burnt, and the whole so 
perfect a ruin that it would take five times the number of 
our army, for several summers, to put it in defensible re- 
pair." Accordingly, the army was moved to Ticonderoga. 

Here St. Clair remained during the summer, being kept 
busy as presiding officer of a court-martial and in routine 
camp duty. He was a favorite with the entire camp. 
Colonel Hartley suggested to General Gates that the Penn- 
sylvania tl^oops be brigaded together, and that Colonel 
St. Clair, " an old and experienced officer, would be ex- 
ceedingly acceptable, and every one would act with confi- 
dence under him," as brigade commander. Colonel Ogden 
declared that there was no better man, and that Congress 
ought to appoint him a Brigadier.* 

On the 28th of July, which fell on Sunday, St. Clair had 
the honor of reading to the assembled troops the Declara- 
tion of Independence, a copy of which had been received 
from Philadelphia.^ 

On the 9th of August, St. Clair was elected a Brigadier- 
General by Congress, and, subsequently, by order of the 
same authority,^ left the Northern Department and joined 
General Washington in New Jersey. Here, during that 
memorable winter of 1776-77, in which the cause of the 

' Force s American Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. I., pp. 176 and 604. 

* " Immediately after divine worship this day, the Declaration of In- 
dependence was read by Colonel St Clair; and having said, 'God save 
the free independent States of America r the army manifested their 
joy with three cheers ! " — Ibid^ p. 630. 

•Official Order to Major-General Schuyler, from Headquarters, New- 
ark, November 26, signed by Harrison. It is proper to remark, how- 
ever, in this connection, that St. Clair was at Albany when the order 
of Congress was made known to him. He had taken to that place at 
request of General Schuyler, his brigade consisting then of the fine 
regiment of BeHaas, and the First and Second Jersey regiments. 

26 Life and Public Servicer of Arthur St. Clair. 

Americans was brought to extremest peril, and through 
the genius, inspiring courage, and remarkable tact of 
Washington, under Providence, was rescued, and com- 
manded the respectful attention of Europe, he shared in 
the labors and privations, in the misfortunes, and in the 
glorious triumphs of the army. Amid all the gloom he 
never despaired. Other officers high in public esteeni 
might fall away, but St. Clair remained true to the cause 
of freedom, and to the Chief who had been chosen to 
represent it. 

A brief retrospect of the expiring autumn and early 
winter-days of 1770 will give us a clear view of the con- 
dition of Washington's army when St. Clair joined it with 
his brigade. The British commander suddenly ended tlie 
uncertainty of his plan of campaign by sending Lord 
Cornwallis across the Hudson with an overwhelming force 
to invest and capture Fort Washington. This accom- 
plished, and Fort Lee in possession of the enemy, the way 
was open through the Jerseys to the American capital. 
Washington had anticipated the movement and conse- 
quent danger, and wrote to Greece, in whose department 
it was, to dismantle Fort Washington, withdraw the gar- 
rison, and remove the stores to a more secure i)lace. And 
now we behold the fatal eftects of divided counsel. Con- 
gress had thought it desirable and practicable to defend 
the Highlands. Greene believed it possible to defend the 
Fort against the British, and, unfortunately, Washington 
yielded his better judgment to the importunities of this 
favorite general. The investment in force took place ; the 
troops were driven from height after height back on to 
the garrison until it was no longer possible for Magaw to 
get his troops to man the lines. The sight of the Ameri- 
can flag hauled down and the British flag waving in its 
place, told Washington, who stood a spectator on the 
opposite side of the river, of the surrender.' The loss in 
well-tried soldiers was two thousand eight hundred and 
eighteen prisoners, besides the killed and wounded, and 

^ Ircings Life of Washington, Vol. II., p. 454. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 27 

in Btores of all kinds, including artillery and arms of the 
best quality, very great. Fatal blunder ! which Greene 
afterwards sought to retrieve on many a field of battle.^ 

Fort Lee was abandoned, but so closely were the Ameri- 
cans pressed by the enemy that all of the artillery, except 
two twelve-pounders, the tents, baggfige and provisions, 
were lost. The flight continued to the Hackensack River, 
the passage of which, however, the enemy did not dispute. 
From this point Washington caused General Lee to be 
apprised of the situation and ordered him to remove his 
troops to the west side of the Hudson, and there await 
further commands. To maintain his position on the Hack- 
ensack was impossible, and, leaving three- regiments to 
guard the passes, Washington crossed the Passaic and es- 
tablished his headquarters at Newark. His army was 
rapidly melting away by the expiration of enlistments. In 
a few days he would have scarcely two thousand troops, and 
the enemy, with a well-appointed force, was approaching. 

Almost in despair, Washington sent off messengers to 
the peripatetic Legislature of New Jersey, to the Gover- 
nor of Pennsylvania, and to Congress, calling earnestly for 
help. To Lee, on whom he relied for prompt assistance, 
he sent a peremptory order to march his troops at once to 
join him. This order was disregarded. Week after week 
passed, and Lee did not appear. It is now known that 
that officer thought Washington's star was setting, and 
that by striking an independent blow he might be ap- 
pointed Commander-in-Chief. Lee esteemed himself a 
better soldier than Washington ; he was in correspondence 
with Gates and Colonel Reed, of Washington's staff, and 
confidently counted on the support of the people and 

^This fatal policy of permitting troops to be surrounded in untena- 
ble fortifications and captured by the enemy, never received any cen- 
sure from Congress. It was at a time when not a man could be spared. 
The loss came near wrecking the fortunes of the colonists. The reader 
will have opportunity to contrast this silence by Congress and the 
people with the vituperative and shameful course pursued toward 
another officer, who refused to be glorified by being captured at the 
expense of his country. 

28 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Congress.^ He followed slowly in the rear of the enemy, 
and had planned an attack on the British at Princeton,* 
when, unluckily for himself, but luckily for the United 
States, he was surprised at a country house and captured. 
The capture of Lee placed General Sullivan in com- 
mand, and that officer now hastened the march of the 
troops southward, in obedience to the orders of Washing- 
ton. These troops had been joined en route by the brigade 
of St. Clair,' who had come from the Northern Depart- 
ment. Washini^ton and his little force retreated from 
Newark to Brunswick, on the Raritan, where he hoped to 
make a stand ; thence to Princeton, and thence to Tren- 
ton, which place ho reached on the 2d of December, in a 
condition that beggars description. The militia of New 
Jersey had refused to turn out ; the disposition of the Penn- 
sylvanians w^as so unreliable that soldiers had to be posted 
at the fords to prevent the militia from returning home. 
Those that remained faithful were witiiout tents, shoes, 
or blankets. The total loss to the Americans during this 
campaign had been four thousand four hundred and thirty 
in soldiers, including officers, and munitions of war and 

* Lee was a great favorite with the populace, and his experience as a 
soldier in Europe gave him strong backing in Congress. 

• Wilkinsons Memoirs, which contain a graphic description of the 
capture of Lee. Greene evidently saw through the purpose of Lee, 
for in a letter to Washington written during the suspense, he says 
that he heard a report that Lee was at the heels of the enemy. "I 
should think," ho adds, ** he had better keep on the flanks than the 
rear, unless it were possible to concert an attack at the same instant 
of time in front and rear. ... I think General Lee must bo confined 
within the lines of some general plan, or else his operations will be in- 
dependent of yours. His own troops, General St. Clair's, and the 
militia, must form a respectable army " 

'Letter from Baltimore announcing arrival of St. Clair at Headquar- 
ters. Forces Af/nrican Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. Ill, p. 1419. 

The soldiers of St. Clair were the only ones in the service during 
this gloomy period, whose terms were about to expire, who could be 
induced to re-enlist, and " they were permitted to visit their friends 
and homes, as part of the terms on which they would re-engage." — 
Letter of Washington to (^onjrcss, Dec. 24. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 29 

stores of every kind, to such an extent that it was doubtful 
if the loss could ever be repaired. 

To his brother, Augustine, Washington wrote : " If 
every nerve is not strained to recruit the army with all 
possible expedition, I think the game is nearly up." And 
he contemplated retreating beyond the Alleghanies. To 
the President of Congress he wrote, on the 24th of Decem- 
ber : " That I should dwell on the subject of our distresses, 
can not be more disagreeable to Congress than it is pain- 
ful to myself The alarming situation to which our affairs 
are reduced, impels me to the measure." And to Robert 
Morris he said : " Bad as our prospects are, I should not 
have the least doubt of success in the end, did not the late 
treachery and defection of those who stood foremost in the 
opposition, while fortune smiled ui)on us, make me fear 
that many more would follow their example ; who, by 
using their influence with some, and working upon the 
fears of others, may extend the circle so as to take in 
whole towns, counties ; nay, provinces. Of this we have 
a recent instance in Jersey ; and I wish many parts of 
Pennsylvania may not be ready to receive the yoke," 

" Should it be true, as reported, that the American Gen- 
eral once wept, while he fled through the Jerseys, that will 
not prove the want of personal fortitude. He is neither 
less, nor more than a man." ^ 

Having been strengthened by the troops brought by St. 
Clair from the N'orth, those of Lee's command, and some 
militia from Pennsylvania, Washington thought to strike 
a blow at the enemy, who had gone into winter quarters, 
by surprising different posts, and in this way re\dve the 
drooping spirits of the Americans. He formed the bold 
plan of crossing the Delaware on the night of Christmas 
and attacking Colonel Rahl's command at Trenton. The 
account of this adventure, given by Wilkinson, who was a 
participant, is the best over written, and we shall follow it 
in our brief memoir. 

When Wilkinson joined the troops under General Wasli- 

^ Gordon, Vol. II, p. 359. 

30 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

ington, he found General St. Clair near headquarters, and 
resumed the station of Brigade- Major in his family, but, 
at General Gates's particular request, he obtained permis- 
sion to accompany him to Newtown, and finally as far as 
Philadelphia. When he applied to General St. Clair for 
leave, that officer observed that he should "have no objec- 
tion, if he did not think it interested his honor, at that 
time, to remain with the brigade." Not understanding 
the import of the remark, Wilkinson laid less stress upon 
it than he ought to have done, and departed with Gates. 
On the way to Philadelphia, Gates was much depressed, 
censorious of Washington, and said he should propose a 
new plan of campaign to Congress. That night he wrote 
a letter to Washington before retiring, and handed it to 
Wilkinson to be delivered. Early the next morning the 
latter started to return to* headquarters, which he reached 
about two o'clock. To his surprise, he discovered that the 
troops and General Washington had moved. From Colo- 
nel Ilarrison, the General's secretary, who had been left 
in charge of his papers, he received the necessary direc- 
tions, and proceeded in quest of the troops, whose route ivas 
ea.sibj traced, as there was a little snoiv on the (/round, which 
was tinfjcd here and there vrtth blood from the feet of the men 
ir/io wore broken shoes. lie got up with his brigade near 
McConky's Ferry about dusk, and, inquiring for the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, was directed to his quarters, where he 
found him alone, with his whip in his hand, prepared to 
mount his horse. 

"When I presented the letter of General Gates to him," 
says Wilkinson, "before receiving it, he exclaimed with 
solemnitv, 'What a time is this to hand me letters ! ' *I an- 
swered that I had been charged with it by General Gates. 
'By General Gates! Where is he?' 'I left him this 
morning in Philadelphia.' 'What was he doing there?' 
'I understood him that he was on his way to Congress.' 
He earnestly repeated, ' On his way to C^ongress ! ' then 
broke the seal, and 1 made my bow and joined General 
St. Clair on the bank of the river. 

"Boats were in readiness, and the troojjs began to cross 

hift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 81 

about sunset, but the force of the current, the sharpness 
of the frost, the darkness of the night, the ice which made 
during the operation, and a high wind, rendered the pas- 
sage of the river extremely difficult ; and but for the sten- 
torian lungs and extraordinary exertions of Colonel Knox, 
it could not have been eftectod in season for the enter- 
prise." It was four o'clock before the troops were formed 
and put in motion, at which time it began to hail and snow. 

The troops moved in two divisions. The first, or right,' 
led by Sullivan, which included the brigade of St. Clair, 
was directed to follow the river road and enter the town 
by Water street. The second, or left, led by Washington, 
who was accompanied by Stirling, Greene, Mercer, and 
Stephen, moved circuitously by the upper road to the 
north of Trenton, for the purpose of making an attack 
from the point of King's (now Greene) street. As this 
column moved on the longer line, Sullivan's was to halt 
for a few minutes at a cross-road leading to Howell's 
Ferry, where he arrived about twilight. The attack of 
the two columns was to be simultaneoii.s. 

While at the cross-road, it was discovered by Captain 
John Glover, of the Marblehead regiment, that many of 
the muskets were wet, and not in firing condition. The 
communication was made to General Sullivan in presence 
of General St. Clair and the officers of their suites. Sul- 
livan cast a look at St. Clair and observed, *'What is to be 
done?" who instantly replied, "You have nothing for it, 
but to push on and charge." The march was commenced, 
Colonel Stark in command of the advanced guard, the 
troops attempting to clear their muskets as they mov^ed on, 
which occasioned a good deal of squibbing. Meanwhile, 
an officer was dispatched to apprise the General of the 
state of the army, who returned for answer by his aid-de- 
camp. Colonel Webb, to " advance and charge." 

It was now broad day, and the storm beat violently in 
the faces of the men. Washington, who rode by the side 
of Captain Forest, near to the front of his column, as he 
approached the village, inquired of an inlialntant, who was 

* Order of march given in Memoir of General Knox. Appendix. 

32 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

chopping wood by the roadside, "Which way is the Hes- 
sian picket?" " I do n't know," replied the citizen, waiv- 
ing an answer. '*You may speak," said Captain Forest, 
" for that is General Washington." The astonished man 
raised his hands to heaven, and exclaimed, " God bless and 
prosper you, sir ; the picket is in that house, and the sen- 
try stands near the tree."* Captain Washington received 
an order to dislodge the picket, and Captain Forest to un- 
limber the artillery, when the attack was made. Gen. St. 
Clair responded on the front of Sullivan's column, forced 
the enemj^'s pickets and pressed into the town, the oth- 
ers pressing close behind. The enemy made a wild 
and undirected fire from the windows of their quarters 
and then attempted to form in the main street, but were 
prevented by a discharge from the battery of Captain For- 
est, under the immediate orders of General Washington, 
at the head of King's street. Pressed in front and on the 
left, a troop of dragoons, Avith about five hundred infantry, 
took to flight across the Assanpink, in the direction of 
Bordentown, where Count Donop lay. The main body, 
seeing their Commander, Colonel Rahl, fall, retired by their 
right up the Assanpink, but were intercepted by Colonel 
Hand's rifle corps and some Virginia troops, who had been 
sent by Washington for that purpose, and compelled to 
lay down their arms. 

The loss of the Americans was one man frozen to death, 
two killed, and four wounded ; that of the enemy, Colonel 
Rahl, six other oflicers, and about forty privates killed; 
twenty-three officers and almost one thousand non-com- 
missioned officers and privates prisoners ; a thousand stand 
of arms, six brass field-pieces, and four stands of colors. This 
enterprise, so happily executed, reflected high honor on 
General Washington, electrified the country, and inspired 
friends in Europe with hope. If Washington's entire plan, 
which included the crossing of a column, under General 
Ewing, at Trenton Ferry, and another, under General Cad- 
wallader, from Bristol, had been executed, the troops that 

Wilkinsons Memoirs, Vol. I, p. 129. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 33 

escaped would have been captured before they could reach 
Count Donop. But, as it was, the victory was a very im- 
portant one, as it stopped the stampede to the enemy, and 
insured final success to the Revolution. 

There was a sequel to this affair, which we shall now 
proceed to relate. Washington, who had recrossed the 
Delaware after his success, thinking it possible to capture 
other posts of the enemy, again braved the perils of the icy 
river, and stationed his troops at Trenton. But the enemy 
had been driven into activity, and now approached him 
with a superior force, under Lord Cornwallis. Washing- 
ton was caught in a cul-de-sac, with half-clad militia, only> 
to oppose veteran troops. To make a safe retreat was im- 
practicable, and to give battle with his present force was 
to invite certain defeat and the loss of the cause. In this 
emergency, he ordered Generals Mifflin and Cadwallader 
to join him with their forces, amounting to about three 
thousand six hundred men. "He did it with reluct- 
ance, for it seemed like involving them in the common 
danger ; but the exigency of the case admitted of no al- 
ternative." * They joined him on the 1st of January. 

The main body of the Americans took position on the 
east side of the Assanpink. There was a narrow stone 
bridge across it, where the water was very deep^ — the 
same bridge over which part of Rahl's brigade had es- 
caped in the recent aftair. He planted his artillery so as 
to command the bridge and the fords. His advance-guard 
was stationed at Five Mile run,* under Colonel Hand, of 
thc^ famous rifle corps, and with him was our friend Cap- 
tain Forest, with his light battery, where the advance of 
the enemy received its first check on the 2d of January, 
on the road from Princeton. Colonel Hand retired leis- 
urely before the enemy, until Shabbakong creek was 
reached, on the south side of which he made a stand in 
the wood on both sides of the road. " In this position, 
lie waited for the flank and advance-guard of the 

1 Trvinj's Life of Washington, Vol- II.. p. 539. * Ibid. 


84 hlfc and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

cnorny until they came within point-blank shot, and then 
opened a deadly fire from ambush, which broke and 
forced them back, in great confusion, on the main body, 
closely pursued by the riflemen. The boldness of this 
maneuver, menacing a general attack, induced the enemy 
to form in order of battle, to bring up his artillery, and 
open a battery, with which he scoured the wood for half 
an hour before he entered it. This operation consumed 
two hours, during which time the rifle corps took breath, 
and were ready to renew the skirmish. The brigade of 
CSeneral St. Clair, with two i)ieces of artillery, under Cap- 
tain Sargent,^ were assigned to the defense of the fords of 
the Assanpink, on the right of the line."^ The enemy 
re'connoitered these fords, but, finding them guarded, did 
not attempt them. Time had been gained, as Washington 
desired, so that the day was far spent when the enemy 
entered Trenton. 

The Americans opened on the columns of the enemy 
with a well directed fire from the batterv stationed above 
the bridge, and was presently answered by a counter bat- 
terv. The cannonade continued nearlv half an hour, 
during which the roar of musketry was mingled with that 
of the artillery. The enemy kept his front well deployed 
and supported, and finally succeeded in forcing the oppos- 
ing corps to retire by the bridge across the Assanpink. 
After this, the enemy took post in front of the Americans, 
at ahout one thousand vards distant, with the village of 
Tri'iiton and the Assanpink lying between. A cannonade 
ensued between the two armies, with little eflect,'* during 
• which Lord Cornwallis dei)love<l his columns and ex- 
ti'uded his lin(\< to the westward, on the heiirhts above the 
tt>\viK and there formed his camp for the night, against the 
advice of Sir William Erskine, but to the irreat relief of 

* AliiTwanl :isT.«H*iatr<l with St. (.'lair in the government of Xorth- 
wc^lorn Tt^rritoiv. as >ooretarv. 

' Washington lo the rro>idont of Congress. — Sparks, Vol. IV., p. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair, 85 

the Americans. " Our situation," wroteAVashiuirton to Con- 
gress, " was most critical/' * '' If there ever was a crisis 
in the affairs of the Revolution," savs Wilkinson, *' this 
was the moment; thirty minutes would have sutHced to 
bring the two armies into contact, and thirty more would 
have decided tlie combat " * in favor of the enemv. Wash- 
ington had been praying for nightfall and a cessation of 

Immediately after dark,' a council of war was con- 
vened at General St. Clair's quarters, south of the creek, 
for General Washington had been driven out of his own 
quarters by the enemy .^ The anxious Commander-in-Chief 
made a brief statement to the council of the dangers he- 
fore them. If they kept their ground a battle was certain 
in the morning, and defeat might result; a retreat down 
the river road, the only route apparently open, would be 
difficult and precarious, and would, by dispiriting the 
Americans, lose all that had been gained by the victory 
of Christmas; the destruction of the army might be fatal 
to the country. What was best to be done? 

Hereupon, one of the council made a suggestion so 
happily solving the problem as to add in its brilliant exe- 
cution, to the well-deserved renown of Washington. It 
was to turn the left of the enemy and nuirch to the north. 
" I have before observed," says Wilkinson, *' that (jcneral 
St. Clair had been charged with the guard of the fords of 
the Assanpink, and in the course of the day, while ex- 
amining the ground to his right, he had fallen on the road 
which led to the Quaker bridge. Whether from this cir- 
cumstance, or what other infornnition, I will not [)resume 
to say, it was this officer who, in council, suggested the 
idea of marching by our right and turning the left of the 
enemy. The practicability of the route was well under- 
stood by Colonel Reed, Adjutant-General, and the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, as soon as satisfied on this i>oint, ad(;[)ted 

^Sparh£s Writings of Washington^ Vol. IV., p. 2.VS, 

» McmoirM, Vol. I., p. 138. > Ibid, p. 140. 

36 Life and PabUc Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

the proposition."* It was the inspiration of true gen- 

In his own brief narrative, St. Clair says: "The Gen- 
eral summoned a council of the general officers at my 
quarters, and, after stating the difficulties in his way, the 
probability of defeat, and the consequence that would 
necessarily result if it happened, desired advice. I had 
the good fortune to suggest the idea of turning the left of 
the enemy in the night, gaining a march upon him, and 
proceeding with all possible expedition to Brunswick. 
General Mercer immediately fell in with it, and very 
forcibly pointed out its practicability and the advantages 
that would necessarily result from it, and General AVash- 
ington highly approved it, nor was there one dissenting 
voice in the council." 

General Washington saw more in this move than the 
mere escape from the enemy. He might, by a fortunate 
stroke withdraw General Ilowe from Trenton, and give 

* Wilkinson s Memoirs, Vol. II., p. 140: Bancroft has called in ques- 
tion tlio fact that, at the council referred to 8t. (lair suggested the 
movement which turned the left of the enemy, and enabled the 
American army to escape to Princeton by the round-about Quaker' 
road. He says: '* vSt. Clair likerl it [the movement] so well, that in 
the failing memory of old age ho took it to have been his own." But 
St. Clair, whose truthfulness and modesty were prominent traits of 
character, claimed it at the time it occurred, and he is confirmed by a 
member of his staff, who was a participant in the events narrated. 
Both were devoted friends and admirers of Washington, and Ban- 
croft can suggest no motive wliich would invalidate their testimony. 
In this case, as in the case of Greene and others, he simply re- 
fuses to recognize that there was any genius or merit in any mind save 
that of Washington. To e.xalt liis character beyond the bounds and 
capabilities of Innnan nature, he subjects himself to criticism, and de- 
fer.ts the end lie had in view. lie says that Washington claimed the 
measure as his own in the letter to the Presidt^nt of (-ongress, written 
at Pluckemin, '> Jan'y, 1777, from which we have quoted. This asser- 
tion is nr)t warranted by the language of that letter, which is merely 
a general statement of the events, in which official acts only are re- 
ferred to. There is no mention of a council in it, and vot Bancroft 
concedes there was a council held. For what j)urpose if not for con- 
sultation and adviiM»? Hamilton was far wiser as well as more just 
tlian Bancroft. In his eulogium on Greene he referred to a similar 

Ijifc and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 37 

some reputation to the American arms.* St. Clair directed 
the details of preparation.* The more eiFectually to mask 
the movement, the baggage had been sent at an earlier 
hour to BurUngton, the guards were ordered to be doubled, 
and the fires to be kept up all night. Soon after midnight 
the troops quietly withdrew by detachments, and, march- 
ing by the right, moved upon Princeton. St. Clair's bri- 
gade of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts 
troops, with two six pounders, marched at the head of the 
column, with which General Washington rode.^ Captain 
Isaac Sherman, son of Roger Sherman, of Connecticut, 
commanded St. Clair's advance guard. In the silence of 
the night the thinly-clad troops moved along the rough 
and devious way with uncertain steps* but determined 

claim to that we are considering, in the following language: " To at- 
tribute to him [Greene] a i)ortion of the praise which is due as well to 
the formation as to the execution of the plans that effected these important 
ends, can be no derof/ntion from that wisdom and magnanimity which knew 
how to select and embrace counsels worthy of being pursued.*' — [See Hamil- 
ton s Works, \o\, II. 

•* Meanwhile, Washington summoned his officers to council, at the 
headquarters of St. Clair, his own being now in the hands of the enemy. 
• What shall we do? Shall we retreat down the Delaware, on the 
Jersey side, an<l cross it over against Philadeli)hia, or shall we remiiin 
i>rhere we are, and try the chances of a battle?' Each course had its 
advocates, when a voice was heard, saying, 'Better than either of these, 
let us take the new road through the woods, and get in the enemy's 
rear by a march upon Princeton, and, if possible, on Brunswick even.' 
From whom did this bold suggestion come? St. Clair claimed it as 
his; and why should the positive assertion of an honorable man be 
lightly called in question ? But whose ever it was, it was the inspira- 
tion of true genius, and was promptly accepted by all. — George Wash- 
ington Greenes Life of General Xathanici Greene, Vol. I., p. 532. 

'Washington to the President of Congress, Sparks, Vol. IV., p. 250. 

* Bryant's Popular History United States, Chap. 21, p. 532. 

■ Wilkinson, as before quoted, p. 144. 

*'*The road was newly cut and rough with stubs too low to be .«5een 
by starlight, but high enough to catch and bruise the men's feet as 
they marched — half shod feet, we must remember — and whose track, 
a few days before, Wilkinson tells us, he had traced for miles by their 
blood on the snow. The slow pace of the artillery compelled the 
ranks to move slowly, and fre«iuently to halt; and as they halted, ' two 

38 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

courage, regarding such hardaliip lightly when incurred 
for the cause of independence. 

It was broad day before the British discovered that 
their enemy had eluded them, and gone they knew not 
whither. The morning was bright, sereiie, and extremelj 
cold, with a hoar frost that bespangled every object, when 
the Americans reached the junction )f the Quaker and 
main roads, about two miles from Princeton. Washing- 
ton had ordered General Mercer, with a detachment of 
three hundred and fifty men, to continue f» )ng Stony 
Brook with his brigade until he should reach the main 
road, where he was to destroy a bridge over which it 
passed, and take post for the double purpose of intercept- 
ing fugitives from Princeton and covering the American 
rear against Cornwallis from the direction of Trenton. 
Meanwhile, the three regiments of the enemy, the Seven- 
teentli. Fortieth, and Fifty-fifth, which had spent the 
niglit at Princeton, were preparing to join Cornwallis at 
Trenton. The Seventeenth, under Colonel Mawhood, was 
already on the march, and had crossed the bridge which 
Mercer was approaching to destroy, when discovering the 
head of the American column, and supposing it a light 
detachment, he recrossed the bridge, purposing to cut 

At this moment Mercer's corps emerged into view not 
five hundred yards from the British line. The discovery 
was mutual, and the respective corps then endeavored to 
get possession of the high ground on their right. The 
Americans reached the house and orchard of William 
Clark, " but perceiving the British on the opposite side of 
the height, and a worm fence between them, they pushed 
through the orchard, and anticipated their antagonists by 

or tlirco men in each platoon would he poen standing, with their arin«* 
supp >rted. last asleep.^' Then the onler to move on wouhl come; and 
as ilie sh'epei's, rousing themselves, and pressed by the j)latoon9 from 
behind, attenijUed to move, they would often strike against u stub and 
f:dl.' — /y'V> />/* (r. nrral Na(hanid Greene. 

(1) iStones Ilo\rl<iud. 

Life and Public Servicer of Arthur St. Clair. 89 

about forty paces." * The first fire was delivered by Mer- 
cer, which the enemy returned, and instantly charged with 
the bayonet. The Americans, who were armed chiefly 
with rifles, were thrown into confusion and fled in disor- 
der. Major Wilkinson, seeing that the Americans were 
retiring in confusion by the house of Clark, spoke of it to 
General St. Clair, who charged liim not to mention the 
circumstance, lest it should aftect his own troops. " The 
time from the discharge of the first musket," says Wilkin- 
son, " until I perceived our troops retreating, did not ex- 
ceed five minutes, and I well recollect that the smoke from 
the discharge of the two lines mingled as it rose, and went 
up in one beautiful cloud." Tlie enemy pursued the re- 
treating Americans as far as the brow of the declivity, 
when, discovering the whole army instead of a dctacli- 
mient as was supposed, they halted and brought up tlieir 
artillery. On hearing the first fire, General AVashingtou 
directed the Pennsylvania militia to support General Mer- 
cer, and, in person, led them on with two pieces of artillery. 
Perceiving the militia in confusion, he galloped past them, 
waving his hat and encouraging them to reform before the 
enemy. Nothing daunted by the presence of a superior 
force, Colonel Mawhood directed a company of infantry 
to attempt Captain Moulder's battery,^ which had formed 
to the right of Clark's house under direction of General 
Washington, but they were repulsed with considerable 
loss. The British displayed great intrepidity, but perceiv- 
ing the inspiring effects of the gallantry of the American 
Commander-in-Chief, and realizing the hopelessness of the 
contest, they retreated precipitately up the north side of 
Stony Brook, leaving their artillery on the ground. Be- 
fore the fire had ceased at the first onset. Colonel Maw- 
hood, mounted on a brown pony, with a dozen infantry, 
and a pair of beautiful spaniels playing before him, crossed 

* Wilkinsons Memoirs of My Own Times. Vol. I., p. 142. 

*This company of artillery, from Philadelphia, was almost as much 
distinguishetl in its line as the troops of dra>roons, and, on this day, 
attracted the particular attention of General Washington. Wilkin- 
sons Memoirs. Vol. I., p. 143. 

40 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

the line of direction of the other division so near that had 
not the Americans been stationary, he must have been 
captured. On observing the halt of his guard General St. 
Chiir directed Major Wilkinson to gallop forward and 
order a charge, but it was too late, as Mawhood had 
passed, yet the fire ot the guard knocked down two of the 
infantry. * 

The Fifty-fifth British regiment did not reacli the vicinity 
of Clark's in time to participate in the action, and perceiving 
Mawhood and his Seventeenth in retreat followed closely by 
Washington, they returned to Princeton, and joined the 
Fortieth in quarters at the College. The two regiments af- 
terward drew out and formed in line on the brow of a rav- 
ine. In this position they were attacked by General St. 
Clair, and after a sharp resistance were driven back to 
the College again. They took possession of the buildings 
and knocked out the windows, apparently for the purpose 
of defending themselves at all hazards ; but being saluted 
in their quarters with artillery, thought better of it, rushed 
out in a disorderly manner and made good their escape to 
Brunswick. St. Clair had no cavalry to send in pursuit; 
indeed, the entire cavalry in the American army consisted 
of twenty-two gentlemen of Philadelphia, who had vol- 
unteered, and were then with Washington in another di- 

In killed, wounded, and prisoners, the British lost five 
hundred men; upwards ot one hundred were left dead on 
the field.^ The loss of the Americans was about thirty, 
but, alas! it included the bravo and able General Mercer,' 

* Wasbiugtoirs account. S/hirls, Vol. IV., p. 2o9. 

'fiercer, like St. Clair, was a Scotchman by birth, and educated as a 
physician. Tie 8(»rved in tho French war under Braddock, became ac- 
quainted with Washington, and by him was persuaded to settle in Vir- 
ginia. He was tlioroughly educated, and was a man ot brilliant j)art8. 
The Revolution did not produce a more unselfish patriot, ami his loss 
was deeply felt. Cnniiross voted a monument to his memory.* 

(l)"Oii thoiiifrht(»f the l<^t of January, Gonornl Morror, Colonel C. Bid'Hc, nnd Doc- 
tor Cochran, spent tho cveninj? with (ionoral .St. Clair. Fati>;uod with tho duties of 
tho day, I had lain down In tho same apartment, and my attention was altnicted by 
tho turn of tlieir conversation, on tho recent promotion of Captain William Wash- 
ington, from a reiLrimout of infantry to a majority of cavalry. General Mercer ex- 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 41 

who fell mortally wounded iu the first attack at Clark's, 
. Colonels Haslet and Porter, Major Morris, and Captain 
William Shippen. 

After St. Clair had dispersed the enemy from Princeton 
'College, and most of the other troops had come up, a new 
difficulty arose ; the enemy were coming on rapidly, their 
advance being already warmly engaged with the American 
rear-guard, under Brigadier-General Potter, at Stony 
Brook, and General AVashington was missing. There was 
great consternation at the moment, which was dispelled 
by his sudden reappearance. It seems that when he joined 
in pursuit of Mawhood, his impetuosity carried him fur- 
ther than was prudent. Having returned from his fine 
fox chase, he was confronted with the necessity of again 
baffling the superior army under Cornwallis, now in hot 
pursuit. What was to be done ?^ The design of proceed- 

* " Thus far, Washington's bold strategy had succeeded. The road 
to Brunswick was open. Lee was there; other prisoners w»*.ro there; 
abundant stores and supplies were there; and there, too, was the mili- 
tary chest, with seventy thousand pounds in hard money. To seize these 
had formed a part of Washington's original plan ; and as he halted with 

prcsspd his disapprobation of the measure; at which the gentlemen appeared 55nr- 
prised, as it was the reward of acknowledged gallantry; and Mercer, in explanation, 
observed: *We arc not engaged in a war of ambition; if it had been 8o, 1 siionld 
never have accepted a commission under a man who had not seen a day's service 
(alluding to Patrick Henry); we serve, not for ourselves, but for our country, aud 
every man should be content to fill the place in which he can be most useful. I 
know Washington to be a good captain of infantry, but I know not what sort of a 
major of horse he may make; and I have r.een good ('ai)tains make indifTerent Ma- 
jors. For my own part, my views in this contest are confined to a single object, that 
is, the success of the cause, and God can witness how cheerfully I would lay down 
my life to secure it.' The compact was sealed, and within thirty-six hours he re- 
ceived his mortal wounds from the bayonets of the enemy. 

•' I have heard the following interesting incid/.Mit of Ills life: ITe served in the cam- 
paign of I'oo, with General Braddock, and was wounde<l tlirongli thusliouldtT in the 
unfortunate action near Fort du Quesne; unable to retreat, he lay down under cover 
of a large fallen tree, and in tiie pursuit an Indian Ieape<l upon his covert immedi- 
ately over him, and, after looking about a few seconds for the direction of the fugi- 
tives, he sprang off without observing tlie wounded man who lay at his icvt. So 
soon as the Indians had kille<l the wounded, scalped the dead, rifled the bajjgage, 
and cleared the field, the unfortunate Mercer, finding himself excee<lingly faint and 
thirhty from loss of blood, crawle«l to an adjacent brook, ami, nfter drinking i»l<?iiti- 
fully, found himself so much refreshed that he was able to walk, and comnu-nced 
his return by the road the array had advanced; but, being without subsistence, and 
more than an hundred miles from any Chrirstian settlement, he expecte<l to die of 
famine, when he observed a rattle-snake on his i>ath, wnieh he kille<l and <'ontrive<l 
to skin, and, throwing it over lils sound shoulder, he subsisted on it, as the claims 
of uature urged, until he reached Fort Cumberlaud."— li'<(^(utiuu. 

42 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

ing to Brunswick was necessarily abandoned ; it was eight- 
een miles distant, and the troops were very much fatigued, 
and, as the principal deposit of the enemy's military stores 
was at that place, they had certainly not been left un- 
guarded; resistance was, therefore, to be expected, which 
would require some time to overcome, and here was Corn- 
Wallis pushing at the rear. Again St. Clair's quick per- 
ception and information i)roved useful to Washington. In 
passing to the northward, in the beginning of the cam- 
paign, St. Clair's route lay through Morristown, at the 
time when a large party of the enemy were foraging the 
lower country, and had advanced as far up as Springfield, 
at the foot of the range of mountains, known by the name 
of the Short Hills, where General Williamson was oppos- 
ing them with the militia. St. Clair set off on the instant 
to join him, but before he reached him the enemy had re- 
tired ; but he had thereby an opportunity to see some part 
of those hills which were afterwards of so great use to 
General Washington, and from which Sir William Howe 
never could decoy him, and dared not to attempt to drive 
him. St. Clair described Morristown and its vicinity to 
General Washington as a place where the army could be 
cantoned. He quickly decided, and the army had orders to 
take the route towards that place, and St. Clair was left 
with a rear-guard to destroy the bridges, the last of which 
was barely effected when the enemy appeared and fired 
upon the Americans.^ 

govoral of his general officers at the forks iii the Kingston road, while 
.liis victorious hut weary troops were filin*^ off toward Rocky Hill, there 
was a general cry, '0 that wo had five hundred fresh men to beat up 
their quarters at Brunswick.' ' It would put an end to the war,* said 
Washington, sadly, in a hotter to tlio President of Congress. But the 
five hundre<l fresh men were not tliere, and in tljcir stead was an army 
worn down by hunger and fatigue." — Life of Greene. 

* It is stated in the Lifeof Ore<»ne, tliat that officer h^d already moved 
with the advance towards ^forristown, befort^ this decision. Williinson 
says the movement was made on the advice of General St. Clair (see 
Mnnoirst^ Vol. I., p. 140). btit, whether by advice of (Jreene or St. Clair, 
the establishment of winter quarters at Morristown proved very for- 

Lift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 48 

This final Btroke was an important one, as it compelled 
the witlidrawal of the British troops to Nu^v Brunswick 
and Amboy, where, in the words of Hamilton, they pre- 
sented*' the extraordinary spectacle of a powerful army, 
straitened within narrow limits hy the i)hantom of a mil- 
itary force, and never permitted to transgress those limits 
with impunity."^ 

If those recruits had been for the war, instead of six 
months, how different would have been the results of the 
next campaign. 

The genius of Washington never shone so resplendent 
as during this critical period. Cabals were checked ; Con- 
gress at last risked something of their powers in the hands 
of this General, in order that Liberty might not i)erish 
from the earth ; the militia flocked once more to his stand- 
ard, and ail Europe styled him the American Fabius. 

And one of his most trusted counselors and able lieu- 
tenants throughout this period was Arthur St. Clair.* In 
recognition of his distinguished services, he was, on the 10th 

***The bold, judicious, and unexpected attacks made at Trenton and 
Princeton by an enemy believed to bo vanquished, had an influence 
on the fate of the war much more extensive in its consequences than* 
from a mere estimate of the killed and taken, would bo supposed. 
They Rav€*d Philadelphia for the present winter; they recovered the 
State of Jersey; and, which was of still more importance, they re- 
Tiv«.*d the drooping spirits of America, and gave a sensible impulso to 
the recruiting service throughout the United Stales." — Marshall, Vol. II., 
p. 512. 

*The Surprise ef Trenton was for America what Thermopyhn was 
for Greece. This surprise is one of the best planned and boldo-'^t exe- 
cute.l niilitarv movements of our centurv. It was, however, excelled 
by the Attempt upon Princeton, and both events are suflficiiMit to ele- 
Tate a General to the temple of immortality, esf>eciAlly when, as in this 
cm^^e, he fightjS for the good of his country." — MiUtdrische uwi Vermise'iU 
Sef-T'f'Un von Ileinrlch, Dufrick von Bu/ow, p. 52. 

*ni:* right to share in the glory of Trenton was generally recog- 
niz-d at the time. On the 30th December, .lames Wilson, th«'ii at 
Baliimore, where Congress was sitting, wrote to liim in tlie foll(»\ving 
words: •• With peculiar pleasure I congratulate y<»u on the victory at 
Trenton. 1 hope the ti le is now turning, and will run high in our 
favor.*' — Sea letter p. :j79. 

44 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

of February, commissioned as a Major-General.* During 
the arduous mnd hazardous days of tliis winter, Washing- 
ton formed that attachment for St. Clair which endured, 
despite misrepresentations and eahmmy, as long as he 
lived. Nothing could ever impair his strong* faith in the 
Scotch republican. When Colonel Reed resigned as Ad- 
jutant-General in March, Washington detailed St. Clair 
to fill that important position until it shonld be determined 
whether Colonel Timothy Pickering, to whom the place 
had been offered, would accept. St. Clair discharged the 
duties of that office until ordered by Congress to proceed 
to the Northern Department. 

* There were five Major-Generals appointed at this time, in the order 
named: Stirling, ^fifflin, St. Clair, Stephen, and Lincoln. These had 
been faithful lieutenants of Washington during the dark days when 
panic had seized ui)on many minds, and cabals were formed to de- 
stroy the Commander-in-Chief. Arnold was senior Brigadier, and in 
line of promotion. He threatened retirement from the army. Wash- 
ington, who admired his rash bravery, attempted to soothe his irritated 
feelings, espoused his cause in Congress, and shortly succeeded in ob- 
taining for him a Major-General's commission. It was proposed to 
cure the seeming injustice by committing another, viz: by adopting. a 
resolution placing Arnold superior to the four Major-Generals pro- 
moted from the Continental line. St. Clair protested airainst this, and 
pointed out to Congress the absurdity of placing Stirling, Mifflin, him- 
self, and Stephen under Arnold, and leaving Arnold to be commanded 
by Lincoln, the junior of the five, who was promoted from the militial 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 45 


1777 — St. Clair, Promoted to bk Major General, ORDEREn to an Im- 
portant Command in tub Northern Department — Evacuation op 
Forts Ticonderoga and Independence— It Results in the Sur- 
render of Burgoyne and the Triumph op the American Cause. 

An imprudent letter from Schuyler to Congress, in n\id- 
winter, eclipsed for a season the lortunes of that able and 
patriotic officer, and advanced correspondingly those of 
Gates. On the 25th of March, the latter was directed by 
President Hancock to repair to Ticonderoga immediately 
and take command of the army stationed in that depart- 
ment. Gates proceeded at once to Albany, where ho 
halted, and began to call for reinforcements. He was 
courteously invited to make his home at the Schuyler 
mansion, but pleading the pressure of business, requiring 
his constant presence in the village, he declined. Mean- 
ijvhile Wilkinson, whom he- had pei'suaded to leave Wash- 
ington's headquarters and join him, was at Ticonderoga, 
making reports on the situation there and suggestions as 
to the requirements of the garrison. As this deeply con- 
cerns our story, we shall go over the ground thoroughly. 

We have seen how, after the retreat from Canada. Crown 
Point had been abandoned as untenable because of its 
ruinous state, and the army located at Ticonderoga, which 
then became the frontier fortress. There was a conflict 
of opinion as to the wisdom of this change, but after it 
was done, attention was turned exclusively to the task of 
making Ticonderoga an efTective barrier against the enemy. 
It was expected that Carleton would follow up the advan- 
tages already secured, and push on southward. To pre- 
vent this, work was begun on the old French lines at 
Ticonderoga, and a fleet was formed, over which Arnold 
was placed in command. In a long letter of the 24tb 
July, 1776, to General Washington, General Schuyler ar- 
gues the strength of Ticonderoga, and the impossibility of 

46 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

the enemy to pass the strong camp proposed for the east 
side of Lake Champlain, and penetrate to Skeneaborough. 
" Can they drive us out of the strong camp on the east 
side ?'' he asks. "I think not. I think it impossible for 
ttcrntj/ thousand men to do it, ever so well provided ^ if the camp 
con,sists of less than even a quarter of that number y indifferently 
furnished^ such is the natural strength of the ground.^^^ The 
sequel will show the value of this opinion, and that when 
Sehuyler was i>ut to the test he abandoned it, but it had 
the effect, with others of similar import, to mislead Wash- 
ington and the general public as to the real strength of the 
American position. Schuyler, however, did not contem- 
plate a less force than ten thousand men, besides the fleet, 
to resist any invasion from Canada. 

In September, 177(3, there were stationed at Ticonderoga 
and the encampment on the east side, over twelve thou- 
sand effective men,^ and considerable of a navy rode on 
the waters, manned by five hundred hardy sailors. Within 
a month, the navy was either captured or destroyed,^ and 
Arnokl then, in a letter to General Schuyler, urged that 
eiixht or ten thouvsand militia be sent immediatelv to their 
assistance.* Thus, in October, 1776, it was the opinion of 

* Tlie Italics aro. ours, l;ut the weight to be accorded to this opinion 
will be deterniiiiod when the fact is Btatod that the fort which was 
erected would accommodate scarcely twelve hundred men, and that 
there was an inadequate supply of water ior a beleagured force. 

'Letter from Mount Independence, Sept. 7. — Forces American Ar- 
chicrs, Fifth Series, Vol. I., p. 215. 

'"You must have heard that a few days ago we had a fine fleet 
and tolerable good army, but General Arnold, our evil genius of 
the North, has, with a good deal of industry, got us clear of all our 
fine fleet, only five of the mo-^t inditferent of them, one row galley, ojt- 
ce[»ted; and he has munnged his point so w«'ll with the old man, the 
General [Gates] thai he has got his thanks for his good service . . . 
TTad we our fleet here, we wouM give ourselves but little concern about 
th«* enemy." — Grnrral ]Vm. Miixw>-U t^ Go^rnnr L'>v'n>q^(nn, Oct. 20. 

* " It is the opinion of Generals Gates and St. riair that eight or ten 
thousand militia sliould be immediately sent to our a*<sistance. if they 
can be spared from below." — Forces American ArchUes^ P^ifth Series, Vol 
II., p. 1080. 

lAft and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 47 

the leading officers, that a force of twenty thousand men 
was requisite to effectually resist the British. 

It is interesting to note, in this connection, the view 
Washington lield, derived from the uncertain light shed 
by the correspondence of officers,^ and the reports of com- 
mittees. On the 22d of Octoher, he wrote to Schuyler: 
" I have been informed that Ticondcroga, properly garri- 
soned and supplied with provisions and ammunition, is al- 
most impregnable, even at a season of the year when an 
army can lay before it with the greatest convenience ; if 
8^, instead of calling up a number of useless hands and 
mouths (for such I deem militia in general), I would ad- 
vise a collection of as much provision as could possibly be 
got together, which, if sufficient for nine thousand eftectivQ 
men, of which vour armv consisted by General Arnold's let- 
ter, I should imagine you could keep Burgoyne and Carle- 
ton at bay till the rigor of the season would oblige them 
to raise the siege, not only for want of conveniences to lay 
in field, but for the fear the freezing lake should make 
their return impracticable in case of accident. I would 
recommend the removal of carriages and draft cattle of all 
kinds from the counjtry adjacent, that if they should at- 
tem[)t to slip by Ticondcroga by any other route and come 
down upon the settlements, that plan should be rendered 
abortive for want of means of conveyance for their bati:- 
gage and stores. I am uhacquaivted with the cxtettt if ijinir 
icorks, andj consequently, of the v umber of invn nerasary to 
vian them. If your present numbers [stated by Arnold to 

* It may be remarked, with certainty, that the exaggerated view held 
by Washington was not derivable from any thing communicated by 
Geneni) St. Clair. The sources of information have been indicat^^d in 
the text and notes above. Tliev were accessible also to the Conmiitti^e 
of Secret Correspondence, who wrote to Silas Deane, on the 1st instant, 
in these cheerful words; **(Jur Northern army i** strong, well in- 
trenched in an advantageous post, at Ticondcroga, which can only bo 
taken from them by storm, as it can not be approached in a re^'ular 
manner, on account of the situation. We are also formidable (»n the 
lakes, in galleys, boats, etc., under command of your friend. Arnold. 
and that army is better provided than the other, so that we do not 
seem to apprehend any danger in that quarter at present." 

48 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

be nine thousanrl] should be insufficient for that purpose, I 
would, then, by all means, advise your making up the de- 
ficiency out of the best-regulated militia that could be got. 
Some might, likewise, be useful in bringing up supplies 
and fill the places of men who would render more service 
with arms in their hands. You will always be kind enough 
to bear in mind that I am giving my opinion, not issuing 
mv orders." 

On the 26th October, upon receipt of Washington's let- 
ter, Schuyler was less confident than in the preceding July, 
when he de^ed twenty thousand men to carry tlie posts on 
the lake. He wrote to Washington, from Saratoga: "I 
am in great hopes General Carleton will not be able to 
dislodge our army from Ticonderoga; but, should such an 
event unfortunately take place, such measures will be 
taken as I think will certainly prevent them from pene- 
trating into the country on this side of the lake." ^ The 
militia were called in, and by the 17th of November the 
troops guarding Ticonderoga and Mount Independence 
numbered about twelve thousand. This was the force 
thought to be necessary then, by all of the leading officers, 
to man the works. Within nine months we shall behold 
Schuyler and others expressing surprise that these same 
works could not be successfully defended by twenty-five 
hundred Continental soldiers ! 

The enemy, fortunately, retired into winter-quarters. A 
large part of the American troops were dismissed, twenty- 
five hundred only being left at Ticonderoga, under com- 
mand of Colonel Anthony Wayne. These were soon 
reduced, by sickness, to seventeen hundred.'^ On the 
20th of Xovcmber, 1776, agreeal)ly to the report of 
the Military Committee,^ Congress directed that a fort be 

^ Foin's American Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. II., p. 1257. 

^ Docember 11th. Letter of General Schuyler to Pierre Van Cort- 

^ Resolve*!, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a fort be 
construototl on Mount Independence that the navigation of the lake 
near that place should be obstructed by caissons, to be sunk in the 
water at small distances from one another, and joined together by 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 49 

constructed on Mount Independence, and the navigation 
of the lake obstructed. In December, following, we find 
President Hancock writing to the States of Massachusetts, 
New Hampshire, and Connecticut for four thousand five 
hundred troops, to take the places of those whose terms 
were about to expire.^ They were informed that advices 
from General Schuyler indicated that there was extreme 
danger the enemy w^ould attempt to take Ticonderoga 
when the lake should be frozen so as to be capable of bear- 
ing horses. It was already Christmas Eve when the ex- 
press w^as dispatched, and as weeks must elapse before the 
Governors could act, or the obstructions be completed, an 
extraordinary share of responsibility must have been put 
upon Providence. 

Meanwhile, the condition of the handful of troops who 
kept watch during the winter months, and who were ex- 
pected to perfect the fortifications, was most deplorable. 
They were "scarcely able to bear the fatigue of being a 
few minutes on parade." ^ " The wretched condition they 
are now in, for want of almost every necessary conveni- 
ence of life, except flour and bad beef, is shocking to hu- 
manity, and beggars all description. AVo have neither 
beds nor bedding for our sick to lay on or under, 
other than their own clothing ; no medicine or regimen 

string pieces, bo as, at the same time, to serve for a bridge between the 
fortifications on the east and west sides ; that, to prevent the enemy 
from drawing their small craft overland beyond Three-Mile Point into 
Lake George, the passage of that lake be also obstructed, in like man- 
ner, by caissons from island to island in the Narrows, if practicable, or 
by floating batteries; that Fort Stanw^ix be strengthened, and other 
fortifications be made at proper places near the Mohawk River-, and 
that the commanding officer of the Northern army execute these 
works this winter; and that the Commanding Officers of Artillery, 
Chief Engineer, Quartermaster-General, and Commissary-General pro- 
vide and perform whatever things in their respective departments are 
necessary, or may contribute to the accomplishment thereof. — Jouv 
nals of Congress. 

*Ibid, December 24th. 

* Richard Varick, to the President of Congress. 

50 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

suitable for them ; the dead and dying laying mingled 
together in our hospital, or rather house of carnage, is 
no uncommon sight.'' ^ 

And even when the spring days had come, and the buds 
of the maple and the birch were swelling, the misery of 
the poor garrison engaged the attention of the brave 
AVayne. He sought to move the people of Massachusetts 
Bay to send relief, by pointing out danger ahead. " The 
enemy," wrote he to the Council of that State, "will be 
but too soon informed of the del)ilitated state of this gar- 
rison, which at present does not consist of more than 
twelve hundred men, sick and well, officers included, four 
hundred of which are militia from Berkshire and Hamp- 
shire in your State, whose time expires in ten days."' ^ Two 
weeks later his vigilance had discovered the enemy in 
strong force near Gillihinds, where he had sent for prov- 
ender, and in communicating this to General Schuyler, he 
adds in homely but efloctive language : " I can't accouiit 
for the happiness of the Eastern Slates with respect to 
this post on any other principle but the generally received 
notion that no attack will be made hero."' 

In this emergency Schuyler did every thing possible for 
an officer in his position to do. He appealed to the Kew 
England States, to the Albany Council, and to Congress. 
It was in the mid?^t of all this misery that he wrote the 
imprudent letter before referred to. He followed it to 
Congress, and Gates succeeded him in ccmniand. By the 
time Wilkinson arrived [May 13, 1777], Wayne had gone, 
and another officer was in charge. Every thing was found 
to be in an unsatisfactorv condition. On the l(>th, he re- 

MVavne, to the ronnsylvania Council of Saf«tv. 

Colonc?! Joso])h Wood, wriiing, on the same day [Decenibor 4th], to 
the Council, said that, althoujLdi ro<|uisition had been ma<le for tliirteen 
thousan<l men, oidy nine hundiuMl pairs of shoos had been sui>plied, 
and that one-third, at '^ast, of the jjoor wretches were bare-footed, and in 
this condition obliged to do duty. "This is shocking to humanity," 
he added; "nay, it can not be viewed in any m Idcr light than black 

^ MassachuS' t(.^ Archives^ Vol. CXCV^I., p. 324. 

•April Uih.— Massachusetts Archives, Vol. CXCVI., p. 419. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 51 

ported to General Qates that the presence of a disciplining 
General was greatly needed; that several of the regiments 
were in detachments and needed to be incorporated ; that 
Major Stevens was praying for reinforcements of artiller- 
ists; that there was a general cry for clothing; that the 
shirts in store were too mean to be worn, and had been 
refused by the soldiery ; that there was a total want of 
iron proper for mounting artillery, and a great demand 
for arms and accouterments; that the muskets which had 
lately arrived from Albany were so flimsily repaired as 
not to bear the transportation, and were in worse condi- 
tion than when they were sent away ; that the poor re- 
mains of the American fleet were in a most contemptible 
situation — without order, without regularity, almost void 
of naval stores, badly manned and miserably officered ; and 
that if paper were supplied, fixed ammunition might be 
prepared soon. 

On the 22d he wrote in similar strain : " I wish to 
Heaven, either yourself or General St. Clair was here for 
a few days. Colonel Kosciusko* is timidly modest; Bald- 
win is inclosing the lines on a plan of his own;' General 

has arrived. He is a very inefficient officer, though 

somewhat more determined than . We are now about 

three thousand strong." His next communication is so 
important as to justify reproducing almost entire: 

"TicoNDEROGA, Mav 20, 1777. 
"My Dear General: — I now inclose you a general return of this 
garrison, but can not tell whether it corresponds with the last, as I 
fc^ent that off in such a hurry as not to reserve a copy. . . . Since 
General *s arrival on Tuesday last, we have brought all the Conti- 
nental troops, except Long's re^imonf, to this side of the Lake, and 

* The gallant Pole, Thaddeus Kosciusko, whose romantic history is 
familiar to every American. He served with distinction as Colonel of 

' Lieutenant-Colonel J. Baldwin, First Engineer, had charge of the 
works in the west, or Ticonderoga side, and Lieutenant-Colonel M. 
Christopher Pelissier on the east, or Mount Independence side. This 
last site had been selected on the recommendation of Colonel John 
Trumbull, Deputy Adjutant General of the Northern Department, by 
appointment of General Gates. 

52 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

have posted the militia on the mount, brigaded under Colonel Long, a 
genteel, amiable man. The troops on this side are formed under 
Brigadiers and P . The stay of the militia is quite discre- 
tionary with the general, as they are turned out in this emergency 
without any limited term of duration, though they begin already to 
complain. You will find in these returns a very treacherous jjroportion 
of officers, and that several are furloughed in the original return; 
frauds which your or General St. Clair's presence is necessary to correct. 

".Colonel Hay is an active officer, of more judgment than any one 
I know in this garrison. About one hundred and twenty of the men 
returntMl on command are under his direction, and are, I believe, ad- 
vantjigoously employed; the residue are under Colonel Baldwin, and 
on board the fleet, where I think economy is much needed; one 
whole company of " carpenters are constantly employed in forming a 
kind of friezed aljatis, on the exterior of the glacis of the French lines. 
The works are constructed on the plan laid down by Colonel Baldwin ; 
the redoubt at those lines goes on finely ; it is formed by certain lines 
beginning at the east end of the curtain on which the three north 
embrasures are opened, and closing at the south sally-port. I believe 
my details have made more invalids than real disease, the complaints 
of many being very trivial ; however, as I have no authority to obviate 
this subterfuge, they will continue to avail themselves of it. The 
muster-master is much wanted; he can not arrive too soon. The 
artificers, and a number of workmen, are at present without arms, and 
as there is in use and in store a great proportion of bad ones, 1 think 
there appears an evident necessity of moving the armory to this 
place immediately. 

" My General is acquainted with the various precautions preparatory 
to successful defense ; he knows the subject to be too complex for the 
comprehension of men of mean abilities, no education, and little ex- 
perience ; what then must bo the fate of this garrison under its present 
command? I give you my honor, at this moment there is no disposi- 
tion of defense made in case of an attiick, or even alarm posts assigned ; 
1 shall endeavor to have the latter consideration settled this day. 
Providence yesterday exjjosed one point of our weakness, by ordering 
a gale of wind, which carried away and broke to pieces the boom, 
bridge, and every appendage thereof. . . . 

•' A scout has this moment arrived, who was yesterday chased near 
the Four Brothers, by four of the enemy's boats. lie observed lying 
at that place a schooner, a pettiauger, and six or seven bateaux. I 
suppose they are taking off the wheat and stock which we have 
neglected to secure. . . . 

** I have the honor to be, etc., 

"Ja. Wilkinson. 

"IIox. Major-Gkxkual Gates." 

Before the date of this letter the dignity of Congress 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 53 

had been vindicated, and its wrath appeased, in re General 
Schuyler's alleged disrespectful letter, and that officer, 
without a word of explanation to General Gates, was 
restored to the command of the Iforthern Department. 
He arrived at Albany on the 3d of June, and on the fol- 
lowing day received from General Gates a statement of 
the condition of affairs at Ticonderoga. That statement 
was discouraging in the last degree. The garrison was 
inadequate, and no prospect of speedy reinforcement; in- 
stead of six companies of artillerists as required, there 
were only two; the roads had been so bad as to prevent 
the transportation of stores; the enemy were approaching, 
and if a seige were entered on, the garrisons would be 
poorly provided. lie had sent this information by ex- 
presses to the committees of the New England States, and 
also to General Washington. The good i>cople of those 
States seemed to rest supine, and apparently nothing but 
a disaster could rouse them. The Committee of Safety 
of Xew Hampshire by the 10th May had furnished one- 
half of the quota of that State, and these were very ill- 
clothed. There was neither cloth nor arms in the State. ^ 
And on the 30th of May, Gates notified the Massachusetts 
Council^ that the one thousand five hundred militia 
ordered from Hampshire county were not j^et one-third 
arrived; and a scout to Split Kock showed the enemy in 
considerable force. 

On the 5th, General Schuyler ordered General St. Clair 
to repair to Ticonderoga and take the command. The 
latter reached that post on the 12th June^ where he found 
a small garrison, badly armed, worse clad, and without 
magazines. * 

' Historical Records of New Hampshire, 

' Massachusetts Archives. 

»"0n the 12th, St. Clair, the best of the Brigadiers in the North, 
reachcni Ticonderoga." Bnnrroft, Vol. IX., p. 361. Of course "Briga- 
diers" is a misprint for Major-denorals, as Bancroft had already noted 
the promotion. 

* We shall give hero a description of the situation, in St. Clair's own 
words, but after quoting this apt and just remark by Bancroft : " Gates, 

54 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

It will be well for the reader to bear in mind the dato3 
and all of the facts above set forth as to the condition of 
Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, at this stage, as 
we shall have occasion hereafter to recur to them, and to 
pass judgment on able statesmen, and wise and impartial 
historians with the aid of the light they afford. We shall 
see to whom the word '' unfortunate" (a favorite with those 
who clothe the products of the imagination rather than 
truth, in rhetorical phrase), is justly applicable. 

When St. Clair received his instructions from Congress, 
he was informed that it was believed the movement of the 
enemy toward Ticonderoga was merely a feint, and that 
their undoubted plan of campaign was for General Bur- 
goyne to join Lord Howe at New York. General Gates 
wrote to General Poor, "that he had the strongest assur- 
ances from Congress that the King's troops were all or- 
dered round to New York," and that the intelligence he 
had from a spy " corroborated the sentiment of Congress." 
Washington was greatly perplexed, but inclined to the 
belief that the movement of the British in force would be 
by Xew York. The doubt created by the very recent 
movements of the enemy was sufficient to put St. Clair on 
the alert, and he set to work with characteristic energy to 
complete the defenses on the plan of Congress. The task 
was an almost hopeless one. Without men and without 
means, what was it possible for one man to do ? lie knew 
that the peojJe were misinformed as to the strength of the 

who bad the good luck to be relieved just before inevitable mishaps, 
charged St. (lair to 'call lustily for aid of all kinds, for no General 
ever lust by surplus numbers, or over preparation; ' and he then re- 
paired to Philadelphia to secure his re instatenient.'' " Had every 
man I ha<l," said St. Clair, "been disposed of in single file on the dif- 
ferent works and along the lines of defense, tliey would have been 
scarcely within the reach of each other's voices; but Congress had 
been 2)ersuaded that the enemy would make no attempt in that quar- 
ter, an<l such a number of men only as were. judged to be sufficient for 
completing the works that liad been j)rojected, were assigned to me. two thousand half armed an<l ill etpiippcd every way. I found 
arranged into many regiments, with their full complement of officers, 
and three brig.nliers," Aj>pcndtx to St. Clair 3 I^urrativc. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 55 

fortress of Ticonderoga, and that they expected it to suc- 
cessfully resist any attack of the enemy. lie also knew 
that he was there as a sacrifice. Bravest and best of sol- 
diers, who, conscious of adverse fate in store for him, goes 
manfully forward in the discharge of his duty ! It was on 
account of a clear recognition of the virtues — more felt 
than seen — of this man, that I consented to write this me- 

" — ■ : where desert does live, 

There will 1 plant my wonder, and there give 
My best endeavors to build up his glory, 
That truly merits ! " 

On the 18th of June, to his friend, James Wilson,^ who 
was then a member of the Continental Congress, St. Clair 
described the dangers surrounding him and the inadequate 
means for successful defense. He said that, instead of the 
works having been improved and strengthened in the win- 
ter, as promised, they were in worse condition than when 
he had last seen them ; they required ten thousand men to 
defend them, and he had not more than tivo thousand tico 
hundred;^ that if the militia were called in, their provis- 
ions would be exhausted in two weeks ; that it was a dis- 
agreeable position for a man to be placed in, that of being 
called on to defend works with a force greatly inadequate, 
and a retreat apparently impossible ; that it was hard, with 
the little information they had, to form an opinion of the 
enemy's designs, but it was certain General Burgoyne had 
returned from England for an active campaign, and if he 
did not take his troops around to General Howe, as sup- 
posed, he would move on Ticonderoga; and that it was 
his purpose, after a resistance on the west side, to move 
his men to Mount Independence, and there make a stand. 

"^ St. Clair MS, On the 25th he wrote, in pretty much the same 

fitrain, to John Hancock, President of Congress. 

'The preceding fall, Gates, who then had thirteen thousand effertive 
men, called for eight or ten thousand additional troops. General lUir- 
goyne afterward, on occasion of the inquiry into his conduct by the 
House of Commons, said that the works at Ticonderoga were so exten- 
sive as to require twelve thousand men to defend them. 

56 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

He closed his letter in these words : " My dear friend, if 
you should not hear from me again, which may probably 
be the case, remember that I have given you this account 
of our situation, and do not suffer my reputation to be 
murdered, after having been sacrificed myself." 

St. Clair, nevertheless, pushed the work with all possi- 
ble dispatch, and in a few days aflTuirs assumed a more for- 
midable, if not more encouraging aspect. The repairs on 
the old French lines were put into as good shape as prac- 
tir'able ; the boom reconstructed, and the abatis and fort 
on Mount Independence completed. The American de- 
fensive works, on the 1st of July, were the following: 

On a rough angle of land, covered with rocks and sur- 
rounded on three sides by water, on the western shore, a 
few miles northward from the conmiencement of the gut 
by which the waters of Lake George are conveyed to Lake 
Champlain, was situated the fortress of Ticonderoga. A 
part of the fourth side was covered by a deep morass, and 
a part, that to the north-west, by intrenchments known as 
the old French lines. The Americans had strengthened 
these lines with additional works, and a block-house. Be- 
tween the lines and the fort, were also two block-houses, 
and on the point of the promontory was a strong redoubt 
of earth and stone — ''Grenadiers' Battery" — which com- 
manded the narrow part of the lake, and covered the 
bridge that communicated with Afount Independence, on 
the east side. This bridge of communication, was sup- 
ported by twenty-two sunken piers of large timber, at 
nc^arly equal distances, between which were separate iloats 
fifty feet long and twelve feet wide, strongly fastened to- 
gether by chains and rivets, and also fastened to the sunken 
l)iers. Before this bridge was a boom — the boom on the 
strength and importance of which so much stress was laid 
by (^ongress and General Schuyler — made of very large 
pieces of timber, fastened together by riveted bolts and 
doubled chains, made of iron one inch and a half square.* 
Upon the fiat summit of the high and circular hill on the 

^ Burgoy lie's report to the House of Commons. Appendix XXX, 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 57 

east side of the narrows, where East Creek enters, called 
Mount Independence, was a star fort, made of pickets, and 
well supplied with artillery, within which were extensive 
barracks. The foot of the hill, on the side that projects 
into the lake, was intrenched, and had a strong abatis 
close to the water. This intrenchment was lined with 
heavy artillery, pointed down the lake, flanking the water 
battery above described, and sustained by another battery 
about half way up the hill. It was to the completion of 
these works St. Clair's labors were chiefly directed in the 
brief time he had. " The lake here is quite narrow, and, 
sweeping in serpentine curves around the two points, it 
flows northward on the left, and expands gradually into a 
sheet of water several miles wide."^ At the entrance of 
Lake George was situated the hospital, protected by a 
block-house. At the carrying place, where saw-mills were 
situated, was a military post, guarded by a block-house 
upon the eminence above the mills. From this post to the 
old French lines the distance was about a mile and a half. 
A post had been established on an eminence, called Mount 
Hope, north of the main works, and about a half mile in 
advance of the old French lines. 

The fortifications were formidable, and if the Americans 
had had twelve thousand men instead of two thousand to 
man them, or if the enterprising Burgoyne had followed 
the precedents set by both French and British, in other 
days, and made a direct attack on the lines, the result 
might have been all that the most ardent patriot hoped 
for. The sequel will show the points of weakness in the 
American plan of defense, and the responsibility therefor. 

Soon after reaching Ticonderoga, St. Clair was visited 
by General Schuyler, and, together, they concerted means 
for rousing the Xew England States to a just appreciation 
of the dangers surrounding that post. But it is evident 
that Schuyler shared with others to the southward the 
view that the Canadian troops would sail down the St. 
Lawrence for Xew York to co-operate with Lord Howe, 

Lossing'a Pictorial Field- Book of the Revolution, p. 131. 

58 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

and that the movement toward the Hudson was only a 
diversion. Or, it might be, that the main body of the 
British would march from St. John's towards the Con- 
necticut river and make an attempt on the Eastern States, 
a maneuver which, he said, if successful, would be attended 
with much honor to General Burgoyne. " I am the more 
confirmed in this conjecture, as the enemy can not be ig- 
norant how very difficult, if not impossible, it will be for 
them to penetrate to Albany, unless, in losing Ticondcroga, 
we should lose not onlv all our cannon, but most of the 
army designed for this department.'' 

For the most part, Schuyler's letters to Washington were 
of an assuring character, as his views of the situation con- 
tinued to l)e hopeful. It is true, he did, at a late day, in 
transmitting a letter of St. Clair's, in which was an ac- 
count of the enemy being discovered in considerable force 
on both sides of Gilliland's Creek, venture to ask Wash- 
ington for reinforcements. " If the enemy's object is not 
to attack Ticondcroga," said he, " I suspect their move- 
ment is intended to cover an attem[)t on New Hampshire, 
or the Mohawk river, or to cut off the communications 
between Fort Edward and Fort George, or, perhaps, all 
three, the more to distract us and divide our force." Later, 
when it became apparent the enemy were moving to at- 
tack Fort Stanwix, as well as Ticondcroga, ho wrote in 
this cheerful strain to St. Clair: '* I shall have great hopes 
if General Burgoyne continues in the vicinity of your 
post until we get up, and dares risk an engagement, we 
shall give a good account of him." ^ So little did he un- 
derstand the situation. Nevertheless, he was urgent in 
his appeals to those from whom help might be expected. 
Congress was not left in doubt. Nothing was done towards 
relief, and the abandonment of the i)ost, the only measure 
dictated by prudence, was not thought of by the control- 

*.S/. C/iiir MS. 'rh<^ tone of iSchnylt^r's corrospoiulenco during the 
last days of June and the werk following the evacuation of Ticon- 
d«Moga, is inexplioahlo, in the face of the conclusions of a council of 
war over wliich he presided, hehl at Ticondcroga, on the 20th of June. 
This action will be treated of in the text further on. 

Lip and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 59 

ling powers. If Schuyler thought of it, he had not the 
moral courage to recommend it in the face of public ex- 
pectation.^ As late as the closing days of June, he was 
looking to Massachusetts, to the President of which he 
wrote: "Our garrison at Ticonderoga is greatly inade- 
quate to the defense of the extensive works on both sides 
of the lake, and I have, unhappily, no troops to reinforce 
them."^ It was the second of July, before the militia of 
Hampshire and Berkshire counties were ordered to march 
for Ticonderoga.^ 

Meanwhile, St. Clair was unable to get any certain news 
of the enemy. Scouts were constantly sent out, the best 
of Whitcomb's men, but of these, alas ! few ever returned.* 
Such as did, reported the forests every-where filled with 
Indians. There was a fateful mystery in this that boded 
ill, but the stout-hearted St. Clair toiled on until — just as 
the defensive works were nearly completed, and his ragged 
men and boys began to put on something of the air of sol- 

* Schuyler visited Ticonderoga on the 17th June,* and remained sev- 
eral days. While there, he asked Wilkinson his opinion of the jjlan 
that t^hould be adopted. The reply was that the heavy cannon and 
the army, except fifteen hundred select men, should he moved at once 
to Fort George, as, by this plan, they would be enabled to defend the 
place against a feint, and, in case of a serious attack, the light troops 
could scamper over the hills and join the main body. General Schuy- 
ler "oiA«n'«<^//u/< ^Aw t/;aj/)rt'm^/y A/'* own opihion, fjut that withottt orders 
Jroin Congress he Jure not take on himself the rc^ponsibditi/ ff a measure which 
tcnuhl excite a great outcry^ — Memoirs^ p. 174. The statement is con- 
firmed by Schuyler's testimony before the court on the occasion of the 
trial of St. Clair. See. p 450, post. 

* St. Cair MS. Archives of Massachusetts. 

•Letter of Arteraas Ward, to Josiah Bartlett. — Archives of Massa- 

* " Every stratagem and enterprise was employed by General St. Clair 
to ascertain the force and objects of the enemy, but without effect ; 
hi:* movements were covered by his fleet, and his Indian scouts were 
spread throughout the wilderness which surrounded us. Our recon- 
noitering parties were either cut up and captured, or routed and driven 
in." — Wilkinsons Memoirs, p. 178. See also testimony, p. 447. 

0) The author of tho Life of Schuyler says 20th of Tune, but then that writor Is not 
Tcry accurate. He cither lacked the ludustry te eousi*!' original sourt* es. or the facts 
did not harmonize \tiih big theory. 

69 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

diers — there were unmistakable signs of a powerful force in 
front of him. If the enemy would only attack his lines, 
there would be hot work ; and he hoped his men, who were 
in good spirits, would act creditably. But, would Burgoyne 
attack the fortifications ? Would his vessels come within 
reach of the floating batteries, or the boom? Let us take 
a look at the enemy, which was more than the American 
scouts had succeeded in doing, so that both sides in the 
game may be made clear before us. 

General Burgoyne had returned to Canada from England, 
bringing with him a plan of campaign for "quelling the 
rebellion as soon as possible." To accomplish this, Sir 
Guy Carleton was informed that it was highly necessary 
to efi:cct a speedy junction of the two armies. He was in- 
structed to retain a force of three thousand men in Can- 
ada, and to employ the remainder of liis army upon two 
expeditions, the one under command of Lieutenant General 
Burgoyne, who was to force his way to Albany, and the 
other under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel St. Leger, 
who was to make a diversion on the Mohawk Kivcr.^ Au- 
thority was given to employ " good and sufficient bodies" 
of Canadians and Indians to aid in the execution of this 

General Bnrgoyne's army numbered seven thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-three men, including two hundred Ca- 
nadians and four liundred Indians.^ He had under him 
such experienced officers as Major-General Fraser, who 
conmiandcd the British infantry ; Major-General Riedesel, 
who connnanded the German troops, and Major-General 
Phillips, in command of the artillery. Perhaps no army 
Avas over better ecpiipped for an offi'usive campaign 
than Burgoyne's on this occasion. The artillery num- 
bered one hundred and forty-two guns, and included six- 
teen heavy twenty- four-pounders and ten lieavy twelve- 
pounders.* To op[)Ose this formidal)le array the American 

* Account of tlie Expedition from Canada laid before tho House of 
Commons. Appendix XIII. 
'Uid, pp. 12-17. 
^BarjOjfi's ya.atlve^ p. 13. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 61 

works were provided with one hundred cannon, of indif- 
ferent caliber, and a small force of inexperienced artiller- 
ists to serve them. 

The British assembled between the 17th and 20tli of 
June at Cumberland Point, on Lake Champlain, and after 
a day spent in feasting and haranguing their Indian allies, 
they moved forward to Crown Point, where a hospital and 
magazines were erected. On the 30th, General Burgoyne 
ordered the advance corps, '' consisting of the British light 
infantry and grenadiers, the Twenty-fourth regiment, some 
Canadians and savages, and ten pieces of light artillery, 
under command of Brigadier-General Fraser, to move up 
the west shore of the lake to Four-Mile Point, so called 
from being within that distance of Ticonderoga." The 
German reserve, under Lieutenant-Colonel Breyman, were 
moved at the same time to Richardson's farm, on the east 
shore, opposite to Putnam Creek.^ The next day the whole 
army made a movement forward and encamped in two 
lines, the right wing at the Four-Mile Point, the left wing 
nearly opposite, on the east shore. At the same time the 
fleet anchored just without the reach of the American 

On the approach of the right wing of the British army, 
the Americans set fire to the saw-mills and abandoned 
their works toward Lake George, and left General Phil- 
lips to possess the advantageous post of Mount Hope, 
"without making any resistance, which must have been in- 
effectual, and could have answered no good purpose.* Pre- 
ceding this movement, the Indians, under Captain Frazer, 
supported by his company of marksmen, were directed by 
the British commander to make a circuit to the left of 
the line of the advanced corps, and endeavor to cut off 
the retreat of the Americans to their lines, but this design 
was defeated by the impetuosity of the Indians, who, de- 

* Burgoynes Narrative. Appendix XXVI. 

' Gordon, Vol. II., p. 480. Irving, who generally speaks of St. Clair 
in terms of praise, censures him for abandoning Mount Hope. But 
possession of that hill without troops to support the force there, as 
Gordon says, could have answered no good purpose. 

62 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

ceivcd by the nature of the ground, which was covered 
by brushwood, w^ere unaware of the close iiroximity of the 
defenses, attacked the Americans in front, forced them 
to retire, with a loss of one officer and a few men killed 
and one officer wounded,^ but were checked bv a fire from 
the workj, which were less than two hundreds yards dis- 
tant. Suspecting this movement for an assault. General 
St. Clair directed the troops to sit down on the banquette 
with their backs to the parapet, as well to cover them 
from the shot of the enemy as to prevent their throwing 
away their own fire, and himself kept watch of the enemy, 
who continued to crawl toward their works, under cover 
of the brushwood. Seeing a light infantry man of the 
enemy's force industriously loading and firing, under cover 
of the bushes, within forty paces of the ditch, Colonel 
Wilkinson ordered a sergeant to rise and shoot him. The 
order was obeyed, and a curious result followed : not only 
was the man knocked over on the side of the eneniv, but 
every American soldier straightway mounted tho banquette j 
and without command fired a volley; "the artillery fol- 
lowed the example, as did many of the officers, from the 
colonel down to subalterns, and, notwithstanditig the ex- 
ertions of the general and his staff, three rounds were dis- 
charged before they could stop the firing, and when the 
smoke dispersed, the enemy were observed at three hun- 
dred yards' distance, retreating helter-skelter."- Wilkin- 
son discovered his man lying prostrate on liis back, and 
mentioned the circumstance to General St. Clair, who, 
though exceedingly heated by the conduct of the troops, 
replied, '^ with that mild philanthro{)y which distinguished 
his character, ' Scnr/ out a corporal and a fie of men, and 
Irf the poor fdlou: be brouq/tf 'ni and buriedJ But as the 
corporal approached the sui)posed dead man, he jumped 
up, clubbed his musket, and exclaimed, 'By Jasus, I killed 
the man at the sally-port; a fair shot I"^ The Irisliman 

* lUifijntfncs Xarrative. Appendix XXVIII. 
^ Wilk nsou's Memoirs, Vol. I., p. 182. 

• Wilhlnsoiis Mctnoirs, Vol. I., p. 183. 

Life and Public Scrctces of Arthur St. Clair. G3 

was brought in, and thougli at first stuhborn enough, the 
companionship of a fellow-countryman, supplied with 
creature-comforts, at night, was sufficient to draw out from 
him important information as to the strength of the enemy. 

On the 3d, Mount Hope was occupied in force by Gen- 
eral Friuser's whole corps, Bujiported by artillery, thus 
cuttiuir off the Americans from all communication with 
Lake George. On tlie east side, G;.Mieral Riedesel was en- 
camped in a parallel line with Three-Mile Point, having 
pushed the reserve forward, near the rivulet which encir- 
cles Mount Independence.^ The Americans kej»t up a 
vigorous fire during the day, to which no response was 
made. S:. Clair, knowing the desperate nature of his 
situation, still lingered, hoping that General Burgoyne 
might be provoked to make an assault. If that were only 
done, no matter what the result, an opportunity would be 
afforded a soldier to give an account of the enemy, and 
t^op public clamor. Tv'ithin forty-eight hours that hope 
vfTu^ disj Killed. 

Tlje tongue of land swept by the waters of South Hiver 
and t]ie inlet from Lake George as tlioy unite and form a 
Iniy at the southern extremity of Lake Champlain, is a 
]^>itv and rugged eminence overlooking all other points, 
and f:u]»j*osed hitherto by French, English and American 
en^riuecrs to be inaccessible for artillerv. It was known 
a^ JT'ugar-Loaf Hill, or Mount De-fiance. Its importance 
iu the inveitment did not escape such experienced soldiers 
u^ I>argorne and Phillips, and Lieutenant Twiss, the com- 
iimnding engineer, was ordered to reconnoiter. He " re- 
]K>rte»d this hill to have the entire command of the works 
uud buildings, both of Ticonderoga and Mount Independ- 
ence* at the distance of about one thousand four hundred 
vurds from the former, and one thousand five hundred 
irom the latter; that the ground might be leveled so as to 
rt'ce'iTe cannon, and that the road to convev them, thoui^h 
difficult- might be made practicable in twenty-four hours."* 

^l.w-vmihii jV? Tjli c — Appoiulix XXVI 1 1. 
^2jurputf%Ai -Vj a ppoiulix XXIV., 

64 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

This hill also commanded, in reverse, the bridge of com- 
munication, exposed to view the exact situation of the 
vessels, and the Americans could not during the day make 
any material movement or preparation without being dis- 
covered, and even having their numbers counted.* Gen- 
eral Phillips proceeded at once to the execution of this 
arduous task. 

AVhen General St. Clair discovered that the enemy were 
m possession of Mount Defiance, he knew that resistance 
was hopeless. Two courses were open to him, viz : To 
defend the works until his men were either killed or cap- 
tured; or to abandon his plan of concentrating on Mount 
Independence, and attempt an escape with a view of plac- 
ing himself between the invaders and the inhabitants be- 
vond Fort Edward. The moment of doubt as to the 
course to be chosen was one of supreme importance to the 
country, and to St. Clair — of that critical nature most 
trying to a soldier, when great souls are proved. To re- 
main would be to lose his armv, to evacuate would be to 
sacrifice himself. The struggle was soon over. He chose 
wisely the general good rather than the " bloody honors 
which were within his reach." "Well do I remember his 
reply to me," said Wilkinson, in describing the scene in 
other days, " when deploring the necessity of our retreat: 
'It must be so, my boy. 'Tis not in mortals to command 
success, but we'll do more, we will deserve it. I know 1 
could snre my character by sacr/ficiny the army; but were 1 to 
do so I should forfeit that which the \corld could not restore^ 
and which it can not take away, the approbation of my own 
conscience,^ " 

A council of general ofllicers was convened, and it v/as 
unanimously decided to withdraw from the fortifications.* 
Measures were immediately taken for effectitig the evacua- 
tion. The officers were instructed to proceed to carry out 
the orders as soon as the shades of evening would permit 
the men to move without risk of revealing to the enemy 

* Burgnynes Narrative. Appendix XXIV. 
2 St. Clair Papers, p. 420. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 65 

their purpose. The sick, and as much of the cannon, pro- 
visions and stores as possible were embarked on the boats, 
and ordered to Skenesborough, where St. Clair directed 
Colonel Long, " an active, diligent, good officer/' to take 
command with his regiment and the invalids, until he should 
join him with the army, which was to march to that place 
by the way of Castleton/ As many of the cannon were 
spiked as possible, and just after midnight the garrison 
of Ticonderoga crossed the bridge to Mount Independence, 
where it was found little had been done. The rascally 
French general, De Fermoy, to whom had been intrusted 
the preparations for removal at Mount Independence, was 
discovered to be sound asleep. The movements here were 
necessarily hurried, but all went well until the evil genius 
of Fermoy moved him to disobey the express orders of the 
commanding general, and set fire to his quarters on Mount 
Independence, as he was leaving them about two o'clock 
on the morning of the 6th.^ This exposed to the enemy 
the rear of the American army, and word was at once con- 
veyed to Brigadier-General Fraser, who took possession 
of the deserted posts, and pursued with his brigade after 
the retreating Americans. There was much confusion 
amongst the latter, which, however, was corrected through 
the personal exertions of St. Clair. 

Soon after daylight. General Burgoyne was apprised of 
the flight. lie directed Major-General Riedesel to move 
to the support of Brigadier Fraser, while he turned his 
attention to the pursuit by water. It was now to be seen 
whether the hopes which General Schuyler and (congress 

* St. Clair's letter to President Hancock from Ft. Edward, p. 420. 

* Fermoy was placed at Ticonderoga by express orders of Congress. 
Washington had protested against placing foreign adventurers over 
American troops, but the policy of Congress was to se(»k foreign aid, 
and it was hoped good reports would be sent across the water by the 
officers they honored. Unfortunately, Congress did not discriminate 
wisely between merit and impudent incapacity. One of the worst of 
the adventurers was this very General Fermoy, who brouglit disaster 
apon the rear of St. Clair's army after the successful retreat from Ticon- 


66 Jjift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

had placed on the boom stretched between Ticonderoga 
and Mount Independence, would be realized. If im- 
pregnable as confidently believed by Schuyler, it would 
delay the enemy until Colonel Long could get safely away 
with the stores, and a junction formed either with the 
main army or the forces that were approaching from the 
south. General Burgoyne tells the result of the attack on 
the boom in a few words : The gun-boats were instantly 
moved forward, and "the boom and one of the inter- 
mediate floats were cut with great dexterity and dispatch, 
and Commodore Lutwidge, with the officers and seamen 
in his department, partaking the general animation, a 
passage was formed in half an hour for the frigates also," 
" through impediments," adds the ardent General, " which 
the enemy had been laboring to construct since last 

An impregnable boom cut with such dispatch as to ad- 
mit of the passage of frigates in half an hour! 

Colonel Long moved from Ticonderoga up South Kiver. 
" Its beautiful waters wound among the mountains, cov- 
ered with primeval forests. The bateaux, deeply laden, 
made their way slowly in a lengthened line; sometimes 
under the shadows of mountains, sometinies in the gleam 
of moonlight. The rear-guard of armed galleys followed 
at wary distance. No immediate pursuit, however, was 
apprehended Tj'he floating bridge [boom] was considered 
an eftectual impediment to the enemy's fleet." ^ Scarcely 
had the disembarkation at Skenesborough commenced, 
when the guard of armed vessels was attacked by the 
British gun-boats, which had pushed on with all possible 
rapidity. Two of the American vessels soon struck, and 
the other three wore blown up. Colonel Long set fire to 
the fort, mills^ storehouses and bateaux, and retired up 
Wood Creek to Fort Anne, where he arrived about day- 
light. The loss of property at Skenesborough was very 
large, and included all of the officers' baggage. 

The British pursued to Fort Anne, but there met with 

^ Irving s Washington. Vol. III., p. 120. 

hift and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 67 

a vigorous resistance and lost some troops, the Americans 
capturing a number of prisoners, including Captain Mont- 
gomery and a surgeon. Supposing this to be the advance 
of General Burgoyne's army, Colonel Long set fire to Fort 
Anne, and retreated to Fort Edward. 

The body of St. Clair's army reached Castleton the 
next evening, thirty miles from Ticonderoga and twelve 
from Skenesborough, and there halted. The rear-guard, 
under Colonel Seth Warner,^ which, with the stragglers 
and infirm, amounted to near twelve hundred, stopped at 
Hubbardton, six miles from the main body. Besides his 
own regiment, Warner had the regiments of Colonels 
Francis and Hale, and, if he had been as active as the 
enemy, he would have joined the main body before Gen- 
eral Fraser could have come up.* The latter, after giving 
his men a rest, until three o'clock in the morning, pushed 
on until he overtook the Americans, who were yet in 
camp, at five o'clock. He attacked with great spirit. 
Hale and his regiment immediately fled, but Warner and 
Francis were of diflbrcnt metal, and the brave Green 
Mountain boys under them had heard the whistle of bul- 
lets before. They met the attack with great coolness, and, 
being prevented from getting possession of the command- 
ing ground to their right, posted themselves behind logs 
and. trees, whence they kept up the fight in true American 
style. But for the opportune arrival of General Riedesel, 
with his Brunswickers, General Fraser would have been 
badly beaten. But it was not until after the noble Francis 
had been killed, and the strength of the enemy had been 

* General Warner, who had been sent to Otter creek on an expedi- 
tion, had only returned to Ticonderoga on the fifth, bringing with him 
a reinforcement of Vermont militia. 

'General St. Clair instructed Colonel Warner in the most positive 
manner to encamp with the main body at Castleton, and not to stop 
short of that place. Colonel Warner chose to disregard the order. 
This sort of license, or independence, was common in the American 
Armies, and there was no way to correct it. The Continental soldiers, 
as well as militia, would leave without a permit, return home for a 
breathing spell, and then again resume their places. This was coun- 
tenanced by many officers. Were they not all " peers ? " 

68 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

greatly increased by the German reinforcements, that Seth 
Warner gave the order to retreat. His men took to the 
woods, and were several days in finding the main body. 
Upon hearing the firing, St. Clair sent an order by an aid 
to two militia regiments, posted within four miles of Hub- 
bard ton, to hasten to Warner's assistance, but they refused 
to obey orders, and marched directly to Castleton. By 
the time the disobedience was reported to headquarters 
the result of the action was known, and St. Clair, being 
advised of the fate of Skcnesborough, changed his route^ 
and sent word to Warner to join him at Rutland. Gen- 
eral Burgoyne reported the loss of the Americans at two hun- 
dred killed, including Col. Francis, six hundred wounded^ 
and two hundred and ten taken prisoners. But, as he also 
reported the Americans engaged as two thousand, when 
there were in fact only about seven hundred and fifty, we 
may safely set down his statement as a gross exaggeration. 
Gordon places the American loss, on authority of a Brit- 
ish officer, as three hundred and twenty-four, killed, 
wounded, and prisoners,^ and the loss of the enemy at not 
less than one hundred and eighty-three killed and wounded. 
They had three officers killed and twelve wounded.^ The 
action was desperately fought on both sides, and, in the 
words of General Burgoyne, its bare relation is suflScient 
for its praise. 

General St. Clair continued his circuitous march, and,^ 
at Manchester, was joined by brave Seth Warner and the 
remainder of his regiment. Here it was found necessary to 
dismiss the two Massachusetts regiments that had refused 
to go to Warner's relief at Hubbardton, as their conduct 
was so licentious and disorderly there was danger their ex- 
ample might affect the Continental troops.^ The command- 
ing general did not forget the interests of the inhabitants to 

* But this number includes Colonel Hale and a part of the men 
under him, captured after the engagement by a detachment of British. 
"Colonel Hale, on account of illness, had not brouglit his regiment 
into action. " See Stone's Campaign of deneraf John Buig)i,ne, p -2. 

« Gordon, Vol. II , p. 484. 

'St. Clair's letter to President Hancock, July I4th, p. 426. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 69 

the eastward, or the importance of his reaching Fort Ed- 
ward with as hxrge a force as possible. On the 6th, he di- 
rected the Vermont militia that were with him to remain 
at Rutland for the protection of the people until the State 
Convention should direct otherwise. The following day, 
he wrote to Joseph Bowker, President of that Convention, 
a letter explaining the evacuation of Ticonderoga, and 
calculated, from its cheerful tone, to give encouragement. 
He asked that the reinforcements coming on by Xumber 
Four be directed to meet him at Bennington, whither he 
was marching for provisions. It was his purpose to march 
thence for the North River, and endeavor to prevent the 
enemy from penetrating into the country.^ From Dorset, 
on the 9th, he announced that Colonel Warner's regiment 
would be left in the Grants, and requested that all cattle 
fit to be killed should be sent on to Fort Edward. lie 
concluded as follows : " Your Convention have given such 
proofs of their readiness to concur in any measure for the 
public safety that it would be impertinent to press them 
now. I will only repeat the request I made before, that 
the militia from the eastward marching by Number Four 
may be directed to take the shortest route to join the 

armv. ' 

General St. Clair reached Fort Edward on the 12th, 
after an arduous march of nearly seven days, and brought 
to the support of the Continental cause two thousand 
troops that could be relied on. This force served as a 
basis for a new army. The militia collected speedily, so 
that on the 14th he could say to Congress confidently, 
truthfully, and with justifiable self-gratulation : " I have 
tho most sanguine hopes that the progress of the enemy 
will be checked ; and I may yet hare the satisfaction to ex- 

SAVED A State." 

Time has justified this, and proved that the soldier who, 
in the face of popular clamor and obloquy, elected to do his 

^Stevens' Papers, Vol. III. 

' Ibid. SL Clair Papers, p. 424. 

70 Jjift and Public Services of Arthur St Clair. 

duty, deserved the wreath of victory. His memory shall 
endure with the Republic he helped to establish. 

The Adamses did not mean it to be so. Both John and 
Samuel denounced the evacuation of Ticonderoga as a 
crime. " We shall never be able to defend a post," wrote 
the former, who was President of the Board of War, " till 
we shoot a General." Fort Washington had been defended, 
and three thousand men killed or captured, by which the 
Americans had been brought to great distress. That was 
a military blunder, and did not receive a word of censure 
from the Board of War. The evacuation of Ticonderoga, 
which saved troops to the Americans at a critical period, 
was a wise military stroke, and the same board became 
censorious. Was it because of their own neglect ? We 
shall see. Samuel Adams saw in the event an opportunity 
for the triumph of faction,^ and he industriously labored, 
in his correspondence, to create a feeling against the 
Northern generals, so deep, that even the Commander- 
in-Chief, whose confidence in them was known, could 
not stem it. In this the information as to the real condi- 
tion of affairs at Ticonderoga, which had been placed be- 
fore Congress by St. Clair, and was in possession of the 
Board of War, was carefully suppressed, and the state- 
ments in correspondence of the officers, after the evacua- 
tion, were grossly misrepresented.^ The same spirit of 
faction, prevalent in Massachusetts and Connecticut, not 
only influenced the militia to refuse to obey orders and to 
serve under any except such officers as they might select, 
but moved the stay-at-home patriots to denounce the offi- 
cers in the Boston papers. A private letter from St. Clair 
to Governor Bowdoin, hurriedly written after the evacu- 
ation, and containing meager particulars, was inadvisedly 
given to the Boston Gazette, aiul served as a pretext for 
the most unfair and abusive articles. St. Clair and his 

* Only six months before, in writing to John Adams, he had asked, 
referring to General Gates, " llow shall we make him the head of that 
[the Northern] army " 

*See letter of S. Adams to R. II. Lee, July 12th. Life of Samuel 
Adams, Vol. II., pp. 484, 486. 

liijt and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 71 

friend Wilkinson replied with spirit, but not always in 
the best temper. To Governor Bowdoin, General St. Clair 
wrote at length, giving cogent reasons for the evacuation.* 

The wicked character of the calumnies invented and in- 
dustriously circulated against St. Clair and Schuyler, was 
only equaled by their absurdity. They were accused of 
cowardice ; and it was alleged that they had held communi- 
cations with the enemy, and had received their reward in- 
closed in silver balls fired into St. Clair's camp. " The 
characters of our Generals who were at Ticonderoga," 
wrote Colonel John Trumbull, at that day, " particularly 
St. Clair's, are suffering perhaps irretrievably. The minds 
of the people are much inflamed." 

It is undoubtedly true that, outside of faction, which 
waxed strong on the apparently successful movements of 
Burgoyne, among those who had confided in the supposed 
impregnability of the Northern fortresses, there was a panic 
and deep anxiety. " The evacuation of Ticonderoga," 
says Sparks, " spread the greater panic and surprise, as it 
was unexpected. The actual force and condition of St. 
Clair's army had been overrated by the public. Hopes 
were raised high ; the eyes of the nation were turned upon 
Ticonderoga ; and when the news of the retreat went 
abroad, the disappointment was extreme, and the loud 
voice of complaint and censure against the unfortunate 
general was reiterated from one end of the continent to 
the other. 7\me proved that he had acted the part of a judi- 
cious and skillful officer; but the excitement of the moment 
was 80 great, caused by chagrin on the one hand and 
alarm on the other, that all eyes were blind, and all ears 
deaf, to the true reasons of the case, and even to the pal- 
liating circumstances.^" 

*The correspondence will be found in full in this work, pp. 426-6. 

^lAfe of Gouvemeur Morris^ p. 1 29. 

•• The dread with which this unexpected blow filled the whole coun- 
try, was as extravagant as their rage against the commanding officer, 
who, in the language of the day, had sold, or given away, the most im- 
portant fortress on the continent." Letter of Governor Trumbull to 
Baron Vander Capellan, August 31, 1779. Mass. His. Soc. Collections^ 
Vol. VI., p. 170. 

72 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Contemporary publications do not justify bo broad a 
Btatement as to the extent of the feeling of alarm. It was 
pretty much confined to the East, the section immediately 
interested. But the factionists in Congress attempted to 
extend the flames to the entire country. 

Fortunately for the cause, there was a saving conserva- 
tism that intervened and prevented disaster, and, for a 
time, checked the hand of injustice. Jay, G. Morris, Wil- 
son, and, above all, Washington, counseled patience and 
forbearance. Morris, on behalf of the If ew York Council 
of safety, visited the Northern army, and made himself 
familiar with the situation. lie saw, with St. Clair, the 
strategic importance of the movement withdrawingfrom un- 
tenable posts, and the success which must now attend the 
Americans if they rallied to place obstacles in the way of 
Burgoyne as he moved his army farther from his base.^ 
Washington was greatly perplexed, as he had not been sup- 
plied with copies of St. Clair's letters to Congress, and had 
been misled by the correspondence of Schuyler.' The real 

* Letter to the Presi<lent of the Council of Safety. Life of G, Mor- 
ris, p. 135. 

' How General Schuyler had misled General Washington as to the 
strength of the garrisons under St. Clair is shown by the following ex- 
tract from a letter he received from the Commander-in-Chief just after 
the event: '* The evacuation of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence 
is an event of ch.urin and surprise not apprehended nor within the 
compass of my reasoning. 1 know not upon what principle it was 
founded, and I should suppose it would be still more difficult to be ac- 
counted for if the garrison amounted to five tlwumnd men^ in high spirits, 
health*/, well supplied with provisions and ammunition, and Eastern militia 
were marching to their succor, as you mentioned in your letter of the 
9th [June] to the Council of Safety of New York.'* — How different 
was the actual condition from this rosy picture, we iiave seen. General 
Schuyler had sent also to Washington the youthful effusions of ITenry 
Brockholst Livingston,* one of his aids, for the time on the staff of 
St. Clair, in which the most glowing description is given of the spirit 
of the troops, and promise of victory is held out on the very eve of 
the evacuation. " I can not but esteem myself fortunate," wrote he, 
on the 30th of June, " that indisposition prevented my returning with 
you, as it has given me an opportunity of being present at a battle, in 

(1) Afterward a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 73 

object of the British campaign had not been made clear un- 
til this movement of Burgoyne's in force. lie saw, with 
his usual quickness, how the enemy might be thwarted, 
and, with characteristic courage and rapidity, formed a new 
plan of campaign. lie reinforced Schuyler on the Hudson, 
while keeping in view the importance of preventing Lord 
Howe from getting possession of the Highlands by a coup 
tie main, imparted to the public something of his own hope- 
fulness, and yielded to the clamor of the factionists only 
so far as to suggest that St. Clair should make a public ex- 
planation. " People at a distance," said he, " are apt to 
form wrong conjectures, and if General St. Clair has good 
reasons for the step he has taken, I think the sooner he 
justifies himself the better.^" 

He saw clearly the great possibilities of the situation. 
" Though our aftairs," said he, " have, for some days past, 
worn a dark and gloomy aspect, I yet look forward to a 
fortunate and happy change. I trust General Burgoyne's 
army will meet, sooner or later, an effectual check ; and, 
as I suggested before, that the success he has had will 
precipitate his ruin." 

Before recording the triumphant result of the campaign 
in New York, we have to consider where the responsibility 
properly belongs for the temporary loss of the Northern 
posts, and for the misunderstanding prevalent among the 
people as to the real situation at Ticonderoga. 

We have seen how, after the retreat from Canada, Gates, 
deeming his army of nearly thirteen thousand insufficient 
to cope with the British, called for a reinforcement of 
eight to ten thousand men; how, when the enemy had 
gone into winter quarters, and there were yet nearly five 
thousand troops under Schuyler, Samuel Adams, as chair- 

wbich I promise myself the pleasure of seeing our army flushed with 
victory.*" The bright anticipations of this boy-soldier were set down 
in the general indictment against St. Clair, as promises of successful 
resistance of the enemy made by that officer. 

* Letter to General Schuyler, 18th July, 1777. 

CL) SiAuyler PaperM, 

74 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

man of the Committee on the State of the Northern 
army, sent out an urgent appeal to the New England 
States to strengthen Ticonderoga; how meager was the 
response; how the brave Wayne wept at the sufferings of 
the garrisons ; how, even when summer followed spring the 
works were incomplete, the garrisons scarcely twenty-five 
hundred strong, not sufficient to man the works if placed 
at intervals barely within sound of each other's voices, 
poorly clothed and imperfectly armed, and how these were 
called on to do what Gates did not believe could be done 
nine months before with thirteen thousand men. All of 
these facts were in possession of Congress when the evac- 
uajiion took place, and there could be no justification for 
affecting surprise at the event. It was said that the corre- 
spondence of St. Clair gave rise to hopes of a different 
result. Detached sentences were quoted, and the text 
misrepresented. The letter of the 20th, to James Wilson, 
has already been referred to. We shall now call attention 
to his letter of the 25th of June, a fortnight after he as- 
sumed the command, and ten days before the evacuation, 
addressed to President Hancock. He said: 

"I inclose you a return of our troops at this post, by 
which you will perceive our effective numbers are little 
more than two thousand, a force greatly inadequate to its 
defense ; which, should the enemy attack it in force, would 
require at least four times that number. In that two 
thousand are included a number of artificers who are un- 
armed, and many of the soldiers are in the same condition^ 
and the whole in very great want of clothing, accouter* 
ments and bayonets. 

"If the militia were called in, they might possibly en- 
able us to keep possession, but I have not yet ventured on 
that step on account of our low state of provisions, there 
not being more than thirty-five days' meat for the troops 
now here, and because of the uncertainty with regard to 
the enoniv's dosiflrns. 

" No army was ever in a more critical situation than we 
now are; and supposing that this move is only a feint to 
favor the operations of Sir William Howe, which I still 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 75 

suspect it to be, we may, and probably will be, reduced to 
the greatest distress, the supplies being derived from such 
a distance, and the communication so difficult, that it is 
next to impossible to support it." 

Did Congress come to the relief of the Northern army 
after this plain statement of the weakness of the garrison 
and the dangers of the situation ? No. Faction paralized 
some, others held to the theory that the British designs 
were to the southward, and others believed in the im- 
pregnability of the works, which had been constructed 
under the direction of the Board of War. 

The works had been constructed upon a plan devised 
after a committee had inspected the grounds. If they 
were deficient, to Congress belonged the responsibil- 
ity. That they were utterly worthless as a defense 
against an enterprising and experienced enemy was shown 
when Mount Defiance was occupied, and St. Clair found 
all of his lines under the guns of the enemy. Whose 
fault was it that this commanding eminence was left un- 
provided with fortifications ? The relation of a singular 
circumstance will answer that question. 

Adjutant John Trumbull, of Gates's staff', was stationed 
at Ticonderoga in 1776, when Gates and Arnold and 
Wayne were there. He came to the conclusion that 
Mount Defiance completely commanded the American 
position, and that its distance from the old fort and Mount 
Independence was by no means so great as generally sup- 
posed. He expressed his opinion at the table of General 
Gates, when the principal officers were present, and was 
laughed at for his pains. He, however, obtained the Gen- 
eral's permission to test his theory by experiment. He 
selected at the north point of Mount Independence, a 
twelve-pounder, a long French brass gun, which was 
loaded with the proof-charge of the best powder and 
double-shotted. He then desired Major Stevens to elevate 
the gun so that it should point at Mount Defiance. The 
gun was fired, and the shot were plainly seen to strike at 
more than half the height of the hill. A similar experi 
ment was made from the old French fort with a common 

76 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

six-pound gun, and the shot struck near the summit. Still 
it was insisted upon that the summit of Sugar-Loaf was 
inaccessible to an enemy. This Colonel Trumbull dis- 
proved. Accompanied by General Arnold, Colonel Wayne 
and several other active officers, he landed from a barge at 
the foot of the hill, where it was most precipitous and 
rocky, and clambered to the summit in a short time. 
" The ascent teas difficult and laborious, but not imprac- 
ticable, and when they looked down upon the outlet of 
Lake George, it was obvious to all there could be no dif- 
ficulty in driving up a loaded carriage."* 

To maintain the several posts then held by the Ameri- 
x;ans. Colonel Trumbull calculated, would require ten thou- 
sand men, which would be found impossible in future 
campaigns for Government to supply; and, as there was 
no road on either side of the lake by which an enemy 
could penetrate into the country south, he must necessarily 
make use of this water-route, which could be completely 
commanded bv fortifications on Mount Defiance. It was, 
therefore, as ten thousand men and one hundred pieces of 
cannon against five hundred men and twenty-five heavy 
guns. Success in fortification and economy were clearly 
in favor of erecting works on Mount Defiance, and with- 
drawing from Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. 
Colonel Trumbull drew up three copies of the plans and 
memoir, one to be submitted to General Gates, one to 
General Schuyler, and one to Congress. A copy of the 
drawing of the post, as prepared by Colonel Trumbull, 
.uccompanies this work. 

Neither the Committee on War, under whose directions 
the works were constructed at Ticonderoga and the de- 
fense conducted in the fall and winter of 1776-77, nor either 4 
of the Generals in command of the Northern Department, 
took the only steps which could have saved the posts. 
Therefore, the responsibility for whatever results followed 
this neglect is easily placed.^ St. Clair, who reached Ti- 

* Autohiographj of John Trumbnll, p. 32. 

*'• The events of the succeeding campaign," concludes Colonel Trum- 
bull's recital of events around the posts in 1776, "demonstrated the 


I i 

I . 

■i ' 

J, I I 

I t 

Liife and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 77 

conderoga only about twenty days before the evacuation, 
was directly confronted with the problem : How best to 
save for the country the small force the Board of War had 
provided for the Northern Department. 

One of the ablest leaders and most generous patriots of 
the Revolutionary period was Philip Schuyler, and it is 
with great reluctance we refer to the humiliating position 
in which he placed himself immediately after the evacua- 
tion of Ticonderoga, but it is necessary to a complete his- 
tory of that event. General Schuyler had, at a council 
of war over which he presided on the 20th of June, ex- 
pressed the opinion that the force and the works were in- 
adequate to a defense, and that preparations should be 
made for a retreat in case the enemy invested in force.^ 
In a letter to Colonel Yarick, on the first of July, he said: 
" The insufficiency of the garrison at Ticonderoga, the 
imperfect state of the fortifications, and the want of dis- 
cipline in the troops, give me great cause to apprehend 
that we shall lose that fortress, but as a reinforcement is 
coming up from Peekskill,^ with which I shall move up, I 

correctness of my views, for General St. Clair was left to defend Ti- 
conderoga without any essential addition to the garrison, which had 
been placed there by command of General Gates in the preceding 
November, because the Congress could not spare more men or means ; so that, 
when General Burgoyne presented himself at Three-Mile Point, no 
opposition could be hazarded to his movements, and instead of assault- 
ing the works (as had been formerly done by General Abercrombie in 
1757), he silently turned the left of the position, crossed the outlet of 
Lake George, and established a battery of heavy guns on the summit 
of Mount Defiance, the shot from which plunged into the old French 
fort and lines, and reached all points of Mount Independence; so 
that, as I had predicted, the whole position became untenable, and 
was immediately abandoned. General St. Clair became the object of 
furious denunciations, whereas, he merited thanks for having saved a 
part of the devoted garrison, who subsequently formed the nucleus of 
that force by which, in the course of the campaign, General Burgoyne 
was ultimately baffled, and compelled to surrender his victorious army 
by the convention of Saratoga." 

^The full text of the proceedings in council will be found in another 
place in this work, p. 404. 

' General Washington had directed General Putnam to send three 
OP four regiments to reinforce the Northern army. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 77 

conderoga only about twenty days before the evacuation, 
was directly confronted with the problem : IIow best to 
save for the country the small force the Board of War had 
provided for the Northern Department. 

One of the ablest leaders and most generous patriots of 
the Revolutionary period was Philip Schuyler, and it is 
with great reluctance we refer to the humiliating position 
in which he placed himself immediately after the evacua- 
tion of Ticonderoga, but it is necessary to a complete his- 
tory of that event. General Schuyler had, at a council 
of war over which he presided on the 20th of June, ex- 
pressed the opinion that the force and the works were in- 
adequate to a defense, and that preparations should be 
made for a retreat in case the enemy invested in force.^ 
In a letter to Colonel Varick, on the first of July^ he said: 
" The insufficiency of the garrison at Ticonderoga, the 
inmperfect state of the fortifications, and the want of dis- 
cipline in the troops, give me great cause to apprehend 
that we shall lose that fortress, but as a reinforcement is 
coming up from Peekskill,^ with which I shall move up, I 

correctness of my views, for General St. Clair was left to defend Ti- 
conderoga without any essential addition to the garrison, which had 
been placed there by command of General Gates in the preceding 
November, because the Congress could not spare more men or means ; so that, 
when General Burgoyne presented himself at Three-Mile Point, no 
opposition could be hazarded to his movements, and instead of assault- 
ing the works (as had been formerly done by General Abercrombie in 
1757), he silently turned the left of the position, crossed the outlet of 
Lake George, and established a battery of heavy guns on the summit 
of Mount Defiance, the shot from which plunged into the old French 
fort and lines, and reached all points of Mount Independence; so 
that, as I had predicted, the whole position became untenable, and 
was immediately abandoned. General iSt. Clair became the object of 
furious denunciations, whereas, he merited thanks for having saved a 
part of the devoted garrison, who subsequently formed the nucleus of 
that force by which, in the course of the campaign, General Burgoyne 
was ultimately baffled, and compelled to surrender his victorious army 
by the convention of Saratoga." 

^ The full text of the proceedings in council will be found in another 
place in this work, p. 404. 

' General Washington had directed General Putnam to send three 
OP four regiments to reinforce the Northern army. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur i7. Clair. 81 

signed to put General Schuyler in possession of all that 
his enemies were saying to his prejudice, as well as the 
tone of current comment. The paragraphs to which St. 
Clair's letter particularly refers are the following: 

" It is said, but I know not with what truth, that St. 
Clair, on being asked by some of his officers why the fort 
was evacuated, replied, generally, that he knew what he 
did ; that, on his own account, he was very easy about the 
matter, and that he had it in his power to justify him- 
self. From hence some inferred that he must have alluded 
to orders from you. 

"Another report prevails, that some short time before 
the fort was left, a number of heavy cannon were, by your 
order, dismounted and laid aside, and small ones placed in 
their room. This is urged as circumstantial proof against 

Subsequently, on the 26th July, Mr. Jay acknowledged 
the receipt of the letter of St. Clair, and said : " This at- 
tack on your reputation will, I hope, do you only a tem- 
porary injury. The honest though credulous multitude, 
when undeceived, will regret their giving way to suspicions 
which have led them to do injustice. 

" I have reason to suspect that the Council of Safety be- 
lieved that Ticonderoga was left by your direction or ad- 
vice, or with your knowledge. They appear fully satisfied 
of the contrary, and, in my opinion, St. Clair's letter will 
remove all doubts on that head." 

While Burgoyne remained at Skenesborough, General 
Schuyler employed the time in placing obstructions in the 
route which the enemy must follow on his way to the 
Hudson. Bridges were broken down, and Wood Creek 
rendered unnavigable. The time gained was of great im- 

ceived them of great importance, and very strong, I did not think myself at liberty 
to give any orders for an evacuation of themj *' 

If the reader is not satisfied that General Schuyler's own words con- 
firm the charge that he stood in fear of public opinion — that he was 
guilty of moral cowardice — what will satisfy? 

In this connection, I refer to General Wilkinson's letter to St. Clair, 
to what Schuyler said to him, printed elsewhere in this volume. 

82 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

portance. A council of officers having decided that Fort 
Edward* was untenable, a position for a fortified camp 
was selected by the chief engineer, who, at that time, was 
Thaddeus Kosciusko. It was about four miles below, at 
Moses's Creek, where the waters of the Hudson River are 
separated by an island. During the transfer of the stores 
and troops, an attack was made on the picket-guard upon 
the Fort Anne road by a detachment of British troops and 
Indians. The Americans drove off the enemy, and, in 
so doing, had thirteen killed and twelve w^ounded, five of 
them mortally. Xo further attempts were immediately 
made by the enemy, and General Schuyler improved the 
opportunity to strengthen his position and brigade his 
troops. The army was organized into two divisions, and 
occupied the opposite sides of the river; the right under 
Major-General 8t. Clair, the left under Major-General 
Arnold, who had recently been sent North by General 
Washington. The position was a strong one, and, but 
for the bad conduct of the Eastern militia, the outlook for 
the Americans was most promising. The whole force was 
about forty-four hundred, but it was uncertain, on account 
of the dissatisfaction of the militia, how long the number 
would be kept at that figure. General Schuyler made 
very earnest appeals for reinforcomentB. Under the cir- 
cumstances, it was deemed expedient to retire from Moses's 
Creek and establish a new camp nearer to the base of sup- 
plies. Accordingly, on the 30th of July, the army with- 
drew to Saratoga, and on the 2d of August continued its 
march to Stillwater. But this proving unsatisfactory, on 
examination, the army took up a now position on the 
islands at the confluence of the Mohawk and the Hudson, 
a more defensible station. 

It had been the purpose of General Biirgoyne to send 
his corps of Indians to the Connecticut to force a supply 
of provisions, to intercept reinforcements, and to alarm 
the people of New England. But the removal of the 

* * Washington expressed surprise at this, — further evidence that he 
had never been correctly advised of the condition of the Northern 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 83 

American forces to the southward led him to change his 
plan, and to employ the Indians to prevent, if possible, 
by their terror, the Americans from continuing the opera- 
tions referred to.* To the credit of Burgoyne, be it said, 
he was carrying out, in the employment of the Indians, 
the policy of the home government, and that he had no 
heart in the business. He attempted to restrain them, by 
placing over them priests, and other Canadians of char- 
acter, but the result was disappointing to him. lie 
breathed more freely when, further on, his prospects being 
less promising, his Indian allies deserted him. 

Just as Schuyler was located in his new camp, word was 
brought to him that St. Leger, who had been dis[>atehed 
by Burgoyne for that purpose, accompanied by Sir John 
Johnson's Royal Greens, and a body of Indians, under 
Brant, had laid seige to Fort Stanwix, on the Upper Mo- 
hawk. The post was held by Colonels Gansevoort and 
Willett, with two New York regiments. He was informed 
that General Herkimer, with a bodv of the militia of 
Tryon county, had advanced to the relief of the garrison. 
When within six miles of the fort, Herkimer fell into an 
ambnsh. Though mortally wounded, he supported him- 
self against a stump, and encouraged his men to the fight. 
The resistance was one of the most gallant on record, and 
the militia, by the aid of a sally by Willett, succeeded in 
repulsing the assailants and in reaching the fort, where they 
were warmly welcomed. Four hundred of the militia, in- 
cluding General Herkimer and many of the leading patri- 
ots of Trvon countv, lost their lives. The result filled the 
country with terror. Schuyler saw the necessity of im- 
mediately relieving the beleagured post, and dispatched 
thither Arnold, who volunteered for that service, with 
three regiments. The Indians, who had suffln-ed a severe 
loss in the fight with the Tryon militia, on hearing of the 
approach of the relieving force, deserted in large numbers, 
an example followed by St. Leger two days before Arnold 
reached the fort, who left his tents standing, and a greater 

^Burqmfnts Xarrative. 

84 Life and Public Services of Arthur St Clair. 

part of his stores, which fell into the hands of the Amer- 
icans. After this, very few Indians remained with Bur- 

Another piece of good fortune about this time came to 
cheer the hearts of the Americans, and brighten the pros- 
pects of the generals of the Northern army. The golden 
opportunity for Burgoyne was gone forever. Embar- 
rassed with heavy artillery and baggage, small progress 
had been made from Fort George; and, expected supplies 
from Canada failing him, he listened to the seductive wiles 
of the Tories, and thought to capture American supplies 
at Bennington, and bring back the inhabitants of the 
Hampshire Grants to their allegiance to his royal master.* 
About the middle of August, Lieutenant-Colonel Baum, 
with five hundred men and two pieces of artillery, was 
dispatched on a secret expedition to the Connecticut. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Brcyman's corps, posted near Batten- 
Kill, was held in reserve to reinforce Baum if the Ameri- 
cans should be found in force. General Schuyler, hearing 
of this expedition, appealed to Colonel Stark, who was in 
retirement,* to rally the militia and intercept the British. 
The noble patriot complied. lie sent for Warner's regi- 
ment, encamped at Manchester since the battle of Hub- 
bardton, and marched to meet the enemy. Six miles from 
Bennington, Baum began to intrench, and sent back to 
hasten Colonel Breyman's movements. The next day was 
rainy, and both parties contented themselves with skirm- 
ishing, and awaited reinforcements. The morning of the 
16th opened bright and promising. Colonel Stark's men 
were impatient for an opportunity to face the enemy. It 
is related that he was approached, while yet the rain was 

* " Tho object of your expedition is to try the affections of the 
country, to disconcert the councils of the enemy, to mount the Riede- 
sel's dragoons, to complete Peters's corps [Tories], and to obtain large 
supplies of cattle, horses, and carriages." — From Burgoyne s Instructions 
to I Aru(enant-Coloncl Baunu 

^Colonel Stark had not been promoted, as he deserved, and he re- 
signed his Coniinental commission. He accepted the command of the 
militia, and served on this occasion on condition that he should be in- 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 85 


falling, by a Rev. Mr. Allen, of Colonel Symond's reg:i- 
ment, and addressed in these words: "General, the peo- 
ple of Berkshire have often been summoned to the field 
without being allowed to fight, and if you do not now 
give them a chance, they have resolved never to turn out 
again." "Well," said Stark, " do you want to march now 
while it is dark and raining?" "Xo, not just now," re- 
plied the parson. " Well," said Stark, " if the Lord shall 
once more give us sunshine, and I do not give you fight- 
ing enough, I'll never ask you to turn out again." And 
fighting enough the men of Berkshire had before the day 
was ended.* 

Stark's disposition of his forces was admirable. De- 
tachments were sent in the rear of the enemy, to the 
right and the left, to engage the attention and begin tlie 
attack. At the first fire. Stark sprang uponliis horse and 
gave the word " Forward !"^ With great impetuosity the 
Americans rushed upon the intrenchments, and, after a 
conflict, remarkable for the courage displayed on both 
sides, succeeded in driving the Hessians out, and captur- 
ing nearl}" the whole of them. " It lasted," says Stark in 
his letter from Bennington, August 22, " two hours, the 
hottest I ever saw in my life — it represented one con- 
tinued clap of thunder; however, the enemy were obliged 
to give way, and leave the field pieces and all their bag- 
gage behind them. They were all environed within two 
breast-works with their artillery, but our martial courage 

* It is related of this Rev. Mr. Allon, in the New York Journal of"' 
September 22, 1777, and other contemporary papers, that just before 
the attack was made on the intrenchments, in the character of a true 
ministpf of peace, he threw himself between the two armies, assured 
the enemy, that they were outnumbered and could not escap'e, and 
pathetically exhorted them from a regard to justice to their country 
and to their own safety, to surrender, and prevent the effusion of 
blood. While he was speaking, with his hat in his hand, a number of 
balls were fired at him, some of which passed through his hat; on 
which he retired, joined in the attack, and was among the foremost to 
enter the enemy's entrenchments. 

* This characteristic speech is put into the Colonel's mouth : "There, 
my men, there are the red coats. Before night they are ours, or Molly 
Stark will be a widow\" 

86 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

proved too hard for them." After the first fire, the In- 
dians who accompanied Baiim fled howlingto the woods. 
While tlie Americans were plundering the camp of the 
enemy, Colonel Breyman appeared, but they were saved 
by the opportune arrival of Colonel Seth Warner's corps 
from Bennington. The latter attacked the British rein- 
forcements, and drove them through the woods for several 
miles, capturing two field pieces and all the baggage. The 
victory was complete, and, at this stage, of great import- 
ance to the American cause.^ The loss of the enemy in 
killed and wounded was large, and in prisoners about 
seven hundred, including thirty-two officers.^ Among the 
latter was the brave Colonel Baum, who was mortally 
w-oundcd. Four brass field i)ieces, nine hundred dragoon 
swords, and a thousand stand of arms, with ammunition, 
were also captured. One hundred of the sons of New 
England fell on that August afternoon, but in the moment 
of triumph, these were thought of tenderly as blessed 
sacrifices in the sacred cause of libertv. 

The predictions of Washington and St. Clair that the 
enemy could not penetrate far into the interior without 
being ruined, were fiist being verified. The industry dis- 
played by the Northern generals was being rewarded, and 
it only wanted the hearty co-operation of New England 
to eftect the destruction of the enemy. Alas! that co- 
operation was refused, except upon terms dictated by fac- 
tion. The Southern members of Congress became alarmed 
at the threatening attitude of the East, and thought it 
prudent not to stem the torrent.^ Samuel Adams im- 

*Tbe victories of Bennington and Fort Stanwix are accorded so 
miu'li space in American history, because of the inspiriting effect they 
lia<lon the Americans. It was seen that the Germans and the Indians 
could be defeated, and the terror they had inspired soon disappeared. 
For m.iny anecdotes of the ri<lioulou3 fear prevailing in the minds of 
the Americans before these event?, see Wilkin^^n, Vol. I. 

* Stark's own report. lie ^ives the ntimber of dead found on the 
fioM lis two hundred and seven; the number of wounded at that tinio 

^ (r. Morris's letter to General Sehm/Ur. Hamilton, Vol. T., p. fSS. In 
July, Schuyler had been under the necessity of dismissing half of the 

Ijife and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 87 

proved the opportunity, and succeeded in carrying out 
his long-cherished plan of placing Gates at the head of 
the Northern army. Schuyler and St. Clair were ordei*ed 
to report at headquarters. The latter complied imme- 
diately, while the former remained, hoping to be useful 
to his successor. 

General Gates, who had been clothed by Congress with 
extraordinary powers,* relieved General Schuyler on the 
evening of the 19th of August. He was soon joined by 
Major-General Lincoln, with a large body of New England 
militia, and General Morgan, with a choice corps of ex- 
pert riflemen.* On the 8th of September, the American 
army, about six thousand strong, marched for Stillwater, 
and on the 12th took possession of a narrow defile formed 
by a spur of the hills jutting out close to the river. This 
is the ground known as Bemis's Heights, soon tp be the 
scene of severe contests with the enemy. General Gates's 
right occupied the brow of the hill, near the river, with 
which it was connected by a deep intrenchment ; his camp, 
in the form of a segment of a great circle, the convex to- 
wards the enemy, extended obliquely to his rear about 
three-fourths of a mile, to a knoll occupied by his left; his 
front wap covered, from the right to the left of the cente^, 
by a sharp ravine running parallel with his line and closely 
wooded.' To the left the ground had been partially cleared, 
but the f'"lled trees made it very difficult. The extremi- 
ties were defended by strong batteries, and the interval 

militia of Massncliusetts, lest the whole should go. Wilkinson says 
the desertions were so numerous as to tlirenten the destruction of the 
army. See correspondcMioe of Scliuylor with the Council of Ssvfety of 
New York and \V{lkln<o>is Memoir.^. Also consult Oovernor Truinbidl's 
letter to Baron Vandor Capellan, Vol. VI., p. 170, Mass. His. Society s 
Colledion, as *.o the disaffection of the militia. 

*See Journals of Congress and letter of President Hancock to Gates 
August 14th. 

'Among the officers connected with this corps were Lieutenant- 
Colonel Richard liutler and Major H. Dearborn, of whom more here- 

' Descrii)tion V)y Wilkin.son, whose account of the events of the cam- 
paign is the moat complete. 

88 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair, 

by a breastwork of logs. General Biirgoync, who had 
crossed the Hudson on the 15th, advanced on the 17th, 
and encamped within two miles of the Americans, on 
strong ground. On the 19th, he moved towards the-Ameri- 
can left, whereupon. Gates ordered Morgan to advance 
with his corps and hang on the front and flanks of the 
enemy. Having driven in the British skinnishers, the 
riflemen advanced too rashly and soon became engaged 
with a strong column, and were thrown into confusion. 
Cilley's and ScammeFs regiments were now ordered out 
to march to the left of Morgan and support him. The ac- 
tion was renewed, and it was found necessary to further 
strengthen the American troops. About three o'clock the 
action became general, and lasted until night-fall, with 
constantly changing fortunes.- Late in the afternoon, the 
British left being reinforced and pressing the Americans 
sharply. General Larned, with his whole brigade, was or- 
dered out by Gates, and the Americans were thus enabled 
to maintain their position. Xight put an end to the con- 
flict, which had been characterized by great spirit on both 
sides. The Americans captured the British artillery a 
dozen times, but wore unable to carry off the guns. Out of 
forty-eight artillerists, thirty-six were killed or wounded. 
The American loss was less than three hundred, while that 
of the enemy was over five hundred. As the British slept 
on the ground, and the Americans withdrew, Burgoyne 
claimed a victory, but the advantage was really with Gates. 
There is a conflict of authoritv as to General Arnold's 
action on this day. The- Hon. Isaac N. Arnold, in his 
entertaining book, " The Life of Benedict Arnold," claims 
that General Arnold, unrestrained and unrestrainable, 
dashed into the thickest of the fight, encouraging the 
troops to the conflict by voice and example. He refers to 
a letter of Arnold to Gates, and correspondence of young 
Livingston, as his chief authorities. On the other hand, 
Wilkinson not onlv denies this in his Memoirs, but in a 
letter to General St. Clair, written from Bemis's Heisrhts 
two days after the battle, he says: ^' General Arnold was 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 89 

not out of camp during the ichole action.^' ^ The strength of 
this testimony lies in its being contemporary, and from 
the most active member of General Gates's staff. The 
statement does not lessen the credit due to Arnold for his 
conspicuous services during this important campaign. 

While this was in progress, Colonel Brown, of General 
Lincoln's command, surprised the British posts at the out- 
let of Lake George, capturing three hundred prisoners 
and several armed vessels and bateaux ; and thence, having 
been reinforced by Colonel Johnson, invested Ticonderoga 
for four days. Burgoyne's situation was now extremely 
critical, as his communications were cut and his provisions 
were rapidly diminishing. The armies were so near that 
not a night passed without firing, and sometimes concerted 
attacks upon the British advanced i)ickets.^ 

On the 3d of October, General Burgoyne thought it ad- 
visable to diminish the soldiers' rations, in order to lengthen 
out the provisions. 

On the 7th, hearing nothing^ further from Sir Henry Clin- 
ton, and the time being nearly expired when ho could pru- 
dently remain in camp, General Burgoyne directed a move- 
ment to the left of the Americans, not only to discover 
whether there were any possible means of forcing a passage, 
should it be necessar^y to advance, or of dislodging his 
enemy for the convenience of a retreat, but also to cover a 
forage of the army, which was in groat distress on account 
of the scarcity.^ 

The movement being reported to Gates, by Wilkinson, 
the commanding general immediately arranged a plan of 
attack. As usual, Morgan was ordered ont "to begin the 
game." He pro{X)sed to make a circuit through the woods 
and get possession of the heights on the right of the enemy, 
and thence commence his attack so soon as a fire should be 

^ St. Clair Papers. In his "Memoirs," Wilkinson says there was. not 
a single general oflicer present until General Larned was ordered out. 
*' General Arnold not being present in the battle of the 19th Septem* 
ber." R. R. Livingston to Washington, 14th January, 1778. 

' Burgoyne s Statetnent. 

* Ibid, Appendix LXXXIX. 

90 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

opened jigainst the left by General Poor, who had been 
charged with tliat duty. The British ibrce consisted of fif- 
teen hundred reguUir troops, commanded by General Bnr- 
goyne himself, accomjianied by Major-Generals Phillip'* 
and Riedesel, and Brigadier Fraser. The plan of General 
Burgo} ne was frustrated by a very sudden and rapid attack 
on liis left by General Poor. Major Ackland's grenadiers 
sustained the attack with great resolution, but the Americans 
extending the aggressive movement along the front of the 
Germans, a second line could not be formed to support 
the grenadiers, and they gave way. Major Ackland being 
wounded nnd taken prisoner, and the artillery captured. In 
attempting to save the left line from being entirely carried, 
Brigadier-General Fraser was mortally w^ounded — an irre- 
parable loss to the British, who at this. moment retreated, 
"hard pressed but in good order,''* covered by the troops of 
Phillips and Kiedesol. " The troops had scarcely entered the 
camp," continues General Burgoyne, "when it was stormed 
with great fury, the Amercans rushing to the Knes under a 
severe fire of grajic-sliot and small arms. The post of the 
light infintry, under L(»rd Balcarras, assisted by some of the 
line which threw themselves, by order, into the intrench- 
ments, was defended with great spirit; and the Americans, 
led on by General Arnold, were finally repulsed, and the 
General wounde<l; but unhappily the intrenchments of the 
German reserve, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Brey- 
man, who was killed, were carried; and the Americans, by 
that misfortune, gained an opening on our right and rear. 
The niglit put an end to the action."^ 

The Atnericans, flushed with victory, slept on their arms 
upon the field <»f battle. The I^ritish, who had lost four 
hundred men in k lied, wounded, and ]»risoner, withdrew 
to the hills on the river, and continued ottering battle the 
whole day of the 8th.^ 

Being advised that the Americans were marching to turn 

^ Buri/oi/nen Xarratire, Appendix XC. 
^ Burgoyne s Narrative, Appendix, XCI. 
3 Jbid. 

Lf'k c^c Priitf &.^'r^<ti if A^^nr Si^, (Jt'r. 

T-Tia • ",^-^. x.orr xi*:. '•^ •L-ir •:-La. i ~ v-Siii'^L *iL'.'i,ci 

92 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

dred and fifty-two men remained of the fine array that 
three months before had appeared in such proud array be- 
fore Ticonderoga. There was surrendered also a large 
quantity of artillery, clothing, tents, and military stores of 
all kinds. 

The promise of St. Clair had been fulfilled. The State 
had been saved, and the country roused to a degree of en- 
thusiasm which no disastei's hereafter could wholly alia}'. 
General Gates w^as raised to a pinnacle of military fame 
eclipsing that of Washington. This came near wrecking 
all, at a later day. Meanwhile, there were those who ad- 
mired the courage and sagacity of St. Clair, and who 
did not fail to send him congratulations on the result at 
Saratoga. The ofticers of the army improved the oppor- 
tunity to express their opinions on events, of which this, 
from Colonel Baldwin, w^ill suflice: " Give me leave to con- 
gratulate you," said he, "on the important conquest over 
Burgoyne and his army. The capitulation and other par- 
ticulars you will have by the time this reaches you. I be- 
lieve the people have by this time, in general, altered their 
notion with regard to the evacuation of Ticonderoga. The 
ofticers that I hear speak of it say that a better plan could 
not have been adopted, and that nothing but your leaving 
that place could have iriven us this success."* 

St. Clair warmly congratulated Gates on the great suc- 
cess at Saratoga. 

A few w^ords more, and we dismiss the subject of Ti- 
conderoga forever. St. Clair left the Northern Depart- 
ment on the 20th August, in obedience to the orders of 
Congress, to report at headquarters and await an inquiry 

^ St. Clair Papers, 

" It is not my intention to derogate from the merits or Bervices ot 
General Gates, which were important and conspicuous; on the con- 
trary, it is my opinion that under a change of circumstances the same 
causes which degraded General Sehuyler would have sunk General 
Gates under popular discontent and Congressional anathemas; and, 
in such case, all the consequences would have been reversed. But I 
shall ever believe that St. Clair laid the foundation of our good for- 
tune in the Convention of Saratoga." — Wtlk-lnson. 

iWf and PtMic Scrvlecs of Arthur St. auir. 93 

into liis management at the Xorth. lie promptly demanded 
a court-martial, but that was not forthcoming as ppeeilily 
as expected, and, in the interim, he enteriHl actively into 
the campaign under Washington. Little did the gallant 
soldier, whose character was oj>en and manly, know of the 
inofenuitv and lertilitv of secret malice The examination 
of private correspondence of the period shows that this 
was not directed against St. Clair on pei'somil grounds, 
except in the case of Samuel Adams, who could not for- 
give him for liaving dismissed in disgrace two ''disorderly 
and licentious '' regiments. Ilis offense was in the friend- 
ship of Washington, which was open and faithful. The 
saving of his little army for the country, in the face of a 
powerful and active enemy, was only a pretext for the un- 
friendlv action that ensued. TVashinocton's downfall was 
the object which the original conspirators liad in view. 
The inquiries presently became suspiciously frequent. 
After Schuvler and St. Clair, Putnam, Sullivan, Greene, 
and, later, that pure patriot, Robert Morris, fell under the 
displeasure of the ruling powers. There were those who 
deprecated such proceedings, but as Jay said, in the case 
of Schuyler and St. Clair, " few persons possess honesty 
or spirit enough openly to defend unpopular merit, and by 
their silence permit calumny to gain strength."* 

The court-martial was not permitted, and a committee * 
was appointed to collect testimony, but as they could not 
find to convict they did not report. The intriguants were 
weaving their web. Suspicion of their fell purpose reached 
the far South, and Edward Rutledge, on Christmas day, 
months after the inception of the scheme, in a burst of 
honest indignation, says: "T have time to tell you, and 
I fear with reason (as it comes North about), that a damned 
infamous cabal is forming against our Commander-in- 

* Life of John Jai/, Vol. II., p. 17. 

'This committee consisted of Laurens, of South Carolina; John Ad- 
ams, Dyer, and Folsom, of New England; Roberdeau, of Pennsyl 
vanin — only one«of the five uncontrolled by New England. 

94 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Chief, and that whenever they shall find themselves strong 
enough they will strike an important blow." ^ 

The activity of St. Clair, at the battle of Brandywine, 
and in the discharge of all the important duties in the 
field to which Washington assigned him, aroused the mal- 
contents to renewed activity, and a resolution was adopted 
by Congress, in November, permitting him to attend to 
'' his private aftairs." St. Clair denounced this in fitting 
terms in a letter to Gates. *' If they had common hon- 
esty," said he, " they would have owned that, after five 
months spent in searching for an accusation, they had been 
unable to find one." "A trial, however," he added, " they 
shall give me; be the event what it will, they can not rob 
nie or' that heartfelt satisfaction which is the companion 
and reward of virtuous actions.''^ 

Washington was indignant at the treatment of St. Clair. 
As early as the 7th Octcber, lie suggested to Congi*ess, 
throuirh President Hancock, that '*it woul«l bo well if the 
intended inquiry into the conduct of General St. Clair 
could be brought to a speedy issue; and, if h*' is acquitted 
to the satisfaction of Congress, that, as his general charac- 
ter as an oflScer is good, he may be again restored to tlie 
service."* No attention beitig paid to this, in the follow- 
•ini!:Mav,in writini:: to the President, he emitloved verv severe 
language. "I most sincerely wish," he said, "that (con- 
gress would lay the charire, and order the trial of the major- 
Sfenerals in diso^race. St. Clair is exceedinirH' uneasv and 
distressed at the delay; and, wifh pain, Imltl, (hat the pro- 
crediiig, or, more properly, vot p'^oceeding^ in this matter^ is 

^ T/if>- nf John Jny^ Vol. II., pagn 17. 

"The conspiracy against the Commander-in-Chief was not idle; nor 
^vor* the conspirators less sparing of their machinations and calumnies 
ng 'inst General Srhuyler than they had bepn against General Wash- 
in^'ton; and hy force of these. Oites was again ordered to the com- 
m ind of tlio Northern army, to reap the harvest sown by the inde- 
f tigiihle trtorts of S'chnyler, and by the self-sacrifice of his gallant, 
but nnfortunate coadjutor, 8t. Clair." — Life of General John Lariib, 
p. 170. 

* St. Clair Papers. 

' The Writirt^s of Washitigton, Vol. V., p. 86. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 95 

looked upon as cruel and oppressive.''^ Des|»ite Wa^ihing- 
toii's indignaut protests the tactionists in Congress coiitin* 
ued their unjust course, and they were defeated and driven 
to action only through the strategy of Gouverueur Morris,* 
who, in April, succeeded in getting a committee appointed 
under instructions to prefer charges. In September, 1778, 
a court martial, of \vhich Major-Generid Lincoln was pres- 
ident, was organized, and, alter a thorough hearing, a unan- 
imous verdict was reached, which was ex[»ressed in tlie fol- 
lowing complimentary terms : 

" The Court having duhj consideied the charges against 3Ltjor- 
General »SY. Clair^ and the evideuce^ are u)tanimou4g of opin- 
ion, (hat he is not gudty of either of the charges prefaced 
cgainst him^ cmd do un(inii/tou<fg acquit him of all and every 
of them with the highest honor." 

Schuyler's acquittal, in similar terms, followed four days 

At hist, then, th's bare justice was rendered these patri- 
otic officers by their peers, but it was the middle of Decem- 
ber beft)re Congress tormally approved of ihetinding of the 

' Wriff'njs ff Washinr/fon, p. 385. 

'*• Putnam will soon be tried. The affair of Schuyler and St. Clair 
labored under awkward circumstances. Tlieir friends and their ene- 
mies appear to me to have been equally b ind. I inclose extracts from 
tlie minutes made the other night to possess myself of the real state of 
facts. There are some other entries from time to time. It was erron- 
eous to order a committee simply to collect faUs; they shouhl have 
been directed to state charges. This morning, my colleague being ab- 
sent, I got a committee appointed for the latter purpose: Sherman, 
Dana (Mass ), and Drayton (S. C). This was unanimous, and yet I 
would have undertaken to argue for it in a style which would abso- 
lutely have ruined the measure. You know it would have been easy 
to say, justice to t/to.^e injme<l gentlenicn/xnaXewd of justire to an injured 
country requires it, etc." — Life of John Jaij, Vol. II., j). 22 

•Despite opposition from the factionists, the proceedings of the 
court-martial, which revealed the shameful neglect and the responsi- 
bility of the Board of War, in the matter of the defense and loss of 
the Northern posts, were ordered to be printed. Thus, at last, the 
whole case was made public. The reaction wjis a restoration of St. 
Claii' to popularity equal to that enjoyed by any, save Washington. 

96 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Congratulations poured in on St. Clair, but the one that 
moved him most deeply was this from the noble La Fay- 
ette : 

" I can not tell you how much my heart was interested 
in any thing that happened to you, and how I rejoiced, not 
that you were acquitted, but that at length your conduct was ex- 

It was while actively employed under Washington, 
pending the action of Congress, that the acquaintance be- 
tween St. Clair and La Fayette ripened into close friend- 
ship—a friendship that never grew cold. " Give my love 
to General St. Clair," wrote the warm-hearted Frenchman 
to a friend in later years. 

Life ohd PMie ikrcia^ of Arthur St. Clair 97 


177T-I753 — St. Cz-um, jorvs Gexeral Wa5h;xgtox. axi) BECOvrs a Mcx- 
BCE or was Milttaet Family — Pakticipates ix the Battle of Brax- 
DTOVE — lMP»>5TA3rr Seevices — Shares ix the Siffekixcs or Valley 


— Te»>7x:.e$ tx THE Pex-xstltaxia Line, axd labi>ks of Fbesipest Reed 





taxia Ljxe — RECKrmxG for the Fixal Strucgie — Makche5 t\» Srp- 
p»:i«T OF Greece ix SitCTH CaRmljxa — <?lose of thk War — MrriNT or 
Pexx>tlta51a REcnriTj! — Ai arm ix Philadelphia — St. Ol.\ir <fxt 


I-et us take a look at St. Clair's r^vonl while with the 
armv, making use of his own too brief narrative where it 
urill answer our pur[»ose. •^Although I was, for a eonsid- 
erable time, suspended from command, I never lett Gen- 
eral Washiuorton nor the army, and, before the battle of 
Brandvwine, I sucrirested to him a measure similar to that 
so bappilv executed at Trenton, and would have been at- 
tended with similar effects. It had before occurred to him- 
self (who rarelv indeed missed observing anv advantage 
that could be taken of the enemv), and he then showed 
me General Greene's division in motion to \n\x it into exe- 
cution, and desired me to attend him to General Arm- 
strong's quarters (aliout two miles from Chad's Ford, where 
the bodv of the annv was posted) who, with the Pennsvl- 
vania militia, whieh he commanded, was to have had a 
share in it; but the Pennsvlvania militia were not in readi- 
ness, and he was obliged to abandon the project. It was 
this: while Sir William Howe was ascendinsic the Brandv- 
^ne, to cross it near Birmingham church. General Knyjv 
hausen had been left with a strong corps in front of ouf 
army at Chad's Ford, clearly to keep it in check until Sir 

98 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

William had made good his passage above ; to carry or 
disperse that corps was the object. Greene's division was 
to descend the river to General Armstrong's quarters, and 
that movement would be concealed from Knyphausen by 
the thick woods on the river's bank, and being joined by 
his division, cross the river there, and fall in the rear of 
Knyphausen, while the General, with the corps at Chad's 
Ford, should cross at that place* and attack him in front, 
which would infallibly oblige Sir William to retrace his 
steps : for the loss of that corps he could not bear, and it 
was certain he would run every risk to prevent it." 

It fell out at Brandywine far otherwise than Washing- 
ton had hoped for, through false information transmitted 
by Sullivan to him. That officer had been dispatched with 
three divisions to intercept Cornwallis, who was trying to 
reach the American rear, while Knyphausen should 
threaten the front by way of Chad's Ford ; but, being de- 
ceived as to the real movements of the enemy for a time, 
was late in coming up and forming his line of battle. 
While deploying he was attacked by Cornwallis, his 
troops thrown into confusion, and a retreat rendered nec- 
essary. Thereupon, Greene brought up the reserves, 
checked the enemy, and covered the retreat. The main 
part of the army being thus drawn away, Knyphausen 
seized the opportunity to effect the passage of Chad's 
Ford, which Wayne was unable alone to successfully re- 
sist. The Americans withdrew to Chester, the next day 
to Philadelphia, and thence to Germantown, where, in a 
few days, they met with another reverse. The British loss 
at Brandywine was six hundred, and the American con- 
siderable more. In this affair St. Clair had a liorse shot 
under him, and Pulaski, who served as a volunteer, showed 
such zeal and courage in collecting the scattered troops 
and covering the retreat, that, upon Washington's recom- 
mendation he was appointed to the command of the horse, 
with the rank of Brigadier-General.* 

In tlie skirmishing that followed the battle of Brandy- 
wine, St. Clair had his share, but in the action of German- 

^ Hildreth, Vol. III., p. 219. — Journals of Omf/ress. 

Lift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 99 

town he had no part, as he had received permission to 
visit his family.* 

Another object which this absence embraced, was to try 
and get a hearing before Congress. In writing to Presi- 
dent Hancock on the movements of the army, General 
Washington took occasion to refer him to General St. 
Clair, " who has been constantly with the army for some 
time past," for fuller information.* 

We find him with the army again in November, render- 
ing General Washington such service as he could without 
the command of a di\'i8ion. The Commander-in-Chief, in 
a letter to the President of Congress, dated at White- 
marsh, 17th November, referred to him in the following 

" As the keeping possession of Red Bank, and thereby 
still preventing the enemy from weighing the chevaux-de- 
frise before the frost, obliges their ships to quit the river, 
has become a matter of the greatest importance, I have 
determined to send down General St. Clair, General Knox, 
and Baron de Kalb, to take a view of the ground, and to 
endeavor to form a judgment of the most probable means 
of securing it. They will, at the same time, see how far 
it is possible for our fleet> to keep their station since the 
loss of Fort Mifflin, and also make the proper inquiry into 
the conduct of the captains of the galleys mentioned in 
the former part of this letter." 

The report of the officers was to the effect that keeping 
possession of the Jersey shore at or near Red Bank, was 
of the last importance. In accordance with this, rein- 
forcements were sent under the command of General 

St. Clair shared in the trials and sufferings of the army 
at Valley Forge,* and during the winter, at the request of 

• St, Clair 3 Narrative. — Appendix. 

• Washingtons Writings, Vol. V, p. 71. 

• WaskingtorC 9 Writings. Vol. V., p. 163 — note. 

*" Hungry and cold were the poor fellows who had so long been 
keeping the field; for provisions were scant, clothing worn out, and so 
badly off for shoes, that the footsteps of many might be tracked in 

100 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Washington, in common with other of the general officers, 
submitted suggestions for the reform of the Quartermaster 
and Commissary Departments, which, owing to the in- 
efficiency of General Mifflin, head of the former, and the 
interference of Congress in the latter,* had been thrown 
into the most deplorable condition. The reforms recom- 
mended by the officers were generally adopted, and Major- 
General Greene being appointed Quartermaster-General, 
and Colonel AVadsworth Commissary, order was restored 
to their respective departments, food and clothing were 
obtained, and the clouds once more disappeared — to return 
later, blacker than before — for the Americans. That ho 
should succeed in keeping together an army under such 
circumstances, is evidence of the genius and tact and 
marvelous personal influence of Washington. Phila- 
delphia being in possession of the enemy, the demoraliza- 
tion of the people^ was wide-spread, and, but for the timely 
assistance voted by the French government, it would have 
left but a few devoted patriots here and there to sustain 
the cause. Sir Henry Clinton anticipated the arrival of 
the French fleet,^ and withdrew from Philadelphia in June, 
following the usual line through the Jerseys leading to 
New York.'* 

Washington followed in pursuit, hoping to improve 
some favorable opportunity to strike a blow. La Fayette, 
who was most zealously in favor of active operations, was 
given the post of honor, and instructed to press hard on 

blood. Yet at this very time we are told. ' hogsheads of shoes, stock- 
ings, and clothing, were lying at different places on the roads and in 
the woods, perishing for want of teams, or of money to pay the teams- 
sters.'"— /n'%, Vol. IIL. p. 352. 

* By the removal of the head in the midst of the campaign in op- 
position to remonstrances from General Washington. 

^The French fleet under Count O'Estaing arrived off the mouth of 
thii Delaware, on the 8th of July. The assistance rendered this season 
was disappointing. 

' His army was about twelve thousand strong, and was not incum- 
bered with any except necessary baggage and provisions. The rest of 
the baggage, and about three thousand Penn\vlvanians who adhered 
to the royal cause, were sent around to New Yo'k by water. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 101 

that part of Clinton's army moving on the high irronnds. 
General Charles Lee, who had recently returned to the 
army, had opf»osec] an agsrressive movement, but thinking 
better of it, by virtue of liis rank, extended his comnjand 
over the troops under La Fayette in the advance. On the 
28th of June, Washington sent word to Lee to attack the 
enemy, who were encamped at Monmouth Court House, 
and promised to support that attack with the whole army. 
Upon advancing in accordance with this plan, he met Lee 
retreating.^ Sharp words' ensued between the two Gen- 
erals, and the line was reformed by Wasliington's com- 
mand. A sharp engagement ensued which lasted until 
dark, without advantage to either side.^ The British with- 
drew to Nevisink, and took up a strong position, from 
which the American General thought best i;iot to attempt 
to dislodge them. St. Clair participated in this engage- 
ment, and continued with the army without regularly 
assigned duties, until, restored by the vindication of the 
court-martial and the action of Congress, he was placed 
in command of a division composed of the Pennsylvania 

The winter of 1779 found American affairs at a very low 
ebb. Washington's headquarters were at Middlebrook in 
the Jerseys; Putnam was at Danbury, and McDougall in 
the Highlands. This starving, suffering army .was about 
all that was left of the " United Colonies," having organ- 
ized form, and it, owing to neglect and arrearages in pay, 

^ This led to an ill-tempered correspondence on the part of Lee. to 
his arraignment and trial on charges preferred by VVayne and other 
officers, and suspension from command. Thus another of the Cabal 
was eclipsed. Mifflin had been retired, Conway's resignation accepted, 
and ere long Gates was to meet with defeat and disgrace. Even in 
these dark days there was a God in Israel, and virtue, though often 
sorely tried, was triumphant. 

*The American loss in killed, wounded, and disabled, by heat was 
two hundred; that of the British three hundred. But this march 
proved very disastrous to the British, as over fifteen hundred Ger- 
mans, who had been so pleased with Pennsylvania as to contract mar- 
riages or form other attachments there, deserted, and afterwards be- 
came good citizens of the commonwealth of the Penns. 

102 lAft and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

which were attempted to be liquidated in worthless money, 
was on the verge of dissolution. Congress was only the 
shadow of a legislative body; corrupt, without ability, 
without means, without power to levy taxes or to control 
the action of the Colonies. In a word, there was no gov- 
ernment, and the lawlessness and injustice inseparable from 
such a situation were manifest on every hand. This is 
clearly shown in the St. Clair MSS. One of his corre- 
spondents, who had an invalid, wife, was unable to go to 
Philadelphia because of the terror created by banditti who 
infested the country. Pennsylvania was filled with dissen- 
sions. There were the Constitutionists and the anti-Con- 
stitutionists, jealous of each other, striving to get control 
of the State, whose strifes produced a condition of anarchy. 
A few men like James Wilson, Edward Biddle, and Joseph 
Reed, are seen to rise superior to their environment, and 
patriotically struggle for a restoration of law and the fontis 
of government. Reed is chosen President, and henceforth 
during the war there is vigor in the Executive Council.* 

The effect of this change on the Pennsylvania troops will 
be seen from the correspondence of St. Clair, printed in 
this work. He and other officers in the Pennsylvania line 
were stoutly opposed to the Constitution of 1776, which they 
thought defective, and as containing "principles unfavorable 
to liberty, which must inevitably, sooner or later, end in a 
tyranny of the worst kind ; " ^ but they regarded as impoli- 
tic all attempts to change it while the people were engaged 
in a contest with Great Britain, and, though anti-Constitu- 
tionists, their influence was given to the party of the Con- 
stitution as the party of law and order in a time of gruat 
danger. This influence was sufficient to compel the Assem- 
bly to recognize and support the form of government under 

^The services of President Reed were so important to the cause at 
this period as to entitle him to a high place among the patriots of the 
Revolution, and condemn its ungenerous all attempts to revive the 
suspicion, one time entertained, of his loyalty to the Commander-in- 

* St. Clair Papers, 

lAfe and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 108 

the revolotionary Constitution.^ We shall see that when 
the war was over, and St. Clair and Wayne were restored to 
civil life, thej lahored to amend the Constitution, but for 
some time without success. 

The letters of St. Clair at this period show a manly, pa- 
triotic spirit, a freedom from captiousness and ill-temper 
rarely met with at a time when there was so much to com- 
plain of, so little to keep alive faith in the justice of Prov- 
idence. In letters of the 5th and 6th of March, to Presi- 
dent Reed, describing the sufferings of, and the spirit of 
defection among the Pennsylvania troops, his devotion 
to the cause is made clear. " I am sure," he says, " I need 
not press you on this head, but give me leave to repeat 
that it is necessary something should be done immediately, 
or there is too much reason to fear the dissolution of our 
part of the army. No exertions of mine shall be wanting 
to prevent so great a calamity; and, though it is a misfor- 
tune to have come to the command of it at this trying 
period, if I can steer happily through it, and render any 
service to my country, I shall not regret any pains it will 
cost me." The subordinate officers were, at times, almost 
mutinous, and the impatience of such splendid soldiers as 
Butler and Hurmar would be injudiciously displayed in 
correspondence. In the midst of all of the trials, St. Clair 
remained serene, and, by his kindness and tact, not only 
kept the Pennsylvania line from dissolution, but its num- 
bers in excess of others of the army. It was from St. 
Clair's division the soldiers were taken to head the column 
that assaulted the works at Stony Point.' 

*The first Assembly refused to appoint a Council, and in that body, 
in 1778, there was an active minority pledged to a change in the form 
of government They refused to take the oath except with the reser- 
vation that it was not to prevent the adoption of measures for calling 
a Convention to change the Constitution. A resolution was adopted 
to submit the question to the people, but that resolution was the cause 
of the defeat of the scheme. Before the time fixed for the election, 
the Assembly, which had met in February, 1779, had received so many 
remonstrances from the people as to be influenced to rescind the reso- 
lution providing for the election by an almost unanimous vote. 

'^olon'^l Richard Bntler comtnanded tho left column, and Lieuten- 

104 Lift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

The story of that most brilliant exploit of the War of 
Independence is familiar to every reader, and need not be 
repeated here. Immediately upon receipt of the pleasing 
intelligence of the success of the assault, St. Clair congrat- 
ulated his friend General Wayne and those who shared in 
the glory. 

St. Clair's correspondence with General Washington 
will show" that his division held the post of honor through- 
out 1780, and that his services were arduous and valuable. 
Detachments of the enemy having crossed over from Staten 
Island on the ice to the Jersey shore, and entered Eliza- 
bethtown and Newark on ihe night of the 25th of Janu- 
ary, surprised the small garrison,^ captured four officers 
and sixty privates, burnt several buildings, and plundered 
the inhabitants, General Washington directed General St. 
Clair to repair to the lines and make a thorough investiga- 
tion into the causes of the " misfortune and disgrace." He 
also instructed him to endeavor to find out whether it 
would be possible to retajiate upon the enemy. On this 
latter head St. Clair ascertained that the British garrison 
on Staten Island had been reinforced so that it was two 
thousand strong, and that so long as there was an easy 
passage between the Island and the city a successftil offen- 
sive operation from the Jersey shore was impracticable, as 
w^as shown when Lord Stirling attempted a surprise on the 
15th. He suggested that the intercourse between the in- 
habitants of Jersey and the British on the Island should be 
stopped. The disgraceful surprise at Newark and Eliza- 

antrColonel Lewis Fleury, a very brave French soldier, whose defense 
of Fort Mifflin is known to every reader of American history, the 
right. At the head of each was a forlorn hope of twenty men. Lieu- 
tenant James Gibbons, of the Sixth Pennsylvania regiment, com- 
manded that under Colonel Fleury, and entered the work with three 
men, having lost seventeen. Lieutenant Knox, of the Ninth Penn- 
sylvania, led the other, under Colonel Butler, and was more fortunate 
in saving his men. Lieutenant-Colonel Meigs, who commanded the 
Eastern troops in the assault, was destined to come forward more 
prominently, though not more gallantly, in the future. 

^ These garrisons belonged to the command of Colonel Moses Ilazen. 


ife and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 105 

beth was due to negligence in not having a patrol out at the 
proper time. 

Early in March, Major-General St. Clair and Lieutenant- 
Colonels Edward Carrinsrton and Alexander Hamilton were 
authorized to meet commissioners on the part of the en- 
emy for the purpose of settling a general cartel for an ex- 
change of prisoners. The British government having 
failed to obtain additional recruits in Germany, Sir Henry 
Clinton was instructed to use all available means for effect- 
ing an exchange of all of the prisoners. There were those 
who entertained hopes that, under the pressure of their 
necessities, the enemy would make a just recognition of 
the independence of the Colonies in an honorable exchanire, 
but Washington was not one of these. His instructions to 
the commissioners were to " transact nothing but upon 
principles of perfect equality, and on a national ground." 
When the commissioners met at Amboy, it was soon as- 
certained that the enemy would not treat on mutual 
ground, and the American commissioners at once put an 
end to the negotiation.* Afterwards, there was an informal 
conversation as to an exchange on admissable terms, and, 
after separation, this discussion was continued, in an in- 
teresting correspondence, by General St. Clnir, on the part 
of the Americans, and Major-General Phillips, on that of 
the British. Courtesies, as to individual officers, were ex- 
tended on both sides, and something accomplished towards 
a better understanding. 

In the movements to check Sir Henry Clinton, after his 
return to the North from victorious lields in Georgia and 
South Caroliiia ; and in the discussion of plans for the re- 
daction of New York and Canada, in conjunction with the 
French allies, St. Clair had his full share. A reference to 
** Observations '' on the situation, submitted to the Comman- 
der-in-Chief, will show how thoroughly he understood the 
situation, and the conservative character of his opinions. 
When the country was startled by the treason of Arnold, 
General Washington immediately directed General St. Clair 

* The report of the commissioners was communicated by Washing- 
ton to Congress, on the 31st March. — Sparks^ Vol. VII., p. 1. 

106 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

to take the command at West Point, and to put the several 
posts in a state of defense to guard against a possible move- 
ment by the enemy. It became his sad duty, as a member 
of the Court to try Major Andr6, the victim of Arnold's 
treason, to declare that that meritorious and virtuous offi- 
cei'had incurred the penalty of death.^ 

Undoubtedly it had been Washington's intention to leave 
St. Clair in command at West Point and the district on the 
east side of the North River, but Greene asked for it, and 
it was never the policy of Washington to deny him any 
thing.^ A re-arrangement of troops became necessary. 
Greene was given two divisions, consisting of Jersey, New 
York, and New England troops, and was requested to 
march and relieve the Pennsj^lvania line as expeditiously 
as possible. "St. Clair waits till he is relieved by a Major- 
General," wrote Washington, and he "is directed to move 
the second Pennsylvania brigade and Meig's regiment to 

*The Court to try Andr6 wavS composed of Generals Greene, Stirling, 
St. Clair, La Fayette, Howe. Steuben, Parsons, James Clinton, Knox, 
Glover, Patterson, Ifand, Huntington, Stark, and Lawrenca General 
Greene was made President. A solemn stillness fell upon these officers 
as the young and graceful Adjutant-General of the British Army was 
ushered into their presence. *' It is not possible to save him, and yet 
we would gladly save him." said Steuben, after the verdict. How 
could it be done ? The brave young man, scorning a lie or subterfuge, 
promptly denied that he had entered the American lines under protec- 
tion of a flag, and so each member of the Court, under military law, 
was constrained to pronounce judgment in these words: " He (Andr6) 
is to be considered a spy, and according to the laws and usages of na- 
tions ought to sufler (loath." 

'Greene to Washington: "A new disposition of the army going to 
be made, and an officer appointed to the command of West Point and 
the district on the east side of the North River, I take the liberty 
just to intimate my inclination for the appointment. Your Excellency 
will judge of the propriety, and determine as the honor of the army 
and the good of th<» service may require. I hope there is nothing in- 
delicate or improper in the application," and thereupon proceeded to 
show that the freedom of the country and Washington's reputation 
and glory were inseparably connected. Greene was as accomplished 
as a courtier as a soldier. 

lAfe and Public Services of Arthur St Clair. 107 

the army, as soon as a sufficient corps arrives to replace 
them." * 

In the preceding month, however, Washington had paid 
St. Clair a handsome compliment, in oflEering to him the 
command of the Corps of Light Infantry ^ which was be- 
ing organized. He had formed a plan to attack New York 
upon Sir Henry Clinton's departure for Rhode Island, a 
scheme in which La Fayette took a deep interest. " The 
command of it for the campaign," said Washington, '* is 
promised to the Marquis de La Fayette, for reasons which 
I dare say will be to you obvious and satisfactory. If we 
attack New York, the part which this corps will take will 
make it a most desirable command. Should it be agreeable 
to you to take it until the return of this gentleman, which 
is uncertain, it would give me great pleasure. I wish you, 
however, to consult your delicacy, and determine without 
the least restraint." The offer, said St. Clair, a quarter of 
a century later, in his reminiscences, *' was most joyfully 
accepted, nor could he have contrived to have done me a 
more grateful favor, nor in a more gracious manner. The 
sudden return of Sir Henry prevented the attempt, and 
the Marquis soon after returned to his command." 

About this time, a serious cause of embarrassment arose 
in the Pennsylvania line, which threatened to put an end 
to the long-time friendship between Generals St. Clair and 
Wayne, and leave the regiments without officers.' Major 

^Sparks, Vol. VII., p. 233. The first brigade of the Pennsylvania 
line bad marched to join the army some days before. 

'"The Corps of Light Infantry consisted of six battalions, each com- 
posed of eight companies selected from the different lines of the army. 
These battalions were arranged in two brigades, one of which was 
commanded by General Hand, and the other by General I'oor. The 
Light Infantry was stationed in advance of the main army." — Sparks. 

' " There is a matter now in the Pennsylvania line, which originated 
by the appointment of Mtyor McPherson to the command of one of 
the Light Infantry battalions, that I fear will be attended with some 
serious and disagreeable consequences between General St. Clair and 
General Wayne. One time the matter got so high that I really appre- 
hended the loss of your whole line." — General Greene, to President lieed^ 
August 29. 1780. 

108 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

McPherson, a meritorious officer, had been appointed to the 
command of a corps detached from the Pennsykania line, 
by General Washington. This gave great offense to the 
officers in line of promotion, and they had the sympathetic 
support of Generals Wayne and Irvine, and Colonel Kich- 
ard Butler. Their resentment extended to St. Clair, who 
stood loyally by the Commander-in-ChiciV although in sym- 
pathy with his subordinate officers. To Colonel Butler he 
wrote in persuasive, but earnest words. He could, not rec- 
oncile himself to the thought that so many brave, virtuous, 
and good officers proposed leaving the service of their 
country, and throwing their well-earned laurels to the 
ground, and sacrificing their future peace to a punctilio. 
He declined to ask Major McPherson to resign, and said 
that the Commander-in-Chief ought not to recede;^ but 
he suggested that the officers address a memorial to Gen- 
eral Washington, setting forth their grievances, and offering 
their services until the campaign was over. This sugges- 
tion was adopted, harmony was restored, and the Com- 
mander-in-Chief presented the matter to Congress. The 
result was the adoption of new regulations, and the correc- 
tion of some of the abuses that existed in the army, which 
prevented the dissolution that threatened. 

It is impossible for one at the present day, living in the 
midst of a vast and wealthy country, surrounded by inex- 
haustible supplies of the necessaries and luxuries of life, 
to conceive of the extent of the destitution and suffering 
of the Revolutionary army in the years 1779, 1780 and 

^ General Wayne, -»vho had aided in fomenting the difficulty, when 
he found that General Washington remained firm by the principle he 
had established, felt called on to vindicate himself, and thought the 
best way to do that was to insinuate that St. Clair was unfriendly to 
him. This mischievous effort was properly rebuked by Washington, 
in a letter whioli wiU be found elsewhere in this work. Wayne's char- 
actor was not as frank and manly as one would wish to meet with in 
so good a soldier. lie was envious, ambitious, and given to intrigue. 
Sparks says: 'General Wayne and General Irvine had used all their 
efforts to quell the storm." We are satisfied this is untrue, so far a« 
Wavne is concerned. 

* St. Clair Papers. 

liift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 109 

1781 . There was no money, and no provision of law for 
taxation ; the imaginary value of the paper issues was de- 
stroyed by enormous volumes of counterfeit promises ,to 
pay ; the crops were poor, and other resources were un- 
available; extortion run riot and sucked up the life-blood 
of the poor, until labor could not command enough paper 
to buy the bare necessaries of life ; those that had been 
wealthy were plunged into the depths of poverty, while the 
few corrupt became possessed of houses and lands. With- 
out means, how could the army be fed and sustained in the 
field? If patriotism had sufficed — if it had been provisions 
and clothing and powder and ball, no army had been better 
provided. But alas! this could only endure cold and 
hunger in camp, and bleed upon the field of battle. ** I 
can assure you with great truth," wrote General Irvine of 
St. Clair's division in May, 1780, "that many officers have 
lived some time on bread and water rather than take any 
scanty allowance from the men." Whole regiments had 
spent the winter — the coldest for many years — without 
blankets. Even Washington had about ceased to hope : 
"I see nothing before us but accumulating distress," wrote 
he to a friend. " We have been half of our time without 
provisions, and are likely to continue so. We have no 
magazines nor money to form them. We have lived upon 
expedients until we can live no longer."^ Said Greene, at 
that time : " The great man is confounded at his situation, 
but appears to be reserved and silent."^ Out of this re- 
serve came plans for the future, and appeals which finally 
brought the leading men in the difierent States to the front 
again. New measures for supplies were adopted; new 
financial legislation, not always wise, was devised ; and bills 
were drawn on agents in Europe. France herself, with de- 
ranged finances, and the accumulated wrongs of centuries 
threatening chaos, was America's salvation. 

It is not surprising that out of this poverty and suffering 
there came revolt. On the night of 1st January, 1781, the 
Pennsylvania troops, under General Wayne, stationed at 

* Ramsay* s Life of Washington^ p. 163. 

"In a letter to President Reed, May 10, 1780. 

110 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

MorristowDy broke into open mutiny, and after a straggle 
with some of their officers, in which one was killed and 
several wounded,* marched for Princeton under the leader- 
ship of a board of sergeants. Wayne furnished them with 
supplies to keep them from plundering, and with Colonels 
Stewart and Butler became a voluntary prisoner, hoping 
to obtain some influence over them. The avowed cause 
of the mutiny was a difference between the men and the 
officers as to the term of enlistment. The former held that 
the enlistment was for three years or the war; and the 
latter that it was for three years and the war. The men 
demanded, in writing, a discharge to all that had served 
three years; an immediate payment of all sums due; and 
that in future all who remained in service should be paid 
in real money. This demand they purposed to lay before 
Congress, with arms in their hands to enforce it. 

St. Clair and La Fayette, who were at Philadelphia, has- 
tened to the scene and were admitted within the lines, but 
were not permitted to have any intercourse with the men, 
and were soon afterwards commanded to leave by the board 
of sergeants. To prevent a further spread of the defection, 
General St. Clair proceeded to Morristown, and gave as- 
surances to the soldiers that remained of future considera- 
tion. He directed them to be collected and marched to 
Persipenny; sent the remaining artillery and ammunition 
to Luckysunny, and then reported to General Washington,* 
who approved of what had been done.^ 

Immediately after the revolt the British showed great 
activity, and Sir Henry Clinton sent a considerable force to 
Staten Island, whence two emissaries were sent to the camp 
of the malcontents. These, however, were given up through 
the influence of two of the sergeants, bribed thereto by 
General Wayne, and were subsequently tried and executed 
as spies. 

Meanwhile, a Congressional Committee, at the head o£ 

^ Captain Billings was killed and Captain Talbot mortally wounded. 
^ St. Clair Papers. Sparks, Vol. III., p. 197, Correspondence. 
» Writings of Washington, Vol. VII., p. 363. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. Ill 

which was General Sullivan, accompanied by President 
Reed, proceeded to Trenton and opened negotiations with 
the sergeants. The situation was truly alarming, as it was 
uncertain how far the defection extended to other lines. 
On this account, "Washington abandoned his first formed 
purpose to proceed to Princeton, and, instead, resolved on 
severe measures. He directed General St. Clair to proceed 
to the Pennsylvania side opposite Trenton and send for the 
Congressional Committee to meet him for a conference. If 
there were no reasonable hopes of a compromise, then get 
the opinion of the Committee as to what policy should be 
adopted. If coercive measures were decided on, then make 
ulterior arrangements for militia with President Reed and 
Governor Livingston to co-operate with a thousand Conti- 
nental troops which he should send from the army.^ This 
painful course was found not to be necessary, as terms, 
which included the demands of the mutineers, were con- 
ceded by the Congressional Committee and President Reed. 
These were communicated to General "Washington by Gen- 
eral Sullivan, who assured him that no concession had been 
made that the critical situation of affairs did not warrant 
and justice dictate.^ 

Men and means not being forthcoming from the States, 
as promised, Washington put forth the most earnest appeals 
and resorted to measures which showed the desperate straits 
to which the cause had now fallen. The recruiting was put 
into new hands. To St. Clair he intrusted the work of fill- 
ing Pennsylvania's quota. The order was loyally obeyed, 
although the field was more inviting. The difliculties, de- 
lays, and vexations, will be found fully described in the St. 
Clair papers. When finally enrolled, clothed, and equipped, 
the troops were sent to Virginia to join the Marquis de La 

St. Clair still hoped for active work immediately under 
Washington, and he confidently expected the command of 

^Sl. Clair Papers. Writings of Washington, Vol. VII. p. 364. 
*Sparks*s Correspondence Rev., Vol. III. p. 198. 

112 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

the army,^ but the exigencies of the campaign determined 
otherwise. How all this came about we shall tell in his 
own words: 

"When the army marched to the southward, I was left 
in Pennsylvania to organize and forward the troops of that 
State and bring up the recruits that had been raised there. 
The command of the American army was kept open for mo. 
the General intending to take upon himself, formally, the 
command of the allied army, which hitherto he had only 
done actually. After having sent off the greatest part of 
that line under General Wayne, and on the point of follow- 
ing them. Congress became alarmed that some attempt on 
Philadelphia would be made from New York, in ordor to 
divert General Wafthiugtou from his purpose against Lord 
Cornwallis, and thev ordered me to remain with the few 
troops I had left, to which it was purposed to add a large 
body of militia, and to form a camp on the Delaware: of 
this I immediately apprised General Washington, who had 
written to me, very pressingly, to hasten on the reinforce- 
ments from that State; informing me of the need he had of 
them, and, as he was pleased to say, of my services also. 
He wrote again, on the receipt of my letter, in a manner still 
more pressing, and I laid that letter before Congress, who, 
after considerable delay and much hesitation, revoked their 
order, and I was allowed to join the army before Yorktown, 

^ " September 21st, 1 7S1. At 1 p. m. I waited on tho President of the 
State of Pennsylvania at his house in Market street, and met there Mr. 
Peters and Mr. Cornell, of the Board of War, General St. Clair, General 
Irvine, and General Irwin, of the militia. This conference lasted a 
considerable time, and in its consequences took up the rest of the day. 
I gave it as my opinion that Sir Henry Clinton did not intend for this 
city ; nevertheless, as the inhabitants are alarmed and uneasy, I agreed 
to tho propriety of being prepared, although I lamented the expense 
such preparation would put us to. I advised the placing a garrison at 
Mud Island, and putting that place in posture of defense, and men- 
tioned the plan proposed to me by Mr. Paine' of collecting immedi- 
ately one quarter's rent from all the houses in Philadelphia in order to 
havo an immediate supply of money to defray the expenses. — Diary of 
Bohcrt Morris^ Vol. XI. p. 473. 

1 Thomas raiiie, who Iwul just returned from France. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 118 

but did not reach it until the business was nearly over, the 
capitulation having been signed in live or six days alter my 
arrival. From thence I was sent with six regiments and 
ten pieces of artillery, to the aid of General Greene in 
South Carolina, with orders to sweep, in my way, all the 
British posts in North Carolina; but they did not give me 
trouble, for, on my taking a direction towards Wilmington, 
they abandoned that place and every other post they had in 
that country, and left me at liberty to pursue the march by 
the best and most direct route; and on the 27th of Deccm* 
ber, I joined General Greene, near Jacksonburgh." 

We get a glimpse of this march through the South in 
the journal kept bj- Lieutenant Denny,* and Greene re- 
cords their a« rival at camp, at Round O, on the 4th of Jan- 
uary, 1782, *' weary from their long march, and greatly di- 
minished in numbers."^ It a trump of two months through 
an uninteresting country had diminished the numbers, what 
was to be exp'^X'ted of service through the summer months 
on the bank of Ashley River? In September following, 
Lieutenant Denny makes this cheerful entry in his journal: 
"Our camp very thin; not more than three reliefs of otii- 
cei^s and men for the ordinary dutiei». Ilospitnls crowded, 
and great many sick in camp; deaths so frequent, the 
funeral ceremony dispensed with. Provisions scarce and 
very indifferent; the beeves brought from the back counties 
of North Carolina, by the time they reach the camp, poor 
indeed, and must be unwholesome. Commissary's yard 
and slaughter place commonly short distance from camp. 
Soldier going there in morning, about killing time, met his 
comrade returning in; asked huw was the beef this morn- 
ing? Other replicil that it took two men to hold up the 
creature until the butcher knocked it down. Savs the 
other, 'And why didn't he knock it down as it lay?'"^ 

' Ebeneezer Denny, afterwards Major in the United States Army, 
and Aid to St. Clair, in 1791. We shaU hear from this meritorious 
officer frequently hereafter. 

* Life of General Nathaniel Greene, Vol. III. 

* Military Journal, p 251. 


114 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

St. Clair had been spared this bit of ghnstly humor by 
returnins^ to his faniilv in the Bunimer. Tlie war was vir- 
tually over, and lie could return home with propriety, con- 
scious of liavino^ done his whole dntv throus^hout the ar- 
duous struggle for Independence. Before closing this 
chapter, however, we must refer to correspondence of an 
interesting character that passed between General Wasli- 
iiigton and General St. Clair during the progress through 
Virginia. The latter had written of his plans and the diffi- 
culties that beset him, and received from his ever-generous 
friend a most appreciative letter. 

"The difficulties," writes Washington, "of which you 
speak are such as I feared, but such as I feel confident the 
resources of your genius will surmount. ... If your 
attempt should fail, whatever may be the censures of the 
people at the moment, I doubt not that your character will 
eventually obtain that justice which I flatter myself your 
conduct will ever merit — an instance of which you have 
alreadv had in the course of the war." 

"Nothing," writes St. Clair in answer, "could have been 
more acceptable to me than the manner in which your Ex- 
cellency has been pleased to speak of my conduct." 

While St. Clair was engaged in closing up the accounts 
and furloughing the veteran soldiers, in 1783, the new levies, 
stjitionod at Lancaster, refusing to accept their discharges 
without immediate pay, mutinied and marched for Phihi- 
del[)hia, for the avowed purjjose of compelling Ccmgress'to 
accede to their demands. The mutineers were reinforced 
by the recruits in the barracks of Philadelphia, and, as they 
marched to the hall where Congress was in session, they 
numbered three hundred. Their demand was made in very 
peremptory terms, that, " unless their demand was com- 
plied with in twenty minutes, they would let in ujion them 
the injured soldiery, the consequences of which they were 
to abide." Word was immediately sent to General St. 
Clair, and his iresence requested. After hearing a state- 
ment of the facts by him. Congress directed him to en- 
deavor to march the mutineers to their barracks, and to 
announce to them that Congress would enter into no delib- 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 115 

eration with them; that they must return to Lancaster, 
and that (here^ and only there, they Avould be paid.* After 
this, Congress appointed a committee to confer with the ex- 
ecutive of Pennsylvania, and adjourned. The members 
passed through the files of the mutineers, without being 

The committee, with Alexander Hamilton as chairman, 
waited on the State Executive Council ; but, receiving no 
promise of protection, on the 24th of June, advised an 
adjournment of Congress to Princeton. The day after 
their arrival there, a resolution w^as passed directing Gen- 
eral Ilowe to march fifteen hundred troops to Philadelphia 
to disarm the mutineers and bring them to trial. Before 
this force could reach Philadelphia, St. Clair and the Execu- 
tive Council had succeeded in quieting the disturbance with- 
out bloodshed. The principal leaders were arrested, obedi- 
ence secured, after which Congress granted a pardon. The 
resolution directing General Howe to move with the troops, 
gave oftcnse to General St. Clair, who regarded it as an 
attempt to supersede him in his command. Thereupon, 
he addressed a sharp letter to the President of Congress, 
who very considerately refrained from laying it before that 
body. Explanations followed, showing that St. Clair had 
misconstrued the order, and peace prevailed once more. 

1 'i 

'Ihe BepiiUic, Vol. II., p. 562. 

116 , Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 


1783-1787 — Reti'rx to Civil Life — Loss of Fortune — Engages ix Busi- 
KE8S — A Membkr of the Boakp of Censors — Elected a Delegate to 
Congress from rHii.Ai)Ei.pmA County — Choskn President of thb 
LAST Continental Congress — Cireat Gift to Freedom — History of 
the Ordinance of 1787 — St. Clair Elected Governor of the North- 
western Teuritory. 

When General St. Chiir got time to look into his private 
affairs, he found himself ruined finaneiallv. The mill 
which he had left in Westmoreland for the use and benefit 
of the inhabitants of that part of the country, was found 

to be in ruins — an evidence that beneficiaries do notalwavs 


led themselves bound morally to make any return for favors 
voluntarily confeired. St. Clair mentions having lost 
£20,000 on one piece of renl estate al^ne. The comforta- 
ble fortune, and the valuable offices, which were all his in 
1775, and eight yeai's ot the prime of life were all gone — 
all given freely, and without a regret, for freedom and a 

In 1783, St. Clair was elected a member of the Council 
of Censors, a body provideil for in the Constitution of 17*76, 
and charged with the duty of inquiring whetiier the Con- 
stitution had been ]»reserved inviolate ; whether the legis- 
lative and executive branches of government had performed 
their duty as guardians of the i)e(>ple; and whetiier the 
taxes had been i>ropcrly laid, collected, and ex[»ended. The 
Council could call a new constitutional convention only 
bv a two-thirds vote. St. Clair was elected from thecountv 
of IMiiladclpljia, and he had for a colleague that eminent 
citizen, Frederick A. Mulileiiburg. The names of other 
distiiiirnislied friends are found on the roll of Censors. 
From the city of Philadelphia, came Thomas Fitzsim- 
mons; from the county of Chester, Anthony Wayne; from 
Cumberland, William Irvine; and from York, Tliomaa 

lAft and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 117 


6t. Clair was an active member of this body, participat- 
ing in the debates and in the committee work.^ A large 
number of the reports of the minority were. written by him, 
and they display a breadth of opinion and a familiarity 
with law and the principles of government highly credit- 
able. He was made a member of the committee *' appointed 
to report those articles of the Constitution which are ma- 
terially defective and absolutely require alteration and 
amendment." This committee adopted an elaborate report, 
drafted by St. Clair, and attempted to secure the passage of 
a resolution calling a new constitutional convention, but 
although their report was supported by a majority of the 
Censors, it could not command the necessary two-thirds. 
Thereupon, an address to the people, setting forth the facts, 
was issued by those in favor of a new convention. There 
was a strong party feeling displayed throughout the sessions 
of this Council, but an examination of its labors does not 
come within the designs of this work.^ 

St. Clair was also elected to the office of Vendue-master 
of Philadelphia — an honorable, and very lucrative posi- 
tion, through which the public revenues were received at 
that time. His transactions were with the State Controller.* 
In the confusion resulting from revolution, there wasa vast 
amount of property to be sold, from which the State de- 
rived a revenue. 

February 20, 1786, St. Clair first attended Congress, as a 
delegate from Pennsylvania, an<l, on Friday, February 2, 
1787, he was elected its President. This was a recognition 
of the ability of the man, rather than the patriotism which 
made him a soldier of the Revolution. As the w^ork of the 
session of 1787 was scarcely excelled in importance by the 

* These names will bo found always associated together in the pro- 
ceedings of the Council of Censors: Arthur tSt. Clair, Fred. A. Muhlen- 
berg, John Arndt, James Moore, Anthony Wayne, David Espy, Thomas 
Fitzsimmons, Thomas Hartley, Richard McAllister. Occasionally Will- 
iam Irvine voted with the others. 

'The reader is roTerred to ''The Proceedings relative to Calling (he Cm- 
ventions of 177G and 1790, and the Council of Censors." — Harrisbur^, 1825. 

•This should not be confounded with the position of auctioneer,as 
known at the present day. 

lis L'U 'r.i I P^tK'!^. Scrct.'fs of Arthur St. CXcir. 

resold of the Lib»?rs of that other boJr. in session at the 
same r me, which gave to America a Constitution, and es- 
tabli^^heil the Ur.:--»!i. I shall dwell cpmn it at some length. 

In the history or every c^»untry there are supreme events 
to which may W tractJ the influence that sha)»ed the des- 
tinv of the i e*>: le f >r s: o«i or for evi' : in that of the United 
Stares, it i< custon.arv m n:fer to the Declaration of In»le- 
j»en'enee and the adv^pri'ii of th^ Constitution in enco- 
miastic phrase, as exhibit:!^? wis.lom and £reuiu3 of the 
higi.est order. Br*:, whatever may he said of these, may 
be apt lied to tLo Onihiai.ce of 17S7 with equal justice. 
Aye, more, the spirit of the Oniinance has conferred bless- 
ings in addition to tLo>e derived fn>m the Constitution upon 
the citizens of tho States erectC'l under i^s provisions. 
*• Up<»n the si;rpass:T'g exceller.ce of this Ordinance/' said 
Jud<re Timotliv WTaiker, - no laniria^eof paneevric would 
be extravagant. The Romans would have imagined s«>me 
divine Egeria f »r its author. It ap{»roachos as nearly to ab- 
solute perfection as any thing to l>e found in the legislation 
of mankind : for, after the experience of fit\y years, it would 
j»erhaps be imp«)ssib!e to alter without marring it. In short, 
it is one of those matchless specimens of sag:icions forecast 
which even the reckless spirit of innovation would not ven- 
ture to assail."* As Ion ^ as human srovernmeiit shall en- 
dure, the influence for st'^^^I of this remarkable charter shall 
be wrnessed. It was the i>ne reallv creat act of le<rislation 
bv C »i!irress under the old contV-leratioM, and it was the 
ha[n»y fortune of Arthur St. Clair to be the President of 
tht* hody at that time and have the opportunity to give to 
tlie iiicasnrc his hearty support. 

J> t ns take a brief survey of the provisions of the Or- 
difinuco : 

It provides rules fop ihe descent and conveyance of real 
and ptrsonal property : for the a: pointment i>f the Gover- 
nr»r. Secretarv, Jndires, and other officers of the territorial 
irov<r!»ni<*nts ; for the atloption of laws for the teiujKirary 
govf rnineiit ; for the erection of counties; fop the election 

* lit 'oi^i' D'-r-ur-^e. '1Z\ DeOfiiiber. 1S37. TraHsa€ion< Ohio Hist, and 
PhV. .S>. V Vol. I., Part ii., p. ISU. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 119 

oi' a General Assembly after the growth in population to 
live thousand souls; and for the election of a delegitc to 
Congress, to have the right of debate, but not of voting 
during the territorial con'dition. It then says: '-For ex- 
te ding the fundamental principles of civil and religious 
liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their 
laws and constitutions, are erected; to fix and establish 
those principles as the basis of all laws, constitutions and 
governments, which hereafter shall be formed in the terri- 
tory; to provide also for the establishment of States and 
perman^^nt government therein, and for their admission to 
a share in the Federal councils on an equal footing with the 
original States," etc., '*It is hereby ordained and declared, 
by the authority aforesaid, that the following articles shall 
be considered articles of comi)act between the original 
States, and the people and States in the said territory, and 
forever remain unalterable unless by common consent." 

The first ox these articles secures relisj^ious freedom to 
the inhabitants^; the second prohibits legislative interfer- 
ence with private contracts, secures the bcneiit of the writ 
of habms corpus^ trial by jury, and of the common law in 
judicial proceedings; it forbids the infliction of cruel or 
unusual punishments; the third declares that as religion, 
morality and knowledge are necessary to good government 
and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of 
education shall ever be encourage^!, and good faith ob- 
served towards the Indians; the fourth i)rovides that the 
territories shall renmin forever a part of the United States, 
pay their just proportion of the Federal debts and expenses, 
not interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by 
the general Government, nor tax non-resident proprietors 
higher than resident, and makt-s the iiavigal)le waters free 
forever to all citizens of the United States;^ the fifth pro- 
vides for a division of the territory into States, and their 

' Mr. Grayson, of Virginia, March Ifi, 178G. moved a resolution rela- 
tive to the free navigation of the Mississippi, which was incorporated 
into the Ordinance of 1787. The authorship is traced to Timothy 
Pickering, in a letter to Kufus King, March 8, 1785. See Spencer a 
Hist. U. aS.. Vol. II.. p. 207. 

aiLm>s-u»a iiiro 'die Uiiioa with repaUioaa goremmenta, 
w::en rhey :»mill have ^xty rhotittind inhabitants, on an 
e«\ lui r- or.Mir ^^th *he orr^niu Scaxe<: and the sixth «leclared, 
Tiitire 3-:ia!i :>» neither -^iaverv nur inToIuatarv servitude 
wirhiii the rer-ir.'ry. orhenvitje than in the punishnient of 
crnit*?*. wheniof :i»e oar'v mi-^'A have been dulv convicted: 
Pn>vuleii A*wavs. *i.a: ;i:iy rers n esoapm^r into the same, 
from whom !ab«^r ^yc -H^i^'ice :< -awpi iv claimed in anv one 
iyi t:;e on^ina. Star.*?. <i.\*:h. r*i:rr:ve mav be lawfullv re- 
ciaimoil an' I o-.Mivev«:d t.> the per^a olaimin? his or her 
la^or or serv* -et^ j:* a:^ nf^saiii.^ 

S<ich are rLe bctit.'d':en: pn.^vi:sioiis of this remarkable 
purer, ut.tler wiiicLi Srates h;ive grown to be great and 
thoir inLao::arr> r'.^re r iosr^rn.^'i-s and happy than the 
world has ever Ivr >rv >eea — t 'visions ** unalterable and 
invlestracdb^e exce : Iv tha: ti^^a and cvxumon ruin which 


has overtaken al f;r?!ier sy<t^nLS ot human polity."* 
Ttioc?e re!ariu^ t > v:ou:rav:ts. r > the treatment of Indians, and 
to slavery, are ori^iriual. wLiie tue others are dratted ciru*fly 
tV>[ii tiio Vlr^rTu Bill ot U:^i;ts» and the ctmstitutions 
f.'nueti r^r Perir.svlvui.ia, Marviarsd. and Georgia in 1776-7. 
B :;t the whole are ^raoe:\i ly wo.ded.and admirably adapted 
for rhe parp^'sos ot frve i^>vertimenr. It was fortunate 
that thio^v^rciu was to be established first in a new cnun- 
try. where there were no olv>tri;etive customs and privileges 
to l>e lenu ve^i lK>f're i:s Ivnetits c^uld Iv fnllv realized. 
It is true there were iinrniirrants who bron»;ht with tl em 
opii.i'Mis in contiivt with the priiiciples of the Ordinance, 
ari«l inc'^n>i«.iorate!v soaijht their miHliticati«m, in vain.* 

' ^ f jj ' '^ Pre. r M :r S< ••', p 17 

''Iii!^ refrr- t«> :mini::rants fr»iu S^nithern States uho located in 
S'^.i-r. rri I.'.di.iiia :i:.<l Uliii.Ms. I h»' Frouoii rfTii^lenis at St. Vincents, 
;>'. i >• K..-k i-k::» ;iii«i ( aliokia. )ia«i bi-t'ii j>»TniiittHl to hohl slaves by 
» .<• V.'w t' "i France. aii«l this }>e!ni:^<i»n was coi'.iiniie*! uniler the Gov- 
'f ..rij'fit 'if <Tr»at liriiain. HtMiC«'. when tht^ «^nlin'ince w,\s passed, in 
1 7-7 -ilav^rv ♦•xi't»Ml at tlio plaofs nanunl. and it was not interfered 
with iifi'l«r th<' territorial j:'«\ernnienis Some slaves were rem ove<l to 
th" Loui-iana Territory, but others wt-re retained as indentured serv- 
unt-* Immi^'rants favorable to -lavory. and the old inhabitants, united 
in memorials to Cong^e^s. asking a suspension of the Sixth Article. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 121 

There were others, however, with broader views onmnian- 
ity and the ends of government, who, attracted by ihe 
principles of civil and religious liberty incorporated in the 
fundamental law, came by thousands, grateful for the op- 
portunity to bo bound by its covenants.^ 

The first of ihese, signed by John Edgar and others, was reported on 
May J 2. 17%, by Joshua Coit, of Connecticut, to whom it had been 
referred, adversely. In December, 1802, a meeting of citizens of the 
Indiana Territory, held at Vincennes, and presided over by William 
Henry Harrison, resolved to make an effort to secure a suspension of 
the Sixth Article of the Ordinance. A memorial wns drawn up, and in 
February following, it and a letter from Mr. Harrison were referred to 
a special committee, of which John Randolph, of Virginia, was Chair- 
man. March 2, 18('2, Mr. Randolph reported the following resolution: 

" JiesoJve'l, That it is inexpedient to suspend, for a limited time, the 
operati<ni of the Sixth Article of Compact between the original States 
and the people and States west of the river Ohio." 

This resolution was accompanied by these wise remarks: "The 
rapid population of the State of Ohio sufficiently evince, in the oi)in- 
ion of your cojnmitt e, that the labor of slaves is not necessary to pro- 
mote the growth and settlement of colonies in that region; that this 
labor, demonstrably the dearest of any, can only be employed to 
advantage in the cultivation of products more valuable than any 
known to that quarter of the United States; that the con;mittee deem 
it highly dangerous and inexpedient to impair a provision wisely cal- 
culated to promote the happiness and prosperity of the north-western 
country, and to give strength and security to that extensive frontier. 
In the salutary operation of this sagacious and benevolent restraint, 
it is believed that the inhabitants of Indiana will, at no distant day, 
find ample remuneration for a temporary privation of labor and of 

In March, 1804, Ccesar Rodney, of Delaware — afterward Attorney- 
General of the Unit«'d States — reported the resolution of a Special 
Committee in favor of the suspension of the inhibition for ten years. 
A similar report was made in 1800. by James Garnet, of Virginia; and 
in IS07, Mr. Parke, delegiite from Indiana, reported favorably on a 
memorial of William Henry Harrison and the Territorial Legislature, 
praying for a su-^pension of the Sixth Article of the Ordinance. But 
no action was ever taken by the House on these favorable reports. 
Subsequently, General Harrison and his Legi>lature went before the 
Senate, and a Special Committee, consisting of Mr. Franklin, of North 
Carolina. Mr. Kitchell, of New Jersey, and !Mr. Tillin, of Ohio, was 
appointed. They brought in an adverse report, and that put an end 
to the efforts to destroy the anti-slavery clause of the Ordi.umce. 

* **0n the whole, these articles contain what they profess to contain, 

122 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Not less interesting than the Ordinance itself is the qnes- 
tion of authorship. Who possessed the s^ateniiniship to 
draft it, and the political tact to secure its unanimous 
adoption? Claims have heen put forth for different emi- 
nent oitizens. Thomas II. Benton, Governor Edward 
Coles, and others, attributed the authorsliip to JeffL'rsi>n ; 
Mr. Webster, and a long list of writers, to Xatlian Dane, 
of Massachusetts, while a son of Ruhjs King chiinied hiui 
to be the originator of the anti-slavery article. New in- 
terest lias been given to this discussion by recent contribu- 
tions to the Historical 3Ltgazine^ and North American lie- 
vieWy* ascribing the authorship of the most imjiortant arti- 
cles, and the influence that secured its passas^e, to Dr. 
Manasseh Cutler, of Massachui^etts. This claim, which is 
biised on a single paragraph in the Diary of Dr. Cutler, 
and the circumstances attending the making of a contract 
for the sale of western lands to the Ohio Company, was 
first brought to public notice by Hon. William P. Cutler, 
a grandson of Dr. Cutler, in 186C.* Dr. Cutler, as agent 
of the Ohio Company, in July, 1787, attended Congress for 
t!ie {uirpose of purchasing a million and a half acres of 
land in the Territory north-west of the river Ohio, provided 
favorable conditions could be secured. This proi>osition of 
the Ohio Company revived the scheme for the erection of a 
government in that. Territory, whiih had been rei)eatedly 
under discussion in Congress, beginning in 1784, when Mr. 
Jefferson brought forward a comprehensive measure for the 
division into States of the entire Western Territory. 

tlic tnu^ theory of Am^'riciin lil>erly. The great principles promul- 
gjitt'd are vvliolly ami purely American. Thoy are, indeed, the genuine 
jiriiiciples of freedom, unadulterated by that compromise with cir- 
cinnstanccs, the effects of which are visible in the Constitution and 
li story of the Union." — C/tase's VriHm'>nar}i Sketch, p. IS. 

Mr. Clrise refei-s to the slavery compromise, of course. He over- 
lor)ke<l the fact that the Sixth Article is, after all, a compromise on 
lh(* .-ul»ject of slavery similar to one in the Constitution. 

' By Presid«'nt Ti.ttle, of Wabash Colloge, in 1873. 

- By William Frede/ick Poole, in ISTO. 

^()^^ <-ccasion of u Pioneer Celebration at Marietta. Tie claimed for 
Pr <'ntbM*an e<jual participation with Mr. Dane in the formation of 
the Ordinance. 

i(/b and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 123 

Maryland, and Mr. Howell, of Rhode Island, had reported 
an ordinance for the temporary government of tlie Terri- 
tory North and South of tlie river Ohio, out of which ten 


States were to be formed. Its notable features were articles 
of " compact" between the original States and the Terri- 
tories, and the following : " That, after the year 1800 of the 
Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involun- 
tary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in 
the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been 
duly convicted to have been personally guilty." Subse- 
quently, on motion of Mr. Spaight, of North Carolina, this 
clause was stricken out, only six States voting for it,^ and, 
on the 23d April, 1784, the ordinance was passed as 
amended. It was a dead letter.^ Mr. Jefferson, having 
been appointed Minister to France, retired from Congress. 

One year later, Timothy Pickering, of Massachusetts, be- 
sought liufus King to make another effort to secure an or- 
dinance prohibiting slavery in the Territories. Accord- 
ingly, on the \Q\\\ March, 1785, Mr. King moved that the 
following resolution be committid: 

^^Itesolvedy That there shall be neither slavery nor invol- 
untary servitude in any of the States described in the re- 
solve of Congress of the 23d April, 1784, otherwise than in 
the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been 
l»ei*sonally guilty; and that this regulation shall be an arti- 
cle t)f compact, and remain a fundamental principle of the 
Constitution between the thirteen original States and each 
of the States described in the said resolve of the 23d of 
April, 1784." 

The resolution went to the Committee of the Whole, but 
was never afterwards called up.' 

In 1786, other committees were appointed for the purpose 
of reporting an ordinance for the Western Territory.* The 

^ The votes of seven States were required to pass any measure. 
'The lands had not been surveyed nor Indian titles quieted. 

* Forces History of the Ordinance, Vol. II., Ai)peiidix I : Eight States 
voted to commit, and three (Virginia, North Carolina, and South 
Carolina) voted in the negative. 

*This year, a memorial was received from the inhabitants of Knskas- 

124 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

last consisted of Mr. Johnson, of Connecticut; Mr. Pinek- 
ney, of South Carolina; Mr. Smith, of New York; Mr. 
Dune, of iMassachusetta, and Mr. Ilenrv, of Marvhmd. 
They linally reported an ordinance April 26, 1787. The 
third reading was reached on the 10th May, but no vote 
was taken, and final action was postponed. The oriirinal. 
draft of this ordinance was found and conmuinicated by 
Mr. PetiT Force to the National Intellif/fncer, August 26, 
1847, and it contains little in common with the instrument 
that was finally paj^scd on the 13th of July.^ There was 
nothing of the gr;:nd principles of freedom, of non-inter- 
ference in coutrac s, of protection of private property, of 
the importance of education, religion, and morality to so- 
ciety, which are the distiniruishinsr features of the Ordinance 
we are considerinj?. It did not contnin the articles of com- 
pact, which were to remain unaltered forever, unless by 
common consent.^ 

This was the situation of affairs when Dr. Cutler arrived 
at N<*w York, on the 5th of July, to make that bargain 
with Congress for land on the Ohio. He was a man of 
affairs, in the prime of life, and highly educated. He had 
been a Chaplain in the Hevolutionary army, and, in com- 
mnn with other officers who had been paid off in Govern- 
ment certificates, was in such circumstances as to be con- 
strained to exchaui^e these evidences of indebtedness for 
somethinjj immediatelv marketable. The Ohio Company 
had been formed for that purpose. Dr. Cutler was a grad- 

kiii, praying for tlio organization of a territorial govornment. On the 
24th of August, tho S^crotary of Congress was dir^'cled to inform the 
meniorialists that " Congn-ss have under consideration a plan of tempo- 
rary government of that district, and that its a(h^ption would be no 
longer protraote<l than tlie iinportauce of the subject and a duo re- 
gard to their interests might require." — JonniiiU of Congress. 

* Mr. Poclesavs: "It had no rfsemManee to the Ordinance which 
passed nil tin* l.ith Julv." Thi"* languag<» imjdies that there was noth- 
ing in rMiniiion. lint tlie ])n)vi>i<»ns for temp<^rary government; the 
app<'intnn'nt of oflicrrs; the lormation ^)f « legislature ; the adoption 
of laws; the (|ualifieations of electors, and tlie hi'iiefits of the act of 
hal'ia-y Corpus, and of trial by jury, are very similar. 

'^ Force. See -\ppendix 1., Vol. II., ►St. (.'lair rai)ers. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur i7. Clair. 125 

ua*e of Yale College, was clistingnished as a scientist and 
author, and had been honored with the degrees of A. M., 
by Harvard, and LL, D., by Yale. He served four yeai's 
as a member of Congress, and is described as a '* person of 
stately and elegant form and courtly manners, and, at the 
same time, easy, aftable, and communicative, lie was much 
given to relating anecdotes, and making himself agreeable." 
He was armed with letters Qt* introduction, especially to 
Southern members, and soon was on intimate terms with 
the Virginia members — Richard Henry Lee, Colonel Car- 
rington, and Mr. Grayson. 

Four days after his arrival, a new committee, consisting 
of Mr. Carrington and Mr. Lee, of Virginia; Mr. Dane, of 
Massachusetts; Mr. Kean, <»f South Carolina, and Mr. 
Smith, of New York, was ai>p()inted to consider an ordi- 
nance for the Western Territory. That was on the 9th of 
July. A new ordinance, the Ordinance of 1787, was drafted, 
introduced, read, amended, and passed, all within four 
days. The vote by States was unanimous, but one mem- 
ber, Mr. Yates, of New York, voted in the negative, be- 
cause it was constitutional with him to oppose every thing 
of a practical character. 

Very properly the question is asked : What was the in- 
fluence that produced the radical change in Congress, and 
secured the approval of such liberal princip-es? Undoubt- 
edly, Dr. Cutler organized the victory. The treasury was 
exhausted, and Congress was in a humor to consider plans 
for bringing the Government binds into market. Princi- 
ples had been discussed, and it was possible to reconcile 
conflicting views. The time was ripe for action, and Dr. 
Cutler understood the situation. His first move after mak- 
ing the acquaintance of members, would be to secure a 
committee favorable to his plans.* He could do this only 
through* the President. Accordingly, he went to General 

* Colonel Carrington, a personal friend of St. Clair's, who had been 
associated with him during the Revolutionary War, as a member of a 
Committee to negotiate a Cartel; and, secondly, in the movement of 
troops through Virginia to reinforce Greene, was made Chairman of 
the Committee. 


12G Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

St. Clair, where it is reported he had a cool reception. And 
here I must take issue with Mr. Poole as to the reason for 
this, as that given hy him is not consistent with the char- 
acter of St. Clair. Ilesavs: "He found that General St. 
Clair wanted to be Governor of the North-western Terri- 
tory; and Dr. Cutler, representing the interests of the Ohio 
Company, intended that General Parsons of Connecticut 
should have the office. But he must have General St. 
Clair's influence, and found it necessary to pay the price. 
From the moment he communicated this decision, General 
V St. Clair was warmly engaged in his interests." 

This is suspicion merely. The universal testimony of 
all who knew St. Clair disproves the justice of it. lie was 
frank and manly, and free from any of the cunning or 
worldliness the statement of Dr. Cutler would imply. It is 
much more likely that Dr. Cutler approached him first to 
enlist him in his land scheme, and was balked by the cau- 
tion ai)d circumspection of the Scotchman; but M'hen he 
spoke of the blessings of a free government over such a 
vast extent of territory, he engaged his sympathetic aid. 
The committee was made to win, and the influence of the 
President of Congress in shaping legislation, we know 
from experience and observation, must have been great, 
and was essential to secure success. 

There is a misapprehension of facts here, which has 
given rise to perplexing and altogether unnecessary confu- 
sion, which a more careful inquiry may correct. The anxi- 
ety of Dr. Cutler will be found to have a more particular 
reference to another ordinance which, in a sense, was a se- 
quel to, and dependent wholly upon, the Ordinance formed 
f(U' the government of the Xorth-western Territory. The 
two are essentially f»art8 of the same history. They have, 
in their origin such close relationship, that they must be 
considered as inseparable. Without the application of the 
Ohio Company in that summer of 1787, supported by a 
declaration of the principles of government deemed essen- 
tial to attract purchasers of the lands, it is doubtful if a 
form of government so highly favorable in all respects 
could have been secured in that or any succeeding Congress. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Chir. 127 

The necessities of the Colonies, the enterprise of the men 
of the East, and the political convictions of leading char- 
actei'S, all combined to form and give effect to the Ordin- 
ance. A year or two later the conditions changed. Party 
differences became more sharply defined-, and sectional jeal- 
ousies proved more obstructive than ever. 

Who should be the head of the new crovernment, did not 
enter into consideration at any stage of the Icirislation. 
Before the passage of the Ordinance, the name of President 
St. Clair had not been mentioned in connection with the 
office of Governor. On the 13th of July he did not preside. 
He had gone the day before to New Jersey to visit a friend, 
and he did not return until two days after the passage of 
the Ordinance. Only eight States out <»f thirteen voted for 
that instrument: Pennsylvania was one of the five not 
represented. When St. Clair returned to New York, he 
was accompanied by General Irvine, one of his colleagues. 
In a letter* of the latter, written 19th July, and addressed 
to Colonel Richard Butler, he refers to the Ordinance which 
had passed two days before his return, and adds : *' Who the 
officers of that governmevt icill be I have not heard, nor in- 
quired.^^ If the name of General St. Clair had been can- 
vassed, or, if he had had any understanding with the New 
England people, as is alleged, it would have been known to 
a friend as intimate as General Irvine. 

But, furthermore, we have his own testimony, which is 
of the best, to sustain us. In a letter to the lion. William 
B. Giles, he says that the office of Governor was, in a great 
measure, forced upon him by his friends, who thought 
there would be in it means to compensate for his sacrifices 
to his country, and provide for his large family. But it 
proved otherwise. He had *' neither the taste nor genius 
for speculation in land; nor did he consider it consistent 
with the office." He declared the accepting of the Gov- 
ernorship the most imprudent act of his life, for he was 
then in possession of a lucrative office, and his influence at 
home was very considerable. But he had the "laudable 
ambition of becoming the father of a countr\-, and laying 

^ MS. in possession of Isaac Craig. Seep. 604. 

128 JAfe and rublic Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

tlie foundation for the happiness of millions then unborn/'* 
All this, however, was months after the Ordinance had be- 
come an accomplished fact, and Dr. Cutler had returned to 
his home. 

Colonel Carrington was Chairman of the Special Com- 
mittee that reported the Ordinance for the government of 
the North-western Tcrritorv, and also of the Committee on 
Lands.* Mr. Dane was a member of both Committees. A 
sharp opposition to the terms proposed by the Ohio Com- 
pany for tlje lands, developed after Dr. Cutler's return from 
Philadelphia. Some members thought Congress was asked 
to make too important concessions and too large donations 
for special purposes, in order to secure the sale of the rest 
of the hmds. This view is expressed in tho letter of Gen- 
eral Irvine before referred to. While he had no objection 
to the mode of sale proposed, ns it would sink the National 
debt, yet, he added : *' I confess to you, I am opposed to 
n pre-emption to any company or set of men, I think, on 
sound principles; and I hope to j>rovent this passing with 
that tail, however beneficial the body might be without. I 
have no idea in making a sale, to bribe a person to get him 
to take my commodity with another article of equal or more 

Dr. Cutler set about the work of overcoming the objec- 
tions to Ills scheme. lie brought all available influences 
known to politicians to bear on those w^ho stood out. Col- 
onel Duer, Secretarj'' of the Board of Treasury, devised a 
new Qchcme, which would secure tho support of prominent 
men, and would bring into market three and a half mil- 
lions more of land. The original proposition was enlarged, 
and Dr. Cutler savs he eiii'ai'cd with the Southern mem- 
hers to bring in the New England members to the support 
of General St. Clair* for Governor, if they would make 

» Letter to WiUiam B. (iilt>s, *SV. Clair's Karratne, p. *J49. 

'^ riio Cominittoe on Lands consisted of Mr. Carrington, Mr. King, 
Mr. Pano, Mr. Ma<lison, and Mr. Benson. 

^Tho reforencf»3 in Dr. Cutler's Diary to St. Clair, in connection with 
legi.-slation for the Ohio Company, are as follows : 

" .luly IS. Paid my respects, this morning, to tho President of Con- 
gres«i, General St. Clair." 

" July 23. . . . Spent the evening with Colonel Grayson and 

Life and Public Scr rices of Arthur St. Clair. 129 

Major Sargent Secretary, and General Parsons one of the 
Judges. But why this to the Southern members when they 
were in favor of the contract from the first? This was on 
the 23d of July, ten days after the Ordinance had passed, 
and members were just beginning to cast about for officers 
for tlje new government. The first measure passed by Con- 
gress, 23d July, was not satisfactory, and Dr. Cutler sent a 
letter to the Board of Treasury explaining wherein it would 
have to bo modified. To bring Congress to terms, he 
threatened to leave New York and buv lands for his com- 
pany of some of the States. This had the desired effect, 
and, on the 27th, Congress completed the contract by ac- 
cepting the modifications proposed by the wily Doctor. 
"At half-past three, I was informed that an ordinance had 

.M t 

members of Congress from the southward, who were in favor of a con- 
tract. Having found it impossible to support General Parsons as a 
candidate for Governor, after the interest that General St. Clair had 
secured, and suspcctlrtg this might be some impediment in the way, for 
my endeavors to make interest for him were well known, and the ar- 
rangement of civil officers being on the carpet, I embraced this oppor- 
tunity frankly to declare that, for my own part, I ventured to engage 
for Major Sargent that, if General Parsons could have the appointment 
of First Judge, and Sargent Secretary, we should be satisfied; and that 
I heartily wished his Excellency, General St. Clair, might be the Gov- 
ernor; and that I would solicit the Eastern members to favor such an 
arrangement. This I found rather pleasing to the Southern mem- 
bers, and they were so complaisant as to ask, repeatedly, what office 
would be agreeable to me in the Western country. I assured them 
that I wished for no appointment in the civil line. 

**July 26. This morning I accompatiied Generals St. Clair and 
Knox on a tour of morning visits* and, particularly, to the Foreign 
Ministers .. . . Being now eleven o'clock. General St. Clair was 
obliged to attend Congress. After we came into the street, General 
St. Clair assured me, he would make every possible exertion to prevail 
with Congress, to accept the terms contained in our letter. He ap- 
peared much interested and very friendly ; but said we must expect 
opposition. I was now fully convinced that it was good policy to give 
up Parsons, and openly to appear solicitous that St. Clair might be 
appointed Governor. Several gentlemen have told me that our mat- 
ters went on much better since St. Clair and his friends had been in- 
formed that we had given up Parsons, and that I had solicited the 
Eastern members, in favor of his appointment." 


130 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

passed Congress, on the terms stated in our letter, without 
the least variation ; and that the Board of Treasury was 
directed to take, order, and close the contract. . . . By 
this ordinance, we obtained the grant of near five millions 
of acres of land, amounting to three millions and a half of 
dollars. One million and a half of acres for the Ohio Com- 
pany, and the remainder for a private speculation,* in which 
many of the principal characters in America are concerned. 
Without connecting this speculation, similar terms and ad- 
vantages could not have been obtained for the Ohio Com- 

We have Dr. Cutler and General St. Clair laboring to- 
gether for the creation of a government for the North-west- 
ern Territory, and both afterwards related to it, though in 
manner widely difterent — the one sharing in its benefits, 
the other in tiie labors of administration in a vast wilder- 
ness beset by such difficulties and perils as were calculated 
to test the stoutest heart — that could only be met success- 
fully by the highest qualities of character, and these St. 
Clair possessed. 

Mr. Poole says there have been traditions and positive 
evidence, in the form of autograph letters in the family of 
Dr. Cutler, since his death, that he caused the insertion in 
the Ordinance of the following clause : " Religion, morality, 
and knowledge being necessary to good government and 
the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of edu- 
cation shall forever be encouraged." And he contended 
stoutly and successfully for the grant of land for the uni- 
versities and ministry. These provisions were essential 
to the success of the scheme of the Ohio Company. Dr. 
Cutler's diary is not explicit on the different points.* He may 

^ The ''principal characters in America" failed to complete this part 
of the contract. 

* Dr. Cutler says, that the bill for the government of the North- 
western Territory was submitted to him, *' with leave to make remarks 
and propose amendments," and that he returned it with his observa- 
tions in the form of several amendments. This bill was undoubtedly 
the one proposed by Mr. Dane, and which was retired May 10th, as we 
find this entry in Dr. Cutler's Diary under date, July 19. "Called on 
members of Congress very early this morning. Was furnished with 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 131 

have suggested the clause on contracts, as that had been in 
his **line of thought," but that as to the treatment of the 
Indians was more likely to have originated with some one 
who had experience in treating with them, and there was 
no member who had had po much experience, or who had 
studied the questions so thoroughly as the President of 

The anti-slavery clause has provoked the widest discus- 
sion, as it touched what has proved to be the sensitive nerve 
of national politics, and determined immediately the char- 
acter of the communities to be organized in the Territory. 
Who was the author of the Sixth Article ? Dr. Cutler is 
understood to have said that he drafted it when in New 
York;* but he was in Philadelphia, discussing the flora 
of New England, or moral philosophy, with the venerable 
Dr. Franklin, when that article was drafted. Mr. Dane 
says: "When I drew the ordinance, which passed, a few 
words excepted, as I originally formed it,* I had no idea 
the States would agree to the Sixth Article, prohibiting 
slavery, as only Massachusetts of the Eastern States was 
present, and therefore omitted it in the draft; but, finding 
the House favorably disposed on the subject, after we had 
completed the other parts, I moved the article, which was 

the Ordinance establishing n Government in the Western Federal Ter- 
ritory. It is, in a degree, new moJcLd. The amendments I proposed 
have all been made, except one; and that is better qualified. It was 
that we should not be subject to Continental taxation, until we were 
entitled to a full representation in Congress. This could not be fully 
obtained, for it was considered, in Congress, as offering a premium to 
emigrants. They have granted us representation, with the right of 
debating, but not of voting, upon our being first subject to taxation." 

* Judge Ephraim Cutler, who had incorporated in the Constitution 
of Ohio, the clause inhibiting slavery, stated in a private letter (No- 
vember 24, 1849) that his father. Dr. Cutler, remarked to him, on being 
informed of this, that " he thought it a singular coincidence, as he 
himself had prepared that part of the Ordinance, while he was in New 
York, negotiating the purchase of lands for the Ohio Company." — 
Poole, in North American Review^ as before quoted. 

'We have shown that the Ordinance, drafted by Mr. Dane, and aft- 
erward discovered by Mr. Peter Force, bore slight resemblance to the 
Ordinance as passed July 13. Dr. Cutler says it was new modeled. 

132 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

agreed to witliout opposition." It is of record that Mr. 
Dane offered an amendment, which became the Sixth Ar- 
ticle, on the 12th of July, when the bill was up for a sec- 
ond reading. . But did he draft it with the proviso? Was 
he, in any proper sense, the author of it? I think not, 
nor of any of those original and striking provisions which 
mark the Ordinance as " one of the greatest monuments' 
of civil jurisprudence." In the first place, we have seen 
that the Ordinance which Mr. Dane did draft, and which 
was left untouched after the 10th of May, contained no 
hint that he had ever even dreamed of such principles of 
government. In the second place, the style of the Ordi- 
nance of July 13th is the surest refutation of Mr. Dane's 
claim of authorship. It bears no resemblance to his com- 
position. Nor does Mr. Dane, in his letter to Mr. King, 
which is given at length in Spencer's History of the United 
States, show that he had an intelligent conception of the 
real nature and importance of the Ordinance; and no- 
where does he attempt to explain why the committee that 
had his ordinance in charge May 10th was discharged, a 
new committee appointed, and a new Ordinance, of widely 
different character, drafted and rushed through, all within 
four days. We shall have to look further. 

The explanation will be found, I think, in the prevalence 
of anti-slavery sentiment among the prominent statesmen 
of Virginia, at that period. It was not until after 1808, 
the date of the suppression of the slave trade, when Vir- 
ginia assumed a new relation to the cotton States, that this 
sentimeiit became unfashionable in the Old Dominion. In 
1784-1787, the echo of the Declaration of Independence 
had not yet died away. Jefferson believed slavery to be an 
evil, and drafted an article prohibiting it in all territory 
after 1800. This future limitation was undoubtedly put in 
as an inducement to South Carolina and Georgia to sup- 
port the Ordinance. The same policy was pursued in 1787, 
when the proviso for the rendition of fugitive slaves was 
added to the Sixth Article. And this proviso aids us in 
determining the influence that secured the adoption of the 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 133 

anti-slavery clause. It clearly emanated from Virginia.^ 
On the committee were Richard Henry Lee and Colonel 
Carrington, of that State, the latter of whom was chairman 
of the committee. Before them were the resolution offered 
by Mr. King in 1786, for which their colleague, Mr. Gray- 
son, had voted, and the report of Mr. Jefl'erson in 1784. 
They were familiar with, and doubtless shared in, the opin- 
ion as to slavery prevailing in their own State — that, while 
the institution ought to be destroyed, it would be danger- 
ous and inconvenient to make any sudden change in prop- 
erty rights. Hence the clause for the recovery of fugitives. 
In support of this the reader is referred to the debates in 
the Virginia Convention on the adoption of the Federal 
Constitution in 1788, and particularly to the remarks of 
Mason, Tyler, Madison, Nichols, and Henry, on pages 452 
to 458 inclusive, of Elliott's Debates; and also to the re- 
marks of Mr. Sherman on the rendition clause when under 
consideration in the Federal Constitutional Convention, 
in 1787. 

Not only does the Sixth article contain language similar* 

^ In making this statement, I do not forget the influence of Massa- 
chusetts men in creating a sentiment in favor of the prohibition of 
slavery. Timothy Pickering, in 1786 devised a plan for the forma- 
tion of a new State west of the Ohio river — " the total exclusion of 
slavery from the State to form an essential and irrevocable part of the 
Constitution/' ^ And we have seen how he moved Rufus King to offer 
a resolution proposing a compact inhibiting slavery from the Western 
Territory. But, after all, we are compelled to retrace our steps to Mr. 
Jefferson's article, proposed in 1 784. 

•Compare the Jefferson article with that of the Ordinance as finally 
adopted : 

Jefferson's Article, 178U. I Ordinance of 1787— Sixth Article. 

" That after the year 1800, of the Christ- " There shall he neither slavery nor invol- 
Ian era, there shall be neither slavery nor tn-iuntar// serxntude in the said territory, other- 
voturUary servitude in any 0/ the said :^tntes,\wise than in punishment 0/ crimes whereof 
otherwise than in the vunishment 0/ crimen, the party shall have been duly convicted ; 
vfhereof the party shatl have been duly con- Provided, alwti^s, that any person escap- 
vieted to have been personally guilty." ing into the same from whom labor or ser- 

' vice is lawfully claimed etc. etc." 

And yet, with these two articles before him, Mr. Howard Gay, in re- 
futing the claim of authorship of the anti-slavery article set up for Mr. 
Jefferson, says: "Nor was there any essential similarity in the two or- 
dinances." Then as the language is identical in the essential part of 
this most important article, what constitutes authorship? 

(1) Howard Gay's " Bryant's Popular History United States," Vol. IV., p. »5. 

134 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

to that employed by Mr. Jefferson in 1784, but the proviso 
is the same in effect as the clause in Article IV. of the Con- 
stitution. Both the proviso and the rendition clause avoid the 
use of the word slave. And on the very day the Ordinance 
was passed the Federal Convention perfected that clause of 
the Constitution relative to representation and direct taxa- 
tion, which adds " three-fifths of all other persons " — to- 
wit: slaves. 

Is this to be attributed to accident? Does it not show 
clearly that these important clauses were decided on after 
conference between members of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion and Congress, as related by Mr. Madison to Governor 
Coles,* and should be regarded as compromises? In case of 
the Constitution, if the slave trade were to be prohibited 
and slaves taxed, escaping slaves should be delivered up to 
their owners. In that of the Ordinance, if slavery were 
prohibited in the North-western Territory, masters should 
be allowed to reclaim their slaves. 

There is one other point to consider in support of this 
view of the supremacy of Virginia influence, and that is, 
that Colonel Carrington, in presenting the amendments, 

*"Thi8 brings to my recollection what I was told by Mr. Madison 
The old Congress held its sessions, in 1787 in New York, 
while at the same time the Convention which framed the Constitution 
of the United States held its sessions in Philadelphia. Many individ- 
uals were members of both bodies, and thus were enabled to know 
what was passing in each — both sitting with closed doors and in secret 
sessions. The distracting question of slavery was agitating and retard- 
ing the labors of both, and led to conferences and inter-communications 
of the members, which resulted in a compromise by which the North- 
ern or anti-slavery portion of the country agreed to incorporate into 
the Ordinance and Constitution the provision to restore fugitive slaves; 
and this mutual and concurrent action was the cause of the similarity 
of the provision contained in both, and had its influence in creating 
the great unanimity by which the Ordinance passed, and also in 
making the Constitution more acceptable to the slave-holders." The 
History of the Ordinance of lib! , p. 28, 

It may be urged, on the other hand, that as the Constitution was 
formed after the Ordinance, the clause in the Constitution relating to 
the rendition of slaves, as well as other provisions, was copied from the 
Ordinance. But the testimony of Mr. Madison as to the conference 
should be accepted as conclusive on that ] oiit. 

Lift arid Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 135 

which were adopted on the 12th, inserted a clause in the 
second paragraph to confirm the reservation made for the 
French and Canadian inhabitants at St. Vincents and Kas- 
kaskia in the deed of cession of Virginia. This was a mat- 
ter on which the Virginians laid much stress. Other amend- 
ments proposed by Mr. Carrington related to the descent of 
property and the dependence of good government upon the 
diffusion of knowledge. Hence, Mr. Force remarked in his 
communication, to which I have referred, that it would ap- 
pear "that most of the principles * on which its wisdom and 
fame rest,' were presented by Mr. Carrington." This does 
not conflict with the theory above considered at length; 
it enforces it, rather. The conferences between Colonel 
Carrington and Dr. Cutler were useful in harmonizing the 
views of the South and New England. Surely there was 
not one, but many authors.^ 

To complete the work so auspiciously begun, and to 
carry out the provisions of this Ordinance, on Friday, the 5th 
of October, 1787, Congress proceeded to elect oflicers for 
the new Government. Arthur St. Clair was chosen Gov- 
ernor; James M. Varnum, Samuel Holden Parsons, and 
John Armstrong, Judges; and Winthrop Sargent, Secre- 
tary. Mr. Armstrong declining, John Cleves Symmes was 
afterwards appointed to the vacancy. 

There was, as yet, no Congressional legislation for carry- 
ing into effect the Ordinance, and General St. Clair im- 
proved the earliest opportunity after the assembling of the 
first Congress under the Federal Constitution, to secure the 
necessary action. In July, 1789, Mr. Fitzsimmons, of Penn- 
sylvania, reported in the House of Representatives a bill, 
which had been drafted by St. Clair, for the government 
of the North-western Territory, which passed the House 
and the Senate without opposition. This act gave the sanc- 
tion of the National legislature to all of the important pro- 

* For a full statement of Mr. Dane's claim the reader is referred to 
Spencers History of the United States Vol. II., pp. 206-7-8. Mr. Gay, on 
p. 110, Vol. IV. of his " Bryants History of the United States" says that a 
printed copy of the Ordinance, with the articles in question in Mr. 
Dane's handwriting, was found among the archives of the United 

136 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

visions of the Ordinance, including the compact for the in- 
hibition of slavery, which was a formal assertion of the 
right of the National legislature to regulate that institution 
in the Territories. 

Meanwhile, the Ohio Company had been preparing the 
way for a governmcmt by making a settlement on lands 
at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, pur- 
chased through the agency of Dr. Manasseh Cutler. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 137 


The North-western Territory^— Arrival op Governor St. Clair at Fort 
IIarmar — Interesting Ceremonies — Address to the Settlers at Ca\i- 
pus Martius — AusiMcioLs Bkoixnino of the Work of Establishixj; 
Civil Government — Claim of the Indians to the Territory, and its 
Importance to Them — Adoitinq Laws — Difference with the Judges 
— Establishment of the First Court in the North-west — Social 
Life on the Muskingum — Louisa St. Clair — Treaty at Fort IIar- 
mar — Influence of Joseph Brant and his British Allies — Confed- 
eracy OP Indian Nations— Arrival at Fort Washington — Cincinnati 
Named, and why — Organization of Counties and Local Governments 
IN THE Illinois and Wabash Countries — Temptation to Return to 
Political Life in Pennsylvania — Proposition to Make St. Clair 
Governor op that State. 

The opening chapter in the history of the North- west 
begins with the recital of the indomitable perseverance and 
heroic bravery displayed by the discoverer — John Nicolet, 
An investigation of the career of this Frenchman shows 
him, at an early age, leaving his home in Normandy for 
the New 'W'orld, landing at Quebec in 1618, and at once 
seeking a residence among the Algonquins of Ottawa river, 
sent thither by the Governor of Canada to learn their lan- 
guage. In the midst of many hardships, and surrounded 
by perils, he applied himself with great zeal to his task. 
Having become familiar with the Algonquin tongue, he 
was admitted into the councils of the savages.^ 

The return of Nicolet to civilization, after a number of 
years immured in the dark forests of Canada, an excellent 
interpreter, qualified him to act as Government agent among 
the wild Western tribes in promoting peace, to the end 
that all who had been visited by the fur-trader might re- 

* Nicolet has at last found an American biographer competpnt to do 
him justice, in Mr. C. W. Butterfield, the accomplished author of 
"Crawford's Campaign against Sandusky," ** The Washington-Crawford 
Letters," and other valuable contributions to Western History. Mr. 
Butterfield h«s just published, "The History of the Discovery of the 
Northwest by .John Nicolot, in 1634, with a Sketch of IJis Lile " 

188 lAfe and Public Services of Arthur &. Clair. 

main firm allies of the French. Nay, further : it resulted 
in his being dispatched to nations far beyond the Ottawa, 
known only by hearsay, with whom it was believed might 
be opened a profitable trade in furs. So lie started on his 
perilous voyage. He visited the Hurons, upon the Georgian 
Bay. With seven of that nation, he struck boldly into 
wilds to tlie northward and westward never before visited 
by civilized man. He paddled his birch canoe along the 
eastern coast of Lake Huron and up the St. Mary's Strait 
to the falls. He floated back to the Straits of Mackinaw, 
and courageously turned his face toward the West. At the 
Sault Ste. Marie he had — the first of white men — set foot 
upon the soil of the North-west. 

Nicolet coasted along the northern shore of Lake Michi- 
gan, ascended Green Bay, and finally entered the mouth 
of Fox river. It was not until he and his swarthy Hurons 
had urged their frail canoes six days up that stream, that 
his western exploration was ended. He had, meanwhile, 
on his way hither, visited a number of tribes, some that 
had never before been heard of by the French upon the St. 
Lawrence. With them all he smoked the pipe of peace: 
with the ancestors of the present Chippewas, at the falls ; 
with the Menomonees, the Winnebagoes, the Mascoutins, 
in what is now the State of Wisconsin; with the Ottawas, 
upon the Manitoulin Islands, and the Xez Perces, upon the 
east coast of Lake Huron. He made his outward voyage 
in the summer and fall of 1634, and returned the next year 
to the St. Lawrence. He did not reach the Wisconsin 
river, but heard of a " great water " to the westward, which 
he mistook f )r the sea. It was, in fact, that stream, and 
the Mississippi, into which it pours its flood. 

On the morning of Wednesday, July 9th, 1788, there was 
unwonted activity in the garrison at Fort Ilarmar. The 
dav was to be a memorable one, and care was taken that 
nothing should bo omitted that could possiblj- add to the 
inipressivencss of the occasion. The soldiers' muskets had 
been freshly burnished, and the officers wore their newest 
uniforms. At an early hour the distinguishcMl citizens dwell- 
ing in and around Campus MartiuSy having donned their 

JLiJe and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 139 

'best attire, waited on the commandant, to be assigned their 
proper places.^ Old soldiers — brothers of the Revolution- 
were to meet again, and unite in the establishment of the 
principles for which they contended on the martial field, 
in a vast new country. The day, like the common expec- 
tation, was bright and beautiful, and the waters of the 
Muskingum and Ohio, as they united and flowed peacefully 
towards the western confines of the new land, seemed to 
refiect the outlines of the hills and wooded shores more 
perfectly than ever before.' 

And now the signal gun is heard announcing the ap- 
proach of the hero. General Harmar, with officers and 
citizens, proceed to the landing, where they welcome Gover- 
nor Arthur St. Clair, as he, accompanied by Major Doughty, 
of the artillery, steps from the twelve-oared barge upon the 
shore. The military honors are not omitted by his old 
companion-in-arms, and fourteen guns are discharged with 

^ The settlement had heen in existence all of three moons. It was 
on the 7th of April, 1788, (occasion ever to be remembered by the good 
people of Ohio) that that noble Revolutionary soldier, General Rufus 
Putnam, and forty-seven others of the hardy sons of New England, 
disembarked from the " Mayflower," at the mouth of the Muskingum 
river. Within th**se three months, forest trees had been felled, houses 
built, a stockade erected, a city designed, lands laid off, seeds planted, 
and grounds tilled — an exhibition of determination and intelligent 
skill never excelled in the history of the world. Before the expiration 
of the three months quite a number of families joined the settlement. 
Hence the orator on the 4th of July could, with propriety, address his 
fair countrywomen. 

* How tame does this attempt to depict the scene, after a lepse of 
nearly a century, appear beside the bright anticipations of one of the 
participators in the event of that July day. On the 4th of July, 1788, 
the garrison and the citizens of Marietta celebrated Independence, 
and Judge Varnum was the orator. He said : " We mutually lament 
that the absence of his Excellency will not permit us, upon this joyous 
occasion, to make those grateful assurances of sincere attachments, 
which bind us to him by the noblest motives that can animate an on- 
lightened people. May he soon arrive. Thou gently flowing Ohio, 
whpse surface, ^ conscious of thy unequaled majesty, reflecteth no 
images but the grandeur of the impending heaven, boar him, oh, bear 
him safely to this anxious spot! And thou beautiful, transparent 
Muskingum, swell at the moment of his approach, and reflect no ob- 
jects but of pleasure and delight!" 

140 Life and Public Services of Arthur St Clair. 

due precision at the Port, where he is to remain until the 
formal opening of the civil government.^ 

Tuesday, July 15th, is red-letter day in the annals of the 
North-western Territory, for it was on that day that civil 
government was first established west of the river Ohio. 
Governor St. Clair, attended by Judges Parsons and Var- 
num, and Secretary Sargent, made his public entry at the 
bower, in the City of Marietta, where he was received by 
General Rufus Putnam, and all of the citizens, " with the 
most sincere and unreserved congratulations."^ 

"His Excellency was seated, and after a short interval 
of profound silence, arose and addressed himself to the 
assembly in a concise but dignified speech." * He expressed 
his great pleasure at meeting them upon so important an 
occasion, and informed them that he had brought with 
him a most excellent constitution for the government of 
the Territory, to which he invited their attention. There- 
upon Secretary Sargent read the Ordinance, and also the 
commissions of the officers, after which the Governor 
spoke at some length in a very happy manner on the im- 
portance of good government; of his desire to administer 
the trust confided to him in such manner as to merit their 
approbation ; of the relations of the Territorial to the Gen- 
eral Government; of the auspicious opening of the new 
country, and of the necessity for the community to culti- 
vate friendly relations with the savages. ** The present 
situation of territory," he concluded, "calls for attention 
in various places, and will necessarily induce a frequent 
absence, both of the judges and myself, from this delight- 
ful spot; but at all times and places, as it is my indispens- 
able duty, so it is very much my desire to do every thing 
within the compass of my power for the peace, good 
order, and perfect establishment of the settlement; and as 

* There wiU bo found included in the correspondence of this work 
an affectionate letter from General Ilarmar to St. Clair, from Fort Har» 
mar, Nov. 25, 1787, expressing his pleasure at hearing of his appoint 
ment as Governor. 

^ Contemporary account published at Newport, R. I. 

" Ibid. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 141 

I look for not only a cheerful acquiescence in and submis- 
sion to necessary measures, but a cordial co-operation, so I 
flatter myself my well-meant endeavors will be accepted in 
the spirit in which they are rendered, and thus our satis- 
faction will be mutual and complete." * 

At the conclusion the Governor was very heartily ap- 
plauded,^ and on the following day he was presented, in the 
name of the people, with a highly complimentary answer. 
♦ This was the happy beginning of five large States, which 
have controlled to a greater degree than any other section 
the destinies of the Republic, and by the virtues of their 
citizens, the wisdom of their laws, and their faithful observ- 
ance of the compact which says " they shall forever remain 
a part" of the Union, have vindicated the wisdom of the 
old Continental Congress in creating the Ordinance of 1787. 

If the skies were bright above the favored spot chosen by 
the land company of Massachusetts, there was a cloud in 
the West of ominous blackness. Trace a line from South- 
eastern Ohio diagonally to Lake Superior, and you pass 
over what was then a wilderness, wooded hills, in the bowels 
of which was untold wealth, plains with prairie grass so 
tall as to cover a horse, and a soil unsurpassed by any in 

> St. aair Papers. Vol. II. p. 63. 

' " During the address of Ilis Excellency, a profcTund veneration fop 
the elevated station and exalted benevolence of the speaker; the 
magnitude of the subject; the high importance of the occasion; the 
immense consequences resulting; the glory, the grandeur of a new 
world unfolding; heaven and earth approving, called forth all the 
manly emotions of the heart. At the close, peals of applause rent the 
surrounding air^ while joyful echo reverberated the sound. Every 
citizen felt to the extent of humanity, and affection herself impressed 
upon the mind, in characters never to be obliterated: long live our 
Governor!". — Contemporary Account. Pamphlet. 

The same veracious and rhetorical chronicler as.sures us that every 
attention was paid to the Governor. On the following Sunday, Divine 
service was held by Rev. Dr. Breckj which was attended by every body. 
The text was from Exodus: *' Now, thoreforo, if you will obey my 
voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then yo shall be a peculiar 
treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye 
shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." Governor 
St. Clair expressed great satisfaction, especially with the singing. " In* 
deed it was enchanting 1" 

142 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

the world, rich river bottoms and virgin forests, uninhab- 
ited save by Indians. To the eastward the British still 
held the posts along the chain of lakes, and by pernicious 
counsel increased the wrath in the breast of the red man. 
Draw a similar line from the Upper Ohio to the Mississippi, 
and save here and there a devoted Moravian missionary, 
there was not a white inhabitant over whom the territorial 
segis could be extended. At Au Post (Vincennes), Kas- 
kaskia, and Cahokia were French inhabitants and military 
posts which had been transferred to the British by the 
peace of 1763, and afterwards conquered for Virginia and 
the Continental Congress by the intrepid George Rogers 
Clarke. At lesser points were a few adventurers, traders 
chiefly, but every- where else, over a vast country, the Indian 
was lord of all he surveyed. Here had been the home of 
his fathers — he knew of no other; here his children had 
acquired that confidence that comes of undisputed posses- 
sion; food was found in the forests, on the prairies, in the 
waters, or in the cultivated fields of the Scioto, the Mad 
River, the Miami, the Auglaize, the Wabash, or the Illi- 
nois; there was such abundance as could be found no 
where else in the world. Should he yield this without a 
struggle to the Long Knife — the intruder — and find his 
grave in the waters of the Mississippi? 

Won by the devotion and eloquence of the Jesuit Fathers, 
the Indians had permitted the French to erect posts on the 
lakes, on the rivers and in the interior without objection. 
Nay, more, they welcomed the French because they brought 
them arms, instructed them in useful arts, and received 
their furs in barter. The British pursued pretty much the 
same policy, but pushed the traffic for furs with more vigor. 
ITeithcr the French nor the British ever put forth a claim 
to the soil of the West,' or sought to do more than to con- 
duct a profitable trade with the Indians from the posts. In 
holding these posts despite the treaty of 1783, the British 
hoped for new complications; such change in the favors of 

* The British required the Indians to deed to them the land on which 
the forts were erected and adjacent to them ; but put forth no cUim 
to the lands in general. 

Life, and Puilie Services of Arthur St. Clair. 143 

fortune as would preserve to them the profitable fur trade 
of the West. Hence the commanders of the posts con- 
tinued on friendly terms with the Indians, and encouraged 
them in the opinion that white settlements west of the 
Ohio threatened the extermination of the red people. 

The young men of the Indian tribes conducted a predatory 
warfare against the intruders, as they regarded the whites. 
All along the borders, the venturesome pioneers were either 
killed or driven away, those surviving only remembering 
the momentary gleam of the tomahawk or scalping-knife, 
from beneath some leafy covert, as the first or only notice 
of the avenging foe. The red-men, while denying the right 
of the Six Nations to cede their lands to Congress west of 
Pennsylvania, and that they were bound as a whole by the 
action of a few chiefs at Fort Mcintosh, in 1785, and Fort 
Finney, in 1786, yet sought a partial justification for their 
bloody deeds in that clause of the several treaties, which 
declared that any citizen of the United States who ob- 
truded on the Indian reservations, should forfeit the 
protection of the United States, and be liable to punish- 
ment by the Indians. There was a partial suspension of 
these depredations in the first half of the year 1788, and 
the friendly attitude of the Indians who came to Fort 
Harmar led the inhabitants on the Muskingum to hope 
that they would cease altogether. There was a determina- 
tion to do nothing that would awaken the animosity of the 
savages. We shall see that this hope was doomed to dis- 
appointment, and that, after the confirmation of the hated 
treaties the following year, the chiefs put no restraint upon 
their warriors. 

By the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, the Wyandot, Delaware, 
and kindred nations, had acknowledged the sovereignty of 
the United States as superceding that of Great Britain, 
and had sold lands lying east, south, and west of a line 
drawn from the mouth of the river Cuyahoga to the por- 
tage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of the Mus- 
kingum, and to the forks of Tuscarawas above Fort Law- 
rence ; thence to Loramiesbn the Big Miami ; thence to the 
Maumee, and thence, with the south-east line of that river, 

144 Liife and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

to the lake. In the following year a treaty was concluded 
with the Shawanese nation, at Fort Finney, by which 
title was obtained to a section extending from the fork of 
the Great Miami to the Wabash, on a line with the river 
De la Panse. 

Laws for the survey and sale of such of these lands as 
were not reserved for the Virginia militia and Continental 
troops were passed, and intruders warned off.* To pro- 
tect the surveyors and carry out the orders of the Board 
of Treasury, was the dutj- of Colonel Harmar's command 
on the Ohio. The land was divided into townships, six 
miles square, by lines running north and south, and inter- 
sected by cast and west lines. These townships were again 
sub-divided, each section containing a square mile, or six 
hundred and forty acres. The ranges were numbered from 
south to north, beginning on the Ohio river, and were dis- 
tinguished by progressive numbers from east to west. 

In addition to the general claims of the western Indian 
tribes, above referred to, the situation was complicated by 
the extraordinary claims of the Illinois and Wabash Land 
Companies, and of the French settlers at Post Vincennes. 
The latter, by virtue of Indian grants and court concessions, 
claimed a territory of about fifteen thousand square miles f 
while the Land Companies claimed even a greater extent 
of territory. The French, on the Mississippi river, had not 
yet had their titles confirmed, as provided for in the grant 
made by Virginia to the United States. American adven- 
turers had also taken possession of lands and formed a set- 
tlement in the vicinity of the confluence of the Kaskaskia 
and Mississippi, giving it the name of New Design.* 

These various movements and claims excited the jealousy 

^ See Land Laws of the United States for the North-western Terri- 
tory. The missionary towns of Gnadenhiitten, Schoenbrun, and Sa- 
lem, on the Muskingum, were given to the Moravian Indians surviv- 
ing the massacre; and three townships, on Lake Erie, were reserved 
for the use of refugees from Canada and Nova Scotia. 

* Dillons Hist Indiana^ p. 183. 

» Formed in 1782. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 145 

of the ludiarjs, which was not allayed by the varioas 

This was the situation confronting Governor St. Clair, 
when, after the impressive opening scenes at Marietta on 
the 15th of July, he set to work with the judges to form a 
code of laws for the new government, as provided for in 
tVie Ordinance. These officers did not strictly confine them- 
selves within the limits of their legislative authority, which to make selections from the statutes of the original 
thirteen States. When they could not find laws suited to 
the condition of the Territory, they supplied the want by 
enactments of their own. This practice was acquiesced in 
by Governor St. Clair with great reluctance,^ and it will be 
seen, from his correspondence and speeches included in this 
work, that his conservatism and firmness saved the people 
from a good deal of unwise legislation. The laws which 
were not adapted from the statutes of the States were not 
approved by Congress, on the ground that the officers were 
not authorized to enact laws. Nevertheless, they (with two 
exceptions) continued in force in the Territory, because nec- 
essary to good government, until the second grade of gov- 
ernment was established, in 1795, when the Governor and 
Council formally enacted a code of laws.^ 

^ St. Clair Papers. Address to first Territorial Legislature'. 

' This legislative authority extended from 1788 to 1 TUo, at which time, 
the second stage of government having been reached, a General As- 
sembly was constituted. "That the Governor and .hidges, in the en- 
actment of these laws, exceeded their authority, without the slightest 
disposition to abuse it, may be inferred from the fact that, except two 
which had previously been repealed, they were all confirmed by the 
first Territorial Legislature." — Chases Preliminary Sketch, p. 20. 

The vacancies caused by the deaths of Judges Varnum (January 10, 
1789) and Parsons (1790), were filled by the appointment of George 
Turner and Rufus Putnam, respectively. Judge Putnam served until 
1796, when he resigned to accept the office of Surveyor-General. Jo- 
seph Gillman, of Point Harmar, was appointed to the vacancy. Judge 
Turner removed from the Territory, and resigned in 1796. In his 
place Return Jonathan Meigs was appointed, in February, 1 798. There 
were no further changes until Ohio was erected as a State. — Consult 
Burners Noies^ p. 40. 


146 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

The first law created provided for the organization of the 
militia. The draft was prepared by Judges Varnum and 
Parsons, and presented to the Governor for his approval. 
His criticisms on their work will be found among the St. 
Clair papers, and are sufficiently caustic to be acceptable to 
a modern reviewer. 

The Judges had speculative views, and, unheeding a let- 
ter from the Governor inviting their attention to important 
points of legislation, prepared and presented to him an ex- 
traordinary " projet" for dividing* real estate held in com- 
mon.^ The Governor declined to give his assent in a digni- 
fied and able paper. He showed that great injustice might 
result to non-resident property holders through such a law, 
and that in that respect it was in violation of the spirit of 
the Ordinance. This veto, following so closely after the 
criticisms on their essay at military legislation, disturbed 
the equanimity of the Judges, and they took advantage of 
a letter from the Governor, of the Ist of August, in which 
he asked them to give him the precise meaning they affixed 
to the word "Laws," as employed in the Ordinance, to de- 
clare the right and power of a majority of the Judges to 
enact laws without the consent of the Governor, and quoted 
this sentence from the Ordinance as their authority : " The 
governor and judges, or a majority of them, shall adopt, 
and publish in the district, such laws of the original States, 
criminal or civil, as may be necessary," etc. They claimed 
that " a majority of them " applied to the Governor and 
Judges sitting as a legislative body. 

The Governor replied in a letter that displayed keen an- 
alytical powers and familiarity with lavr and the princi- 
ples of government. "I conceive, gentlemen," said he, 
*' Congress thought there would be an impropriety in leav- 
ing the adoption of laws, by which the people of the Dis- 

M ■ ■ - - - — - — ■ ■ ^ ■ !■ ^^^^ 

* Atwater, in his History of the State of Ohio, falls into an error in say- 
ing that the Judges presented their scheme on real estate to the Gov- 
ernor before the passage of the militia law. It was immediately after. 
Atwater adds, with perfect justice: ** This bill was so loosely drawn up 
that had it became a law, the non-resident owners of land, would have 
been swindled out of all their lands by the resident proprietors. This 
projet was rejected by the Governor." — p. 129. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 147 

trict were, for a time, to be governed, solely to the persons 
who were to expound them. ; much greater, however, would 
that impropriety be if the clause of the Ordinance goes 
not only to adoption, but to the formation of laws. The 
Judges would, in that case, be complete legislators, which 
is the very definition of tyranny; and though that arrange- 
ment might, in your hands, evils, no man can 
tell how long this stage of the government will last, or who 
may be your successors ; nor could it fail to produce much 
uneasiness in the minds of the people over whom so (pos- 
sibly) oppressive an authority was established.^" He said 
that he agreed with the Judges that the " clause in ques- 
tion, and every other clause in the Ordinance, should receive 
a liberal construction wherever they are in the least doubt- 
ful; and as it, in some measure partakes of the nature of a 
charter, is to be expounded favorably to the grantees ; but 
it is one thing to construe a grant liberally, and another to 
add to the grant by construction that was never in the con- 
templation of the grantor ; and this is precisely what I 
think would follow, should your opinion upon the clause " 

The legislative duties kept Governor St. Clair busy until 
the close of the year. Beside the militia law already re- 
ferred to, nine other laws were framed and published, the 
most important of which were ; For the establishment of 
inferior courts, including probate; for fijcing the terms bf 
the general court; for the punishment of crimes;^ prescrib- 
ing oaths of ofiice ; regulating marriages; prescribing the 
duties of ministerial oflicers ; for appointing coroners, and 
for the limitation of actions. In the law for the punish- 
ment of crimes, is a section for the prevention of profan- 
ity, and for a sacred observance of the Christian Sabbath. 
The county of Washington, having within its limits about 

^ St. Car Papers. See Vol. II. Correspondence for 17S8. 

* Ibid. St. Clair, having been President of the Congress that passed 
the Ordinance spoke for the grantor. 

• As there were no jails, minor offenses were punished by fines, 
whipping and confinement in the stocks. These emblems of terror 
remained in Ohio, until 1812. 

148 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

half of the present State of Ohio, was erected on the 26th 
of July. Officers for the militia were appointed. The 
Governor also appointed three distinguished gentlemen, of 
whom we shall hear a good deal, Justices of the Peace, viz., 
Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, and Winthrop Sargent; 
and, on the 30th of August, established a Court of Quarter 
Sessions, of which he appointed another distinguished citi- 
zen and soldier. Return Jonathan Meigs, Clerk. Gen- 
eral Putnam was also made Judge of Probate, with Col- 
onel Meigs as Clerk.^ 

Laws having been framed, civil officers appointed there- 
under, a county erecte<l, and the population having in- 
creased on the Ohio to one hundred and thirty-two souls, 
there remained, to complete the government, only the 
formal inauguration of the judiciary : with just laws, bench 
and forum, the liberties of the people would be made se- 
cure. Tuesday, the 2d day of September, 1788, was the 
day set apart for this ceremony. The account of an eye- 
witness enables us to enter into the spirit of the occasion, 
and to feel, after an interval of nearly one hundred years, 
something like a just appreciation of the greatness of the 
work of those Revolutionary heroes. It is the duty, as it 
should be the pleasure, of all who enjoy the blessings con- 
ferred by the most liberal government, and equal and ben- 
eiicent laws, to study the sources of these, and the charac- 
ter of the men who framed and established them. They 
builded for posterity. Then ever green be their memories. 

On that memorable first Tuesday of September, the cit- 
izens, Governor St. Clair and other Territorial Officers, and 
military from Fort Ilarrnar being assembled at the Point, 
a procession was formed, and, as became the occasion, with 
Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, Sheriff, with drawn sword and 
wand of office at the head, marched up a path that had 
been cut through the forest, to the hall in the north-west 
block-house of Campus Martins, where the whole counter- 

^ Other officers appointed were as follows : Additional Justices of the 
Peace, with power to hold the Court of Quarter Sessions, Archibald 
Crary, Isaac Pierce, and Thomas Lord ; Clerk of the Supreme Court^ 
William Collis ; Sheriff and Colonel of Militia, Ebenezer Sproat. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 149 

marched, and the Judges, Putnam and Tupper, took their 
seats on the high bench. Prayer was fittingly oflerred by 
our friend, the Reverend Manasseh Cutler, who was on a 
visit to the new colony, after which the commissions of the 
Judges, Clerk, and Sherift" were read, and the opening pro- 
claimed in deep tones by Colonel Sproat, in these words : 
" O, yes! a court is opened for the administration of even- 
handed justice, to the poor and the rich, to the guilty and 
the innocent, without respect of persons ; none to be pun- 
ished without triul by their peers, and then in pursuance 
of the laws and evidence in the case."^ Paul Fearing, Esq. 
(of whom more hereafter), was admitted as nn attorney, and 
was the first lawyer in the territory. This was the opening 
of the Court of Common Pleas.^ The Indian Chiefs, who 
had been invited by Governor St. Clair to attend a con- 
vention, were curious witnesses of this impressive scene. 

The letters of General Rufus Putnam, printed in the Mas- 
sachusetts Spy, this year, give us a very good picture of pass- 

^ From a manuscript that some years afterward found its way to the 
columns of the Marietta Intelligencer. See the American Pioneer^ Vol. 
I., p. 165.. 

'On the Tuesday following, September 9th, the first Court of Quar- 
ter Sessions was opened in the south-east block-house, occupied by 
Colonel E. Battelle. Colonel Meigs, Clerk, read the general commis- 
sion issued by the Governor, after which Colonel Sproat's deep bass 
voice commanded the solemn attention of all. General Rufus Put- 
nam and General Benjamin Tupper were the Justices of the quorum, 
and Isaac Pierce, Thomas Lord, and Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs, 
Assistant Justices; Colonel Meigs was also Clerk. Paul Fearing was 
admitted an Attorney, and appointed Court-Counsellor for the United 
States in the county of Washington. The Grand Jury was constituted 
as follows: William Stacy, Foreman; Nathaniel Cushing, Nathaniel 
Ooodale, Charles Knowles, Anselm Tupper, Jonathan Stone, Oliver 
Rice, Ezra Lunt, John Matthews, George Ingersol, Jonathan Devol, 
Samuel Stebbins, Jethro Putnam, and Jabez True. "The charge was 
given with much dignity and propriety by Judge Putnam. At 1 
o'clock the Grand Jury retired, and the Court adjourned for thirty 
minutes. At half-past 1 the Court again opened, when the jurors 
entered and presented a written address to the Court, which, after 
being read, was ordered to be filed. Judge Putnam replied to the 
address. Th^re being no suits before Court, it was adjourned without 
day.*'— HiWr^M, p. 2:J3. 

150 Life and PubUe Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

ing events on the Muskingum. The affairs of the Ohio Com- 
pany had not progressed far enough to admit of the sale 
of tracts of land to settlers, and the General and his asso- 
ciates sawj with deep chagrin, the emigrants floating down 
the Ohio to the settlements of Kentucky. " Upwards of 
seven thousand," he wrote, "have gone down since we 
began our settlement," and he was confident many of them 
would have staid on the Muskingum if they could have 
got lands. Accordingly, notice was issued in August of a 
meeting of the Company, and when held, in the December 
following, measures were taken to give to settlers lots for 
improvement, and for the survey of the lands which fell to 
the share of members. Meanwhile, a number of comfort- 
able log houses with shingle roofs, had been erected in the 
town, and the stockade and block-houses of Campus Mar- 
tins completed. The south-west block-house was appro- 
priated for the use of Governor St. Clair and family^ who 
had also presented to him, by the Ohio Company, fifteen 
acres of ground in the town. 

In the midst of all this toil there was not wanting pleas- 
ant social intercourse and diversions to relieve the pioneer 
life of much of its roughness. From the journal of Colonel 
John May, and other contemporary writings, we get a 
pleasing view of this life in the wilderness. The great 
abundance and variety of game and fish, and the rapid 
growth of vegetables and fruits in the rich soil, was the 
cause of much wonderment, as well as of much satisfaction. 
After the completion of the north-west block-house, the 
Directors of the Ohio Company gave a dinner (August 20) 
to Governor St. Clair and the officers of Fort Harmar. 
The twelve oared barge, that had done such signal duty 
before, brought the company, which included a number of 
ladies, from the Fort up the Muskingum to the landing 
opposite the new garrison. At this dinner were produced 
some peaches grown from pits planted by ^lajor Doughty 
when he erected Fort Ilarnuir in 1785, very fine and lus- 
cious. On the Sunday following (August 24) all of the 
inhabitants had the i)rivilege of lii^tening to a sermon 

* Mrs. St. Clair and children were still in Pennsylvania. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 151 

preached by the accomplished divine, Manasseh Cutler. 
And three days later there is another memorable social 
event, which we glean from the journal of a friend whom 
we met in the South in the closing days of the Revolu- 
tion — afterwards more intimately associated with St. Clair — 
Lieutenant Ebenezer Denny. Under the date of August 
27, we read : 

"Judge Symmcs, with several boats and families, arrived, 
on their way to his new purchase at the Miami. Has a 
daughter (Polly) along. They lodge with the General and 
Mrs. Harmar. Stay three days and depart. If not greatly 
mistaken, Miss Symmes will make a fine woman. An 
amiable disposition and highly cultivated mind about to be 
buried in the wilderness." 

A gleam of sunshine in the forest. 

The correspondence of Governor St. Clair, during these 
days, is chiefly devoted to business affairs, and to these we 
shall now turn our attention. 

The instructions of Congress to the Governor rela- 
tive to the Indians, required him to hold a general treaty 
with the tribes inhabiting the country north-west of the 
river Ohio, and about the lakies, at such times and places 
as he should appoint, for the purpose of ascertaining the 
causes of uneasiness among them, hearing their complaints, 
regulating trade, and amicably settling all aftUirs concern- 
ing lands and boundaries between them and the United 
States. This business detained him during the winter for 
some time at Pittsburg, where he concerted measures with 
General Richard Butler, for bringing in the chiefs of the 
Six Nations, and of the western tribes, to the proposed 
Convention.* After a correspondence with the Indians, it 
was agreed, in deference to their wishes, to have the con- 
ference held in what they were pleased to call their own 
country, beyond the guns of any fort, to meet at the falls 
of the Muskingum,^ and, accordingly, in the latter part of 

* St. Clair Papers. 

'Situated about seventy miles from the mouth, and afterwards, 
on account of the killing of a colored servant of Major Duncan, 
in July, by the Indians, known as " Duncan's Falls." The site selected 

152 Life and Publio Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

June, General Harmar was instructed to send a detach- 
ment to that place to prepare a council-house and buildings 
for storing the goods to be distributed among the Indians. 
The instructions were carried out, and such Indians as 
arrived were sent thither. Unfortunately, some renegade 
Chippewa and Tawa Indians were among them, and on ihe 
night of the 12111 July attacked the sentries and attempted 
to steal the goods they were guarding. Two soldiers were 
killed and two wounded, but other soldiers coming to their 
assistance, the attempt was frustrated. One Indian was 
killed and one wounded. The friendly Delawares, who 
arrived sof)n after, declared the dead Indian to be a Tawa, 
and the}' aided in the capture of a half-dozen of the ras- 
cals, who were taken to Fort Ilarnuir in irons.^ It was 
afterward ascertained that the Chippewas and Ottawas were 
opposed to a treaty and iji favor of a war, unless the 
whites would agree to the Ohio as a boundary line. We 
shall see whose influence it was that brought them to this 
determination. Immediately after learning of the unto- 
ward affair, General St. Clair ordered the provisions back 
to Fort Harmar and sent messengers with a request that 
they would forward an acconi[)anying speech to the Xations 
assembled at the Tawa, or the Detroit River. He also 
changed the place for the conference to the Fort. This 
change did not, as some writers have held, have any influ- 
ence on the result.^ 

for the Council was that upon which the town of Taylorsville was 
afterwards built. 

* St. Clair Correspondence. Through the carolessnoss of the guard, 
two of these prisoners escaped, and one of them was afterwards, at 
the earnest solicitation of Captain Pipe, set free. f«n- the purpose of 
accompanying that Chief to the Conference of Indian Njitions, on the 
Detroit river. Captain Pipe said he desired to have the truth set 
before the Indians. 

'*S^/. Clair CorrespoYKtencr.. ITildreth mentions that a son of Joseph 
Brant, with two hundred warriors, was at the Falls in November, and 
sent a request to Governor St. (Jlair that the treaty might be held at 
that place. Upon this being refused, "it is supposed, persuaded the 
Shawanese not to visit Fort Harmar." St. Clair's letters mention that 
Joseph Brant himself was on his way to the Muskingum, and, on 

Life ami Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 153 

The great Mohawk chief, Captain Joseph Brant, or 
Thayandanegea, after the peace with Great Britain had 
moved with the Mohawks into Canada, but that Nation 
had not withdrawn from the confederacy of the Six Na- 
tions, nor had Brant resigned his headship of the whole. 
He was ambitious, and had grand schemes in view. He 
espoused the cause of the western tribes in their contro- 
versy with the United States upon the question of bound- 
ary, and, as early as 1785, attempted to form a confederacy 
of all the North-western nations and tribes.^ If five of' the 
Six Nations had f-old tliemselves to the devil — otherwise 
the Yankees — as he declared, he did not intend the fierce 
Miamis, Shawanese and Kickapoos should do so. In this 
benevolent purpose he was encouraged by representatives 
of the British Government at the western posts. In 
March, 1787, Sir John Johnson wrote to Brant, congratu- 
lating him on the success of the meetings he had been 
holding in the Indian country near Detroit, which he 
hoped w^ould have the effect he wished in preventing the 
Americans from encroaching on the lands west of the river 
Ohio. " Do not suiFer an idea to hold place in your mind," 
wrote Sir John, " that it will be for your interests to sit still 
and see the Americans attempt the posts. It is for your 
sakes, chiefly, if not entirely, that we hold them. If you 
become indifterent about them, they may, perhaps, be given 
up; what security would you then have? You would be 
left at the mercy of a people whose blood calls aloud for 
revenge; whereas, by supporting tliem, you encourage us 
to hold them, and encourage the new settlements, already 
considerable, and every day increasing by numbers coming 
in, who find they can't live in the States.''^ 

Of the same purport was a letter from Lord Dorchester, 

receiving St. Clair's message, turned back, and, meeting with the 
Shawanese, induced them to remain away from the conference. It is 
not clear whether it was the father or the son en route to the Mus- 
kingum. The adverse influence was traceable to Joseph Brant, the 
bead chief. 

*See Stone's The Life of Joseph Brant, Vol. II., p. 264. 

^Life of Brant, Vol. IL, p. 268. 

154 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

through Major Matthews, who expressed a wish to see Col- 
onel Brant to confer with him for the mutual advantage of 
that canse which had always been common. He said that, 
while his Lordship could not begin a war with the Ameri- 
cans, " they must see that it was his Lordship's intention to 
defend the posts; and, while these were preserved, the In- 
dians must find greater security therefrom, and the Ameri- 
cans greater diflBculty in taking possession of their lands."^ 

Brant's activity in the direction indicated, continued 
throughout 1788, although his correspondence with Gov- 
ernor St. Clair through General Butler, and with General 
Knox, gave the government ground to hope that that import- 
ant chief might be brought to support a peace. The tone 
of his letters of this period was different from that of his 
correspondence of former years. Mr. Stone expresses the 
opinion that this change was due to the anticipated suc- 
cess " which was to crown the Indian diplomacy of Gen- 
eral St. Clair." ^ But it may have been due to craft, or to 
a w^ish to pave the way for a change if the United States 
paid high enough for his services. 

I am inclined to attribute it to the former motive. His 
correspondence w^ith representatives of the United States 
was tardy, and every means was resorted to to effect delay 
until he could have time to form his dreamed-of conspiracy 
in the North-west, at the head of which he hoped to be 
placed. Tlie reply to St. Clair's invitation of the 23d De- 
cember, 1787, to the Five Xations to join in a conference, 
was not sent to General Butler until July of the following 
year. The excuse that Brant offered was, that the " land 
jobbers," of New York and Massachusetts had been in 
western New York to purchase some land, and that it had 
been a tedious business. He added : " We are preparing 
to meet your council, and shall be able to write you from 
the Miamis river what time you may expect to see us; 
meantime, we hope you to exercise patience, and not 
think the time long, as it is a business of importance, which 
we mean to consider seriously, and hope to settle to mutual 

1 Life of Brant, Vol. II., p. 273. 
' Ibid, p. 279. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur SL Clair. 156 

satisfaction. I am happy at the idea of meeting you per- 
sonally, to bring about this long-wished-for business."^ 

Meanwhile, General Butler informed General St. Clair 
that Colonel Brant was preparing for a conference of the 
western Indians at Detroit; and that early in July eighty 
chiefs were already there awaiting the arrival of Brant, 
whose influence had turued them from the Muskingum to 
the former place. It is not known what was done at the 
council on the Detroit river, but, doubtless, there was a 
division of sentiment, and a failure in forming a confed- 
eracy under Brant. This chief represents himself, in his 
correspondence, as acting with the Hurons, Delawares, 
Chippewas, Ottowas, and Pottawatamies, in favor of form- 
ing a treaty with the Americans, and having a boundary- 
line fixed, rather than a war, even at the sacrifice of a small 
part of their country. " On the other hand," he said, *• the 
Shawanese, Miamis, and Kickapoos, who are now so much 
addicted to horse-stealing that it will be a diflBcult task to 
break them of it, as that kind of business is their best har- 
vest, will, of course, declare for war and not giving up any 
of their country, which, I tm afraid, will be the means of 
our separating." ^ 

It is apparent that if a war-confederacy could not be 
formed between the western tribes and the Six Nations, a 
general treaty with the Americans was to be prevented, if 
possible. The only glimpse we get of this council is fur- 
nished by the correspondence of Governor St. Clair. He 
received his information through friendly Indians, who 
were present, or who served him as messengers. In one of 
his letters, he mentions a circumstance that took place be- 
tween the Wyandots and the warlike chiefs of the Twi^j- 
twees (Miamis), Shawanese, and Kickapoos. A chief of 
the former placed one end of white wampum on the shoulder 
of a principal Miami chief, recommending that they be at 
peace with the Americans, as were the Six Nations. "With- 
out making any reply, the chief turned aside and let the 
emblem of peace fall to the ground. Thereupon, the Wy- 

1 St. Clair Papers. 

• Letter to P. Langan, October 7, 1788. 

156 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clavr. 


andots immediately left the council. Were the representa- 
tives of the British nation interested in this ? They thought 
the States could not be consolidated into a Republic, and 
were encouraged by Shay's Rebellion in Massachusetts, and 
the Spanish intrigue in Kentucky. John Connolly, erst- 
while of Fort Pitt and His Majesty's service, had been sent 
to Kentucky, by somebody, and was in this very year hold- 
ing out inducements to the inhabitants of that country to 
receive the protection of good King George. As late as 
December he sent a messenger to the Indians, armed with 
a passport, addressed to Captain McKee, in which he asked 
him to recommend the messenger to the "natives in gen- 
eral, that no evil consequences may ensue from the inter- 
ruption of a good design." 

This was the situation in 1788, for which Thayendanegea 
and the British officers were chiefly responsible. 

On the 9th of September, the important chiefs began to 
arrive, but it was not until the middle of December that 
a sufficient number had appeared to justify General St. 
Clair in attempting a treaty. The council was opened on 
on the 15th of December, «nd on tlie 29th the cause for the 
Indians was stated with great force by the old Wyandot 
chief, Shandotto, to which Governor St. Clair formally re- 
plied on the 6tli of January. To the demand for the Ohio 
river as the boundarv-line he refused to listen, and ex- 
plained to the assembled Indians, by a simile, how they 
had forfeited their country, in becoming allies of the British 
in the Revolutionarv War.^ The business was concluded, 
and two separate treaties formed on the 9th January; the 
first with the Six Nations (excepting the Mohawks), confirm- 
ing the treaty at Fort Stanwix, and the other with the 
representatives of the Wyandot, Delaware, Chippewa, Ot- 
tawa, Pottawatomie, and Sac Nations, confirming and bet- 
tering the treaties of Forts Mcintosh and Finney. 

For particulars, I refer the reader to St. ("lair's letters. 
lie had accomplished an important work and showMi great 
address, lie secured valuable concessions from the Indians 

* ^S*^. Clair rai)>T.<i. Seo letter of Major Dunn to St. Clair. 
' Military Journal of Major Ebcnczcr Dentu/, pp. 332 and 333. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 157 

and rewarded them liberally, in which, says the author of 
the Ijife of Branty " there was an approximation to justice 
toward the Indians wliich hud not been previously count- 
tenanced by Congress." * He did not recognize the Indians 
as one nation, but as different nations having distinct in- 
terests, in which he followed their own practice. "A 
jealousy subsisted betw-een them," says he, "which I was 
not willing to lessen by appearing to consider them as one 
people,"^ and he was of the opinion that their confederacy 
was broken. This the author of the Life of Brant calls 
the Machiavelian policy of dividing to conquer, and then 
proceeds to denounce it as immoral. If St. Clair had 
created the divisions which the Indians themselves recog- 
nized, there would have been some ground for censure; 
but his action bore a just relation to existing circum- 
stances. Mr. Stone's premises are not sound. 

Neither the fiercest of the western tribes nor the Mo- 
hawks^ were represented at the conference. The absence 
of the latter did not matter much, while the friendship of 

» Life of Brant, Vol. II., p. 280. 

"^ St. Clair Papers. Letter to the President. 

' Mr. Stone expresses the opinion that Captain Brant was present, 
although not a party to the treaty. lie bases this opinion on an am- 
biguous passage in a letter from Captain Brant to Major Matthews, in 
March, 1789: "You'll hear by this opportunity the result of our jaunt 
to the southward, as Captain McKee has sent down all the proceed- 
ings of our councils with the American Commi.ssionerd, speeches and 
answers. Our proceedings have been such as 1 hope will bo a})proved 
of." But Brant does not refer in this to the Mohawks, but to the 
Five Nations, who signed the first treaty. As he had not yet resigned 
his headship, he could with propriety speak of the business in the 
manner here quoted. Major Denny, in his journal, under the date of 
November 7thj saysi " Brant is expected here in a few days," but in 
his account of the councils no mention is made of the Mohawk chief, 
which he would have been apt to do if he had been present. More- 
over, St. Clair says in his correspondence with the War Department, 
that Brant was on his way to the Muskingum with a large i>arty, but 
upon receiving a message from him turned back, and pursuadod the 
Shawnese also to do the same. There is a legend, however, in the 8t. 
Clair family, that it was a sou of Brant who was present, attracted by 
the charms of Louisa St. Clair, and not by any particular interest in 
the treaty. 

158 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

the Five Nations was permanently secured. But there 
could be no peace while the Shawnese and Miamis stood 
out. The murderous attacks on the pioneers in Kentucky 
and on the Virginia and Pennsylvania borders were re- 
newed, and it soon became apparent to General St. Clair 
that severe measures would have to be adopted towards the 
obstreperous Indians. Captain Brant does not appear ac- 
tively on the scene again for two years, but he did not omit 
any opportunity to denounce the treaties of Fort Harmar, 
even while he was receiving tokens of the high regard of 
the United States government,^ 

St. Clair visited his family, and afterwards proceeded to 
New York to concert measures with General Knox for the 
settlement of the Indian difficulties. While there, he had 
the pleasure of assisting at the inauguration* of his old 
Commander-in-Chief, and devoted friend, as first President 
of the United States. We are indebted to Colonel May, 
who had also left the banks of the Muskingum, for a 
graphic description of the ceremonies of that ever-memor- 
able day. There were ringing of church bells, prayers for 
blessings upon the head of him who had come to be the 
head of the nation, parading of the military, an imposing 
administering of the oath in the Senate Chamber, followed 

'General Washington, in a letter to Governor Clinton: " It gives 
me pleasure to learn from you the friendly sentiments of Captain 
Brant; and with you I think they merit cultivation; but he has not 
been candid in his account of the conduct of General St. Glair, nor 
done justice in his representation of matters at Muskingum. It is 
notorious that he used all the art and influence of which ho was pos- 
sessed to prevent any treaty being held; and tliat, except in a small 
degree, General St. Clair aimed at no more land by the treaty of Mus- 
kingum than had been ceded by the previous treaties." — Washhigton s 
Writings, Vol. X., p. 122. 

^General Washington "was clad in a full suit of dark -brown cloth, 
manufactured at Hartford, Connecticut, with a st^el-hilted dress-sword, 
white silk stockings, and plain silver shoe-buckles. His hair was 
dressed and powdered in the fashion of the day, and worn in a bag 
and solitaire. The oath was administered by Chancellor Livingston; 
near him stood Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, Richard Henry 
Lee, Generals Knox and St Clair, Baron Steuben and other distin- 
guished men." — Journal of Colonel John May^ p. 133. Note by William 
M. Darlington. 

JAfe and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 159 

in the evening, bj illuminations and fire-works, very bril- 
liant, which the people applauded, as they did every thing 
on that joyous occasion. The President was very dignified, 
but Colonel May thought him much altered in countenance 
since he last saw him. 

After this, St. Clair remained in New York, waiting 
patiently for legislative action to enable him to proceed 
with the new government, and for the formulation of an 
Indian policy. There was a personal matter, too, in which 
he was deeply interested, concerning which it was his duty 
to take counsel of his friends. It was no less than that of 
resigning the Territorial Governorship, and returning to 
Pennsylvania to enter actively into political life. After the 
requisite number of States had adopted the Constitution, 
the name of St. Clair was freely canvassed in connection 
with the position of Vice-President. In July, 1789, while 
he was waiting on the new government, he received an 
urgent letter from his old friend James Wilson, asking an 
immediate interview for the purpose of deciding whether 
he would stand for the governorship of Pennsylvania. It 
was not St. Clair's manner to look back when once his 
hands were upon the plow, but he found himself in a false 
position in the West. He had no genius for speculation; 
his salary as Governor would barely cover his traveling ex- 
penses; his family was large, and his wife, who had been 
accustomed to every comfort, was not well fitted for a 
pioneer life. The mistake he made in leaving Pennsylvania 
might be rectified by an early return. But a canvass showed 
that the party led by General Mifflin, who knew how to 
catch the popular breeze, was in the majority. The de- 
moralization and discontent following the Revolution 
favored the plans of those who had not been closely identi- 
fied with the party of Washington during the war. 

It was late in the year before General St. Clair received 
his final instructions and turned his face toward the West 
again, to resume the work of constructing a government in 
a wilderness filled with hostile savages, distant from the 
supporting power, with an imperfect and unreliable system 
of communication, and without adequate means. Inimedi- 

160 Lt'tfc and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

atelv after the trcatv of Fort Harmar, the ludiau^ were 
more quiet than usual, only a few depredations having been 
committed and tho-e by the Miamis.* But later this quiet 
gave place to a jiredatory warfare on the borders of Penn- 
Bvlvania, Vircrinia, and Kentuckv, in which all of the dis- 
satisfied tribes engaged. The Indians took p')Sses.sion of a 
high point of land on the Ohio near the mouth of the Sci- 
oto, whence they sent out parties to waylay the boats pass- 
ing up and down the river. Thrilling events occurred, 
which will be found duly recorded in Indian history, to 
which the curious reader, who would sup on horrors is re- 
ferred.* Something of these will be found related in the 
St. Clair papers printed in this work. It is the purpose of 
this memoir to touch on only the most salient points, and 
the above reference to the general situation, will suffice for 
our purpose. 

The citizens of Marietta gave special attention to the 
preparation of a residence for Governor St. Chiir, and in 
the winter of 1790, his son Arthur, twenty-one years of age, 
and three daugliters, Louisa, Jane, and Margaret, with a 
middle-aged, sensible, colored woman whoatted as cook and 
housekeeper, took possession. Mrs. St. Glair still remained 
in the Kast.' Louisa, the eldest of the three daughters, 
was about nineteen vears of asre, and is described bv Pro- 
fessor llildreth as " a healthy, vigorous girl, full of life and 
activity, evorv wav calculated for a soldier's daujrhter; fond 
of a frolic, and readv to draw amusement from all and 

' Lott<*r of rjiptain McKoo, British Indian Agmt. at Detroit, to ("aiv 
tain Urant. See Lite ^f Brant. Vol. II. j». 290. President Wasliington 
attribut«*d thu nii.schief to the Shawaneso. 

A quarrel arose thi.s year between the Miamis and Delawares, which 
caused the latter to withdraw beyond th«* Mis«<issip|)i river — an event 
greatly d^'plored by the ilritish agents as it threatened the destruction 
of th«» Confederacy. 

Mudge Inncs, of Kentucky, estimated, in 1700, that within seven 
years over fifteen hundred whites had been killed, and twenty thous- 
and horses and other ])roperty stolen by the Indians. The statement 
frequently made at this time that the savages were always the aggre.-v 
8ors, was not correct. Tiiere were bad whites as well as bad red men. 

^HifdreOiS Pioneer History, p. 262. 

I i 

1 - *■ 

.' k. 

I'JL' 'I--: -=-.. 

164 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

that struggle for freedom, anJ affording aid to tlie sur- 
vivors, should also be remembered bv St. Clair at this time? 
In a short time the name of St. Chiir was given to the third 
county and that of General Knox, who was concerned in 
the drafting of the cliarter of the Society, to the fourth, 
by Secretary Sargent, who, despite the modest protests of 
the Governor, took good care to see that his own chief was 
not neglected in the records. 

TheGovernor remained at Fort Washington only a week,* 
and then hastened on toward the Mississippi, where his 
coming was looked for with great impatience. The inhab- 
itants of the French towns on that river had been persist- 
ent in their appeals to tlie old Continental Congress to give 
them a government, and the President was very anxious 
that General St. Clair should establish the forms of civil 
government there as soon as practicable.* The Governor 
reached the Rapids of the Ohio on the 8th, where he remained 
long enough to prepare dispatches containing speeches ad- 
dressed to the Indian tribes on the Wabash, which he trans- 
mitted to Major Ilanitramck, commandant at Post Vin- 
cennes, with instructions to send them to their destination 
by Antoine Gamelin, a trader, who was very popular among 
the Indians. It was St. Clair's plan to first organize the 
Illinois country and then return to Post Vincennes, by 
which time he hop«'d favorable replies would be received 
from the Wabash Indians.^ But as it turned out otherwise 
he was, upon his return, compelled to leave the work of or- 
ganization at Vincennes to Secretary Sargent, and hasten 
to the east to provide means for the chastisement of the 
savages and the relief of the suffering inhabitants of the 
various posts. 

Governor St. Clair arrived at Kaskaskia in Februarv. 
He found the inhabitants in an impoverished condition, 
and rendered incapable of taking any action looking to 
permanent improvements, on account of the uncertainty of 

^ Rccordft of Governor North-western Territory — Stale Department. 

* St. Clair Correspondence. 

• St. Clair Papers. Letter to Major Ilanitramck. 

Life and Fubllc Scrciccs of Arthur St. Clair. 165 

the tenure of the lands they occupied. He described the 
condition of the people in a report to the Sccretury of Sta'e: 
"The Illinois country, as well as tiiat upon the Wabash, 
has been involved in great distress ever since it fell under 
the American dominion." He said the inhabitants had 
contributed supplies liberally to the support of the troops 
under General Clark, for which they received certificates 
which had been repudiated by the State of Virginia, by 
whose authority the expedition led by Clark had been un- 
dertaken ; that, after the Illinois regiment had been dis- 
banded, "a set of men, pretending the authority of Vir- 
ginia, embodied themselves, and a scene of general depre- 
dation and plunder ensued. To this succeeded three suc- 
cessive and extraordinury inundations from the Mississippi, 
which either swept awiiy their crops, or prevented their 
being planted. The hiss of the greatest part of their trade 
with the Indians, which was a great resource, came upon 
them at this juncture, as well as the hostile incursions of 
some of the tribes, which liad ever before been in friend- 
ship with them ; and to these was added the loss of their 
whole last crop of corn by an untimely frost. Extreme 
misery could not fail to be tl.*e consequence of such accumu- 
lated misfortunes." 

The order of Congress,^ relative to the survey of the 
lands, could not be carried out, because the people could 
not pay the Surveyor. St. Clair's aid was invoked, in 
pathetic terms, by Father Gibault, the venerable priest of 
Kaskaskia and Cahokia: "Your Excellency is an eye- 
witness," said he, "of the poverty to which the inhabitants 
are reduced, and of the total want of provisions to subsist 
ou. Not knowing w-here to find a morsel of bread to 
nourish their families, by w-hat means can theysupport the 
expense of a survey which has not been sought for on their 
parts, and for which, it is conceived by them, there is no 
necessity ? Loade 1 with misery, and groaning under the 
weight of misfortunes accumulated since the Virginia 
troops entered their country, the unhappy inhabitants 

* *S'/. dair Papers. See Report to Secretary of Stale, Vol. II., p. 136. 

166 Life and Public Services of Arthur St Clair. 

throw tlierhsclves under the protection of yonr Excellency, 
and tiike the liberty to solicit you to lay their deilorable 
situation before Congress."^ 

St. Clair did every thing in his power, and went beyond 
the technical restrictions formed by an authority a thou- 
sand miles awny to relieve the distress surrounding him. 
His familiarity with the French hvnguage proved a great 
help to him in his work. 

The county of St. Clair was erected, courts established, 
and officers iippointed, the same as in otiier cases. The 
county embraced the section of country extending from the 
River Ohio northward to the mouth of Little Mackinaw 
Creek, where it empties into the Illinois River. 

^iSl. Clair Papers. Letter of Father Gibault, Vol. II., p. 148. 

Life and Public Sercices of Arthur St. Clair. 167 


Ominous Signs observed ix the Indian Country — The Chieftain Brant 
AND THE British Again at Work — Depredations on the Frontiers — 
Failure of' Attempts to Negotiate a Peace — The Indians Demand 

URES Resolved on — St. Clair's Conferences with Secretary of War 
— Successful Expeditions op Scott and Wilkinson — Expedition of 
General Harmah and Severe Encounters with the Indians — St. 
Clair Appointed Major-General and Commander-in-Chief — His Dis- 
astrous Campaign — Responsibility of the War Department — 
Scandalous Conduct of the Quartermaster-General — Report of 
Congressional Committee Vindicating St. Clair from Blame — 
Massacres of the White Settlers — Reorganization of Army 
Under General W^ayne — Failure of Negotiations Result in 
Conquering a Peace — Murder of Messengers — Legend of Louisa 
St. Clair. 

Receiving from Major Ilamtramek the information that 
Antoiiie Qameliii had failed to persuade the Wabash In- 
dians to enter into a treaty Vvith the Americans, Governor 
St. Clair hastened to complete the work of organiz ition, 
and on the lltii of June began his return journey. Before 
his departure, he wrt)te to Major Ilamtramek, advising him 
of his purpose to prepare for a military movement against 
the Indians on the Wabash, and that Colonel Sargent 
would proceed to Post Vincennes, to make the civil ap- 
appointments, organize the militia, and carry out the plan 
for the adjustment of land claims agreeably to the proclama- 
tion he had issued to the inhabitants of that section from 

The report of Mr. Gamelin^ is of extraordinary interest. 
It shows that the machinations of Brant and his British 
friends had been succes.'^ful, and that the Indians proposed 
to tight to retain their country and force the Americans 

* Jfeeofifs of Corerhwent Xorth-west Ihrifori/ — *S'^ Cuiir Vapcrs. F'ull ac- 
count is also ^»iven in this work of Secretary Sargent's proceedings at 
Poet Vincennes. 

^S^e St, Clair Papers, Vol. II., p. 132. 

168 Life and Public Services of Arthur Si. Cliir. 

bck across the Ohio. A Kickapoo chief said: "You in- 
vite us to stop our young men. It is impossible to do it, 
being constantly encouraged by the British." 

General St. Clair, after conferring with General Ilarmar, 
determined to send an expedition against the Maumee 
towns, under the conmiand of that officer. A circular let- 
ter was issued to the County Lieutenants of Kentucky and 
Western Pennsylvania, informing them that there was no 
I)rospect of a peace wMth the tribes on the Wabash, and in- 
structing them to call out the militia allotted to their 
resi»ective counties, to rendezvous at Fort Washington by 
the 15th of September. When the militia did arrive. Gen- 
eral Harmar was much disheartened, as they "were raw 
and unused to the gun or woods." "One half," says Major 
Denny, in his excellent journal, "serve no other purpose 
than to swell their number. If the leading /;«/r/o/5 of Ken- 
tucky don't turn out rascals, then some men that I know 
are greatly mistaken."^ Those from Pennsylvania were 
but little better. In addition, a large portion of the arras 
were unfit for use — many of the muskets and rifles being 
tcilhout locks! The militia officers quarreled, and the men 
were insubordinate. Colonel Trotter aspired to the com- 
mand, altliough Colonel Hardin was the senior ofticer. 
Some of the men diclared they would return home unless 
Colonel Trotter could lead them, and a compromise be- 
came necessary. 

When on the march, October 2d, the force was found to 
consist of three hundred and twenty regulars under the 
immc'liate command ot Majors Wvllvs and Dousrhtv, and 
one thousand one hundred and thirtv three militia under 
the command of Colonel Hardin, an old Continental oflicer. 
The route wa?? by old Chillicothe, at the headwaters of the 
Little Miami, thence to Mad Kiver, and tiience to the 
Miami or Omee River, which they struck near the ruins of 
La Source's trading post. Here they capUircd a Shawanese 
Indian,' who informed them that the Indians were leavinij 
their village (distant about thirty mile-) as fast as possible. 

* Military Journal of Major Denny, p. 344. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 169 

Colonel Hardin was detached with six hundred light troops 
and one company of reguliirs. lie was instructed to push 
for the Mianii village, which was at the junction of the 
St. Joseph and St. Mary rivers, and take every precaution 
to keep his men under strict discipline. When he reached 
the village on the 15th, he found it deserted. On the 17lh, 
he was joined by the main body, and the order was given 
for the destruction of the buildings and the vast fields of 
corn stretching along the bottoms of the streams. The 
militia, regardless of discipline, broke into sqnads and 
Btrolle*! about in search of plunder, but fortunately were 
not disturbed. 

The followin<j dnv, Colonel Trotter was ordered out with 
three hundred militia and thirty regulars, under Captain 
Armstrong, wiih instructions to see if he could find traces 
of the Indians. He returned at night without having ac- 
complished any thing. The next day Colonel Hardin went 
out with the same command. Before he had proceeded very 
far the militia began to desert, but this did not make him 
more cautious. When distant from camp ten miles, he 
suddenly came upon about one liundred Indian.^, ''and, 
owing to the bad order of his men, and their dastardly con- 
duct, was entirely defeated." At the first fire of the 
Indians nearly all of the militia fled witliont fir'.ng a shot. 
As usual, the regulars stood firm, and were cut to pieces. 
"I lost one serg<.*ant and twenty-one out of thirty men of 
my command," says the brave Captain Armstrong in his 
report, and was obliged to retreat. We should think it 
was ab(»ut time. All efibrt of Colonel Hardin to rnllv the 
militia was unavailing. About seventy men were killed. 

On the 21st, the army, having burned the Indian ca[)ital 
and five villages and destroyed twenty thousand bnshe's 
of corn in ears — the object of the expedition — took up their 
line of march back to Fort Washington, and eneam])ed 
eight miles from the ruins. At nine o'clock, at the solici- 
tntion of Colonel Hardin, General Ilarmar ordered but four 
hundred men, including sixty regulars, under Major Wyllys, 
with instructions to return to the Indian town, on the head- 
waera of the Miami, to surprise any parties that might 

170 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

have returned there. The troops crossed tlie Miami early 
in the morning, and it was the intention to surround the 
village before making an attack. But the militia, led by 
Majora Hall and McMillan, came upon a few Indians im- 
mediately after crossing the river, init them to flight, and, 
contrary to ordere, pursued up the St. Josei»h for several 
miles. The center, composed of the regular troops, was 
soon afterwards attacked bv the main bodv of the Indijins, 
under Little Turtle, and, although they fought with des- 
peration, were obliged at length to give way. The few sur- 
vivors fled in the direction taken by the militia, and met 
them returning from the pursuit of the scattering Indians. 
They were followed by the Indians, who attempted. to pass 
the stream, but were repulsed. The savages did not per- 
sist in their attack, and the troops, after collecting the 
wounded, returned to camp. The loss of the regular sol- 
diers was forty-eight men and two officers — Major Wyllys 
and Lieutenant Frothingham — of the militia, not so many. 
But the death of the brave Wyllys was a loss long felt and 
mourned over. 

Althougii this expedition was in most respects a complete 
success, it was, owing to the bad conduct of the militia, 
attended with a severe loss of regular troops, which called 
forth censorious cmiments on General Ilarmar. That 
meritorious ofticer, after he had been vindicated by a court- 
martial, could not be prevailed on to continue in the ser- 
vice, and in the following year resigned his connnit^sion. 

" Your frietid, Genenil St. Clair," said AVashiigton, in 
a letter to La Fayette, ''resumes his functions as Major- 
Geiu'ral.'' ^ It was even so. The result of 8t. Clair's visit 
to IMnladelphia and his report on affairs in tlie terri- 
torv, was: First, to send a formidable military force into 
the Miami countrv, and erect a series of forts, as recom- 
mended by him the preceding year; and, secondly, to 
send minor expeditions against the Wabash tribes to puti- 
ish tlieni for their reckless marauding and refusal of the 
offer of peace in the spring of 1700. A new regiment was 

^ I.<'lter of the 19th March, 1791. Was/(n,<;(onj Writings, Vol. X., p. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 171 

to be added to the military establishment, and General 
St. Clair was to conduct the expedition against the Miami 
towns in person, with General Kichard Butler second in 
command. The equipment was to be com{)lete in all re- 
spects, and the most cordial co-operation was promised on 
the part of the War Department. 

While this promise was being indifferently regarded, 
two expeditions were sent against the Waba&h towns. The 
first, under ,c« »mmand of Brigadier-General Scott and Colonel 
JamesWilkirison, left the Ohio at the mouth of the Kentucky 
river on the 23d of May, and marched directly for the Wea 
village Ouiatenon, on the Wabash.* This and other im- 
portant towns were destroyed, and a few Indians killed and 
captured. The second expedition was authorized by Gov- 
ernor St. Clair, on the' 25th of June. It consisted of live 
hundred mounted men, under the command of Brigadier- 
General Wilkinson, and marched from near Fort Washing- 
ton, on the 20th of July, for the Indian village Ke-na-pa- 
com-a-qua (rAnguille), situated on the Eel river, about 
six miles above its confluence with the Wabash. This and 
various other villages, and several hundred acres (»f corn 
were destroyed, and a considerable number of prisoners 
capti;re 1. This expedition was condivcted with such celer- 
ity and signal success, us to receive a special letter of thanks 
from the Secretary of War, which was communicated to 
Wilkinson through Governor St. Clair. 

But how was it with the main expedition? This entry 
is found in Major Denny's Journal, under the date of Sep- 
tember Ist: *' Generul St. Clair appcare exceeding impa- 
tient at the delay or detention of some of the corps. The 
Quartermaster-General, IIodg<lon, not yet come on, and 
General Butler, the second in command, is also back. 
Preparations for the campaign very backward." This, 
when the army w^as to have moved in the summer. Whose 
was the fault? 

The story may be told in a few words. The War De- 
partment had undertaken to provide an army, equip and 

^ About eight miles below the present city of La Fayette. 

172 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

provision it, and have the same at Fort Washington by the 
10th of July. " In this case/' wrote General Knox, " you 
will have assembled a foroe of three thousand eft'ectives, at 
least, besides leaving small garrisons on the Ohio, in order 
to perform your main expedition.^" In April, the Federal 
part of the force was still to be recruited. There was a de- 
mand for labor every-where, and such men as were finally 
induced to enlist were not the kind of material out of 
which the best soldiers are made. Nor was tliis the only 
difficulty ; no money had yet been furnished General But- 
ler to pay the men and provide stores for them. The mil- 
itia were no better; some of them even worse. All were 
unaccountably delayed on the upper Ohio until the sum- 
mer had been far spent.^ The levies that now straggled 
into Fort Washinsrton erave such evidence of a love of 
strong drink as to m cessitate their removal to Camp Lud- 
low, beyond the reach of temptation. There was neither 
quartermaster nor commissary ; the commanding general 
was both.' lie was also chief artisan, and superintended 
the construction and repair of every thing, from gun-car- 
riages to cartridge-boxes — the thousand details incident to 
the creation and preparation of an armed force, without 
the means which may be commanded in an old country. 
Here the ingenuity and restless energy of the commanding 
general supplied what it had been the duty of quarter- 
master and other subordinates to furnish. But though 
genius were never more fruitful and energy more tireless, 
yet even St. Clair found it impossible to improve the qual- 
ity of the powder;* to make an elephantine pack-saddle 
fit the back of an Indian pony; to transform raw lines into 
vetenin soldiers in a week ; make honest men out of rogues ; 
nor by command, similar to that of Joshua of old, stop the 
sun in its course and delay the rev«>lutions of the seasons. 
It was the 7th of September before General Butler and 

',SV. Ciuir Paper,s, Vol. II., 1791. 

* Ibid. 

' See te.stiniony taken by Congressional Committee. Damys Journal. 

* Jffi<l. A ninnl>er of ()tl\(*ei's te.'<tifie«l that they experimented with 
the powder, and found it had very little force. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 173 

Quartermaster-General Iloclgdeii* arrived at Fort Washing- 
ton and St. Clair had already moved forward his two thou- 
sand men — not three thousand effectives, as promised by 
the Secretary of War — about twenty-four miles.* If lie 
had gone forward and constructed Forts Hamilton and Jef- 
ferson and then disbanded the militia and gone into winter 
quarters, all might have been well. But St. Clair "was a 
strict soldier, and kept rigidly to orders. He saw ever be- 
fore him these passages in correspondence from the War 
Department: " The President still continues anxious that 
you should, at the earliest moment, commence your opera- 
tions." ''lie therefore enjoins you, by every principle that 
is sacred, to stimulate your o[)erationsin the highest degree, 
and to move as rapidly as the lateness of the season and 
the nature of the case will possibly admit." Accordingly, 
he [lUshed on. Forts Hamilton and Jefferson were con- 
structed under the greatest difficulties, as there were few 
tools,* and the rainy seascTn had set in. 

It was on the 24th of October that the little army left 
Fort Jefferson and- moved through the wilderness toward 
the Maumee, where another fort was to be erected. The 
frost had cut oft* the forage, the men were on half rations, 
and the militia deserted in such numbers that the general 
found it necessary to dispatch Major Ilamtramck with the 
First regiment, three hundred strong, to arrest them and 
bring up tlie provisions that were supposed to be en route. 
The commanding general, who was now prostrated with 
severe sickness, liad left only about fourteen hundred men. 
Every precaution was taken on the march and in camp to 
guard against a surprise. 

On the 3d of Xovember, the troo[)S encamped on high 

* St. Clair was sorely tempted to arrest and try the quartermaster- 
general for disobedience of orders and nogloct of duty, but upon re- 
flection decided that in case of disaster it would be attributed to his 

* St. Clair Papers. 

•Testimony of officers. There were few axes, and but one cross-cut 
saw. The axes were of such poor quality their edges would turn like 
lead when used. 

174 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

ground on a small ereck supposed to be a branch of the 
Maumce, but which waf, in fact, a branch of the Wubash. 
The high ground was barely suflicient for the regulars in 
rather contracted lines, but it was the best that could bo 
found.^ The militia, under Colonel Oldham, passed beyond 
the creek a quar:er of a mile, and encamped in parallel 
lines the same as the regulars. Before mid-night. General 
Butler dispatched ("aptain Slough, with thirty-two men, to 
reconnoitcr in front of the lines. That officer was told by 
Colonel Oldham that, in his opinion, the troops would be 
attacked in the morning. lie saw enough Indians in 
the woods to confirm that opinion. He immediately re- 
turned to camp and communicated to General Butler what 
he had learned, and added that if thought proper he would 
go and make the report to General St. Clair. General But- 
ler remained silent for some time, and then, thanking (cap- 
tain Slough for his attention and vigilance, remarked that, 
as he must be fatigued, he had better go and lie down.* 
Captain Slough obeyed. Geieral Butler neither communi- 
cated to General St. Clair the information he had received, 
nor took any further precautions against the enemy. 

On the morning of the 4th, a half hour before sunrise, 
and when the men liad just been dismissed from parade, 
an attack was made on the militia. Simultaneously with 
the crack of the rifle, was heard the yells of the savages. 
The militia fled pell-mell through the first line of regulars, 
who were attempting to form, and caused some confusion. 
However, the enemy was well received by the front line, 
but almost instantly the entire camp seemed to be sur- 
rounded by an unseen foe. The men were pressed toward 
the center, where were liuddled the craven militia, and fell 
by scores under the unerring aim of the savages, who fired 
from the woo«ly covert surrounding them. Every-where 
could be seen St. Clair, who had left his sick quarters upon 
the first fire, endeavoring to reform the lines. lie repeat- 
edly directed the men to chnrge against the skulking foe, 

* }fa',or D(:nn>/.<t Jo'irnal Miijnr Denny selected the ground for the 
camp. The surrounding country was low and wet. 

'" Statement of Captain Slough before the committee. 

Life and Public IServiccs of Arthur ISt. Clair. 175 

who fled before tlie bayonet, and then returned to the 
attack. The officers attracted the aim of the suvagCrJ, and 
they fell on every liand. Among those wounded early was 
General Butler, but he continued to urge resistance. When, 
at last, all of the artillery officers had been either killed or 
wounded, and the fire of the Indians became so near and 
deadly from all points as to threaten the annihilation of 
the force, preparation was made for a retreat. Such of the 
wounded as could be moved were gathered together aud a 
charo:e was made ao^ainst the enemv, under cover of which 
the retreat was accom|>lished. '' A few officers," says Major 
Denny, "put themselves in front. The men followed. 
The enemy gave way, and, perhaps, not being aware of the 
dc-ign, we were, for a few minutes, left undisturbed. The 
stoutest and most active now took the lead, and those who 
were foremost in breaking the enemy's lines were soon left 
behind. At the moment of the retreat, one of the few 
horses saved had been procured for the General ; he was on 
foot until then; I kept by him, and he delayed to see the 
rear." The General commanded his Aid, Major Denny, to 
push to the front and rally a force sufficient to check the 
panic, and then turned his attention to the care of those 
who were partiidly disabled by wounds. As he and the 
officer in command of the rear-guard moved over the 
route, evidence was sern on every hand that the retreat 
had been a disgraceful flight, even to the very gates of 
Fort Jeffi3rson,^ where, at last, under the assuring presence 
of Major Hamtramck's regulars, terror gave place to con- 

What pen can fittingly describe the scenes of that day ? — 
the unexpected attack, the panic, the brave resistance of a 
devoted few, under the inspiring example of noble officers, 
the charge after charge through the forest, the destruction 
of the lines, the gradual encircling of the camp by the 
unseen foe, the terror of the poor wretches huddled in the 
center, who had fled without a shot, the groans and shrieks 

1 Si. Clair's Official Report, Nov. 10. Vol. II. 

176 L'tfe and Pahlk Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

of the wounded under the scalping knife after the retreat, 
and the flight through the wilderness? 

A word more and we sliall ring down the curtain on this 
scone. The killed and missinor numbered thirtv-seven offi- 
cers and five hundred and ninety-three privates; the woun- 
ded, thirt\'-one officci's and two hundred and fifty-two pri- 
viitos.- Among the former were Major-General Butler, 
Major Ferguson, of the artillery, Major Hart and Major 
Clark, of the first regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Old- 
ham, of the militia. Among tlie latter were Colonel Sar- 
gent, who acted as Adjutant-General, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Gihson, Major Hutler, and Viscount Malartic, a volunteer 
aid. The escape of St. Clair was miraculous.^ Not an ofli- 

* The followinc description of St. Clair's conduct during the action, 
taken from the Narrative of the Campaign, will best show the coolness 
and courage of the man : 

''During the engagement, General St. Clair and General Butler were 
continuall}^ going up and down the line; as one went up one, the other 
went down the opposite. St. Clair was so severely afflicted with gout 
as to be unable to mount or dismount a horse without assistance. lie 
had four horses for his use; they had been turned out to feed over 
night, and were brought in before the action. 

" The first he attempted to mount was a young horse, and the firing 
alarmed liim so much that he was unable to accomplish it, although 
there w<»re three or four peoj)le assisting him. He had just moved him 
to a place wliere he could have some advantage of the ground, when 
the horse was shot through the head, and the boy that was holding 
him through the arm. A second horse was brought, and the furniture 
of the first disengaged and put on him ; but at the moment it was done, 
the and servant who held him were killed. The General then 
ordered the third horse to be got ready, and follow him to the left of 
the front line, which by that time was wm inly engaged, and set off on 
foot to the point designated. However, the horse and man were never 
heard of afterward and were supposed to have both been kille<l. Gen- 
eral St. Clair's fourth horse was killed under the Count de Malartie, 
one of his aids, whose horse had died wliile on tlie march. 

"On the day of the battle, Generd St. Clair was not in his uniform; 
he wore a coar*>e oappo coat, and a three-cornered hat. He had a long 
cu»\ and large locks, very gray, flowing beneath liis beaver. Early in 
tlir action, when near the artillery, a ball grazed the side of his face, 
and cut olf a portion of one of his locks. During the action, eight 
balls passed through his clothes and hat. After his horses were killed, 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 177 

cer exposed himself as much as he, and yet it was always 
with a calm courage seeking to reach the enemy effectively. 
"I have nothing to lay to the charge of the troops," said 
he, in his official report, " but their want of discipline, which, 
from the short time they had been in service, it was impos- 
sible they should have acquired, and which rendered it very 
difficult when they were thrown into confusion to reduce 
them again to order, and is one reason why the loss has 
fallen so heavy on the officers, who did every thing in their 
power to effect it." It was a wonder to General Harmar, 
at the time, and is no less a wonder to us to day, that the 
commanding general, who was known to be competent, 
whose courage had been often proved, who knew the supe- 
riority of the Indians, trained from infancy to war on such 
a field, should think of hazarding with such people and un- 
der such circumstances, his reputation and life, and the lives 
of others. 

St. Clair hoped to have an inquiry made by military 
officers, but that being impracticable the matter came be- 
fore Congress, and was there very thoroughly examined. 

he exerted himself on foot for a considerable time during the action, 
with a degree of alertness that surprised every body who saw him. 

" After being on foot for some time, and when nearly exhausted, a 
pack-horse was brought to him. This he rode during the remainder of 
the day, although he could scarcely prick him out of a walk. Had he 
not been furnished with a horse, although unhurt, he must have re- 
mained on the field. 

"During the entire action. General St. Clair exerted himself with a 
courage and presence of mind worthy of the best fortune. He was 
personally present at the first charge made upon the enemy with the 
bayonet, and gave the order to Colonel Darke. When the enemy first 
entered the camp by the left flank, he led the troops which drove them 
back, and when a retreat became indispensable, he put himself at the 
head of the troops which broke through the enemy, and opened the 
way for the rest, and then remained in the rear, making every exertion 
in his power to obtain a party to cover the retreat; but the panic was 
so great, that his exertions were of little avail. In the height of the 
action, a few of the men crowded around the fires in the center of the 
camp. St. Clair was seen drawing his pistols and threatening some of 
them, and ordering them to turn out and repel the enemy.'' 

178 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

The opinion of the committee must stand as the judgment 
of the historian : — 

"The committee conceive it but justice to the com- 
mander-in-chief, to say, that in their opinion, the failure 
of the late expedition can in no respect be imputed to his 
conduct, either at any time before or during the action ; 
but that, as his conduct in all the preparatory arrangements, 
was marked with peculiar ability and zeal, so his conduct 
during the action, furnished strong testimonies of his cool- 
ness and intrepidity." 

The Indians outnumbered the whites, and they fought 
as they never fought before. The fact must be kept in 
view that they had been rendered desperate by the desola- 
tion of their homes, and that they were fighting against a 
people who were trying to deprive them of their lands. 
After the expedition of General Harmar, the Indians re- 
ceived from the British posts large supplies of provisions 
and ammunition which rendered abortive the destructive 
expeditions of the Americans. The British influence was 
further exerted in the direction of forming an Indian con- 
federacy among the Western tribes. In this last engagement 
many young Canadians and half-breeds and one hu4idred 
and fifty Mohawk warriors participated. The whole was 
commanded by the distinguished Miami chief. Little Turtle. 
It is now believed that Little Turtle had the council and 
assistance of another and an older chief. " General St. 
Clair," says the author of the life of Brant, " probably died 
in ignorance of the fact that one of the master spirits 
against whom he contended, and by whom he was so sig- 
nally defeated, was none other than Joseph Brant^ — Thay- 
endancgea. How it happened that this distinguished chief, 
from whom so much had been expected as a peace maker, 
thus suddenly and efficiently threw himself into a position 
of active hostility, unless he thought he saw an opening 
for reviving his project of a great North-western confed- 
eracy, is a mystery which he is believed to have carried in 
his own bosom to the grave.^ " 

^This interesting fact, Mr. Stone says, he derived from "fhayendane- 
gea's family. It was, however, the opinion of St. Clair that Joseph 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 179 

After his return to Fort Washington, on the 9th of No- 
vember, St. Clair wrote his official dispatch to the Secretary 

Brant was engaged in this contest, as a number of his followers were 
present at the battle. There is a legend that the Brant who was en- 
gaged in that affair was a son of Joseph Brant. The story is known as 
" The Legend of Louisa St. Clair," 'and is as follows : 

The proposed Indian treaty at Duncan's Falls, in 1788, being post- 
poned and adjourned to Fort Harmar, the Indians prepared for peace 
or war, and were hostile to holding a conven tion to adjust peace meas- 
ures under the guns of Harmar and Campus Martius. Young Brant, 
son of the famous Chief of that name, came down the Tuscarawas and 
Muskingum trail with two hundred warriors, camped at Duncan Falls, 
nine miles below Zanesville, and informed Governor St. Clair, by run- 
ner, that they desired the treaty preliminaries to be fixed there. 

The Governor suspected a plot to get him to the Falls and abduct 
him, yet nothing had transpired of that import. He sent Brant's run- 
ner back with word that he would soon answer by a ranger. Hamilton 
Kerr was dispatched to Duncan's Falls to reconnoiter and deliver St. 
Clair's letter. 

A short distance &bove Waterford Kerr saw tracks, and keeping the 
river in sight crept on a blufi, and raised to his feet, when hearing the 
laugh of a woman, he came down to the trail, and saw Louisa St. Clair 
on a pony, dressed Indian style, with a short rifle slung to her body. 
Stupefied with amazement, the ranger lost his speech, well knowing 
Louisa, who was the bravest and boldest girl of all at the fort. She 
had left without knowledge of any one, and calling " Ham" — as he 
was known by that name — to his senses, told him she was going to 
Duncan's Falls to see Brant. Expostulation on his part only made her 
laugh the louder, and she twitted him on his comical dress — head tur- 
baned with red handkerchief, huntingshirt, but no trowsers, the breech- 
clout taking their place. Taking her pony by the head, he led it up 
to the trail, and at night they suppered on dried deer meat from Ham*s 
pouch. The pony was tied, and Louisa sat against a tree and slept, 
rifle in hand, while Ham watched her. Next morning they pursued 
their way, and finally came in sight of the Indian camp. She then 
took her father's letter from the ranger, and telling him to hide and 
await her return, dashed oflT on her pony, and was soon a prisoner. She 
asked for Brant, who appeared in war panoply, but was abashed at her 
gaze. She handed him the letter, remarking that they had met be- 
fore, he as a student on a visit from college to Philadelphia, and she 
as the daughter of General St. Clair, at school. He bowed ; being ed- 
ucated, read the letter, and became excited. Louisa, perceiving this, 
said she had risked her life to see him, and asked for a guard back to 
Marietta. Brant told her he guarded the brave, and would accom]>any 
her home. In the evening of the third day, they arrived with Ham 

180 Life and Public Services of Arthur Sf. Clair. 

of War, which contains a comprehensive account of the 
disastrous campaign, and charged his aid, Major Denny, 
with its prompt delivery. This report is a model in its 
way, cool, dispassionate, magnanimous in a high degree. 
The nobleness of spirit so characteristic of St. Clair is con- 
spicuous in every line. There is no fault finding, no allu- 
sion to the shameful mismanagement in the War Depart- 
ment (that he knew would be made apparent in the in- 
vestigation lie was determined to have), and no allusion to 
the neglect of Colonel Oldham and General Butler to ad- 
vise him of the presence of the enemy on the night of the 
3d of November : had not their lives been sacrificed on that 
fatal day? Major Denny discharged his commission with 
his usual promptness and good judgment. Upon his ar- 
rival in Philadelphia, which was at a late hour on the 19th 
of December, he waited immediately upon the Secretary 
of War, and delivered his dispatches. "The morning 
after my arrival here," he says, " General Knox called at 
my quarters and took me to the President's, where we 
breakfasted with the familv,and afterwards had much talk 
on the subject of the campaign and defeat." 

In striking contrast with this simple statement, is that 
highly imaginary account attributed to Mr. Custis, which 
is found copied into the works of several historians ; among 
othcrS) Irving gives it the weight of his a{>proval. In that 
work of the imagination we have the picture of an officer 
in full uniform, dismounting in front of the President's 
house, towards the close of a winter's day in December. 

Kerr at the fort, whore she introduced Brant to hor father, relating 
the incident. After some hours, he was escorted out of the lines, re- 
turned to the Falls, and went up the valley with his warriors, without 
a treaty, but in love with Louisa St. ('lair. 

In January, 1789, ho returned, took no jmrt in the Fort Ilarmar 
treaty, was at the feast, and aske<l .St. C'lair in vain for his daughter's 

In the fall of 1791, Brant led the Chippewas for a time during the 
battle at St. Clair's defeat, and told the warriors to shoot the general's 
horse, but not him. St. Clair had four horses killed, and ns many bul- 
let holes in his clothes, but escaped unhurt. Had St. Clair given his 
daughter to young Brant, would the alliance have averted war ? 

Jjife and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 181 

The porter would have refused him admittance, as the 
President was at dinner, and had company, but the offi- 
cer was on pressing public business, and would not be 
denied. A servant went after the Secretary, Mr. Lear, but 
to that functionary the officer refused to deliver his letters. 
Thereupon, Mr. Lear returned to the dinning-room, and in 
a wliisper communicated to the President what had passed. 
Washington withdrew into the hall, and in a short time 
returned and resumed his seat at the table. That eveniui? 
Mrs. Washington liad a reception. The President appeared 
there with his usual serenity. Neither then nor at the 
table did he allude to any thing unusual. After the com- 
pany had gone and only his secretary remained, Washing- 
ton suddenly became extremely agitated, and poured forth 
a torrent of bitter invective against St. Clair. This was 
followed by some moments of calm reflection, during which 
the President apparently regretted the exhibition of pas- 
sion. " This must not go beyond this room," said he, in a 
subdued and altered tone; "General St. Clair shall have 
justice. I looked hastily through the dispatches; saw the 
whole disaster, but not all the particulars. I will receive 
him without displeasure; I will hear him without preju- 
dice; he shall have full justice."^ 

Here we have the man Washington giving way to his 
passions in the most unreasonable manner, contrasted with 
the philosopher Washington, cool, just and magnanimous. 
This work of the rhetorician is calculated to make the 
pages of a book attractive, but it does not give one as 
natural and exalted a view of the President as the plain 
account of Major Denny. 

Among the St. Clair papers is a pleasant note from Mr. 
Lear, changing the hour for a conference which had been 
agreed on, to the hour of breakfast the following day, 
when the President would be pleased to receive his old 
friend. The. meeting was altogether cordial, and, with this 
scene in our mind, we read, with exalted sentiments of 
esteem for Washington, the following passage in the work 

^ Rush's Washington in Dnmrsf'i- h'>fe. 

182 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

of Chief Justice Marshall: "More satisfactory testimony 
in favor of St. Clair is furnished by the circumstance that 
he still retained the undiminished esteem and good opinion 
of Washington." 

The success of the Indians in this affair inspired them 
with the hope that they might eventually drive the in- 
truding whites back across the Ohio. They resumed the 
predatory system of warfare against the settlements and 
were more ferocious than ever before. To describe the 
bloody scenes that ensued for twelve months would require 
a volume for that alone. The settlers on the Muskingum 
and the Miamis withdrew within the forts. General St. Clair 
resigned his commission in the army and General Anthony 
Wayne was appointed to succeed him. Congress resolved 
on the vigorous prosecution of the war. The military es- 
tablishment was to be increased to four regiments of in- 
fantry and a corps of cavalry; tlie whole, with artillery, to 
consist of five thousand men. Profiting now by the disas- 
trous experience of the past, there was to be no six months' 
levies, and it was agreed to give the new commander two 
years in which to raise, equip and discipline his army be- 
fore moving against the Indians. Mean\vhile, negotiations 
looking to peace were undertaken by the Secretary of War 
through Cai>tain Brant. That astute chieftain accepted the 
commission, an<l appeared in public councils as an advo- 
cate of peace. If sincere in this new character, the weight 
of his influence hitherto, and of the present treacherous 
counsels of Lord Dorchester, Governor of Canada, were 
still snfticient to lead the Indian Nations to refuse to accept 
a peace on any other basis than the Ohio River as a boun- 
dary line. The court paid to this able chief bv the Ameri- 
can Government during the period that the British held 
the posts in the West, forms one of the most curious chap- 
ters in the history of the United States. 

Wliilo General Wayne wiis making preparations for the 
field, negotiations for a peace were continued. Mr. Free- 
man, Major Truenian, and Colonel Hardin, who were dis- 
patched from F'ort Washington, on diftcrent routes, in the 
spring of 17i»2, with flags of truce and presents, w-ere all 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 188 

•mnrdered by the Indians. General Rufus Putman, how- 
ever, was more successful. Aided by the Moravian mission- 
ary Heckewelder, he succeeded in effecting a treaty with 
the Wabash and Illinois nations, which bound them to 
peace. Arrangements had been made with the Indians at 
Au Glaize in the summer, that commissioners of the 
United States should attend a conference of the Indian 
nations in 1793, on the Miami of the lakes. The com- 
missioners selected were Benjumin Lincoln, Timothy Pick- 
ering, and Beverly RaiKlol[»h. They went byway of Niagara 
to confer with Governor Simcoe, and were detained there 
by fine speeches and feasting until near the middle of July. 
They had been invited by the Indians to meet them at 
Sandusky, but were detained by adverse winds at Fort 
Erie, and, finally, had to return to Niagara. In a few weeks, 
they received a communication from the Indian Nations, 
which concluded as follows : 

" Brothers : We shall be persuaded that you mean to do 
us justice if you agree that the Ohio shall remain the 
boundary line between us. If you will not consent thereto, 
oar meeting will be altogether unnecessary." 

This was accepted as the red man's ultimatum, and the 
commissioners returned without having accomplished their 

Thereupon, General Wayne pushed his preparations for 
war. General Wilkinson, who was second in command, 
stationed at Fort Washington, with one thousand men 
marched to the scene of St. Clair's defeat, collected the 
bones of the victims, and erected on the spot Fort Re- 
covery. The garrison stationed here had a sharp conflict 
with the Indians, under Little Turtle, on the 30th June, 
1794, which cost the lives of the commanding officer, 
Major McMahon, and twenty-one others. The Indians 
displayed great courage, and made their attack in as good 
order as regular troops. There were among them several 
ofiicers in British uniform. 

On the 8th of August, General Wayne marched against the 
Indians. Profiting by the experience of the past, he moved 

184 Life and Public Sercices of Arthur St. Clair. 

with extreme caution and only in superior force. As the 
forts had already been built by St. Clair, there was nothing 
to delay him. lie had regular troops thoroughly drilled 
for this service, and was supported by about eleven hundred 
mounted Kentuckiaiis under General Scott. The Indians 
took up a strong positfon in some fallen timber under the 
guns ot the fort at the rapids, recently erected by Governor 
Simcoe, and there awaited the attack from Waytie. They 
attempted no surprise, but posted behind the thick wood, 
rendered almost inaccessible by a dense growth of under- 
brush and fallen timber, with their left protected by a rocky 
bank of the river, they thought themselves secure. They 
were formed in three lines within supporting distance of 
each other, extending for two miles at right angles with the 
river. General Wayne formed in two lines, the first begin- 
ning the attack early on the morning of the 20th. Finding 
that the Indians were attempting to turn his left flank, he 
moved his second line to the support of the first, and 
directed General Scott to turn the enemy's right. This 
disposition checked the flanking movement on the part of 
the Indians. Wayne simultaneously moved his first line 
forward with instructions to charge with trailed arms, and 
rouse the Indians from their covert at the point of the 
bayonet.* This charge was made with irresistible impetu- 
osity, and being followed by a sharp fire, the Indians were 
completely routed. Within an hour, the enemy had been 
driven two miles, and the victory was complete.' The loss 
of the Americans in killed and wounded was one hundred 
and seven. That of the Indians is unknown, but it must 
have been very great. 

After the battle, there was some sharp correspondence 
between Major Campbell, commanding the British fort, 
and General Wayne, which showed bad temper, but as 
there was no blood spilled it is hardly worthy of mention. 

The result of this campaign was a treaty between the 
United States, represented by General Wayncj and the 

^Li/e of Brant, Vol. II., p. 386. 
» Ibid. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 185 

Indian nations, concluded at Greenville. August 3, 1795, 
by which peace was finally secured on terms which gave 
to the Americans the lands of the Indians in the North- 
west, with the exception of small reservations. The power 
of the Western tribes was forever broken. 

186 Lije and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 


1793-1798 — Interest in National Politics — Against the French Par- 
ty — The Scheme to Return to Pennsylvanl^ Abandoned — Second 
Stage op Government in the North-western Territory — Meeting 
OP THE Legislature — Important Work in the Revision op the 
Code op Laws — Rapid Increase in Population — The Connecticut 
Land Company — Commotion at Post Vixcennes and Judge Tur- 
ner — Political Excitement — Spanish and .British Intrigues is 
the North-western Territory and Kentucky — Influence and Bril- 
UANT Talents of Wilkinson — Proclamation op St. Clair Warning 
Against the French Agents — George Rogers Clark a French 
Major-General — Division of People op Territory into Parties. 

The year succeeding the close of the disastrous cam- 
paign of 1791, was a period of unrest and anxiety to St. 
Clair. He found the ties that bound him to the people of 
the East gradually and surely relaxing, and the advantage 
which had been his on account of his ability and promi- 
nence in the War of Independence, now that he was ab- 
sent, was less certain, and might soon disappear altogether 
before the claims of less deserving men. A chance seemed 
to oiler for him to regain his position. The representative 
of the Westmoreland District, having met with some oppo- 
sition, had indicated a purpose not to stand again as a can- 
didate for Congress, and it was proposed by the Federalists 
that St. Clair should make the canvass. The suggestion 
was eagerly embraced, and the advice of friends freely 

To his friend James Ross he contidod the delicate task 
of sounding the political managers, aiul of deciding on a 
policy to be adopted. The names most generally men- 
tioned were those of \fr. Todd and Mr. Smilie. As the 
latter was backed l»y Mr Finley, it was not thought possible 
for Mr. Todd to succeed; if he did, "the public would not 
be benefited by the change.'' Mr. Ross was warned against 
Mr. J , of Greensburg, who, notwithstanding "his pro- 
fession to the contrary, was suspected of being at heart a 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 187 

very Democrat." It was evident that St. Clair longed to 
be actively employed in the arena of national politics, in 
which he saw many associates and friends of Revolu- 
tionary days conspicuously engaged in support of the 
principles he espoused. Pennsylvania had not main- 
tained her rightful position — nay, was degenerating under 
the dangerous political teachings of Gallatin and others. 
To his friend Ross St. Clair poured out his heart freely; 
though his recollections of La Fayette and other French 
patriots of the Revolution were most tender, he was op- 
posed to the Galilean party in America. *' I have seen 
the bill for cutting off the intercourse with France," 
said he, " which I hope is a law ere now. It was a 
step which should have been taken long ago, but is 
better late than not at all. Now let the country be 
put in a state of defense, and we shall have peace. One 
good consequence has flowed already from the firmness and 

decision of the President and Senate — the d d Faction 

that were dragging the country to ruin are completely dis- 
comfited. I hope, too, the time is not distant when Penn- 
sylvania — poor, degraded Pennsylvania — under your aus- 
pices, will regain her position of weight and influence in 
the Union from which she has been detruded." And 
concludes with a fine line from his favorite Horace: 

** JVtf desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro.^" 

But St. Clair was destined not to share in the leadership 
at the Capital. After careful inquiry it w^as found wiser to 
adhere to a plan of campaign already outlined by the man- 
aging Federalists. This action was what St. Clair himself 
had advised, but it forever cut him off from active partici- 
pation in all that was most congenial. He left a so^'iety 
which he was so ^vell fitted to adorn, and turned his face 
again towards the West with reluctance. The disappoint- 
ment was even greater to Mrs. St. Clair, who still lingered 
among the beloved hills of Pennsylvania, and who hoped 
that some turn in affairs would reunite the family and re- 
store their fortunes. 

» MS, Letter, Jane 21, 1792. 

188 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

While in Philadelphia, in 1792, Governor St Clair looked 
faithfully after the interests of the people of the North- 
western Territory. As he still held to the opinion that the 
laws framed by the Territorial Legislature did not conform 
to the Ordinance of 1787, he induced Congress to pass an 
act giving to the Governor and Judges authority to repeal, 
at their discretion, the laws by them made; an authority 
judiciously exercised later. This seemed to be the only 
practical method for correcting the error against which the 
Governor had protested. His views on a judicial system, 
on the practice in England, on the rights of the people, and 
the duties of magistrates, will be found forcibly stated in 
the papers and addresses included in this work, and, upon 
examination, to be the basis of the system of laws estab- 
lished in 1795 — a system, in the language of a distin- 
guished jurist, " not without many imperfections and blem- 
ishes; but it may be doubted whether any colony, at so 
early a period after its first establishment, ever had one 
80 good." * 

In this work of revision, the Governor and Judges con- 
formed to the provisions of the Ordinance, as the former 
had insisted should be done in 1789-90. For the first time, 
a complete system of government was created for the 
North-west, by which the blessings promised by the Ordi- 
nance were realized. Laws for the regulation of society — 
subjecting real estate to execution for debt; directing the 
manner of executing writs of attachment ; for the speedy re- 
covery of small debts; concerning defalcations; for the 
punishment of larceny; for the limitation of actions; for 
the recovery of fines and forfeitures; for the settlement 
of intestates' estates ; for assessing and distributing taxes ; 
regulating inclosures; concerning trespassing animals; di- 
recting how husband and wife may convey their estates; 
for the speedy assignment of dower; for the partition of 
land ; giving remedies in equity; against forcible entry and 
detainer; allowing foreign attachments; limiting imprison- 
ment for debt; governing proceedings in ejectment; sup- 

^ Chase. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 189 

pressing gaming; establishing prphans' courts; for the 
relief of the poor, etc., etc. — were adopted. The j iidicial sys- 
tem was so changed as to fix the general court at Marietta and 
Cincinnati, and a circuit court was established, " with power 
to try, in the several counties, issues in fact depending before 
the superior tribunal, where alone causes could be finally 
decided." Lastly, as if with a view to create some great 
reservoir, from which, whatever principles and powers had 
been omitted in the particular acts might be drawn accord- 
ing to the exigencies of circumstances, they adopted a law, 
providing that the common law of England, and all gen- 
eral statutes in aid of the common law, prior to the fourth 
year of James I., should be of full force within the terri- 

St. Clair had had this in view from the beginning of his 
administration, but the opinions of the first Judges were 
not in harmony with his own. He believed such legislation 
warranted by one of the articles of compact of the Ordi- 
nance, which provides that the people of theTerritory shall 
always be entitled to judicial proceeding according to the 
course of common law. This statute was subsequently 
recognized as having the same force as any other adopted 
law of the Legislature and the bench.^ But, on the other 
hand, it has been objected, that the Ordinance permitted 
the adoption of laws only from the^ then existing laws of 
the original States, and that this could not warrant the 
adoption of written and unwritten English law, especially 
as the Virginia act, upon which it was based, had been re- 
pealed.^ Again it may be urged in support of the first 
view, if the action of the Governor and Judges was 
in technical violation of that provision of the Ordinance 
regulating the formation of laws, it was in keeping with 
the spirit of the more important compact already refer- 
red to, and with the history of all English colonies 
who made the common law the foundation of free gov- 
ernments. Upon this rock the Americans planted them- 

' Chcaii Preliminary Sketchy p. 26. 

* See case Thompson's Lessee vs. Gibson, 2 0. R. 340. 

» Chaais Statutes of Ohio, Vol. I., p. 190.— Note. 

190 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

selves when resisting the oppressions of George IH.* 
Whatever benefit could be derived trom its obligatory 
recognition in the administration of government and the 
interpretation of laws, was secured to the people of the 
North-west by this action of Governor St. Clair and the 
Judges. If there was wanting the power to legislate, as 
afterwards held by some, this was cured by the failure of 
Congress to disapprove of the law.^ 

The act of Congress which gave to the Territorial Legis- 
lature tliis important authority, also empowered a single 
judge of the general court, in the absence of the others, to 
hold the terms. This was intended to remedy the difficulty 
of securing the attendance of any two Judges at any one 
point in so vast a territory ; but the citizens saw their own 
interests jeoparded by this change. Governor St. Clair 
pointed out the danger to the Judges and to the President. 
In the Eastern part of the Territory lands had been bought, 
generally, either of the Ohio or the Miami Company ; of the 
former Judge Putnam was a director, and of the latter Judge 
Symmes was the sole manager. Both Judges were members 

* •* When the difficulties with the home government sprung up, it 
was a source of immense moral power to the colonists that they were 
able to show that the rights they claimed were conferred by the com- 
mon law, and that the King and Parliament were seeking to deprive 
them of that common birthright of Englishmen." — Cooley <m Constitur 
tioiial lAmitathns, p. 32. 

" These statutes [common law] upon the points which are covered 
by them are the best evidence possible They are the living charters 
of English liberty to the present day ; and as the foreininners of the 
American Constitutions and the source from which have been derived 
many of the most important articles in their bills of rights, they are 
constantly appealed to when personal liberty or private right are 
placed in apparent antagonism to the claims of government." — Ibid. — 

* " The legislation [by territorial bodies with plenary power], of course, 
must not be in contlict with the law of Congress conferring the power 
to legislate, but a variance from it may be supposed approved by that 
body if suffered to remain without disapproval for a series of years 
after being duly reported to it. Clinton r. Englebrecht, 13 Wall. 434, 
446. See Williams r. Bank of Michigan, 7 Wend. 539; ^wan r. Wil- 
liams. 2 Mich. 427 : Stout r. Hyatt, 13 Kan. 232."— Q>o&y on Omstitur 
tional Limitations^ p. 33. Note. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 191 

of the Supreme Court. Every land dispute was liable to be 
trace(f to some transaction in which one or the other of 
them was concerned, and in the hearing they would sit in 
judgment. But the danger was increased by giving to a 
single judge the power of a full bench. Though never so 
upright, yet judgment was liable to be affected insensibly 
by the bias of interest.^ 

The same vigilance for the protection of the rights of the 
people is observable in the remarks of Governor St. Clair 
on the motion of Judge Symmes to extend the jurisdiction 
of a single magistrate in the trial of small causes, not in- 
volving over twenty dollars. He pointed out the hardship 
to the debtor resulting from summary proceedings ; the in- 
crease of litigation through convenience of small courts, and 
the injury to society as a consequence. ** These evils," said 
he, " have all proceeded from extending the jurisdiction of 
single magistrates; and the mischievous influence of it acts 
with so much regularity, that, knowing the character of a 
people as litigious or otherwise, you may tell with certainty 
what is the spirit of their laws ; and, contrariwise, know- 
ing the nature of their laws, you may with absolute cer- 
tainty infer the character of the people." "Although " 
added he, " the administration of justice should certainly be 
so cheap as that every man may be within the reach of right, 
it should also be so dear, particularly at the first step, as 
that every body may be deterred from entering into law- 
suits wantonly, or to gratify a revengeful disposition." 

I have thus referred briefly to the more important part of 
the work of St. Clair in laying the foundation of the five 
republican states which hold to-day such an important place 
in the Union, for the purpose ot calling attention to the 
ability, versatility, and noble principles of the man. To re- 
count in detail his labors in administering the government 
from 1790 tol802, is not within the scope of this memoir. 
It certainly was not smooth sailing at any time, but there 
was a period when his efforts were embarrassed in the most 
exasperating way by subordinates in the War and State De- 

^St. Clair in letter to Secretary of State, December 14, 1794. 

192 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

partments. In the former, Hodgdon, the Quartermasterr 
General, who had been largely responsible for the results of 
the Indian campaign of 1791, seemed to have a controlling in- 
fluence ; and after Mr. Jefferson left the State Department, 
that baleful influence was mysteriously extended. But for 
his regard for General Washington, St. Clair would have 
sent in his resignation. He finally stated the facts to the 
President in a private letter, and there was a speedy inter- 
ference for his relief from headquarters, and it was so im- 
perative that during the remainder of Washington's admin- 
istration and the administration of Adams, he was treated 
with the respect to which he was entitled. 

The unfortunate French who had been led to seek for a 
new paradise on the banks of the Ohio; the destitute in- 
habitants of the ancient posts on the Wabash and Missis- 
sippi, and the settlements of the Revolutionary soldiers, 
caused St. Clair the greatest anxiety, and required efforts 
for their relief and protection that were almost superhuman. 
He made repeated journeys from one part of the Territory 
to another, sleeping upon the ground or in an open boat, 
and living upon coarse and uncertain fare. At one time he 
traveled in this manner a distance of five thousand miles, 
without the means of protection against inclement weather, 
and without rest. These hardships proved a severe strain 
upon his constitution, and attacks of the gout were more 
frequent than formerly. In the winter of 1794-95, he was 
prostrated with a fever which brought him within view of 
the silent land. And yet the exigencies of his oflice did 
not permit him to omit any personal attentions. 

After the treaty of Greenville, the tide of emigration was 
to the North-west. New settlements appeared upon the 
Muskingum, the Scioto, on tlie Miami even as far up as 
the Mad River, on the Wabash, on the Illinois, and the Mis- 
sissippi. In the north-eastern part of the territory a new 
light appeared. The 4th of July, 1796, was celebrated on 
Conncaut (Conneaught) Creek, in New Connecticut land, by 
General Moses Cleveland and companions, who had come 
from the rugged liills of Old Connecticut to survey that 
part of her Western Reserve lying cast of Cuyahoga River. 

Life and Public Sercices of Arthur St. Clair. 193 

They were tlie first English-speaking people to take posses- 
sion.* Connecticut had, with characteristic [nudence, when 
the cessions of hinds were being made by tlie States, reserved 
to herself a large section west of Pennsylvania. The west- 
ern part of this, to the extent of half a million of acres, 
was granted to those of her citizens who had suffered by 
depredations of the British during thelievolutionary War, 
and the remainder, supposed to contain about three million 
acres, w\is sold. General Cleveland ni»peared as the general 
agent of the Connecticut Land Company, and conducted 
his operations from the east bank of the Cuyahosra, near 
Lake Erie.' The purchase of General Samuel IL Parsons, 
near the Mahoning River, known as the *'Salt Spring Tract," 
made in 1788, also attracted the attention of the settlers. 
This progress of civilization required the extention of the 
Government, and new counties were erected as rapidly as 
consistent with the public welfare. 

In 1795, Governor St. Clair issued a proclamation for di- 
viding St. Clair county, which was too large for the trans- 
action of public business. The part lying south of a line 
running from the Mississippi through New Design due east 
to the Wabash was designated as the county of Randolph — 
a graceful compliment to the distinguished statesman of 
Virginia, who had given the weight of his support to 
the Federal Constitution at an imp«»rtant crisis, and who 
was a member of Washington's cabinet. 

Upon the surrender of the [losts on the lakes by the Brit- 
ish, the Detroit country was set apiirt as the county of 
Wayne — being appropriately named after the victorious 
general who had won peace from the Indians, and forever 
extinguished the hopes of the British commanders of a new 
confederacy which should embrace Canada and the North- 
west. Adams, Jefferson, and Ross were soon after formed in 
the same manner, the first and third embracing all of theSci- 

' Whilltesey'a Ear It/ History of Cleveland, p. 181. 

'The Connecticut Company controlled the soil of the Western Re- 
serve until 1809. See WhiUksejf, p. 108. The work in an interesting and 
important contribution to the history of the North-west. 


194 Life and Public Services of Arthur Si. Clair. 

oto country, in which great numbers of settlers were locating 
lands, and the second the section between Pennsvivania and 
a line extending from the mouth of the Cuyalioga to the 
Muskingum. It will be observed that Governor St. Clair, 
in making choice of names and recognizing eminent char- 
acters, was equally happy in exhibiting a spirit of magna- 
nimity and paying a tribute to friendship. 

At last, St. Chiir was moved to undertake a land enter- 
prise, and, in 1795, in company with Senator Jonathan 
Dayton and Israel Ludlow, of New Jersey, and General 
James Wilkinson, contmcted witli Jolin Cleves Svmmes 
for the purchase and settlement of the seventh and eighth 
ranfifos. between Mad River and the Little Miami. The 
survey was completed after much trouble, and on the 4th of 
November Israel Ludlow laid out a town, which was called 
Dayton, from the name of one of the proprietors. Judge 
Svmmes being unable to complete his payments and make 
title to what he had sold, the land reverted to the Gov- 
ernment, and St. Clair did not profit by his undertaking. 
Daniel C. Cooper, who had assisted in making the survey, 
partly by the acquisition of pre emption rights, and partly 
by agreement with the settlers, became the titular proprie- 
tor of the town.* 

Tlie act which permitted the holding of the Supreme 
Court by a single judge was productive of many unpleas- 
ant complications, which taxed the address and pntience of 
the Governor sorely to adjust. Congress had made no pro- 
vision for the payment of the expenses of the officers and 
to carry out the provisions of the Ordinance for the estab- 
lishment of the government over so vast a territory, and 
the instructions of the President for the relief of the French 
inhabitants, would consume, in traveling expenses alone. 

* Cunr.ns >>k<frh, p. 11. Ninetoon fnmilios removed from Cincinnati 
and fornu'd llic settlement of Dayton. Among these settlers wore 
Benjamin and William Van Clove, and the three brothers McClure, 
James, Jolm, and Thomas. 

Tlie failure of Svmmes and the transfer to Cooper led to a good de;.I 
of litigation, in which Dayton, Ludlow, St. Clair, and Cooper were par- 

Life and Public Services of St. Clair. 195 

their salaries. The first Judges declined to go with tiie 
Governor and Secretary to the Far West, and St. Clair was 
never able to secure at any point beyond Cincinnati a full 
court. He met the emergency well and prudently, but the 
responsibility was irksome, and it required a sacrifice of 
time and strength he should never have been called on 
to make at his time of life. 

Judge Turner, who was arrogant and dictatorial in the 
extreme, succeeded, both at Post Vincennes and Kaskaskia, 
in putting every bo«ly by the ears, and necessitated the active 
interference of the Governor to quiet the storm. lie pur- 
posed having Henry Vanderburg, judge of probate and 
justice, impeached for some informality in the administra- 
tion of office; and in the Mississippi country he removed 
William St. Clair, clerk of the court of St. Clair county, 
for presuming to keep the records of the court at Cahokia 
instead of Kaskaskia. The Governor, in order to accom- 
inodate the inhabitants, had provided that the courts should 
be held at stated periods, at three different places, and the 
clerk of the court, in the same spirit, kept the books of 
record at Cahokia, where they were accessible to the great- 
est number of land-owners. But Judire Turner, without 
authority, directed that Kaskaskia should be the only county- 
seat, and, without waiting for an explanation, in the most ar- 
bitrary manner, commanded the clerk to produce the books, 
within twelve hours, at that place. He also, without au- 
thority, appointed a Mr. Jones assistant clerk, and placed 
tiie books in his possession. The Governor required Wil- 
liam St. Clair to assert his rights, and rebuked Judge 
Turner for his high-handed proceedings. Subsequently, 
the inhabitants of the Mississippi country preferred charges 
of oppression and corrui)tion against the Judge, to the Sec- 
retary of State, which, in due course, were referred to Con- 
gress for proceedinii^s in impcjichment. The committee, to 
whom the matter was referred, reported that, on account of 
distance and difficulty in commanding the attendance of 
witnesses, it would he better to have the investigation con- 
ducted within the Territory. Accordingly, the papers were 

196 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

sent to Governor St. Clair, with iiKstructions to make in- 
quiry, and report.* 

Anotlier enibarrnssment arose in tlie Governor's inability 
to find a competent lawyer to accept of tiie office ot" At- 
tornev-General for the Territory. The remuneration was 
so precarious no fit person practicing before the courts 
could be induced to undertake it. There was necessity for 
such an officer, and, in the emergency, the Governor, in 
1796, preyailcd on Ijis son, Arthur St. Clair, Jr., a promis- 
iiig y<^ung attorney at Pittsburgh, to remove to Cincinnati 
and take tlie office. This was an unfortunate step, as it 
was at great personal sacrifice on the part of the son, and 
subjected the Goyernor to unjust criticism, some years 
later, when party passions were aroused in an effort to ob- 
tain political control. Young St. Clair directly gained a 
a position of prominence and influence in the Territory, 
due entirely to sujierior abilities and an agreeable address. 
In contemporary correspondence and publications he is re- 
ferred to in terms of respect. 

A subject, which attracted some attention during these 
formatiye years, was tlie extending of excise duties on 
spirituous liquors of domestic production to the Territories 
as a part of the United States. Persons selling foreign 
liquors were required to take out a license. This was ex- 
tending the revenue system to the Territories, and was 
taxation without representation. It met with little other 
opjiosition than harmless criticism, but tliere ^vere not 
\vanting eyasions. The Attorney-General supplied the 
Secretary of the Treasury with an opinion that the Fourth 
Article of Comjiact of the Ordinance extended all of the 
acts of Con2:ress to the Territory. St. Clair, in a letter to 
Oliver Wolcott, controyerted this view. He took the 
ground that the Fourth Article was intended to apply to 
the States that should he formed out of the Territory 
%yhen admitted into the Union on an equality with the 

^Ainoriciin State Papers. Annals of Congress. 

Ju<lg<» Turner himself went to Philadelpliia and asked to be heard, 
but liis petition was laid on the table. The matter was referred back 
to the Territory, but was never heard from again. 

Life an J Public Scrcices of Arthur St. Clair. 197 

origiual States, and not while in a territorial condition ; 
that, if intended otherwise, the people would have been 
given a representation, a participation in the benetits of the 
general government, and that the judicial powers of the 
government would have been extended over the Territory. 

The attempt in the Congress of 1792-93 to extend tlie law 
imposing a duty on s|»irits distilled within the United. 
Slates to the Territory North-west of the river Ohio, failed, 
notwithstanding it was earnestly pressed by the adminis- 
tration.* In 1794, an act was pass- d authorizing the Presi- 
dent to erect revenue districts and appoint collectors 
therefor "in the Territories Korth-west and South of the 
river Ohio," in order to facilitate and secure the collection 
of revenue on distilled spirits and stills. It extended the 
jurisdiction of the ^'judicial courts" of the Territories to 
all cases originating under the act.^ 

For several years after the passage of the Ordinance, the 
country lying west of the Alleghany range had an uncertain 
status. The three leading Euroi>ean powers re^rarded it by 
no means desirable or essential that it should become a 
part of the Kepublic, and th'»y intrigued to prevent that 
consummation. We have seen how the British retained the 
posts, and encouraged Brant in his efforts to form an In- 
dian confederacy whose eastern limits should be the Ohio; 
and how, growing bolder, Mr. John Connolly was dis- 
patched by the Canadian authorities to Kentucky to per- 
suade the people that they were being sacrificed by the 
people of the East, and that their darling object — the free 
navigation of the Mississippi — could be best secured 
through an alliance with His Britannic Majesty. Mr. Con- 
nolly's visit was well timed — as he supposed. It chanced 
that the inhabitants south of the Ohio, in the exercise of 
that freedom believed to be a part of the inalienable rights 
of American citizens, fancying their interests w^ere being 
neglected by the general government, talked a great deal 
and threatened dire consequences if something were not 

' Marshall s Life of Washington, Vol. V., p. 379. 
' A itn lis of Congress. 

198 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

immediately done to secure unrestricted commerce on the 
inhind waters. Mr. Connolly found out how much im- 
portance should be attached to such popular gasconade, for 
directly lie hinted the. nature of his mission, he was invited 
to leave for Canada by the shortest route. 

But Spain attempted a bolder stroke. That government 
formed the design of detaching the Western settlements 
from tlie Union, and erecting them into an independent 
state, under tlie protection of the Spanish King. The in- 
ducement lield out was the free navigation of the Missis- 
sippi. To promote the scheme several influential citizens 
of Kentucky were pensioned, and settlements on the banks 
of the Misaissi[ipi were promoted by donations of land. 
The corres| ondcnce of the day shows that many Americans 
were attracted by these advantageous offers, and the occu- 
pation of the land north of the Ohio was greatly retarded 
tliereby. But the emigrants did not take kindly to Span- 
ish domination, and uuiuy of them removed to the North- 
western Territory or to Kentnckv. The settlement at New 
Madrid, which was, perhaps, the most prominent, was 
abandoned early. 

This Spanish intrigue is traced to the year 1787, wMien 
the Kentuckians became greatly alarmed at a report that 
Mr. Jay had ]>roposed to concede the exclusive CMUitrol of 
the Mississipi»i to Spain for a series of years. A delegate 
meeting was called for the following year. It was held as 
advertised, and an address to Congress issued in which the 
natural right of the people to navigate the Mississippi was 
asserted, and a demand made for tie forcible protection of 
that right, if necessary. Prior to this, in February, 17"8, 
Kentucky had petitioned for admission into the Union and 
had been refused. It was while the people were thus ex- 
cited that the suggestion was insidiously made for them to 
act in(le[»endently, and receive from Spain the privilege of 
conducting an unrestricted comnu'rce down the rivers to the 
Gulf. Hon. John Brown, a member of the old Continental 
Congress, had been selected to present this petition, and on 
making a report of his failure to the convention above 
referred to, sitting at Danville, he did not speak confidently 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 199 

of the future prospects of Kentucky. In a letter to Judge 
Muter, he said he did not think that the Eastern States 
would ever assent to the admission ot Kentucky the 
Union as an independent State, unless Vermont or Maine 
were brought forward at the same time; that there was a 
jealousy of the ghowing importance of the West; and that 
it was generally expected that the district would declare its 
independence, and proceed to frame a constitution of gov- 
ernment, lie then added : **This step will, in my opinion, 
tend to preserve unanimity, and will enable you to a<lopt, 
with effect, such measures as may be necessary to promote 
the interest of the district. In private conversation with 
Mr. Gardoqui, the Spanish minister at this place [New 
York], I have been assured by him in the most explicit 
terms, that if Kentucky will declare her independence, and 
empower some person to negotiate with him, that he has 
authority, and will engage to open the navigation of the 
Mississippi for the exportation of their produce, on terms 
of mutual advantage. But that this privik^ge can never be 
extended to them while part of the United States, by reason 
of commercial treaties existing between that court and 
other powers of Europe." ^ 

There was strong temptation in this. The Union was 
little more than a rope of sand. What could it do for a 
people isolated as were those of the West ? If independent, 
what could tliey not do for tliemselves? Tlie situation was 
afterwards graphically described by General Wilkinson: 
" The people of the West were open to savage depredations ; 
exposed to the jealousies of the Spanish government; un- 
protected by that of the old confoderaticm ; and denied the 
free navigation of the Mississippi, the only practicable 
channel by which the products of their labor could find a 
market."^ Thus situated, there was a free expression of 
opinion at the Danville meeting not at all inconsistent with 
their attachment to a republican government, but which 
has, since the blessings of the Union became fully realized, 

' See Butler's History of Kcntuchf, p. 172. American State Papers. 
' WilkinsorCa Address^ Memoirs^ Vol. II., P- ^19- 

200 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

been magnified into something more serious, for partisan 
designs. The purpose of the Spanish government is clear 
enough, but it is quite as certain that only a very few 
Americans sympathised with that purpose. 

It would seem that the communication thus opened im- 
proved the business interests of the Kentuckians. One of 
the first persons to attempt a mercantile venture at this 
time was General James Wilkinson. He shipped a cargo 
of tobacco to New Orleans, and by his address secured a 
contract with the Spanish Governor for a regular supply, 
not only of this product, but of flour and bacon, the gov- 
ernment to be the purchaser of all he might send. 

Wilkinson had settled in Kentucky after the close of the 
Revolutionary War, and established himself as a merchant. 
His agreeable manners and superior talents placed him in 
the front as a leader in all public afltairs. " Was an address 
to be written, which should pour forth the feelings of Ken- 
tucky, a debate to be opened on her vital interests, Wilkin- 
son was equally the author of the one and the speaker of 
the other. So varied, rich, and polished were the powers 
and acquirements of this singularly versatile person, that 
whether in the field of Saratoga, the cabinet of Governor 
Miro, or in the conventions of the backwoodsmen of Ken- 
tucky, he drew all eyes upon him, and was looked up to 
as a leader and chief." ^ 

Wilkinson's mercantile expedition was a fortunate one for 
Kentuckv. ** Previous to that time all those who ventured 
on the Mississipj)! had their property seized by the first 
commanding oflScer whom they met, and little or no coui- 
municaiion was kept up between the countries."* The 
military reputation of Wilkinson carried his projierty be- 
yond the petty ofticers to Xevv Orleans, where, although at 
first Fcized by the Intendant, it wjis permitted to be sold 
without j>ayment of duty. Wilkinson had followed his 
property clovsely, ami he so played upon the fears of (tov- 
ernor Miro, that advantas^eous terms of trade were ac- 

^ B'i//t',\s fl'sforj/ of Kentucky, p. \1'). 

'Clark's relation to T. Pickoring. WUkinaon s Memoirs^ Appendix 2. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 201 

corde'l. "This changed the face of things, and was pro- 
ductive of a new line of conduct on the part of the Span- 
iards." ^ 

But this success came near wrecking Wilkinson's future 
prospects. lie was accused of being a party to the Spanish 
intrigue for a separation of Kentucky from the Union; but 
no distinct proof in support of tlie charge was ever ad- 
duced,^ and we may fairly conclude that the accusation had 
its origin in jealousy and party policy. When the at- 
tempts of the Spaniards were renewed later, Wilkinson 
was in command of the United States forces in the North- 
western Ti'rritory, and although he received communica- 
tions from below, his conduct was strictly in the interest 
of the government. 

In 1793, Citizen Genet, besides other extraordinary 
things, attempted to enlist an army in the Western country 
forthe invasion of Louisiana, and, which is not the least 
remarkable of the events of this period, he obtained the 
consent of George Rogers Clark to command the expedi- 
tion as "a Mujor-General in the Armies of France, and 
Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Legions on the 
\lississippi." The French Government not doubting that 
the American Republic would make common cause with 
France, provided Genet with blank commissions, which 
were to be filled tip for those officers who would join the 
army. The President had issued a proclamation of neu- 
trality, but nothing daunted. Citizen Genet addressed him- 
self directly to the real sovereigns of America, lie met 
with hearty sympathy from a small number of prominent 
politicians, including Mr. Jefferson, Governor Mifflin and 
Chief Justice McKean,^of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia 
a ''Democratic Society" in imitation of the famous clubs 
of Paris, was formed. Fresh from this source of inspira- 

^ Clark's account, American State Papers. 

^Ilildreth, Vol IV., p. 135. 

Also see Mavn Butlrs J/i.ston/ of Kentucky for a fair and honorable 
presentation of the facts. The savage attack of Marshall, in his history, 
on Wilkinson and others, can only be explained on the ground that 
partyism is unreasoning and unfair. 

202 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

tion, the zealous agents of Genet repaired to the Western 
country to spread the true democracy. A society was organ- 
ized in Lexington, and Kentucky was soon filled with 
enthusiasm for the Frencli cause. 

J^resident Wasliington early advised Governors St. Clair 
and Shelby of the projected movement, and communicated 
to them the names of the agents^ dispatched from Phila- 
delphia by the French Minister to put his plans into execu- 
tion. These men found no such sympathy north as south 
of the Ohio. Governor St. Chiir promi»tly issued a pro- 
clamation, informing the citizens of the contemplated 
invasion of the Spanish territory, and warning them of the 
dangerous con.<equences of participating in it. Goven.or 
Slulby tot)k no public recognition of the communication 
of the President, and when advised by Governor St. Clair 
of the movements of General Clark and the French agents, 
did not attempt to interfere. To Mr. Jefterson, Secretary of 
State, he expressed this sympathetic opinion: "I have 
great doubts even if tliey attempt to carry this plan into 
execution, provided they manage their business with pru- 
dence, whether there is any legal authority to restrain or 

to punish them; at least before they have actually accom- 
plished it.'' ^ 

In the same paper in which was published Governor St. 
Clair's proclamation, appeared the call of General Clark 
for recruits, but the latter was careful to keep beyond tlie 
official reach of the Governor. Quite a number of venture- 
some ch:iracters crossed over the river and joined the 
French army, which, however, was destined never to draw 

* Cliarles Delpeiiu, Matiirin, La Cliaiso, ami Oigiioux. It surprised 
Citizen (ienet thac it should bo considennUan ollt' for tlieso men to 
engage Anieriean citizens in a war against another power with which 
the Unite<l States were at peace; or for Americans to enlist in thrt 
armies of France. " Do not," said he to .Jefferson, "punish the bravo 
individuals of your nation, who arrange themselves under our banner, 
knowing j)erfectly well that no law of the United Stati's gives to the 
Government the pad i)ower of arresting their zeal by acts of rigor. 
The Americans ar«» free; they are not attached to the glebe like the 
slaves of Ku.-sia; they may change their situation when they please.'* 

^American State Pttpcrs, 

Life and Public ISeroiccs of Arlhur Hi, Clair. 203 

Spanish blood. In tlie following year the President issued 
a proclamation, warning the officers of their peril in enlist- 
ing men to make war on a nation with which the United 
States were at peace ; and soon after instructed General 
Wayne to send " a detachment to take post at Fort Massac; 
and to erect a strong redoubt, and block-house, with some 
suitable cannon from Fort Washington/' Major Thomas 
Doyle was intrusted with the execution of the order, which 
was carried into effect in the spring. Congress passed an 
act covering violations of neutrality, and, discouraged by 
such obstacles, Genet abandoned the projected invasion of 
Spanish territory. 

Thus, unforeseen events prevented two thousand brave 
Kentuckians, in the language of Monsieur La Chaise, from 
taking from the despotic usurping Spaniards by force, under 
the flag of the French republic, the empire of the Mis- 
sissippi, breaking the chains of the Americans and their 
bretaren, the French, and laying "the foundation of the 
prosperity and hapi>ines8 of two nations, destined by nature 
to be but one, the most happy in the universe." 

Out of this attempt of the French minister to violate the 
neutrality of the United States, grew the most violent party 
divisions. There had been a strong Gallican spirit mani- 
fested in opposition to a treaty with Great Britian, but it 
broke out now wnth redoubled fury. This feeling extended 
to the AVest. On the 24th of May, 1794, a numerously- 
attended meeting at Lexington adopted resolutions, ** ex- 
pressive of unqualified censure upon the administration of 
Washington, mixing all the difficulties and perplexities at- 
tending the Iiidiiin war, British outrages, and S( anish pro- 
crastination, in one mass of condemnation.^ " Although the 
people of the Xorth-west were closely associated with those 
of Kentucky in many w^iys, yet the prevailing sentiment 
was iu 8U[)port of the administration. The feeling of oppo- 
sition was intensitied by the course of Great Britain in sub- 
jecting American vessels to search. When, however, an 
understanding was reached with that Government, France 

^ Butlef'6 History of KentuLcky^ p. 234. 

204 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

cliarged the United States with a breach of friendship, 
an abandonment of neutrality, and a violation of engage- 
ments, and, thereupon, concluded an alliance, offensive and 
defensive, with Spain. 

Out of tins grew new trouble for the West. At the in- 
stance of France, Spain complained to the American Gov- 
ernment tliat the British treaty had sacrificed her interests 
as we-1 as those of France, and made this a ground for de- 
laying the running of a boundary line and the delivery of 
the i»osts on the Mississippi, as stipulated in the treaty of 
1795. In July of that very year, Thomas Power, an agent 
of Governor Carondelet, delivered a letter to Judge Benja- 
min Sebastian, of Kentucky, wliich contained the inform- 
ation that the King of Spain was "willing to open the 
navigation of the Mississippi to the Western country, and 
desirous to establish certain regulations, reciprocally bene- 
ficial to the commerce of both countries," and an invitation 
to appoint agents to conduct negotiations at New Madrid. 
Subsequently, Judge Sebastian met the Si)ani8h commis- 
sioner, as agreed upon, but before the business was conclu- 
ded, word was received from Havana that a treaty liad been 
signed, which put an end to the business. Tliis, however, 
did not end the Spanish intrigue, which was rene\ved after 
the alliance with France. 

Early in 1797, there was great activity noticed among the 
Spaniards at their upper posts on the Mississippi, which 
Governor St. Clair reported to the Secretary of AVar. The 
Indians were being tampered with, and inducements held 
out for them to desert the Americans and join the interests 
of Spain. In June, Thomas Power again appeared on the 
scene as a bearer of a letter from Governor Carondelet to 
General Wilkinson, who was found at Detroit. This letter 
asked the General to delay the march of the American 
troops for the posts on the Mississippi until the adjustnwwit 
of certain questions which were then pending between the 
governments of the United States and Spain. General 
Wilkinson declined to comply, and sent Power back to 
New Madrid in care of Captain Shanmburgh. The emissary 
said in a letter to Don Manuel Gayoso, Spanish Governor 

IJfc and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 205 

at Natchez, that Wilkinson declared that the project was 
chimerical ; that tlie inhabitants of the Western Statics hav- 
ing obtained all they desired, would nnt wish to form any 
other political or commercial alliances; and that they had 
no motive for separating themselves from the interests of 
the other States of the Union, even if Franco and Spain 
should make them the most advantageous oflcrs." 

S[)ain professing to fear that Great Britain would semi an 
expedition from Canada tlirough the Xorth-we«itern Terri- 
tory against the province of Louisiana, Pre^iident Adams, 
February 4, 1798, instructed General Wilkinson to employ 
the force under him to oppose the British or other foreign 
nation "who should presume to attempt a violation of the 
"territory of the United States, by an expedition through it 
against their enemies." All pretexts for delay being ex- 
"lausted, Spain now reluctantly carried out the provisions 
of the treaty, and on the 5th of October, 1798, General 
^Wilkinson established his headquarters at Loftus' Heights, 
^)n the left bank of the Mississipj)i, six miles north of the 
thirty-first degree of north latitude. Here he erected Fort 
—Adams, which com[>letely commanded the Mississippi. 
"Thus the free navigation of that nnghty stream was se- 
<2ured to tlie people of the Nortii-west, and the first step 
'taken towar^ls its complete possession. 

The further remark may be made in this connection, that, 
t:hrough these events and the retaliatory measures adopted 
l>y the American Government, party divisions were estab- 
lished in the North-western Territory, and political discus- 
sions became as violent and party methods as objectionable 
mi in the more populous East. We shall see to what extent 
they were carried, and shall have abundant leisure to mor- 
lUize on the uncertainty of political ties. Meanwhile the 
•Tl'erritory was strongly for the administration. 

The question of slavery proved to be one of great em- 
barrassment in the admin'stration of the Government. The 
Sixth Article was reijarded as a menace by the ancient in- 
habitants at Post Yincenncs, as well as in the Illinois 
country, and quite a number, as has been seen, removed to 
the Spanish territory wMth their slaves. Those that re- 

206 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

niained behind presented a statement of tlic situation to 
Governor St. Glair, and asked his opinion. 

The Governor declared it to be his opinion that the Sixth 
Article of the Ordinance was not retroactive ; that it was " a 
declaration of a principle which was to govern the legisla- 
ture in all acts reRi»ecting that matter, and the courts of 
justice in their decisions in cases arising after the date of 
the Ordinance." Retroactive laws were repugnant to free 
governments, and in most of the United States were for- 
bidden. If Congress had intended the immediate abolition 
of slavery, conij)ensatioh would have been made to the 
owners; but "they had the right to determine that prop- 
erty of that kind afterwards acquired should not be pro- 
tected in future, and that slaves imported into the Territory 
after that declaration miijht reclaim their freedom." 

This opinion was accepted as the true interpretation of 
the Ordinance in the different stages of government. 

To many of the present day this may savor of extreme 
conservatism, and seem to disre2:ard that hi2:her law which 
refuses to recognize property rights in human beings. But 
an official charged with a trust, must execute it according 
to the letter and in the spirit of the law. This is whjit 
St. Clair did in the case of coniplications arising under the 
Sixth Article of compact. When the time came for chang- 
ing the form of government for the eastern part of the Ter- 
ritory, he became the leader of the opposition to the move- 
ment to secure a suspension of the Sixth Article, and its 
defeat was largely due to his eloquent protests in public 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 207 


179S-1802 — Advakcemext of WixTnROPiS.\RGi-XT— William TTexrt TTarri- 
Box appointed Secretary — New Stacik ix the Territorial Govern- 
ment — Popular Election op Leg.slatuue— Arsolute Veto op the 
Governor — Uiqiit to Erect New Counties in Dlspute — Popllarityop 
St. Clair — His Efforts to Preserve the Rights of the People — 
The Common Law — Important Services op Jacob Burnet — Influ- 
ence of the Gkeat Land Holders — Attempts to Introduce Slav- 
ery — Kentucky Claims Jurlsdiction over Ohio River — Address to 
President Adams— Division of the Territory — Harrison Governor 
OK Indiana Territory — The Virginia Colony in the Scioto Valley 
— Political Schemes — Antagonism to Governor St. Clair — His 
Ability as a Leader and Strength with his Party — Intrigue to Se- 
cure his Removal Defeated — Reappointed Governor by President 
Adams — Movement for a State Government — Counter Movement — 
Bitterness op Poutical Divisions^-Colonel Wortuington in Wash- 
ington — Triumfh of the State Party — Attkmpt to Secure the 
Removal of St. Clair through Jefferson, and its Failure — Con- 
vention to Form a State Constitution — of (ioVERxoR St. 
Clair AND its Consequences — True History of the Intrigues against 
Him AND His Removal. 

In 1798, Winthrop Sargent, having been appointed Gov- 
ernor of the new territory of Mississippi, resigned the 
office of Secretary, and was succeeded by William Henry 
Harrison. The loss of his Secretary w«s keenly felt by 
Governor St. Clair. Although tlioy differed widely in 
temperament and character — the one biding ostentatious, 
reserved, and formal : the other, " plain and simple in his 
dress; open and frank in his manners; nnd accessible to 
persons of every rank''^ — yet they liad been friends on 
the tented field and in civil life, and Sargent, admiring the 
talents and courage of his chief, had jilways been faithful 
to his interests. On the other hand, St. Clair stood loyally 
by his friend, although sometimes he felt severely his want 
of tact and prudence. Between the Governor and the new 
Secretary there were no such ties — no bond of sympathy. 

^ Burners NoUs, p. 375. 

208 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Tliey belonged to opposite schools. The one was growing 
gray; was acenstomed to deference from others ; and hehl 
tenaciously to the political opinions formed amid tlie surg- 
ing elements of revolution in the camp of Washington. 
The other, young and ambitious, was ready to sympathize 
with any movement that had for its object the changing of 
the old for a new order of things. Hence, it soon came to 
pass that the Secretary formed plans about which he did 
not consult tlie Governor. 

It having been ascertained that the Territory contained a 
population of five thousand white male inhabitants, and 
was therefore entitled, under the provisions of the Or- 
dinance, to a change in the form of government. Governor 
St. Clair took the necessary action to eiTect it. He issued 
a proclamation calling on the legal voters to elect Repre- 
sentatives to a General Assembly, and designating Cincin- 
nati as the place of meeting. Under tlie Ordinance, only 
freeholders, in fee-simj le, of fifty acres within the Territory, 
had the right to vote ; and their selection of Representatives 
was restricted to freeholders of two hundred acres. The 
Representatives convened at the appointed place on the 4th 
of February, 1799. Their duty at this meeting w^as the 
selection of ten freeholders of five hundred acre?, to be re- 
turned by the Governor to the President of the United 
States, from whom were to be appointed, in th(5 manner 
prescribed in other cases, five persons to constitute a legis- 
lative council. After this form was complied with, the 
Representatives adjourned to meet at Cincinnati on the 
IGth of September, and the G(»vernor transmitted the ten 
names to the Pri'sident, who in duo time appointed and 
commissioned the five to be members of the Council. 

By this chani]^e the authority of the Governor was 
strengthened, lie retained his general executive control, 
the right to make appointments of subordinate oflicers, 
and had an absolute negative on all legislative acts; while 
before he rightly claimed that the Governor must be one of 
the majority adopting laws, yet as that view was contro- 
verted by the Judges, he acquiesced in legislation that did 
not meet his approval. But under the new form of gov- 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 209 

ernment the Ordinance clothed him with an absolute 

On the day appointed there was not a quorum present, 
and it was not until the 24th of September that the two 
houses were organized and ready to proceed to business. 
On the following day Governor St. Clair met them in the 
Representatives* Chamber, "and in a very eloquent ad- 
dress^" referred to the change in the form of government, 
and the subjects which would claim their attention. His 
opening words captured all hearts: "It is with much 
pleasure," said he, "that I meet you now in Qeneral As- 
sembly, an event that has been looked forward to by the 
people with some anxiety, and not without Reason, having 
been hitherto governed by laws adopted or made by per- 
sons in whose appointment they had no participation, and 
over whom they had no control ; the wish to be withdrawn 
from under that authority, and that the'laws which were 
to direct their conduct and protect their property should be 
made by their own representatives, was very natural, and 
I congratulate them and you, gentlemen, that you are now 
met for that purpose." Nevertheless, he expressed his con- 
viction that the system which had been superseded was 
** full of wisdom and benignity," and adapted to the origi- 
nal circumstances of the Territory. 

He therf proceeded to lay before them a full description 
of the condition of the Territory, and " recommended to 
their attention such measures as he believed were proper to 
advance the prosperity and happiness of the people." He 
pointed out the defects of the system of laws that had been 
adopted, and advised legislative action for their amendment 
or confirmation. The necessity for meeting any expense 
incident to the change, called for the early enactment of 
revenue laws ; an efficient military law was essential to the 
order and protection of the people ; and as " the benefits 
that result from early education and due instruction in the 
principles of religion are of immense value to every coun- 
try," he urged that action be taken to make available the 

* Burners Notes, p. 300. 


lliO Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

generous provisions for them set apart by Congress, whicli, 
he said, "might be done through trustees empowered by 
Congress to dispose of the lands." In the same spirit, he 
called attention to the importance of restraining the traflSc 
in intoxicating liquors; of prohibiting usury; of carrying 
out that provision of the Ordinance requiring the Legisla- 
ture to pass laws founded in justice and humanity for pro- 
tecting the Indians in their property, rights, and liberty ^and 
for preventing wrongs being done to them; and providing 
for the local administration of the laws. A delegate to 
Congress should also bo chosen. lie introduced his fa- 
vorite topic of the common law in the following words: 

"The statute laws of England that were in force in the 
American colonies of a later date than the fourth year of 
King James I. have not been adopted here, whereby the 
people are deprived of many excellent regulations in use 
in the United States, and praticularly of the celebrated Writ 
of Habeas Corpus^ which was not brought into practice 
until the reign of Charles II., and is justly considered as 
the best security against illegal and oppressive imprison- 
ings that was ever invented. It may be proper that all of 
them, down to the time of the Revolution, which are not 
inconsistent with the principles then embraced, should be 
clcclared to be laws in the Territory." 

He concluded in the following language, which rises to 
the importance of the theme, and has seldom been excelled 
in state papers : "The providing for and the regulating the 
lives and morals of the present and of the rising generation, 
for the repression of vice and immorality, and for the pro- 
tection of virtue and innocence, for the security of property 
and the punishment of crimes, is a sublime employment. 
Every aid in my power will be afforded, and I hope we shall 
bear in mind that the character and deportment of the peo- 
ple and their happiness, both here and hereafter, depend 
very nnich upon the genius and spirit of their laws.'* 

The General Assembly cordially responded to this ad- 
dress, and transacted the business of the session in the 
same spirit. The views of the Governor were fully carried 
out, as the legislation of the session shows. How this wub 

Life and Public Services of Arthur JSt. Clair, 211 

done, deserves to be more fully related. It is au interest- 
ing fact (and mentioned here because we are describing the 
beginning of government in the North-west), that, although 
the General Assembly was composed of men of ability, 
8ome of whom had been well, if not thoroughly educated, 
yet the work of framing the most important of the laws 
devolved almost entirely on Jacob Burnet, a member of the 
Council. Mr. Burnet was of Scotch descent, a native of 
New Jersey, and a graduate of Princeton College. He 
was thoroughly read in the law, and had acquired a large 
practice in the Territory. He possessed a judicial mind, 
and expressed himself with perspicuity. Now, after nearly 
a century has elapsed, and the work is passed in review, it 
must be regarded as a happy circumstance that Jacob Bur- 
net was a member of that first Legislature. 

Not only were laws passed on the important subjects 
mentioned by the Governor and the territorial code of the 
first stage confirmed, but a deficiency — provisions for the 
partition of real estate ; assignment of dower ; relief of insol- 
vent debtors; settlement of disputes by arbitration ; divorce 
and alimony ; equitable set-off*, and execution of real con- 
tracts — was supplied.^ Two notable memorials were re- 
ceived and acted on during this session : One from the 
French inhabitants of the Wabash and Mississippi, setting 
forth the difliculties growing out of the early custom of in- 
closing their small farms by a common fence, and asking 
legislative relief. A law was passed to regulate the inclos- 
ing and cultivating of common fields. The other memorial 
was from Continental officers of the Virginia line, for whom 
a district had been reserved between the Scioto and Little 
Miami rivers, asking to be permitted to remove to their 
lands with their slaves. The petition was rejected. Hap- 
pily the Ordinance stood in the way of the granting of any 
such privilege. But we are assured by Judge Burnet, that, 
even without the compact prohibiting slavery, such was the 
public feeling, the request would have been denied by the 
legislature by a unanimous vote. *' They were not only 
opposed to slavery on the ground of its being a moral evil, 

* Jaumal of Legislative Council. 

212 Life and Public Services of Arthur St Clair. 

in violation of personal right, but were of opinion, that, 
whatever might be its immediate advantages, it would ulti- 
mately retard the settlement, and check the prosperity of 
the Territory, by making labor less reputable, and creating 
feelings and habits unfriendly to the simplicity and industry 
they desired to encourage and perpetuate.*' 

Very decided action was taken on the question of juris- 
diction between the Territory and the State of Kentucky, 
to which Governor St. Clair had early called the attention 
of the President. Kentucky, from the organization of the 
North-western Territory, had claimed jurisdiction on the 
north side of the Ohio to high water mark, on the ground 
that the deed of cession from Virginia was for the lauds 
north of the river. The claim even went further ; that when 
the river, at a high stage, passed a portion of its water 
through a bayou, or over low ground, into the main stream 
below, the ground so separated was an island, within the 
meaning of the act of cession, the jurisdiction and soil of 
which was vested in Kentucky. Hence persons " arrested 
by territorial officers for crimes committed on board of boats 
lying at the north shore, were released on habeas corpus^ or 
discharged on pleas to the jurisdiction of the Territorial 
Courts." This conflict led to great embarrassment and the 
constant defeat of justice. To meet this, a bill was passed 
by a unanimous vote and approved of by the Governor, af- 
firming the right of concurrent jurisdiction, and legalizing 
the services of process, civil and criminal, on any river, 
or water-course, within, or bounding the Territory. While 
this relieved the courts it di<l not settle the question. Some 
years later Kentucky revived the dispute. An examination 
was then made of the entire legislation of Virginia by Mr. 
Burnet. He found that Virginia in 1789, in authorizing 
the district of Kentucky to form a separate government, 
had i)rovided in one of the compacts of the act, " that the 
State to be formed in the district, should never claim the 
exclusive jurisdiction on the Ohio river; but that it should 
be forever common to them and to the people and States 
on the opposite side." These conditions were agreed to by 
the people of Kentucky and embodied in the State Consti- 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 213 

tion. Thus it was found that Virginia had treated alike 

e territories north uud south of the river. Tliis same 

retense of exclusive jurisdiction, was made to do service 

ars afterwards wlien the Fugitive Slave Law was being 

1-3 forced. 

Towards the close of the session, the General Assembly 

dopted a hiirhly eulogistic address to President Adams. 

was the production of the pen of Mr. Burnet, and con- 

ined strong meat for those of the new party, five of whom 

ere found to vote against it in the House. It contained 

18 allusion to the treaty of 1783, and to the Territory 

orth-westof the Ohio: -'to your firmness we attribute the 

iijoyment of the rich country we now inhabit." And this 

his administration: "Permit us, sir, to assure you, that 

e are duly impressed with a sense of the wisdom, justice, 

d firmness with which you have discharged this impor- 

"tant trust;" and, " We believe that, regardless of the voice 

of party spirit, which has striven to destroy our National 

Oounsels, you have kept the honor and happiness of the 

TJnited States constantly in view; and we ardently pray 

tliat the wise Ruler of Nations may preserve your health 

and life." 

To Governor St. Clair was assigned the pleasing task of 
communicating this address to the President. He per- 
formed his part in his usual graceful manner: 

" In that. Sir," wrote St. Clair, " they imposed a very 
agreeable duty upon me: for the sentiments appeared to be 
Buch as were proper for them to express, and having pub- 
licly expressed them, the individuals will find themselves 
prompted (had they no better motives, and I hope and be- 
have they have many better,) by the desire so natural to 
men of leading others to think as they do, to propagate them 
among their constituents ; and nothing can be more agree- 
able to me than being made the channel through which the 
testimonies of confidence and respect, and of attachment 
toward you are conveyed. I trust a short time only will 
elapse before they are common to the whole American 
people." ^ 

* St. Clair Correspondence, for 1799 and 1800. Vol. II. 

214 lAft and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

A wish that must have gratified John Adams; but the 
five members of the House who did not approve the 
sentiments formed the leaven that changed the politics 
of the North-western Territory, and, in due season, sent the 
Governor back to the hills of Pennsylvania. 

Notwithstanding the personal relations between the 
Governor and the members of the General Assembly were 
of the most cordial nature, yet they diftered as to where 
the power was lodged for the erection of new counties, 
and the establishment of county seats. St. Clair held that 
the Ordinance had placed it exclusively in the Executive. 
The others, that in case of new counties to be formed from 
those originally erected by the Governor, it belonged of 
right to the General Assembly. Bills for the erection of 
six new counties had been passed by the Legislature and 
vetoed by the Governor. This action provoked a remon- 
strance, addressed to Congress, against the unqualified veto 
given to the Governor, and led to an unhappy contro- 
versy, which ended only when the Eastern District was 
admitted as a State. 

Before being prorogued by the Governor the General 
Assembly issued an address to their constituents, in which 
they reviewed their labors; referred to the provision made 
by Congress for education, and concluded with this incite- 
ment to moral duty : *' * Religion, morality and knowledge 
are necessary to all good governments.' Let us, therefore, 
inculcate the principle of humanity, benevolence, honesty 
and punctuality in dealings, sincerity, charity and all the 
social aftections.*" 

The election of a Delegate to Congress resulted in the 
choice of William Henry Harrison, by a vote of eleven to 
ten cast for Arthur St. Clair, Jr. The office of Secretary 
of State again became vacant, and was filled by the appoint- 
ment of Charles Willing Byrd, on the 30th of December. 
Mr. Harrison made an active representative in Congress. 
He secured the adoption of a resolution to subdivide the 
surveys of the public lands, and to have them ottered for 

^ Journal Legislative Council, 1799. Vol. 11., post. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 216 

sale in small tracts — a measure of vital interest to the set^ 
tiers, many of whom under the system which left the 
retailing of lands to the control of speculators, had been 
unable to obtain homesteads, and were excluded from the 
privilege of participating in the political affairs of the 
Territory. He also secured an extension of the time of 
payment, for those who had obtained pre-emption rights 
to lands previously bought of Judge Symmes, lying north 
of his patent. 

Mr. Harrison was made chairman of a committee to re- 
port a plan for a division of the North-western Territory. 
On May 28, 1800, Governor St. Clair addressed him a letter 
recommending that the division be made into three districts 
— ^the first with the Scioto as the western boundary, and 
Marietta as the seat of government; the second, whose west- 
ern boundary should be a line drawn from that part of the 
Indian boundary opposite the Kentucky, with Cincinnati as 
the capital ; and the third, all of tha Territory lying west of 
the Middle District, with Post Vincennes as the seat of 
government. This division to be only temporary until 
there should be a population sufficient to cary out the pro- 
visions of the Ordinance for the erection of states. But it 
was objected that this would delay the formation of a State 
from the Eastern district, and, Mr. Harrison being in the 
interest of the State party, the division was made into two 
districts. The new district known as Indiana Territory, 
was organized with Mr. Harrison as Governor, and Colonel 
John Gibson, of Pennsylvania, as Secretary. With the 
organization of this Territory, Governor St. Clair's con- 
nection with the Wabash and Mississippi country terminated. 
William McMillan was chosen t* iill the unexpired term 
of Mr. Harrison as delegate in Congress, and Paul Fearing 
for the new term. These changes required the election of 
new men to fill the vacancies in the General Assembly. 
The most notable one was the appointment of Solomon 
Sibley, of Detroit, to take the place in the Council of Henry 
Vanderburgh, who bad been excluded by the division of 
the Territory. This occurred in December, 1800. 

Since the advent of Moses Cleveland and associates in 

216 Life and Public Services of Arthur Hi. Clair. 

the Territory, Governor St.* Clair had been somewhat em- 
barassed in the administration of government in the North- 
eastern District, as it was known that the jurisdiction of 
the United States there was regarded with a jealous eye. The 
settlers did not recognize the Territorial Government, and, 
of course, took no part in the affairs of Washington County, 
in which they had been included by Governor St. Clair's 
proclamation. They petitioned Congress for relief, and 
failing there laid a statement of their grievances before the 
General Assembly of Connecticut, in 1798. In 1800, on 
account of losses and delays in their enterprise, due to a 
lack of civil government, the Land Company asked the 
State to abate the interest due upon their payments. ^ Hap- 
pily the difficulty wns removed this year by the transfer of the 
State claim of jurisdiction to tlie United States, and through 
the President the fee of the soil by patent to the Governor 
of the State, for the use of grantees and purchasers, claim- 
ing under her. ^ This district was immediately erected into 
a county by Governor St. Clair, who gave to it the name of 
Trumbull, and established the county seat at Warren. lie 
issued a proclamation for the election of a Territorial 

Governor St. Clair heard of the death of Genernl Wash- 
ington while he was at Cincinnati in January, 1800. The 
loss of this most eminent man and best of friends, affected 
him deeply, and he withdrew from the juiblic to commune 
with his own heart. Let no pen offend the sacredness of 
that retirement by attempting to describe the grief of St. 
Clair as he recalled the past, and the tender, confiding 
friendsliip of the departed hero. Saturday, February 1st 

^ Whittlesey s Hist. Cleveland, p, 354. 

* See U. tS. Land Ixiivs, 1 04. 

'"The mannor of conducting tho election was after the English 
mode. That is, tho Sheriff of tho county assembled the electors by 
proclamation, presided at the election, and received the votes of the 
electors orally, or vha voce." At this election, whicli was held on the 
second Tuesday of October, all Trumbull County, that is, the Western 
Reserve, cast 42 votes. Of this number General Edward Paine received 
3S votes. — See Whittlesey, p. 358. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 217 

was set apart for the purpose of paying the most solemn 
funeral honors to the memory of the man who was "first 
in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his country- 
men/' at the military posts. St. Clair took part in the 
ceremonies -at Fort AVashington, which were arranged by 
the commandant. 

Through the influence of the Virginians who had taken 
possession of the Scioto district, the act which divided the 
Territory also removed the seat of government from Cin- 
cinnati to Chillicotlie. Accordingly, the second session of 
the Territorial General Assembly, which began on the 
first Monday in^Jfovember, 1800, was held at that place. 
Governor St. Clair's address on this occasion, as on that of 
the opening of the first session, was replete with important 
suggestions as to legislation for the perfection of the govern- 
ment, and the general good. He assured the members of 
the General Assembly that it would aflford him pleasure to 
join with them in every measure that would benefit the 
people, and by carrying them faithfully into execution, to 
give to them the eft'ect desired. 

Among the topics mentioned were, education, taxation, 
justice to the Indians, and the purity of elections, in the 
discussion of which he displayed the broadest and most 
enlightened statesmanship. For the full text of this able 
state paper the reader is referred to another part of this* 
work. I refer here only to a sentence or two relating to 
the Indians and elections, to aid in more clearly bringing 
into view the character I am portraying: 

"To act honestly, fairly and justly, and to perform our 
promises to Indians with whom the nation is at peace," said 
he, '* is as much or more a duty than to those who are in the 
highest state of civilization, and it is within the sphere of 
your legislative power to compel it. It has long been a 
disgrace to the people of all the States bordering upon the 
Indians, both as men and as Christians, that while they 
loudly complained of every injury or wrong received from 
them, and imperiously demanded satisfaction, they wore 
daily oftering to. them injustice and wrongs of the most 

218 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

provoking character, for which I have not heard that any 
person was ever brought to due justice or punishment." 

On elections; 

" The freedom and purity of elections are the very soul 
and spirit of representative governments. K the electors 
are under any undue influence, though they may give their 
votes, they do not make their choice; and if they are cor- 
rupted, the wholesome stream which should flow through 
the whole body politic is poisoned at its source, and must 
carry that poison with it through all its ramifications." 

The Governor then pointed out in what manner the law 
for the election of Representatives should be amended to 
prevent bribery, and alluded to a greater danger which 
threatened the electors: 

" The lands in this country have been generally held at 
first by a few indivifluals in very large quantities, and sold 
out by them in parcels on credit. Hence, it happens that, 
in some ot the counties, the greatest part of the people are 
their debtors, and in the existing scarcity of money were 
the payment of those debts to be rigorously exacted they 
would be exceedingly distressed. A demand of the debts, 
accompanied by the slightest hints that in case oif voting 
for a certain candidate further time would be given, would 
have a certain, perhaps, a more certain influence than a 
direct proposal to buy their votes. Hence, a few persons in 
the different counties combining would have it in their 
power to influence the whole elections in the country, and, 
instead of a representation of the people, we should have 
a representation of the great landholders only, who, no 
doubt, would serve their interests in preference to those of 
the whole people. It may, therefore, be not improper for 
you to consider whether the mode of election by ballot 
should not be substituted for that now used, viva voce, as 
the best way of guarding against that not improbable evil; 
for, though it be true that the mode by ballot is liable to 
much deception and intrigue, it is free from ihut kind of 
influence I have mentioned. No measure can of itself be 
simply good ; the circumstances of the case to which it is 
to be applied determines its propriety." 

lAft and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 219 

The recommendation of Governor St. Clair was not car- 
ried out until after the change from Territorial to State 

Having disposed of the public business, the Governor 
concluded his address with a vigorous reference to his 

** My term of office, and yours, gentlemen of the House 
of Representatives, will soon expire. It is, indeed, very 
uncertain whether I shall ever meet another Assembly in 
the character I now hold; for, I well know that the vilest 
calumnies and greatest falsehoods are insidiously circulated 
among the people, with a view to prevent it. While I re- 
gret the baseness and malevolence of the authors, and well 
know that the laws have put the means of correction fully 
in my power, they have nothing to dread from me, but the 
contempt they justly merit. The remorse of their own 
consciences, will one day be punishment sufficient. Their 
acts may, however, succeed. Be that as it may, of this I 
am certain — ^that, be my successor who he may, he can 
never have the interest of the people of this Territory 
more truly at heart than I have had; nor labor more 
assiduously for their good than I have done. I am not 
conscious that any one act of my administration has been 
influenced by any other motive than a sincere desire to pro- 
mote their welfare and happiness." 

This was public notice that the Governor was inclined 
to change his policy, and might no longer pass by in 
silence those who reviled him. Heretofore, throughout a 
long life passed in the public service, his command of tem- 
per had been exemplary. He had early schooled himself 
in the principles so admirably expressed by John Quincy 
Adams, in 1805, in his Diary: '*In public affiiirs, it ap- 
pears to me, there is no quality more useful and im- 
portant than good humor, because it operates continually 
to soften the asperities which are continually rising 
in the collisions of adverse interests and opinions." But 
now, when one's enemies, regardless of long public services 
and white hairs, presume on this forbearance, may not one 
doubt his own philosophy, and give as well as take blows? 

220 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

To this personal allusion the Council, in their reply, re- 
sponded in this sympathetic manner: 

" It is with real concern and indignation that we view 
the malicious attempts w^hich have been made to asperse 
the character of your Excelleucy ; and though the provis- 
ions of the law might subject the authors to punishment, 
yet we agree with you, that attempt* so despicable and 
wicked deserve no other notice than contempt. Believing 
that your general conduct, as chief magistrate, has been 
dictated by a pure desire to promote the interests and wel- 
fare of the people of this Territory, the Legislative Council 
feel it a duty incumbent upon them, at this time, to express 
their confidence in your administration, and their wishes 
for its continuance." 

The address of the House of Representatives was hardly 
less complimentary : 

"We regret, sir, that calumny and falsehood should be 
resot'ted to in order to render your administration unpopu- 
lar among the good i)eoplc of this Territory; but, we trust, 
the services you have rendered heretofore in the cause of 
liberty and your country, together with the manifest purity 
of your intentions since you have been entrusted with tho 
dignified oflice you now fill, will be a sufficient shield to 
guard you against the unprovoked attacks of the wicked 
and malevolent." 

The unfortunate difterence of opinion as to where was 
lodged the power for the formation of counties, which had 
been the only one to disturb the harmony of the relations 
between the Governor and the General Assembly at the 
first session, again obtruded itself. He had given his rea- 
sons for refusing to approve of the counties they had formed, 
which the reader of to-day will declare to be forcible, and 
should have been satisfactory then ; but they were vot 
satisfactory to many members of the Legislature. They 
insisted that, "after the Governor had laid out the country 
into counties and townships, as lie had already done under 
the first grade of government, it wus competent for them 
to pass laws, altering, dividing, and multiplying tliem at 
their pleasure, to be submitted to him for his approbation ; " 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 221 

that "when the Territory had been divided into counties 
by the Governor, his exclusive power was exhausted, and 
any alterations thereafter required, were to be made by 
the Legislature, with his assent.^" This view was subse- 
quently sustained by Congress, but as that was in the midst 
of a political contest, the action had no value in determin- 
ing which opinion was more nearly in keeping with the 
letter and spirit of the Ordinance. 

The Governor's opinion of the power of the Executive 
under the clause of the Ordinance relating to this subject, 
was succinctly stated in a communication to the General 
Assembly in 1799 : " It appears to me that the erecting new 
counties is the proper business of the Executive. It is, 
indeed, provided that the boundaries of counties may be 
altered by the Legislature, but that is quite a different 
thing from originally establishing them. They must exist 
before they can be altered, and the provision is express that 
the Governor shall proceed from time to time, as it may 
become necessary, to lay them out. While I shall ever 
most studiously avoid encroaching on any of the rights 
of the Legislature, you will naturally expect, gentlemen, 
that I will guard, with equal care, those of the Executive.'* 
There was another reason for his conservatism in this 
matter, which I have obtained a glimi>se of in his papers: 
The greed which characterized the transactions in land ac- 
tuated those who were speculators to seek to control the 
establishment of county towns. They hoped thereby to in- 
crease the value of their lands, as the public improvements 
dn the way of buildings and roads, and superior school 
^vantages incidental to a county seat, would attract the 
T)etter class of settlers to such neighborhoods. Hence, the 
lot strife over this business. A striking illustration was 
^ifforded in the case of the county of Adams. Nathaniel 
J^assie and associates, who, at great hazard of life, had, in 
~i790, established a station on the north bank of the Ohio, 
"tiwelve miles above Maysville, sought to have their town, 

^ Burners Notes, p. 321. Mr. Burnet, being a member of the Council, 
^is statement of the opinion of the Legislature is valuable. 

222 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

known as Manchester, made the county seat of Adams 
county. In the absence of the Governor, Secretary 
Sargent, upon the petition of other inhabitants, appointed 
commissioners, who reported in favor of locating it at Ad- 
amsville, on Brush Creek. Great contention grew out of 
this, and when the Governor returned, he found it neces- 
sary to take such* action as should bring peace to the 
diflerent communities. At great personal inconvenience, 
he visited that section of countrv, which he examined 
thoroughly, accompanied by two citizens of Manchester. 
It was agreed by these that the most eligible place was at 
the mouth of Brush Creek, where the town of Washington 
was laid out, and the first Court was held in 1798. But 
this action, intended for the interests of the greatest num- 
ber, incurred the opposition and enmity of the property 
owners of Manchester. And Colonel Nathaniel Massie af- 
terwards got in his revenge, as the sequel will show. 

The Governor was at last aroused, and he refused to be 
bound hand and foot, as had been proposed by those who 
had schemed to defeat or delay his re-appointment. As his 
term of office expired early in December, advantage was to 
• be taken of the failure to appoint promptly, and Charles 
Willing Byrd, the Secretary, who was unfriendly to the 
Governor, was to become acting Governor, and proceed to 
carry out the views of the junto. But the Governor re- 
sponded with a coup dC etat, which completely surprised and 
discomfited the intriguants. During the absence of Mr. 
Byrd from the Territory, on the 2d of December, he in- 
formed the General Assembly, by written message, that on 
Thursday, the 9th of the month, an end must be put to the 
session of the Legislature, as on that day his term of ofiice 
would expire, and it was not a case provided for by law, in 
which the place of the Governor could be supplied by the 

Of course, this action was criticised, and it occasioned a 
feeling of disquiet to some of the Governor's best friends. 
However, soon after the Legislature was prorogued. Gover- 
nor St. Clair received his re-appointment from President 
Adams. This re-nomination was singular in that the Ex- 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 223 

ecutive, in recommending the re-appointment, accompanied 
his message to the Senate with the protests of those in tlie 
Territory who opposed St. Clair's administration. The 
friends of St. Clair were a good deal alarmed, bat need- 
lessly BO, as, after a thorough discussion, and the vote was 
-taken, it was found that there were very few opposed to 
<!onfirmation. This pleasing intelligence was communi- 
<;ated to him by his friend, Senator Ross. 

When the new Legislature, agreeably to the proclama- 

ination of the Governor, convened, on the 24th November, 

T1I801, the friction between the House and the Executive was 

'mncreased. Although the county question was dropped, by 

:xmQtual consent, yet the Representatives sought a petit re- 

■"^7'enge by withholding from the Governor printed copies of 

he bills as they were introduced. This provoked a sharp 

eprimand — well deserved, it must be confessed — ^which 

eightened the feeling. 

The business transacted this session was of an uniterest- 
ng character, but none the less important. The Gover- 
or's views, expressed in an address to both branches of the 
egislature, assembled in the hall of the House on the first 
y of the session, were carried out in the legislation ot the 
^ssion. He recommended that those citizens who were con- 
cienciously opposed to war be exempt from military duty, 
nd from fines provided for in the militia law — intended to 
fiTord relief to the Quakers who were settling in the Ter- 
itory in considerable numbers; that, as it was important 
^hat articles sent to foreign markets should be of the best 
equality, a law be past for the inspection of articles of ex- 
port; that the criminal laws be revised; that the delegate 
in Congress be instructed to obtain such legislation as 
Tvould secure to the Territory the township of land prom- 
ised but not furnished by Judge Symmes for the support of 
an academy, and make available the lands set apart for the 
maintenance of schools and religion ; and that a more re- 
liable provision be made for a revenue for the support of 

Acts were passed during this session to incorporate the 
towns of Cincinnati, Chillicothe, and Detroit; to establish 

224 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

a university in the town of Athens, on land granted by 
Congress for that purpose ; a' id to change the seat of Gov- 
ernment from Chillicothe to Cincinnati. 

An act was also passed declaring the assent of the Ter- 
ritory to an alteration in the Ordinance for the government 
thereof, the object of which was to effect a change in the 
boundaries of the three States first to be formed in the 
Territory. This was a political move and caused a flutter 
among the supporters of a State government. It received 
an almost unanimous vote in the Council, but in the House 
there was sharp opposition. The division was as follows: 

Ayes — Cutler, Joncaire, Kimberly, Ludlow, McDougall, 
Miller, Paine, Putnam, Reeder, Schieffelein, Smith and 
White.— 12. 

Nays — Darlington, Dunlavy, Langham, McCune, Massie, 
Milligan, Morrow and Worthington. — 8. 

Political excitement was now at fever heat, and personal 
collisions were threatened daily. A mob, inspired by the 
violence of the advocates of a State government, and aided 
by citizens of Chillicothe, who were offended on account 
of the proposed removal of the seat of Government, took 
possession of the town for two nights, and threatened those 
members of the Legislature who had been most outspoken 
in opposition to the political views of the State party. They 
forced the door of the house in which Mr. Schieffelein and 
the Governor boarded, but fled before the former, who met 
them in the hall with a brace of loaded pistols.^ Governor 
St. Clair sent a special message to the Legislature on the 
disgraceful proceedings, and wrote to the Secretary of State, 
giving a circumstantial account of the affair. 

The members of the Legislature who had voted against 
the act providing for a change of boundaries, entered a for- 
mal protest against it, issued an appeal to the people to aid 
in obtaining the authority of Congress to erect a State gov- 
ernment within the bounds assigned in the Ordinance to 
the first State. These papers, wnth others of a confidential 
nature, w^cre placed in the hands of Thomas Worthington, 

' aS^^ Clair Correspondence. Also Burnet, p. 333. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 225 

was dispatched to Philadelphia to secure the much- 
red legislation.* 

he parties, who had been skirmishing through the press 

in pamphlets, were now bronglit face to face in a deadly 

■ SS^^' '^^ enable the reader to understand the situation 

^-e clearl}^ we will go back a few months. Some of the 

ing citizens of Marietta had issued a calm address 

list a change from the Territorial to a State govern- 

t, which pi'^^ivoked a whole broadside from the pro-State 

lie. I find in a number of the Scioto Gazette, October, 

, the most reasonable statement of that side of tlie 

, and inehide Us pcunts in my sketch. The writer 

ted the future iu bright colors, but he set out to catch 

opulace. It n\ay be remarked that the Ordiiiance of 

was not held then by the pro-State jairty in such rev- 

<e as it is by the people of the North-west in the year 

M le writer in the Scioto Gazette considered that the Ter- 

:"• lal Government was ill-adapted to " the genius and 

v.igs of Americans;" it only being necessary to direct 

■ Btion to the Ordinance of Congress for the government 

le Territory, to convince one of "the utter impossi- 

of a government conducive to national happiness in 

inlightened day being administered under it, ' unless 

person more than mortal.' This government, now 

iressive, was prescribed by the United States, at a 

wiien civil liberty was not so well understood as at 

lit, and when it could not be contemplated but for the 

r'ument of a few. 

t; is added by the remonstrants [Marietta], Mhat no 

C^^^ ^^>»"m J ought to wish to emerge from this State unless there 

V^ cl singer that the paramount government will infringe its 

'^^S*^^e,till it has made a comfortable provision forits wants, 

^^^^^ it: has made considerable progress in its improvements, 

^Y ^ t; has made its necessary arrangements for education, 

wV it has, in some measure, consolidated its social system; 

^^orthington Papers. 



226 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

in a word, till it has not only become able to bear the 
weight of its own independence, but als?) to preserve its 
liberty by the force (»f its principles.' It is then asked, 
*Is this our situation? Where are our improvements? 
What is the state of our agriculture? Our commerce? Our 
manufactories, etc., etc.?' To all of vvliich I would answer, 
that, ill my <)})inion, a state government is the only proba- 
ble way to produce such a desirable situation. To talk 
about our rights being infringed by the paramount govern- 
ment when we enjoy none, is like the moral to the fable 
wliich concludes the Marietta address, 'it is all sound, no 
substance.' . . . We entered into the second grade of tliis 
government without a cent in the public treasury and much 
in debt; recourse was had to paper. This year's revenue 
will redeem it all and furnish cash for tlie present year's ex- 
penses. Considerable proiizress in improvements and neces- 
sary arrai'gements for education are making, but can not, 
in the nature of things, be perfected in our present situa- 
tion. It must be well known that men of wealth and in- 
dependence of sentiment are deterred from migrating to 
theTerritorv because thev can not brook the idea of livin<r 
under a government like ours. But let a change take 
place — let a government congenial to Americans be adopted, 
and it will be like opening the floodgates to a mUK wealth 
will flow in upon us, im[)rovenients jmd agricu'Uire will 
adorn our lands; the creeks and rivers emptying into the 
Ohio will roll along to the Mississippi, conveying tood to 
thousands sufl'ering from want ; manufactories will spring up 
in the wilderness; proi)er arrangements for education will 
be perfected; a now Athens, with other seminaries of learn- 
ing, will discover their towering steeples above the loftj' 
oaks, and soon send forth into the world vouths ornamental 
to human nature. Our prolific plains covered with herds, 
our farms, loaded from the lap of j'lenty, gladdening their 
owner's hearts, and our government, like the tree of lib- 
erty, extending its l)enign branches over all our citizens, 
and, with a paternal care, sheltering an<l defending them 
from tyranny and oppression, will cause the astonished 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 227 

veler to contemplate our rising greatness with amaze- 

nt, and cry out, in the language of the venerable Frank- 

, 'Here dwells liberty; here's my country.'" 

t was shown that the only pecuniary aid received from 

general government was the sum out of wliich w-ere 

d the salaries of the Governor, Secretary, and Judges, 

ic $5,500; and that to pay the officials and miscellaneous 

)en8es of a State government, only about $15,440 per 

3um, would have to be raised. To meet this, the Tcrri- 

al tax on real property — fifty-five cents on each hundred 

^8 of first-class, thirty-five cents on second-class, and 

— enteen cents on third-class — was estimated to vield 

926.90 for the year 1801. In the Territorial officers and 

able citizens of Marietta, would be found sufficient 

nt to form a constitution and put in successful opera- 

a new government. 

"Hamilton Farmer" looked upon the scheme for a 
government with misgivings. Ho believed it was 
to furnish offices for the Chillicothe gentry — the am- 
U8 and the wealthy at the expense of the poor, and 
well enough should be let alone. There had been the 
e pother in Kentucky, the same promise of advantages 
orae. *' But how did it turn out? Why, the gentle- 
got the places they were looking for, to be sure, but 
_ jieople have been keiit witli their noses to the grind- 
e ever since to make up the taxes, and are not able to 
*€, and now they are coming in shoals every day to this 
of the river to avoid them. But where shall we go 
^^oid ours, unless we turn Papists and go to the Span- 
I, and that would be jumi)ing out of the frying pan 
the fire. God knows we find the taxes heavy enough 
^^e are, and where is the money to come from ?" 
dt why expect such plain and practical opinions to pre- 
sgainst the cry that the liberties of the people were 
ngered by the Territorial government, and that a phm 
'^^^ been formed to perpetuate the Colonial system, with a 
N'^^^^r of continuing the influence of a few individuals in the 
c^y^iicils of the General Government, and in the manage- 

228 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

nicnt of the Territory?* Tlic pro-State party had gone in 
to win. In one respect alono, that of the nuiltiplication of 
officers and a more general participation in public affairs 
under a State, they had an advantage that more than offset 
all that could be said on the other side. 

Mr. Worthington met with few ol)Staclos at Washington. 
There had been a change of administration, and the new 
party was in ])ower under Thomas Jefferson. The influence 
of the administration, for reasons that will appear here- 
after, was with Mr. Worthington and against a continuance 
of Territorial government under a change of boundaries. 
The provision of the Ordinance requiring a population of 
sixty thousand before the Eastern District could be admitted 
as a State was no obstacle to politicians who felt there was 
a necessity for increasing the number of Republican States. 
The census, which was taken during the previous year 
showed a population of forty- five thousand three hundred 
and sixty-five. Could not a State be formed as well with 
forty-five as with sixty thousand ? But in this census were 
included the inhabitants of Wayne county, who were 
opposed to the scheme. These sturdy Federalists united 
with those of Washington and Hamilton counties, might 
make it difficult to give a Republican party-caste to the new 
State; or miglit reject the law of Congress, and prevent 
the formation of a State government. What should be 
done ? 

The managers at the National Capital were equal to the 
emergency — cut oft' Wayne County. Xo sooner said than 

The act as passed contained two provisions, which the 
opi>osition party tliought humiliating, and as altering the 
Ordinance which declared that the States formed from the 
North-western Territory should be admitted into the Union 
on equal terms with the original thirteen States. These 
were: the reservation of the rii^ht of Congress to dispose 
of the jurisdiction of the Territory lying east of the lino 
drawn east and west through the southerly extreme of 

^See i?«rnt'^ p. 341. Also files of Scioto Gazette for 1801-2, and St. 
Clair Papers. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 229 

Ijim 1^^ ^ Michigan, when the Ordinance had declared it should 
ro r^:* ^^^n a part of the territory south of it until its inhabit- 
ai 1 1: ^* numbered sixty thousand ; and tlnit hmds sold by Con- 
gi-c3£^^ should be exempt from taxation for the terra of live 
y^a^^M^ m^a* from and after the day of sale. 

H 't- Arvas iiehl that a wrong was done to the people living 

wit 1 0^1 11 the district of AVayne, who desired to remain under 

tW^ ^^ovcrnment of the country south; and to the peo}jle 

of* <ZZ>l:iio, by depriving them of all the benefits they would 

^i^^"^"^<ii derived from the poi)ulation and wealth of that rich 

^•^ « ^ oxteusive district.^ And in the second case, that " the 

X^d^-crz^ ]t_^'® ^^ Oliio suffered an immense loss by giving up that 

ion of their sovereignty which authorized the State to 

nd her tax laws to every species of property within 

limits, without inquiring to whom it belonged, or by 

m it was claimed."^ 

Mie most important fact connected with this whole bnsi- 

is, that the only organized body representing the 

le, and the people as a whole, had no part in it. The 

me for making a new State had a purely political oriiiin. 

c(mtest in the election of the last President was so 

erately close, and the result in doubt so long, that it 

deemed essential to the future power and control of the 

iblican party that new electoral votes should be secured 

e admission of a new State before the next Presidential 

ion should occur. This strens^th could onlv be obtained 

the North-west. The Kepublican leaders of that day, 

were able, shrewd, and far-seeing, were not likely to 

look a point having such a direct bearing on their cause. 

of the most active promoters of this scheme was 

^ Breckcnridsre, of Kentucky,^ Mr. Jefferson's faithful 

tter of Solomon Sibley. 
met, p. 339. 

•"Near Lexington, 30^?/^. 1803. 

'fVel much pride and pleasure in yr State since she has become 

^^^T>^blican State; not only because she will and ought to bo our 

wfti'^^^Y'Qil friend, but because I had the honour and pleasure of contributr 

V>fe ic^c^y small mite to relieve her from a corrupt territorial pupilage, 

i •i 

230 Life and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair, 

friend, and in political management, the ablest of liis lieu- 
tenants.^ To Hon. Wni. B. Giles, of Virginia, was entrusted 
important committee work, and nearly all of the niembera 
of Congress of both Virginia and Kentucky were active in 
support of the movement. The Virginia colony in the 
North-western Territory constituted the pioneer corps in 
the work in hand, and their zeal never flagged. If objec- 
tion is made to their method, excuse is found in that prac- 
tice which has obtained in the politics of this country, of 
charging opponents with being the enemies of society and 
good government. The active leaders were Colonel Na- 
thanial Massie, Colonel Thomas Worthington, and Dr. Ed- 
ward Tiffin. Colonel Massie was an older but not an abler 
man than Colonel Worthington.^ He was not ambitious 
of political jireferment as was the younger man, but gave 
his aid and counsel in advancing the cause espoused by the 

and elevate her to the dignified station which her conduct since has 
evinced she was justly entitled to. Considering the difficulties you 
had to encounter with your political adversaries, you have succeeded 
beyond all expectation; and you seem to move on in your arrange- 
ments with as much order and steadiness as if you had the experience 
of a dozen years. It gives ns much pleasure and cause of triumph 
here; but to none more sincerely than to 

** Your friend and very humble servant. 

"John Bkeckenridge." 
Fn^m M.S. among the Worthington Papers, 

' Mr. Breckenridge was consulted by Mr. Jeffei^son as to the 
advi.«*able course to take to counteract the political policy Bhadf)we<l 
forth in the Alien and Sedition laws, and he carried with him to Ken- 
tucky the famous resolutions of 1798, which were adopted by the 
Legislature of that State. He is understood to have been the author 
of the nullifiying resolution of 17*J*.), which took a more advanced step 
than Mr. tJefferson in the resolutions of the 2>receding year. 

* " !Mr. Worthington is a man of plausible, insinuating address, and 
of in<lefatigable activity in the pursuit of his jiurpose. TFe has seen 
sorn«'thing of the world, and, without much education of any other sort, 
has nc<iuire<l a sort of pr)lish of m inners, and a kind of worldly wisdom, 
which may perhaps more properly bo called cunning." — John CJuincy 
Adatns, in ISO'). — Menioirs, p. 377. 

* (tovernor Worthington was a mati of vigorous intellect, great in- 
dustry and force of character, an<l he left a favorable impression when 
he retired from public life." — MS. Letter of lion. Thomas Ewing. 

lAfe and Public Services of Arthur S(, Clair. 231 

. They were all on confidential terms with the states- 

of Virginia. Colonel Worthington and Dr. Tiffin 

lardly been in the Territory a year when they formed 

csign of driving Governor St. Clair out and affecting 

l^tical revolution. This will appear more clearly as we 

■ess with our relation. They were assisted hy William 

hton and Samuel Finley, of Ros^ ; Mr. Darlington, of 

; Judge Symmes, John Smith, Wm. Goforth, and 

L-13 Dunlavey, of Hamilton, and Return J. Meigs, Jr., 

ashington. Jeremiah Morrow and others joined later 

lie first- named were the active spirits in Republican 


order that nothing may be omitted calculated to throw 
Ii^5*l m ♦; on this interesting political movement, which embraced 
irk. ^ ^s designs the control of National affairs, I shall 
q !.:■.<::> it^ at some length from manuscripts that have never 
I>^<^'«-B. j»ubli»hcd, found in part among the papers of Gov- 
Thomas Worthingt()i>. But first, let us present so 
-r la of the contem[>orarv account of Judge Jac'»b Burnet, 
as a leader of the Federalist party, as bears on the 
^'^^^ I 35fc^l.C3na of Governor St. Clair to the politics and the con- 
^^^ »"^ tr i ons of parties in the Territory. It will be found to be 
^•" ^-'" ^-■. 1 rxi and impartial statement : 

lie Governor was unquestionably a man of superior 

ts, of extensive information, and of great Ujirightness 

virpose, as well as suavity of manners. Ilis general 

s^, though in the main correct, was, in some respects, 

^^^J ^^ **iou8 to his own popularity ; but it was the result of an 

*^*=*''^'*- exercise of his judgment. He not only believed 

"^^^*"- t^lie power he claimed hehmged legitimately to the 

native, but was convinced that the manner in which lie 

oised it was imposed on him as a duty by the Ordi- 

^^^^^^^, and was calculated to advance the best interests of 

lu^ Territory. It was admitted that he placed too high an 

^^^"^^^ate on the powers of his own mind, and on the gen- 

^^'^•^ ^correctness of his judgment ; and, though modest and 

^^^^^Buming in his ordinary intercourse with society, he 

^^^y rarely yielded his opinion, when deliberately formed, 

V^'^ever erroneous it might be in the estimation of others. 

282 Life and Public Services of Arlhur St. Clair. 

" He had been accustomed from infancy to mingle in the 
circles of taste and refinement, and had acquired a polish 
of manners, and a habitual respect for the feelings of others, 
which might be cited as a specimen of genuine politeness. 
It seemed to be his desire that persons of every grade 
should feel at ease when in his company. And it may be 
said, with great truth, that at the time he addressed the 
first Territorial Legislature, in 1791), he possessed as great, 
if not greater, share of the confidence and respect of the 
people of the Territory than any other individual residing 
in it. 

" When the proposition to form a State government was 
warmly agitated, and i>arty spirit carried to unusual 
lengths, he expressed himself freely in opposition to tlie 
measure ; and, although he did not take an active part in 
the struggle, yet the more expression of his preference 
identified him with the party opposed to the change; and 
not onl}' so, but the influentiabstation he occupied in the 
community, and the pr«>bable result of his communications 
to Congross on the subject, rendered him an opponent 
greatly to be feared ; hence, the most strenuous efforts were 
made to weaken his influence, at home and abroad. To 
accomplish that purpose, the fcubles and faults of a long 
life were collected, exaggerated, and proclaimed through- 
out the Territory. False constructions were put on the 
most unexceptionable actions of his life. Kidicule as well 
as falsehood, was employed against him to such an extent 
that strangers to his true character might naturally con- 
clude that he possessed neither talent nor integrity. The 
free use he had made of the veto power, and the collisions 
w hich had occasiouidl}' taken place between him and the 
Legislature, though their intercourse had generally been 
harmonious and agreeable, were urged against him with 
great efiect. 

" It was believed by every person who witnessed the 
chani^e of treatment received bv the Governor from the 
advocates of a State Constitution, before and after the airi- 
tation of that subject commenced, and who had noted the 
circumstances attending it, that his opposition to their pro- 

Ltfe and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 233 

je<_r "fc "v^a£ the chief ground of their opposition to him ; and 
th &A.^ 9 if he had united with them on that question, the dif- 
fei*^ »_:». c_?es of opinion, and the occasional collisions which had 
0(*<:5i^'m m^x'cd during his administration, would have been fi)r- 

1, or remembered only as unimportant errors in judg- 

not afiecting his wisdom, integrity, or patriotism. 

at as it m»y, one thing is very certain ; that, as the 

ssion of that pr(»ject i>rogresscd, his supporters were 

^leserting him, and, before it closed, a majority of the 

lis who had been his friends and admirers, were asso- 

<1 with Ilia most active 0|>ponents, and seemed to have 

tten that they had ever believed him to possess a 

e virtue. 

lie eti'orts made to injure his character, and weaken 

^ ^ '^^^ ^ Bifluence, were attributed by himself and friends to un- 

by motives. Some alleged that the hostility of his 
>nents proceeded from a belief that it was necessary to 
irate liira to accomplish their own political views, 
on a cahn review of those party conflicts, after a lapse 
lore than half a century, many circumstances, over 
-sh the mantle of oblivion has been thrown, might be 
vered, which would account for the conduct of the 
irs of both parties, without ascribing to them more of 
nterest or less of honesty of purpose than falls to the lot 
I Bose who were not called consistent politicians. Some 
of the Governor's conduct was condemned by his best 
<l8, and was well calculated to excite a warmth of feel- 
Mi his opponents which might have led upright men be- 
tho limits of moderation and even of justice. 
'ho Governor had many fast friends remaining in the 
tory, who received a full share of the abuse in wMiich 
^mrticipated so largely, and who were not slack in their 
*^ Irs to sustain him ; but the most successful defense of 
^^Tiactater came from a distant and unexpected quarter. 
•^ dJharles Hammond, a young lawyer of Wheeling, then 
V ^^^ admitted to the bar of the Territory — unknown to 
^^>-o, and scarcely heard of beyond the little circle in which 
^ "^^love^l, but whose talents, subsequently, raised him to 
^^ liigbest elevation in his profession, and whose course of 

234 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

life identified him with the history and politics of Ohio, 
was induced to commence a series of numbers in the Sciofo 
Gazette^ jiublished at Chillicothe, in which he defended the 
Governor wiih great ability. 

"At the time he engaged in that defense, he had no per- 
sonal acquaintance with the Governor — had never been in- 
troduced to him, and knew him only as he did other dis- 
tinguished men, from his life, public conduct, and writings. 
The journals of the day had given him a knowledge of his 
military services in the French war and in the war of the 
Revoluti<m, and also of the manner in which the govern- 
ment of the Tcrritorv had been administered; from which 
he had no doubt of the fact that he was a misrepresented, 
persecuted man. The publication of that defense placed 
his character and conduct in a fair jxunt of light — refuted 
the most serious charge alleged against him, and elevated 
the youthful writer to a high stand in public estimation." ^ 

Judge Ihirnct did not understand the opposition to the 
Governor so clearly as he would if he could have looked 
in upon the Chillicothe committee on political manage- 
ment when in session, devising ways and means for the 
overthrow of St. Clair. Even if the latter had acquiesced 
in the movement for a State government, there could have 
been no union on political principle. St. Clair, like most 
other licvolutionary soldiers closely associated with W"ash- 
iuirton, came to bo an ardent Federalist. lie was in cor- 
rcsi)ondcncc with Hamilton, and on friendly terms with the 
members of the Adams administration. AVe have seen 
how heartily he approved of the address to the President 
in 1701). lie even entered the lists in public discussion, and 
printed a pamphlet in defense of the administration after 
the political blunder of the Alien and Sedition Laws, and 
sent it to Mr. Adams, with his compliments. The latter 
made a gracious acknowledgment. '* I have read the 
pamphlet," said he, "with great pleasure, as a masterly 
refutation of its antatronist, in the stvle and manner of a 
gentleman, and seasoned with no more tlian was useful and 
agreeable of Attic salt. na])py am I to find such just 

^Burnds yotcs, pp. 378-o81. 

236 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

" The Press and its Martyr, Duane ! — May some angel 
in Jefterson's form knock off his fetters and unlock his 

This spirit entered into political affairs ir4 the Territorjr, 
and dominated the movement in behalf of a State govern- 

As early as 1800, Worthington threatened to prefer cliarges 
against St. Clair through the Legislature, but that body was 
found to be less complacent tliun was supposed. James 
Ross attempted to pour oil on the troubled waters, in a 
letter to Colonel Worthington he expressed regret at the 
feeling against the Governor, and added this (to Colonel W.) 
encouraging prediction: "This fermont, and the measures 
taken in consequence, will result in your having a new 
State,"* and then proceeded to show it w^ould be a misfor- 
tune to the people. 

When the Territory was divided in the year 1800, the 
measure originated with these same Chillicothe managers. 
The plan embraced the following objects: 1. The appoint- 
ment of William Henry Harrison as Governor of the In- 
diana Territory ; 2. The establishment of the permanent 
seat of government for the Eastern District at Chillicothe ; 
and, 3. Such alterations in the form of the Territorial Gov- 
ernment as should vacate the offices. It was expected that 
this would dispose of St. Clair, but the scheme met with 
decided opposition in Couirress, especially in the Senate, 
where it went to a committee and was relieved of its special 
features. Colonel Worthington was notified of this ad- 
verse action bv Senator John Brown, of Kentuckv, who 
oommunicated to him the amendment. *' You will jjroba- 
bly object to the provision which has been proposed for 
continiiiiiiiT all thiuL's for the i»resent in the Territorv Xorth- 
west of the Ohio as they now exist. The Committee of the 
Senate were of the opinion that to adopt the i>rinciple of 
the bill would vacate all commissions, executive and ju- 
dicial, civil and military, and also for all elections for the 
Leii:islature, and all this fo answer a particular oh jed in this in- 
dircrt w<ni^ which maj/ he othc.noise provided for in December ^^ 

*• J/-5'. Worthinjtoii Papers. 

Lat\ '?«'/ PMU^ Strr'u^s of Arthn- St. Chtir. 237 

the 2d ^[a\^ followinar. Senator l>r\>wn wnno that, as* 
two lionses had ilisasrreoil on tho bill, " a ov>ntVrvnoo was 
el. auiK this mornin«r« tho nianairors on the part of the 
ise of Represontativos liave iwodod fnun their dis- 
^vetrmeut, and the amendment of tlie Senate, herv^tofore 
^ vou. mav be consitlered as passed. 1 eonirnitnlate 
ay»on tliis event, whielu in my o{»inion, will give Chil- 
^he tho j»ermanent seat of government." * 
'he political scheme being only partly sneeessfnl, the 
j 's^m, -K. 7:]^ft. to next resolved on preventing the ri^-appointnicnt of 

emor St. Clair in December. Thev sent to the Presi- 
a remonstnince against the n^-appointment, backed 
m account of the disagreement between the Kxecutive 
the Legislature. Pr. Titfin also added personal in- 
lee, by appearing in AVashington and conferring with 
"Tuinent members of the Senate. This did not escape 
ittention of St. Clair, as he was kept advised by Gen- 
Wilkinson, who was at the capital at the time seeking 
lotion." Some of the fricmls of the Administration 
rested the appointnxent of Mr. Tracy, of Connei»ticnt, 
^^lace of St. Clair, but the President adhered to his 
Lnal purpose of making a re-appointment. The result 
T)een seen. Some of the TicjKibl leans who voted to 
irm the nomination were moved to explain their action 
lonel Worthington : — 

nator Brown said : " Under all circumstances we could 

•Tell do otherwise. T/tc appliratio/ts frum the 7\rrifon/ 

favor tccre JuoncroKS and ecru i\spictahU\ nor inis it 

bUy in case of his rejection y that a saeces.sor )roahl haee 

<ippointed who wonhl hare ijieen (prater stiti.^faetlon,'*^ 

^neral Stevens Thomson Mason tlioutcht that St. 

i i:* ought not to have been re-appointed, but *• some 

'■^^Ck'bers who did not approve of the api>ointnient were 

^^Viced to vote for it from an apprehension that, should 

*^^ ^« rejected, some person more obnoxious might be ap- 

"* •^•S. Worthfngton Papers. 
St. (^ir Correspondence. 
Ms. Worthington Papers, 

238 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Oair. 

pointed, such as Tracy, and that it wovld only be exchange 
iny an old and feeble tyrant for one more active and wickedJ*^^ 

" I am truly sorry," wrote the venerable General Rufus 
Putnam to Colonel Worthington, ** I am truly sorry that 
there ever was or should he a petition presented to the 
President of the United States, either against or in favor 
of Governor St. Clair. It serves, in my opinion, no otlier 
purpose but to create prejudice and a party spirit among 
the people."^ 

Afterward, when the war on St. Clair assumed the most 
violent phase, General Putnam took an active part in sus- 
taining the Governor by letter and petition. 

Failing in this, there was hope ahead in the change of 
administration. If the proper ciFort were made St. Clair 
miffht be removed and the wav made clear for a new Re- 
publican State. The elder Return Jonathan Meigs, a few 
months before, had explained the necessities of the politi- 
cal situation in few words: ''They [the Federalists] are 
apprehensive that if we come into a State government be- 
fore the next election of President, the present adminis- 
tration mav receive three votes from our then State." 


"The Federalists will oppose it [an increase in the number 
of States], because a multii)lication of western or southern 
States will multiply Republican Senators." 

Altliongh Colonel Worthiuirton had gone to AVashingtou 
for the ostensible purpose of defeating a change in bound- 
aries, bis real mission was to secure the removal of St. 
Clair and the passage of an enabling act. The work was 
{•ushed with great energy. It was necessary to create the 
impression that the people of the Territory lived under a 
despotism, and that there was no remedy for the evils 

* //'//. In contrast with General Mason's dreadful view of the char- 
acter of Mr. Tiacy, it is well to read the opinion of John Qiiincv 
Adams, as set down in his Memoirs in ISO,') : " Mr. Tracy shows in nil 
his pul)lic conduct great e.Kperience and a thorough familiarity with 
thoo/v/fvand course of U^gi^lative proceedings. His manner is pecu- 
liarly acconimo(hiling and conciliatory; his command of temper ex- 
emplary." But Mr. Adams was a Iriend. and not a political opponent, 
and could not sre the devil behind the smiling face. 

' .1/6'. Worthington Papers. 

Life mid Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 239 

allc:>^3^od but a radical change of government. To that end f>ublic mind was inflamed l»y every art known to the 

poX^^icjian ; and this, again, was brought to bear upon the 

acl ■ ^ ministration and Congress. Tliat staunch Repuhlican, 

Ji^i^ c3. ge Meigs, had no patience with surli talk, and never 

g"i^"^^^ it his Ciuintenanoe. If the Governor's negative could 

^^^^ <ii ualified he thouofht tlie Territorial svstem of £:overnment 

*^* * ^"^ ^ d not be oppressive in any nspect.* " We are, and 

^^^^^-^^i;^^ been f«»r more than tliirteen years under the oppressive 

^^ ^^•- '^ "^ ^ of tyranny," wildly exclaimed that other Republican 

or, John Smith.' " We want to be free."^ " Aristo- 
«," " Monarchists," were the terms usually a[»plied to 
<^ove^nor'8 party. 

n the 18th of January, 1802, both Dr. Tiffin and Col- 

Massie wrote to Colonel Worthington that petitions, 

leronsly signed, had been forwarded to him. February 

Dr. Tiffin wrote: "I have used every exertion to get 

inel Massie to draw up and forward on his charges. 

appointed three different times to meet on that busi- 

•" February 8th, he wrote again on the smie subject: 

^ have this day been busy in drawing up charges to 

-;^ard to the Secretary of State ai^ainst Governor St. 

■* ^^^ '^ M*. Colonel Massie, Mr. Creighton, and myself, meet 

II at my liouse on Wednesday, and we shall send them 

►jr the next mail certaiidy. Colonel Massie will enclose 

proclamation for erecting the counties of Fairfield, 

Yiiont,and Belmont, agreeable to your request. McMil- 

ie recalled. He will not, therefore, be seen in Wash- 

CDn this year. The Governor is expected through here 

*^ ^ ^ XT on his wav." ^ On the same dav Colonel Massie for- 
^^^^^cled the proclamations and promised the charges by 
^^^^^^t mail. "Suffer me, my dear sir," he added, '* to tell 
^^^^^ that I am highly gratified with your conduct, and if 
^^>^^ can remain a short time longer, will be assisted by all 
v>vxr aid that we can give you." 

^S. Worthington Papers. 

Afterwards XJ. S. Senator, and implicated in Burr's conspiracy. 
• MS, Worthington Papers, 

240 Isije and Public Services of Arthur 6V. Clair. 

At last the charges were completed and forwarded under 
cover of tlie following note : 

" ChiHicothc,12th Feb., 1802.— Dear Sir:— The enclosed 
charges I have at length prepared, and have sent tljeni to 
the Secretary of State, referring liim to you for the several 
documents which you will be pleased to lay before him. I 
am in hopes this will arrive in time to be of service. They, 
perhaps, will want some explanation that I am sure it will 
be in your power to give. 

*' I am, dear sir, 

" Respectfully yr. ob't serv't, 

" Natij. Massie." * 

It was evident that, at this time, it was not all plain sail- 
ing. On the 20th of February, Dr. Tiffin wrote to Colonel 
Worthington that he was sorry to hear him express the 
fear that a law would not pass authorizing a change in the 
government. '* I have used exertions on this occasion to 
the utmost of my power." ** I expect, ere this, you have re- 
ceived the charges against the Governor. I had much 
trouble to got Colonel Massie to finish them." 

The charges themselves will be found in full in the sec- 
ond volume of this work. Let it suffice to remark here 
that when Governor St. Clair obtained a sight of them, 
he answered them so eftcctually that President Jcfterson 
refused to take the action asked. There is reason to be- 
lieve that Hon. Wm. B. Giles, who was chairman of the 
Consfres-ional Committee before whom Colonel Worthintr- 
ton i)resented these charges, and sup[)orted them in an ar- 
gument, advised the President against it. It is known that 
Mr. Jetferson's friendship for St. Clair influenced him, and 
that it was onlv after it was reoresented to him some 
months later upon what seemed to be reliable authority, 
that Governor St. Clair had spoken in public against dem- 
ocratic government, that ho issued the order of removal. 

Meanwhile, the efforts for an act authorizing a State Gov- 
ernment, proved successful in the month of April. Care 
was taken, in the act, to exclude the Territorial Letjislature 

1 MS. ]\'ott!.i tiff ton Papers. 


Life and Public Sercicts of Arihur Si. Oair. i41 

from all participation in the work of calling the Conven- 

^/^Q. Congress assumed the responsibility for that, and, 

Sstrastfal of the people, even at^er severing the citizens 

TVayne couuty from the Territory, made no provision 

r submitting the Constitution to the people. 

It was still feared bv the mnnasjors that in some wav 

>vernor St. Clair would vet defeat the scheme for a Stau\ 

d renewed efforts were made for his removal. The fool- 

is plainly expressed in the following letter from Judge 

mmes : 

" Washixgtox City, June 24, 1S02, 

^Dear Sir^: — Here I am yet, puzzling myself with expla- 

ions of my Miami business with the Attorney General, 

o seems willing to hear much and say little, but I have, 

^et, no cause of discouragement. 

Governor St. Clair is also at Georgetown, but whether 

it - ^ =^^ hope or fear keeps him here so long, I am not able to 

- Some days, I understand, he is in high spirits, and on 

le other days his mercury stands very low. 

The Attorney General mentioned his case to me the 

ir day, and, of his own accord, told me that he believed 

•e would not be the greatest difficuly in the President's 

d, but that some good Republicans had suggested to the 

jident that they thought it would, perhaps, bo as well to 

rovernor St. Chiir remain in office until our State is 

led, and the people choose a Governor for themselves, 

delicacy forbids me to inquire who those good Republi- 

» are, but I boldly advised to the contrary ; and yet, I 

_ ^ect those Republicans live in the Territory. I begin to 

^^ ^^fraid that Republicans in the Territory do not agree 

^^^X on the question of a successor to Mr. St. Clair, and 

^^^^ or more, for fear of not being well pleased with the 

^^^^^^ advise a continuance of the old. I am sorry for it, if 

iV »^ the case. We shall have much to dread if Rcpubli- 

C^iis do not harmonize like clock-work. Jealousies ought 

V> V>e banished from Republicans, or we fail altogether. I 

could name an hundred in the Territory that I will assent 

^M8. Letter to Colonel Thomas Worthington. 


242 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

to any one out of the number. When I see you, I will let 
you know a little more on the subject than I care to write. 

"I got a letter from Daniel Symmes, dated the 4th inst. 
He tells me the parties are at it pell-mell in Cincinnati, but 
that the printers there do yot give the Republicans a fair 
chance ; print every thing for Aristocrats, and only now and 
then a piece for Democrats. We shall never have fair play 
while Arthur and his Knights of the Bound Table sit at the head^ 
and yet there arc Republicans who recommend his continu- 
ance. Astonishing ! " 

Summer and autumn passed away, and the convention to 
form a constitution met, organized, and proceeded to its 
work, and St. Clair was still discharging the functions of 
Governor. Men of excellent character and ability had been 
selected to make a constitution for the new state, more than 
one fourth of whom were opposed to changing from a Ter- 
ritorial to a State Government. On the 3d of November, 
officers^ having been elected, Governor St. Clair proposed 
to address the convention, and was permitted to do so. 
After the Governor had made his address, " which was 
sensible and conciliatory," it was resolved that it was ex- 
pedient to form a Constitution and State government.* 

The presence of Governor St. Clair within the bounda- 
ries of the Eastern District, now about to become a St^ite, 
was cause of continual disquiet to the Republican leaders. 
Their sleep was disturbed with visions of Sir Arthur and 
his knights continuing at the head, even after the District 
should come to be the State of Ohio. Word went up from 
Cincinnati to Chillicothe that the Federalists intended to 
rally round him, and make him the first Governor of the 
State.' They were filled with despair. Dr. Edward Tiffin, 
who had been promised the first honors by the Republicans, 
began an active canvass, and in a few Aveeka wrote, in some 
confidence, that he thought the situation favorable to their 
cause.* Governor St. Clair had refused the use of his name. 

* Edward Tiffin was elected President, und Thomas Scott, Secretary. 
^ Burnet's yofcs, p. 352. 

* MS. Worthington Papers. 

* Ibid. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 248 

"WTiile the matter was in doubt, St. Clair's enemies were 
watcbfol, hoping for an opportunity to trip him up. They 
lay in wait for him in public and in the social circle. Two 
of these * had certified, the preceding December, that in a 
coversation, at a private house, in Chillicothe, the Governor 
had spoken contemptuously of the government, and said 
it "would finally settle down into an Aristocracy, and 
thence into a Monarchy." But even this was not sufilcient 
to convince Mr. Jefferson that a man who had risked his 
life and spent a large fortune in helping to establish ^ 
republic was a monarchist. Perhaps, he did not care 
to give official countenance to political warfare of such 
questionable propriety. Within a year, however, he took 
notice of public utterances in antagonism to the principles 
of the Republican party, or of opinions reported to him to 
be opposed to his policy, and directed the removal to be 
made on political grounds.^ This official action was in the 
folio ving form : 

» ^e Vol. II. Note to letter of George Tod, May 29, 1802. 

' The reader who has followed me thus far, and has seen what came 
of the mob in Chillicothe in 1801, and of the charges which were drawii 
up by Colonel Hassle, and pressed upon the President and Congress 
with infinite labor and zeal by Colonel Worthington, in the winter and 
spring of 1802, may profit by reading a communication made to the 
Ohio Historical and Philosophical Society, in 18G9, which shows the 
Talue of " recollections " as material for history. I copy from the pro- 
ceedings of the Ohio Historical Society : 

Robert Clarke read the following paper by A. H. Dunlevy, of Leba- 
non, Ohio : 

"The removal of Governor Arthur St. Clair, in 1802, by President 
Thomas Jefferson, from the Governorship of the North-western 
Territory : 

*• This removal caused much talk at the time, and Mr. Jefferson suf- 
fered not a little abuse for an act which was generally supposed to proceed 
from mere party proscription. General St. Clair had been appointed 
by General Washington, was a man of groat learning and respectable 
talent, and, though he sadly failed in his military campaign in t):«» 
West, General Washington had the fullest confidence in his integrity 
and civil ability. Why he was removed by Mr. Jefferson was, there- 
fore, never understood, unless it wa:^ on simply x»a»*ty i»rejudice. 

"General St. Clair was a Federalist of the old school. Mr. Jeffer- 
son was a Republican — so-call< d in 1802 — and Judge Jacob Burnet, in 
his Taloftble * Xotes on the North-western Territory,* has expressed the 

244 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

Department of State, 

Washington, November 22, 1802. 
Arthur St, Clair y Esq, : 

Sir : — The President observing, in an address lately de- 
opinion that the removal of General St. Clair was a political partisan 
movement, wholly uncalled for and unwarrantable. Whether this 
removal was or was not justifiable, was a matter on which the people 
of the North-western Territory then differed, and on which there is, 
no doubt, still a great difference of opinion. But whether the removal 
was right or wrong, the cause of it, and the real actors in it, and the 
manner in which it wa^t brought about, should be known. It forms a 
part of our early history, and with a view of correcting the common 
error on this point, the facts were communicated to me by the late 
Governor Jeremiah Morrow shortly before his death. They are sub- 
stantially these: 

"In thetwinter of 1802-3, when the first Constitutional Convention 
was in session in Chillicothe, there were some warm debates about the 
point at which the northern line of the State should be fixed, and quite 
a disturbance having occurred in the streets of Chillicothe one nighty 
it was attributed by some to this quarrel about the northern boundary. 
Under this impression, though it proved wholly erroneous. Governor 
St. Clair called the morning after its occurrence, at the room occupied 
by two members of the convention from Hamilton county, the late 
Governor Morrow and Judge Francis Dunlevy, while they were in their 
room and while the late Judge Luke Foster, also of Hamilton county, 
was present. Governor St. Clair, referring to this tumult in the streets 
the night before, and attributing it to the dispute about the northern 
boundary, proceeded to express his entire want of confidence in our 
democratic form of government, and declared in the most positive 
language that we must have a stronger ynvernmmt^ or anarchy would soon 
be the consequence. In giving expression to these sentiments the 
Governor used terms of the most violent abuse of all democratio in- 

" The three individuals present on this occasion were all the warm- 
est advocates of the democratic form of government, and fully believed, 
while they lived, that, in the progress of Christianity, general educa- 
tion and consequent civilization, the democratic form of government 
was destined to supersede all others, and hence they were highly in- 
dignant at Governor St. Clair's opinions, and believed him holding 
these sentiments to be unfit for the Governorship of the vast country 
included in the North-western Territory, then just beginning to be se^ 

" Judge Dunlevy, at once reduced Governor St. Clair's expressions to 
writing. They were signed by the three persons present, verified by 
affidavit, and forwarded to President Jefferson. 

"At the same time they recommended the appointment, as successor 

liift and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 245 

li vered by you to the convention held at Chillicothe, an in- 
t;einperance and indecorum of language toward the Legis- 
lature of the United States, and a disorganizing spirit and 
indency of very evil example, and grossly violating the 

St. Clair, of William Henry Harrison, therfdelegate of the Territory in 
CJongress, and so well-known since as the distinguished commander of 
t;lie North-western army in 1812-15, and finally elected President of the 
XJnited States in 1840. Governor St. Clair was immediately removed, 
&nd General Harrison appointed his successor. But as Congress, about 
^bat time, divided the North-western Territory into districts and sepa- 
iTAte Territories, General Harrison was assigned to the Territory of 
Indiana, and acted as Governor thereof until his appointment as 
Srigadier-General, in October, 1812, and placed at the head of the 
North-western armv. 

"After the death of Judges Dunlevy and Foster, the survivor of the 
^liree who had been active in the removal of General St. Clair, the late 
Oovernor Jeremiah Morrow, called on me, as I understood him, to 
furnish me with the facts relating to this removal, in order that, after 
liis death, I might explain a transaction that had caused so much ex- 
citement at the time, and had given rise to a relentless political 
persecution of a worthy and highly honored patriot. 

** If the oflBcers of the Historical Society of Ohio think this matter 
'worthy of their attention, they can use this communication as they think 
proper. It might be well, in some way, to perpetuate the facts, and 
thus correct the history of the event. Judge Burnet, in his work, has 
devoted a large space to remarks on this removal, and attributed it, as 
he no doubt really believed, as he interpreted the riotous mob at Chil- 
licothe, in 1801, to a wanton and unjustifiable persecution of Governor 
St. Clair. In all this, however, I have been assured he was mistaken. 
"Lebanon, , May 25, 1869. A. H. Dunlevy. 

It would be difficult to crowd into the same space a greater number 
of errors. 

Alfred T. Goodman reviewed the paper of Mr. Dunlevy, and, in at- 
tempting to correct the errors made by that gentleman, himself com- 
mitted others. He erroneously attributed the cause pf the removal 
to the charges drawn up by Colonel Massio and presented by Colonel 
Worthington. He supposed Colonel W. to be the author of these. 
Until recently, the papers which reveal all the facts have not been 
obtainable, and are made public in this work for the first time. Mr. 
Goodman was right in supporting the statement of Judge Burnet that 
the removal of St. Clair was made on political grounds. It is cus- 
tomary to speak of the Ohio Constitutional Convention as having been 
held in the winter of 1802-3. It concluded its labors November 29, 
1802. The Chillicothe riot occurred in 1801, and did not originate in 
any discussion relating to a northern boundary. 

246 L\fe and Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 

rules of conduct enjoined by your public station, determines 
that your commission of Governor of the North-western 
Territory shall cease on the receipt of this notification. 

I am, etc., 

James Madison. 

Department op State, 
Washington, November 22, 1802. 
SiE: — Enclosed is a letter to Governor St. Clair, from a 
copy of which also enclosed, you will find that his com- 
mission of Governor of the North-western Territory is to 
cease on his receipt of the notification. It is only to be 
added that no successor has yet been appointed, and, con- 
Bequently, that the functions of the office devolve on you, 
as Secretary of the said Territory. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully. 
Your most obedient and humble servant, 

James Madisoh. 
Charles W. Byrd, Esq., Chillicothe. 

This official correspondence is a striking illustration of 
the political madness of the time. That a gentleman of 
the high character, the culture, and the experience of Mr. 
Madison could consent to commit such an indignity as to 
send a letter of removal under cover to a malignant, per- 
sonal enemy of the officer removed, is remarkable; and it 
would be difficult to justify the act on the ground of official 
duty. It would have been impossible for him to have 
committed any other act that would have been regarded 
by St. Clair as more offensive. 

Thomas Jefferson, Republican, pronounced the address 
delivered before the constitutional convention intemperate 
in language, and as exhibiting a " disorganizing spirit." 
Jacob Burnet, Federalist, who was present on the occasion, 
declared it to be " sensible and conciliatory." In these 
radically different opinions the philosophical reader will 
find food for reflection. 

We catch a glimpse of the brave St. Clair in 1^ Be- 

lAJt and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 247 

publican correspondence of the period, and likewise the 
bouyant spirits of the young leaders of the new party. 
Let these excerpts suffice : 

William Crcighton to Thomas Worthington, Chillicothe, 
Dec. 27, 1802 : 

"At present we talk of nothing but the Governor's 
dismissal. He passed thro' this place on Sat. for Phila. 
I have just now read his answer to Mr. Madison — one of 
the severest things I ever saw. We have a host of can- 
didates for the next Assembly. Your name appeared in 
the list on Saturday last. The people yet continue calm, 
and probably will during the present election." * 

January 31, 1803, Return J. Meigs, Jr., announces that 
the Republicans swept the Federalist stronghold of Mari- 
etta by a large majority : 

" The Federalists here have grown (if possible) more 
bitter than ever. They fulminate their anathemas against 
the administration with unprecedented malice. Such was 
their obstinacy that (knowing they could not carry a 
Federal governor) they would not vote for governor at 
all, but threw in blank tickets." * 

^M& WarthingUm Papers. 

248 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 


1803-1818. — Closing Days — Importance of the Work op St. Clair ik the 
North-western Territory — A Wii.derness Civiuzed and a Peoplb 
MADE Prosperous and Happy — Rkturn op the Veteran to Ligonier 
— Financial Affairs — The Government of the United States pleads 
the Statute op Limitations, which Act, with the Aid of the Em- 
bargo Law, brings St. Claiu's Estate to Forced Sale, and beduces 
the old Soldier and Family to Poverty — Depth op Party Prejudi- 
ces — St. Clair ukmovks to Ciikst.nut Ridge — Visited by Distin- 
guished Citizens — Interesting Relic of the Revolutionary Period 
— Privations endured — Sympathy of New York Ladies — Ingrati- 
tude — The Last of Earth. 

St. Clair'S work in the North-western Territory was 
finished, and he could look upon it with feelings of pride. 
He had helped to secure from the old Continental Con- 
gress the great charter which secured freedom to a vast 
empire, and made religion and education fundamental 
principles in the constitutions of the five republics. He 
had given to the Territory a code of laws better in all re- 
spects than any new country ever had before. He had 
seen that Justice tempered her decrees with mercy, and 
had infused into all the departments of government a 
spirit of benignity whose influence is still felt, and will 
continue to be felt as long as these republics exist. Such 
services, in the days of the Grecian and Roman world, 
earned the wreaths of honor and gratitude, and, mayhap, 
added wealth which insured ease and comfort in old age. 
But in the model republic, what? 

St. Clair returned to Pennsylvania, and in time gathered 
his family about him at Ligonier. His first efforts were 
given to the task of i)Utting his private affairs into shape, 
and if i)()ssible securing something to live upon from the 
wreck of things. He was now an old man, and unfit to 
embark in business of any kind, but as he had spent his 
fortune in the service of the public, he was hopeful that 
the representatives of the peojilo would remunerate him 

Ijife and. Public Services of Arthur St, Clair. 249 

for his losses. Alas! he knew little of the motives that 
C5ontrol men in place. The past to them is dead, and the 
services which gray hairs recall may look to that past for 
-fcheir compensation. They can add nothing to the living 
present in which ambition is busy building monuments for 
-tie future. 

The story of St. Clair's financial troubles, and his efforts 
t:o get justice — aye, even the shadow of justice — from the 
Government, is a pitiful, and to the Government, a shame- 
ful one. I have dwelt on the brilliant services of a long 
life with pleasure, and now that the evening has come 
"^^ith its shadows, I would hasten to the end. 

In the dark days of the Revolution, when it seemed as 
if Washington's army would melt away and leave him and 
liis officers as the sole force to confront the enemy, he ap- 
pealed to St. Clair to save to him the Pennsylvania line, the 
flower of that army. St. Clair at once responded by sup- 
plying from his own private resources the funds necessary 
to begin the recruiting, which was undertaken by Major 
"William Butler. After the close of the war, he endeav- 
ored to get this refunded in a settlement of his accounts, 
but, because of the non-adjustment of other accounts, the 
Paymaster-General did not allow it, although conceding 
the regularity of the claim. It was finally presented to 
the Committee on Claims in Congress, who reported that 
the money had been furnished and expended for the benefit 
of the United States, but that it was barred by the Statute. 
In the management of the Indian affairs in the Territory, 
- it became necessary as Superintendent, in order to carry 
out the instructions of the Secretary of War, to become 
responsible for supplies which exceeded in amount the 
warrants furnished by Government, nine thousand dollars. 
When St. Clair sent his account to the Treasury Depart- 
ment it was disallowed, because the accompanying vouchers 
were not receipted. When this omission was supplied, the 
contractor required St. Clair to give his personal bond 
for the payment of the vouchers. When again presented 
to the Treasury Department for payment, the vouchers 
could not be paid because there was no appropriation for 

260 lAfe and Public Services af Arthur St. OUUr. 

the payment of debts contracted under the 
and before that oould be secured^ Mr. Hamilton went out 
of office. St. Olair had not been aoxioug about the matter, 
as Mr. Hamilton had promised that it should be attended 
to, and that interest should be allowed on the claim. But 
the new Secretary would do nothing in the matter, and, in 
1796, all of the papers were destroyed by fire in the War 
Office. St. Clair finally applied to Congress, where, again, 
payment was refused because of the Statute of Limitationa ! 
The creditor got a judgment on the bond, and five thou- 
sand dollars were paid on the debt; but, in 1810, execution 
was issued, at which time the debt had increased, with in- 
terest, to ten thousand dollars. At that unfavorable mo- 
ment, when the embargo had driven money out of the 
country, St. Clair's property was forced to sale; and a 
most valuable tract of land, on which there was a good 
mill, a large and well finished dwelling-house, and all of 
the necessary outhouses for a farm, and a furnace for 
smelting iron, on which St. Clair had laid out about ten 
thousand dollars (which was so valuable that at the time 
it was rented for twenty-four hundred dollars per annum) — 
all of this property, in value over fifty thousand dollars — 
a large sum in those days — which would have made him 
and his family comfortable for the remaining years of his 
life, was sacrificed to pay a debt which was in no proper 
sense personal, but was due from the United States. It 
went under the hammer for four thousand dollars ! All 
of his other property went in the same way, and St. Clair, 
wife, daughters, and orphan grandchildren were reduced to 

This home, from which they were now driven, was built 
while St. Clair was Governor of the North-western Terri- 
tory — about 1799 — and was named by him " The Hermit- 
age," in fond anticipation of the time when he should be 
relieved of the cares of State. It was about two miles 
north of Ligonier, on a tract of laud received by St. Clair 
at the close of the Revolutionary War. Alexander John- 
ston says the residence was considered handsome at the time. 
It was handsomely painted and papered, and, besides orcU- 

hift and Public Services of Artkur St. Clair. 251 

narjr apArtments, had a suite of numbered rooms. The 

fiitoatioQ was picturesque, a fine trout stream flowing in 

front of the house through an expanse of meadow and 

^woodland, with the blue outlines of the mountains visible 

in the distance, to complete the landscape. Nothing i^- 

2nainedof the old mansion, when last seen, except St. Clair's 

own room, which was as he left it, but the painting over 

Che fire-place had been destroyed. 

In referring, afterwards, to the executions which swept 
way this beautiful home, and all his personal property, 
3t. Clair said : " They left me a few books of my classical 
ilbrary," (including Horace, one would hope,) "and the 
"bust of Paul Jones, which he sent me from Europe, for 
hich I was very grateful." 

Was not this forbearance which spared the counterfeit 

f an old friend, and the means for forgetting the pangs of 

Hanger and the ingratitude of man suf&cient to be grateful 

or ? This was more than the Government did : it took 

't^.lie best years of its subject's life, piled debt upon debt, and 

't^.'hen mocked his gray hairs. If, as Schiller truly says, it 

X© the most important concern of every State that justice 

^liould prevail, and all men in the world should have their 

own, how shall we describe the magnitude of the crime 

t;liat drove, empty-handed, from the door of the Capitol, 

'where Justice, it is supposed, ever has her seat, the man 

'^vho gave his all to his country? 

One is reluctant to believe that party feeling had any- 
^Wng to do with this refusal to pay the just claim of a cred- 
itor, and, yet, the debates show that the members entertained 
a feeling of political animosity that is inconceivable at the 
present. Even as late as the winter of 1818, when the era 
of *^ good feeling " yet prevailed, and an effort was made to 
pay the principal of the debt due to St. Clair, there was 
great acrimony displayed in the debates.^ Then the gallant 

^ In further illustration of the bitterness of feeling entertained by 
fiepablicaoi politicians against the old Federalist, I give here the fol- 
iowing extract from the proceedings of the House, Feb. 5, 1818: 

" Mr. Mercer then moved the following amendment, by way of pre- 
amble: 'Whereas, the Congress of the United States entertain a high 
aenae of the tried integrity, as well as of the civil and military virtues, 

252 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

old patriot did not lack eloquent orators to plead his cause 
— his cause? the cause of honesty and right embraced in 
the duty of government — ^^for there were Henry Clay, of 
Kentucky; Charles F. Mercer, of Virginia, and William 
Henry Harrison, of Ohio, who stood forth in his behalf. 
But the debt was not paid — never was.* Finally, there was 
wrung from that Congress a pension of sixty dollars per 
month, but not a dollar of it ever reached St. Clair, for a 
creditor seized upon it at the very door of the Treasury. 

The sacrifice of his home drove St. Clair to the barren 
lands of Chestnut Eidge, (about five miles west of Ligo- 
nier,) where the few remaining years of his life were spent 
in great privation.' His favorite daughter, Mrs. Louisa 
Eobb, shared his fortunes and cheered his remaining days. 
The dwelling was a log house, situated by the side of the 
old State road that passed from Bedford to Pittsburgh. 
Hither many were attracted by the fame of the noble resi- 
dent, whose dignity of carriage, fire of spirit, and charm 
of conversation were preserved in spite of his extreme age. 
Two distinguished men have left their impressions of him 
in these closing years. 

The biographer of General Lewis Cass, referring to that 
statosnian's acquaintance with St. Chiir, described him as 
lie was when contendiiii^ with political opponents at the 
l)e<^inning oi the century : 

" General St. Chiir was a most interesting relic of the 

of Arthur St. Clair, late President of the Congress, and Commander- 
in-Chief of the Army of the United States, whom they learn, with 
regret, has been reduced, by misfortune, to extreme poverty.* " This 
motion was negatived — ayes, 61 ; noes, 81. — Annals of Congress, 

Pennsylvania, after St. Clair was reduced in circumstances, settled 
an annuity of three hundred dollars, and, in 1817, increased the amount 
to six hundred. 

* In 1857 — thirty-nine years after the death of St. Clair — Congress 
appropriated a considerable sum for the benefit of his surviving heirs. 

' During the last four years of his life, the family were frequently in 
great want. Some patriotic ladies of New York, hearing of St. Claires 
necessities, sent him a remittance in money, and afterwards eight 
hundred dollars in steamboat stock, which, however, proved to be 
worthless. Nevertheless, the deed was a good one, and St Clair 
knowledged it in a graceful letter. 

Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 253 

revolutionary period; tall, erect, though advanced in years, 

^well educated, gentlemanly, thoroughly acquainted with 

the world, and abounding in anecdotes, descriptive of the 

xnen and scenes he had encountered in his eventful career." 

'^ Lewis Cass saw him for the last time some years before 

liis death, in a rude cabin, supported by selling supplies to 

"the wagoners who traveled the road, one of the most 

striking instances of the mutations which chequer life." 

Hon. Elisha Whittlesev saw him in 1815, as he and three 
friends were journeying from Ohio to Connecticut on horse- 
tack. " I proposed that we stop at his house and spend 
he night. He had no grain for our horses, and after 
pending an hour with him in the most agreeable and in- 
eresting conver.-ation respecting his early knowledge of 
he North-western Territory, we took our leave of him with 
he deepest regret. 

"I never was in the presence of a man that caused me 
o feel the same degree of esteem and veneration. He 
rore a citizen's dress of black of the Revolution; his hair 
cilubbed and powdered. When we entered, he rose with 
<Jignity, and received us most courteously. His dwelling 
"^ras a common double log-house of the Western country, 
t;hat a neighborhood would roll up in an afternoon. Chest- 
nut Ridge was bleak and barren. There lived the friend 
and confidant of Washington, the ex-Governor of the 
fairest portion of creation. It was in the neighborhood, if 
not in view, of a large estate near Ligonier that he owned 
at the commencement of the Revolution, and which, as I 
have at all times understood, was sacrificed to promote the 
success of the Revolution. Poverty did not cause him to 
lose his self respect, and, were he now living, his personal 
appearance would command universal admiration." 

The joarney is nearly ended. On one of the closing 
days of August, 1818, the venerable patriot, in his eighty- 
foorth year, undertook to go to Youngstown, three miles 
distant, for flour and other necessaries. He bade good-bye 
to his Louisa and started off with his pony and wagon, in 
good spirits. The authorities had changed the State road 
so that it passed along the Loyal hanna Creek, several miles 

254 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 

north of the St. Clair residence, and the route to Tonngs- 
towii was rough and dangerous. Pony and wagon moved 
safely along until within a nnle of the vilhige, when a wheel 
falling into a rut, the wagon was upset, and the aged Gen- 
eral thrown with great force upon thje rocky road. In the 
course of the day he was discovered lying where he had 
fallen, insensible, and the pony standing quietly at a short 
distance, awaiting the command of his old master — faithful 
to the last. He was carried tenderly back to the house, but 
neither medical skill nor the affectionate care of loved ones 
could restore him, and, on the thirty-first, Death came with 
liis blessed messu.'re of i)oacc forevermore. 

On a neat sand- stone monument, erected by the Masonio 
Society, in the cemetery of Greensburg, is this inscription: 


Earthly Remains 



are deposited 
Beneath this Humble Monument, 


Erected to Supply the Place 

OF A Nobler One 

Due from His Country. 

If this work, which unfolds the character and records the 
deeds of Arthur St. Clair, shall enable the American peo- 
pie to form a just opinion of our hero's abilities and virtues 
— notably his patriotism, his disinterestedness, his courage 
and magnanimity, all of which he possessed in a greater 
degree than almost any other of his day — then shall 
that nobler monument have been supplied, and in the in- 
crease of gratitude and respect for the men who stood 
faithfully by Washington in the dark days of the Revolu- 
tion, the divine law of compensation have found its lultiU- 

lAft and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair. 255 

Unobscured now by party passions and prejudices, the 
Z3iind, calmly reviewing the past, discerns the truth in every 
^vent and the heroic in every character participating in the 
istruggle with King George, and in the work of establish- 
i m)g civil government upon the ruins of war. Justice is 
cl ispensed at last. Ever noble shall appear the names of 
r lie few faithful companions and friends of Washington, 
liat one deserves to stand above that of St. Clair? His 
lilities, his genius, his unselfishness, and his loyalty en- 
tiitled him to share in the councils of his Chief. "As long 
ai.s the measures which conducted us safely through the 
rst most critical stages of the war shall be remembered 
rith approbation; as long as the enterprises of Trenton 
nd Princeton* nhall be regarded as the dawnings of that 
l>right day which afterward broke forth with such resplen- 
dent lustre;"^ as* long as self-sacrifice for country shall be 

^ Since the above sketch was put into the hands of the printer, I 

^ave received an interesting letter from Dr. W. A. Irvine, grandson 

^>f General William Irvine, which confirms the opinion expressed in 

"^ho text, that General St. Clair suggested the brilliant movement on 

"%he Delaware. I take the liberty of adding it to the notes already 

^^QQade * 

" Irvine, 1»a., Sept. 28, 1881. 

"Dear Sir: — Your letter was laid aside and overlooked. 1 have no 
other letters of St. Clair's than those you allude to. I have, however, 
^n incident connected with the General, which I will give you: 
Thomas Leiper, of Philadelphia, a member of the City Troop which 
«erVed under Washington during the campaign of 1770, stated to my 
iVither, Callender Irvine, that St. Clair had not received the credit he 
deserved — of having suggested to General Washington the crossing the 
Delaware into New Jersey, which resulted so favorably to the Amer- 
ican cause, and to General Washington's fame. Mr. Leiper said, the 
fact that St. Clair did suggest the movement was well known in camp. 
Leiper was a man of high honor and v«'raoity, and would not have 
stated the fact if not true. At the .same time he related the circum- 
stances, be was commiserating St. Clair's misfortunes. It is not an 
uncommon thing for the Commander-in-Chief to reap all the laurels 
of his subordinates. True, he assumes all the responsibility of any 
particular course of action. General Wa.shington, as a military man, 
had not, I think a suggo.^tive mind, but he had the good sense to know 
when to follow sound a<lvice. Respectfully yours, 

**Wm. Henry Smith, Esq., Chicago, III. W. A. Ikvixe." 

'Alexander Hamilton, whose language has a singular appropriateness 
in this connection. 

256 Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, 

esteemed the highest evidence of patriotism; as long as 
the wisdom that preserved an army to tliwart the scheme 
of the British Cabinet for the subjugation of tlie Eastern 
Colonies is appreciated; as long as the republics formed 
under the Ordinance of 1787 shall endure, so long shall 
the name of Arthur St. Clair be held in grateful remcm- 
l^rance by the American people. 





George Wilson* to Arthur St. Clair. 

My Dear Capt. — I am Sorey that the first Letter I ever under- 
took to Write you shoukl Coutain a Detail of a Grievance so Dis- 
agreeable to me; Wars of any Cind are not agreable to auey Person 
Posesed of ye proper feelings of Humanity, But more Especially 
int^stin Brovls.^ I no sooner Returned Home from Court'' than I 
Found papers containing the Resolves, as they Called them, of ye 

*The writer of tliis letter — George Wilson, generally known AVest of the 
mountains, at that date, as Colonel Wilson — was one of the justices of Bed- 
ford county, Pennsylvania, "nominated and authorized by the Governor, for 
the time being, by a coinnjission under the broad seal of the Province." He 
wa."* not u man *' learned in the law," but was, nevertheless, a prominent and 
influential citizen. He was afterward, upon the erection of Westmoreland 
county, appointed one of its trustees for the purpose (»f "fixing a place for 
building a Court-IIouse [and] a Goal [jail] for the said county." lie was, 
als'^, made one of its justices of the peace, having received his first appoint- 
ment February 27, 1773, and a second one the 11th of January, 1774. Col- 
onel Wilson, at one time, resided at Staunton, Virginia, and moved thence to 
Pennsylvania. lie succeeded Mackay as Colonel of the Eighth Pennsyl- 
vania llegiment. Died at Quibbletown, New Jersey, in the spring of 1777. 

^The " intestin Broyls" referred to are the boundary troubles between 
Penn.«ylvania and A^'irginia, the history and progress of which will hereafter 
more fully be shown. 

'The first court of quarter sessions of the peace and jail delivery was 
held in Bedford, April 10, 1771, before William Proctor, Jr., Kobert Clug- 
gftge, Robert Hanna, William Lochry, William McConnell, and the author 
of this letter — George Wilson. The Court had the high-sounding title of 
"Justices of our Lord the King, to hear and determine divers felonies and 
mUdemcnnors committed in Bedford county." 

17 (257) 

2o8 The St. Clair Papers. 

inhabitants to ye Westward of ye Laurall hills,* ware handing fast 
alH)wt amongst ye people, in which amongst ye rest Was one that 
they Were Resolved to appose Everey of Pens Laws as they Called 
them, Except Felonious actions, at ye Risque of Life, & under the 
penelty of fiftey pounds, to be Rccovoured or Leveyed By them- 
selves off ye Estates of ye failure.' The first of them I found 
Hardey anugh to offer it in publick, I emeditly ordred into Custotey, 
on wliicli a large number Ware asembled as Was Scj^sed to Resquc 
The Prisonar. I indavoured, By all ye Reason I was Capable of, 
to Convince them of the ill Consequences that would of Conse- 
quence attend such a Rel)ellion, & Hajwly Gained on the people to 
Consent to Roliufjuish their Resolves & to Burn the Peper they had 
Signed — When their Forman saw that the Arms of His Centric, 
that as hee said Hoe had thrown himself into would not Resquc 
him By force, lice Catched up his Rifle, Which Was Well Loded, 
Jumjwd out of Dors, & swore if aney man Cam nigh him hee 
Would put What Was in his throo them ; the Person that IIa<l him 
in Cust4)dy Called for asistance in ye Kings name, and in pirticke- 
laur Comauded my self, I told him I was a Subject & was not fit to 
Comand if not Willing to obay, on which I watched his eye untill I 
saw a Chance, Spning in on him <fe Sezed the Rifle by ye Muzleand 
held him, So as he Could not Shoot mee, untill more help Got in to 
my a'iistance, on which I Disarmed him <fe Broke his Rifle to peeses. 
I ResM a Sore Brnze on one of my arms By a punch of ye (tuu in 
ye Strugle — Then jmt him under a Strong Guard, Told them the 
Laws of their Contrie was stronger then the Hardiest Ruflin amongst 

I found it necescry on their Complyance faltering their Resrdves, 
and his promising to Ciive him self no more trouble in the affiiir, as 

^Tho Laurel Hill is ti moimtainous rnnijje in the South-western part of 
Pennsylvania. At the Youj^hiugheny Kiver poing North, it beconu's C hest- 
nut Kidge, and the range east of it receives the name of Laurel Hill. Col- 
onel AVilson's ht>nie was in what is now Fayette county. 

2" I understand hy Captain John Haden, the bearer of this, that there is 
an ai^reenient entered into by a number of the inhabitants of Mon<»ngahela 
and lvedst(Mie. They have <.'ntered into a bond or article of agreement, to 
join ami keep off all otTioi'r-j of the law, under a penalty of fifty [pounds], 
to be forfeited by the ]>arty refn-^iiig to join against all (»f!iceia what.soever." 
— Exirnrt froi)} a LHtrr w riff en af *' Sfrwarfs ( rowthips,'' in what was then 
Bedford rounfi/, Attf/itsf 0, 1771. The explamttion of this unusual determina- 
tion of the people of that section is, they were living in disputed territory — 
claimed by both Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

200 The St. Clair Papers. 

Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Shippen, Jr.* 

Bedford, Seper2^, 1771. ' 
Sir: — I am favored with yours of the 22<1 of August inclotiiing 
twelve Tavern Licenses; mine to you in April I find has miscarriecl. 
I had a particular reason for wishing that letter safe, but I hope 
soon to have the pleasure of seeing you in person. 

I am sorry the paj)er8 I now enclose will contradict the favorable 
account I have given of our county; indeed I am apprehensive 
there will Ikj a great deal of trouble on our frontier. A ridiculous 
story that Mr. Crcssap *^ has spread with much industry that this 
Province did not extend Iwyond the Alleghany Mountain, but that all 
to the westward of it was King's Land, has taken great hold of the 
people, and together with Mr. Croghan's claims and surveys' has put 

ley, Fairfield, Mt. Pleasant, Ilempfield, Pitt, Tyrone, Rosstrevor, Arm- 
strong, and Tiillileaijue. Spring Hill took in a large part »)f what is now 
Fayette county, the whole of Greene, and a portion of Washington. 

^ *'2d January, 170*2. Memorandum. This day the Governor executed a 
Commission appointing Mr. .Ids 'ph Shippen, Junior, Secretary and Clerk of 
the Council, for the Province of Pennsylvania, etc." 

"Novemher the 1st, 1703. 31 r. Joseph Shippen, Junior, being continued 
Provincial Secretary aiul Clerk of the C(»uncil. etc." 

''Thursday, 17th October, 1771. The Governor informed the Board that 
he continu(?d Mr. Joseph Shippen, Jun'r, in the office of Provincial Secro- 
tiiry and Clerk « f the Council, etc." — Extracts from the M'uiutes of the (Pa.) 
Proj'iurtuf. Council. 

'^ Micheal Cresap, a well-known citizen, at that time, of Old Town, Mary- 
lt\nd, which place was generally called " Cresap's," and is so marke I on some 
of the maps of that peric»d. lie was frequently west of the; mountains. He 
was a native of the State in "which he lived. The u^^e of his name (though 
wrongfully) in thtt celebrated *• aj)peal " of Logan, the Mingo chief, has made 
it familiar to* every school-boy. 

^George Croghan (pronounced Crohon) was a native of Ireland. lie first 
settle*! upon the Susquehanna, where as early as 1740, he was engaged in 
tlx* Tinlian trade, lie afterward was ager)t for Pennsylvania among the In- 
dians upnii the Ohio arjd tributaries. He erected a fort at the site of the 
prc-cnt Shirleysburg, Huntingdon county Pennsylvania. Early in the 
French AVar, he was a captain ; but, in 1750, he threw up his commission, 
and repaired to Sir \Villiam Johnson, who appointed him a deputy Indian 
agj'iit of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Indians. After Pontiac's War, ho 
livrd at his s«'ttienient upon the east side of the Alleghany river, four miles 
«bi»v(; Pitt.-hwrgh. where, as Sir AVilliam's deputy, he continued very effi- 
cient. Here "Washington visited him on the 19th of October, 1770; and 
here he still re>ided at date of this letter. 

Croirhan's "claims and surveys" were all in the vicinity of Pittsburgh. 
" Our friend, Mr. Croghan," said the Six Nations of Indians at a treaty held 

262 The St. Clair Papers. 

The recommendation I will send the first opportunity after I see 
a few of the magistrates together. 

Geo. Croghan to Arthur St. Clair. 

June the 4t]i, 1772. 

Dear Sir: — Your feaver of the 2d was Delivered me by Mr. 
Eapy [Kspy] & Mr. Galbreath & I observe the Contents, Mr. Col- 
lens Did Write me Some Time ago, & I Inclose me ye Copy of a 
Leter from Coll. Crisap to ye Inhabitauce there, & Dcsierd my 
opinion thereon, in my answer I tould him that my Leters from 
England Did menshon that the Western bounds of Pensylvania 
Could Nott Come any Distance on this Side ye Hills, & that I made 
No Doubt but Coll. Cresaps had been Well Inform*d l>efore he wrote 
that Lcter, & that is my own opinion, how farr itt may be Consist- 
ant with the Good of Society for the King's Subjects to be under 
the Kegulation of Laws, Every one will agree, any Law is beter 
than No Law, Butt when Laws are administered with two much 
Severity wh have been two often Don fer three years past, it be- 
comes oppressife and unjust. 

As I Conceave yr Leter and Inferniation as an act of frendshipe, 
& that I have the highest opinion of yr upright & Just Sence of 
those maters, I Write you with freedom, & as wo are on this topect, 
pniy why did Not the proprietors j)revont all those Disputes, by as- 
certaing thire l>ouuds, I will Submitt itt to yr Self how farr itt is 
Consistant v;ith the prinseples of Justice, forr thire agents to open 
an ofese to dispose of Lands so Curc;)nistan(!ed as to admit t of Dis- 
pute, without proscrilwiug themselves any Limites, when they must 
well Ilemember that itts Nott a (jreat Number of Years Sence the 
aScmbly Refused to build a Trading house or fort Leer,' aLedging 
itt to Ik^ out of Mr. Penn*s Grant, & after that ye Same aSembly 
Refused (iranting mony for the King's use, to aSist in the Reduc- 
tion (^f Fort Du (piasue,^ tfe I Dont Know that Ever Mr. Penn Tuck 
anv ineshurs S(?nce that Time to ascertain his bounds, or make itt 
Known to the publick, as to any Right that Pensylvania has to 

^ "Hofu^cd t(» build a Trading house or fort hcor; " that is, at the site of 
the jM-esent ciiy uf Pittsburgh. 

'■''♦ Fort Du quasrie;*' i. r., Fort Duqucsne — the post, at wliat is now Pitts- 
hurixh, built bv the French, and nearly d<»stroved hv ih(»m upon the arrival, 
in 17.'>8, of Goiieral Forbes' army. Fort Pitt was afterward erected U|>on 
the site. 

Correspondence^ Addresses, etc. 268 

bave a Duridiction over ye King's Subjects Till the Limits of the 

proviuce is Ascertained, as many of ye Subjects Come from Veginea 

<fe Maryland, & Settled under ye Ohio Company,* those Colonys 

lias as Good pretensions as- Pensylvania, and as to Extending ye 

X<ine by Dixon * beyond ye End of Maryland,' its to well know that 

-was Nott Don by authority to Determine any thing : * Considering 

all those Curcomstances, I may Venture to say you will Ik? of opin- 

L on that if any objections be made to the Laws or Taxes itt will bo 

ntirly oweing to ye meshurs Taken by Pensylvania in Not acertain- 

ng the True Limits of thire Durediction, and publishing itt to the 


I Can Truly Say, that I have Neaver advised any person to use 
Siiereffe or Civil officer of the province, all & such as have ask*d 
ly opinion on these maters which I aShure you is butt very few. 

* The Ohio Company was organized in 1748. Its members resided in 
'laryhmd and Virginia, with an associate in London — fourteen persons in 
11. Its object was the settling of wild lands west of the Alleghany nioun- 
•ins niid trade with the Indians. Its members obtained a grant of five 
undred thou.^and acres of land from the Crown, to be chic-fly taken on the 
Hith sidoof the Ohio River, between the M<Miongahelaand Kanawha. The 
.evolution put an end to the existence of the company. 

'In August, 1703, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, of I^ndon, Eng- 
'M »«.nd, were selected by Lord Baltimore and the Penns lt» complete the boun- 
iiry line between the provinces of Maryland and Pennsylvania. They 
ere both eminent surytyors. The line they run (which extended further 
mr estward than the northwe>?t corner of Maryland) has received their names 
— ^Mason and Dixon's line; figuratively, the dividing line between the 
mcjrthern anl southern States of the Union. The work of Mason and Dixon 
:>©gan late in the year 1703, and ended in October, 1767. 

' Mr. Croi^han means by the words, '• beyond ye End of Maryland," to the 
^^estwarJ of the north-west corner of Marvhir:d. 

*That is, the running of the boundary line beyond the northwest corner 
of Maryland was not done by authority to determine any thing as between 
I^eiiHHijlnania and Virrjinia. This point by Mr. Croghan was, certainly, well 
taken, as Virginia took no part in the running of the line. As the *• back 
line" between .Maryland and Virginia had not been determined, it was to the 
interest of the former province that Mason and Dixi.n should continue west 
beyond the mountains, for the reason that just how far westward her territory 
extended hud not been settled. Her ♦* back line" was, at that period a sub- 
ject of controversy between the provinces, depending upon the que.-^tioji of 
the l.Kjation of the '• thst fountain of the Potomac;" as the line was defined 
to be a meridian, extending Irom that point to the southern boundary lino 
of Pennsylvania. The province of Viri;inia claimed all the territory west 
of the head of the math branch, while Maryland insisted that her terriU)ry 
extended as far ^ve^l as the head of the north branch. 

264 The St. Qair Papers. 

I have advised them to Comply. But with Respect to Lands or 
Taxes I will give you my opinion, which is, that I think the peple 
are fools if they Dont Keep thire mony till they are fully satisfy'd 
that thire proiKirty is Shure, & that the5' are under the Durediction 
of Pennsylvania, when I have the Pleshur of Seeing you we may 
talk more on this Subject, & I will Shoe you the Copy of my Leter 
to Mr. Tilghman* on those Subjects Last August, which you will 
find fair & open, for tho' I know I am much blam'd by the agents 
& other officers of Goverment, yet I aShure you I have very Litle 
Connections or Intercourse with any of the Setlers in this Cuntry. 

R. L. Hooper, Jr.,' to Arthur St. Clair, 

Fort Pitt, July 10th, 1772. 
Dear Sir: — I think it will l)c l>est to, delay doing any thing about 
the lot we were talking of, till I have the pleasure of seeing you 
again. Two days ago I was informed of the determined resolution 
of a considerable numlxT of people in the Redstone settlement,' to 
oppose the jurisdiction of your court in that part of the country, 
till the western lK)unds of Pennsylvania are run, and I apj)rehend the 
measure will be j)roductive of bad conse({Ucnces, tho' it may Ix^ the 
means of having that boundary sooner established than it other- 
wise would be. It does not Inicome me to sjx'ak freely of this mat- 
ter, but you know my sentiments respecting the western bounds of 
Pennsylvania, and I do assure you that no part of this derp lauhcheme 
was conimunicatcd to me till within these two days past, and I hoj>e 
you will believe that I have not been instrumental in promoting an af- 
fair, wliieli, if carried into execution, will be productive of many bad 
consecpiences. If you hear me censured by any worthy persons, on 
the score of frien<lship, I recpiest you will declare my sentiments, 
but doift shew this letter, as you know how I am circumstanced. I 
shall be glad to hear from you. 

* James Til-^lnnan, iiieinhcr of the Provi?)ciul Council of Pennssylvania. 

2 Robert I.fttis Hooper, .Ir.; was, afterwiird, during the KevoUition, a 
Deputy (^uiirterrna^ter-Genoral. 

''' The locality of what is now Brownsville and vicinity, in Faj'ctto county, 

266 St. Clair Papers. 

not been instrumental in promoting an affair which, if carried into 
execution, will be productive of many bad consequences." * I can 
not send his letter as he writes to me in confidence, and requests 
me not to shew it on account of his dependent situation. 

The petition was presented by Mr. Brent, a gentleman from 
Maryland, who practices in our county. He offered nothing in sup- 
port of it, but the uncertaiuty wiiere Pennsylvania ends, and the 
hardship it was on jKiople to live uuder authority that was ])erhaps 
usurped. He was answered by Mr. Wilson, and I a^^sure you the 
Proprietaries and the |>e()ple are very much obliged to him. In a 
very hai^dsonie 6j)eech of about an hour he opened the Constitution 
of the Province, compared it with that of the neighboring Colo- 
nies, and pointed out where it excelled them. He explained to the 
people the conduct of the Proprietaries in granting their lands ; 
their great indulgence to settlers ; their singular lenity to their 
tenants, and the peculiar mildness of the whole system of their 
Government, and concluded with showing to them how fatal to 
themselves the granting their request must prove. I think it was 
lucky it was spoken so publicly, as many jx^ople from the doubt- 
ful part of the country were present, and seemed so pleased w^ith 
the conduct of the court in rejecting the petition. 

If 1 might trouble you with a conjecture, I would say some i>eo- 
ple in Piiihidelj)hia are at the bottom of all these disturbances. 
A certain ambitious set who would not scruj)le to wade to power 
thro* the blood of their fellow citizens, have still a change of Gov- 
ernment in view ; by theireniissariefStiiey may embroil the Pn)vinee, 
whilst ut the same time, by their influence on a certain party iu 
A.s.<(MHbly, the hands of Government may l>e so weakened, that 
order can not soon be restored, but this is all conjecture, and I am 
no politician ; but certain I am messengers and expresses pass and 
rej)ass betwixt Philadelj)hia and Fort Pitt too frequently for any pri- 
vate transaction to bear the exi^nsc. 

It were to be wished that the l)oundary was fixed and so all pre- 
tense taken away ; but if there are no orders to that purjK)se, i)er- 
haps it might answer a good end to divide this county and fix the 
countv town at F<)rt Pitt. I believe it is bevond a doubt the 
Province will extend l)eyon(l it, and the j)e(>ple would perhai)s think 
in this manner that the Proprietaries would not take that step with- 
out being al)Si)lutely certain. 

1 don't know if it was the intention of the Governor, the sjwcial 

^See preceding l»,'tter, U. L. Hooper to St. Clair, July 11, 1772. 

268 The St. Clair Papers. 

are the ringleaders of this gang of villains, John Death, Andrew 
GudgcU and Michal Cock ; they were all well armed with guns, 
tomahawks, pistols and clubs ; and the sheriff is of opinion that 
only for a pocket pistol which he produced he would certainly 
have nitt with extreme ill usa^e if he had c^^caned with his life. 

I liave said these people are chiefly abetted by ^Ir. Croghan, and 
I think I have reason to say so; for no longer ago than Friday lost, 
the collector and c<justable whom he had called to his assistance to 
levy (Mr. Croghau's) his taxes, were drove off by his people, and 
that ^Vlr. Croghan himself threatened to put any or all of them to 
death if they attempted to touch any of his effects, for that he was 
not within the Province bv thirtv miles. 

This will be handed you by William Lochry,^ Esqr., a magistrate 
of this county, and treasurer. You will find him an intelligent 
man, and can give you any further informatitm about matters in 
this part of the country. I supiK)se he will be desirous to wait upon 
the Governor ; I will he obliged to you if you will please to intro- 
duce him; however, he is a plain, honest man, and allowances must 
be made for his address. I intend soon to have the pleasure of 
seeing you, and am, etc. 

Beuxakd DoironERTY to Arthur St. Clair. 

Bedford J //<///.'<f 18f/i, 1772. 
Dr, Sir: — Havin<i: been in town yesterday I wrote vou a few 
hasty Hues from thence. I remenil)er to have mentioned that my 
conduct with resj)ect to the ensuing election should in some measure 
be greatly dependent on the part you'd act I can (with great sin- 
cerity) as.<ure you, that 'twas neither to j ay you a conii)liment, nor 
t:) make you believe I did s >, tliat I have ex;)ressed this manner. 
It is entirely in consideration of the duty I ov»ed myself, and the 
friendship I always possessed for you (friendship that did not con- 
sist in professiiuis only, and wanted ]> )wer, not will, to make it 

truly serviceable) that I <leal thus candidly with you; Tliomjv 

son,' having sp:)ke to me, has resolved not to oppose him, and I 
a:n (a:i;l have always been) resolved not to api)ear on the opposite 
sivle you would be on: therefore if a'ou offer yourself for assembly- 

^AViiliiuii Lochry; was afterward, iipcn the croction of Westmoreland, 
coinniissioiUMl u ju>tico of tho peace f«»r that county. 

^ WilliaTn Thornp*«nn. 11^ wan e\^ctej to tlie Assembly from Bedford 
county in 1771, and re-uleo.ed in 1772. 

Correspondence^ Addresses j Etc. 269 

man, I will decline poling for the sheriff's office' for the reasons 
above mentioned. If I do pole, I am not at all sanguine in my ex- 
pectations, but so resolved as neither to be joyous nor disple4i8tMl at 
either gaining or losing the election. I request you will let me 
know as soon as possible what part you will take, and assure you 
that (notwithstanding the many representations that have been 
made to me of your having injured me in the most tender part) I 
shall not appear against your interest. 

Best compliments to Mrs. St. Clair and love to your little 

-^NEAs Mackay to Aktiiur St. Clair. 

PiTTSBUROii, Srd Marchy 1773. 
Dear Sir:— Yonr esteemed favor dated Philada., the 12th ulto., 
I have had the pleasure of receiving. Every body up this way are 
well satisfied there is a county granted on this side of the hills,* 
altao' I find every body else as well as myself, observes with infinite 
concern, that the point in question is not attended with so favor- 
able circumstance as we at this place had reason to expect, from the 
nature of things. I can not but express my surprise at the point 
determined in favor of the courts of hiw first sitting at Ilanna's. ' 
Pray may I ask you the question, Where is the conveniency for 
transacting business on these occasions, as there is neither houses, 
tables, nor chairs? Certainly the people must sit at the roots of 
trees and stumps and in case of rain the lawyers' books and papers 
must be exposed to the weather, yet to no purpose, as they can not 
presume to write. Consequently, nothing can be done but that of 
revbing fees, by which means every body (the lawyers, only, ex- 

^.lohn Proctor was elected sheriff of Bedford county for 1771-2; Juincs 
Piper for 1773-5. 

'Westmoreland county. It was taken from Bedford ooiinty by act of the 
General Assembly of Pennsylvania, February 26, 1773. It lay west of the 
Laurel Hill, and included the whole of the south-wosit corner of ronnsyl- 
▼ania,as claimed by that Province; but a large portion was olaiinrd by Vir- 
ginia as being in Augusta county -^-Eneas ^Mackay, the writer of this l«*tter 
to .St. Clair was one of the sixteen justice's appointed for tlio new eounty, 
February 27, 1773. Mr. Mackay was re-appointed January 11, 177 4. lie 
resided in Pittsburgh. 

• •* Ilanna'.s" so called because of its being the residence of Ivr>bert TTannn, 
the fii'st settler, was on the "old Forbes road,' a little over thirty miles oji.-t 
of Piitsburgh, and about three miles north-east of the ]>resent Greensburg, 
county-town of "Westmoreland. It was better known as Ilannaetown. 

270 The Hi. Clair Papers. 

ceptcd) going to or attending court, must be sufferers. No doubt but 
Mr. Irwin ^ and a few more of his party, may find their interest in 
this glaring stretch of partiality, yet we, at this place, in particular, 
are too much interested to look over such proceeding in silence. 
The whole inhabitants exclaim against the steps already taken to 
the injury of the county yet in its infancy, and that too, before it 
got its eyes or tongue to sjKMik for itself. 

My dear friend, if I had as much to say among the great as you, 
I would declare it as my opini(m that it would be absolutely neces- 
sary that the commissioners^ should l)e nominated in Philada., by 
which moans I think we could not fail to have the point in question 
carried in our favor; wherexis, should they be appointed up this 
way, it is ten to one, if Joe Irwin and his associates will not prevail. 

I am sorry for our disappointment in our hopes of being indulged 
with a small garrison at this place, but in failure of that, nothing 
could afford me greater satisfaction than the prospect of having you, 
my friend, my neighbor at this place. Tliis I will look for now 
every dav, and if vou will send me word when vou will set of from 
Ligouier I will meet you half way and jierhaps a Divine and another 
friend to show you the w^ay up here. As to Ross, he seldom speaks 
as he thinks — for my part I therefore ]>ay but little regard to his 

The [wople of this place take great umbrage at the very thoughts 
of iK'ing disai)[x>intc<l of the county town's not taking place here at 
once, and are, to a man, willing to come to any measure or charges, 
in order, if possible to frustrate the intrigues carried on by a certain 
party. I think we can not exert ourselves too much on this occa- 
sion, and therefore would be very glad to receive your opinion of the 
afiiiir and your advice in regard to the most intelligible steps to be 
pursued in the first setting off. 

I would bo oxoeediug glad how soon other affairs could admit of 
your cnniini; up here, by which means a plan might be concerted, 
that in my opinion could scarcely fail of succeeding to our wish. 

I daily intiuire after the welfare of vour family, and have the 
pleasure of informing you that ^Irs. 8t. Clair and the children are 
well and in good health. 

*.T()<«.'ph Erwin, a re<iid<'nt of tlio Hatina scttlcMncnt. 

"^ By "comniissioiuTs," Mr. Mackav niount the trustees of Westmoreland 
soon to be appointed — four in all. 

211 St. Clair Papers. 

oUy's ' advertisement,' put up at different parts of this village, the 
6th instant, several copies of which were dispersed through the 
country at the same time. This impudent piece will, I am much 
afraid, be the means of creating great confusion and disturbance in 
this county, unless j)roper steps will be taken to check it in time. 

The Doctor informs us that Lord Dunmore ' has made applica- 
iion to General Haldiman for a Serjeant and twelve men, to be sent 
immediately to this place, in order to support his authority.* 

The ca})tain has already apix)inted six or seven magistrates, among 
whom arc Major Smallman,'' John Campl)ell,* and John Gibson ;' 

^ John Conolly, a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, was bred a 
physician; hence, hi.** usual title of Doctor. lie was a nephew of George 
Cro<;han, and, accordini^ to the testiniony of George Washington, *'a very 
sensible, intelligent man." lie had traveled over a great deal of the coun- 
try watered by the Ohio and its tributaries, and was well known Wt*»t <»f 
the mountains. It may be here premised that he was selected by the (Jov- 
ernor of Virginia to maintain pt ssession of Fort Pitt, as well as Pitt*- burgh 
and its dependencies, for that Colony, and to put the militia and otiier Vir- 
ginia laws in force tbcrc, as against those of Pennsylvania. 

^The Advertisement was as follows: ** Whereas, his Excellencv John, 
Earl of Dunmore, (lOvernor-in-Cliief and Captain General of the Colony 
and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice Adnjiral of the same, has been ple»s<'d 
to nominate and appoint nie Captain, Commandant of the Militia of Pitts- 
burgh and its Dependencies, with Instructions to assure His Majesty's Sub- 
jects settled on the Western Waters, that having the greatest Regard to 
their Prosperity and Int(»rest, and convinced from tljcir repeated Memorials 
of the grievances of which they cc)m[)lain, that he purposes moving to the 
House of Burr esses the Necessitv of erecting a new Countv, to include 
Pittsburgh, for the redress of your Complaints, and to take every other Step 
that nuiv tend to at!<»rd vou that Justice for whirh vou Sollicil. In order to 
facilitute this desirable Circumstance, I hereby require and command all Per- 
sons in the L'ependency of Pittsburg, to asseml)le themselves there as a 
Militia on the 'Joth Instant, at which Time I shall con-.municate other Mat- 
ters for the promotion of public Ctility. Given under my Hand, this 1st 
day of January, 1774. John Conolly." 

3 John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, one of the representative peers of 
Sct>tlaiid, was, at this date, as explained in Conolly's Advertisement, Gov- 
ernor of Virginia. 

* Major-(ieneral Frederick Ilaldiman was in command of tlie British armj' 
in Ameri<'a, also Colonel of the 00th Foot. Fort Pitt had previously been 
evacuatc'd and dismantled. 

* Thomas Smalhnan. 

*Mr. Campbell was a resident of Pittsburgh, and, during the Revolution, 
was captured by the Shawanese. This was in 1779. 

^Gibson was burn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, May 23, 1740. He received 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 278 

the j " cvs <; I have not heard their names jet. There is no doubt but 
all t:ti.^ disaffected and vagabonds that before evaded law and jus- 
tice ^^?vit,li so much art, will now flock in numbers to the captain's«^Td, if not prevented in time, the consequence of which we 
hav"^ just cause to dread. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing 
joxjL ^froon here. I think your presence is absolutely necessary at this 

I have been greatly concerned that it has been out of my 
to forward the inclosed to you sooner, owing to the badness 
^^ "fclr^^ weather, and besides, was at a loss for a person whose 
"^<^lit^ could be depended ujKm. Polly joins me in compliments 
to I^Xx-s. St Clab and the children. 

oe I wrote the above, Mr. Espy happened in company with 
w captain, to whom Espy said he thought the next court for 
'^xnoreland would be held at Pittsburg ; to which the captain 
in a rage, damn him if he would not oppose it ; * from 
1:1 , and many other circumstances of the like kind, it appears 
determined he will be to carry his designs into execution. 
I^*^ "tlxought here that 'tis all Colonel Croghan's intrigues. 

Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Sihppen, Jr. 

LiGONiER, January 12^, 1774. 
•; — ^Late last night I received from Pittsburgh the inclosed 
of an advertisement, which I think of so dangerous a tend- 
_ that I have forwarded it by express, and to prevent all danger 
^ ^^lay, have sent my own clerk with it, that if possible I may 
re the Governor's * directions before the 25th. 

\\ education. He was an excellent scholar at the age of eighteen, 

he entered the service. His first campaign was under General Forbes, 

^^® expedition of the latter to the Ohio in 1758. He then settled at Pitts- 

^^^h as a trader. Upon the breaking out of the war with the Indians, in 

* ^*^ Gibson wju» taken prisoner by the savages, but was given up in 1764 

^^L Bouquet, when he resumed his occupation of trading with the dif- 

^l^^'^nt tribes beyond the Ohio, and was thus employed at the commencement 

^ X774. ^ ^ 

Tkat ia, be (Conolly) would oppose the sitting of the Westmoreland 
^^^*Urt at Pitteburgb. 

*^ the 8th of June, 1773, Richard Penn, "Lieutenant, etc.' was sue 
«*•*•* by John Penn as •* Deputy or Lieutenant-Governor of the Province 
^^^enntjlTMiU.*' by the •♦Royal Allowance and Approbation" of the 
18* ^** inaugurated in Philadelphia, with much ceremony. August 

274 The St. Clair Papers. 

Should it 80 happen that Mr. Hoofnagle ^ can not return in time, 
but which he will do if it be possible, what occurs to me is previoas 
to the day appointed for the Assembly ' to demand such security of 
Mr. Conolly for his good behavior as he will not be able to pro- 
cure, and in consequence to have him committed ; to direct the sher- 
iff' to have a sufficient number of such a^i can be depended upon, 
to protect the jail, should a rescue be attempted, which perhaps 
may be the case, and to write to the magistrates,^ some to attend at 
the jail, and some at Pittsburgh. 

I have written to Mr. Wilson for his counsel on this thought, and 
to know if there is any other legal way of securing Mr. Conolly, 
and to desire he would suggest any other method to preserve the 
peace of the county, which will certainly be greatly endangered. 

I need not press you to dispatch Mr. Hbofnagle ; the shortness of 
the time is too evident ; suffer me, however, to hint that this ser- 
vice is foreign to his engagements with me. 

Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Shippen, Jr. 

LiGONiER, January 15, 1774. 
Sir : — This will be delivered by Mr. Hanna, one of the trustees 
for Westmoreland county.^ To some management of his I believe, 
the opposition to fixing the county town at Pittsburgh is chiefly 
owing — it is his interest it should continue where the law has fixed 
the courts, pro tempore ; he lives there ; used to keep public house 

80tb. He remained in office until after the commencement of the Revolu- 

* Michael Huffnagle was, subsequently, judge of the Common Pleas of 
Westmoreland county, and held several other offices. He was somewhat of a 
distinguished character west of the mountains during the Revolution. He 
was, it will be noticed, at the date of this letter, St. Clair's clerk. 

2 By " the Assembly,'' St. Clair has reference to the one proposed for the 
25th of that month, by Conolly, and his advertisement. 

'John Proctor. 

*The magistrates of Westmoreland county, at that date, were William 
Crawford, Arthur St. Clair, Thomas Gist, Alexander McKee, Robert Hanna^ 
William Lochry, George Wilson, William Thompson, -^neas Mackay, Jo- 
seph Spear, Alexander McLean, James Cavet, William Bracken, James 
Pollock, Samuel Sloan, and Michael Rugh. 

* At tho date of this letter, Robert Ilanna was not only one of the trus- 
tees of Westmoreland county, but, also, one of its justices of the peace- 
having been commissioned to the last-mentioned office February 27, 1778 
Tho other trustees were Joseph Erwin, Samuel Sloan, and George Wilson. 

Correspondence, Addresses, Etc. 275 

there; and has now, on that expectation, rented his house at an 
extravagant price. Erwin, another trustee, adjoins, and is also 
puhlic house keeper. A third trustee ' lives in the neighborhood, 
which always make a majority for continuing the courts at the pres- 
ent place. A passage in the law for erecting the county is, that the 
courts shall be held in the foregoing place (the house of Robert 
Hanna) till a court house and jail are built ; this puts it in their 
power to continue there as long as they please — for a little manage- 
ment might prevent a court house and jail being built this twenty 
years. This is explanation of a ()etition to the House, which was 
sent down lately ; it was begun and ended on the Friday of the 
court week. An unexpected opportunity to Philadelphia offered 
that day, by reason of which it is to the House only, and signed 
but by a few people, but the few that have signed it are the princi- 
pal people ; and who acted more from their feelings for multitudes, 
whom they saw suffering than from their own inconvenience. A 
like petition to the Governor will soon be forwarded, which will be 
countenanced, by, I am certain, five-sixths of the whole people. 

Mr. Hoofhagle I hope will be almost home before you receive 
this. I beg you will excuse inaccuracies as I wrote in the greatest 

'Samuel Sloan. George Wilson, it will be remembered, resided in Spring 
Hill township, in what is now Fayette county. On the 8th of October, pre- 
ceding the date of this letter, he wrote the Governor of Pennsylvania, John 
Penn, as follows : 

*' Honoured Sir: — After Congratulating you on your Safe Arrivall to ye 
Seate of your Govourmcnt, I Beg Leave to acquaint you that Since ye Con- 
stetution of ye New County of Westmoreland, We Who Ware appointed 
Trustees Have Met twice in order to consult on Sum things Relativ<» to ower 
Duteys in that trust. I apprehend that it Was ye Sence of Uis Honour ye 
Govournour and ye Asembley at ye time, that ye Courts Ware appointed to 
Hold at y^o Hows of Mr. Kobart Hannow, that they Should Hold there un- 
till the present unsettled State of ye Westrin Boundrey might be more per- 
fectly asertained, for Which Reason I could not Joyn With ye other trus- 
tees in Making a Report to your Honour, Which Report I presume is com 
to Hand Before now. It Was My Advice that a Letter first should be sent 
to your Honour to Know your Sence of ye mutter Whether it would be ad- 
visable (as there is a Goalo and a Sort of a Courthows in Which ye Coun- 
ties Busness may be Don in) To postpon the Fixing aney perticular place 
for a Countey Seat for Sum time Longer untill at Least, We had your ad- 
vice in ye matter. But As They Ratiier chose to Make a Report, I Did not 
Thinke proper to Joyn in that. I Gladly Would Do My Dutey for ye Best 
& Would be Sorey to Mistake it. 1 Would be Extremely Glad to know your 
Sence of ye Matter & am Sorrey to acquaint you of ye unhapey diforances 
occasioned By Sum ill minded persons, As they Say By Keason of ye un- 
•ettled State of ye Westerin Bounder ie. I am, etc." 

276 The St. Clair Papers. 

hurry — ^Mr. Hanna holding his horse whibt I write. I wiU see yon 
early in the spring. 

Governor Penn to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, 20<A January, 111 A. 

Sir: — I am extremely obliged to you for your great attention to 
the interest of this Government in transmitting, >\'ith so much dis- 
patch and care, the intelligence contained in your letter of the 12th 
of this month, to Mr. Secretary Shippen, and the papers it in- 

I can not help being greatly surprised to find that Dr. Conolly 
hath published an advertisement, asserting his appointment by 
Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, to act as Captain Command, 
ant of the Militia of Pittsburgh, and its deijcndencies ; and that in 
consequence of such ap()ointment, he had taken upon him to as- 
semble the people as a militia, under the Government of Virginia, 
and to appoint magistrates of Pittsburgh. 

As his Lordship must certainly know that the jurisdiction of 
Pennsylvania hath been exercised at Fort Pitt, and in the neigh- 
borhood of it, for several years past, and hath not given me the 
least intimation of any design to extend his Government there, I 
am much inclined to conclude that Mr. Conolly hath, on this oc- 
casion, assumed powers which Lord Dunmore never gave him. 
However, I shall, without loss of time, dispatch a messenger to 
Williamsburg, with a letter to his Lordship,' in order to obtain an 
explanation of this very strange affair. In the mean time I would, 
by all means, have you and the other magistrates of your county 
assert the right of Pennsylvania, and protect the people in every 
part within its known limits, as Fort Pitt- most certainly is. 

The meeting of a number of people under arms, in consequence 
of Mr. (/ouolly's summons, will undoubtedly be an act of a crimi- 
nal nature, for which they may be indicted and punished, and 
comes properly under the idea of an unlawful assembly, with an 
intention to disturb the public peace ; you will, therefore, do right 
in apprehending him and some of his principal partisans, after such 
meeting, and holding them to reasonable security for their appear- 
ance at the next sessions, to answer for their conduct. 

I expect the magistrates on this occasion, will do their duty with 

* See the letter following — Pcnn to Dunmore, dated January 31, 1774. 

' That is, Pittsburgh. The two names were used by the people indiscrim- 

CorrtspondencCy Addresses^ Etc, 277 

Spirit, in which they will be supported by the Government ; and if 
any of Conolly's pretended magistrates shall presume to proceed jUr 
dicially within the known limits of the Province of Pennsylvania, 
I desire that proper actions may be commenced by the party ag- 
grieved, not only against the officer who executes the process, but 
the magistrate also under whose authority he shall act; and you 
may be assured that such actions shall be prosecuted and supported 
at the expense of this Government. 

In order to strengthen the hands of the magistracy on this oc- 
casion, in the course of their duty, I send you a copy of the riot 
Act made by the present Assembly, which has received my assent, 
and will pa^ the seals before this comes to your hands, and ex* 
tends to all parUi of the Province. But, as the execution of it may 
be attended with the most serious consequences, the proceedings un- 
der it should be conducted with the utmost caution, and great care 
must be taken to extend it only in such places as are certainly 
within the limits of the Province, of which you can make the best 
judgment of any body, by the share you had in running a line to 
ascertain the situation of Fort Pitt.^ 

I have made an addition to the Bench of your county, and send 
the commission for the new magistrates by this opportunity.* 

I would have you get possession, if you can, of some of Conolly's 
original advertisements. 

Governor Penn to Lord Dunmore. 

Philadelphia, Z\st Jamutry 1774. 
My Lord: — A few days ago I received by express, from the westr 
em frontiers of this Province, the inclosed copy of an advertise- 
ment, lately set up at Pittsburgh and divers other places in that 
quarter of the country, by one John Conolly, who has taken upon 
him as Captain Commandant of the militia at Pittsburgh, and its de- 
])endencies, by virtue of your Lordship's commission as he says, to 
command the people to meet him there as a militia on the 25th in- 
stant, and to exercise jurisdiction over them, as settlers under 
your Government within the Dominion of Virginia. 

^ Concerning the efTorts put forth previous to this date to determine the 
southern and Western limits of south-western Pennsylvania, mention is 
hereafter made. 

'The additional magistrates commissioned were, Van Swearinj2:en, Thomas 
Scott, Alexander Ross, John Cariuiffhan, Andrew McFarlane, Oliver Miller, 
Devereux Smith, and John Sh(;phi*rd. 

278 The St. Clair Papers. 

A step 80 sudden and unexpected could not but be matter of 
great surprise to me, as well as very alarming to the inhabitants 
of those parts, who have taken up, improved, and hitherto peace- 
ably enjoyed their lands imder grants from the Proprietaries of 
this Province. 

Being, however, too well acquainted with your Lordship's char- 
acter to admit the least idea that you would countenance a measure 
injurious to the rights of the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania or 
which might have a tendency to raise disturbances within their 
Province, I flatter myself that the laying before you a short state- 
ment of the limits of this Province, so far as regards the present 
question and acquainting you with the steps which have been taken 
to ascertain its western extent, and the situation of Pittsburgh, will 
be abundantly sufficient to satisfy you that that place is, beyond 
all doubt, within this Province. 

The western extent of the Province of Pennsylvania, by the 
Royal Grant, is five degrees of longitude from the river Dela- 
ware, which is its eastern boundary. 

In the year 1768, an east and west line was run from Dela- 
ware, at the mouth of Cristiana Creek, to the crossing of Dunkard 
Creek, a branch of the Monongaliela, by Messieurs. Dixon and 
Mason, two surveyors of distinction, who were sent over from 
England to run the division line between Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania. These artists fixed the latitude and extent of that line 
with the utmost exactness and precision, to the satisfaction of the 
Commissioners on both sides.* From the 233(i mile stone on this 
line, a north line hath been since carefully run and measured to 
the Ohio, and from thence up to Fort Pitt ; * the several courses of 
the river have been taken with all possible care. From the line 
of Dixon and Mason to a known point in the south line of the City 
of Philadelphia,thetrue course and distance hath l)een discovered by 

*The exact distance run by Mason and Dixon from the Delaware River 
was 244 miles. 38 chain.*, and 3G links. This took them across the Monon- 
gahela to the second crossing of Dunkard Creek, a little west of what is now 
Mount Morris, in Greene county, Pennsylvania. At this point, they struck 
•' the Warrior branch of the old Catawba war path ; " that is, the eastern edge 
of lands claimed by the Six Nations, when their labors were given up. The 
extreme western limit of the line run by them was about twenty-one and 
one-half miles east of the south-west corner of Pennsylvania, as established 
in 1784, by astronomical observations. 

2 It was in the running of these temporary lines that St. Clair towk part, 
as mentioned by Governor Penn, in his letter of the 20th of January^ 
1774, ante. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 279 

actual survey, as also from the point aforesaid, to that part of the 
river Delaware which is in the same latitude as Fort Pitt; and 
from these several data, the most exact calculations have been 
made by Dr. Smith, Provost of our College, Mr. Rittenhouse, and 
our Surveyor General, in order to ascertain the difference of longi- 
tude between Delaware and Pittsburgh, who all agree that the latter 
is near six miles eastward of the western extent of the Province. 

The better to illustrate this matter, and enable your Lordship to 
form a judgment of the accuracy with which the work has been 
done, and the calculations made, I have inclosed a map or draught 
of the several lines above mentioned, with explanatory notes, as 
delivered by them to me. Should your Lordship, however, con- 
trary to my expectation, still entertain any doubt respecting this 
matter, I hope you will at least think it reasonable for avoiding 
those mischiefs which must naturally arise in cases of clashing and 
disputed jurisdiction, to defer the appointing of officers, and ex- 
ercising government in that neighborhood, and suffer the people to 
remain in the quiet and undisputed possession of the lands they 
hold under this Province, till some temporary line of jurisdiction 
can be agreed on by commissioners, to be appointed by both Gov- 
ernments, to confer on this subject, or until the affair can be settled 
by His Majesty in Council, before whom a petition, exhibited by 
the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, for the settlement of their west- 
em as well as other boundaries is now depending. 

I shall hope to recieve your Lordship's sentiments of this matter 
by the first opportunity. 


LiGONiER, February 2, 1774. 

I am honored with your letter of the 20th January, which 
reached me the 28th, and am happy to find the method pursued at 
Pittsburgh, on the 2r)th, did not very materially differ from that you 
had been pleased to direct. 

Doctor Conolly was arrested previous to the meeting, by my or- 
ders, on his avowing himself the author of the advertisements re- 
quiring the people to meet as a militia, and committed on refusing 
to find sureties for his good behavior till next court. 

I was in hopes the sending him out of the way ^ would have put 

* Conolly was taken to llannastown where there was a sort of jail and 
there confined. 

280 The St. Clair Papers. 

an end to it altogether ; but I was mistaken. About eighty per- 
sons in arms assembled themselves » chiefly from Mr. Croghan's 
neighborhood, and the country west of and below the Monongahela, 
and, after parading through the town, and making a kind of feu de 
joiCf proceeded to the Fort,' where a cask of rum was produced on 
the parade, and the head knocked out. This was a very effectual 
way of recruiting. As a scene of drunkenness and confusion was 
likely to ensue, I got the magistrates (who attended in consequence 
of the letters I had rent them) together, and read the inclosed pa- 
per,' which we had concocted that morning, and, at the conclusion^ 

» Fort Pitt. 

' The paper t( ferred to was as follows : 

''As friends and fellow countrymen, which we ought all to consider each 
other, from whatever different quarters of the globe we have met here, suf- 
fer that wo make you acquainted with some things of which you ought not 
to be ignorant. 

"We do nut blame you for having an affection for the laws of the coon- 
tries and provinces in which you have been born; 'tis a natural, 'tis a praise- 
worthy affection I And it requires a length of time and diligent application 
to discover and give the deserved preference to different systems of laws 
and forms of Government, for which but few have either leisure or oppor- 

" AVe do not tell you the plan of Pennsylvania is a perfect one. Such, no 
human institution is or ever was; but the rapid progress Pennsylvania has 
made, the numbers of people that flock to it from every part of the world, 
and particularly the much greater value of landed property than in the ad- 
joining parts of the neighboring countries, evince that it is no very defec- 
tive one; evince that its laws are mild and salutary, and that property and 
liberty, civil and religious, is well secured", and that it has some advantages 
over its neighbors. 

" We doubt not but you will readily acknowledge these matters: but you 
will reply, it is nothrng to us; the soil we live on being no part of Penn- 
sylvania; we can have no part of the advantages or disadvantages arising 
from its constitution. 

** We well know much pains have been taken to persuade many of you 
to a belief of this, and likewise that the Pn>j)rietaries have industriously de- 
layed to settle their boundary. There is not the least foundation for either. 

" The Proprietaries of Pennsylvania claimed the country about Pittsburgh, 
and the settlers quietly acquiesced in that claim; and as soon as doubts be- 
gun to arise about it they took eflectual pains to satisfy themselves whether 
or not they wore right in that claim, and actually found the country a con- 
siderable distance west of that place within their Provi.Moe: And so far are 
they from delaying the running their boundary line, we have the bc<t au- 
thority for saying that a petition has been a considerable time before his 
Majesty for that very purpose. You must be sensible it would be to little 

Correspondence^ Addresses y Etc. 281 

when they were required to disperse, they replied they had been in- 
vited there, but came with peaceable intentions, and would go home 
again, without molesting any one ; pn which we left them ; how- 
ever, towards n^ht, their peaceable disposition forsook them, and I 
should probably have felt their resentment, had I not got intimation 

purpose to run it without the concurrence of the Crown ; certainly it would 
never be conclusive. 

** The jurisdiction of Pennsylvania has been regularly extended to Pitts- 
burgh, and exercised there for a number of years, as the records of Cum- 
berland, Bedford, and Westmoreland counties testify; and you yourselves 
have acknowledged it, by applying for your lands in that Province. Whether 
that extention has been legally made or not, can be determined by the Crown 
alone; but must be submitted to till it is determined. And it must be evi- 
dent to you that Lord Dun more, as Governor of Virginia, can have no 
more right to determine this matter than one of us, for this plain reason: 
the charters of Pennsylvania and Virginia, both flowed originally from the 
Crown; on that footing they are perfectly independent of each other; but 
they are both parties in this dispute, and consequently neither can be judge. 

" We would fondly hope no person in this country would wish to be from 
under the protection of law. A state of anarchy and confusion, and total 
subversion of property must inevitably ensue. We can not help thinking 
contending jurisdictions in one and the same country must produce similar 
effects, and every attempt to introduce modes or regulations not warranted 
by the laws or constitution of Pennsylvania will also do so in a certain 

" Any grievances the inhabitants of this part of the country suffer, there 
is no doubt the Legislature want only to be informed of to redress. Should 
it be imagined the protection of a military force is necessary, the votes and 
proceedings of the last winter session of Assembly will shew that, probably, 
it was owing to the representions of the Indian Agent, that an Indian war 
would certainly follow, establishing i; military force at Pittsburgh, that such 
protection was not then granted, and time seems to have shewn he was not 
in the wrong. 

''If that effect would have supervened at a time when his Majesty's troops 

"were just withdrawn, when the country was naked, defenseless, and 

farmed, and when the Indians were accustomed to the idea of troops in 

^beir neighborh(H)d, much more is it to be doubted the establishing a militia, 

"which is a military force, will produce that effect now when they have been 

mo long disused to it. 

••As his Majesty's Justices and Protectors of the public peace of Penn- 
sylvania, it is our duty to tell you your nicvtini; is an unlawful one, and 
that it tends to disquiet the minds of his Majesty's liege subjects. We do 
in his Majesty's nanie require you to disperse, and retire yourselves peace- 
ably to your respective habitations. 

"Present when this was read : Alexander McKee, William Lochey, James 
bollock, James Cavot, iEneas Mackay, Van Sweringen, William Bracken, 
Arthur St. Clair, E-q'rs." 

282 The St. Clair Papers. 

of their design. I thought it most prudent to keep out of ihdr 

I have no doubt the magistrates will do their duty with spirit, 
and I shall take the earliest opportunity to make them acquainted 
with the support your Honor is determined to afford them. In 
some parts of the country they will have a difficult task, and I am 
really afraid this affiiir will be productive of a 'great deal of confu- 
sion. I shall not fail to give them the necessary caution with regard 
to the Riot Act, and I think I can judge pretty nearly how far it 
may be safely extended. 

Mr. Conolly has most certainly a commission from Lord Dun- 
more, expressly for Pittsburgh and its dependencies, and his subalt- 
erns are John Stephenson, a brother of Mr. Cra^vford, our Senior 
magistrate,' William Harrison, a son-in-law of his,' and Dorsey Pen- 
ticost, who was lately in the commission of the peace here.* Mr. 
Penticost has, I hear, been down to Mr. Conolly since his confine- 
ment, and taken the necessary oaths to qualify him for his military 
office, and is to assemble the people at Red Stone, and take posses- 
sion of Fort Burd.* I have written to the justices in that part of 

i**On the 25th day of January last, a number of disorderly persons as- 
sembled themselves hero in consequence of his [Conolly's] advertisements 
(as Militia) who, when dispersing, wantonly or maliciously fired upon some 
friendly Indians, in their Ilutts on the Indian Shore, which Conduct, to- 
gether with So unexpected an Appearance of so many People in Arms at a 
time that they expected no Hostile Intention on our parts, greatly alarmed 
them, as appeared by a Campluint made by them at a CouiVcil with Alex- 
ander Mc, [Kee], Ksq'r, Indian Agent, and some of the Inhabitants of this 
Place [Pittsburgh], a few days after." — Remarks on the Proceedings of Dr. 
ConoUi/, June 25, 1774. 

^ Mention will hereafter be made of William Crawford. He had a brother 
Valentine, and five half-brothers, among whom was John Stephenson. 

' William Harrison married Crawford's daughter Sarah; he afterward 
lost his life in the Indian country, being tortured to death by the Delawares. 

* Dors(»y Pentecost lived, at this date, in the " Forks of Yough"; that is, 
above the junction of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny. He was a jus- 
tice of the peace for Bedf«)rd County before Westmoreland was taken from 
it, and was now a resident of the last mentioned county. He afterward had 
his homo on Chartiers Creek, W'ashington County. 

^Fort BiKd \va.s so called after Col. James Burd, who probably com* 
menced the building of the post in 1759. There was an old Indian fort on 
its site and the place was known to hunters as "Old Ftirt, " '*01d Fort at 
Kedstone," or *' Redstone-Oid-Fort, '" as it was near the mouth of Redstone 
creek, now Brownsville, Fayette Count}', Pennsylvania. 

284 The St. Clair Papers. 

it to a letter but wish I might see you between this and next Spring, 
viz: in April if it might suit your other af&irs. You must not 
think that because this was suffered to go to Mr. Woods, that your 
^ends had forgot you. I shall be able to convince you that it was 
all meant for your interest. I shall be glad to hear how matters go 
at Fort. 

Joseph Spear to Arthur St. Clair. 

Pittsburgh, February 2S, 1774. 

Dear Sir :-^l am just now informed that the Virginians up the 
Monongahcla have had two or three musters lately; one at Red 
Stone Old Forty and one yesterday at Paul Freman*s, on the other 
side of the Monongahcla ; and I am also told they had a meeting at 
Mr. Penticost^s own house, in consequence of which Mr. Penticost 
wrote to Mr. Swearingen to act no longer there as a Pennsylvanian 
magistrate at his peril. I therefore think it would be advisable to 
endeavor to have a stop put to those proceedings, if posisible, to it 
creates the greatest disturbance, and very much retards the execu- 
tion of our civil process. 

P. S. — This news has just come to hand, otherwise I would have 
written you more fully. Dr. Conolly * is just now going over the run 
to Red Stone, I know not what for. 

Arthur St. Clafr to Joseph Shh'pen, Jr. 

LiGONiER, February 25, 1774. 

Dear Sir : — The disturbances that have begun in tliis country seem 
still to be increasiug, and, unless some effectual method is soon 
fallen upon to put a stop to them, will soon come to a formidable 
head. What that method should be it is difficult to say, but possi- 
bly the running a temporary line might quiet the people a little 
though I doubt very much if even that woidd not now be opposed. 

As much the greatest part of the inhabitants near the line have 
removed from Virginia, thoy are inexpressibly fond of any thing 
that comes from tliat cjuarter, and their minds are never suffered to 
be at rest. Mr. Croglian's emissaries (and it is astonishing how 

1 After Conolly was committed to juil at Hannastown, tho shorifflet him 
go at large on his giving his word of honor to return to next Court. He 
did rclurn,but in a manner quite different from that expected by the sheriff 
as the sequel shows. 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc, 28^ 

many he has either duped or seduced to embrace his measures) are 
oontinually irritating them agabst Pennsylvania, and assuring them 
they are not within its limits; so that unless Lord Dunmore does 
formally recede from what he has undertaken in this country, it will 
be next to impossible to exercise the civil authority. From the 
very beginning I foretold a second Carolina affair was intended, I 
am now convinced of it. 

I have letters from all the magistrates in that part of the country, 
complaining of the difficulties they are exposed to, and the open and 
avowed determination of the people not to submit to their jurisdic- 
tions. However, they are all still as yet, and I will dp what in my 
power lies to continue them so ; as one step towards it, and to con- 
vince the others that we in some measure are in earnest, I intend 
immediately removing my office to Pittsburgh, adjoining, there to 
live the moment I can get my farm off* my hands here. 

I enclose you a letter from Mr. Spear,* which I received by the 
bearer. I shall immediately write to Mr, Swearingen to commit, 
without ceremony, any person who shall attempt to oppose or molest 
him in the execution of his office. Excuse the haste I am almost 
always obliged to write to you in ; opportunities offer unexpectedly, 
and the people waiting. 

Lord Dunmore to Governor Penn. 

Williamsburg, 3d March, 1774. 

Sir: — I have been favored with your letter of the 31st January, 
1774, and duplicate of the same, the occasion of which having been 
the appointment of certain officers by me in a remote district of the 
county ol Augusta,* in this Colony, which includes Pittsburgh, which 
having been done, as is always my rule, with the advice of his Maj- 
esty's Council, I could not, till I had an opportunity of laying your 
letter before them, return you an answer, and it is not till now that 
I am enabled so to do. 

From the opinion, therefore, of his Majesty's Council of this 

* See the previous letter — Spear to St. Clair, February 23, 1774. 

'The county of Augusta was, at this date, an old one, but ever of very 
uncertain western limits. The ** remote district," spoken of by Lord Dun- 
raore, was what was usually known as the " District of West Augusta," in- 
cluding, besides, much other territory in what is now the State of West 
Virginia, all the present State of Pennsylvania lying upon the waters of 
the Konongahela, as well as the country surrounding Pittsburgh. 

286 The St. Clair Papers. 

Colony, I must inform you, that although the calculations on which 
you rely in the plan accompanying your letter, may possibly be 
found exact, yet they can by no means be considered, by us, as the 
observation, on which they were founded, was made without the 
participation of the Government, or the assistance of any person on 
the part of the Crown ; and even if they were admitted, we ap- 
prehend they would decide nothing in the present case ; for the right 
of the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania to the coimtry about Pittsburgh, 
must be founded on better authority than is there adduced to make 
it valid, and we are strengthened in this opinion by the principles 
you yourself ^opt, and the opinion of Lord Camden, which you 
have produced in your dispute with Connecticut. With respect to 
the right of this Colony to that country, the transactions of the late 
war show sufficiently what was ever the sense of the Government of 
Virginia with regard to it. And it seems to me thfit the step which 
I have taken ought not to have been either unexpected or surpris- 
ing, as you are pleased to say it was to you, when it is well known 
that formal declarations were made by the Assembly of Pennsyl- 
vania, that Pittsburg was not within the jurisdiction of that Grov- 
vemment at the time that requisitions were made to them for the de- 
fense of tliat place, the burden of which, on that accoimt, fell on 
this Government. 

In conformity to these sentiments you will easily see I can not 
possibly, in compliance with your request, either revoke the com- 
missions and apj)ointmeuts already made, or defer the opportunity 
of such other officers as I may find necessary for the good govern- 
ment of that part of the country, which we can not but consider to 
be within the dominion of Virginia, until his Majesty shall declare 
the contrary ; and I flatter myself I can rely so far on the prudence 
and discretion of the officers whom I have appointed, that the 
measure which I have pur^sued may have no tendency to raise dis- 
turbances in your Province, as you seem to apprehend, and if any 
should ensue I can not but believe they will be occasioned, on the 
contrary, by the violent proceedings of your officers ; in which opin- 
ion I am justified by w'hat has already taken place in the irregular 
commitment of Mr. John Conolly for acting under my authority, 
which, however, as I must suppose, it was entirely without your 
participation, I conclude he is lK*fore this time released. But, 
nevertheless, the act having been of so outrageous a nature, and of 
a tendency so detrimental to both Colonies, that, with the advice 
of his Majesty's Council of this dominion, I do insist upon the most 
ample reparation being made for so great an insult on the authority 
of his Majesty's Government of Virginia ; and no less can possibly 

288 The Si. Char Papers. 

that sort, taking an acknowledgment from the Governor of Virginia 
that such settlement should not be made use of to prejudice their 
right to that country, and at the same time allowed him to give aa- 
surances that the people should enjoy their lands they bona fide set- 
tled on the common quit rent. Of this instruction Mr. Hamilton 
not long after gave notice to Governor Dinwiddie. 

In the year 1754, Mr. Dinwiddie came to a resolution of raising 
men and building forts to the westward, in order to repel the in- 
vasions of the French. He had fixed M\yoTL the forks of Monon- 
gahela as a proi)er situation for one of these forts, supposing it to 
be on his Majesty's lauds, and issued a proclamation, expressing Lis 
purpose of erecting a fort at that place, and inviting the people to 
enlist in his Majesty's service against the French ; and as an en- 
couragement, promising that the quantity of two hundred thousand 
acres of land should be laid out and divided amcmgst the adventurers, 
when the service should be at an end ; one hundred thousand acres of 
which to be laid out adjoining the fort, and the other one hundred 
thousand acres on the Ohio. 

Upon the appearance of this proclamation Mr. Hamilton wrote to 
Governor Dinwiddie, the 13th March, 1754, reminding him of his 
former intimation respecting the^e lauds, and enclosing an abstract 
of the Proprietaries' instructions, and also requesting from him such 
an acknowledgment as the Proprietaries expected; to which Mr. 
Dinwiddie, in his letter of the 21st March, 1754, answers: ** Your 
** private letter of the 13th current, I have duly received, and am 
**much misled by our Surveyors if the forks of Monongahela be 
** within the limits of your Proprietaries' grant. I have for some 
'* time wrote home to have tlie line run, to have the boundaries 
** pro|)crly known, that I may be able to appoint Magistrates on the 
*'Ohio, (if in this Government) to keep the traders and others in 
*'g()od order, and I presume soon there will be Commissioners ap- 
** pointed for that service. In the mean time, that no hindrance 
** may be given to our intended expedition, it is highly reasonable, 
** if these lands are in your Proprietaries' grant, that the settlers 
** should pay the quit rent to Mr. Penn, and not to his Majesty; 
** and, therefore, as much as lies in my power, I agree thereto, after 
** the time granted by my proclamation, to be clear of quit rent, 

From this correspondence between the Governors of Virginia and 
Pennsylvania, it appciirs beyond a doubt, that the terms ujwn which 
forts were built, and settlements made in that country, by the Gov- 
ernment of Virfrinia, were well understood, and the rights of Penn- 

Correspondence, Addresses, Etc. 289 

sylvania carefully guarded ; and these transactions entirely exclude 
the idea of that kind of settlement, or acquiescence and agreement 
of which Lord Camden speaks, and which are the only principles in 
his opinion from which your Lordship can draw any conclusions in 
favor of the right of Virginia. 

From this view of the matter I flatter myself your Lordship will 
readily perceive that the principles of Lord Camden's opinion do 
not all apply to the present case. As to the opinion of our Assem- 
blies, on which you seem also to rely, the case is shortly as follows : 
When Governor Dinwiddle resolved to erect forts on the waters of 
the Ohio, and to carry an expedition against the French, who had 
fortified themselves in several parts of the country to the westward, 
he applied to Governor Hamilton to procure him the assistance of 
this Province. Unfortunately at this time there was no very good 
un lerstanding between the Government and the Assembly, and 
when Mr. Hamilton laid Mr. Dinwiddie's requisition before them 
they declined complying with it, and urged for reasons, that, by the 
Royal orders to the several Governors, they were not to act as prin- 
cipals out of their own Governments. That they (the Assembly) 
would not presume to determine upon the limits of the Province ; 
and that by the papers and evidences sent down to them, and re- 
ferred to by the Governor, the limits of the Province had not been 
clearly ascertained to their satisfaction. 

It is to be observed, that at this time there had been no real men- 
surations from Delaware to the westward, except the temporary line 
between this Province and Maryland, which extends only one hun- 
dred and forty-four miles from Delaware. From this line, and from 
sundry informations of Indian traders, founded on computed dis- 
tances, and mountainous and crooked roads, Mr. Hamilton con- 
cluded that the French forts were considerably within this Province, 
and it hath since appeared with certainty that the fact was so, 
though the Assembly were not satisfied with those proofs. And it 
appears by a report of a Committee of Assembly, appointed to 
examine those evidences, that they laid no great stress upon the 
opinions of traders founded on computed distances. 

Upon the whole I can not find that the Assembly ever made any 
thing like formal declarations ** that Pittsburg was not within this 
Government," but that they rather declined making any determina- 
tion upon the extent of the Province. But if their declarations had 
been ever so formal or positive, I can not conceive how any proceed- 
ings of theirs would affect the state of the Province, control of the 
jurisdiction, or prejudice the rights of the proprietors. 

290 The St. Clair Papers. 

Your Lordship is pleased to say : ** With respect to the right of 
this Colony to that country, the transactions of the late war suffi- 
ciently show what was ever the sense of the Government of Vir- 
ginia with regard to it." I do not know to what particular trans- 
actions you allude, nor can I apprehend upon what principle the 
sense of the Government of Virginia can prejudice the right of 
Pennsylvania, especially when the Governor of this Province was so 
far from concurring in any such sense, that he took the most efiectoal 
measures to guard against any conclusions which might be drawn 
from it ; and I may say, with the strictest truth, that the Govern- 
ment of Virginia, with great justice, concurred in this precaution. 

Upon the whole, then, my Lord, I hope the papers I heretofore 
had the honor of sending you, when properly attended to, will sat- 
isfy you that Pittsburgh is at least probably within the charter lim- 
its of this Province : and I flatter myself that what I have now 
urged will be sufficient to convince you that nothing can be inferred 
from the transactions of the late war, the correspondence between 
the Governors of the two Provinces, the proceedings of our As- 
sembly, or the principles of Lord Camden's opinion, to contract the 
extent qf our charter bounds, or establish the right of Virginia to 
any part of this Province. I therefore still hope that your Lord- 
ship will, upon a review of the subject, be induced to defer attempting 
to extend the jurisdiction of Virginia within the bounds of this 
Province, and thereby avoid the occasions of disturbances and dis- 
sentions amongst liis Majesty's subjects, which will probably ensue 
from such a step, however prudent and cautious the Magistrates on 
each side may be inclined to be, and the rather as a petition for a 
commission to run out and mark the boundaries between us is now 
depending before his Majesty. And to prevent the setting up claims, 
and making conclusions of right by the Government of Virginia, 
from the circumstances of settlement on the one side, and non-claim 
on the other, I must take this opportunity of notifying to your 
Ijordship that the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania do claim, by their 
said petition, as part of their Province of Pennsylvania, all the lands 
lying west of a south line, to be drawn from Dixon and Mason's 
line, as it is commonly called, at the westernmost part of the Province 
of Maryland to the beginning of the fortieth degree of north lati- 
tude, to the extent of five degrees of longitude from the river Del- 
aware ; and I must request your Lordship will neither grant lands, 
nor exercise the Government of Virginia within those limits, till 
his Majesty's pleasure be known. 

I am truly concerned that you should think the commitment of 

Correspondence J Addresses^ Etc. 291 

Mr. Conolly so great an insult on the authority of the Government 
of Virginia, as nothing less than Mr. St. Clair's dismission from his 
offices can repair. The lands in the neighborhood of Pittsburgh were 
surveyed for the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania early in the year 
1769, and a very rapid settlement under this Government soon took 
place, and magistrates were appointed by this Government to act 
there in the beginning of 1771, who have ever since administered 
justice without any interposition of the Government of Virginia till 
the present affair. It therefore could not fail of being both sur- 
prising and alarming that Mr. Conolly should appear to act on that 
stage under a commission from Virginia, before any intimation of 
claim or right was ever notified to this Government. The adver- 
tisement of Mr. Conolly had a strong tendency to raise disturbances, 
and occasion a breach of the public peace, in a part of the country 
where the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania hath been exercised without 
objection, and therefore Mr. St. Clair thought himself bound, as a 
good Magistrate, to take a legal notice of Mr. Conolly. 

Mr. St. Clair is a gentleman who for a long time had the honor 
of serving his Majesty in the regulars with reputation, and in every 
station of life has preserved the character of a very honest worthy 
man ; and though perhaps I should not, without first expostulating 
with you on this subject, have directed him to take that step, yet 
you must excuse my not complying with your Lordship's requisition 
of stripping him, on this occasion, of his offices and livelihood, which 
you will allow me to think not only unreasonable, but somewhat 

I should be extremely concerned that any misunderstanding should 
take place between this Government and that of Virginia. I shall 
carefuUy avoid every occasion of it, and shall always be ready to 
join you in the proper measure to prevent so disagreeable an in- 
cident, yet I can not prevail on myself to acceed in the manner you 
require, to a claim which I esteem, and which I think must appear 
to every body else to be altogether groundless. 

William Crawford^ to Governor Penn. 

Westmoreland County, April 8iA, 1774. 
Sir : — ^As some very extraordinary occurrences have lately hap- 
pened in this county, it is necessary to write an account of them to 

* Crawford, at this date, was President of the Court in Westmoreland. 
He was the first to hold that office. During the year of 1770, he was pa- 

292 The St. Clair Papers. 

you. That which I now give, is at the request and with the appn^ 
bation of all the magistrates that are at present attending the court. 
A few weeks ago Mr. Connolly* went to Stanton and was sworn in 
as a justice of the peace for Augusta county, in which it is pre- 
tended that the country about Pittsburgh Ls included. He had, be- 
fore this, brought with him, from WiUiamsburg, commissions of the 
peace for several gentlemen in his part of the Province, but none 
. of them, I believe, have been accepted. A number of new militia 
officers have been lately appointed by Lord Duumore ; several mus- 
ters of the militia have been held, and much confusion has been 
occasioned by them.* 

I am informed that the militia is composed of men without char- 
acter and without fortune, and who would be equally averse to the 
regular administration of justice under the Colony of Virginia as 
they are to that under the Province of Pennsylvania. The disturb- 
ances which they have produced at Pittsburgh have been contin- 
ually alarming to the inhabitants. Mr. Connolly is constantly sur- 
rounded with a lx)dv of armed men. He Iwasts the countenance 
of the Governor of Virginia, and forcibly obstructs the execution 
of legal process, whether from the court or from single magistrates. 
A deputy sheriff has come from Augusta county, and I am told has 
writs in his hands against Ca])tain St. Clair and the sherifi* for the 
arrest and confinement of Mr. Connolly. 

The sheriff was last week arrested at Pittsburgh for serving a 
writ on one of tlie inliahituuts there, but was, after some time, dis- 
charged. On Monday last, one of Connolly's people grossly in- 
sulted Mr. Mackay, and was confined by him in order to be sent to 
jail; the rest of the party hearing of it, immediately came to Mr. 
Mackay's house and proceeded to the most violent outrages. Mrs. 

pointed one of the magistrutos for the county of Cumberland, within the 
limits of which was his home, us claimed by Pennsylvania. Upon the erec- 
tion of Bedford the next year out of a portion of Cumberland, his commis- 
sion was renewed for that county; finally, when Westmoreland, in 1773, waa 
erected into a county from Bedford, his office was continued; and, being 
the first named, he became by courtesy and usage presidingjudgeof its courts. 

^ The spelling of personal names is preserved in the text of the letters. 
Hence the luck of uniformity in that respect. 

'The visit of ConoUy to Staunton was made after the sheriff of "West- 
moreland county had given him his liberty upon his word of honor to re- 
turn to Ilannastown at the next sitting of the court, which was to take 
place early in April. He returned to Pittsburgh towards the latter part of 
March, and prepared to make good his word to Sheriflf Proctor. It will 
now be seen in what way he kept his promise. 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 293 

Mackay was wounded in the arm with a cutlass; the magistrates, 
and those who came to their assistance, were treated with much 
abuse, and the prisoner was rescued. 

Some days before the meeting of the court, a report was spread 
that the militia officers at the head of their several companies would 
come to Hanna's, use the court ill, and interrupt the administration 
of justice. On Wednesday, while the court was adjourned, they 
came to the court-house and paraded before it ; sentinels were placed 
at the door, and Mr. Connolly went into the house. One of the 
magistrates was hindered, by the militia, from going into it till per- 
mission was first obtained from their commander. Mr. Connolly 
sent a message to the magistrates, informing them that he wanted 
to communicate something to them, and would wait on them for 
that purpose. 

They received him in a private room. He read to them the in- 
closed paper,* together with a copy of a letter to you, which Lord 
Dunmore had transmitted to him,^ inclosed in a letter to himself, 
which was written in the same angry and undignified style. The 
magistrates gave the inclosed answer' to what he read; and he 

* The paper read by Conolly to the Westmoreland Court was in these words: 

*^OentUinen: I am come here to be the occasion of no disturbances, but 
to prevent them. As I am countenanced by Government, whatever you may 
say or conceive, some of the justices of this bench are the cause of this ap- 
pearance, and not me. I have done this to prevent myself from being ille- 
gally taken to Philadelphia. My orders from the Government of Virginia, 
rot being explicit, but claiming the country about Pittsburgh, I have raised 
the militia to support the civil authority of that colony vested in me. 

"I am come here to free myself from a promise made to Captain Proctor 
[the sheriff], but have not conceived myself amenable to this court, by any 
authority from Pennsylvania, upon which account I can not apprehend that 
you have any right to remain here as justices of the peace constituting a 
court under that province; hut, in order to prevent confusion, I agree that 
you may continue to act in that capacity, in all such matters as may be sub- 
mitted to your determination by the acquiescence of the people, until I may 
have instructions to the contrary from Virginia, or until his Majesty's 
pleasure shall be further known on this subject." 

'This was the letter of March 3, 1774 — Dunmore to Penn — previously 

•The answer of the Westmoreland Court to Conolly's paper was as 

"The jurisdiction of the court and officers of the county of Westmore- 
land rests on the legislative authority of the Province of Pennsylvania, con- 
firmed by his Majesty in council. That jurisdiction has been regularly 
exercised, and the court and officers will continue to exercise it in the same 
regular manner. It is far from their intention to ncoasion or foment dis- 

294 The St. Clair Papers. 

soon afterwards departed with his men. Their number was about 
one hundred and eighty or two hundred. On their return to Pitts- 
burgh, some of them seized Mr. Elliott, of the Bullock Pen,* and 
threatened to put him in the stocks for something which they 
deemed an affront offered to their commander. Since their return, 
a certain Edward Thompson and a young man who keeps store for 
Mr. Spear, have been arrested by them ; and Mr. Connolly, who, 
in person, seized the young man, would not allow him time even to 
lock up the store. 

In other parts of the county, particularly those adjoining the 
Monongahela, the magistrates have been frequently insulted in the 
most indecent and violent manner, and are apprehensive that, un- 
less they are speedily and vigorously supported by the Grovemment, 
it will become both fruitless and dangerous for them to proceed in 
the execution of their offices. They presume not to point out the 
measures proper for settling the present disturbances, but beg leave 
,to recommend the fixing of a temporary line with the utmost expe- 
dition, as one step, which, in all probability, will contribute very 
much toward producing that effect. 

For further particulars concerning the situation of this country, 
I refer you to Colonel Wilson, who is kind enough to go on the 
present occasion to Philadelphia." 

turbances, and they apprehend that no such intentions can, with propriety, 
bo inferred from any part of their conduct; on the contrary, they wish, and 
will do all in their power, to preserve the public tranquillity. In order to 
contribute to this vt-ry salutary purpose, they give information that every 
step will be taken on the part of the Province of Pennsylvania to accommo- 
date any differences that have arisen between it and the Colony of Virginia, 
by fixing a temporary lino between them. 

!•* "William Elliott deposed that he settled and improved a plantation 
about seven miles from Fort Pitt, on the j)ublic road, at a place called *the 
Bullock Pens,' ... by permission of Col. Reed, llie officer command- 
ing at that place [Fort l*itt], dated August 20, 170.'>, and is now [1777) in 
possession of the same *' — Vtrcj. Cul. State, Vol I., p. 280. 

^The reply of Governor Penn to Crawford's l(>tter was dated April 12th, 
at Philadelphia. It was directed to '* William Crawf«»rd. Iv^quirc, and his 
Associate Justices of Westmoreland Countv," and was as follows: 

•* Gentlemen : Tho present alarming Situation of our Allairs in Westmore- 
land County, occasi()ned by tlie v(?r\' unaccountable conduct of the Govern- 
ment of Virginia, requires the utm(»st Attention of this Government, and 
therefore I intend, with all possible Expedition, to send Commissioners to 
expostulate with my Lord Dunrnore upon tho Behavior of those he has 
thought proper to invest, witli such Power as hath greatly disturbed the 

Correspondence, Addre:s8eSy Etc. 296 

Arthur St. Clair to Benjamik Chew.^ 

Carlisle, April 28, 1774. 
Sir: — In conversation with Colonel Wilson the other day, he men 
tioned a transaction in Virginia, which if it be as he represents it, 
will throw some light upon what has been the ''sense of that 
Colony, with regard to the country about Fort Pitt.'* Colonel 
Stephens,' it seems, in the year 1764, when that fortress was be- 

Peace of that country. As the Government of Virginia hath the Power of 
raising a Militia, and there is not any such in this Province, it will be in 
vain to contend with them in the way of Force; the Magistrates, therefore, 
at the same Time that they continue with steadiness to exercise the Juris- 
diction of Pennsylvania with respect to the distributions of Justice and 
punishment of Vice, must be cautious of entering into any such contests 
with the Officers of my Lord Dun more, as may tend to widen the present 
unhapp}' Breach; and, therefore, as Things are at present circumstanced, I 
would not advise the Magistracy of "Westmoreland County to proceed by 
way of criminal prosecution against them for exercising the Government 
of Virginia. 

" 1 flutter myself that our Commissioners to Virginia will succeed accord- 
ing to our £xp(*ctutions, and that our Aflairs to the Westward will soon be 
put upon a peaocable and quiet Footing. I am, etc." 

It is necessary to mention, at this point, an occurrence which took place 
two days subsequent to the date of the above letter, for the reason that it 
has an important bearing on the events following; and, for the further rea^ 
son, that, in the letters of St. Clair, no account is given of it: 

On the 8th of April, the justices, uEneas Mackay, Devcrcux Smith, and 
Andrew McFarlane, returned from court at Hannastown to their homes in 
Pittsburgh. The next day they were arrested by a Virginia deputy sheriff, 
at ConoUy's instigation, and, on refusing to ^ive bail, were sent off under 
guard to Staunton, county-town, at that period, of Augusta county, Vir- 
ginia. After traveling one day together, Mr. Mackay, one of the three 
justices, got permission to go to Williamsburg to see Lord Dunmore. After 
some conversation with his Lordship, the latter wrote to the sheriff, request- 
ing him to allow the prisoners to return home. Mackay immediately pro- 
ceeded to Staunton, and his fellow-prisoners were at once liberated. 

'Benjamin Chew was born in Anne Arundel county, Maryland, No- 
vember 29, 1722. He was a lawyer by profession, and settled in 1743 on the 
Delaware, but in 1754 removed to Philadelphia, where he held respectively 
the offices of Recorder, Register of Wills, and Attorney-General. He be- 
came Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the day after the 
above letter was written. He had been a member of the Provincial Coun- 
cil of Pennsylvania for u number of years, and as such was written toby 
St. Clair at this date. 

' Adam Stephen was a meritorious Virginia officer in the Colonial wars. 
He was a captain in the Ohio expedition of 1754, serving with distinction 
under Braddock. He became, afterward, a Virginia Brigadier-General. 

296 The St. Clair Papers. 

sieged bj the Indians,^ sent a detachment of the militia to escort 
some provisions for the relief of the besieged ; for this he was com- 
plained of to the Assembly, and censured for sending the militia 
out of the Government 

I have heard, sir, that you are to go to Williamsburg,' and im- 
agined in that case, this hint would not be disagreeable. I wish 
you a pleasant journey. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, May 29, 1774. 
I doubt not l>efore this time you have expected some account 
from me of the situation of this country', but as I could not write 
with certainty respecting the intentions of the Indians I chose to 
defer it.' 

^This was during tbo so-called *' Conspiracy of Pontiac." The siege 
spoken of by St. Clair was in 17G3. 

'That is, St. Clair had been informed that Chew was to be one of the 
Commissioners appointed by the Government of Pennsylvania to treat with 
the Governor of Virginia, on the subject of the disturbances in Westmore- 
land county; but the persons so appointed were James Tilghman and An- 
drew Allen — both mcimbers of the Provincial Council. 1 hey were **to 
treat and agree with the liight Honorable John, Earl of Dunmore, Governor 
of Virginia, concerning the Settlement of the Western Bounds and Limits 
of the Province of Pennsylvania, and prej^erving the Public Peace and 
Tranquillity on the Borders," etc. 

•This is the first hint, in this correspondence, of the animosity between 
the Virginians on the cne side, and the Mingoes and Shawunese on the 
other, which finally brought on what is known in history as " Lord Dun- 
TOore's War." One of the causes of these troubles was the general antag- 
onism of the red and white races, then being brought nearer and nearer each 
other as the Virginians continued to survey land and make settlements 
down the Ohio, Concerning the first overt acts on each side, accounts of 
that period differ somewhat, as shown by the following (See The Washinff' 
ton-Crawfont Letters. JJy C. W. Butterfield. [Cincinnati, Robert Clarke 
& Co., 1877.] pp. 80, 87 and 47, 48) : 

" Dear Sir :—l am sorry to inform you the Indians have stopped all the 
gentlemen from going down the river. In the first place, they killed one 
Alurphy, a trader, and wounded another; then robbed their canoes. This 
alarmed the gentlemen very much ; and Major Cresap took a party of men 
and waylaid some Indians in their canoes, that were going down the river, 
and shot two of them and scalped them. He also raised a party, took canoes 
and foltowd some Indians irotn Wheeling down to the Little Kanawha; 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc, 297 

In my last to Mr. Shippen I think I mentioned that Mr. Croghan 
had sent a Delaware chief (White Eyes) with two of our traders 
with a message^ to the Shawanese; their return had been impatiently 
expected. Tired at last with the suspense, I determined to go to 
Fort Pitt whatever might be the consequence, and am just returned 
from thence. I was lucky enough to arrive there the day they 
came in, and though their accounts are alarming enough, yet I 
can not think they are equal to the panic that has seized the country. 

The Shawanese message is insolent enough ; and we have a cer- 
tain account that twenty of their warriors are gone out, but we have 
still reason to -think they do not mean mischief to the people here, 
as they lay all to the charge of the Big Knife, as they call the Vir- 
gmians. The substance of their speech is, that they think what 

when, coming up witli them, he killed three and wounded several. The In- 
dians wounded three of his men, only one of whom is dead; he was shot 
through, while the other two were but slightly wounded. On Saturday last, 
about twelve o'clock, one Greathouse, and about twenty men, fell on a party 
of Indians at [opposite] the mouth of Yellow Creek, and killed ten of them. 
They brought away one child a prisoner, which is now at my brother 
William Crawford's. This alarm has caused the people to move from over 
the Monongahela, off Chartier's and Kaccoon [Creeks], as fast as ever you 
saw them in the year 175G or IToT, down in Frederick county, Virginia. 
There were more than one thousand people crossed the Monongahela in one 
day at three ferries that are not one mile apart." — Valentine Crawford to 
Washington^ May 7, 1774. 


ugir: — . . . •' The surveyors that went down the Kanawha, as report 
goes, were stopped by the Shawanese Indians, upon which someof tlie white 
people attacked some Indians and killed several, took thirty horse-loads of 
skins near the mouth of Scioto; on which news, and expecting an Indian 
war, Mr. Cresap and some other people fell on some other Indians at the 
mouth of Pipe Creek, killed three, and scalped them. Daniel Greathouse 
and some others fell on some at the mouth of Yellow Creek and killed and 
scalped ten, and took one child about two months old, which is now at my 
house. I have taken the child from a woman that it had been given to. Our 
Inhabitants are much alarmed, many hundreds having gone over the moun- 
tain, and the whole country evacuated as far as the Monongahela; and 
many on this [the east] side of the river are gone over the nn)untain. In 
short, a war is every moment expected. We have a council now with the 
Indians. What will be the event I do not know." — William Crawford to 
Washington^ May 8, 1774. 

* What Mr. Croghan sent in this message wa.*<, in substance, " that the 
outrages which had been committed, were done by some of our ill-disposed 
people, and without the least countenance from Government." The Dela- 
wares, at this period, had their homes upon the Muskingum; the Shawanese 
had theirs upon the Scioto. 

298 The St. Clair Papers. 

Mr. Groghan and Mr. McKee say to them is lies; that they know 
the path is open from Philadelphia, and that they will keep it so if 
they please ; hut that the Big Knife has struck them, and when 
they have satisfaction they will speak to him, but not before , that 
now they have no King, and are all upon their feet, with other 
threatening expressions in their way.* There were several chieis 
of the Delawares, and deputy of the Six Nations, (Goyasutha) 
with eight others of the Seneca tribe, at Pittsburgh, by Mr. Crog- 
han's advice. They were called together and I made a short speech 
to them ; * they received it with pleasure, and in return gave the 
strongest assurances that they wished for nothing more than to con- 
tinue in peace with this Province, and to become as one people. I 
think there can be no doubt of the sincerity of the Delawares ; they 
have given substantial proofs of it in the care they have taken of 
the traders that were to have gone to the Shawanese ; and if the Six 
Nations are in the same disposition, the war will be of little conse- 
quence, but I fear it is to be doubted whether Goyasutha knows the 
sense of the league or not. 

One of the traders who went with White Eyes was detained at 

1 •• White Eyes returned here [Pittsburgh] the 24th of May, and brought 
with him ten white men, wlio had been pn^tected by the Delawares eight 
days in their towns, and guarded safe to this place; he also brought a 
ppeech from the Delawares, from which we have great reason to believe that 
they are not inclined for war; we also believe that they will endeavor to 
preserve the lives of the traders that are now amongst the Shawn eese : he 
also brought from the Shawneese chief (called the hard man,) an answer to 
a speech sent to them by Mr. Croghan, upon this occasion, in which he 
signifies that the Shuwnees are all warriors, and will not listen to us until 
they have satisfaction, for what injuries they have received from the Vir- 
ginians, etc." — Devr.reux Smith to Dr. Smithy from Pittsbiirgh^ June 10, 1477, 

* The s*peech made by St. Clair was as follows: 
"Brothers of the Six Nations and Delawares: 

♦•The Governor of Pennsylvania has heard your good speeches, and I am 
come from him to thank you for the care you have taken of our traders, and 
the pains you have been at to preserve the general peace. Your brothers 
of Pennsylvania are determined to maintain the friendship subsisting be- 
twixt the Six Nations and Delawares and them entire, but as they arc 
alarmed at the threatenings of the Shawanese. we recommend it to you to 
prevent your people from hunting on our side of the river for some time, as 
our people will not be able to distinguish betwixt them and those who may 
be enemies. 

** We wish and will endeavor to keep the path open to our brothers, and 
will on our parts keep bright that chain of friendship which has been so 
long held fast by their and our forefathers. Ar. St. Clair." 

Con^espondence, Addresses, Etc. 299 

Newcomers Town ; * they, it seems, thought it imprudent that more 
than one should go very soon after the others left it. They were 
met by a Shawanese man who fired at Duncan, within a very small 
distance, but fortunately missed" him. White Eyes immediately 
called to him to make back to the town, and he himself got betwixt 
the ludian and him, and came up with him where he had stopped 
ro l.>a(l his gun, and disarmed him; they both got safely back to 
;iie town, and were immediately shut up in a strong house, and a 
guard kept on them day and night to preserve them from any at- 
tempt that might be made by the Shawanese or Mingoes (a small 
part of these last live near the Shawanese, and are in a manner 
ijicorporated with them) and this was continued till White Eyes went 
down to the Shawanese town and returned, during all which time 
they were furnished with provisions and every thing that could be 
procured for them in the most lil)eral manner. This I think must 
be an unequivocal mark of their disposition. 

The mischief done by Cresap ^ and Greathouse ' had been much 
exaggerated when I wrote to Mr. Shipi)en, but the number of In- 
dians killed is exactly as I informed Mr. Allen, viz: thirteen.* 

*The site of the present New Conierstown, in Tuscarawas county, Ohio. 

'The Pennsylvania account of "the mischief done by Cresap" was this* 
William Butler, a trader living in Pittsburgh, sent off a canoe from that 
place on the 15th of April, for the Shawanese towns on the waters of the 
Scioto. This canoe was attacked by three Cherokee Indians, who killed one 
white man and wounded another. About the 21st of April, Conolly, at 
P tt-burgh, wrote a letter to the inhabitants at Wheeling, telling them that 
I' I a 1 been informed by good authority, that the Shawanese were ill-dis- 
p .-td towards the white men. On the 24th of the same month, Mr. Butler 
>«*i:i aiiotiier canoe down the Ohio in care of some Shawanese and white 
int'u. Cresap who was below, hearing of the murder by the Cherokees, and 
being inft.rmed c»f the contents of ConoUy's letter to the inhabitants of 
Wheeling, fell upon the Indians in Butler's second canoe, killing two; he 
also killed another Shawanese farther down the river. 

* The ''Yellow Creek Massacre," as it is called, took place opposite the 
mouth of -fellow Creek, April 80, 1774. It was tlien that Logan, the Mingo 
chief, lost his relatives — mother, brother and sister; not, however, by '* Colonel 
Cresap,*' us he states in his famous speech, but at the hands of a party under 
the leadership of Daniel Greathouse. Logan's brother, who was among the 
slain was known as John Petty. His sister who was also killed had with 
her a child two months old. It was this child that was subsequently taken 
care of by William Crawford, as previously stated. 

* Neither of these letters has been preserved. St. Clair gives thirteen as 
the number of Indians killed by Cresap and his men and by Greatiiousn and 
his party; bat, it must be remembered that a portion of these were Sbawa- 

800 The St. Clair Papers. 

Cresap has lately been in the neighborhood of Pittsburgh, with in- 
tention it appeared to pursue the blow he had before struck, but 
Mr. Conolly sent a message to him forbidding him to attempt any 
thing against the Indians ; this he has taken in high dudgeon, and 
declares publicly that what he did before was by Mr. Conolly's 
orders ; so that it is to be hoped some of the devilish schemes that 
have been carrying on here will come to light. I ventured to say 
that an Indian war was part of the Virginia plan ; I am satisfied it 
must at least be part of Mr. Conolly's plan, for he has already in- 
curred such an exj^ense by repairing the fort * and calling out the 
militia that I think it is impossible that Colony will ever discharge 
it unless disturbances be raised that may give his maneuvers the 
appearance of necessity. 

It is scarcely p(^ssible to conceive the distressed situation of this 
country ; one day the spirits of the people are raised a little, and 
some prospect of their being able to remain en their farms; the 
next a story worse than any they have heard before, and a thousand 
times worse than the truth, sinks them in despair; and those about 
Pittsburgh are still in a more pitiable state, being harassed and 
oppressed by the militia, who lay their hands on every thing they 
want without asking questions, and kill cattle at their pleasure; 
they indeed ai)praise them, when the owner happens to know of it, 
and give him a bill on Lord Dunmore, which is downright mockery. 

nese; ^o that tho story that thirteen Mlnjoes v;ero to bo revenged for by 
Loi^nn, so (.-urrent in history, is a fiction; besides, it is well known, that he 
and his braves put to death more than that number of Virginians before his 
w^rath was appeased. 

^ St. Clair l)as here reference to Fort Pitt, which Conolly bad taken pos- 
session of, changing tlie name to Fort Dunmore — which name, by the way, 
was never acquiesced in by Pennsylvanians. After the fortification had been 
dismantled by order t)f the British govcTiiment, in 1772, it was taken charge 
of by Edward Ward, a lialf-brother of Col. Croglian, who had control oi the 
grounds until Conolly with liis militia took possession sometime in the sprinj^ 
of 1774. In 1777, "Ward's deposition was taken at Pittsburgh, a part of 
whicli was in the folJowinir words: 

"The dep«.nent furtlier saith that upon the evacuation*of Fort Duquesne, 
by the French, on the approach of the Britisli army General Forbes, by one 
of the Deputy Agents of Indian AflTairs, made a request to the chiefs of tho 
Six Nations for permissinn to re-establish a fort at the same place, for the 
purpose aforesaid, and to prevent the French from returning, which was 
granted; a fort executed and garrisoned, which continued in the possession 
of the British troo})s till the year 1772, when it was evacuated by them and 
taken posssession <^f by the deponent, who occupied the same till taken pos- 
session of by Major Conolly, in 1774, with the Virginia militia." 

CorrespondencCy Addresses^ EtCy 301 

From what I saw it was evident to me that the country must very 
soon be totally evacuated unless some thing was done to afford the 
inhabitants the appearance at least of protection. I therefore con- 
sulted with some of the inhabitants of Pittsburgh, and Mr. Mackay, 
Mr. Smith, Colonel Croghan, Mr. Butler and myself entered into an 
association to raise victuals, and pay a ranging company of one hun- 
dred men for one month, to which a number of the inhabitants, as I 
came down, readily acceded, and I think in a few days we will have 
it completed. We flattered ourselves indeed that your Honor if 
you approve the measure, would take such measures with the House 
as would release us from . the expense ; but as you may j)n)l)ably 
want a formal requisition to lay before the House, I have acquainted 
you with it in another letter. One thing further I had in view : the 
inhabitants of Pittsburgh propose stockading the town : ' when that 
is done should your negotiation with Lord Dunmore miscarry, 
throwing a few men into that place would recover the country the 
Virginians have U8uri)ed. 

I beg pardon for so long a letter, and yet I believe I should have 
given you more but that I am detaining Mr. [John] Montgomery, 
who charges himself with forwarding this to your Honor. I have 
only to request that you will please to give us your directions as 
soon as possible. 

P. 8. — An aflair that has given me much trouble and vexation 
had like to have escaped my memory, the murder of a Delaware 
Indian, Joseph Wipey, about eighteen miles from this place. It is 
the most astonishing thing in the world the dis{X)sition of the com- 
mon people of this country ; actuated by the most savage cruelty, 
they wantonly perpetrate crimes that are a disgrace to humanity, 
and seem at the same time to be under a kind of religious enthu- 
siasm, whilst they want the daring spirit that usually inspires. Two 
of the persons concerned in this murder are John Hinksim and 
James Cooper. I had got information of their design some time be- 
fore they executed it, and had written to Hinkson, whom I knew U> 
be a leader amongst them, to dissuade them and threaten them 
with the weight of the law if they persisted; but so far 
from preventing them, it only produced the inclosed letter.' The 
body was discovered hid in a small run of water, and covered with 
stones. I immediately sent for the coroner, but before he had got 

' The town was not stockaded as proposed, although considerable work was 
done toward it. 

'This letter has not been found. 

802 The Hi. Clair Papers. 

a jury together the body was removed, so that no inquest could be 
taken. I have issued warrants on suspicion, but they are so much 
on their guard I doubt they can not be executed. Your Honor will 
please to consider whether it- may be proper to proclaim them ; * it 
is most unlucky at this time. The letter may perhaps be made use 
of as evidence. 

Mr. MciJCee had not time to transcribe the speeches of the In- 
dians, but in a few days I shall probably receive them, and will for- 
ward them by the first opportunity. Nobody offered the arrest they 
have threatened me so much with. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONEER, May 29, 1774. 

Sir : — ^The panic that has struck this country, threatening an en- 
tire depopulation thereof, induced me a few days ago to make an 
excursion to Pittsburgh to see if it can be removed, and the deser- 
tion prevented. 

The only probable remedy that offered was to afford the people 
the appearance of some protection. Accordingly Mr. Smith, Mr. 
Mackay, Mr. Butler, and some others of the inhabitants of Pitts- 
burgh, with Colonel Croghan and myself, entefed into an association 
for the immediate raising an hundred men, to be employed as a 
ranging company, to cover the inhabitants in case of danger, to 
which association several of the magistrates and other inhabitants 
have acceded and in a very few days they will be on foot. 

We have undertaken to maintain them for one month, at the rate 
of one shilling and a sixpence a man per diem : this we will cheer^ 
fully discharge, at the same time we flatter ourselves that your 
Honor will approve the measure, and that the Government will not 
only relieve private persons from the burden, but take effectual 
measures for the safety of this frontier, and this I am desired by 
the people in general to request of your Honor. 

*The Gi)vernor of Pennsylvunia, in accordanco with the suggestion made 
by St. Clair, did "proclaim them." His proclamation offering one hundred 
pounds for thoir apprehension was dated .July 28, 1774. There is, however, 
no evidence extant that either were ever arrested for their supposed partici- 
pation in the killing of the Delaware Indian. Ilinkson finally left the 
Western country. 

CorrespondencCy Addressesy Etc. 803 

George Croghan to Arthur St. Clair. 

June 4, 1774. 

Sir: — ^The frequent reports brought from Hanna's Town, of two 
hundred men being raising there, has alarmed Captain ConoUy very 
much, and though I told Mr. J. Campbell the whole reason and in- 
tention was no more than to have a number of men to scout between 
the river Ohio and of inhabitants down to Ligonier, in order to pre- 
vent the flight of that part of said country ; and in case of great 
necessity that those men would be offered to act with the Virginians 
for the general defense of the country. 

Now, as both Conolly and Campbell know this measure is the 
only one to stay the people from flying, and see that the country 
will condemn Conolly and his officers for not pursuing the same 
measure, they want to make it appear in another light, and that the 
intention is to invade the rights of Virginia. 

Now, the greatest caution and prudence is necessary, and I re- 
quest that you will station those parties to scout back of the settle- 
ments between Turtle Creek and Ligonier, which was our intention 
of having them, and take care that no threats against Virginia be 
made use of by any person concerned, as, since Mr. Jo. Campbell 
came up, I see the design is to create a fresh difference between Gov- 
ernor Penn and Lord Dunmore, which ought to be avoided with 
the greatest care. Since Campbell came up affidavits are taken of 
every information that is brought up, and spies employed ; though 
when he was informed of the murders committed on the Indians, 
he never took any measures to apprehend them. He has made two 
attacks on me, by letters sent by a sergeant and twelve men, which 
letters I answered, but would not gratify him to send them by his 

The truth is, they found this difference likely to be made up by 
the Lidians, and iind that nothing but misrepresenting our measures, 
and drawing on a fresh dispute between the Government of Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia, can keep this man in command ; wherefore 
I have determined to go to Williamsburg myself, and represent the 
state of the country, as soon as I hear the event of our last mes- 
sages to the Lidians, by the deputies, which I believe will be in five 
or six days, and I flatter myself entirely satisfactory to every well- 
wisher of the peace and tranquillity of the country. 

Before I go you and I must have a meeting, that you may be able 
to inform the Gt)vemor what I am going about ; but I would have 
you settle the scouting party so as to act with prudence, and give 

804 The St. Clair Papers. 

no cause for suspicion of any design against Virginia, before you 
come up. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Piaw. 

Laurel Hall, June 7, 1774. 
Sir : — When I had last the honor to write to you, I acquainted ou 
with a plan that had been fallen upon to raise some men for the defense 
of this country. The day before yesterday about forty marched 
from Hannahs Town to Turtle Creek, where they would be joined 
by another party. The number I do not exactly know, but it is in- 
tended that that post should be sixty meu strong ; and a number were, 
at the same time, engaged for the other necessary posts, so that the 
whole will form a chain of rangers on our frontier. The subscribers 
requested me to take them under my direction, and in consequence 
I did give tlicm orders which I will send to your Honor by the first 
opportunity — now I have not time to copy them ; and, as I know 
the gentleman who carries this, I came here on purpose to see him, 
for should this matter go farther, he has connections in town that 
have weight with the House. Mr. Croghan's views I do not pre- 
tend to see, but this you may be assured of, he is at present a friend 
to this country, and if it depends ou him we shall yet have no war ; 
hitherto it has been my opinion we would have no war ; I now be- 
gin to think otherwise ; but my reasons for thinking so depend on 
such circumstances as can scarce be communicated. The most alarm- 
ing one, however, is the retreat of the Moravian Minister. A great 
town of the Delaware^ has been, in some measure, civilized by these 
people, and spiritual guides in all countries have ways of knowing 
the intentions of their flocks ; ^ another is, that on Sunday last a 
council was intended with the Dcla wares and Six Nations at Mr. 
Croghan*s, but the day before they went ofl^ to i)revent a party of 
Shawanese, as they say, from falling on the white people. A little 
time will shf)w whether that was their design or not. Mr. Jennings, 
the late sheriff* of Northampton, who is now here, will, I believe, 
be in town. It is not improbable he knows more than he discovers 
to me. He is engaged in the Indian trade, and his partner is 

^ Ri'ference is here made to the Moravian missionary establishments among 
the Deluwares, upon the Tiiscarawns River, in what is now Tuscarawas 
county, Ohio, under the charge of David Zeisbortrcr. But this minister had 
not " retreated," as St. Clair supposed, and his converts were still at the vil- 
lages of Gnadenhutten and Schonbrunn. 

Corrrspondoice, AddrcsseSy Etc, 305 

beloved by all the Indians. Your Honor will judge if you should 
see him. 

I will not give your Honor any more trouble at present ; and in 
truth I ara so fatigued with riding that I doubt much if what I write 
is legible ; but it is necessary your Honor should be acquainted with 
what is passing here, and I am not fond of sending expresses. 

P. S. — In a very {mrticular manner our soldiers are directed to 
avoid every occasion of dispute with the people in the service of 

Governor Penn to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, June 1th, 1774. 

Sir: — I hav-e received your letter of the 29th of May, by ex- 
press, inclosing your speech to the Indians, and think it an extra- 
ordinary letter. I shall consult my council upon the propriety of 
issuing a proclamation for apprehending him,' which is a measure I 
dare say they will advise. 

I am much pained to find vour countrv is in so terrible a situa- 
tion as you represent it, and think you have acted very wisely in 
entering into an association to raise men, which I hojxj will quiet 
the minds of the people and answer the purpose of keeping them 
from totally leaving the country. 

You may depend u])on my doing every thing that lays in my 
power, to relieve you from the expense of maintaining the com- 
pany of men you mention. You will receive as soon as possible 
two hundred muskets with powder and lead, which you will dispose 
of in the best manner to such persons as will return them when 
thev are of no further use to them. 

Those members of Assembly who live in town, approve much 
of my doing every thing that may ]>e necessary for your protection 
and have sent summonses to all the members that live within twenty 
miles of the town to meet on Friday next to consult \\\\(m what 
will be proper to be done immediately; and if by any further intelli- 
gence from your county it should appear necessary, I shall then call 
the Assembly. 

Wagons with the arms and ammunition will set off this after- 
noon or early to-morrow morning. They will be consigned to Mr. 
Montgomery at Carlisle who will be desired to forward them to you. 

^ Reference is horo nrmde to J<»bn Hinkson and James Cooper, who were 
charged by St. Clair with having killed Joseph Wipey, the Delaware In- 


306 The St. Clair Papers. 

Mr. Ijcsloy hiis taken the cliarge of packing them up and has de- 
livered me the inclosed account of what he is to put up. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Pexn. 

LiGONiER, June 8, 1774. 

Sir : — Since I wrote to you yesterday I have received two letters * 
from Mr. Cro^han, which I now inclose. Though he seems to say 
that ymacQ may be continued, I l)elieve it is not his sentiments ; and 
the circumstance of his going to Williamsburg, whatever design he 
may avow, is to he out of the way of danger : for he dare neither 
trust the white jx^ople nor the Indians. 

We have a certain account of some mischief having Ixjen done 
up Cheat River. Eight or nine jKJople are killed ; hut whether it is 
only designed as revenge, or is really the begiiniing of a war, we 
can not yet judge ; ^ I shall, however take earliest opportunity to in- 
form you of what passes. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LifioxiER, June 12, 1774. 
Sir: — In mv hist letter I had the honor to inform vou, that in 
consequence of the ranging company which had been raised here, 
there was reason to hope the jH^ople would return to their planta- 
litms and pursue their labors ; and i'or some time, that is, a few 
days, it had that effect ; but an idle report of Indians having In^en 
seen within the party, has driven them every one into some little 
fort or other, and many hundreds out of the country altogether. 
This has obliged me to call in the parties from where they were 

U)nly one of these letters — that oi' June 4, 1774, previoii.-ly given — hus 
been j)re>erveil. 

'It was both, as it proved. The •* miselnof " spoken of was the work of 
Lotjjaii. the Min^.f ehief, in reveni^e for the killing o' Ins relative^ at Haker's 
JJoltoin. opposite tlu' ni«»utli of Vrll'»\v ("reek, on the IJOlh of April prcvou.*. 
It was on I)unkanr> Crt'i'k, ahnut ten miles from the niouth of Cheat Kiver, 
on th«* west s'ldv of the .M<»nonL;ahela. that the irat«; ehief began his W(.rk of 
death — hegan, in fact, '• L>nl Dunmorw's War.' J^ogan liad with him a 
snnill number of Mingoen and Sliawanese fr«>m \Vakat<Mni<'a, an Indian 
town u])on the Mu-ikinixiim. near wliat is now I)resd«Mi. Mii«ikingum county, 
Ohio. At thi<^ time, about ten pers»»ns were killed. The; wliole eountry was 
in forts; that is, what wa-i left of them on either side of tlie. Monongahula— 
the greater part having gone over the mountains for safety. 

Cornspondence, Addi esses, etc. CC7 

posted, and have stationed them, twenty men at the Bullock Pens, 
twenty men at Turtle Creek, thirty at Hauna's Town, twenty at 
Proctor's, and twenty at Ligonicr ; as these places are now the fron- 
tier towanls the Alleghany, all that great country betwixt the road * 
and that river being totally abandoned, except by a few who are as- 
sociated with the people who murdered the Indians, and are shut up 
in a small fort on Connymack [Conemaugh], equally afraid of the 
Indians and officers of justice. 

Nothing can be more surprising than the dread the people are 
under, and it is truly shameful that so great a body of iKM)i)le should 
have l)een driven from tlieir possessions without even the appear- 
ance of an enemy ; for certain it is, as yet, no attempt has l)een 
mmle on what is underst(K)d to be Pennsvlvania, nor anv other 
mischief d'Hie than the killing the family on Whitelick Creek, which 
I informed you of iK'fore, and which, from every circumstance, ap- 
j)ears rather to have been private revenge than a national stroke. 
A fresh report of Indians l)eing seen near Hanna*s Town, and 
another i>arty on Braddock*s Road, set the people agoing again yes- 
terday. I immediately took horse and rode up to in(piire, and found 
it, if not totally groundless, at least very improbable; but it was 
impossible to persuade the pe()])le so, and I am certain I did not 
meet less than a hundred families, and I think two thousand head 
of cattle, in twenty miles riding. 

The people in this valley still make a stand ; but yesterday they 
all moved into this j)lace, and I perceive are much in doubt what to 
do. Nothing in my power to prevent their leaving the country 
shall be omitted, but if they will go I suppose I must go with the 
stream. It is tiie strangest infatuation ever seized upon men ; and 
if they go off now, as harvest will soon Ik? on, they must undoubt- 
edly jxirish by famine, for spring crop there will be little or ncme. 

Bv a letter from Mr. ^lackav, of vesterdav, I had a very extra- 
ordinary piece of intelligence, ** that Lord Dunmore had empow- 
ered Mr. Conolly to settle a line of jurisdiction with the Pennsyl- 
vania magistrates." This, it seems, he gives out himself, but it is 
t^) absurd to be Mieved. It would give much pleasure to the 
friends of Government in this part of the country, to hear that 

*The two principal road- load in-^ out of Pittsburgh, at that date, eastward, 
were " Forbes' Road" and ' Bniddock's Koad."' Leavinj' Fort Pitt bv tho 
fist-mentioned mute, the traveler would reach tho Bullock Pens, in seven 
miles; Hannastown, is something over thirty; Ligonier, in fifty-six; and 
Bedford, in about one hur<lred miles. It was this road that St. Clair refers 
to. Braddock's Road w.n^ to the south of this. 

808 The St. Clair Papers. 

your commissioners had succeeded in that business, as it seems 
be the only thing that can restore us peace and order/ • 

A very little time will discover the intentions of the Indians, and 
if they shoiild proceed to further hostilities, I will give you notice 
by express, if it apjiears to be necessary. 

P. S.— I have just heard that Mr. Conolly has sent a party of 
militia down to Wheeling, with orders to fall on every Indian they 
meet, without respecting friend or foe.* 

Arthur St. Clair to Go^^:RNOR Pexn. 

LiGONiER, June IM, 1774. 

Sir: — There is very little alteration in the afHiirs of this coun- 
try since my last, which was a few days ago, only we have a certain 
account of two more people being killed by the Indians, one Mr. 
McClure, and Kincuid, the j)erson for whom you lately issued a 
special commission of the peace. They, it seems, were leading a 
party of forty men to join Capt. Conolly at Wheeling, and were 
attacked by four Indians who made their escape without so much 
as Ixnng fired at.^ 

Before tliLs accident Mr. Conolly had determined to march from 

M)n the r2ih day of May, 1774, James Tilcjhinan and Andrew Allen, 
commissioners of Peniisylvauia, appointed to njeet Lord Dunmore for a con- 
ference with regard to the Boundary Troubles, left Philadelphia, and arrived 
in Willianjsburg on the 10th following. The business was soon opened; 
but, after a conference which lasted until the 27th of that month, it ended in 
nothing whatever being accomplished; Lord Dunm«»re declaring that in no 
event would he yield jurisdiction over Fort Pitt, which put an end to the 
meeting. St. Chiir, however, had not received, at the date of the above let- 
ter, information of fhe failure of the comnjission. 

'-' Particulars of the mi>hap which befel this party are given by St. Clair, 
jn his letter to Penn, of June 10, 1774, which follows. 

3 ".June loth [1774]. AVe have this morning received Certain accounts 
from Ten-Mile Creek, (which Empties into the Monongahela ten miles above 
Kedstone Fort)that on the 11th Inst. Francis .McClure was killed &one Sam- 
uel Kinkade badlv wounded. These men were headinj; a Partv in Pursuit 
of Loi^an, McC'lure as Captain & Kinkade Lieut., and Oweing to their bad 
Conduct, th«'V advanced some consideral)h» distance ahead of their men and 
were discovered by Logan, when the Party came up they found their Captn 
kiird & Lieut wound(Mi; part of them stayed to take care of the wounded, 

and tile Rest pursued the Indians." — Drvereux Smith to . Frona this 

it would seem that St. Clair was mistaken in supposing the party were 
marching to join Conolly at Wheeling. 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 309 

Ft. Pitt, (which he now calls Ft. Dimmore,) with three or four hun- 
dred men he had embodied for the purpose of chastising the Shaw- 
anese, to erect forts at Wheeling ' and Hockhocking * to overawe 
the Indians and from thence to carry war into their own country ; 
of this he was pleased to inform me by letter,' and to desire I 
would act in concert with him. You may be assured, sir, I shall 
be cautious of taking any step that may have the most distant 
tendency to draw this Province into active share in the war they 
have had no hand in kindling, but I have since received accounts 
that the above murders instantly changed the plan, and Mr. Con- 
oily remains in garrison. 

Tis said some of his parties discovered a very large party of In- 
dians crossing the Ohio below Wheeling. If that be true, as it is 
not improbable, we may expect soon to hear of much mischief be- 
ing done, as there is not the least doubt of several small parties 
being out at this time. 

Tis some satisfaction the Indians seem to discriminate betwixt us 
and those who attacked them, and their revenge has fallen hitherto 
on that side of the Monongahela, which they consider as Virginia,* 
but lest that should not continue, we are taking all possible care 
to prevent a heavy stroke falling on the few people who are left in 
this country. Forts at different places so as to be more convenient, 
are now nearly completed, which gives an appearance of security 
for the women and children, and with the ranging parties, which 
have been drawn in to preserve the communication, has in a great 
degree put a stop to the unreasonable panic that had seized them, 
but in all of them there is a great scarcity of ammunition, and sev- 
eral messengers have returned from below without being able to 

I am very anxious to know whether the ranging companies are 
agreeable to your honor or not, both because the ex|)ense of con- 
tinuing them will be too heavy for the subscribers, and that I am 
every day pressed to increase them. This I have positively re- 
fused to do till I receive your Honor's instructions, and I well know 
how averse oiu* Assemblies have been formerly to engage in the de- 

*Thc site of the present eity of that name, in AVcst Virginia. 

*The Hockhocking (Ireqiienlly written Hocking) enters the Ohio River on 
the right, in the present State of Ohio, two hundred and three miles by course 
of the latter stream below IMitsburgh. 

' It is a matter of regret that this letter has not been found. In the end, 
the plan mentioned was carried out 

*That ij», on the west side. 

810 The SL Clair Papers. 

fensc of the frontiers, and if tbcy are still of the same disposition, 
the circumstance of the white j)eople being the aggressors will 
afford them a topic to ring the charges on and conceal their real 

Last night I received petitions from several different parts of the 
county, which I have now the honor to transmit to you by Doctor 
McKenzie from Pittsburgh.* Tlie disturbance in this country has 
ruined his business, but should the Province think of raising 

* Two, only, of the Petitions have been found, but this is a niHtter of lit- 
tle irnportance, as it will be seen by the following that they were all sub- 
etantialh' alike: 


** Pittsburgh, 14M Jufie, 1774. 

*' To the Honourable John Penn, Esq'r, CJovernour and Commander in 
Chief of the Frovinee of Pennsylvania, and of the Counties of Newcastle, 
Kent, and Sussex upon Delaware. The Petition of the Inhabithnts of 
"Westmoreland County, Humbly iSheweth, 

**That there is the greatest Reason to apprehend that this part of the 
Country will be immediately involved in all the horrors of an Indian War, 
That our Cireumstances at this Critical Ccmjuneture. are truly alarming. 
Deserted by the far greater part of our neii^hhours and fellow subjects, un- 
provided with plaees of streni^th to resort to, with Anmnitions, Provisions, 
and almost every other necessary Store, Our houses are abandoned to pillage, 
Lab(/ur and Industry entirely at a stand. Our Crops destroyed by Cattle, 
Our tl(»eks dispersed, and the minds of our people distracted with the termrs 
of falling, along witli their helpless and unprotected families, the immediate 
victims of Savai^e Barbarity. 

"In the midst of these scenes of Desolation and ruin, next to the Al- 
mighty, we look up to your Honour, hoping from ynur known Henevolcnce 
and Humanity, such Protection and Relief as to your Honour shall seem 

'•.And vour Petitioners as in Dutv bound will Prav. yEnoas Maikav, 
D<»vereu.\ Smith, ^Villiam Butler, James O'llara, Samu«*l McKenzie, John 
Ormsby. John McCalli>ter, Andrew Robeson. Kdward Thompson, AVilliam 
Kvins. Willinm McCUsllan, AVilliam Lea, Frederick Kenny, J»'hn Henery, 
Christopher .Miller, John Stewart, Richard Carson, David Sample, Tht)mas 
Gaibraith, William Elliott, Ar. St. Clair, James P«»llock, Benjamin Setter. 
James Cariuihan, John Chillton, John Carnahan, Peter Eckley, Edward 
Murray, William IMcCnnnell, James Kyll, IJenjamin Coe, J<»seph Kyll. 
John Work. Robert I'alterson, Reuben Powell, Peter Coe, Michael Hufl- 
nagle, Abel Fisher, and others." 


" FoKT SniPEN, AT Cav'k John Pkoctors. 
"To the Honorable John Penn. E<(|uire. (j()vernour and Commander in 
vh'u'S of tlu' Pnivince of Pemisylvaiiia. and Counties of New Castle, Kent, 
and S;i»«'x upon Delaware. The I*etition of the Inhabitants of Westmore^ 
land County Humi ly She wet h, 

Correspondence, Addrisses, Etc. 311 

troops, lie would be glad I believe to be employed. I can, sir, 
reconimeud him to your Honor, as an expert surgeon and gentle- 
manly man. He has served as surgeon in the navy. 

I was mistaken in saying two people were killed on Ten Mile 
Creek: McClure was killed, and Kinkaid wounded; however, it 
would have been no great matter if he had been killed, as he had 
accepted a commission in the service of Virginia, soon after the 
notice you had been pleased to take of him at the request of his 
father-in law, Col. Wilson. I am afraid there are some more of 
our Virginia friends who do not play us fair, but it is not a time at 
present for purgation. 

Unless your Honor should forbid me, I shall continue to write 
to you in this manner, >vhatever occurs, as it is the only way I 
have at present to show you that I am with the greatest respect, 
your obedient servant. 

P. S. — For any thing that has escaped me, I take the liberty to 
refer you to Doctor McKensie. 

The day before yesterday I had a visit from Major ^Yard. He 
informs me that Mr. Croghan set out for Williamsburg the day be- 
fore, to represent the distresses he says of the jK^ople of this coun- 
try. At the same time he informed me that the Dela wares had got 
notice of the murder of Wipey, and that Mr. Croghan had desired 
him to come to me on that occasicm ; that he advised that they 

** That there is great Reason to feur that this part of the Country will 
Boon bo involved in an Indian War That the Consequences will most 
probably bo very etrikins;^ ; as the Country is in a very defenceless state, 
without any Places of Strength, or any Stock of Aniunition or Necessary 

**That the abandoning the Country, must be attended with total IJuin to 
great numbers who aro now in an easv situation, but almost distracted with 
the apprehensioii of eeeinv; their Helpless Infants fall a Sacrifice to Savago 
Cruelly, and this will certainly be the event unless they meet with some 

" In these Circumstances, next to the Almighty, they look up to your 
Honour, and hope yuu will take their Case into Consideration, and afford 
them Jiuch llelief as to your Honour shall eeem meet. 

**And your Petitioners as in duty buund will Pray. 

" Lot Darling, Andrew Woolf, Gorg Hedingbau, Samuel Sloan, William 
Caldwell, Hobert Koulston, William Allison, William Cortny, John Pat- 
rick, Benjamin Coohrn, James Gammel, James Forsyth, Ilobert .Tnylor, 
John Leslie, William Anderson, George Henry. John Proctor, David Max- 
well, Will-nm Hughs, Ilias Pettet, and others.' 

312 The St. Clair Papers. 

should be spoken to and some small present made to them as con- 
dolence and to cover his bones, as they express it. I do not well 
know what to do ; such a present as some few of us would be 
willing to contribute for, might be thought unworthy of the Province, 
and such an one as might come up to my idea, would be great pre- 
sumption to offer. This however is certain, the Delawares are still 
friendly and it may perhaps prevent a general war if they can be 
kept in temper. I believe I shall go to Ft. Pitt, however, and will 
consider well of it. 

^XEAs Mackay to Arthur St. Ciair. 

Pittsburgh, lltJi June, 1774. 
3fy Dear Sir : — I have the pleasure to inform you that Butler,' 
Blaiu,^ and several other tnidei*s, are just arrived with their skins, 
guarded by three Bhawanese chiefs, and our greatest dread is now 
that the militia will attempt to kill or otherwise abuse these princi- 
pal men, as they are so easy to come at; however we have some 
trusty hands to lead them througli the woods to Col. Croghan's, which 
we look upon to he a place of safety. The traders inform us tliat 
thev have not been under confinement at all, and that thev have 
been exceedingly well treated by all the Shawanese.' We will have 
no war yet, unless our neighbors will force tliem to it. 

* Ricbanl Butler. IIo, in company with his bn>tlior William, was engaged 
RS u trader, at tljis period, with theShawanese. Thoy had been do'.ni; a large 
busines:* f«»r n number of vears, frt»m Pittsburijh. Tt mav l»o ln?rc m(>ntioned 
that thes(; bn thers took an important part in the Revolution, and that Kichurd 
was u Major-(>eneral in the Indian war which followed that contest. 

' Ephraim Blaine. 

• rjc'lmrd IJutler, after his arrival at Pittsburu;h, gave an interesting ac- 
count of his escape from the Indian country. It was in jjubstuiu^c this: On 
hearinix the news of the killini^ oi tho MinLjoes by CJreathouse and his party 
at I5ak*'r's IJottom, on tho 80th of April, three nnin and u boy, wlu> were 
Mim^iX's, Mild one Shawanes(% set off tt) tho Iloekhocking, with an intent to 
reveni^e the der-d upt)n the traders there. On hearing of this, tho Shnwa- 
nes«* lirnd men siMit f<»ur of their own pe<»ple and ono Mohican to preserve 
Ruth-r u'.nl th(5 residue of the traders at that j^oint. This was faithfully done; 
for wh'Mj the war partv came to the camp of the Pennsvivanians, tln-v were 
met 1 y th«» others, who ]»revailed on them to return homo. AVKen Ikitler 
and the otlwr tra<l('rs w<»re ready to start for Pittsburgh, tlio Shawnncse 
chief, C\)rn>taik, sent his brothi-r to escort the whole of ti.em to Piltsburi^h, 
althoiii^h, Ix'fore they left, tho r»'port that Loi^an and fiis friends had taken 
up the hntt'liet airainst tht» Virginians in revenge for his relatives elain, 
reached the Shawanesc before their departure. Thclndian escort, composed 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 313 

P. S. — Mr. Butler informs me, he has a speech for the inhabitants 
of the forks of the Two Rivers, meaning our Province ; and Blain has 
a speech to deliver to Mr. Connolly as representative for the Big 
Knife, so that 1 hope you will be up before the s|)eeches will be de- 

James Tilgiiman to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, Jmie 20^t, 1774. 

Sir : — The Governor has received your dispatches by Mr. Hooper 
and Mr. Jacobs who had by jmcket from Mr. Elder. I just take thb 
opportunity by a person going off to-day, to let you know that we 
could not bring my Lord Dunmore to any reasonable temporary 
lines. We offered the Monongahela which he would not agree to ; 
so that the peace and quiet of the country must in a great measure 
depend on the confidence of those in command on both sides till we 
can get orders from home to have the boundaries of Penn'a settled, 
which Lord Dunmore assured us he would use every endeavor to 
expedite. I find you have raised some rangers to encourage the 
people to continue their settlements ; great care should be taken that 
they give no ofl[ense or umbrage to the Indians, who should be 
made sensible that nothing is intended, but to keep the {>cople to 
the settlements, unless the Indians should' oblige them to act of- 
fensively. It seems as if there were no good understanding between 
Croghan and Connolly. I do not Icnow how sincere Croghan may 
be, nor would I judge uncharitably, but his sentiments are just. 

We had some intimation when at Williamsburg and I have 
heard since I came home that Lord Dunmore has interested himself 
in the lands about Pittsburgh. I wish you would inquire into that 

of one Shawanese, one Minu:o and a Mohican, proved faithful to their trust 
and delivered their charges in safety at Pittsburgh. 

The fears of Mackay that the militia would " attempt to kill or otherwise 
abuse" the three Indians, were woll-founde(L It required great caution and 
considerable trouble on the part t)f the traders and Culoiiel Croghatj to pro- 
tect them, so intense was the excitement among the Virginians at Pittsburgh 
against savages in general at the time. On their way home, the >[ohican 
was actually wounded, near the mouth of Beaver, by a scouting party; how- 
ever, it is not certain that they had knowledge of the pacific intention of 
these Indians. 

*The speech brought in by Butler has not been found. The one intrusted 
to Blaine was directed to Croghan and Conolly. It was from the chief, 
Cornstalk. lie sent his good intentions to the (Governors of Pennsylvania 
and Virginia; lioped that peace would bo maintained, and that no more In- 
dians would be killed. 

314 The St. Clair Papers. 

matter, gnd transmit me what intelligence you 'can gain of it. 
The Governor will write you by the first opportunity. He is out of 
town to-dav and knows not of this. 

Conolly wrote Lord Dunraore a very flattering account of his ex- 
pedition against the court house for which we are informed he got 
a sharp reprimand instead of the applause he exj^ected. When we 
applied for the discharge of the magistrates his Lordship told us 
he had already given orders for that purpose. 

Lord Dunmore told us he would instruct his i)eoplc to be very 
pacific and inoffensive, and not to give an occasion of difference. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, June 22, 1774. 

Sir: — In my last I infi)rmed you of Mr. Croghan setting out for 
Williamsburg, since which I had a letter fn)m him fn)m his own 
house. He therein informed me that he found the country so much 
alarmed at his going down, that he chose to return, and trust hia 
business to letters, and desir(;d to see me as soon as possible. 
Accordingly I set out for Pittsburgh the 17lh inst., and had the 
happiness to find two of the principal traders arrived there with a 
great quantity of peltry, and that they had been ctmducted there 
by some of the Shawaucse chiefs, and that the rest of the traders, 
with their hors*es and skins, were got as far as the Newcomers 
Town, under the protection of another Shawaneso party. 

The traders inform us that they have met with no ill treatment 
from the 81iawanese ; but, on the coutmrv, they were at the great- 
est pains, to protect them from the Mingoes, who had suffered most 
from the white |)eople, and who came to their town several times, 
with the intention to murder them. It seems thev did not think it 
prudent to bring the Shawanese to Pittsburgh, but conducted them 
from some distance below that place, througli the woods to (^)l()nel 
Croghan's. Mr. Conolly ordered out a party of forty men to make 
them prisoners, as he says. 

The ])eople of the town were alarmed at seeing a party march out 
the route they took, and sus^x^cted they were intended to attack a 
party of uur iHM>j)le stationed at the Bullock Pens, al)out seven 
miles from thence, whicli it seems has some time been threatened, 
and acquainted me with wliat they feared. I immediately waited 
on Mr. Conolly, and insisted, in direct terms, he should tell me if 
he had any such design. He assiured me he had not, but that, as 

Correspondence y Addresses^ Etc. 315 

the Shawanese Lad committed depredations on his Majesty's subjects, 
he had ordered out that party to make those prisoners who had 
escorted the traders ; and that might have been his real intention ; 
but I am convinced those who were to put it in execution would not 
have made prisoners. Wo put it out of their power to do either, by 
sending them over the river. 

Your Honor will judge from this circumstance that the crew about 
Fort Pitt (now Fort Dunmore), are intent on a war, for were not 
that the case, honor, generosity, gratitude, every manly principle, 
must have prompted them to Ik) kind, and afford protection to thi^e 
poor savages, who had risked their own lives to preserve the lives 
and pro|)erty of their fellow-subjects. But why need I mention this 
circumstance? One at lea§t as strong is, that John Drinuing, who 
publicly acknowledged, or rather boasted, of having killed the In- 
dians, with Mr. Crcsap, is one of Mr. C(molly's lieutenants, and is 
at the present time out somewhere with the command of a party to 
take scalps, from friends I suppose ; a murderer, I am sure, will 
never meet an enemy on fair terms. 

I mentioned something of a condolence in my last, and as the 
8hawanese were up, I suffered myself to be pursuaded by Mr. Crog- 
han to collect a small present of goods for that purpose, which was 
on Sunday morning to have been divided and sent to the three na- 
tions, the Six Nations, Shawanese, and Dela wares; but Mr. Con- 
nolly's frolic prevented it that day. Next morning, the Indians, 
being some Six Nations, and some Delawares, were bn)ught down 
to ]\Ir. Croghan's, and were shown the condolence, and actjuainted 
that it was ordered for them by you, and that when their chiefs 
arrived they would be spoken to, and the present delivered, and a 
messenger was sent after the Shawanese to acquaint them likewise. 
As the Indians themselves made a distinction betwixt us and our 
neighbors, it may perhaps l)c a means of keeping ix?ace in our quiir- 
ter at least. I hope your Ilcmor will not be offended at my taking 
this upon myself. The value of the goods is but trifling, not ex- 
ceeding thirty or forty pounds. I have inclosed a of tliem, but 
the j>erson from whom I got them neglected to affix the prices. 

Whatever may l>e Mr. Croghan's real views, I am certain he is 
hearty in pnjmising the general tranquillity of the country ; indeed, 
he is indefatigable in endeavoring to make up tlie breaches, and 
does, I believe, see his mistake in opposing the interests of your 
Government; and I doubt not but a very little attention would 
render him as serviceable as ever. Real friendship you must not ex- 
pect, for, by his interest alone he is regulated, yet he may be useful, 

316 The St. Clair Papers. 

as by and by you will probably want to make another purchase. I 
purjK)8ely gave him an opportunity of opening a correspondence 
with me, which he embraced, and from what I can see, he would be 
glad to be on better terms with your officers tlian he has been ; but 
this is only conjecture. 

With this, your Honor will receive an extract from Mr. McKee's 
journal of all the transaction.^ with the Indians, from the beginning 
of the troubles, as also another of Mr. Connollv's advertisements.' 

' ft 

I know not well what he means by it, but I believe his design is to 
distress the Indian trade. 

It is true what I mentioned about the boundary. Mr. Connolly 
read me a jmrt of a letter from Lord Duumore on the subject. He 
says the demands of the Pennsylvanians were so extravagant that 
he could do nothing with them, but that he (Connolly) may settle 
a line of jurisdiction with the magistnites of Westmoreland, ten 
or twelve miles eastward of Pittsburgh, or a more convenient dis- 
tance, and cautions him at the same time not to give just cause of 
offense to the magistrates acting under the authority of this Province. 
I know not how the magistnites were to settle lines. 

I received your Honor's favor of 7th inst., and am happy to 
inform you the jMinic is in some measure over. The ammunithm has 
not yet come to hand, but a quantity arrived from Carlisle which 
ea.<H?d the people^s minds a little, but the damage to the country by 
the desertion of the jK'ople and the loss of the Spring crop is very 
groat, and if any thing should hai)]KMi to interrupt the harvest we 
must iiave an absolute famine. This I hope will not be the case. 

Ijogan is return(*d with thirteen scaljjs and a prisoner, and says 
he will now listen to the cliiefs.^ 

K^wu>llv"s advcrti.^Mnerit wms in tlioso words: 

♦'\Vln're:t> tbr Sliawanc.oe have ]>('rpctraU'il several inurdcrg upon th« In- 
liabiliints of llii> ('ouiitry wliiih hat* involved this pronn>iiii^ SettltMnent in 
the mo-t oalainitniis distress; and whereas I have good reason to believe 
that <MTtai!» imprudent people eoiitinue to carry on a eorrespondence with, 
and >npply the sai<l Knenru'< witli dangerous Cumnioditios to the inflnito 
prejtid (•«' of Hi-; Maje<ty's subji-ets. and exprepsly contrary to an Act t»f As- 
peinblv pr«»hibitini^ such unwarrantable iiit<*rc«»urse: These arc therefore in 
His Majc«.ty"s Name, strictly to require and c«»nimand all His Maje-^ty's 
JSubji'.t-:, to talxe n(»ti<*e hen-of and to (b'port tliemselves as the law directs, 
as th« v niav !»«? asstned that u contrary conduct will draw on th(MU tho 
utmost severity tber<v)f. 

"(Jiven under niv Hand at Fort Dunniore this 18th June, 1774. 

John Co NOLLY." 

2 It has been taken for granted that he did k> listen, and that he then 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 817 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGOXiEK, Jane 26^i, 1774. 

Sir: — I have the honor to transmit a memorial from the iuliabit- 

ants of Pittsburgh to your Honor, with some remarks upon Mr. 

Omolly's conduct in support of it, which came to my liands a few 

minutes ago.* It is most certain, sir, they are most injuriously 

burii?d the hatchet, havini; slain just as many of the "Long Knives" as the 
Virginians killed of Mirigoes. But his rest was only temporary: he after- 
ward penetrated a considerable distance into Virginia — he and his braver 
killing; as they went. Up to the last of June, or to the time of the date of 
the above letter, he had already taken sixteen 8cal}>s. 

* The following are the Memorial and Remarks referred to by St. Clair: 


I. piTTSBUon, June 25, 1774. 

"To the Ilonorftble John Penn, Esq., Governor and joint Proprietor of tho 
Province of Pennsylvania, etc. 

**The memorial of the subscribers, in behalf of themselves and the re- 
maining few inhabitants of Pittsburgh who have adhered to the Governor 
of Pennsylvania, hunjbly sheweth: That your memorialists have suffered in 
an unprecedented manner by the arbitrary proceedings of Doctor Conolly, 
since the commencement of his tvrannical Government at Pittsburjjrh. The 
principal facts we shall beg leave to lay before your Honor, as followeth: Soon 
after the return of the magistrates of this place from Staunton jail in Vir- 
ginia, Mr. Conolly lieing extremely enraged that Mr. Mackay should ac- 
quaint Lord Dunmore with his tyrannical behavior, took all «)pportunities to 
affront and use Mr. MacUay ill, so that in a few days after he ordered Mr. 
Macka3''s outhouses to be pulled down, and the materials to be carried to his 
garrison; and when Mr. Mackay complained of such oppressive measures, 
he was threatened by Doctor Conolly to be sent in irons to Williamsburg. 

"Mr. William Butler, (t»ne of the subscribers,) and an eminent trader at 
this place, has been cruelly treated by Mr. Conolly, nay, was threatened to 
be shot down, for daring to refuse carrying arms at Mr. Conoliy's militia 
array, etc. That your memorialists are of opinion that Mr. Cont)lly has 
taken all the pains in his power to foment the disturbance between us and 
the Indians, for several reasons, particularly when a number of the traders 
arrived here lately from the Shawanese towns, escorted by three Shawa- 
nese chiefs, who were sent to the care of Colonel Croghan, till a handsome 
present was made for them, by the traders for their fidelity, Doctor Conolly 
ordered out forty-one of his militia to take them at all events, and to send 
them to his guard house, which hellish plot being discovered, Mr. Butler, and 
some other friends, conveyed the Indians and their presents over the river, 
just as the guards surrounded Mr. Croghan 's house, for which Mr. Butler 
has been severelv threatened. 

"That a number of the subscribers, etc., have been very severely treated 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 319 

Creek, firecl on them, and woimdocl one, and then ran off in the 
most dastardly manner. What may Ik* the consequence GckI knowj*, 
but it is well if the traders do not siificr; their horsifS and iJcltry 
are not vet arrived. 

**8<lly. A Ijirgt' bo'lyof AriiuMi muri brokoopoii Mr. .McKay's & Mr. Smitlia 
Back-yard Gatrs «Sc KoM'iied th«' Villiaii Kielly, who was* swnrn rniis.tabK? for 
'\Vei*tnu)reland County at that tliiM', and was con lined f*»r abiisinjj said Me- 
Kii}' in bis own House; liv(! of tb('>»* nn*n prcsiMitcd tijoir Guns at Mr ]Mc- 
Kny & Mr. iSniitb, also one of tbc Pnrty struck at Mr. McKay witlj bis 
Gun and Lroko it intt» jucccs, wbilst anotb'T ] rocnted bis rifle tbrougb his 
Parlour window, Swearinj; that be would ^boot down Mrs. McKay if she 
did not inimodiatcly set <»j)en tlie doors of lier II<iu>e, upon which she fled, 
liut WU8 lnirn(»diatelv a-^saulted bv oih» Aston (a Cai tain in sa'd C'onnoMv's 
XppOHitmenl) with a drawn Sworil, who stabbed l:er in the Ann. Mr. 
'^pcar was also Al>u-;ed & Scratched by sai<i .A^ton, at tin* same time. 

'•■Ithlv. Said ('onn<»'lv, with an Armed force cd' twt) bundled men, sur- 

oundpd th« C« urt Ilou-e, &«• , &c. 

"5thly. He sent yEneas McKay, Devoroux Smitlj, & An<lrew McTarhine, 

iii^ifttrates, under an Armed Guard to Sian town [Staunton] jail, in Vir- 

lia, then proceede<l to sho«t dt»wn our Cattle, Sheep and Hogs, takeing by 

•e (if yVrms any ]>art of our property In^ pleases, also Pressini; our Horses 

' tiont applying for them or rendering any sntisfaetion to the .--ufrerers for 


iltlily. He pent an Armed (Juard to Town to Plunder the House of Mr. 
ercux Smith, but was prevented by Mr. "William IJutler, at the llisquo 
•lis life. 

Tthly. lie, Connolly, with his whole >V»rce came tt> the House of Mr. 

\ay & Broke open hi-s Gales, & Pulled down a Log Stalde «fc Sheep 

-■'. tbreutcning to Pull down his Dwelling House if ho thought proper; 

:iiii« again, acct»mpunied by one of his Officcrfl, to Mr. i^IcKays & 

•d him in n Ijla>phemous, outrageous manner, threatening to send him 

'US* t<» Virginia, next day. 

:hly. He sent an .Aimed CJuard to Town, with a (ieneral Search AVar- 
:■» search every House iii Town, without Exception, for the Kfleets of 
that died the evening before in their F(»rt, that some of themselves had 
■ I his Corj)!*!' off. In the Course of their Search tiiey Broke ()]>en a 
>i a .Mans b-)U>e, that bears a Go(k1 Cbara( tiT liere, and took out sev- 
liclos, and at the same time Insulted the owner, 
■y. Ho sent a party who llobbed -Mr.Jnsejtb Spears's Carriers of On* 
ad of Gun Powder about Six niiles from Town, which was sent bj 
'•arfor the use of the Inhabitants of this Country, if necessity re 
ihus Kobberv was conmiitted bv a Part v beaded bv the atforc^aii • 
lio beat and Tnsolentlv abused the Pt'rson wh(» had said Powder in 
when he Demanded a Receipt for the same. 

■ ' are but a few of the manv Distresses we labour under, and with- 
r-i'tion & Speedy IJedress, cannot long i-uj pk>rt ourselves under 
!vcous Persecution & Tvranny.'* 

318 The St. Clair Papers. 

treated. The only piece of news from above, since my last, is, 
that Mr. Conolly sent two parties down the river in pursuit of the 
Shawunesc who escorted the traders, who. intercepted them at Beaver 

by Mr. Conolly for our adherenco to the Pennsylvania Government, which, 
A»r !»ri*vity sake, must be omitted. 

**The j^remijiea considered, yniir memorialists most earnestly request your 
Honor will fall upon some speedy method to relieve our distresses, and to 
s<mkI us directions, as soon as possible, how to act on this very critical occa- 

*' For a further explanation of our distresses we beg leave to refer your 
Honor to the enclosed remarks, which are absolute facts. 

".Eiicus Mackay, Frederick f'any, William Evans, Devereux Smith, Rob- 
ert McC'ully, William Amberson, John Ormsby, George McCully, William 
ilami'.toii, Uichard Butler, John Shannon, James Smith, William Butler, 
Gabriel Walker, John Irwin, James (Vllara, John. Walker, Robert Elli- 
ott, James Fowler, Benjamin Elliott, Richard Carson, Jt»seph Spear, Al- 
exander W^ayue, Joseph Carrel, Andrew Robinson, Ralph Nailer, Stephen 


u PiTTSBrRQH, June 25//*, 1774. 

«*The Distress'd Inhabitants of this Place have just cause to Charge their 
present Calamity & Dread of an Indian War, Intirely to the Tyrannical 
and unprccedcnt Conduct of Doctor John Connolly, whoso de>ign, as we 
conceive, is to Ixitti^r his alnost desperate Circumstances u])on the distrej^s 
of the publick and the Ruin of our Fortunes, as will appear from the fol- 
lowing Facts : 

• 1st. On the 'Jotli day of January last, a number of disorderly persons as- 
sembled tlHMn>elvcs here in Coiise<p«ence of his adverti^eInents, ^^as militia) 
who, when dispersing, warit<>iily or nialiciiusiy fired upon some friendly In- 
dians, in their Hutt> on the Indian Shore, wliich Conduct, together with So 
uni«\j)e:ted an Ap, earance of so many People in .Arms at a lime, that they 
exie't''d no Hostile Intention on our parts, greatly alarmed them, as a|>- 
pcarr.l by Coniplaint nuuie by tin-ni at a Council with Alexander Mc [Kee], 
Ksfj r. Indian Agent, and some of tlie Inhabitants of this Place, a few days 

•*'Jn(lly. Michael Cresip[Cresap].in vindication of his own Conduct, alledges 
that It was in ( "(»n>equenee of a Circular Letter from s>aid Connolly, directed 
t() tlie Inhab.ta:it^ of tin; Ohio, that he murthered tin; Indians, and that in a 
mar. inT iliut Savage Ferocity could ."carcj; (Mjual tV: in C*)ld Blood, with<»ut 
th(! le i>t l*r'iV(M-!ition, ain«in.;>-t wijom waf som(» Delawarcs had been 
empl.ivcd l»v .Mr. William Biitlor to Carrv (Joods ^ tend to the Relief of 
his br.'tlicrs, wli.» wn> at that tinu- in the hidian Country, all of which prop- 
erty tli"'y iiavf iici'M (Icprivi'd nf to a ConsidcTMhle amount; also, everv part 
of >.ii<.l Conn'»l!y*."» ('(Midiu't to our friendly liidians. convinces us that ho 
mi':ni> to force tluMii to a war, as lie both Rrl'usj's t<» prote< t cV: en<leavors to 
m'lrdi'r tliose that, at the Hisqiie of their lives Came with (»ur Traders to 
])"o^'ct them *S: t<) deliver a-suranccs to the publick, which can be produced 
if re(piired. 

Corrcspondencey Addresses^ Etc. 819 

Creek, fired on them, and wounded one, and then ran off in the 
most dastardly manner. What may Ix* the consequence G(k1 knows, 
but it is well if the traders do not suffer; their horses and jK-ltry 
are not vet arrived. 

** Hdly. A largi' body of Armed men brokoopun Mr. McKay's & Mr. Smiths 
Baek.yiird Gates & Rescued the Villian Kielly, who was Fworn cons-tabk* for 
Westmoreland County at that time, and was c«>nllned ft>r abusing said Mc- 
Kay in his own House; tivi; of those nien presente<l thoir Guns at Mr. Mc- 
Kav & Mr. Smith, alsn one of the Pnrtv struck at Mr. McKav with his 
(Jun and Lroko it into pieces, whilst another j re>ont«'d his rifle through his 
Parlour window. Swearing that he would shoot d«»wn Mrs. McKay if she 
did not immediately set ojn»n tl»c doors (»f Iier Ilousts uj^on which she fled, 
but was Immediately assaulted bv one Aston (a Cai tain in sad Connollv's 
Appointment) with a drawn Sw«)rd, wlio stabl>ed her in the Arm. Mr. 
Sp<'ar was also Abused & Scratched by said Ast'»ii, at the same time. 

'••Ithlv. Said ('onn<»llv, with an Armed force of two hundred men, sur- 
rounded the ('« urt House, &c , &c. 

**5thly. He sent ^Eneas McKay, Devcreux Smith, & Andrew McFarlane, 
Magistrates, under an Armed Guard to Stan t«»wn [Staunton] jail, in Vir- 
ginia, then pnx'cedr'd to shoot down our Cattle, Sheep and Hogs, takeing by 
force of Ann** any part of our j>ropei-ty he pleases, also Pressi'ns^our Horses 
without applying for them or rendering any satisfaction to the suffiTers for 
so doimx. 

"Othlv. He pent an Armed Guard to Town t<» Plunder the House of Mr. 
Devereux Smith, but was prevented by 31 r. AVilliam IJuller, at the Kisque 
of bis life. 

"Tthly. He, Connolly, with Ins whole yorce came to the House of Mr, 
McKay & Broke open his Gates, & Pull(?d dt»wn a Log Stable <5c Slieep 
house, threuU'ning to Pull down his Dwelling House if be thought ])roper; 
he cam(i again, acct»mpani«'d by one of his OflScers, to Mr. AIcKays & 
abused him in a lUasjdiemous, outrageous manner, threatening to send him 
in Iroi»s t<» Virginia, next day. 

'•8thlv. He sent an Aimed Guard to Town, with a General Search AVar- 
rant, to scarcli every House in Town, without Kxception, for the Kfl'ects of 
a man that died the evening before in their F(»rt, that some of themselves had 
Roblwd his C«»rpse (»ff. In the Course of their Search they Broke Open a 
Chest in a .Mans h mse, that bears a Good Charaitt-r here, and took out sev- 
eral Articles, and at the same time Insulted the owner. 

"Othly. He sent a party who Piobbed Mr. Jose].h Spears's Carriers of On< 
Horse load of (iun Powder about Six miles from Town, which was s«'nt bj 
said Sp<'ar for the use of the Inhabitants of this Country, if necessity ro 
quired; thus Robbery was committed by a Party headed by the art\»resai» • 
Ast()n who beat and Insolently abused the Person who had said Powder in 
Chartre, when he Demanded a I'ec**ipt for the same. 

"These are but ii few of the many Distresses we labour under, and with- 
out Protection & Speedy IJfdress, cannot long su] port ourselves under 
such Greiveous Persecution & Tyranriy" 

320 The St. Clair Papers. 

Mr. McFarlanc has just arrived from Virginia, and reports that 
four companies are on their march to Pittsburgh. I think he must 
be mistaken, l)oth as their militia law is expired, and that it is not 
an easy matter to conduct so large a body through an uninhabited 
country, where no magazines are established. Any occurrences 
worthy of your ni;tice shall be intimated by every opjwrtunity. 

Governor Penn to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, June 28, 1774. 

Sir : — The accounts which you have tmnsmitted of the temper of 
the Indians, and the murdei^ they have already jierj^etratetl, are 
truly alarming, and give every reascm to apprehend that we shall 
not long be exempt from the calamities of a savage war. The de- 
sertion of that country in consequtnce of the panic which has seized 
the inhabitants, on this occasion, naist Ije attended with the most 
mischievous effects, and prove ruinous to the immediate sufferers, 
and distressing to the Province in general. Every measure, there- 
fore, should be attempted to stop the progress of this evil, and to 
induce those who have already gone off, to return to their habita- 
tions; and, I must rely on you to exert all your prudence and ac- 
tivity f )r this purpose. The steps which have already been taken 
appear t ) me very proper, and I have no doubt, but that you will 
continue your endeavours to restore the drooping spirits of the peo- 
ple, and insj>ire them with a resolution to stand their ground, at 
least till thev are satisfied of the intentions of the Indians towards 
this Province. You mav assure them that Government sensibly 
feels the distresses of their situation — that it will ha attentive to 
their interests, and affird them every assistance and protection in 
its power to give. With this disposition, I have issued writs for 
convening the Assembly, on the 18th of next month; and shall 
immediately on their meetinfr* lay this matter before them, and 
have reason to expect that sucii measures will be adopted as may 
effectually enable the Government to extend to them a relief, ade- 
quate to its wishes, and tiieir wants. In the mean time I shall give 
orders f )r such further suj)ply of ammunition to be sent up as will 
be sufficient for the i)resent occasion. 

I have written to Sir William Johnson, informing him of the in- 
telligence we had received of these trausacti(ms, and requesting his 
interposition with the Six Nations, to use their influence with the 
Shawanese and Delaware?, to prevent further hostilities on their 

Correspondence y AddresseSy Etc. 321 

part, and to assure them of the sincere intentions of this Govern- 
ment to continue their pacific disposition towards all our Indian 
brethren. I have also written to Lord Dunmore, complaining of 
Conoll/s outrageous and tyrannical behavior at Pittsburgh, and re- 
presenting the dangerous tendency his military operations may have 
to involve the Colonies in a general Indian War. 

P. S. — My Commissioners who attended Lord Dunmore, could 
not induce him to come into any reasonable temporary line of juris- 
diction, and therefore things must remain in the disagreeable situa- 
tion of interfering jurisdictions. In this unhappy situation I am 
satisfied, you and the other magistrates will act a prudent part. It 
is impossible in such a case to give particular directions. With re- 
spect to the keeping up the rangers you have raised for the security 
of the inhabitants, I shall recommend it to the Assembly to defray 
the expense that shall accrue in that necessary measure ; and I can 
not have the least doubt that they will approve of what has been 
done on this occasion, as also the continuance of the same forces, 
until their sentiments can be known. 

R. L. Hooper to Arthur St. Clair. 

Dear Sir : — Yesterday I forwarded three letters for you by Mr. 
Boss^ of Pittsburgh, and now I am in hopes of sending you the re- 
solves of council last evening which was held in consequence of 
your letters, etc. , by Doctor McKinney. I have hunted Mr. Tilgh- 
man faithfully to day, but can not meet with him. I am now going 
in search of him to get the Governor's letter for you ; but I will first 
tell you that the Assembly is called to meet the 18th of next month, 
and a considerable quantity of powder and lead is ordered to be sent 
up immediately ; and this is all — except the full approbation of your 
conduct — and it gave me great pleasure to hear one of the gentlemen 
of the council express his sentiments of you on this occasion. I 
think there does not remain a doubt but your measures will be adopted 
by the Governor and Assembly, and your requests fully answered, but 

'The letter, by referring to the time when the Assembly of Pennsylvania 
was to meet, shows that it was written some time in Juno, 1774. 

'Alexander Ross. He was, for a number of years, engaged largely in 
trade with the Indians from Pittsburgh, in connection with Alexander 
McKee. He was, on the 11th of January, 1774, commissioned a justice of 
the peace of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, as previously indicated. 


322 The St. Clair Papers. 

the delaying time must be of very bad consequence to the country. I 
intend to take up a certain Bond if I can, but as yet, I have Dot 
had it in my power. I shall be ready on every occasion to serve you 
and the inhabitants. You know I am diligent and active, and per- 
haps you may have it in your power to turn the eyes of these peo- 
ple on me. I have had frequaint conversation with Mr. Tilghman, 
who is friendly. 

I have just seen Doctor Smith who says an express is to be sent 
off to you. I can not find the Secretary — he is attending the balL 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, July 4th, 1 774. 
Sir: — I have the honor to inclose the last piece of Indian 
Intelligence, which came by Captain White Eyes a few days ago, 
and am very happy tliat affairs have so peaceable an aspect,^ yet 
I can not suppress my fears that it will soon be interrui)ted, as a 
large body of Virginians are certainly in motion. Colonel Henry 
Lewis is ordered to the mouth of Kcnhawa to build a fort there ; 
and Major McDonald with about five hundred, is to march up Brad- 
docks road and down to Wheeling to build another there ; and Cresap, 
with throe others, are appointed to raise ranging companies. With 
such officers as Cresap, no good can be expected, so that it is very 
doubtful all attempts to preserve the tnmquillity of the country 
will l>e fruitless.'' 

^ The intelligence brought by White Eyes was, in effect, that he was re- 
turned from transacting the business which ho had been sent upon by his 
brethren, the Knglish; and that he now had the satisfaction to tell them that 
he had succeeded in his negotiations with all those tribes of the several nation$( 
of Indians whom he had since seen and conferred with, upon the unhappy 
disturbances which unfortunately had arisen in the Spring between the fool- 
ish people of both parties, and that he had found all the nations fully dis- 
posed to adhere to their ancient friendship and the advice of their \vise 

' In a proclamation issued by Lord Dunmoro, April 25, 1774, he recognized 
that Pittsburgh and its dependencies were " in some danger of annoyance 
from the Indians," and he ordered and required " the oflScers of the militia 
in that district to embody a sufficient number of men to repel any insult 
whatever," referring not only to the Indians, but to the Boundary Troubles 
as well. 

Karly in May, William Crawford, President of the Court of Westmore- 
land County, under Pennsylvania appointment, having accepted a captain's 
commission from Lord Dunmore, embodied, up the Monongahela and 
Youghiogheny, one hundred men, and proceeded down to Chartiers' Creek to 

CorrespoyidencCy AddresseSj Etc. 823 

The men that have been raised here we have thought proper to 
continue another month, as the harvest will, by that time, be over. 
They have orders to assist and protect the people in the difierent 
quarters where they are posted, and I hope by that means that it 
will be secured. 

The arms and ammunition are not yet arrived, but I hear they 
will reach that place to-morrow or next day. 

Last week Mr. Conolly issued an order to prevent any skins 
being removed from Pittsburgh, till they paid duty as in Virginia. 

There has been some appearance of the old seed of the Black 
Boys, a number of the people had assembled to stop Mr. Somons's 
goods, but I had got notice of it and sent a party to protect them, 
and have issued warrants against them. Their ring-leader wiU cer- 
tainly be taken this day. 

William Smith to Akthur St. Clair. 


Philadelphia, July 5ft, 1774 
Sir: — ^The proceedings of Conolly are shocking and a high disgrace 
to the Grovemment from which he pretends his authority, as well as 
to this Government, for suffering such flagrant acts within its known 
jurisdiction. No pains shall be spared you effectual and imme- 
diate relief. When any thing falls in the way. Dr. McKenzie will 

guard the people while they got their stock away. He then went down the 
Ohio as far as Grave Creek lo watch the motions of the Indians, but, seeing 
none, returned home with his command. St. Clair seems not to have been 
advised of this, the first expedition down the Ohio, in " Lord Dunmore's 

It will be remembered that early in June, Conolly proposed to send a con- 
siderable force down the river to build a stockade at Wheeling, and another 
at Hockhocking (St. Clair to Governor Penn, June 16th, ante). Captain 
William Crawford headed the force, which reached Wheeling without acci- 
dent, and commenced the erection of a fort there. Meanwhile, Lord Dun- 
more planned two expeditions: one to march down the Kanawha, under 
Col. Andrew Lewis, to erect a fort at its mouth, and the other under Col. 
Angus McDonald, to build one at Wheeling (which had already been an- 
ticipated by Conolly ; and the work was actually begun by Crawford). 

'*The Virginians, from their conduct, appear determined on a war. Col- 
onel Lewis is supposed to be at the Canawes [mouth of the Great Kanawha] 
with 1500 men and several parties have gone from this place to join him. 
Major McDonald, Mr. Cresap and others, are expected here shortly, who, it is 
said, are going down the river [Ohio] to build forts and station men at dif- 
ferent places." — .^Eneaa Mnckay to Joseph Shippen, Jr^ from PitUhurgh, 
July 8, 1774. 

324 The St. aair Papers. 

not be forgot. Something concerning your Fort Pitt afiairs will be 
published from time to time, as we can produce intelligence. 

James Wiijson * to Arthur St. Clair. 

Carlisle, Jtdy 1th, 1774. 

Dear Sir: — I was favored with your letter' by Mr. Anderson. 
My connection with the county of Westmoreland, and the regard I 
have for some valuable friends there, lay me, in my opinion, under 
an indispensable obligation to do them every little service in my 
power. The sentiments of the gentlemen who joined with me 
in sending up the ammunition,' are, I believe, upon this subject, the 
same. We only did our duty, therefore, upon that occasion. It 
will always give me a very sensible pleasure to testify these senti- 
ments ; and if any opportunity shall occur in which you think I 
can be of the least use, I shall esteem it friendly in you to give nie 
notice of it. 

The Governor has summoned the Assembly to meet on the 18th 
of this month. What measures that body will adopt in order to se- 
cure and protect the frontiers of the Province, it is impossible to 

In the interior parts of the Province the public attention is much 
engrossed about the late conduct of the Parliament with regard to 
America,* and the steps which the Colonies ought jointly to take to 
maintain their liberties ; against which, to say the least of the mat- 
ter, a very dangerous blow seems to be aimed. A general Congress 

' Native of Scotland, lawyer of distinction, and afterwards signer of Dec- 
laration of Independence, etc. 

' This letter has not been found in the St. Clair Papers. 

'Supplies sent to Westmoreland for use of the rangers raised by St. 
Clair to protect the frontiers. 

*When the Assembly met, Governor Penn communicated the facts set 
forth in the foregoing correspondence, auked that an appropriation be made 
to meet expenses incurred in arming the rangers, and that some method be 
devised fur accommodating the Indian troubles. Appropriation made by 
the Assembly, and the Governor advised to renew the peace with the In- 
dians, and offer to act as a mediator between the Indians and Virginia. A 
reward of one hundred pounds was offered for apprehending John Hinkson 
and James Cooper for the murder of the friendly Indian, Joseph Wipey. 

B Meetings to express sympathy with Boston were held in June at Lan- 
caster, Chester, and other interior points. 

CorrespondencCy Addresses^ Etc, 325 

"itom. all the different Provinces will certainly be appointed. With 
regard to the propriety of entering into a non-importation and non- 
exportation agreement, the opinions of the people in this Province, 
as well as the opinions of those in thp other Provinces, are not, as 
far as I can learn, unanimous. 

A meeting of deputies from the several coupties in this Province 
is to be held at Philadelphia on the 15th inst., in order to concsrt 
the preparatory steps to a general Congress.* Letters from the com- 
mittee of the city and county of Philadelphia are, I presume, sent 
up to you, informing you of this. 

Please to offer my best compliments to Mrs. St. Clair. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

Hanna's Town, Jidy 12, 1774. 

Sir: — On Friday last I was honored with your letter of the 28th 
idt., and I have now the satisfaction to acquaint you that the panic 
seems entirely over, and that numbers of people are returning 

It must be very grateful to every person concerned, as it is in a 
very particular manner to me, that their endeavors on this occasion 
has met with so full approbation from your Honor, and will most 
certainly induce them to exert themselves on future ones. I had 
yesterday an opportunity to acquaint them, as also a very respectable 
body of people who were assembled here in consequence of a letter 
from the Committee of Philadelphia, of your determination to af- 
ford them every necessary assistance and protection. I read to them 
that part of your Honor's letter, and they received it with great 
satisfaction and thankfulness. 

'The meeting on the 15th was attended by the distinguished citizens of 
Pennsylvania: John Dickinson, Joseph Reed, Thomas Fitzsimmons, and 
Thomas Miffiin attended from Philadelphia; James Wilson, Robert Magaw, 
and "William Irvine from Cumberland. The last two sorvo4 as Colonels un- 
der St. Clair during the war. James Wilson was a member of tho com- 
mittee to prepare instructions to the delegates appointed to attend a general 
Congress. The Assembly, on the 22d, voted that a Congress of Deputies 
ought to be held "for obtaining redress of American grievances, ascertain- 
ing American rights, upon the most solid constitutional principles, and for 
establishing that union and harmony between Great Britain and tho Colo- 
nies, which is indispensably necessary for the welfare and happiness of 

326 The St. Clair Papers. 

I shall probably have occasion to write you again to-morrow, as I 
had, yesterday, a letter from Mr. Croghan,* desiring a conference 
on matters of great importance to the Province, which he would not 
trust in writing. I believe, however, it is a proposal to open some 
trading place ; that is, to form a town some where up the Alleghany, 
as the trading people must leave Pittsburgh. Hinkston,' with 
about eighteen men in arms, paid us a visit at court last week, and, 
I am very sorry to say, got leave to go away again, though there 
was a force sufficient to secure two such parties at the sherifi's 
directions. I had got intelligence that they were to be there, and 
expected to be joined by a party of Cresap's people, for which rea- 
son the ranging party that were within reach had been drawn in, 
but none of the Virginians appeared. It is said a commission has 
been sent him from Virginia ; certain it is, he is enlisting men for 
that service. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, July 17thy 1774. 
Sir : — The business Mr. Croghan had to communicate was this : 
That the Virginians are determined to put a stop to the Indian 
trade with this Province, and that Messrs. Simons, Campbell, and 
Conolly have obtained an exclusive privilege of carrying it on, 
on the frontiers of Virginia. He recommends the laying out of a 
town up the Alleghany at the Kittanniug, to which the traders 
might retire, as they will certainly he obliged to abandon Pitts- 
burgh, and from which the trade might be carried on to as much 
advantage, as the distance from thence to Kuskuskies^ is much the 
same as from Pittsburgh, and a very good road. He further re- 
commends the building of a small stockade there, to afford them 
protection in case of a war. The Indians will certainly quit Pitts- 
burgh, PS it is at the risk of their lives they come there, to which I 
was an eye-witness. 

*See St. Clair's letter of the 17th, to Governor Penn, following. 

*Thi8 is the same Hinkston that was charged with being one of the party 
who murdered the Delaware, Joseph AVipey. 

'A Delaware Indian town, of the Monsey tribe (»r clan, situated at the 
Junction «)f tlie Shenango and Mahoning rivers, in what is now Lawrence 
County, Pennsylvania. The phice was nearly north-west from the site of 
the proposed new town at "the Kittanning," upon the Alleghany — thespot 
where the present Kittanning, county seat of Armstrong County, is located. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 827 

Croghan further says, that uuless somebody is sent up by the 
Government to speak to the Indians very soon, that we shall see no 
more of them, and that the Delawares, who are still friendly, will 
be debauched. 

I beg you to excuse this incoherent scrawl, as I am obliged to be 
held up whilst I write it. 

Hinkston has left the country. 

John Conolly to Arthur St. Clair. 

Fort Dunmore,* July 19(h, 1774, 
Dear Sir : — A report, which has too generally prevailed in this 
quarter, of the pacific disposition of the Indians, has unluckily lulled 
the inhabitants into supineness and neglect, the effects of which have 
been dismally experienced on the 13th inst., upon Dunkard Creek, 
where six unfortunate people were murdered by a party of thirty- 
five Indians. I have also received a letter from Colonel Lewis, 
acquainting me that the Shawanese had attacked a body of men 
near to his house, and had killed one and wounded another. What- 
ever may be said of the cause urging the Indians to these steps will 
be little to the advantage of these sufilering people ; some immediate 
steps most undoubtedly ought to be pursued to check their insolent 
impetuosity, or the country in general will be sacrificed to their re- 
venge. The people of the frontiers want nothing but the counte- 
nance of Government to execute every desirable purpose, and your 
Province appearing backward at this critical juncture will most 
indubitably be highly displeasing to all the western settlers. I am 
determined no longer to be a dupe to their amicable professions, but, 
on the contrary, shall pursue every measure to offend them ; whether 
I may have the friendly assistance or not of the neighboring coun- 
try will, I expect, depend much on your just representation of 

Arthur St. Clair to John Conolly. 

LiGONiER, July 22J, 1774, 
Sir: — I received your favor of the 19th, yesterday, by Doctor 

*The new name piven by Conolly to Fort Pitt. He not only had pos- 
session of the fort, with a body of Virginia militia, as he termed them, but 
had made con^idf^mMo rnpairs upon the f<»rtross. 

828 The St. Clair Pampers. 

McKenzie, and am extremely sorry for the misfortunes that have 
happened upon Dunkard Creek. 

It is very true, the assigning this or that cause for the inroads 
which the Indians are frequently making will be of no manner of 
advantage to the sufferers ; but I think the security into which the 
people had fallen arose, not so much fi^m an idea of the pacific 
disposition of the Indians, as that the great armed force sent down 
the river would effectually cover them; in that expectation they 
were certainly wrong ; it was an effect coidd never follow from such 
a cause. 

I agree with you, something ought to be done to prevent the dep- 
redations the Indians may still make upon the inhabitants ; that is, 
ample reparation ought to be made them for the injuries they have al- 
ready sustained, and an honest oj)en intercourse established with them 
for the future. This, I imagine, would be found a more cheap, easy, 
and exi)editious manner of re-establishing the peace of this country 
than any offensive measures whatsoever ; for, be assured, the rest of 
the nations will not sit tamely by and see a people who have long 
been aiming at taking the lead amongst themselves cut off, or even 
much depressed, by the English. 

The councils of this Province will, I hope, continue to be founded 
in justi'^c, whether that may be dii<pleasiug to the western settlers 
or not ; but you are certainly wrong to imagine my representations 
have any influence in the matter. I sliall, however, represent mat- 
ters as they occur to those in Government in the light they appear 
to me, as I have done hitherto, and have uniformly declared that I 
saw not the least probability of war, unless the Virginians forced it 
on. The different maneuvers up and down and across the river 
have now probably brought that event about ; who may see the end 
of it God only knows. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, July 22(f, 1774. 
Sir : — For some days by-past we had a flying report that some 
people were killed upon Dunkard Creek, on the 15th instant, but 
that a story of that kind should come so slowly through a country 
exceedingly on the ahirin, induced me to give no cre<lit to it, and 
to endeavor to prevent its gaining credit in the country. I con- 
sidered it as raisedvon purpose to })revent the execution of Conolly's 
orders to Cresap not to annoy the Indians, which I knew had been 

CorrespondencCj Addresses, Etc. 829 

given, but it was put beyond a doubt yesterday by letters from Mr. 
Mounby, Mr. Mackay, and the inclosed deposition.^ 

Mr. Mackay writes me the friends of Pennsylvania are determined 
to abandon Pittsburgh, and to erect a small stockade somewhere 
lower down the road (I suppose about Turtle Creek,* where he has a 
fine plantation), to secure their cattle and effects till they see further 
what is to be done. 

I had a letter from Conolly yesterday, in a style of familiarity I 
should not have expected, but of itself a very extraordinary one ; 
if you should think it worth your while to look over it, I have 
inclosed it, and a copy of my answer.' 

I am still sanguine enough to hope this Province will escape the 
mischiefs of a war, as all the operations of the Indians are evidently 
aimed at the Virginians, and seem designed to show them how 
much they despise the notion of their carrying the war into their 
own country. They have, however, a number of men at Wheeling, 
and Conolly was to march this day to reinforce them. One of his 
parties who had crossed to the Indian side fell in with the last of 
our trader, peltry, escorted by some Delawares. They took the 
trader and the Indians prisoners, and carried them to the mouth of 
Beaver Creek, where their captain (Hogland) lay. He was exces- 
sively enraged to see them alive, and they were kept all night in 
that state of suspense that every moment would be the last ; in the 
morning, however, they discharged them, on the trader's giving a 
bond of five hundred pounds, to satisfy Captain Conolly that the 

^ The following is tho doposition referred to : 
**(Copy) July Uih, 1774. 

** Personally appeared before me George Willson, a Justice of the peace, 
John Pollock, David Shelvey and George Sbervor, and made oath on the 
Holy Evangelist, that they were personally present in the Corn Field on 
Dunkard Creek, where the late Murder on the 13th Instant happened, and 
saw the corpse that was Buried, who ware sadly Massacred, andScalpted and 
farther sayeth nt^t. 

" Sworn to before G. Willson. 

" N. B. — The above is incorrect, but I give it you as I got it, (that is,) 
nine persons were working in a field, four was killed and sadly mangled. 3 
escaped, the other two is missing. Cresaps is in Chace of them, but they 
had a day's start of him." 

' Turtle Creek flows from the north-east into the Monongahela, a short 
distance beyond Braddock's field, in Alleghany County, east of Pittsburgh. 

'See the two previous letters — Connolly to St. Clair, and the latter's re- 

830 The St. Gair Papers. 

Indians were Delawares. I took the trader's deposition on it when 
last at Pittsburgh, which I also inclose. 

I was very ill when I wrote last, of a bilious fever, but am hap- 
pily recovering. I can not well recollect what I wrote, as it was 
not copied, it being Sunday and my clerk abroad ; but unless mat- 
ters are likely to be soon settled about Pittsburgh, it will be abso- 
lutely necessary to erect a town at the Kittanning ; the trade must 
else take its course by the lakes, which will carry it quite away 
from this Province, and the communication with Philadelphia wiU 
in time become very easy that way, and may now be done with very 
little land carriage. There is an old trading path from thence to 
Frank's Town,* on the Juniata, and another to the head of the West 
Branch of Susquehanna. 

I have distributed the arms all over the country in as equal pro- 
portions as possible. 

Captain Crawford, the President of our Court, seems to be the 
most active Virginia officer in their service. He is now down the 
river at the head of a number of men, which is his second expedi« 
tion. I don't know how gentlemen account for these things to 

^NEAS Mackay to Arthur St. Clair. 

PirrsBURGii, J«7y 25, 1774. 
Dear Sir: — Tlie last accounts brought in here from the Indian 
country by Captain White Eyes I have transmitted to you yester- 
day by express. I have there informed you that you should be fur- 
nished with White Eyes's speech as soon as it could be procured 
from Captain McKoe, from whom we have since obtained a copy, 
which will be delivered to you by Richard Butler, who is kind 
enough to go to Ligouier at the request of Messrs. Spear, Smith, 
and myself, as well with these papers as consult you about other 
matters that we are all equally interested in.' You know Mr. But- 

^The site of an Indian village, in the present county of Huntingdon, 

* Reference is here made to William Crawford, at that time, as before 
mentioned, President of the Court of Westmoreland County. He was, at 
this date, busy in erecting a fort at Wheeling. 

'See letter of St. Clair to Governor Penn, July 26, 1774, following. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 331 

ler to be both a man of sense and a &,ithful Pennsylvanian ; there- 
fore his reports are to be depended on. We are of opinion that 
it is absolutely necessary that immediate application should be 
made to Government in favor of the Delawares, that some steps 
may be taken to reward the fidelity of that people, especially such 
of them as will undertake to reconnoiter and guard the frontiers of 
this Province, which they say they will do, from the hostile de- 
signs of the Shawanese ; and as by that means they will be prevented 
from following their own occupations, it would be no more than 
right to supply their necessary wants, while they continue to de- 
serve it so well at our hands. 

There is nothing but the dread my family are in of the Indians 
approaching this place in my absence that would prevent my going 
in person to see you at this time, in your present dangerous in- 
disposition. I hope to hear by the bearer on his return of your 
getting the better of your disorder. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONEER, Jvly 26, 1774. 

Sir: — I have enclosed a letter I received last night from Mr. 

Mackay, of Pittsburgh, together with the speeches and intelligence 

brought by White Eyes, and a deposition respecting some Indians 

having been seen in the country.* I thought them of consequence 

*The "speeches and intelligence," referred to by St. Clair, were as fol- 
lows : 


[WuiTK Eyks's SPliECn.] 

Pittsburgh, July 23, 1774. 

We are glad to hear from you the good speeches which you have now 
spoken to us, and it also gave us great pleasure to hear from our brethren 
of Pennsylvania, when they reminded us of that ancient friendship made 
by our wise forefathers, which they have at this time handed to us, desiring 
us to take fast hold of it. 

Brethren, Sir William Johnson, with our uncles, the Five Nations, the 
Wyandots, and all the several tribes of Chcrokecs, and Southern Indians, 
have spoke to us of peace and friendship ; and you, our brethren of Vir- 
ginia, have likewise desired us to be strong in holding fast the chain of 
friendship; and we now tell you that we strictly observe to do it. And now, 
brethren, I inform you that we will sit still here at our towns, Kakelellama- 

332 The St. Clair Papers. 

to be quickly communicated to you, and have forwarded them by 
express, as it was quite uncertain when a private opportunity might 

peking, Gnaddenhutten, and Tupickcong, upon the Muskingum, to hold fast 
that chain of friendship between you and us. . 

Brethren, you desired us that the road between us and you might be kept 
clear and open, that the traders might pass and repass safe, which we aUo 
have done, and we wish that it may continue further. We desire, therefore, 
that you will not suffer your foolish young people to lie on the road to watch 
and frighten our people, by pointing their guns at them when they come to 
trade with you; for some of our people have been so scared that they came 
home and alarmed our towns, as if the white people would kill all the In- 
dians, whether they were friends or enemies. (A string of white wampum.) 

Brethren of Virginia, wo now see you and the Shawaneso in grips with 
each other, ready to strike; and we do not know what to say between you 
further; you will be the best judges yourselves of what is to follow, as we 
can do no more to reconcile you. But in the struggle between you, when 
you have thrown down the Shawaneso, brethren, we desire you to look no 
further, nor set down there, but return to the Kenhawa or south side of the 
Ohio, the place that you then rise from; and when you have so concluded 
this dispute, brethren, we will expect to hear from you, that we may 
acquaint all other Nations of it, but hope that you will be strong, brethren, 
and renew the ancient friendship with all other Nations, when you have 
ended your di:«pnte with those people. (A string of black wampum.) 

[Intolligonce received from Captain White Kyes:] 

On my return to Newc(mier's Town with the speeches you charged me 
with, I found that several parties of Shawaneso had set out to war against 
you, contrary to their promise before to the Chiefs of the Delawarcs, who 
desired me to return and inform you of it, as it would be to no purpose to 
treat further with them upon friendly terms, but that they should be in- 
formed of your speeches; thoy came forwarded by two of your people. 

Brethren, we have now to acquaint you that the Shawaneso are all gone 
from WagotomicH to Hssemble themselves at the Lower Towns; if there 
was one yet remaining we would tell you. But as this is not the case, and 
some of our people may be yet on their way up from amongst them, we 
would have you consider and cross to them from the mouth of the Big Ken- 
nawa, as our women and children may now be frightened when you come 
near them, and the Shawaneso are all gone. 

Brethren, one of the Shawaneso that has headed a party against you, has 
sent us word that he was going to strike you, and when he had done it, he 
would then blaze a road from the place he would do the mischief to New- 
comer's Town, by which he \v<tuld see whether the peace was so strong be- 
tween the whites and the Deluwares as they pretended. Keesnateta has 
likewise sent us word that ho now saw his grandfathers, the Delawares, had 
thrown them away, for which reason they wore now rising to go away, 
though, he said, he was sure no other Nation had done it; and that it had 
been an ancient custom with their Nation, that when they left any place in 

CorrespondencBy Addresses^ Etc. 338 

offer. All prospect of accommodation with the Shawanese and Vir- 
ginians is certainly over for some time, but yet it does not appear 
they have any hostile intentions against this Province. The en- 
gaging the service of the Dela wares to protect our frontiers would 
undoubtedly be good policy, if it did not cost too dear. I am afraid, 
however, they will be very craving, but as they have offered it, it 
should not be altogether overlooked. At the same time their friend- 
ship should be secured on as easy terms as possible. 

I doubt, with the utmost prudence that can be exerted, but these 
Indian disturbances will occasion a very heavy expense to the 
Province. The necessity of establishing some place of security for 
the trade (if it is considered as advisable to carry it on at all), is in- 

the manner they wore doing, whoever remained behind them, they always 
turned about and struck them. 

Brethren, the day we got into Newcomer's Town a party was discovered, 
whose intentions were to come to Fort Pitt to put Colonel Croghan and 
Alexander McKee, with Guyasutha, to death, and also waylay us, which we 
passed; as by killing us, they say, no more news will be carried between the 
white people and the Indians. I could inform you of a great deal more, but 
these are the most material occurrences and facts, which you may depend 

My brother is lately come from the Wabash Indians, who told him they 
would exp^^ct to hear the truths of the accounts from that quarter on his re- 
turn; and I havft sent a message by him to them, desiring them not to listen 
to the Shawanese, who would only endeavor to draw them into troubles and 
leave them by themselves, which had been tl)eir constant practice. 

[Mr. Croghan addressed Captain White Eyes as his particular friend.] 

Brother, I now speak to you as a friend to both parties, your Nation and 
the English, and not by any particular authority, and I am convinced from 
the speeches you have now delivered, that your Nation has the sincerest in- 
tentions of preserving entire that friendship subsisting between you and us; 
and I observe from your intelligence that the Shawanese are withdrawn 
from one of their towns in your neighborhood, which is an evident proof 
that they do not mean to be friends with you or us; therefore, brothers, I 
would have you consider well whether you would not in the present cir- 
cumstance think it prudent for some of your people to accompany ours when 
they go to chastise the Shawanese, in order to enable them to make a proper 
distinction between our friends and our enemies. 

[Captain White Eyes' answer to Colonel Croghan:] 

I am glad to hear you, and I will consider what you have said, but cannot 
immediately return you an answer. I will send your message to our Chiefs at 
Kaskaskia, and as soon as I have their sentiments and advice will speak to 
you, which I expect in two days; in the meantime, you may be assured that 
their sentiments will not deviate from that strict friendship subsisting 
between us. 

8S4 The St. Clair Papers. 

creasing daily. A small parcel of goods which Mr. Spear has sent 
to one of the Delaware towns has enraged the commandant at Pitta- 
burgh to an exceeding degree, and he threatens '' the persons who 
carried them shall be tried for their lives on their return." I men- 
tioned the Kittanning; it is certainly a proper place, both on account 
of some natural advantages of situation with regard to the interior 
part of the country, and that its being in one of your manors, the 
settlers would have an opportunity of procuring lots on easy terms ; 
at the same time it would not be foreign to your interest. I find, 
however, they — the traders at Pittsburgh — would wish to fix upon 
some place nearer that town, for which I can see no reason; unless 
they imagine the property they leave behind them will be more un- 
der their eye, or which, I think more probable, Mr. Croghan directs 
them to some spot where he has a right, and which may serve his 
interest ; for though I believe he is zealous in the service of the 
public at present, he will never lose sight of his own particular in- 
terest. If they do remove, I will endeavor to persuade them to the 
Kittanning at once ; but if they are unwilling, your ordering a town 
to be laid out there, and a small stockade to be built, will effectually 
determine them before they have gone far in another settlement. 

Captain White Eyas and John Montaur are preparing a party to 
join the Virginian militia if they cross the river to attack the lower 
Shawancse ; and I have been solicited to order some of the rangers 
to join them. This I have positively refused, and have sent orders 
to the person intended, on no account whatever to attempt to pass 
either of the'rivers. So far from joining the Virginians, who have 
taken such pains to involve the country in war, it would, in my 
idea, be not improper that the Shawauese should know this Gov- 
ernment is at |)eaco with them, and will continue so, provided they 
do not infringe it themselves, and that a boundary be given them, 
the doing mischief on the east side of which would be considered a 
declaration of war and bring all the weight of this Grovemment 
ujwn them. 

We begin to be impatient with respect to the rangers ; their second 
month is just expiring, but whilst the country is in such commotion, 
and the harvest not yet got in, they can not be dismissed. I have 
not the least fears about the expense, and the Association may safely 
depend on the generosity of the Government, more especially as 
they have such assurances from your Honor of your approbation 
of the measure, and your assistance towards relieving them from 
the expense. 

P. S. — If you should think proper to allow some presents to be 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 83& 

made the Indians, I would be very glad the sum were specified. I 
am very little acquainted with Indian affairs, and I do not trust Mr. 
Croghan too much ; he has been used to make expenses, and would 
not be very sparing where he thought he had the purse of a Province 
to make free with, and too great parsimony might spoil all. I have 
agreed with the express for six shillings a day. Mr. Croghan says 
he expects some of the Six Nations to join White Eyes' party. 

Governor Penn to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, 6^ Av^gust, 1774. 

Sir: — I have received your letters of the 22d and 26th ulto., 
inclosing several depositions and letters relative to the present sit- 
uation of affairs in Westmoreland. 

As I find by all intelligence you have from time to time commu- 
nicated to me, that the Shawanese, as well as the Delawares, have 
discovered a strong aversion to entering into a war, either with 
Virginia or this Province, and, on the contrary, have given repeated 
proofe of their sincere disposition to live in peace and harmony with 
both colonies, I have, with the advice of my council, thought it 
expedient to send messages to those tribes, expressing the great 
concern of this Government at the late unfortunate disturbances 
between them and some of His Majesty's subjects belonging to the 
Colony of Virginia, at the same time declaring our resolution to 
preserve the treaties of peace and friendship existing between us 
inviolate, and earnestly advising the Shawanese not to strike the 
people of Virginia, as they, as well as the people of this Province 
are all subjects of one and the same great King, who will be as 
much offended at any injury committed against any one part of his 
subjects as another, but to exert their best endeavors to settle the 
differences that have arisen between the Virginians and them, and 
to continue to live in friendship with all His Majesty's subjects.* 

^Tbe messages to the Shawanese and Delawares were in these words: 

[To THE Shawanese.] 

" By the Honorable JOHN PENN^ Esquire^ Oovemor and Comrnander-in* 
Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Counties of Newcasilef Kent^ arid 
Sussex, on Delaware. 

** A Message to the Chiefs and Warriors of the Shawanese Indians. 

Brethren : — When I had heard that you had taken care of our traders, 
and had sent somo of your young men to conduct them home in safety, it 
made my heart glad, because I was satisfied that you kept fast bold of the 

336 The St. Clair Papers. 

As to the proposal of engaging the services of the Delawares to 
protect our frontiers, I would only just observe that it is a matter 

chain of friendship which was made between our forefathers, and renewed by 
us, and you may be assured that 1 shall always remember this instance of 
your kindness, and that I shall hold fast that end of the chain which is in my 
hands, so long as you hold yours. But, brethren, it gives me great concern, 
and my heart is grieved to hear of the difference between you and our 
brothers, the people of Virginia. If any of the wicked people of Virginia 
have murdered any of your people, you should complain of it to the Gov- 
ernor, and ho will have them punished. You should not, in such cases, take 
revenge upon innocent people who have never hurt you. It is a very wicked 
thing to kill innocent people because some of their countrymen have been 
'.vicked and killed sumo of you. 

"Erethren, if you continue to act in this manner, the people of Virginia 
must do the same thing by ymi, and then there will be nothing but war be- 
tv.'cen you. Consider, brethren, that the people of Virginia are like the 
Icavei upon the trees, very numerous, and you are but a few, and although 
you should kill ten of their people for one that they kill of yours, they will 
at last wear you out and destroy you. They are able to send a great army 
into your country, and destroy your towns, and your corn, and either kill 
your wives and children or drive them away Besides, brethren, the Vir- 
ginians, as wel as our people and you, are children of the Great King who 
lives beyond the great water; and if his children fall out and go to war 
among themselves, and some of thom are wicked, and will not make peace 
with the others, he will be very angry, and punish tnose who are in fault. 
Therefore, brethren, let me advise you to forget and to forgive what is past, 
and to send to the Governor of Virginia, and offer t«» make peace. 

"I shall write to the Governor of Virginia. iiimI iMid(*av(>r to persuade him 
to join you in mending the chain of friendship b(»twoen you» which haa 
been broken, and to make it so strong that it may nove'r be broken again ; 
and I hope, brethren, if he be willing to do this good thing, that you will 
be of the same mind, and then we shall all live together like friends and 

" Given under my hand and the lesser tjeal of the said Province, at Phila- 
delphia, the sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord, 1774." 


*' By the Honorable JOHN PENN, Esquire^ Governor and Commander-ir^ 
Chief of ihe Province of Pennsylvania, and Counfirs of St uratfUc, Kent, and 
SiMSCXj on Delaware. 

"^ Me.ssaf/e 1o ihc Ch'^efn and Warriors of ihe Delaware Indians. 

^''Brethren: — I was grieved at my heart when I heard that some of our 
foolish young men had killed our brother, Joseph Wipey, and that the Vir- 
ginians had killed some ot your people below Fort Pitt. I was fearful that 
you would suffer your young men lo take revimi^e upon our innocent people, 
but when 1 l)eaid I lint y.»u had a good heart, and viewed these things in 
their proper light, and that you remembered the chain of friendship made 
by our forefathers, and would not take revenge upon us for what the Vir- 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 337 

in the present situation of Indian affairs too delicate for me to in- 
termeddle in. 

Since my last letter to you, I have considered of what you men- 
tioned in a former letter, and now repeat, respecting the establish- 
ment of some place of security for carrying on the Indian trade, as 
you say that Pittsburgh will certaiuly be abandoned by all our 
pet)ple ; and I am now to acquaint you that I approve of the meas- 
ure of laying out a town in the i)roprietary manor of Kittanning, 
to accommodate the traders and the other inhabitants who may 
choose to reside there ; and, therefore, inclose you an order for that 
purpose. But I can not, without the concurrence of the Assembly, 
give any directions for erecting a stockade or any other work for 
the security of the place which may incur an expense to the 

With respect to the continuance of the two hundred rangers in 
the service, it must altogether depend upon the intelligence we re- 

ginians or some of our foolish young men had done, it gave mo the greatest 
satisfaction, and niacio my mind easy. 

" Brethren, you may depend that so long as you are inclined to peace and 
friendship you shall find me in the same mind, for why should we fall out 
and CO to murdering one another for what our foolish young people do, and 
what neither of us approve of? In such cases, let us endeavor to find out 
such foolish young me and punish them for their wickedness. I have oflTered 
a reward of fifty pounds apiece for those two wicked people, who, it is said, 
murdered Joseph Wipey, and, if they can be taken, I shall do every thing 
in my power to have them punished. 

•' I am very sorry to hear that your grandchildren, the Sbawanese, have 
a difference with our brothers, the Virginians, and I wi&h 1 could make 
them friends. I shall write to the Governor of Virginia, and recommend it 
to him to endeavor to make peace with them; and I would advise you to 
go to the Shawaneso, and persuade them to forget every thing that is past, 
and make up all their diflTerences with the people of Virginia, so that we 
may all live together in peace and quietness, like friends and brothers, for 
what can they get by being a war with one another? whoever of them gets 
the best, both will be very much hurt. 

" Brethren, 1 live a great way from you, and have a great deal of busi- 
ness to do with my people at home, otherwise I would go to see you, and 
shake hands with you, and smoke a pipe with you under the tree of peace, 
as we and our forefathers used to do. By all means, brethren, be strong, 
and keep fast hold of '»ne end of the covenant chain, and you may be as- 
sured I will keep fast hold of the other, and when any of our people are so 
wicked as to kill any of yours, or do you any harm, let me know it. and I 
will do every thing in my power to have justice done. 

** Oiven under my hand and the lesser seal of the said province, at Phila- 
delphia, the sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord 1774. 



338 The St. Clair Papers. 

ceive of the situation of our affairs with the Indians. At present I 
think it very improper to discharge them ; and it is not improbable 
that if the commotions between the Virginians and the Indians 
should not soon be at an end, it may be necessary to keep them on 
foot for the protection of our people till the meeting of the Assem- 
bly on the 19th of September. 

I herewith send to your care the messages above mentioned, with 
a belt of wampum accompanying each, and desire you will engage 
some trusty, intelligent person to carry them, and interpret the 
messages to the Indians. A young man of the name of Elliot^ who 
has been trading at the Shawanese toNvus, and lately came from 
thence, has offered his services to carry any messages from Grovem- 
ment to the Indians, and may probably be a very proper person to 
employ on this occasion. lie was to leave this place yesterday, on his 
return to Westmoreland. I should be glad to have his deposition 
taken as to what he knows respecting the late disturbances between 
the Virginians and the Indians, from the beginning of them. 

You hint something in your last letter about making presents to 
the Indians, but though such a step at some future convenient time 
might be useful and proper, I am of opinion it would be very unad* 
visable under the present circumstances. 

Arthur St. Cl^vir to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, August 8, 1774. 

Sir: — I am just returned from Pittsburgh, where the Pipe, 
Guyasutha, and the White Mingo are arrived, and bring favorable 
accounts from the Indian Nations about the lakes. They say they 
are all disposed to continue in friendsliip with the English; but the 
Wyaudotts, the Hurons, and the Tawas have been waivering. The 
Shawanese had applied to them, and it was so long that they heard 
nothing from our ])eople, that they were inclined to assist them, but 
those chiefs have persuaded them to sit still, and to send to the 
Wabash Indians to be quiet likewise ; so that it is probable they 
arrived amongst them in a favorable time. 

Some deputies from the Six Nations are also arrived. They have 
brought a very large belt to Mr. Croghan and Mr. McKee, inform- 
ing them of the death of Sir William Johnson, and of their inten- 
tions, notwithstanding, to adhere firmly to the treaties subsisting 
betwixt the English and them, and to endeavor to retain the other 
Nations in peace. They also have sent a belt by these deputies to 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 339 

the Delawares, and to the Wabash Confederacy, recommending it to 
them to remain in peace, and to inform them that though their 
great friend is dead, the council-fire kindled by the English and 
them continues to burn as bright as ever ; such is their mode of ex- 
pression. From these circumstances it is to be hoped that the fracas 
with the Shawanese will blow over without any very bad conse- 
quences, though that depends upon others, which must be brought 
about in a very little time, as five hundred of the Virginians 
are marched to destroy Wakatomica, the town the Shawanese lately 

Should these meet with any check, which is not improbable, some 
of the Western Nations will certainly join them ; but if they re- 
turn without, and are satisfied with destroying that town, matters 
may probably be made up; but I doubt they will not stop there, as 
you see by the inclosed copy of a letter from Lord Dunmore to Mr. 
ConoUy, which accidentally fell into my hands, that his Lordship 
is very full of chastising them ; and the twenty-fifth of next month 
is fixed for attacking the great Shawanese town on the Scioto. Your 
Honor will please to take notice, that the hint I gave you before of 
a design to interrupt the trade of this Province, however improbable 
it might appear, was not without some foundation. 

Mr. Hanna returned from Philadelphia yesterday, and gives an 
account that the Assembly have provided for the men that were 
raised for the defense of this county to the tenth instant, or longer 
if necessary, and that he himself is appointed Senior Captain, ab 
initio, Mr. Caret the next, and a number of others who have never 
served an hour. The last part of his intelligence I gave no credit 

'In July, 1774, Major Angus McDonald arrived over the mountains, 
with a considerable force of Virginia militia, which, when embodied with 
those already raised in the West, amounted to seven hundred men. He- 
Donald went down to Wheeling, in order to take command, as there the 
whole force rendezvoused. A stockade fort (Fort Fincastle) was erected 
under the joint directions of Major McDonald and Captain William Craw- 

On the twenty-sixth of July, about four hundred men, having left Wheel- 
ing, arrived at the mouth of Fish Creek, on the east side of the Ohio, twenty- 
four miles below. Hero they determined to move against the Shawanese 
villages upon the Muskingum River, in what is now Muskingum county, 
Ohio. The men were led by Major McDonald. Captain Crawford re- 
mained at Fort Fincastle. The expedition proved successful. Wakatomica, 
near what is now Dresden, Ohio, and other Shawanese towns, were destroyed, 
and considerable plunder secured. This was the first effective blow struck 
by Virginia troops in Lord Dunmore's War. — Butterfield' 8 Waahingion- 
Crawford Letters^ p. 90. 

340 The St, Clair Papers. 

to, as he has no commission, nor any letters from any person about 
Government ; and I do imagine, that as the command of them had 
been originally committed to me, without giving me some intima- 
tion of it. Nor is it reasonable that these men should take rank of 
the officers who have, in former wars, faithfully, as I am told, 
served this Government. Trifling as this affair Ls, it is likely to 
create much uneasiness ; but I am certain your Honor will not al^ 
low those who have done no service, to rob those who have, of their 
just reward ; besides, the Association is bound to pay those they 
employed. I must own I have been remiss in not fully informing 
your Honor who they were ; but I beg you to reflect upon the 
severe sickness I have just passed through. Some of them, had 
there been the least prospect of its being a permanent aflfUir, I 
should not have recommended to you; but we were under the 
necessity of employing such people as had influence amongst 
the mob and could get the men ; and you will please to consider 
that it is by such acts that they mu:?t still be managed, as there are 
no laws by which obedience or discipline can be enforced. I have 
told Mr. Hanna peremptorily, that I should retain the direction of 
the troops till I had your orders to the contrary; and I fondly 
hope this explanation will not disoblige you. 

Notwithstanding what I said to Mr. Smith on the subject of join- 
ing the Virginians, he thought proper to join a small party of Dela- 
warcs and Mingoes, with eight men, in the character of volunteers, 
and 2)roceeded to Wheeling. The Virginia detachment had marched 
two days before they arrived ; and Captain Crawford, who com- 
mands them (the President of our Court), told him it would fatigue 
them too much to overtake the party, and that they had better re- 
turn, which accordingly they did ; and by what I learn from him, 
they seemed ecjually jealous both of him and the Indians. 

I can recollect nothing else at present, and your Honor may prop- 
ably think I might have spared a great part of what is already 

ARTium St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LrooxiER, Augud 2Tyih, 111 A, 
Sir: — Agreeable to your request, I now enclose you the deposit 
tions of some of the inhabitants of Pittsburgh, respecting the treat* 
ment they have nu^t with from the Vir<rinian officers.^ Not anv of 

^ From the 22d to tho *24th of August, inclusive, St. Clair took depositions 
of s«'V(?n ro?iid«Mita of AVfstmoroland County — James Fowler, Samucsl St. 

Correspondence J Addresses, Etc. 341 

the persons who saw the Shawanese after they had been fired upon 
on their return, are now there, so that I would not inquire into that 

The message to the Delaware?, with the belt of wampum, I de- 
livered to some of their j)rincipal chiefs, at Mr. Croghan^s, on Bun- 
day last. Mr. Croghan and Mr. McKce were of opinion it w<juld, 
perhaps, be taken ill by the Six Nations that they were not in- 
cluded. I therefore took the liberty to add them in the addrass to 
the message, and had a fair copy made out and given to them with 
a belt. They were received seemingly with great satisfaction by 
both, and they declared the fii-mest purposes of remaining in peace 
themselves, and restoring it between the people of Virginia and the 
Shawanese. At the same time I acquainted them with your orders 
for erecting a trading j)lace at the Kittanning, for which they are 
very thankful, as they are in want of many things already, and can 
not come to Pittsburgh and purchase; and a number of them will 
probably be there on Monday next, which is the time I have ap- 
pointed for laying out tlie town. Mr. Sj)ear and Mr. Butler set out 
this day with their goods and other effects. 

Instead of sending the message to the Shawanese by a white man, 
I procured the Pipe, a faithful and sensible Delaware chief, to go 
and acquaint them with the message his nation had received from 
your Honor ; that you had recommended it to them to speak to the 
Shawanese not to strike the Virginians, and that he had seen a mes- 
sage and belt for them, which, if they were well dis]K)sed, some of 
their people might come and receive it at Appleby. I thought this 
the most advisable way, as the jxiople at the fort are extremely jeal- 
ous of any person going amongst them, and had threatened the 
young man you mention to go with them ; and some proposals of 
accommodation, I understand, have been made them by Mr. Con- 
oily, to which, if they should not listen, they would be very apt to 
allege it was owing to their hearing from this Province. 

It is impossible to tell what will be the consequence of the Vir- 
ginia operations. I still hope they will not be able to bring on a 
war. I think Lord Dunmore must soon see the necessity of peace. 

Clair, ^Eneas Mnckay, William Amhorson, John Shannon , Richard Butler, 
and Ge<>rge A&ht.«n. Th«<y reccmnt tho annoyances they and others had 
suffered because of Conolly's oppressive acts — stich as pressing of horses 
from their owners, threatening to send various parties in irons to Virginia, 
searching houses, assaults upon Pennsylvaniang, killing of sheep and hogs, 
and talking other projxTty, <'nnfiii orient of citizens in Fort ])unniore, and 
other outrages. 

842 The St. Clair Papers. 

The season is now far advanced, and the country is exhausted of 
provisions. Should another body of men be drawn together, they 
could not be supported ; and I believe their last exploit has not 
given them much stomach for another. There was, indeed, such 
confusion amongst the troops, and dissension amongst the officers, 
that had they met with any number of the enemy, they must cer- 
tainly have been cut off. Preparations, however, are making, and 
his Lordship is hourly exi)ected. The 10th of August, which was 
the time your Honor fixed for keeping uj) the rangers, w^as passed 
before your letter reached me ; but as you were pleased to gay their 
standing till the 19th of September would depend upon that intelli- 
gence you might receive from Captain Thomson and myself, we 
thought it best to continue them, being both of opinion that, at this 
time, it was very necessary, it being, in some measure, the crisis of 
the dispute with the Shawanese ; and that great numbers of people 
are now gone down to bring back their families, which they removed 
when they thought themselves in more immediate danger. 

I am sorry I troubled your Honor with my foolL«h grievances. I 
hope I shall always feel the spirit of the station I may be called to 
act in ; but particular circumstances, I believe, had, in that case, 
set it rather too much on edge. I will not often offend in the same 
manner. I must do Mr. Caret the justice to say he is a very good 
man, and would fill that or most other places with reputation. 

An express arriveii a day or two ago from Detroit. Mr. Conolly 
had ap[)lied to the commanding officer at that i)()st to stop the trade 
with the Shawanese; but this he refuses, l)()th as they have no pros- 
pect of war, and that for such a step he must have the orders of the 
Couiniau<kT-in-Cliief at least. He says all the Indians in that coun- 
try seem to be peaceably disp)sed. A letter by the same messenger, 
from a niercliant at Detroit to a merrhant at Pittsburgh, gives a 
quite contradii'tory account of matters ; says the Indians in that 
country will all join the Shawanese ; that some of them have come 
in from the frontiers of Virginia, and have brought scalps; that the 
general rendezvous is appointed on the Wabash, and that they ex- 
pect but a very sliort time to have any intercourse with them, and 
desires him to write to Simons, at Lancaster, not to send the goods 
he had ordered. 

This moment 1 have heard from Pittsburgh that Mr. Spear's and 
Mr. Butler's goods, that were going to Appleby, are seized by Mr. 
Ccmolly's orders ; and that Mr. Butler, with three young men, his 
assistants, are in confinement in the common guard-house ; and that a 
woman who kept house for Mr. Butler has been drummed all around the 

Correspondence^ AddresseSy Etc. 343 

town, for the great crime of going to 8ee him in his distress. This 
is a degree of tyranny and oppression beyond every thing that has 
yet happened. I shall be able to give you a more circumstantial 
account to-morrow, when Captain Thomson will be here, who, I un- 
derstand, was present when it happened. It will oblige me to put 
off my journey to Appleby, as all my stores, provisions, etc., were 
with Mr. Butler's goods. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, Augu^ 27, 1774. 
Sir : — The very extraordinary news from Fort Pitt, that I men- 
tioned in my letter of the 25th, proves too true. Captain Thomson 
was there, and informs me that Mr. Butler was not only made a 
prisoner, but treated with every instance of insult and abuse. The 
crime it seems they are charged with, is a suspicion of trad- 
ing with the enemy Indians ; but for this there can not be the least 
foundation, as their destination was no secret, and I had given pub- 
lic notice, in writing, of the design of laying out a town up the 
river, and the time when. It seems this is the act of Captain Aston, 
Conolly being gone to meet Lord Dunmore ; but, in truth, it is the 
act of Mr. Campbell, who Ls their Counsel-General, and whose plan 
the removing any of the trade from Pittsburgh broke in upon. 
Captain Thomson offered any security they pleased to demand, but 
they would accept of none, and for some time would not permit any 
of their acquaintance to visit them, and jostled Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Mackay out of the fort in the most insulting manner imaginable. 
The treatment these people have met with, for a length of time, has 
been sufficient to break their spirit; but it has not succeeded, and 
those at that place, who are friends of this Province, will meet me 
at Appleby to-morrow, and are making up another cargo, that they 
may have something to keep the Indians easy that will be there. 

^NEAS Mackay to Arthur St. Clair. 

Pittsburgh, 4/A Sept, 1774. 
My Dear Sir : — On my return to this place, last Friday evening, I 
received the disagreeable information of two friendly Delaware In- 
dians being massacred on their way from this place to Mr. Cn)ghan'8, 
in ox»l blood, by notorious villians that premeditated the matter be- 
fore l:nn«l, and stationed ilionisrlves behind brush near the road- 

344 The St. Clair Papers, . 

side upon the occasion. It is impossible to discover the murderers at 
this time, and much more so to bring them to condign punishment, 
because they have all the force and power the place can aflTord in 
their favor, but there is strong presum])tion for jwinting out the per. 
petrators by name. 

Happily for this place, about an hc)ur after the murder was com- 
mitted, Lieut.-Colouol Angus McDonald,^ of Virginia, arrived here, 
with a small party escortiug stores for the intended expedition 
against the Sliawancsc, and was greatly exasperated at the authors 
of that cruel murder, and exerted himself both as an honest man 
and a man of experience and judgment, in order to repair the dam- 
age done to our friendly Indians, and promised them further satis- 
faction on my Lord DunmoKc*s arrival here, who is exi>ected hero in 
a few days. Colonel McDonald has no other business to detain him 
here at this time, but his own humane disposition to protect both 
the friendly Indians and the unhappy inhabitants of this place fix)m 
the insults of the militia, so long the oppressors of this quarter, now 
imder the command of George Aston, and I may say Walter Gra- 
ham, two of the greatest miscreants that ever drew the breath of 
life, except the black gang that are influenced by their example 
and counsel. Because Col. McDonald signifies his disapprobation 
of tlieir hellish i)lots and c<mduct, ho is hourly insulted and threat- 
ened by thorn, as well as we are, although tlioir superiors in every 
degree. Matters must soon come to a crisis, for, notwithstanding 
tlie re])eatod acts of tyranny we liave already exi^orienced, what we 
now feel far sur}>ass{'s all. 

We dare not venture to enjoy the comfort of peaceable rest or 
sleep at night for fear of our houses being broke open about our 
ears, and our persons maltreated. As to jwor Mr. Butler, he l<H)k3 
upon himself in hourly danger of his life, although still confined in 
their common guard-liousi^ and Col. ^McDonald is greatly distressed 
that it is entirely out of his power to render him the least relief, for 
thev will obev no orders from him, and tlie verv advertisements ho 
put up on the gates of tlic fort, offering £50 reward to any person 
that would discover the nnirderers of tlie Indians, although given 
in charge by himself to the officers tlien upon guard, and also to 
tlie sentries then upon duty, these advertisements wore pulled off 
and destroyed in the same night. 

I am greatly concerned to hear that Mrs. St. Clair is so indisposed. 
I hope by this time she found relief, whieh, I ])niy God, may be the 

^ Tt wom1<1 soom l)y tl)i> tluit ^IcDrtiiul*! had Ihmmi promoted from major to 
ru'iil.;iiant-<-oloncl, after liis arrival in tlio Wt'st. 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 345 

case. My Lord Dunmore is expected here about the middle of this 
week, when I wish, from my heart, Mrs. St. Clair's state of health, 
and other circumstances, would admit of your waiting on his Lord- 

Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Shippen, Jr. 

LiGONiER, October 17, 1774. 
Sir: — Having accidentally met with my friend, Mr. MacKay, at 
this place, I take the liberty to introduce him to you. lie has an 
answer to the messages the Governor sent to the Shawanese and 
Delawares not unfriendly, but which you will very well under- 
stand.^ Mr. MacKiiy is one of the magistrates that was sent to 
Virginia. He is a warm friend to this Government, and has some 
idea of his own importance. I wish you would please to introduce 
him to the Governor, and let him tell his story. I need not tell 
you how far a little attention will go with people of a certain char- 
acter; but this you may depend on, he is an upright, honest man. 
Excuse my mentioning it, but these gentlejnen's expenses on that 
Virginia trip should certainly be paid them. I know, however, he 
will not mention it, nor would he forgive me if he knew that I had 
done it. I don't know how it is, but I am very apt to get into mat- 
ters I have no sort of business with, and which, indeed, does not 
become me. 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Pknn. 

Haxxa's Town, November 2, 1774. 

Dear Sir: — A hasty opportunity just offers whilst we are in an 
adjourned court, and as the ^ktsoii is returning, I will beg the favor 
that you will send us the last taxation and insolvent acts, neither 
of which wo have, and have occAsion for at this present juncture, 
and our board can not do business without the taxation act. 

We have no news of Lord Dunmore that can \yo dejxinded on, 
since his departure from Hockhocking for the Shawanese town ; but 
a report prevails that Colonel Lewis has been attacked at the mouth 
of the Kenawha, and had one hundred and twenty men killed and 
wounded, notwithstanding which he got the better of the Indians.' 

*Tho answer hero mentioned hu.s not b(?cn found. 

*Lord Dunmore left 'Williamsburg, Virginiu, July 10. 1774, for the fron- 
tiers, reaching Frodericksburg on the fifteenth, and Winchester some days 
after. Here he remained some time, to get jn order as many men as possi- 

346 The St. Oair Papers. 

I hope I shall soon be able to send you some authentic intelligence 
of the operations ot the Virginia troops, and request you will ex- 

ble for service against tho savages. Such as were raised in the counties of 
Frederick^ Berkeley, and Dun more, were put under command of Adam 
Stephen as Colonel. About the end of August, they marclied for Pittsburgh, 
accompanied by his Lordship. In September, while Dunmore was in the 
last mentioned place, he succeeded in getting together a few individuals of 
the different nations of Indians living beyond the Ohio River, to bold a 
treaty with them. They promised to meet him at the mouth of the Hock- 
hocking River to make peace. Captain William Crawford had returned 
home from building the fort at Wheeling, and having received a Major's 
commission, again moved down the Ohio, this time at the head of five hun- 
dred men. He marched by land, while Lord Dunmore, with seven hundred 
men, floated down the river. Tho army reached Wheeling, September 
SOth, and Crawford was dispatched with his detachment of five hundred to 
erect a stockade at the mouth of tho Hockhocking — Dunmore arriving with 
the residue of the army in time to take part in its construction. Mean- 
while, Colonel Lewis, with the southern division of the army, was moving 
down tho Great Kanawha. It hud been determined by his Lordship to have 
that oflicer, on his arrival upon the Ohio, move up stream and join bim at 
the mouth of the Hockhocking. The savages who, at Fort Pitt, promised to 
meet Dunmore down the Ohio, with additional members of their respective 
tribes, failed to arrive. Only two chiefs niudo their appearance, and both 
these were Delawares. But that nation, it was well understood, was not 
hostile; so no treaty could bo lundt; witli the enemy. 

At this time, Dunmore was ignorant as to whether Lewis had reach«*d tho 
Ohio or not, a messa;;e sent by him having arrived at the mouth of tho 
Great Kanawha in advance of that officer. Another express was thereupon 
dispatched, which, on the eighth of October, found him at Point Pleasant 
(the mouth of the Great Kanawha), where he arrived two days previous. 
But it was impossible for him to move up the Ohio to meet Dunmore, on ac- 
count of the non-arrival of supplies and ammunition, and of a portion of 
his troops. Mt-an while, scouts had been sent to Dunmore by him, who re- 
turned 0:1 tli<^ thirteenth, with an order from his Lordship to march directly 
toward the Shawanoso towns on the Scioto, and join him at a certain point 
on the way. Governor Dunmore now put his division in motion for the 
same destination. On his way to tho Indian villages, ho was overtaken by 
a couri(*r from Lewis. a»*qiiainting him with tlie hard-fought battle of the 
tenth of October, at Point Pleasant, whore his army contended all day long 
with a largo fono of Shawanejse and othrr savages, only to claim the victory 
at niirhtfail, afl^r a sevcro l(»>s in killed and wounded. On the seventeenth, 
Lewis cr(»ssed tho Ohio, and took up h':> Lne of march f(»r the Scioto, to join 

His Lordship was met, before ho reached iho Indian villaijes, with a depu- 
tation from the ent'niy, anxious f(.>r an accommodation; for a peace 1 ad al- 
ready been conquered by the Virginians, at a .«:acrifice of many valuable 
lives, in the battle at Point Plea-ant. So tho Governor found little difficulty 
in arranccing for a treaty. But the arrival of Lewis and his gallant troops. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 347 

cuse this scrawl, which I am obUged to make, surrounded by a 
number of not the best bred men you ever saw, one of whom is 
peeping over my shoulder. 
The proclamation has done some good already.^ 

Arthur St. Clair to Governor Penx. 

LiGONiER, December 4ih, 1774. 
Sir : — ^The war betwixt the Indians and Virginians is at last over. 
I promised myself the pleasure of giving your Honor the earliest 
account of its issue, but I have not yet been able to get at a true . 
state of the Treaty of Peace ; a peace, however, is certainly made 
with the Shawanese, one condition of which is the return of all 
property and prisoners taken from the white people, and for the 
performance of it they have given six hostages.' The Mingoes that 
live upon Scioto did not appear to treat, and a party was sent to 
destroy their towns, which was effected, and there are twelve of them 

fresh from the red field of conflict, breathing revenge against the Bavages, 
was an element difficult to control. However, no order of Dunmore was 
intentionally disobeyed by Lewis, who was commanded to return to Point 
Pleasant. A peace was negotiated by Dunmore with the Shawanese, 
which put an end to the war. — BuUerfielcP a Washington-Crawford Letters^ 
p. 96-99: 

*This was dated October 12, 1774, and was intended to counteract the ef- 
fect of one issued by Lord Dunmore, at Pittsburgh, September 17th. (Seo 
letter from St. Clair to Penn, December 4, 1774, post.) It required all per- 
sons west of the Laurel llill to retain the settlements made under the Pro- 
vince of Pennsylvania, and to pay due obedience to the laws of that Gov- 
ernment; also, all magistrates and other officers were to proceed as usual in 
the administration of justice, etc. 

* The treaty wus entered into at what was called "Camp Charlotte," in 
what is now Pickaway county, Ohio, whither Lord Dunmore had marched 
bis army from the mouth of the Hockhocking. The Shawanese villages 
were in the immediate vicinity. The terms of the agreement were these: 
The Shawanese were to give up all the prisoners in their possession ever 
taken by them in that and previous wars with the white people; atso. all 
negroes and all the horses stolen or taken by them since the war of 1763. 
No Indian, for the future, was to hunt on the east side of the Ohio, nor any 
white man on the west side, as it was acknowledged that it had been the 
cause of disturbances. As a guarantee that the Shawanese would perform 
their part of the agreement, they gave up four of their chief men to be kept 
as hostages, who were to be relieved yearly, or as they might choose. 

848 The St. Qair Papers. 

now prisoners in Fort Pitt.^ It is probable, from these circumstances, 
we shall have no more trouble with them, and things have come to 

*The Mingoes did not like the terms agreed upon between Lord Dunmore 
and the Shuwunese, though their chief, Logan, sent in his acquiescence in 
his world-renowned speoch. But his clan determined to run away, and thus 
avoid giving their assent to the ai^reement. What happened them is best 
related by one who took part in pursuing them: 

*'The 8hawanese have complied with the terms [of the treaty], but the 
Mingoes did not like the conditions, and had a mind to deceive us; but Lord 
Dunmore discovered their intentions, which were to slip off while we were 
settling matters with the Shawanese. The Mimioes intended to go to the 
lakes [Lake Erie], and take their prisoners with them and thoir horses which 
they had :jtolen. 

"Lord Dunmore ordered myself, with two hundred and forty men, to set 
out in the night. Wo were to march to a town about forty miles distant 
from our camp, up the Scioto, where we understood the whole of the Min- 
goes were to rendezvous upon the following day, in order to pursue their 
journey. . . . 

"Because of the number of Indians in our camp, we marched out of it, 
under pretense of going to Ilockhocking [where Fort Gower had been 
erected] for more provisions. Few knew of our setting off anyhow, and 
none know where wo were going to until the next day. Our march was 
])errorinod with as much speed as possible. We arrived at a town called the 
Salt- Lick Town [within tlio proent limits «>f Franklin county, Ohio], the 
ensuing niglit. ami at (iaybreak w(? gutarouml it witii one-half our force, and 
the remainder were si-nl to a small villatre half a mile distant. Untortu- 
natelv. one <»f our men was di>cov<'red hv an Indian, who lav out from the 
town some distance i)y a log, which the man was creeping up to. This 
obliged the man lo kill tiie Indian. This happened before daylight, which 
did us much damage, as the chi(»f part of the Indians made tlieir esca[>e in 
tlie dark; bi'.t we got fourteen })ri<()ner<i, and killed .six ot the oncmiy. wound- 
ing several more. We got all their baggai^e and horses, ten ot tln'ir guns, 
and two white j^risoners. The plunder >old lor lwi» hundred pounds sterling, 
besides what was rctunu'd to a .Molniwk Iiidian that was there. The whole 
of the .Mingoes were readv to >XiiV{. and were t«) have set ( ut the morninjr 
we attacked them. Lord Dunmore \\n> eleven ])ri-oners and has returneti 
the ri'St to thr nation. The resi<hn? art" to b«! return«'d upon compliance with 
his Lordship > demands.'" — Major \\ iUimti Cravftjrd to WashitujinUy in the 
*' W(is}ihi/)fnn-('i'<nrf<,r(f fj'ffr/'s." ]>. ')4-^)^K 

The destruction of the Salt-Lick 'I'own. by Major Crawford, was the only- 
actual li^htini^ done by that ])art of the army which was under tiie com- 
mand of Lord Dunmore in ]ior<on. It was the last lighting done by Craw- 
f«»rd until the Ktjvolutionary War came on. in which he to<»k an active partf 
but. in leading a force from \V«'>tern Pennsylvania and North-western Vir- 
ginia, in 1782. aijain-t th«' hostile Wvandots upon the vSaridusky river, he 
was taken |»risoner and tortured to death by the Dela wares, within the 
present limits of Wyaiul't eoimty. Ohio. — ('rairfnyff s Cnmpaifjn Afjtiittsf 
JSatK/usk)/. IJy C. W. Buttertield. Cincinnati: Kobert Clarke «& Co., 1873. 

Correspondence J Addresses, Etc. 349 

a much better eud than there was any reason to have expected. 
But our troubles here are not yet over. Tlie magistrates apixunted 
bv Lord Dunmoro, in this country, seem determined to enforce tlie 
jurisdiction of Virginia, and have begun with arresting one of your 
Honor's officers. 

The 12th of November, Mr. Conolly sent a warrant for Mr. Scott 
to appear before him, or the next justice, to answer for a numl)er 
of offenses committed by him under a pretended authority from 
Pennsylvania. The warrant Mr. Scott did not choose to pay any 
regard to, and the same evening a number of armed men came to 
his house to take him by force to Fort Burd.^ There he found Lord 
Dunmore, Mr. Camplxill, and Mr. Penticost, ready to sit in judg- 
ment upon hhn. Much passed amongst them, but the event was 
that he was obliged to enter into recognizance, with two sui-eties, 
to appear at the next court, to be held at Pittsburgh, for the county 
of Augusta,' on the 20th day of December, if the court should 
happen to be held there that day, or at any further day, when the 
court should be held there, to answer for having acted as a magis- 
trate of Pennsylvania, contrary to Lord Dunmore's proclamation,^ or 

^Forl Buni, it will be remembered, was at Redstone, now Brownsville, 
Pen nsv Ivan in. 

2 Lord Dunmore's proclamation was, in effect, that the rapid settlement 
made to the westward of the Alleghany Mountains by His Majesty's sub- 
jects within the course of a few yours had become an object of real concern 
to His Majesty's interests in that quarter; that the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania had unduly laid claim to a very valuable and extensive quantity of 
His Majesty's territory, and the executive part of that Government, in con- 
sequence thereof, had most arbitrarily and unwarrantably proceeded to abuse 
the laudable adventures in that part of His Majesty's dominions, by many 
oppressive and illegal measures in discharging of their imaginary authority, 
and that the ancient claim laid to that country by the Colony of Virginia, 
founded in reason upon pre-occupying, and the general acquiescence of all 
persons, together with the instructions he had lately received from His Maj- 
esty's servants, ordering him to take that country under his administration; 
and as the evident injustice manifestly offered to His Majesty, by the immod- 
erate strides taken by the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, in prosecution of the 
wild claim to that country, demanded an immediate remedy, ho did thereby, 
in His Majesty's name, require and command all of His Majesty's subjects 
west of the Laurel Hill to pay a due respect to his said proclamation, thereby 
strictly prohibiting the execution of any act of authority on behalf of the 
Province of Pennsylvania, at their peril, in that country. A counter proc- 
lamation was issued by Governor Penn, October 12, 1774. (Soo the previous 
letter— St. Clair to Penn, November 2, 1774.) 

850 Tlie St aair Papers. 

be committed to jail. He chose the recognizance, the circumstanoes 
of his family and health rendering the other very inconvenient. 

Thero is no doubt that the recognizance is in itself a mere nul- 
lity, but, after what has been done already, it is hard to say what 
may not be attempted, and it is very certain the people Lord 
Dunmore has clothed with authority pay little regard to the rules 
of law or the dictates of reason. It would be exceedingly satis- 
factory if your Honor would please to give us directions for our 
ci)n<luot, and this case of Mr. Scott requires it particularly. I have 
wrote to Mr. Wilson,^ of Carlisle, for his advice, fearing it would 
lie impossible to know your mind in proper time, and for the nec- 
essary legal steps. I believe he may be depended on, but it is very 
doubtful if his answer can arrive before the time they have appointed 
for their court ; at any rate, we must endeavor to prevent a trial 
until you can have an opportunity of writing, if it should be by re- 
moving the indictment to Williamsburgh. 

I account it a fortunate circumstance that they began with Mr. 
Scott, who, with a great deal of firmness, possesses a good share of 
natural understanding. In the course of an examination, which 
continued near two hours, he told Lord Dunmore that he had only 
one short answer to all his questions, which might save his Lordship 
a good deal of trouble, ** that he acted under commission from your 
Honor and in olxjdience to your proclamation." His Lordship was 
pleased to reply, that you had no right to give any such commission 
{)T authority to issue such proclamation. Mr. Scott told him that 
was a matter of which he was not a proper judge, and would abide 
by the consequences. 

I am sorry to be obliged to give your Honor so much trouble on 
so very disagreeable a subject, but I hope 'the time is not far distant 
when it will he put to an end. 

Arthur St. Clair to Go\t:rnor Pexn. 

Hannastown, Dec, ISth, 1774. 
Sir: — Being this far on my way to Pittsburgh, I found a consta- 
ble from Virginia here who had made two men prisoners by virtue 
of a warrant from Major Small man. The offense they had been 
guilty of, it seems, was assisting the constable in executing a judi- 

1 James Wilson, lawyer, and intimate friend of St. Clair's. In a letter 
awUj he is referred to as having made an argument in behalf of tbo claims 
of Pennsylvania. 

Correspondence J Addresses^ Etc. 351 

cial warrant. Mr. Hanna had committed the constable, which I 
could not help approving of; but as there is some danger of his 
being rescued by force, I have advised the sending him to Bedford, 
or, at least, the sheriff should remove him to some other place pri- 

The Court, it is said, will certainly be held at Pittsburgh on the 
20th. I am personally threatened, but I promised Mr. Scott to be 
there at that time, to give him some countenance, at least, if I can 
not give him assistance at his trial. I had the honor to give you 
an account of his arrest a short time ago.* 

Your Honor will judge from these circumstances what a shocking 
situation we are in; to add to the distress of which, the militia are 
plundering the people within the neighborhood of Pittsburgh of the 
very subsistence for their families. 

I met with this opportunity of writing accidentally, and would 
not let it slip, as I thought it of consequence that you should be 
early acquainted with what is passing. 

James Cavet to Arthur St. Clair and Others.* 

PirrsBURGH, May 1»S, 1775. 
OenUemen : — I am sorry that it is so much in my power to doubt 
the Governor's attention to this unhappy country. We have not 

*In his previous letter of December 4, 1774. 

' The time between the date of this letter and the previous one was largely 
taken up in the Western Country with stirring events, caused by the con- 
flict of jurisdiction between Pennsylvania and Virginia concerning which 
so much has already been given. The proceedings ot the Pennsylvania 
Provincial Council for one day, will give an idea of the 'troubles that beset 
the trans- Alleghany region during the winter of 1774-75: 

" At a Council held at Philadelphia, on Wednesday, 25th January, 1775, 
present, the Honorable John Pknn, Esq., Governor; William Logan, An- 
<lrew Allen, Benjamin Chew, Edward Shippen, Junior, and James Tilgh- 
nuui. Esquires. 

••The Governor laid before the Board two papers delivered to him by 
Captain St. Clair, which were read, and are as follows, viz: 

• \V^esimorela?id Ckmnty, ss: 

** Before us, Robert llunna and Arthur St. Clair, Esqs., two of His Maj- 
esty's Justices for Westmoreland county, personally appeared Samuel 
Whitesill, keeper of the jai • of the said county, and, being duly sworn, 
according to law, deposeth and saith, that, on this instant, 24th of Decem- 
ber, a number of armed men came to the jail of said county, and ordered 
him to open the prison doors, and turn out a certain William Thomas then 

352 The St. Clair PajKrs. 

had, since our confinement, the least account from him, and I think 
it is beyond doubt he got our packet. Our express is returned, and 
he says he gave the letters t^) Doctor Plunket, at Sus<|uehannah, 
who would certainly send them. Our situation, and that of the 
well-afioctfd inhabitants of this place, is become almost intolerable; 
it is impj^sible for any person to conceive the cruel mode of proceed- 
ings at this place, unli^ss those who are unhappy to be eye-witnesses 
thereof. Mr. Smith, in particular, wiU, (if not by some means pre- 
vented), in a short time l>e absolutely ruined. Mr. Hanna and 
myself will, at this court, l)e confined in the guard-room of Fort 
Dunmore, if we don't give bail, and God knows whether it will 

in his custody on sfundry cxocutiinis; that hr> bolieves a oertain William 
Christy and Sinion Girty, who seomed to be officers, from their dross, were 
at the head of their party. That hf, this deponent, refused to deliver his 
prisoner, or open the door where ho was confined; that they then talked of 
throwing down the house, and stripping off the roof, on which he (this do- 
ponent) being afraid of ill consequences, both to his person and property, 
did open the door to allow the prisoner to speak to the party, and one of 
them rushed in, seized him, and drag*jed him out, and also turned out a cer- 
tain William Dawson, who was likewise in his custody on execution; and 
and that it was Conolly himself who laid hands on Thomas and dragged 
him out; and further suith not. Samuel Whitesill. 

"Sworn and subscribed, December 24, 1774, before us. 

•' KOHKRT Hann'a, 

" Aktuur St. Clair." 

" Whereas, I am well informed that certain persons, by written instruc- 
tions, directed to different people through this country, under the denomina- 
tion of collectors, are apparently authorized to break open doors, cupboards, 
etc., and to commit sundry acts of violence, in order to extort money from 
the inhabitants, undrr the appellation of taxes; these are therefore U> ac- 
quaint all His Maj(i-ty's subjects, that, as there can be no authority legally 
vest'-d in any persons, for such acts, at this juncture, tliat such attempts to 
abuse public liberty are unwarrantable, and that all piMsons have an un- 
doubted natural, as well as lawful right to repel such violence, and all His 
Majesty's subjects are hereby required to apprehend any person whatever, 
who may attempt the seizure of their effects, in consequence of such imag- 
inary authority, to be dealt with as the law directs. 

"Given under niy hand at Fort Dunmore, this, 30th day of December 
1774. JoHX Conolly." 

" Captain St. Clair, appearing at th«' Board, and representing that Wil- 
liam Crawford, Esquire, President t»f tln' Court of Westmoreland county, 
hath lately j«»ined with \\w Ciovi'rnment of Virginia in opposing the juris- 
diction oi Pennsylvania in that county, tiio Board advised the Governor to 
supersede him in his oflSce as justice (tf the peace and common pleas. A 
supersedeas was accordingly ordered to be issued.' 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 858 

be in our power so to do, for we are informed by some of our 
friends that none other will be acceptable but those who will come 
into open court and swear they are worth whatever sum is in the 
recognizance, and no doubt it will be an enormous sum. Mr. Smith 
was this day taken with a writ of one hundred thousand pounds 
damages. But I need not descend into particulars ; every part of 
their conduct appears that they not only want the jurisdiction of 
this quarter, but also to rob every man of his property. 

And, gentlemen, it is by your friends here thought advisable that 
the sheriff, with a party of fifty men, or thereabouts, should come 
up and take us who arc in confinement, and also as many of these 
rascals as possible, as there will be no strength to oppose you, there 
being but eighteen men in Fort. It is surprising what a pusillani- 
mous temper must prevail amongst the people in general to suffer 
the peace and welfare of a whole country to be destroyed by such a 
handful of villains. But let the people be called upon by the 
sheriff, and certainly they will not refuse to come. If such a step 
be thought l)est, it ought to be managed with secrecy and dis])atch. 
Pray send off the express by Tuesday night to us with advice, for 
if we are not taken off we must give bail, if it can be had, and the 
thoughts of so doing is no small mortification after hanging out so 
long. I have no time to say any more, but acknowledge myself 
your humble servant 

P. S. I must beg your pardon and patience also, for writing so 
long an epistle, but I had almost forgot to acknowledge the receipt 
of your flavor of the 9th, and also to inform you that Mr. Scott is 
bound by the sheriff to appear here next court, and I suppose will 
share the same fate of Hanna and myself. 

Akthur St. Clair to Joseph Shippen, Jr. 

LiGoNiER, May 18, 1775. 
Dear Sir : — I yesterday received the enclosed letter from Mr. 
Cavet, with the contents of which I request you will make the Grov- 
emor acquainted.^ You see Hanna and he are very unea^^y, which 
is really not to be wondered at, as they have been now upwards of 
three months in confinement, for paying obedience to his Honor's 
proclamation, and have not had a single line from any person about 
government, or any direction how to conduct themselves. The Gov- 
ernor in these times must be occupied by objects of much greater 

^See the previous letter — Cavet to St. Clair, May 13, 1776. 

354 The St. Clair Papers. 

magnitade; bat I wish he could spare a few minutes for their 
a&irs, which is truly a business of the last consequence to them, 
threatening them with no less than absolute ruin. 

We have an account that Lord Dunmore has been obliged to 
abandon his government; it is the only piece of good news that has 
reached us since the disputes with Great Britain took so serious a 
turn; but I doubt the truth of it. 

The Pittsburgh Court is now sitting ; whether they do business or 
not, I have not heard. The proposition for the relief of Cavet and 
Hanna, though I believe it practicable enough, I would do nothing 
in without the Grovernor's concurrence, as it might be attended with 
serious consequences. 

Yesterday, we had a county meeting, aud have come to resolu- 
tions to awe and discipline, and have formed an Association, which 
I suppose you will soon see in the papers. God grant an end may 
be speedily put to any necessity for such proceedings. I doubt their 
utility, and am almost as much afraid of success in this contest as 
of being vanquished. 

Akthur St. Clair to Governor Penn. 

LiGONiER, May 25, 1775. 
Sir: — An express from Pitt,slnirgh, with da<«patches for your 
Honor, having called here this morning, I embrace the opportunity 
to inform you that a commission is come up from Virginia to 
collect the Colony duty on all pel trie? exported froni that place, 
and that notice has boon given to the traders there to conduct them- 
selves accordingly. I think they will find some way to evade pay- 
ing it, and those that are not yet come in will certainly carry them 
past. 'Tis a shocking thing that people should l)e obliged to such 
shift, and the trade of the Province be destroyed, by the obstinacy 
and caprice of one man. I flatter myself, however, it will not be 
of long continuance. Lord Diinniorc's seizing the magazine has 
raised such a ferment that he will not probably visit the frontiers 
soon,' and by the j)rorogation of his Assembly, the invasion law, 
under which it seems the garrison of the fort was kept up, will ex- 
pire; T think the ninth of next month is its period, and I am in- 
formed Conolly is preparing to decamp. 

' Hefurc news arrived of the battle of Lexington, Lord Dunmore had or« 
dorcd (April 21st) the powder belongini; to Virginia to bo taken from the 
public store at Williamsburg, and placed on board an armed vessel in the 
river. This caused great excitement, which was increased by the newB from 

Correspondence, Addresses, Etc. 855 

We have nothing but masters and committees all over the coun- 
try, and every thing seems to be running into the wildest confusion. 
If some conciliating plan is not adopted by the Congress, America 
has seen her golden days , they may return, but will be preceded 
by scenes of horror. An association is formed in this county fbr 
defense of American liberty. I got a clause added, by which they 
bind themselves to assist the civil magistrates in the execution of 
the laws they have been accustomed to be governed by.* 

Hanna and Cavet are still pressing me to do something for their 
relief, and are very desirous they should be brought off by force ; 
their project was, that writs should be issued against them, and that 
the sheriff should take a posse with him and bring them away, and 
make prisoners at the same time of their persecutors. I believe 'tis 
very practicable, but I gave them to know that without positive di- 
rections from your Honor I would advise no such step, and that I 
thought you would not direct any that might have a tendency to 
embroil the Provinces. However, it is no wonder that they are un- 
easy ; they have been long confined, and must have suffered consid- 
erably by it. 

Lord Dunmore has issued a proclamation, disclaiming the pro- 
ceedings of the surveyors in taking entries of lands, and ordering 
them to return the money received for them, but has spared their 
names ; but I have seen none of them ; they were spirited away, it 
seems, as fast as they appeared. 

If the Fort should be evacuated next month, pray, sir, would it 
be proper to endeavor to get possession of it, or to raze it? That 
may possibly be done by themselves. 

Mr. ConoUy has sent out for some of the principal men of tho 
Indians to come and receive the prisoners, and the Pittsburgh com- 
mittee has petitioned the General Congress to hold a treaty with the 
Western tribes. 

*Thi8 clause was the fourth one, and read as follows: 

**4^A. That we do not wish or advise any innovations, but only that things 
may be restored to, and go on in tho same way as before the era of the 
Stamp Act, when Boston grew great, and America was happy. As a proof 
of this disposition, wo will quietly submit to the laws by which we have 
been accustomed to be governed before that period, and will, in our several 
or associate capacities, be ready when called on to assist the civil magistrates 
to carry the same in execution." 

This was the first step taken by St. Clair as a Revolutionary patriot. It 
shows a conservative spirit, and an unwillingness to do any thing that might 
tend to anarchy or violations of just laws. 

^^^ . St. Clair Papers. 

Valentine Crawford to George Washington.^ 

Jacob's Creek, June 24, 1775. 

Dear Sir : — ^I am very sorry to inform you I received a letter 
from Mr. Cleveland, of the seventh of June, wherein he seems to be 
in a good deal of distress. Five of the servants have run away, 
and plagued him much. They got to the Indian towns, but by the 
exertions of one Mr. Duncan, a trader, he has got them again. He 
has sent three of them up by a man he had hired, with a letter to 
my brother William or myself, to sell them for you; but the man 
sold them himself somewhere about Wheeling, on his way up, and 
never brought them to us. He got £20 Pennsylvania currency for 
them, and gave one year's credit. This was very low, and he did 
not receive one shilling. This was contrary to Clev^eland's orders, 
as the latter wanted to raise some ca^h by the sale to purchase pro- 
visions. I think it would l)e advisable, if the men they are sold so 
low to are not good, to take them from them, and sell them again. 
But the man shall not Ix^ stopped for want of money, for I will 
furnish him, and will assist Mr. Simpson in getting started as quick 
as possible with his canoe and provisions. Mr. Cleveland left some 
corn at Mr. Simpson's when he went down, and I will get him some 
flour to load his canoe. 

Mr. Cleveland sunk a canoe going down, and lost five or six casks 
of corn and several other things. James McCormick and Charles 
Morgan found a bag of clothes and several other things, a few days 
after, as they were going down the river. They delivered them to 
Mr. Cleveland again, as they knew they belonged to his company, 
by some pai)ers they found in the bundle. 

Cleveland does not mention of his getting any but the three 
servants he sent to be sold, but ^Ir. Duncan told me yesterday, at 
Fort Dunmore, that he got the whole five who ran aw^ay. Dr. 
Craik's manager hiis had very ])a(l luck ; for, in the canoe that was 
sunk, he lost all his pai)ers. He was much at a loss to find his 
land, or at least, to find the corner trees; but I have sent him all 
the plats and junctions I had from the doctor; and lest a letter I 
have written to the latter should miscarrv, vou can inform him of 

ft •■' 

that fact. I h()\}e to be down in Fairfax as soon as ever I reap my 
harvest, and will then settle all niv accounts with you. 

We have chosen committees out here, and are raising an inde- 
jjendent company — regulating matters the lK»st we can ; but an un- 

^ The reason why this loiter is here inserted, is given in a note to the neil 
letter — St. Clair to Shippen, July 12, 1776. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ etc. 357 

happj confusion happened the other day. The Pennsylvanians 
came to Fort Pitt with the sheriff and about twenty men, and took 
Major Conolly about midnight, and carried him as far as Ligonier, 
the very night before we were to have the talk with the Indians.^ 
Several 6^ the Pennsylvania traders, by the Indians' story, were 
endeavoring to put ill into their minds. On Major Conolly being 
taken, the people of Chartier's came in a company and seized three 
of the Pennsylvania magistrates, who were concerned in taking off 
Conolly — George Wilson, Joseph Spear, and Devereux Smith. 
They were sent in an old leaky boat down to Fort Fincastle under 
guard. Our court,* however, had no hand in this. It was done by 
a mob or set of Conolly's friends who live on Chartier's Creek. 

The members of our committee wrote a very spirited letter to the 
gentlemen of the Pennsylvania committee, demanding Conolly 
back. All signed it, and sent it with an express. On its receipt, 
they immediately sent Major Conolly back. Things now seem to 
be a little moderated. I believe the Indians want nothing but 
peace ; but it seemed to alarm them very much to hear our great 
man was stolen. Indeed, it alarmed us all, as Major Conolly was 
the man that had transacted all the business with them before. No 
other person was so able to settle business with them as he. I hope 
you will excuse the length of my letter. 

P. S. — Please* give my compliments to Mr. Lund Washington. 
Tell him his people are well, and in a very good way to make a good 
crop of com.' 

* In the treaty made at "Camp Charlotte," in October, 1774, between 
Lord Dun more and the Shawanesc, it was arranged that a supplemental 
treaty should be hold in the ensuing spring, at Pittsburgh. His Lordship 
was to inform the chiefs by a message when it would suit him to meet them 
there, to settle some minute matters that could not well be attended to at 
the first meeting. Trouble with the Colony put it out of the power of Dun- 
more to again visit Fort Pitt. So Major Conolly was deputed to take 
charge of affairs with the Indians. Only a few Dela wares and Mingoes 
could be induced to attend upon his call. While encjaged in preparations 
to have a "talk" with the assembled chiefs, he was arrested as above 

•That is, the Courts of West Augusta— a Virginia Court held at "Fort 
Dunmoro," Pittsburgh— the justices being appointed by the Virginia Gov- 
ernment. The records of this Court have been preserved. In the fall of 
1770, the District of West Augusta was separated from Augusta County, 
and three counties — Yoh<»gania, Monongalia and Ohio — erected out of it. 
The Court of West Augusta was continued as the Court of Yohogania, but 
the place of its meeting was removed from Pittsburgh. 

•From TJui Washingfon-Crawford LciUr.% pp. 101, 103. 

358 The St. Clair Papers. 

Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Shippen, Jr. 

LiGONiER, Jvly 12ih, 1775. 

Dear Sir : — In my last I gave you an account of the taking of 
Mr. Conolly, and mentioned some of the consequences I appre* 
hended from it.* They have since been disagreeable enough to Mr. 
Smith, Mr. Speare, and Colonel Wilson, who were immediately 
made prisoners by way of reprisal, and sent off in a flat to Wheel- 
ing, where they were detained till the news of Conolly's return, 
and in the mean time were exposed to every species of insult and 
abuse. An attempt has since been made to carry off the sheriff, 
but miscarried, which probably saved us another visit at court, as 
they found we w^ere provided for them, but I have certain informa- 
tion that process is in the hands of the Virginia sheriff against our 
sheriff and many of the magistrates, and the Committee at Pitts- 
burgh have resolved that Lord Dunmore's proclamation respecting 
the country west of Laurell Hill shall be complied with, so that we 
may exi)ect fine work. 

Whilst Connolly was at my house endeavoring to procure bail, I 
treated him with a go(xl deal of civility, by which, with the help 
of a cheerful gla^s, I got at some of his designs. He is immediately 
to go Eiiglaiid with White Eyes and some other Delaware chiefs, to 
solicit for them a confirmation of the country which thev now live 
in, great part of which is within the lK)unds of this Province, and 
Lord Diunnore is to hack it with all his interest. They are to repre- 
sent to the King's ministers that they have received the Christian 
religion, have got notions of property, and in a 'great measure 
changed their way of life, and can not change their place of abode 
as they have heretofore done, and which they must again do if 
Pennsylvania is allowed to extend bevond the Ohio. Ridiculous as 
this may ai)i)ear, I thought i)rojx?r to mention it, for though the 
Proprietary's rights can not be injured by any such proiX)sal, it may 
raise difficulties in the way of a future j)urchase or further settle- 
ment of the Pnjvince. Lord Dunniore has als(> some design on the 
Islands in Delaware, and he ((/onolly) has been procuring all the 
information he could respecting them ; if you please acquaint the 
Governor if you think it worth while. 

*Thc letter referred to bus not been found. In Us place is given the one 
preceding — Valentine Crawford to George Washington, June 2 J, 1775 — 
covering, a.s to ('i>n(illy'3 arrest, the same ground, probably, as tlu; missing 
one from St. Clair. 

Correspoadencey Addresses, Etc, 359 

I have not a word to say about public matters, tbe people are all 
mad, and I hate even to think of the consequences. Heaven restore 
peace to this distracted country I 

William Smith to Arthur St. Clair. 

Bedford, Sept, 4ih, 1775. 

Dear Sir: — I have just seen yours of the 2d inst. to my brother. 
Copies of the calculations by Mr. Rittenhouse and myself, signed 
with our names, were sent to Virginia. I wish I had known that 
they would have been of any use on the present occasion.^ But you 
know the line or parallel to Delaware, at five degrees distant, crosses 
the Ohio near the mouth of Charles Creek,' and includes Fort Pitt, 
near six miles — of this there can not be the least shadowof a doubt 
If the Virginia delegates choose to attend to this point, wo shall en- 
able Mr. Wilson to satisfy them at Philadelphia. In the meantime, 
it is but just that the possession of Fort Pitt should continue where 
it wuH before, viz., under the government of Pennsylvania. 

The Indians, I hope, will have no applications about land mat- 
ters made to them now. This is not the time for such things. 

I am sorry you have had such a bad look-out for foreign flour. 
I wish it may fall in my way as I go down to hasten some, God 
grant that the Indians miiy be persuaded to a strict neutrality, and 
may not Britons on either side ever einj)loy Indians against Britons, 
or make them a P(^rt of arbiters of our differences, if it be possible 
to avoid it.' SFr. [John] Ormsby contracted with Messrs. Fisher, 
Carmick, and myself, in the year 1770, for some lands. We have 
long since paid his order to Capt. Little for every acre surveyed, 
agreeably to the contract, and he sent us down the conveyances as 
made to himself from the persons in whose name the lands were 
taken up, but when we sent him the conveyance he ought to make 
to us, he neglected executing it. I inclose a copy for him to exe- 
cute, and I beg you will get it done, and take the acknowledgment, 
and send it carefully to my brother. I hope Mr. Ormsby will not 
decline fulfilling his contract, or force us to any disagreeable meas- 
ures. We have paid the surveyor, and fulfilled our part in every 

'"Why St. Cluir was desirous of ol)tainin«; these copies, appears evident in 
his letter to (Jovernor Punn, of September 5, 1775, hereafter given. 

* Chartier's Creek, 

'Reference is hero made to a treaty with the Indians to bo hold at Pitts 
burgh on the 10th of that nionih. 

860 Ike Si. Clair Papers. 

Thohas Smith to Abthub St. Clahl 

Bedford, Sept. 5ft, 1775. 

Dear Sir : — I am just favored with yours, and am sorry it is not 
in my power to comply with your request ; but I have neither of 
the papers or calculations you mention. I have just asked my 
brother (who is here), and he has none of them with him. How 
far it might be expedient in one point of view for the Congress, yet 
to settle even temporary boundaries, might, perhaps, deserve some 
consideration. If such a thing could be done with propriety, it 
would be of the greatest utility to the peaceable inhabitants in your 
county, and I have always thought, since the dispute began, that it 
was set on foot by a designing tool, with a more insidious view than 
was at first generally imagined, viz., m order to set the Q)lome8 
at variance with one another. Could it be viewed in that light, it 
would at present have a greater tendency to a speedy settlement 
amongst the people themselves of a temporary boundary, without the 
interposition of the Congress, than any other argument that could 
be used. If they shall judge it proper to intermeddle in the mat- 
ter at all, and if the Virginia delegate has a real intention of set- 
tling it in any reason, the Monongahela will be greatly in favor of 
the Virginia, even by Mr. Hooper's map, which I have before mo, 
but which I -^nu not venture to send up without his permission, and 
since he made that map, which is dona by actual survey of the Mo- 
nongahela, he has got the canij)s of Dela wares, by which it appears 
that Fort Pitt lies three or four miles farther east than he has placed 
it. By comparing his map and your and Rittenhouse's lines, Fort 
Pitt is at least fi)ur and at most not much above six miles within 
this Province, as nearly as I can recollect the distance you made it, 
Mr. Hoojx^r may be considered as an undoubted authority on the 
side of Virginia. I believe he is a gentleman of candor and veracity, 
and you know he was a warm and y'mhnt Croghanite at the time 
when he made it. I am going to the woods to-morrow morning. I 
need not tell you that I write now in haste. 

P. S. There is not one barrel of flour in or about town, and Mr. 
O'Hara requests you would endeavor to supply yourselves, which he 
thinks you can now, after the rain, easily do. 

Correspondence, Addresses, Etc. SCI 

Abthub St. Clair to Gtovernor Penn. 

Pittsburgh, September Ibih, 1775. 
Sir : — Curiosity led me to this place, to be present at the treaty 
with the Indians, which was appointed for the 10th instant, and 
that I might have it in my power to give you the earliest notice if 
any thing happened that appeared necessary for you to be apprised 
of. The treaty is not yet opened, as the Indians are not come in, 
but there are accounts of their being on their way, and well dis- 
posed.* We have, however, been surprised with a maneuver of 
the people of Virginia that may have a tendency to alter their dis- 
position. About one hundred men marched here from Winchester, 
and took possession of the Fort on the 11th, which has so much 
disturbed the delegates from the Congress that they have thoughts 
of removing to some other place to hold the treaty. They did every 
thing in their power to prevent their coming to the Fort, but to no 
purpose.' This step has already, as might naturally be expected, 
served to exasperate the dispute between the inhabitants of the 
country, and entirely destroyed the prospect of a cessation of our 
grievances, from the salutary and conciliating advice of the dele- 
gates of the respective provinces, in their circular letter ; ' and they 
are so sensible that, if something is not soon done to prevent it, the 
dispute must end in open violence ; that they have warmly recom- 
mended to the Congress, without loss of time to direct a temporary 

^EflTorts wero made, in 1775, to hold a treaty with the Western Indians, 
at Pittsburgh. It was proposed that the meeting should take place Septem- 
ber 10th. To forward the movement, Capt. James Wood was sent beyond 
the Ohio to various tribes, inviting them to Pittsburgh at that time. The 
object was conciliation, and to obtain their neutrality. The result to the 
16th of September is detailed above. 

.*0n the 11th of September, Captain John Neville took possession of Fort 
Pitt, for the purpose, avowedly, it seems, to ''cover and protect the border," 
in the event hostility should be brought on in the Western country with the 
Indians, at the instigation of the British. The fears expressed by St. Clair, 
and entertained by others, seem not to have been well founded. Neville 
took no part in the boundary controversy. 

'The continued collisions and disorder at Pittsburgh could not fail to at- 
tract the attention of all the patriotic citizens of the two States, and on the 
25th of July, 1775, tlic delegates in Congress united in a circular urging the 
people in the disputed region to mutual forbearance. The circular had 
these words: '« We recommend it to you that all bodies of armed men, kept 
up by either party, be dismissed ; and tiiat all those on either side who are 
in confinement, or on bail, for takinir part in the <*(»nt('*<t. !)«» "li-^oharffed." 

362 The St. Clair Papers. 

line.* It may be necessary, if that measure meets with your appro- 
bation, to furnish some of your delegates with the draughts and 
calculations respecting the western extent of the province. I take 
the liberty to mention this, that, supposing agreeable to you, the 
proper officer may be directed to supply them ; that the Congress 
may have it in their power to take the matter up, with a prospect 
of at least no disadvantage to the Province. I am sensible, Sir, 
this is out of my way ; but the regard I have for your interests, and 
the gratitude I feel for your favors, must plead my excuse, as they 
are my only motives. 

1 Although Congress took no authoritative action to settle the boundary 
between the two States, mutual forbearance during the opening scenes of 
the Revolution had the effect to allay the excitement concerning the conflict 
of jurisdiction. This continued until 1779, when proceedings were oom> 
menced which, finally, ended in an amicable arrangement and the comple- 
tion of the boundary line. But an element of discord was already removed 
by the disappearance of Conolly from Pittsburgh. On the 8th of June, 
1775, Lord Dunmore abandoned his palace in Williamsburg, and took refuge 
on board a man-of-war. On the *25th of July, Conolly left **Fort Dun- 
more/' on a visit to his Lordship, already plotting in the interests of 
the mother country against the colonies. He never returned; his rule was 
at an end, greatly to the relief of South-western Permsylvania. St. Clair, 
who had so ably championed the interests of Pennsylvan a, was soon called 
to take part upon a broader stage of action. This letter closed his corre- 
spondence with Governor Penn. 



Resolutions Adopted at Hannastown. 

Word reached the inhabitants of the western part of Pennsyl- 
vania, in the second week of May, 1775, of what the patriots of 
Lexington and Concord had dared for liberty on the memorable 
19th of April, and they met at Hannastown, on the 16th, to take 
into consideration the alarming situation of the country. The fol- 
lowing resolutions, drawn up by Arthur St. Clair, Esq.,* were imani- 
mously adopted : 

Besolvedf That the Parliament of Great Britain, by several late 
acts, have declared the inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bav to be 
in rebellion, and the minis tr}', by endeavoring to enforce those acts, 
have attempted to reduce the said inhabitants to a more wretched 
state of slavery than ever before existed in any state or country. 
Not content with violating their constitutional and chartered priv- 
ileges, they would strip them of the rights of humanity, exposing 
lives to the wanton and unpunishable sport of a licentious soldiery, 
and depriving them of the very means of subsistence. 

Remlved^ That there is no reason to doubt but that the same 
system of tyranny and oppression will (should it meet with success 
in Massachusetts Bay) be extended to other parts of America; it is 
therefore become the indispensable duty of every American, of every 
man who has any public virtue or love for his country, or any 
bowels for posterity, by every means which God has put in his power, 
to resist and opjKjse the execution of it; that for us we will be ready 
to oppose it with our lives and our fortunes. And the better to en- 
able us to accomplish it, we will immediately form ourselves into 
a military body, to consist of companies to be made up out of 
the seveml townships under the following association, which is de- 
clared to be the Association of Westmoreland Countv : 

*The conservative and temperate cbaract(;r of this declaration at Hannas- 
town, to which no exception was taken by any person present on tliat occa- 
sion, was in harmony with the loyalty of the views St. Clair iield at that 
time. These are more fully set forth in a letter written by him a year later 

to Lieutenant-Colonel Allen. See p. 375. 


364 The St. Clair Papers. 

Possessed with the most unshaken loyalty and fidelity to His 
Majesty, King George the Third, whom we acknowledge to be our 
lawful and rightful King, and who we wish may long be the be- 
loved sovereign of a free and happy people throughout the whole 
British Empire : we declare to the world, that we do not mean by 
this Association to deviate from the lovalty which we hold it our 
bounden duty to observe ; but, animated with the love of liberty, 
it is no less our duty to maintain and defend our just rights (which, 
with sorrow, we have seen of late wantonly violated in many in- 
stances by wicked ministry and a corrupted Parliament) and trans- 
mit them entire to our posterity, for which we do agree and asso- 
ciate together : 

1st. To arm and form ourselves into a regiment or regiments, 
and choose ofRcers to command us in such proportions as shall be 
thought necessary. 

2d. We will, with alacrity, endeavor to make ourselves masters 
of the manual exercise, and such evolutions as may be necessary 
to enable us to act in a lx)dv with concert ; and to that end we will 
meet at such times and places as shall be appointed either for the 
companies or the regiments, by the officers commanding each when 

3d. That should our country be invaded by a foreign enemy, or 
should troops l)e sent from Great Britain to enforce the late arbi- 
trary acts of its Piirlianicnt,^ we will cheerfully submit to military 
discipline, and to the utmost of our power resist and oj)pose them, 
or either of them, and will coincide with any j)lan that may be 
formed for the defense of America in general, or Pennsylvania in 

4th. That we do not desire any innovation, but only that things 
may be restored and go on in tlie same wa v a?i 'oefore the era of the 
Stamp Act, wlien B(>ston grew great and America was happy. As 
a proof of this disposition, we will quietly su])mit to the laws by 
which we have been accustomed to be governed before that pe- 
riod, and will, in our several or ass xiate capacities, l>e ready when 
called on to assist the civil magistrate in carrying the same into ex- 

r)th. That when the British Parliament shall have repealed their 
late obnoxious statutes, and shall recede from their claim to tax us, 
and make laws for us in c^very instance, or some general plan of 
union and rcccmciliation has been formed an<l accepted by America, 
this our Association shall 1k» dissolved ; ])ut till then it shall remain 

* Conditions mentioned bv St. Clair in his letter to T.ieut.-Colonol Allen 
as alone justifying taking up arms. Sre p. JITO. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 865 

in full force ; and to the observation of it, we bind ourselves by ev- 
ery thing dear and sacred amongst men. No licensed murder I No 
&mine introduced by law ! 

Resolved y That on Wednesday, the twenty-fourth instant, the 
township meet to accede to the said Association, and choose their 

CoLOXEL St. Clair to Presidext of Congress. 

Mardi 2dth, 1776. 
Sir : — I observe that, in the vote of Congress for raising five bat- 
talions in Pennsylvania, there is no provision made for surgeons' 
mates, sergeant-majors, or quartermaster-sergeants. I beg leave to 
reprej*cnt to you that each of these officers is very necessary to a 
battalion. Part of a battalion may frequently be detached to a 

* The Assembly of Pennsylvania, on the 30th of June, 1775, passed an act 
creating a Council of ISaloty, whose duties were the raising of troops, fur- 
nishing supplies, etc., fur defense. On the 18th of July, the Council recom- 
mended the enrolment of all able-bodied men into regiments or battalions, 
"with proper officers. Agreeably to this, the militia of Westmoreland county 
were enrolled, and Arthur St. Clair was elected Colonel. September 26th, 
Council ordered XI 00 to be sent to Westmoreland county towards the pay- 
ment of arms, accoutrements, etc. 

At a meeting of Council, November 29, 1775 — "The commissioners and 
assessors of Westmoreland county returned the order sent them some time 
past, signed by Bcnja. Franklin, or Michael Hillegas, Esq., Treasurer of this 
Board, for one hundred pounds, dated 2yth September last, and informs this 
committee that they have purchased from Colonel St. Clair 100 firelocks for 
the use of said county, at 403. each ; for the payment of them they have 
drawn an order on this Board for two hundred ])ounds; this Committee in- 
formed them by letter that they would take tlio said firelocks for the use of 
the armed boats, and requested they would get new ones made for their 
county, agreeably to the Iwesolve of As.^embly. 

^^Resolved, That the committee of accounts do pay Colonel St. Clair two 
hundred pounds, and take his note, conditioned to return said money, in case 
the above mentioned firelocks are not delivered to this committee j an order 
was accordingly drawn in his favor on Thomas Wharton and others, the 
committee of accounts, for said sum of two hundred pounds." 

January 3d, 1776, Kobert Morris, by direction of Congress, waited on the 
Council of Safety, and informed them that Congress "had received the 
recommendation of tlie eight gentlemen sent up yesterday, as suitable per- 
sons to fill the offices of Colonels, and that they agreed to appoint Arti.ur 
St. Clair, Esqr., Colonel of the 2d Battalion; John Siiee, Colonel of the 3d 
Battalion; Anthony Wayne, p:sqr.. Colonel of the 4th Battalion; Robt. Ma- 
gaw. Colonel of the 5th Battalion, of the four battalions of Pennsylvania 
troops to be raised for the Continental Service." — Proceedings of Council, 

866 The St. Clair Papers. 

distance, where it may be impossible for the surgeon to attend them 
without neglecting the rest of the regiment. And as to mates being 
readily found in Canada, I do assure you it is scarcely possible to 
find a person that has any knowledge, either as physician or sur- 
geon, in that country, some few excepted who have left the army 
and settled there. The duty of the adjutant would be insupporta- 
ble without the assistance of a sergeant-major, and the quartermas- 
ter-sergeant is also very necessary, as not only the quarters or en- 
campment of the corps falls under the quartermaster's direction, but 
the receiving and issuing the provisions and the care of all the reg- 
imental stores, which it is impossible one man can at aU times exe- 
cute ; and these men ought to be acquainted with accounts. 

I also beg leave to mention to you the necessity of providing 
tents for the troops in Canada. The season of year is at hand when 
they must occupy other grounds than they have been confined to in 
the winter, or be exposed to have their posts insulated, and, perhaps, 
carried by a force much inferior to theirs, were they encamped in 
one body, or in such manner as to be capable of supporting eacb 
other. And tents will become still more necessary, if there should 
l)e a iioci'ssity to attack Quebec in force, which may probably be 
the ciLse.* 

*Soon after this letter was written, St. Clair started with his regiment to 
Canada. On the llith April he was at Fort Edward, waiting for Lake 
Champlain to open so that boats could descend. Ho was detained until near 
the cloj^e of the month before he reached the command of Major-General 
Thomas. On the 10th of May his regiment was at Fort DeschambauU. 
Three days before his arrival — May 7 — a council of officers, presided over 
by General Thomns, had voted to retreat to the river Sorel. This was be- 
cause of the re])orted arrival of several British vessels at Quebec, and the 
disgraceful flight of the American truops from before that place, who left 
three hundred sick, cannon and stores in the hands of the enemy. When 
General Arnold heard of this decision, he proc^eeded to Sorel to see if he 
could secure a reversal and a return to Dcschambault, where there was still 
a considerable force. Colonel St. Clair reached the Sorel on the 16th May. 
and directly aided in preparing mea-sures for the retreat of the army from 
Canada — a measun; declared to be necer-sary by the Commissioners of Con- 
gress, unless there was ppejnl}' relief, -who wrote to the President of thai 
body with great plainness. May 11th, Dr. Benjamin Franklin returned to 
Philadelphia to j)ersonally present the case to Congress. Samuel Chase and 
Charles Carroll, the other C()mmi!».sioners, wrote fn)m Montreal, May 17, to 
President Hancock, ''we want words to describe the confusion which pre- 
vails through every depaitment relating to the army. YoUP troops live 
from hand to mouth; they have, of late, beer, put to half alh)wance in sev- 
eral places, and in some they have been without pork for three or four days 
past. Although there is plenty of wheat and flour in the country, it waa 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 867 

General Thompson' to Colonel St. Clair. 

Camp at Sorel, June 2, 1776. 
Sir : — ^You are immediately to proceed with the detachment under 
your command to Three Rivers, where you will endeavor to surprise 

with difficulty that either could be procured a few days ago, for ready spe- 
cie " "In our present critical situation, few, very few, will accept of the 
Continental paper money in pay. A prosperous turn in our affairs would, 
we think, give it a currency in that part of the country which wo possess, the 
most valuable and plentiful in Canada. AVc think it impossible to subsist 

your forces in Canada in any other manner than by contract 

Your Generals are now obliged to be contractors and commissaries; and 
your Commissioners, who have neither ability nor inclination, are con- 
strained to act as generals. Such is Uie confusion which now prevails, and 
will prevail till a totally new arrangement takes place, and a strict discipline 
is introduced into the army; of the latter you must despair, unless soldiers 
can be enlisted for a term of years, or for the continuance of the war. The 
enlisting men for a year, or for a less time, occasioned the death of the 
brave Montgomery. TJie recent disgraceful flight is the principal source of 
all the disorders in your army. The sending soldiers into Canada, whose 
times expire in a month or two after their arrival, is only putting the Colo- 
nies to an amazing expense, to corrupt and disorder the rest. No duty 
must be expected from soldiers whose times are out, let their country stand 
ever so much in need of their services; witness the unfeeling flight and re- 
turn, at this critical juncture, of all the soldiers, and a greater part of the 
officers, who are entitled to be discharged." 

General Thomas was unable to ascertain the strength of his army, such 
was the confusion which enlisting men for a short time created. This offi- 
cer was taken down with the small-pox, and removed to Chambly, where he 
died 2d /June. Before the 27th May, however, he had, on learning of the 
arrival of reinforcements for the enemy, ordered Colonel Maxwell to re- 
treat from Three Rivers to Sorel. Ho had also, without consultation with 
the other general officers, given orders for the removal of all the artillery 
and artillery stores from Sorel. These facts were communicated to the 
President of Congress by the Commissioners under date of the 27th May. 
They declared General Wooster, who had been invited by General Thomas 
tn take command, as totally unflt to conduct the war, and advised his recall. 
The Commissioners added that there was no discipline among the troops, 
and cl;u1 1 not be while short enlistments continued. " Your army is badly 
paid, and sn exhausted is your credit that even a cart can not be procured 
without ready money or force The army is in a distressed con- 
dition, and is in want of the most necessary articles — meat, bread, tents, 
shoes, stockings, shirts, etc. The greatest part of those who fled from 
Quebec left all their baggage behind them, or it was plundered by those 
whose times were out, and have since left Canada." They added that the 

* See note 1, next page. 


368 The St. Clair Papers. 

the enemy posted there, making prisoners of as many as possible, 
and cutting off all who oppose you ; at the same time you will be 
careful to secure yourself a retreat. In executing this order, you 
will march to St. Francis Eivcr, where a sufficient number of bat^ 
eaux will meet yon, and from thence it is left to your own judgment, 
from the information you may receive, to proceed either by land or 
water to Nicolet, and from thence to Three Rivers, or directly from 
St. Francis to that place, in whichever way the design of your party 
may be best concealed. If you march to Nicolet, it will be proper 
to detach one or more bateaux, well armed, to watch the mouth of 
the lakes, and prevent any boats or canoes carrying intelligence. 

Artillery, ammunition, arms, and public stores must be brought 
off, if possible ; but should that be found impracticable, they fsre to 
be dest roved. 

I need not point out to you the necessity of your business beirg 

army did not exceed four thousand; above four hundred were sick, and 
threc-fourttis baa not yet bad the small-pox. Such was the extreme want it 
was found necessary to seize flour by force, and give receipts for the quan- 
tity, lor the payment ot whicli they had pledged the faith of the United 
States. They had advised this step to prevent a general massacre. "We can 
not conceal our concern that six thousand men should be ordered to Canada, 
without taking care to have mai^azines formed for their subsistanco, cash to 
pay them, or to pay the inhabitants for their labor in transporting the bag- 
gage, stores, and provisions of the army. We can not And words strong 
enou_:xh to describe our miserable situation. You will have a faint idea of 
it if vou liirurc to yourself an army broken and disheartened, half of it 
under inoculation, or other diseases; soldiers without pay, without discipline, 
and altogethtM- reduced to live from hand to mouth, depending on the 
scouts and precarious supplies of a few half-starved cattle and triffing quan- 
tities of flour, which have hitherto been picked up in different parts of the 

MJrigadier-Gcneral William Thompson was a native of Ireland. He em- 
igrated to America, and settled at Carlisle, Pa., where he died {September 4, 
1781. He was captain in the cavalry service during the French war in Can- 
ada, and made tin^ acquaintance of St. Clair in that country at Quebec. He 
resided for a time at Pittsburgh, and was one of the purcliasers of old Fort 
Pitt when it was abandoned by the British. In June, 1775, be was ap- 
pointed colonel of a regiment of riflemen, joined the American forces ut 
Cambridi;e, and, November 10th had a skirmish witn the British at Lech- 
mere point. He was aj)j)ointed brigadier in the Continental service, March 
1, 1770; soon after succeeded Lee in command at New York, and in April 
was ordered to Canada to join (General Sullivan, who had been placed in 
command of that d<*j)artment. He arrived before General Sullivan, and 
about the same time jjs St. Clair with his Pennsylvania reinforcements. 
When (jeneral Thunnis was ]>rostrated with smallpox, in the latter part of 

Correspondence, AddresseSy Etc. 369 

executed with vigor, and that the most proper time for it is before 
day. I wish you success and honor. 

May, General Wooster declining to assume the command, General Thomp- 
son, as the ranking efficer, took charge of the forces. At this time the move- 
ment to Three Kivers, which was made under the order above given, was 
planned. The Canadians had variously reported the British, who had taken 
possession of that point after Colonel Maxwell had abandoned it and re- 
treated to the mouth of the Sorel, as numbering not more than from three 
to eight hundred. This was a misstatement, but the movement would have 
been successful against a larger force, if a guide had not misled the Ameri- 
cans, so that when they arrived at Three Rivers it was broad daylight, and 
the enemy, who had been apprised of the attempt, were prepared for them. 
General Thompson was himself in command, having been sent by General 
Sullivan to reinforce St. Clair, and had the misfortune to be taken prisoner 
in the first action. He was permitted to return to Pennsylvania on parole, 
but it was two years before he was exchanged. A letter from him to St. 
Clair, after his return, will be found on page 379. 

For an account of the battle of Three Rivers, the reader is referred to pp. 
18 — 21 ante. The credit for the successful withdrawal of the American 
army from Canada, in the face of a superior British force, thoroughly ap- 
pointed in every respect, is very largely duo to General (then Colonel) St. 
Clair. The following extract from a letter of an officer at Fort George to 
his friend in New York, taken from the files o( the New Hampshire Gazette^ 
August 3, 1776, will give the reader a striking picture of the condition of 
the array as it withdrew to the Isle aux Noix: 

" I never knew the fatigue of a campaign until I arrived at Canada. The 
most shocking scenes that ever appeared in a camp were constantly exhib- 
ited to view. When General Sullivan arrived in Canada, the army was torn 
in pieces by sickness and other unaccountable occurrences. A whole regi- 
ment was not to be found together. General Sullivan, with his usual activ- 
ity and alertness, collected together a debilitated, dispirited army; tried the 
strength of the enemy, who were at least four to one, and performed one of 
the most remarkable retreats that was ever known. No person who was not 
present can conceive a tenth part of the difficulties attending it : the enemy at 
our heels; three thousand of our men sick with the small-pox ; those who were 
most healthy like so many walking apparitions; all our baggage, stores, and 
artillery to be removed; officers, as well as men, all employed in hauling 
cannon, etc. Our loaded bateaux were all moved up the rapids six miles; 
one hundred of them were towed by our wearied men, up to their arm-pita 
in water. This was performed in one day and a half; our sick and baggage 
all safely landed at St. John's, and from thence to Crown Point, with the 
loss of only three cannon, which were but poor ones." 

The fightmg was done by Thompson and St. Clair, but General Sullivan, 
after the way was pointed out to him by St. Clair, showed great energy in 
the conduct of the movemont towards Crown Point. Thence, by order of 
General Schuyler, the army retired to Ticonderoga. 


^70 The St. Clair Vapers, 

Thomas Smith* to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, Axigvist 3, 1776. 

Dear Sir : — I was favored 'with yours by Colonel Allen, and 1 
thank you for that unreserve with which you communicate your 
sentiments. I need not say that when I found what turn afiairs 
were like to take in Canada, I was anxious for mv friend. I felt for 
your situation before you wrote. I sincerely believe that the bad suc- 
cess there is owing to the cause to which you ascribe it in your let^ 
ters to our common friend,^ for he does me the honor to show me 
them sometimes ; he is a fine fellow, but has enemies — created, I 
sincerely l)elieve, by his sui)erior talents. Their malice has hitherto 
been impotent; but they are such industrious,, undermining, de- 
tracting rascals, that I hardly think they will rest till they have got 
him out,' and a ready tool in his place. 

I have been in town ever since May. I was then chosen Repre- 
sentative for our county. Immediately on my coming to town I fell 
sick with a very severe bilious colic, which had well nigh done for 
me. I relapsed so frequently that I was obliged at last to undergo 
a very severe course of physic, which confined me for two months, 
and reduced me to a perfect skeleton ; but I have every appearance 
of enjoyiug a more perfect state of health than I have for some 

* Thomas Smith, a native of Scotland, who camo to America at an early 
age, and settled at Bedford, Pa., studied law and became distinguished at the 
bar. February 9, 17G9, was ajipointed Deputy Surveyor, and soon after bo- 
came Prothonotary, Clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions, and Keoorder 
of Bedft^rd Coi.u^y. In 1775, was appointed Colonel of tho mili'ia, and in 
the year fullowins was chosen a member of the State Constitutional Con- 
vention. In 1780, was elected a member of the Continental Congress. 
From 1701 to 17'J4, he waw President of the Judicial District of Cumberland, 
Mifflin, Huntington, Bedford and Franklin Counties; and from 1794 to 1809, 
be w'as Judge of tho Suj)reme Court of Pennsylvania. lie di(^d in Juno of 
the last named year. Judge Smith was one of th<! most intimate friends St. 
Clair had; acted as his legal advfser, in which capacity ho often told St. 
Clair he ought to choose him guardian to look after his finances — so liberal 
was St. Clair in all money transactions — and held the same political views. 
Although H member of the convention that framed the Constitution of 1776, 
he was never reconciled to some of its provisions, and afterward united with 
James Wilson and Arthur St. Cluir in moving for a new Constitutional Con- 

-James Wilson, the distinguished statesman and jurist. 

3 Out of Congress. The opposition succeeded for a time, but Mr. WiUon 
was afterwards returned. 

CorrespondencCj AddresseSj Etc. 871 

years. Hardly was I able to walk about when the convention met.' 
I was chosen one of them — a pretty solon you will say. No matter, 
we have now sat three weeks, and agreed upon the fundamental 
principles of our Government. They are somewhat singular, how- 
ever. The most of us have not had our judgment warped in fevor 
of any other, and not a sixth part of us ever read a word on the 
subject. We are only to have one Legislative branch, viz: the 
Assembly, who are to be chosen annually, and a rotation to take 
place every three years. Instead of having a Legislative G)uncil, 
it seems we are to have a convention every three, fi\^y or seven 
years,' (it is not yet settled which), who are to inquire into and sup- 
ply defects, deviations or abuses in the Constitution. In what 
manner the executive and judicial are to be chosen I can not 
yet say, as we only settled the other points last meeting. I 
was in a small minority.' I believe we might have at least 
prevented ourselves from being ridiculous in the eyes of the 
world were it not for a few enthusiastic members who are totally un- 
acquainted with the principles of government. It is not only that 
their notions are original, but they would go to the devil for popu- 
larity, and in order to acquire it, they have embraced levelling 
principles, which you know is a fine method of succeeding. Don't, 
therefore, be surprised if in the next letter I write to you, I should 
inform you that we had passed an Agrarian Law. 

With regard to any thing in the civil line that may concern you, 
I hardly think the convention will do any thing, but it must rest 
over until the government is formed and the supreme executive ap- 
pointed. Should any thing of the kind come ujx)n the carpet while 
I am present, I hoi)e you will not be overlooked. I am in hopes a 
temporary line l)ctween us and Virginia will Ikj soon settled by the 
two conventions. I am one of a committee to confer with their 
delegates on the subject. They are authorized by their convention, 
and made the proposal — the bearer will inform you what line they 

Mrs. St. Clair came soon to Bedford after I went up and before 

* The State Constitutional Convention of 1776. 

«The Council of Censors. The first was chosen by the electors of the 
State seven years after the adoption of the Constitution. St. Clair was 
elected from Philadelphia, and was one of the most active and influential 
members of it. 

»Mr. Smith opposed the Constitution. He found fault especially with 
those clauses whicli put the legislative power in a single branch, and which 
restricted the power of the executive. 

372 The St. Clair Papers. 

you went away. You know there is nothing coming in from the 
office; however, the bearer will mention that matter to you. I 
really wish to see you again. I have some reason to hope that you 
will soon be advanced to a higher rank. 

President of Congress to Arthur St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, August 10, 1776. 
Sir : — The Congress having yesterday been pleased to promote 
you to the rank of Brigadier-General * in the Army of the Ameri- 
can States, I do myself the pleasure to enclose your commission,, 
and wish you happy. 

General St. Clair to the President of Congress. 

Camp at Ticonderoga, Sept 2, 1776. 

Sir: — ^I received your favor of the 10th August, enclosing my 
commission as Brigadier-General, and return you thanks for the 
trouble you took to transmit it. 

I am extremely sensible of the honor conferred upon me by the 
ap{M)intment, and it shall l)e my study to convince Congress that 
they have not mis})liiced their confidence. 

My most resj)ectful compliments wait upon Mrs. Hancock. 

*For some weeks prior to the 9th August, St. Clair had been commanding^ 
a brigade under General Gates, who had recommended his promotion in 
stnmg terms to Congress. On the 26th July, Colonel Matt. Ogden,in writing 
from Ticonderoga to Major Aaron Burr, uaid: "We are in great want of 
brigadier-generals — three at least; I mean for the men who are now here. 
General Arnold will command the water craft on the lake in person. There 
are three brigades commanded by the Colonels lloed, Stark, and St. ("lair. 
The last of these, I sincerely wish, was appointed a brigadier by Congress. 
There is no bettor man. The other two have full enough, already." The 
promotion of St. Clair was announced by General Washington in General 
Orders Augu^^t rJth. His brigade was the fourth, and consisted of his own, 
DeHaas's, Winds's, Wayne's, and Nelson's independent regiments. The 
promotion excited tlu^ jealousy of Arnold who, although a brigadier, did 
not like to see any other otRccr of ability placed on the same plane with 
himself; and Colonel Maxwell, a very meritorious officer and friend to 
St. Clair, thought it hard he should be overlooked for the benefit of a junior 
officer. At this time the army at Ticonderogu numbered over nine thousand 
effective men. After the destruction of the fleet under Arnold, Generals 
Gates, Schuyler and Arnold called lustily for several thousand more troops. 
See correspondence of these olficers with Washington (Sparks)^ and with 
President Hancock {Force's Atnerica7t Ai'chives). 

Correspondence y Addresses^ Etc. 378 

Thomas Smith to General St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, 22d Augxust, 1776. 

My Dear Friend : — I was favored with yours * last night by Cap- 
tain Rippy. I now know by experience, what I always believed, 
that elevation does not make you forget year friends. You will, 
perhaps, be of opinion that I am not that sincere friend you take 
me to be, when I inform you that the intelligence you gave me on 
that head gave me far pleasure than you supposed it would ; 
the reason is, I knew it long before, for no sooner was you apjwinted 
Brigadier-General but our worthy friend Wilson communicated the 
agreeable news to me, upon which I wrote to most of our friends to 
whom I knew the news woidd give pleasure. 

It Ls not your elevation alone that I congratulate you upon ; but 
I can assure you, from undoubted authority, that your military 
character stands as high with Congress as that of any general on 
the continent, and I flatter myself that you have as good a chance 
for even a more elevated rank than that to which you are lately 
raised. Whatever has been said, or whatever may be said to the 
contrary, I tliink every man's own heart will tell him that self has 
a considerable share in the direction of all our thoughts and actions. 
I feel an instance of it upon this occasion, for though I do sincerely 
rejoice at the elevation of a much esteemed friend, yet I am not 
without my fears that I shall by that means be deprived of the 
pleasure which I enjoyed in the company of that friend. 

IfeeL the truth of your sentiments with regard to the Constitution 
that we are about forming. In several sects of religionists in the 
diflferent ages of the world, and in some even now, inspiration was 
supposed to have a considerable share in the direction of their ac- 
tions, and they very gravely supposed themselves gifted with it. 1 
believe we shall have the honor of first introducing the same doc- 
trine into modern politics. A motion was made, without a blush, 
by a member, that whatever might require the consideration of the 
House might be printed before any resolve was pasvsed upon it, for 
the use of the members, as several of them could read priyit better 
than writing. Our principle seems to be this: that any man, even 
the most illiterate, is as capable of any oflice as a person who has 
had the benefit of education ; that education perverts the under- 
standing, eradicates common honesty, and has been productive of 
all the evils that have hap^Kiued in the world. In order that inspira- 

* The letters of St. Clair to .Judge Smith have not been found. 

874 The St. aair Papers. 

tion may be our only guide, every person who is to be chosen into 
any office that was formerly supposed to require some degree of 
human knowledge and experience to enable the person to execute it 
with justice— every such person, I say — is to be turned out before 
he can })ossibly acquire any experience — e. g., in the form of gov- 
ernment now debating in the House. The committee have brought 
in one article, that the justices of the peace shall be chosen by the 
people in the respective districts wherein they reside ; turned out 
every seven years and a new set chosen in the same manner. We 
are not come to it yet, but by the complexion of the House I have 
reason to think it will pass. We are determined not to pay the least 
regard to the former Constitution of this Province, but to reject 
every thing therein that may be proposed, merely because it waa 
part of the former Constitution. We are resolved to clear every 
part of the old rubbish out of the way and begin upon a clean 
foundation. You know that experimental philosophy was in great 
repute fifty years ago, and we have a mind to try how the same 
principle will succeed in politics! You learned fellows who have 
warped your understandings by poring over musty old books, will 
perhaps laugh at us; but, know ye, that we despise you. 

The situation of this country, as well as that of blhid Britain, 
must give great anxiety to every person who is not callous to the 
feelings of humanity. They seem to have been in the same situa- 
tion for some time past with regard to their intellects as the builders 
of Babel were in respect of their [out]. God knows how the de- 
structive dispute will end. I think the ruin of Britain is inevitable, 
and her existence as a jK)werful kingdom is near at an end. We 
will uudoubtirdly feel sorely the effects of the dispute; but I can 
not help l)eing of opinion that, according to the course of human 
affairs, we must, in the end, prevail. 

As to your verbal intellifrence, vou will have heard before this 
can reach you that part of it is true and part false, as is always the 
case. No news here. Mr. Woods came down last night. Your 
familv are well — not increased when he came awav. 

As for myself, I have tlie honor to serve the public and receive 
notliing for it ; hut that it puts it out of my power to serve myself 
by g<»ing to the woods, for, as there is at present, and like to be 
through our great wisdom, a suspension of all law for a considera- 
ble time, nothing is to Ix? done in that channel, and from the temper 
of the times no person has any security, let his conduct have been 
what it will, that he will not be superseded by any being of a day. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 375 

General St. Clair to Lieutenant-Colonel Allen.* 

TicoNDEROGA, September 1, 1776, 
Dear Sir: — ^This is my third to you since yours of , the 25th of 
July. Whether the former have reached you or not is douhtful, as 
our communication seems not to be much more open than hereto- 
fore ; how that happens, God knows, but certain it is few letters to 
or from this army get on. * 

I wish you had returned to the regiment. Though I well know 
your sentiments, I really expected you would have come back. ** Th6 
osier keeps its footing when the dak is torn up by the roots.** You 
know my "way of thinking, and you know likewise the obligations I 
have to your family — obligations which no change of circumstances 
can ever cancel. But you will excuse me, my dear sir, when I say 
that I believe it M7)uld have been true policy to have given some 
way to the temper of the times. 

If I remcmlwr rightly, there were two points on which we were 
perfectly agreed : First, that independence was not the interest of 
America if the liberties of America could be otherwise secured; 
Secondly, if foreign troops were employed to reduce America to ab- 
solute submission, that independence or any other mode was justifi- 
able. There is now no doubt about the employment of foreign 
troops, which I own I think was the watchword to every man of 
property in America ; for I doubt very much whether, if Great 
Britain should succeed by force, if much odds would be made by 
the lordly conquerors betwixt friends and foes, or if nature and for- 

» William Allen, a Pennsylvania Loyalist, son of the Chief Justice of 
Pennsylvania, belonged to ono of the wealthiest and most distinguished 
of the old families of that Province of the Penns, and, after the first year 
of the revolution, espoused the British cause. Ho was a lieutenant-colonel 
in the Continental service in the early part of 1776, and served under St. 
Clair in Canada. After the retreat of the Americans to Crown Point, he 
returned to Philadelphia, and, in common with other friends of the Penns 
at this period, concluded that the only safety for the country was in ad- 
herence to the mother country. Ho obtained leave to resign his commission 
in the Continental service, and, at the close of 177G, joined Lord Howe. Ho 
endeavored to enlist a regiment of Pennsylvania Loyalists in 1778, but Y\e 
was disappointed. Less than three hundred joined him. Ilia regiment took 
part in the defense of Pensacola apainst the French and Spaniards. IIo waa 
in New Brunswick in 1783. Li the letter nbovo given, St. Clair, mindfv\\ of 
obligations to Chief-Justice Allen, endeavor* to dissim^o the son ^^^«^ t,\v^ 
step which he had avowed it \m piirpoHo to take in tho letter to wHicb. t\iia 
is the reply. 

876 The St. Clair Papers. 

eigu avarice and rax)a<Mt)r would not be glutted with the indiscrimi- 
nate spoil of both. I uin persuaded many worthy men would not 
have wished times to go as they have done, because they thought it 
not consistent with the true interest of America, which might have 
long been happy in a regulated (not an absolute) subordination to 
Great Britain, amongst whom I think I may reckon your venerable 
father ;but that fatal proceeding* has cast the die. 

Do not, my dear sir, imagine my late promotion has altered my 
sentiments. I will ov;n to you I am pleased, not flattered, with it. 
I have come to that time of life (and some how or other have always 
had a way of thinking what some people call philosophy, but it is 
nothing but constitution,) that puts me out of danger of that flutter 
and emotion that sudden and imcxpected elevation gives some peo- 
ple. I assure you I would rather experience the heartfelt satis- 
faction of discharging one social duty, one debt of gratitude, than 
have as jnany ''Honours" and ** Excellencys" affixed to my name 
as would fill a quire of paper. To your father and brother, and Mr. 
Penn, I have obligations that I must ever feel — that I will never 
forget You know I am a bad jx)Htician, but if you have not al- 
ready taken too decisive a part, I can not say one word more about 
the matter; and when I reflect on your own good sense and the 
superior understanding and experience of many of your friends, it 
would be insolence to } ou to ofTcr advice. 

We have made this a very strong j>ost» The old French lines are 
repaired ; and redoubts upon redoubts constructed, and men enough 
to defend them. If they come we shall certainly give a good ac- 
count of them. General ^\jrnold in down the lake with the fleet, 
three schooners and a sWp, and, I think, ten gondolas, mounting in 
all above one hundred guns. The time is certainly near now, and I 
wish you were here to share the honour, for we shall certainly beat 
them. We shall make up for the Three Eivers ; but wherever you 
are, my best wishes sliall ever attend you. 

Your baggage l^Iajor Pcull takes to Albany — all but your bedding. 
Your mattress and bhiukets I let Mr. Clason have, his having been 
i^lolcn one day out of the Genera Fs house ; the rest I will keep ; let 
me know the price, and the money sliall be remitted for the whole. 
I thank you for the maniuise. I will take all tlie care I can of it, 
and bring it with me when I return; if I return not, you do not 

' Many hopod f^r tin honorable accommodation with the British govem- 
TDcnt after a show of rceistuncc, but the Doclurutiou of Independence diB- 
ptlled that hope. 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 877 

want firiends here who will do me the kindness to send it. Next 
time I will tell you all about the mojxRj. 

Colonel Joseph Wood ^ to General St. Claib. 

Philadelphia, September 3, 1776. 

Dear Oeneral: — ^I this moment received yours of the 2d inst., and 
return you many thanks for your kind concern for my health, which 
I am sorry to say is not so well as I could wish or ex^KJct, consider- 
ing the length of time, fixjm so small a wound ; * but one reason is, 
I can't get. quit of the fever ; two or three days I seem perfectly 
well, after that comes on an inflammation in my leg which spreads 
all over it, then I am forced to keep my bed five or six days, and 
bathe and poultice it, and so I go on. God knows when I shall 
have the pleasure of being in the field again. I long to be with 
you. I intend setting off next week, sick or well, making all the 
haste my health will permit. I am more easy that I have two such 
field oflicers as Craig ^ and Butler; * their commissions I have, and 
shall bring them with me. I hope they will do well — hope, did I 
say ? — I am certain they will do every thing possible for the good 
of the regiment. 

I am in doubt about our army at New York — a letter fix)m an 
officer of rank this day says they aro in want of ten thousand men ; 
if so, the Lord have mercy on them all. The militia going and re- 
turning with such speed smells strong of cowardice, and dispirits 

^Joseph "Wood isuecceded St. Cluir as Colonel of the Second Pennsylvania. 
He was commissioned as major, and "^ns ordered to Canada with the first 
companies of the regiment, in January, 1776. He was promoted to lieuten- 
ant-colonel, vice "William Allen, July 22, and colonel 7th September, 1776. 
He died in March, 1789. 

'Wound received at the battle of Three Bivers. 

^Thomas Craig, commissioned as captain in St. Clair's recjiment, January 
6, 1776; lieutenant-colonel, . September 7, 1776; appointed colonel Third 
Pennsylvania Regiment, 1777. Died at the age of 92, January 14, 1832. 

♦Thomas Butler, third of the famous brothers who were conspicuous dur- 
ing the Revolutionary war. Was studying law with Judge Wilson when 
the war began, and enlisted a company for St. Clair's regiment, in which ho 
obtained the majority. At the battle of Brandy wine ho rooeived the thanks 
of Washington for gallantry, and at Monmouth ho defended a defile in the 
lace of a heavy fire while his brother. Colonel Richard Butler, withdrew his 
regiment. He was present at the defeat of St. Clair in 1701. He was bom 
in Pennsylvania, 1754, and died at Now Orleans, September 7, 1805. 

378 The St. iJlair Papers. 

the troops. I dined yesterday with five or six of the Congress ; they 
think a few days will decide the matter one way or the other. It 
may, for us, but not f )r the enemy — they can retreat to their lines. 
You must know, before this, we have given up New York, and 
must do what they wish for — fight them in the open field. You 
know how we are provided for that. Some of our men are brave — 
must be to make a stand against double their numbers, and six 
times better armed. We can only hope that God will fight our 
battles, as in old times. 

Mr. Wilson, with his lady, started for Carlisle to-day. He de- 
sired me to give you his best compliments, and, when he returns, 
will send you a letter a mile long, to make up for the short ones, or 
the very few lie has wrote you. 

God bless you. All the family join in good wishes for your jnros- 
perity in every form, but none more so than, dear sir, your afileo- 
tionate friend, etc. 

CoLONEi. Robert H. Harrison to General Schuyler. 

Newark, November, 26, 1776. — 3 o'clock P. m. 
Sir: — By command of his Excellency, I have the honor to trans- 
mit you the inclosed resolve^ of Congress, the original of which tliis 

' Rrsiitrrd — That General Washington be directed forthwith to order under 
bis iriiriKMiJMto command such of the forces, now in the Northern Depart- 
merif. as have been raised in the States of Pennsj'lvania and New Jersey, 
and that the commanding officer in the Northern Department be directed 
to apply to the Legislatures of the Eastern States, to afford him such assist- 
ance as they may stand in need of. — JournaUt of Congress^ Saturday, No- 
vember 23, 177G. 

This resolution was in consequence of the movement of Genflral Howe 
toward Philadelphia in force. General Washincjton had but few troops to 
interpose, and his situation was very critical. It was at this time that St. 
('lair was directed to join him with his brigade. Scarcely any halt was 
made at Albany. As soon as boats were procured St. Clair proceeded south- 
ward, but was intercepted by an order from General l^ee to join his divis- 
ion, which was following in the rear of the British army, notwithstanding 
"Washington had ordered him several weeks before to join him. 

After the capture of General Lee (see p. 28), General St. Clair prtmeeded 
immediately tf» join General Washington. On the lOth December, we find 
the latter proposing to send him to command the New Jersey militia that 
had been recruited in that part of the State where General Lee had been 
operating. The time of service of General St. Clair's own troops being 
about to expire, and they promising to re-enlist for the war if furloughed, he 
permitted them to return home, and out of his own private funds supplied 

Correspondence^ AddresseSy Etc. 879 

minute came to haiid ; and I am to request you, in his name, to 
have the purport of it complied with, by sending down, with all 
possible expedition, the whole of the troops belonging to the States 
of Pennsylvania and Jersey which are in the Northern Depart- 
ment, to join the army under his immediate command. You will 
please to order them to fall in on the communication leading from 
New York to Philadelphia, at Brunswick, or between that and 
Princeton, and to direct their march by a back and secure route, 
that it may not be liable to be interrupted by the enemy. I have 
mentioned Brunswick, supposing and hoping that we shall be able 
to make a stand there ; however, his Excellency begs you will di- 
rect the commanding officers of the troops to send him frequent ex- 
presses, to advise of their approaches, and by which means their 
destination may be explicitly pointed out. At present it is conjec- 
ture. It must depend on several circumstances. I have not time 
to add much, therefore shall only inform you that the enemy are in 
possession of Hackensack, and are now pushing this way. 

James Wilson to General St. Clair. 

Baltimore,^ December 30, 1776. 

My Dear Sir : — With peculiar pleasure I congratulate you on the 
victory at Trenton.' I take it the tide is now turning, and will soon 
run high in our favor. 

I have written to General Washington, recommending Colonel 
Irvine to a regiment, and Mr. Robert Smith (a young gentleman of 
great merit, who studied law with me), to a troop of horse. You 
will oblige me much by adding your influence to the recommenda- 
tion, and by letting me know the result of it as soon as possible. 

General Thompson to General St. Clair. 

Carlisle, January 11, 1777. 
My Dear General : — This will be handed to you by your old and 

some of the money necessary to pay expenses of ro-enlistment. General 
St. Clair entered actively into the work of the campaign. 

^ Congress was holding sessions at Baltimore. 

* For an account of the victories of Trenton and Princeton, and St. Clair*g 
brilliant part in them, pee i)p. 80 t<» 44 of this volume. 

380 The St. Qair Papers. 

very worthy friend, Major Dick Butler,' who longs much to see 
you. The bad treatment the Major and some other officers of the 
regiments have met with, requires the notice of every General in the 
army who wishes to serve his country, and as I know well your 
steady attachment to both your friends and country, make no doubt, 
when you are informed how matters stand respecting the officers in 
Colonel Mackay's regiment, but you will take such steps as will en- 
able those who think themselves injured to vindicate their characters, 
and purge the army, as soon as possible, of those who have acted 
out of character as gentlemen and officers. 

The. good of the service has obliged me to make use of arguments 
with the Major and Mr. Huffnagle, to engage them to continue in 
the regiment after tliey can have a hearing before a court-martial. 
I must confess tliey have suffered much, but they must be prevailed 
on to continue, or the usefulness of the regiment will be lost. We 
both know the Colonel to l)e a good officer j and a man of strict honor 
and great goodness of heart, but it wUl be impossible for him alone 
to manage the regiment or get duty done, if the Major and Mr. 
Huffnagle leave him. From what I have been well informed of, I 
think some of the officers must go to the left about, and Huffnagle 
will make an excellent Major, and as the ranks of the captains are 
not yet fixed, it can't give any great uneasiness to them ; but in case 
it should, I don't know any of them fit to be raised a step higher — 
two only excepted — that ought to mount a ladder. 

My dear 8t. Clair, when I had the pleasure of seeing you,* 
I even envied vou the fatitriies you had then to encounter. I now 
most heartily rejoice on account of your successes, and more and 
more wish t<^> share the dangers and honors that may await you. 

P. S. — If you can't possibly reconcile Butler and Huffnagle to 
stay in Mackay's regiment, you must see and provide for them in 
one of tlic new ones. Good officers must not be lost. 

' Kiohard Biitlor, the most ciistingui.shed of the fighting; Butlers. He was 
soon promoted to be Lieut«»niint-Coloncl of Morgan's rifle corps, and subse- 
quently Colonel of the Ninth Pennsylvunia. He was agent for Indian 
nffuirs in 1787-88, and in 1791 was commi^^aioned a Major-General, com- 
manded the right wing of St. Clair's army moving against the Indians, and 
was killed November 4, of that year. 

2 At the battle of Three Kivers, where General Thompson had the mis- 
fortune to bo captured. lie was permitted to go on parol, but the delay in 
his exchange bore hard on his spirits. He blamed Congress with it in a let- 
ter to ^^t. Clair, written in April this year, in which ho said that as he was 
n«)t permitted to curse that body, ho would turn his wrath against the Con- 
stitution of Penufiylvania, which ho cursed with great heartiness. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 881 

James Widson to General St. Clair. 

Carlisle, January 14, 1777. 

My Dear General : — It is long since I have had the pleasure of 
hearing from you ; but am sensible that you have as good, if not 
better, reasons for not writing than ever I had. The active and 
glorious scenes in which you have lately borne a share are a sufficient 
apology to your friends for not being favored with your letters. It 
comforts mo to hear of you when I can not hear/m/zi you. 

I have enjoyed nine days at home ; and in that time have seen 
my family increased by the addition of a fine young boy. The sit- 
uation of public affairs is so interesting that I find myself incapable 
of fixing upon those tranquil pleasures in my library, of which I 
have often formed such fond ideas when perplexed and distracted 
with business. 

While I can not forbear thinking of the public, I believe it will 
be best for me to continue acting in it (provided that can happen 
with propriety), and return to Baltimore as soon as I can leave Mrs. 

I feel very sensibly for General Mercer's misfortune ; and for the 
loss the service will sustain in being deprived for some time of his 
valuable talents. I hope, however, he will, recover and do well.^ 

Colonel Mackay and Major Butler will inform you of the very 
extraordinary proceedings of the Captains and subalterns in the 
Westmoreland regiment. They have gone so far as even to sus- 
pend the Major.* You know his worth and character. From all 
the accounts I have had from gentlemen upon whose judgments I 
can rely, I am satisfied that he has great merit as an officer ; and 
that his merit has been the cause of the persecution raised against 
him. But I need not stimulate your own friendshij) for him. 

These committee appointments play vengeance. K the Captains 
and subalterns succeed in this stroke against their Major, I have no 
doubt but that the next one will bo aimed at the head of the Colonel. 
Indeed, I have good reason to conclude that this Ls part of the plan 
originally laid. 

^This refers to the bjittle of Princeton, in the early part of which General 
Mercer was mortally wounded. As he was left in the care of the Quaker 
family named Clark, where ho fell, his fate was not known at the time thiB 
letter was written. 

"This is the same difficulty referred to in the letter of General Thompson. 
On account of appointments being made on recommendation of committees, 
the subordinate otEcers attempted to dictate who should be field officers. 

882 The St. Clair Papers. 

General Arthur St. Clair to James Wilson. 

MoRRiSTOWN, February 10, 1777. 

Dear Sir: — I was favored with a letter from you yesterday. I 
heartily congratulate you on the addition to your family. As Mrs. 
Wilson has recovered, such a nine days was worth an age. I wish 
it was possible that you could enjoy the tranquil pleasures of retire- 
ment, but it is not a time to think of them; and believe me, my 
dear friend, although it is not much to your taste, your figure is at 
least as respectable in public as amiable in private life. 

Colonel Mackay is not yet come up, and I have just heard that he 
lies sick at Trenton, but I have made the (xencraP acquainted with 
the confusion and the causes of it that prevails in that regiment, 
and I have no doubt that the authors will meet with their deserts. 

This willbe handed you by Major OUendorf, an officer, I believe, 
of merit, and who, it seems to me, h^ been sent here upon a wild 
goose chase. Most of the foreigners that have yet been employed 
are mere* adventurers, but I do not believe that in his case ; he has 
behaved well here. After all tliis j^reface, I don't know what should 
follow, but it is next to imposvsible that an utter stranger, and one 
who has not the language of the country, should succeed in raising 
a corps, and the ex]>en?es attending frequent journeys are so much 
greater than the allowance that it can not but disgust those who 
have no attachments but tlie profession of a soldier. If some of- 
ficers were appointed to him wlio have connections, his corps might 
he raided, and I am fully persuaded it would not be long before he 
would discipline them. 

This moment I received vours of the 28th ultimo. I am very 
sorry that neither Colonel Irvine nor Mr. Smith have succeeded, 
which I informed you of before. The General does not choose to go 
so largely into the horse as Congress has empowered him ; at least 
until he sees the regiments he has already officered nearly complete ; 
wlien that hap])ons, and more horse sliould be thought necessary. 
Colonel Irvine has, I believe, his promise, and I have it likewise for 
Mr. Smith; and the general has pleased to express unea.siness that 
application hud not be^n made earlier. 

Tlie enemy are still in Jersey, but thevhave very little rest. We 
give them a brush every other day, and we are certain that they 
are in great want of both forage and provisions. They can not 
possibly stay here. But where will they go to? Perhaps to Dela- 

^ General WHsliiiigton. 

(.Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc, 383 

ware River. That is, however, my way of thinking ; and had we 
somebody at the head of the army in New York, they would soon 
be obliged to go somewhere else ; but I must not speak ill of my 
superiors, and indeed I do not know the man at all. 

Major Ollendorf waits for this letter. I assure (you) I have not 
ceased to write by every opportunity. You will get them all by 
and by, and I shall continue to do so, for I know but few things in 
this world that gives me greater pleasure.^ 

Tom Smith is here, and I write this at Colonel Biddle's office, who 
sends a whole bundle of correspondence. 

St. Claib Promoted for Gallantry at Trenton and 


Baltimore, February 22, 1777. 

Sir : — ^The Congress having been pleased to promote you to the 
rank of major-general in the army of the United States, I do my- 
self the pleasure to inclose your commission. Confident of your 
ardor in the cause of America, and of your attachment to her liber- 
ties, I am persuaded you will, on all occasions, show yourself every 
way deserving the honor your country has now conferred upon you. 

With the warmest wishes for your health and prosperity, I have 
the honor to be, sir, your most obedient and humble servant, 

JoiiN Hancock, Preit 

You will please to acknowledge the receipt of this letter and com- 

Hon. Major-Geneilvl St. Clair. 

James Wilson to Major-Gexeral St. Clair. 

February 20, 1777. 
My Dear Sir: — Yesterday, Congress proceeded to the promotion 
of general officers. There was much difficulty and delicacy in set- 
tling the principles on which the promotions ought to be founded. 
I expressed my sentiments in favor of adhering to the line of action 
before marked out, but said that if it were proper to deviate from 
that line, you witc the officer in whose favor the alteration ought to 
be made. Lord Sterling, General Mifflin, yourself. General Ste- 

*The original letter is in the possession of Lewis J. Ciflt, BsQk Cincinnati. 

384 The St. Clair Papers. 

phen, and General Lincoln were chosen major-generalB. I need not 
express my satisfaction at your promotion. I feel peculiarly 
pleased that I have seen the event take place before I leave Con- 

I am exceedingly hurt that our deserving friend, General Thomp- 
son, was passed over. It is a misfortune sufficient to be a prisoner. 
I am, however, willing to believe that the only reason with many 
gentlemen for omitting him was an apprehension that a promotion 
would increase the difficulty of his exchange. 

If you have not already engaged yourself, you will much oblige 
me by appointing Billy Bird your aid-de-camp. You will recollect 
that, when he first entered into service, I was solicitous he should 
be formed under you. You know, however, of his activity. He 
is young, but he is far from being perfect in sense and judgment. If 
he is not yet exchanged, I hope his exchange will soon take place. 
I have been informed that he has either obtained, or has a prospect 
of obtaining, a lieutenancy in the Light Horse. But I would, on 
every account, prefer what I now recommend him to. ' 

I have good reason to believe, and think it not improper to hint, 
that the important command of Ticonderoga is destined for your 
next campaign.* I presage it a theater of glory. 

CoLONFX Wayne- to President of Congress. 

Ticonderoga, February 2, 1777. 
Sir: — Inclosed is the return of this garrison, together with the 
appraisement and receipt for goods sent to the public store. You 

^ Judge Wilson's prediction was correct. But, after St. Clair's promotion, 
and before his appointment to the Northern Department, ho continued to 
serve under Washington. On the 10th of March, General Washington asked 
General Gates, who was in command at Philadelphia, to resume the office of 
adjutant-general, and notified him that lie should send Major-General St. 
Clair to take his place. Gates was looking for something else; declined the 
place of adjutant-general, and on the 2oth of March was appointed by Con- 
gress to the command of the Northern Dep:irtment, in place of General 
Schuyler. On the *J2d of May following, ho was superseded by General 
Schuyler. General St. Clair had been selected to servo as second in com- 
mand, but he did not leave his post at Philadelphia until General Schuyler's 

2 Colonel Anthony W^ayno had been placed in command of the garrison 
at Ticonderoga in the latter part of the preceding November, with instruc- 
tions to complete the fortifications. Little could be done at that, as the want 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 885 

^ill observe that only two small regiments of militia have yet ar- 
rived to relieve the old garrison, and that the Second and Fourth 
regiments of Pennsylvania, whose times were expired near a month, 
have marched for Philadelphia ; the Sixth regiment, belonging to 
the same State, will also march the 8th instant ; their times expired 
the 9th of January, so that if troops don't shortly arrive, this gar- 
rison will be left very weak indeed. I have wrote timely and fre- 
quently to General Schuyler on the occasion, and have once more 
urged him to push up troops and provisions with all possible dis- 
patch. I am sorry to say that this post has been much neglected, 
and unless speedy and vigorous measures are used in gathering in 
supplies, the season will be lost in which it can be done ; and per- 
haps, after all the expense and trouble in endeavoring to render the 
post tenable, it will be left an easy prey to the enemy, owing to a 
lack of troops and supplies. I shall omit nothing in my power to 
guard against a surprise, and although our numbers are few, yet I 
am under no apprehension but I shall be able to maintain this post 
(unless provisions fiiil) until a sufficient reinforcement can have time 
to arrive. I hope soon to have it in my power to give you some in- 
formation of the motions or intentions of the enemy in this quarter. 

Colonel Anthony Wayne to IVIajor-General Gates. 

TicoNDEROOA, Febnuiry 4, 1777. 

My Dear General: — ^This garrison now consists of only four weak 
regiments — one Pennsylvania, one New Jersey, and two regiments 
of militia from the State of the Massachusetts Bay, amounting in 
the whole to about twelve hundred, sick and well. That from Penn- 
sylvania will march the day after to-morrow ; we shall then be re- 
duced to nine hundred. I have not been able to prevail on the 
Eastern troops to stay one hour longer than the expiration of their 

I have done every thing that lay in my power to render this post 
tenable, by surrounding the works with wide and good abcUia. 

I have also provided timber for the block-houses, which will be 
erected in a few days, and dropped the notion of pickets, as we 

of clothing and hospital stores rendered the condition of the men so wretched 
as to preclude all other thought but that of trying to preserve life until 
spring should come. 


386 The St. Clair Papers. 

could not man them. Cumberland Bay is yet open ; otherwise we 
should, in all probability, have received a visit long since from the 
enemy, who, as I learn, had collected all the sleighs in Canada for 
the purpose. 

I have a prospect of being soon reinforced from the eastward. In 
the present debilitated state of the garrison we can do little more 
than mount the proper guards, keep out the usual scouts, and find 
firewood, a stock of which I wish to have beforehand in case of an 
attack, which probably will not be before the lake breaks up, unless 
Cumberland Bay should close soon. I should esteem it as a particular 
favor if you could get me relieved, my health being much impaired. 
I have been necessitated to act as quartermaster, commissary, en- 
gineer and commandant, and worried with wretches applying for 
discharges or furloughs, as you used to be, until I am become a mere 

I am next to inform you that this post has been too much ne- 
glected, and I fear, notwithstanding all the expense and trouble we 
have had last summer and this winter to render it tenable, it will be 
left an easy prey to the enemy for want of proper supplies to main- 
tain an army in the spring, owing to a supineness somewhere. 

Present my most respectful compliments to General Washington 
and Generals Mifflin and St. Clair. 

Colonel Anthony Wayne to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROGA, February 4, 1777. 

Sir: — I have the pleasiu*e to inform you that an officer, with part 
oi Colonel 's regiment, arrived here last evening from Num- 
ber Four, and says the whole regiment, consisting of upwards of 
three hundred men, may be expected in two or three days. They 
are from the State of New Hampsliire, and enlisted during the war. 

They are coming at a very seasonable time, as the Sixth Penn- 
sylvania Battalion are just about to leave the ground, and our gar- 
rison so debilitated that we were hard pushed for men to furnish the 
necessary guards, scouts, and fatigues. 

I have a scouting party down the lake as far as Gilliland's Creek, 
where it is said some Indian tracks have lately been discovered. 
The enemy have given out that they intend paying us a visit,' but 
that they can not do so unless Cumberland Bay shuts up ; as yet it 
is open, and probably will c(jntinuc so during the winter, unless 
tlicre comes very severe weather indeed. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 387 

I have been necessitated to stop a number of sleighs to haul the 
abatis, treating them with kindness and paying them for their 
labour. I have heard no complaint, and conclude they are well 

I have in view a project of driving piles across the channel oppo- 
site one of the redoubts, to which a boom may be fixed that will be 
a sufficient barrier against the enemy's vessels. This will require a 
goofl deal of labour. 

If it should meet your approbation, please to order up one of the 
engineers to superintend the work. 

I shall be able to communicate to him the plan and manner in 
which it may be executed. 

Colonel Anthony Waynk to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROGA, 2Srd Marchy 1777. 

Dear Oeneral : — ^It is the opinion of those who are best acquainted 
with Lake Champlain, that it will be navigable in the course of two 
or three weeks at farthest. It is, therefore, my duty to inform you that 
we have not more than twelve hundred men, sick and well, officers inr 
dudedy on the ground ; four hundred of which are militia, whose times 
expire in ten days ; nor from what I can learn, by the best authority, 
is there any probability of a sufficient number of troops arriving 
from the eastward, for a very considerable time, as few, if any of 
their regiments are near full, and great part of those who were en- 
listed have deserted or are straggling through the country. Add to 
this, that their officers seem seized with a general torpor (which can 
not be accounted for), especially at a time when every effort is ab- 
solutely necessary to push on the troops, and to give them some idea 
of duty and discipline previous to their entering into action. 

I must beg, sir, that you would once more endeavor to rouse the 
public officers in those States from their shameful lethargy before it 
be too late. I do assure you that there is not one moment to spare 
in bringing in troo])s and the necessary sup[)lies. The few men I 
have on the ground are put to hard, very hard duty ; but they go 
through all with a ready cheerfulness, conscious of the pressing ne- 

Whilst I am writing, Mr. Adams, who lives at Lake George 
landing, has arrived almost spent. He, with Captain Baldwin of 
the Bangers, belonging to Stillwater, and twenty-one men, were 
made prisoners at Sabbath-day Point by a party of Ox^hnawago In- 
dians and Canadians, amounting to about twenty, under the com- 

888 The St. Clair Pampers. 

mand of Captain McCoy, of the Regulars. Lieutenant Henry, 
with five others belonging to Colonel Van Schaiek's regiment, are 
killed. Adams and two of the soldiers were taken last Wednes- 
day afternoon. Captain Baldwin and the other prisoners were sur- 
prised and taken asleep, at the Point, about three o'clock the next 
morning. Lieutenant Henry defended himself with great bravery 
for a considerable time, dangerously wounding two of the Lidians 
with his navy. He at last fell, worthy of a better fate. Adams 
says he informed him of another party hovering round this post ; 
but, if that was true, I believe they would not have mentioned it. 
He further says that the Indians came by the way of Omergotchy, 
and that he was set at lilx}rty on account of being weakly and a 
former acquaintance of Captain McCoy, who also informed him that 
the enemy arc collected at St. John's, Chambly, and Montreal, and 
their vicinity. I have sent Captain Whitcomb, with a party of 
Rangers, to bury the dead, and hope soon to retaliate on the Brit- 
ish butchers. 

Colonel Wayne to Governor Bowdoin and Council of 

Massachusetts Bay. 

TicoxDEROGA, 2bth Match, 1777. 

Gentlemen: — A party of Cochuawago Indians, under the com- 
mand of a Captain McCoy, of the British forces, have killed sev- 
eral of our people, and taken Captain Baldwin, with twenty-one 
men, prisoners, at a j)lace called Sabbath-day Point, on the 20th 
instant, by which means the eueniy, who are now all collected at Mon- 
treal, Chambly, 8t. John's, and their vicinity, will be but too soon 
informed of the debilitated state of this garrison, which at present 
does not consist of more than twelve hundred men, sick and well, 
officera included, four hundred of which are militia from Berkshire 
and Hampshire, in your State, whose times expire in ten days — hut 
this in confidence. 

It is the opinion of those who are best acquainted with the Lake 
Chami)lain, that it will be navigable in the course of two or three 
weeks at farthest, so that we have eveiy reason to expect that the 
enemy here in full force as soon as that happens, being ready pre- 
jMired for the purpose. 

Ft is my duty, therefore, to requei^t you, in the most pressing 
manner, to use every ix)ssible means in pushing on the troops — 
properly equipped. Kearly one-half of those who arrived are destitute 
of arms and accouterments, and sent on without any officers, except 
a few subalterns. For God sake, rouse your field and other officers 

Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 889 

^m their lethargy. It is their duty to be on the spot, in order 
to maneuver their people, and to give them some idea of discipline 
previous to their entering into action. 

* I would beg leave to suggest that the most speedy way of for- 
warding the baggage and other necessaries, through tJiese bad roads, 
will be by pack-horses ; you can not use too much dispatch ; there 
is not one moment to sjmre 

I am confident that you have too just a sense of the importance* 
of thLs place to sufter it to be lost for want of timely succors, when 
in your power to throw them in. I shall, therefore, say no more on 
the subject, than just to assure you that nothing shall be wanting 
on my part to render the post tenable, and to defend it to the last 

Captain Reyman, a gentleman well acquainted with this lake, and 
a worthy officer, who is charged with this express, will be able to 
give you such other information as you may require. 

Just as Captain Reyman was setting oft*, he was taken violently 
ill. Lieutenant McLean is, therefore, charged with the express. 
He is another trusty officer.^ 

Colonel Anthony Wayne to President John Hancock. 

TicoNDEROGA, 2d April, 1777. 
Sir: — ^The enclosed return will clearly show you the debilitated 
state of this garrison. It has been very fluctuating of late. The 
militia are now all gone, and those contained in the return are raised 
on the new establishment. I hope soon to receive a considerable 
reinforcement, as General Schuyler has dispatched expresses to the 
neighboring States for that pur]x>se. I have also sent to the State 

* This loiter, the first draft of which was retained by Colonel "Wayne, and 
is included among the St. Clair Papers, is also found in the Massachusetts 
Archives, Vol. 196, p. 324, and bears on it the following official indorsements, 
which show that great care was taken to read Colonel Wayne's communica- 
tions, if nothing was done worth mentioning for the relief of Ticonderoga: 
In Council, March 30, 1777. Read and sent down 

J NO. Avert, Dpy Secy. 
In the House of Representatives, March 31, 1777. Read and committed 
to Mr. Speaker Benj. Preble, Mr. Story, and Col. Bliss, with such as the 
Honorable Board shall join. Sent up for concurrence. 

J. Warrkn, Spkr. 
In Council, March 31, 1777. Read and concurred, and Jabez Fisher, Jna 
Taylor, and \Vm. Phillips, Eijq'rs, are joined. 

Jno. Avery, Dpy Secy. 

390 The St. Qair Papers. 

of the Massachusetts Bay, urging the Council to push on the troops 
and necessary supplies with all possible dispatch. 

There will be an open navigation on Lake Champlain before this 
reaches you, and I have reason to expect the enemy here in full 
force as soon as the ice will permit. We are preparing to receive 
them. The ready cheerfulness with which officers and men un- 
dergo all fatigue and difficulties, I take as a happy presage that 
they are determined to defend the post to the last extremity. I 
can't forbear mentioning my surprise at the total neglect of the 
navy. You may rest assured that the enemy have not more than 
four vessels of force on the lake, exclusive of two taken from us, 
and about twenty-five or thirty flat-bottomed boats. It is said that 
they are building four more. Even then they w^ill have but ten, 
and I am well convinced that in the course of eight weeks we could 
build vessels sufficient with those we alreadv have to command the 
lake ; and as to rigging, strip but the one-third of the prizes taken 
from the enemy, and now laid up to the eastward, they will be more 
than sufficient for the purposes ; this once done, an army of two 
thousand or three thousand men will be sufficient not only to gar- 
rison this post, but put the enemy in constant alarm and oblige them 
to put a large army of observation in Canada. 

On the contrary, let them remain in command of the lake, they 
need not more than one thousand land forces, with what savages 
and Canadians they can raise, to oblige us to maintain an army of 
at least five thousand men to watch their motions, whilst the re- 
mainder of their forces may be sent round and act in conjunction 
with their troops to the southward. But was a fleet to be created, 
they dare not show one man from Canada. The very expense of 
paying and maintaining three thousand extraordinary for six months 
WH^iild ^ivc you the command of the lake. You must at one day 
have it ; thi* sooner, therefore, tlie better. 

Colonel Anthony Wayne to Colonel Van Sciiaick.* 

TicoNDEROOA, 13f/i April, 1777. 
Sir : — Your favor of the 7th inst. I have just received. I wish 

* Gozon Van Sclmick, son of Mayor Van Schaick of Albany, and one of 
the best soldiers in the American army. He participated in the French 
war, being advanced from lieutenant, by regular promotion, to lieutenant- 
colonel in the First New York regiment. On the breaking out of the Rev- 
olution, he was made colonel of the Second New York regiment ; Nov, 

Correspondenccy Addresses^ Etc. 391 

that the arms and cash were arrived. There were two howitzers at 
Half Moon; if they are not yet sent forward, pray order them with 
such ammunition, ordnance, and ordnance stores as are at Albany 
(for this post) to be sent forward with all possible dispatch, let the 
expense be what it will. If the roads are bad, it's only adding a 
sufficient force of horses to the carriages. Our situation admits of 
no delay. 

I have reason to believe the enemy are advancing. A strong 
party of them were discovered three days ago at the Four Brothers ; 
and some of their boats were plying between that and Gilliland's 
Creek. Previous to the receipt of this intelligence, I had sent a de- 
tachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Bassett to that place for prov- 
ender. I have since ordered another party in armed boats to try 
to bring him off and cover his retreat. I hope they will effect it. 

Colonel Anthony Wayne to Major-General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROGA, 14<A AprUy 1777. 

Dear Oenercd : — A scouting party returned yesterday from Onion 
River, with advice that the enemy have a strong detachment on the 
Four Brothers, and that their boats were seen plying between that 
and Gilliland*s Creek. Previous to the receipt ot this intelligence, 
I had sent a party under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Bas- 
sett to that creek for provender, and have since dispatched another 
detachment in armed bateaux to bring- him off and cover his re- 
treat. I hope they will effect it, as the loss of his party would be 
too sensibly felt. We have received but a very small reinforce- 
ment since the last return I made you. 

I can't account for the happiness of the Eastern States with re- 
spect to this post on any other principle but the general received 
notion that no attack will be made here. However, a few days will 
I)r<>bably reduce this matter to a certainty, as the lake has been nav- 
igable about a week. 

22, 1776, was placed in command of the First New York battalion, and af- 
terwards sent to Cherry Valley to protect the inhabitants against the Indians; 
served as brigadier-general under Lord Stirling at the battle of Monmouth, 
and in April, 1779, at the head of a select force, destroyed the Onondaga set- 
tleiiients, and received vote of thanks from Congress. Appointed brigadier- 
general by. brevet October 10, 1783. He was born 1737; died July 4, 1789. 

392 The St. Clair Papers. 

James Wilson to Major General St. Clair. 

Philadelphlv, 21ih March, 1777. 

My Dear Sixi—rl have l)eeii favored with two letters from you 
since my return to Philadelphia. Your promise to write to me 
once a week gives me great pleasure, hut it will give me still greater 
pleasure to see you soon. This, I have some hopes, will be the 
case, as General Gates is now apix)inted to the command at Tieon- 
deroga.^ I can more than conceive what you feel at your long ab- 
sence from your family. 

You particularly oblige me by reserving a place for Billy Bird. 
As some late difficulties arc now removed from the cartel, his ex- 
change, I hope, may soon take place. 

I have resumed my seat in Congress. My reason is, that if at 
any time I can be useful to my country, I can at Hm. Pennsylvania 
is in the greatest confusion ; - i)erha])s order may, at last, arise from 
it. The very critical situation of public affairs is of much advan* 
tage to the Assembly and their friends. 

I shall write you more fully, soon. 

General Washington to General St. Clair. 

MoRRLSTOWN, 18^1 ^j>ri7, 1777. 
Dear Sir: — I am favored with vours of the 15th.' I have wrote 

* "The Congress ha vo directed General Gates to take General Fernioy 
with him to Tic«)nder()ga, and >uch other French officers as he may think 
proper. General St. Clair being ordered to Ticonderoga, b^it previously to 
repair to this city to a wait the further order of Congress, you will please to 
direct him to re}wiir here accordingly as soon as possible." — PrcsUletit Han' 
cock to (Jrncral Wdshingtou, April 4, 1777. 

*The return of Mr. Wilson to C<^ngress was in compliance with the ear- 
nest entreaties of General Washington, who greatly needed at this time the 
8uppt)rt o^ the best men of the country. The situation in Pennsylvania is 
described by tht» ConimandiM'-in-C'liief in a letter to General Schuyler, writ- 
ten at Morristown. in March (See Spc.-ks, Vol. lY., p. 3W): "The disaffeO' 
tion in Pefinsylvania, which I fear is much beyond anything you have con* 
ceive«l, and the depression of the people of this State, render a strong sup' 
port necessary to prevent a systematical submission ; besides, the loss of 
Philadelphia would j)rove a very great injury, as we draw from thence al* 
most all our supjilies." 

*This letter ha< n(»t been found among the St. Clair Papers, but the 8ub» 
jects on which it treated are indicated in the above reply. The communi* 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 398 

fully to Congress upon the inexpediency and indeed danger of form- 
ing a camp at Bristol before I am reinforced more strongly here, 
and I hope they will accord with me. 

I am of opinion, with you, that General Howe will never attempt 
Philadelphia without first making a stroke at the army collected 
here. At the same time that I thank you for the desire you express 
for serving in this department, I applaud yoiu* resolution of submit- 
.ting cheerfully to whatever post is assigned you.* 

President Hancock to General St. Clair. 

Philadelphia, April 30, 1777. 
Sir : — The Congress having received intelligence of the approach 
of the enemy towai*ds Ticonderoga, have thought proper to direct 
you to repair thither without delay. I have it, therefore, in charge 
to transmit the enclosed resolve, and to direct that you immediately 
set out on the receipt hereof 

Colonel Anthony Wayne to General Gates. 

Ticonderoga, 25^ April, 1777. 
Dear General: — Our force is so very small that, after furnishing 
the necessary guards — garrisoning the block-houses and half man- 
ning the vessels, together with the usual scouts — we have very few 

cation of Washington to Congress, referred to in the above letter, is not 
included in Sparks's collection. 

* St. Clair had expressed a desire to bo under Washington, but, while not 
being pleased with the resolve of Congress assigning him to Ticonderoga, 
he proceeded to that post with the alacrity of a good soldier. 

* General St. Clair's appointment to the command of Ticonderoga gave 
great umbrage to General Sullivan, who thought he should have been first 
preferred. On the 16th March General Washington took notice of his 
pique in a kind but severe letter, which opened in these words: "Do not, 
my dear General Sullivan, torment yourself any longer with imaginary 
slights, and involve others in the perplexities you feel on that score," and 
then proceeds to justify the assignment of St. Clair and other officers, and 
concludes: ** But I have not time to dwell upon a subject of this kind. I 
shall quit it with an earnest exhortation, that you will not suffer yourself to 
he teased with evils that only exist in the iuiai^ination, and with slights that 
liave no existence at all; keeping in mind, at the same time, that, if distant 
mrmies are to be formed, there are several gentlemen before you in point of 
xank, who have a right to claim a preference.'^ 

894 The St. Clair Papers. 

men left for fatigue. Our whole force, officers, artificers, saflofs, 
mariues, artillery, rank and file, sick and well, don't amount to 
nineteen hundred — one-fourth part of whom are destitute of anns, 
so that I have been necessitated to substitute spears in their place. 
And, from w^hat I can learn, there is not much probability of our 
having any great addition to this force, for a very considerable 
time — so that the militia are absolutely necessary to assist in putting 
the place in some better position of defense, as we can't out of this 
debilitated army furnish fatigue men sufficient for the purpose. I 
have sent Lieutenant Barber to Albany for four hundred stand of 
arms, as it will require that number to complete those who are now 
on the ground without any. You will please to order then\ on 
with all possible dispatch. We have secured the pass between 
Mount Independence and Ticonderoga in such a manner that the 
enemy's ships can not get through below ; and, in case of an at- 
tack, you may rest assured that this post shall be defended until 
succours can have time to arrive. 

State of New Hampshire in Committee of Safety to Dele- 
gates IN Congress. 

May 10th, 1777. 

Oentlemen: — About one-half of the troops proportioned to this 
State to raise as their quota for the Continental Army have marched 
for Ticonderoga, iiud most of them, we suppose, are at that place by 
this time. Another quarter will be on their march in a very few 
days, and tlic remainder as soon as possible. Every nerve is exert- 
ing among the friends of the country to engage and forward them. 

They arc but very ill clothed, and, as cloth can not be procured 
on any terms for that purpose, unless Congress will order Colonel 
Laugdon to let the State have some out of those in his hands, which 
we desire you to endeavor to procure. We have scarce any stock 
of lead and flints, and only three small field pieces in the State; 
therefore would liave you solicit orders to Colonel Langdon to keep 
in this State three or four field pieces, and such quantity of lead and 
flint as the general concern will admit of; a company of artillery- 
men will voluntarily euij^age in this town. A great number of our 
militia are without fire-arms, and the greater part they have are but 
ordinary — if there is such a supply on the continent that consist. 
eutly a small magazine might be left in this State, to be used only 
in of an attack, it might be of great advantage. We have 

Correspondence^ AddresaeSj JBte. 895 

many circumstances come to hand which make it probable a descent 
will soon be made on our coast. We have made several discoveries 
of combinations made by the Tories in Hillsborough and western 
parts of Massachusetts Bay, and upper part of this county ; we 
have reason to believe, by information of persons on oath, that 
some have combined to take arms and join the enemy, when an op- 
portunity offers ; though we hope their numbers are not large. We 
have just heard a hogshead of entrenching tools is discovered under 
a barn in Holies, and a considerable of liquors, some provisions and 
firearms in and about Groton in the Massachusetts. Interesting 
matters are opening, and it is probable all our jails w411 soon be 
filled with these more than monsters in the shape of men, who 
would wreck their native country, in hopes tx) have some of the 
plunder. Although our difficulties are great, and appear to be in- 
creasing, yet a spirit seems to rise with the difficulties among most 
of our people which we hope will not easily be crushed. 

General Gates to General Washington. 

Albany, 30/^ May, 1777. 
Sir: — Late last night the inclosed from General Poor,* was 

1 TicoNDKROQA, May 27, 1777. — 10 o'clock at night. 

Dear Sir: — Preparatory to the execution of a plan to surprise any ports 
which the enemy may have established on the lake. I thought it proper 
yesterday to dispatch a reconnoitering party, with orders to proceed to Split 
Rock, laiit night, to spend this day in observation, and return in the evening 
to an established rendezvous, and make his report. It has returned to this 
place in the moment of the embarkation of the detachment, and informs us 
that they, this morning, landed at Split Rock, about break of day, within 
one hundred and fifty yards of the enemy's advance boat, which the ap- 
proach of day discovered, together with two schooners and six gondolas, all 
within three hundred yards of them. He observed on the west shore about 
forty bateaux, but as there was a thick fog, he could only discover the form 
of the vessels, a number of fires. A very heavy morning gun was dis- 
charged lower down the lake — he thinks at Schuyler's Island. As this re- 
port induced the strongest suspicions of the enemy's approat;!), I thought it 
my duty to forward it to you as speedily as possible, and shall be proud to 
receive your commands. 

You know the strength of the garrison by the last general returns. If 
the post should be invested, which I firmly believe, I much dread we shall 
suffer for pruvisi(»ns. I am, dear sir, 

Your most obedient and ready humble servant, 

Ekogh Poor. 

Hajor-General Gates. 

896 The St. Clair Papers. 

brought me by express from Ticonderoga. X also inclofie your Ex- 
cellency a general return of the garrison at that post, dated the 24th 
instant, by which you will perceive the shameful deficiency in the 
numbers proper for its defense.' Artillerists are likewise much 
wanted. I always expected six companies ; two is as many as can 
be said to be there. The bad weather of late has so cut up the 
roads that the transportation of stores, cannon, and provisions has 
been extremely delayed. I am this moment sending expresses to 
the Eastern States, with a copy of General Poor's letter to each, 
and a pressing requisition for an immediate reinforcement of men, 
either by corps of militia or a draught to complete the regiments 
now at Ticonderoga. 

Your Excellency and Congress may be assured that every thing 
possible for the safety and preservation of that important post shall 
be attempted — but, at the same time, it is to be wished the means 
may be found adequate to the end. 

General St. Clair' to General Schuyler. 

Ticonderoga, June 13, 1777. 
Dear General: — Here follows the substance of the information 
given by two meu from Canada, taken prisoners by one of our par 
ties on Onion Kiver: 

^ May 28th, Gonernl Poor wrote to General Fellows that the garrison of 
Ticonderoga consisti'd of two thousand two hundred and forty, rank and 
lile. On the uOth, General (Jat(^s inclosed copies of the above letters to the 
President and Council of the Massachu.setts Bay, and added: "Tho fifteen 
hundred militia order«'d from tlie County of Hampshire, are not one-third 
arrived, and from what I hear they are likely to be very deficient. I beg 
leave to as^sure you that there is not ii moment to be lost. Thosafety of the 
Northern frontier of the Eastern States requires the spirited exertions of 
the powers of Gov(^rnment to f^avethcm from invasion." Sixth of June, the 
Massachusf'tts Legi-slature directed that the various officers in the counties 
charged with raising troops bo required to provide the same, by draft if 
necessary, l»y tiio 20th of the month. Very little attention seems to have 
been paid t<> tlieso orders. 

^General St. Clair arrived at Ticonderoga and assumed command on the 
12th, the day before the above letter was written, lie had been instructed 
by Congress as to the manner of completing the fortifications, and had been 
assured that the J5riti>h would transfer the larger part of their forces by 
water to aid General Howe in taking Pliiladelphia, which all, including 
General "Washington, thought to be the objective point of the present cam- 

' Correspondence^ Addresses, Etc. 897 

That General Biirgoyne is arrived in Canada, but has brought no 
trooi)s with him ; that the British army is assembling as fast as pos- 
sible at St. Johns ; that the light infantry, which they call the flying 
army, commanded by General Fraser, is already advanced to Point- 
au-Fer; that the whole army is said to consist of about ten thou- 
sand men, a part of which, with Indians under the^ command of Sir 
John Johnson, and Canadians under Captain Mackay, are to pene- 
trate the country by the Mohawk River, whilst the rest of the army 
under General Burgoync, crosses the lake to attack this place ; that 
their fleet (a particular account of which is in the inclosed letter to 
General Sullivan) is all in the lake, and we may depend on their 
being here in a fortnight at farthest. 

From the nature and circumstance of the pass granted to one of 
the two, which I liere inclose, and his own account of the manner 
in which he was sent from INIontreal, viz. : to search for plans of the 
country which he pretended to know were hid at Metcalf s, and his 
being possessed of a considerable sum of Continental money, and 
some gold and silver, I have the strongest suspicion of his being a 
spy,^ and have secured him as such and sent him down to you, both 

paign, and that to cover that movement a feint would be muuc towards 
Ticonderoga. This the Board of War had received from reliable authority. 
St. Clair was to prepare for the reception of a small British force, designed 
to prevent any Eastern troops from being sent to the relief of Washington, 
and this he was to do behind fortifications erected on ground commanded by 

eminences within cannon shot. The British vessels controlled the lakes 


and the only way he could procure information of the enemy was by send- 
ing scouts through an almost impenetrable forest lining the shores of the 

On his way to his post of duty, General St. Clair stopped at Albany to 
confer with General Schuyler. The instructions of that oflBcer were given 
under date of Juno 5th. By those ho was informed that " As the whole of 
our force in the Northern Department, if collected at Ticonderoga, would 
not be capable of properly manning the extensive works on both sides of the 
lake," it would be advisable to devote his first care to Mount Independence 
which was the most defensible, and might be made to sustain a seige; that 
frequent scouts should bo kept out as far as Crown Point; that the boom 
should bo strcMi'^tlHinod by driving piles, so as to prevont the passing of ves- 
sels to the south end of the lake; that as provisions were scarce, great 
economy should be exercised; that attention should be given to requiring 
the men to be cleanly in order to preserve their health; and gave him ten 
thousand dollars for contingent expenses. 

* Amsbury, the supposed spy, when examined by General Schuyler, con. 
firmed the story related to St. Clair. " He stated that the British forces 
were approaching St. John's, and were to advance under General Burgoyne, 
and also that a detachment of British troops, Canadians and Indians was to 

398 The St. Clair Papers. 

that you might have an opportunity to examine him yourself, and 
that, if you should think of him as I do, he might be tried at Al- 
bany, where, should he be found guilty, the sentence will probably 
l^ more adequate to the crime than here ; for I find the officer, who 
lately suffered a spy he had in charge to escape, through grossest 
misconduct, has been honorably acquitted by a court-martial. 

You will likewise find a letter from Colonel Bailey, containing 
the intelligence brought by two Frenchmen sent down by Greneral 
Gates. Though their intelligence diflTers very materially, they agree 

penetrate the country by the way of Mohawk River. He added other par- 
ticulars respecting the strength and arrangements of the British army, which 
turned out to be nearly accurate, but of which no intelligence had before 
been obtained or anticipated; for it had been a favorite idea with Congress 
und the Commander-in-Chief that the British would not operate in force 
from Canada during the present campaign, but that the troops would be 
chiefly brought round by water to reinforce General Howe. Hence the 
small preparations for the defense of Ticonderoga, and for forming a 
Northern army." — Sparks, Vol. IV., p. 467. 

General Washington commented on this information in a letter to Gen- 
eral Schuyler, under date of June 20th: '* Supposing the plan mentioned 
in Amsbury's evidence to be true, I can not conceive that it will be in the 
power of the enemy to carry it into execution; but to provide against all 
events, I have ordered General Putnam to hold four Massachusetts regiments 
in readiness at Peekskill to go up the river at a moment's warning, and to 
order sloops from Albany, which are to be kept for that purpose. It does 
not appear that Burgoyne has brought any reinforcements from Europe. If 
this is eo, he can not move with a greater force than five thousand men. He 
certainly will never leave the garrison of Ticonderoga in his rear; and if 
he invests it to any purpose, he will not have a sufficient number loft to send 
one body from Oswego and another to cut off" the communication between 
Fort Edward and Fort George. As the garrison at Ticonderoga is sufficient 
to hold it against any attack,^ I do not think it politic, under your repre- 
sentation of the scarcity of provisions, to send up troops to consume what 

ought to be thrown into the fort I draw a very favorable omen 

from the intercepted letter to General Sullivan.^ It shows that they despair 
of carrying their scheme by force, and are reduced to the necessity of having 
recourse to the arts of flattery, bribery and intimidation." 

1 General Wushington did not have a clear conception of the nature of the works 
at Ti(Mjndero};n, which he thought the enemy would have to assail directly in front, 
as in former wars; nor did he seem to understand that the troops ordered from Mas- 
sachusetts hud not come in, notwithstanding the representations of General 8t Cl&ir. 
and, before him, Generals Gates and Wayne. 

2 Amsbury related that before leaving Montreal a Judge Levins had given him a 
canteen, with instructions to give it to General Sullivan, whom he supposed to com- 
mand at Ticonderoga. an«l to request General Sullivan to remove a false bottom in 
the canteen, under which ho would find a letter. The bottom was removed, and a 
letter found as described. 

Correspondence, Addresses, Etc. 399 

in the circumstance of General Burgoyne's arrival ; and if these 
fellows have really been sent by him to see what we are about, there 
was no method more likely to procure them an easy reception than 
that of giving an account of the preparations in Canada, and car- 
rying, or pretending to carry, letters from our friends. The letter 
to General Sullivan may, notwithstanding, be genuine, and Ams- 
bury says it was wTitten by one Michael Shannon. This name is 
found upon a separate piece of paper, in a fair hand, which he 
seemed unwilling to part with, and which I suppose to have been a 
private signal by which he was to be known upon his return. 

If the enemy intend to attack us, I assure you, sir, we are very ill- 
prepared to receive them. The whole amount of Continental troops, 
fit for duty, is fifteen hundred and seventy-six, rank and file, ex- 
clusive of Baldwin's artificers and WhitcomVs fifty-two rangers. 
Besides these, there are three regiments of Hampshire militia, en- 
gaged for no particular term, and who go off* whenever they please. 
One hundred and fifty are gone since last return ; two regiments of 
Sfctssachusetts militia, of two hundred and fifty rank and file, fit for 
duty, engaged for two months from their arrival, three weeks of 
which with some of them is already expired. 

Among the number returned sick there is no doubt but many 
would be useful in case of necessity, but, at any rate, we can not 
reckon upon more than twenty-two hundred men. 

I am very much concerned to give you this disagreeable detail, 
but I have something worse to add to it. We can not increase our 
numbers by calling in the militia without ruin ; for, by the com- 
missary's return and the account of his weekly expenditure, there is 
meat for seven weeks only on the ground, and he has no prospect 
of any supply of salt meat, but from some place near Stillwater, 
nor of fresh, but by sending to New England for it. This I have 
desired to do, but must own I have little prospect of advantage from 
it; for be assured that, and indeed every other communication, 
may and will very easily be cut off*. I have heard of some cattle 
below Crown Point, which I shall send for to-morrow. 

The bridge goes on tolerably well, but, indeed, is a very heavy, 
troublesome job. The caissons. Colonel Baldwin says, will be all 
sunk by the end of next week. In the meantime, I have ordered 
the floating bridge to be removed to the lower side of them, which 
will serve as a kind of second boom, and retard at least, if not pre- 
vent, the enemy's vessels from passing, should they attempt it. 

A magazine of wood should be laid in immediately, but how to 
effect it I know not, as there are no teams here of any kind, and 

400 The St. Clair Papers. 

not a stick upon the Mount. All of the timber for the bridge is 
hauled out of the woods by hand, and employs a much greater num. 
ber of men than would otherwise be necessary, and might be employed, 
and are wanted, for other purposes. What can the quartermaster 
mean by leaving this place, where so many works are to be carried 
on, without so necessary an article as draught-cattle? 

The tents here are, in general, very bad. I must beg you, my 
dear general, to hasten up the new tents, for I shall get no good of 
the troops here, in any way, whilst they remain in barracks. 

Our powder-magazines are in so wretched a state, that I am told 
near fifty pounds of powder a week is damaged. In short, every 
thing is so much out of order, that I will add no more to this list 
of grievances, than to tell you we have no cartridge paper. 

When I write again, I hope to have something more agreeable to 
entertain you with. 

P. S. I forgot to mention a paper in which Amsbur/s money was 
wrapped, and is also inclosed ; it is blurred and blotted, but you 
will observe it contains a letter from Eph. Jones to his brother, 
dated Jime 2d, about the time Amsbury left Montreal, and is a cor- 
roborating circumstance of the fellow's evil design. 

I should have called upon the militia* but for the state of our mag- 
azine. Should they come in fast, which I believe they would, they 
might eat us out before either the arrival of the enemy or the sup- 
plies. Please give your direction on this head as soon as possible. 

The bateaux are in ruin for want of pitch and tar, which Colonel 
!May says he has often wrote for. 

Adams, the other of the prisoners, seems to be an innocent fellow, 
and whom Amsbury brought off with him without knowing his er- 
rand ; he was taken by Mackay at the Sabbath-day Point. 

1 " It 18 evident from General St. Clair's letter that it will not be proper 
to ordor up the reinforcement before it is really wanted; for he very judi- 
ciously observes that they will consume the stores. I can not conceive what 
occafiions the delay of the Massachusetts and New Ilampshire Continental 
troops; I have repeatedly written in the most pressing manner to have them 
sent on, but in vain." — Washington to Schuyler in letter be/ore quoted. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 401 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROGA, Juiie 18, 1777. 

Dear Oeneral : — ^Inclosed you have the returns of the troops and 
stores at this place, all except the clothier's, which is so drained, I 
thought it needless to ask any from him, as he has almost literally 

Since my last, I have had constant scouts out, but have made no 
discovery of the enemy, save that four of their vessels are lying 
about a mile on the hither side of Split Rock ; they consist of two 
ships and two gondolas; and on Friday last a schooner beat up 
within four miles i^f Crown Point, but, without landing any of her 
people or coming to anchor, returned down the lake. 

Yesterday, about noon, we had two men, who had strolled out of 
camp without arms, taken by a party of savages, who had stolen 
down to the roadside by Mcintosh's and the bridge, and concealed 
themselves in the bushes ; they were immediately pursued as far as 
Putnam's creek, but could not be overtaken ; unluckily, however, 
they fell in with a scouting party I had sent down to discover the 
motions of the enemy, but were upon their return, and fired upon 
them unexpectedly. The officer is wounded, one man killed and 
scalped, and one missing, but whether taken or not is as yet uncer- 
tain. Another party, that I had ordered to proceed to Point-au- 
Fer, or wherever the enemy might be, returned last night, on dis- 
covering a large party of Indians on the east side of the lake, about 
four miles above Crown Point. I think of sending to feel their 
pulse to-night, as I am sure . it would be of consequence to give 
these fellows a drubbing. 

I am at a loss to form a judgment of the design of the enemy. 
K they mean to attack us, one would think it indiscreet to put us 
on our guard by such a trifling aflair ; and yet I can not think they 
could prevail with any number of the savages to come on, unless 
they had an army not far off* to support them. Be that as it will, I 
shall use every precaution possible against surprise, and will en- 
deavor to penetrate their designs. The same reason, notwithstand- 
ing our weakness, still prevails against calling for the militia as 
when I wrote last, having as yet received no supply of meat, either 
fresh or salt. 

Do you know, sir, any thing about the terms upon which Captain 

WhitcomWs corps was raised? He informs me that by General 

Gates's orders he promised his people that they should have the 

402 The St. Clair Papers. 

same bounty as the troops of the State in which they were raised, 
notwithstanding they were not part of their quota. This promise 
has not been complied with, and they are held by a conditional 
agreement only, which expires this day. I shall be able to retain 
them, however, until you favor them with your answer. 

I am making some improvements on the Mount, but that and the 
Ticonderoga side have such dependence upon and connection with 
each other that, in my opinion, it will be very dangerous to give up 
either, and yet it is certain we can not, with our present numbers, 
hold both. I design, however, to make the appearance of doing it, 
and afler defending Ticonderoga as long as possible, retreat to 
Mount Independence. 

Our guards are crowded with Tories ; they are dangerous here, 
and can not be properly tried. I have ordered them to Albany. 

The bridge goes heavily on ; the caissons not all sunk yet, but 
the timber is almost all cut and in the water. The officers of the 
fleet have not received commissions, and are very uneasy about it. 

General St. Clair to James Wilson. 

Ticonderoga, June 18, 1777. 

Dear Sir: — This is the first time I have wrote to you since I left 
Philadelphia, and am very sorry to make any complaints, but I am 
much disappointed in the strength of the garrison and the state of the 
fortifications at this place. Instead of their having been improved 
during the winter, which was expected, they are much worse than 
when I left them, a very strong al)atis, in which the security of 
Mount Independence chiefly consisted, having been almost entirely 
burned up in the winter, and a great part of the breastwork de- 

This would be a matter of little consequence should it turn out 
that the enemy have no designs upon us;^ that, however, is 

^ " From tho enemy's situation in Jersey, collecting their force at Amboy 
and Brunswick, and from their intentions last fall, confirmed by every piece 
of intelligence we obtain this spring, it scarce admits a doubt that Philadel- 
phia is the object in view at the opening of this campaign. If this be their 
aim, it appears to me hiirhly probable, their army being greatly reduced 
since the commencement of the last campaign, that they will bring round 
all the troops from Canada to reinforce those here. What Berves to confirm 
mo in this opinion is the facility with which a junction can be made in this 
way, the necessity they are under of a reinforcement, and the great •eouriiy 

Correspondence^ Addresses ^ Etc. 408 

dodbifnl, though, by some intelligence I have received, I am 
induced to think they are meditating an attack. Should this 
be the case, I fear they will be but too successful, as our num« 
bers are greatly unequal to the vast extent of ground we must oc- 
cupy. I shall do the best, however, I can, and if they should not 
be repulsed, I hope to see them so crippled as not to be able to pur- 
sue their journey. In serious earnest, this place has been too much 
neglected, and it is disagreeable enough for a man to see himself in 
a place from whence a retreat is impossible, with a force insufficient 
for the defense of it, and that you will readily perceive. Our 
works would demand ten thousand men, and I have not more than 
twenty-two hundred. I shall endeavor, however, to support both 
sides of the lake as long as it can be done, and finally retreat to the 
Mount. Men, however, might be got here had we provisions, but 
we are so short in that article that I dare not call in the militia, as 
in a couple of weeks they would eat up the whole stock of meat. 

We had one man killed and two taken prisoners by a party of In- 
dians yesterday, within sight of the out guards. They had con- 
cealed themselves in the bushes, and rushed suddenly upon some 
unarmed men, who had strolled out a fishing. They were immedi- 
ately pursued, but without success, though their flight was so pre- 
cipitate that they dropped their packs and blankets. In their retreat 
they fell in with a party that had been sent to make discoveries, 
with whom they exchanged several rounds. The lieutenant that 
commanded the party and one man are wounded, one killed and 
scalped, and one missing. What injury they sustained is not known, 
but it is probable they must have met with some loss, as they were 
not more than ten steps distant when they fired. Another party 
of Indians were discovered last night encamped on the east side of 
the lake about four miles above Crown Point. I mean to speak 
with them to-night, and if we can but give them a dressing it will 
render them more cautious. 

It is hard, with the little information we have^ to form a judg- 
ment of the enemy's designs. This is certain, that General Bur- 
goyne has been arrived in Canada for some time, and he has not 

the command of the lakes gives them against our incursions into Canada. 
Under these considerations, I can not help thinking much too large a part 
of our force is directed to Ticonderoga. Peekskill appears to me a much 
more proper place, where, if the troops are drawn together, they will be ad- 
vantageously situated to give support to any of the Eastern or Middle 
States." — General Washington to General Schuyler^ March 12, 1777. Sparka, 
Vol. IV., p. 868. 

404 The St. Clair Papers. 

eome to pass the summer inactive. Perhaps he may take the troops 
around to General Howe ; certain he will either take them there or 
bring them here. 

My dear friend, if you should not hear from me again, which 
may probably be the case, remember that I have given you this ac- 
count of our situation, and do not suffer my reputation to be mur* 
dered after having been sacrificed myself. 

The prospect may clear up yet, for all this. 

Council of General Officers, held at Ticonderoga, on 

Friday, tiie 20™ of June, 1777. 

Present — Major-General Schuyler, Major-General St. Clair, Briga- 
dier-General Roche de Fermoy, Brigadier-General Poor, and Briga- 
dier-General Patterson. 

General Schuyler requested the council to take into consideration 
the state of this post, with respect to the number of troops necessary 
for its defense, the disposition of the troops and mode of defense, 
the state of the fortifications, and the quantity of provisions that 
may be dei)ended upon. 

The council having taken into their most serious consideration 
the several matters stated in the first article, are clearly and unani- 
mously of opinion : 

Fird — That the number of troops now at this post and Mount 
Independence, which are under two thousand five hundred effective 
rank and file, are greatly inadequate to the defense of both posts. 

Second — That both posts ought, nevertheless, to be maintained as 
long as possible, consistent with the safety of the troops and stores. 

Third — Tluit if it should become necessary to evacuate one or the 
other of the posts, and that it remains in one election which, that it 
ought to be the Ticonderoga side. 

Fourth — That such cannon and stores as are not immediately nec- 
essary on the Ticonderoga side, be removed without delay to 
Mount Independence. 

Fifth — Tliat the fortifications and lines on Mount Independence 
are very deficient, and that the repairing the old and adding new 
works ought to claim immediate attention ; and that the engineers 
be direectcd to repair and make the necessary fortifications. 

Sixtii — That the obstructions in the lake, to prevent the enemy's 
naval force from getting into our rear, and thereby cutting off all 
supplies, or preventing a retreat, if such a measure should unhap- 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 405 

pilj become indispensably necessary, ought to be completed with all 
imaginable dispatch. 

Seveivth — ^That so much remains to be done effectually to complete 
the obstructions, that, with the few troops we have, there is no 
great probability it can be done in less than six weeks. 

EiglUh — ^That, although our forces may be adequate to maintain 
our ground on Mount Independence, yet, imless a sufficient stock of 
provisions can be thrown in before the arrival of the enemy, we 
having now only thirty-nine days' provisions of meat kind, we think 
it would be imprudent to expose the army to be made prisoners by 
the enemy ; and that, therefore, it is prudeut to provide for a re- 
treat ; to effectuate which, that all the bateaux now at this post be 
immediately repaired, and as many as can be spared out of Lake 
George be brought hither. 

Ninth — ^That a quantity of provision of the meat kind should, 
if possible, be immediately forwarded from Albany or elsewhere. 

Tenth — That immediate application be made to his Excellency 
General Washington, for a reinforcement to be sent on with all pos- 
sible expedition. 

(Signed,) Philip Schuyler, 

Arthur St. Clair, 
Roche de Fermoy, 
Enoch Poor, 
John Patterson, 

General Schuyler to General St. Clair. 

Fort George, Jwie 24, 1777. 

I arrived here yesterday afternoon, and am now busied in arrang- 
ing matters a little, that stores may be forwarded with more regu- 
larity than heretofore. 

In a day or two you will receive all the pork and salted beef now 
at this post, fifty barrels only excepted. Eighteen barrels are only 
come from Albany since March last. When the pork and other 
articles are sent on, the flour will come in the large schooner only, 
until you can have more time and spare cattle to transport it from 
the landing to the saw-mills. Seven barrels of tar go over to-day, 
and two of iron, with all the tents that are arrived iicrc, together 
with four boxes of axes, and about three hundred bushels of peas, 
and about twenty new bateaux. These should be carried across the 
soonest possible, and not suffered to be used. The remainder will 
come on from day to day. 

406 The St. Clair Papers. 

Vtbj, oblige me with your commands for whatever you may need 
for public or private use. 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TiCONDEROGA, JuTve 24, 1777. 

Dear General: — Sergeant Heath, who I sent down the lake to 
make discoveries, returned last night, and informs me that on Tues- 
day last he saw two birch canoes going down the lake with sixteen 
Indians and three white men in them, and supposes it was the party 
that had done the mischief near the lines the day before. That 
from a place near the mouth of Otter Creek, he saw three vessels, 
under sail, beating up, one at anchor about one mile above Split 
Kock, and the Thunderer behind it. From this place he likewise 
descried an encampment of the enemy on lx)th sides of Gilliland's 
Creek ; that, from the appearance of it, and the extent, he thinks it 
must contain a great body of men, and that number of smokes arose 
at a distance back, which he supposes was from the encampment of 
the Indians. That on Friday last, from Pointon, he saw twenty bat- 
eaux come out of Gilliland's Creek, and sail up the lake past the 
Split Rock towards Ticonderogii ; that one of the inhabitants, ir 
whom he could place confidence, informed him that the Indians 
were very numerous; that tliey frequently cross to the east side of 
the lake, and that a party of them had been at his house a few min- 
utes before his arrival ; that he then returned to Otter Creek, where 
he proposed to have halted to refresh his party, but, on being in- 
formed that a large party of Indians were at one Briton's, he made 
the best of his way here. One of his party this day fell behind a 
little, and was either taken or deserted ; he susi>ects the latter, be- 
cause he both waited for him, and sent back to look for him ; that 
one Webb, another inhabitant, informed him that the enemy had 
been four or five days at Gilliland's ; tliat they came up with a vast 
number of bateaux and some gondolas; that some of the troops 
come over frequently, and say tlieir whole army is there, and that 
they are only waiting the arrival of the rest of their vessels and 
stores, wlien thoy are to attack this j)lace. 

I have no doubt that a party of the enemy are at Gilliland's, nor 
that their design is to come here, but not in my opinion to attack, 
but to harass us, and give confidence to their savages, who, it is 
more than probable, would not have l)een prevailed upon to under- 
take it without Ixnng joined by some regular troops. 

Were they iu force, it is improbable they would waste time at 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 467 

such a distance, in a part of the country where they can find 
nothing to refresh themselves ; and I do not find that they have 
made any depredations on the east side. 

It is not easy to judge of a force at a distant view of an encamp- 
ment, and Heath must have been six miles or more distant ftoxa 
that on Gilliland's Point, a distance too great to determine any thing 
with precision, although he had a glass to assist his eye. Besides, 
I think the ground is not capable of encamping a great number (for 
he insists on it they are not on high ground, but upon the beach 
only), but of this you are a much better judge than I, as I never 
saw it but once. Be the matter as it may, I shall endeavor to guard 
against sur])rise, and to discover both them and their designs ; and» 
if opportunity offers, feel their pulse a little. 

I had all the ground between this and Crown Point, from the 
lake some distance over the mountains, well examined yesterday 
with a heavy scout, but they discovered no enemy, nor appearance 
of any. Whitcomb says he is certain that there has not been any 
Indians, but three, in that quarter since the prisoners were taken, 
and that it was three or four days since these three had been there; 
so that the Indians said to have been about us were, I believe, the 
children of a dLstiirlxid imagination. 

You had an exceedingly bad time to cross the lake, but I hope you 
got well over, and without any injury to your health, though it 
must have been exposed, as I doubt if you were not obliged to be 
out a second night. I shall write again to you by express the mo- 
ment I make any farther discoveries. 

Colonel James Wilkinson to General Gates. 

TicONDEROGA, H. Q., June 25fA, 1777. 

My Dear General : — I have not as yet, nor shall I in future, omit 
one opportunity of communicating to you every material occur- 
rence in our department ; if ray letters, therefore, should not reach 
you, do not accuse rac of negligence or ingratitude, but ascribe this 
circumstance to that insatiable gulf, which has ever swallowed up 
all intelligence either to or from this post. 

The enemy by gradual movements, which have been duly trans- 
mitted to General Schuyler, last evening arrived at Crown Point 
with some vessels and a part of their army, who have encamped 
on Chimney Point. We are induced to believe from a morning 
gun, which was repeated down the lake, that their whole force is at 


408 The St. Clair Papers. 

hand, and a^ they have lately taken several prisoners, and the neigh, 
bormg inhabitants have had free access to this camp, lam persuaded 
they will obtain a true state of. our weakness, which will indubitably 
precipitate their operations : in which case the post is inevitably lost, 
for if we risk a battle the inferiority of our numbers (without a 
miracle, which we aimiers have no right to expect) will subject us to 
defeat and captivity ; and if we retire to Mount Independence, the 
scantiness of our provisions will subject us to reduction by fiimine, 
as the ejiemy, wlieu in possession of this side of the lake, can easily 
remove the obstructions up the south bay, and by their fleet cut off 
our communicjition from Skenesl)orougli. The militia are at our 
command, but should we call them in, immediate starvation is the 
consequence, as General Schuyler has lately assured us that we have 
no right or reason to expect more than three hundred Imrrels of 
meat in addition, and we can not subsist our present small garrison 
longer than seven weeks with what is on tlie ground. The distance 
from whence our supplies are derived, and the difficulty of trans- 
portation, both tend to embarrass us. In this cruel situation what 
can be done ? The most lau<iablc measure, in my opinion, would 
be to remove our heavy artillery and stores, and the convalescents 
and invalids of the army, to Fort George. Being then light and 
unincuml)ered, we might, if hard pushed, eflect a retreat to that 
pf)st, which would enable us to check the enemy's progress ; on the 
contniry, should we attempt to support this place in our present de- 
ficiout situation, we lose a//, and leave the country defenseless and 
exposed. What, then, will th(»re ]ye to obstruct their favorite scheme 
— a junction by th(» North River? Nothing that I can discern. You 
rememlKT the state of arms I transmitted vou on mv first arrival 
here; I am sorrv to inform vou tliat thev are not now better in 

. * * * 

quality, or superior in nunilx^r. Our men are harassed to extreme 
weakness by fatigue, an<l the strong guards which we are now 
obliged to estal>lish will in a little time quite break up their spirits 
and constitutions. If fortitude, if enterprise, if |Kirseverance or 
temerity couhl avail, I would not complain; but, in the name of 
Heaven, what can be expected from a naked, undisciplined, badly 
armed, unac<"outered body of men, when opposed to a vast superior- 
ity of British troops? 

What can be done, the great St. Clair will effect; but such is the 
weakness of our numbers, that he can not form any plan of defense. 
Of the two, 1 prefer death to captivity; but be the event as it will, 
I shall not discrnice mv accpiaintance. 

General Schuyler has been here a few days, but is now in Albany. 

Correspondence, Addresses, Etc. 409 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROOA, June 25f^, 1777. 

Dear OenercU: — I informed you yesterday that an encampment 
of the enemy had been discovered at Gilliland's Creek ; last night 
two of their vessels came up to Crown Point, and this morning 
there are seven lying at that place ; the rest of their fleet is proba- 
bly but a little lower down, as we hear their morning guns distinctly 
at different places ; they also debarked some troops, and encamped 
upon Chimney Point ; whether they have landed at Crown Point or 
not, ray scout-boat did not discover, not darina: to venture far 
enough down the lake, on account of the shipping ; but I have sent 
out a scout on this side, which, I doubt not, will bring a just ac- 
count of their situation. I can not help repeating to you the disa- 
greeable situation we are in, nor can I see the least prospect of our 
being able to defend the post, unless the militia come in; and, 
should the enemy protract their oix^rations, or invest us, and con- 
tent themselves with a simple stockade, we arc infallibly ruined. 

I have thoughts of calling for the Berkshire militia, which are 
nearest to us, and will probably be the most alert to come to our as- 
sistance, because they are in some measure covered by this post, but 
on that I shall ccmsult the other general officers. This, however, is 
clear to me, that we shall l>e obliged to abandon this side, and then 
they will soon force the other from us, nor do I see that a retreat 
will, in any shape, be practicable. Every thing, however, shall be 
done that is possible, to friLstrate the enemy's designs, but what can 
be expected from troops ill armed, naked and unaccoutered? 

I shall write you again as soon as the scout returns. 

General Schuyler to General St. Clair. 

Saratoga, Thursday Morning^ June 26<A, 1777. 
Dear General : — Your favor of the 24th was delivered to me last 
evening. If the enemy should not mean a furious attack on your 
post, their movement is probably calculated to cover an attempt on 
New Hampshire, the Mohawk River, or to cut off* the communica- 
tion between Fort George and Fort Edward, or, perhaps, all thcs. • 
I wish you, therefore, to keep a small scout on the east side of tlie 
lake, near the road leading from St. John's to New Hampshire, and 
others as far west as the road leading to the north branch of Hud- 
son's River. 

410 The St. Clair Papers. 

I have dispatched an express to Congress, to Greneral Washing- 
ton, and have entreated the latter to afford us a reinforcement 
Pray let nothing be left at the landing, and the bateaux be brought 
over as soon as possible, that your retreat may not be cut off, should 
you be unable to maintain your post. I can not learn that any 
troops are arrived at Albany. I shall hasten to that place to for- 
ward on whatever I can, and to be in the way to bring up the mili- 
tia, if necessary. God bless you, and believe me, etc. 

General St. Clatr to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROGA, Jutie 26tft, 1777. 
Sir : — ^This moment I have received information from Hoite, of 
Otter Creek, that a large party of Indians and Tories are gone up 
that creek, supposed to be five hundred, and are designed to cut off 
the communication by Skenesborough. They took a pair of oxen 
from one of the inhabitants, and drove them about two miles above 
Middlebury Falls, where they halted the day before yesterday, and 
killed and dressed the cattle ; and it is supposed that to-night they 
will be at the new road, near Castleton, wliich is twenty-eight miles 
from hence, and twelve or fourteen from Skcneslwrough. They re- 
ported that a very large party were gone on the west side of the 
lake, to fall ajK)!! Fort George. They are said to consbt of a thous- 
and Indians and Canadians. We have also had, just now, another 
attack at the mills. We have two men killed, two taken, and two 
wounded — one mortally. The scene thickens fast, and Sunday 
next, it seems, is fixed for the attack on this place. We must make 
the best of it we (Min, and I hope at least to cripple them so as they 
may not be able to pursue their fortune, should it declare in their 
favor. I sent a party down last night to reconnoiter them, who 
are not yet returned, which gives me some uneasine^. I hope, how- 
ever, they are safe, and will bring me some intelligence of conse- 
quence. I have some thoughts, if they are not numerous, of 
attacking them. If they get the worst, it will oblige them to recall 
their parties ; if not, there will be too many left to become prison- 
ers. I have sent to the Grants, to inform them of the Otter Creek 
party, and to desire that all they can possibly spare of the militia 
may be ready to march at a minute's warning. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 411 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDERQGA> June 28, 1777. 
Dear General: — My scout on which I depended much for intelli- 
gence, is not yet returned, nor, I fear, ever will now. It consists 
of three men only, the best of Whitcomb's ^ people, and picked out 
by him for that purpose. The woods are so full of Indians, that it 
is difficult for parties to get through. I shall send off Whitcomb 
himself presently, for intelligence I must have, although I am very 
loath to put him upon it, lest he should fall into the hands of the 
enemy, who have no small desire to have him in their power. I 
sent Colonel Warner to the Grants, yesterday, to raise a body of 
men to oppose the incursions of the savages that are gone by Otter 
Creek, and have ordered him to attack and rout them, and join me 
again as soon as possible. I am very happy to find that the country 
have been apprised of the march of that party, before Warner got 
to Skenesborough, as it may probably prevent their success, and 
may end in their ruin. We are going on with the necessary works 
on the Mount as fast as possible, and have removed the most val- 
uable of the stores and provisions on the other side. The bridge is 
in very little more forwardness than when you left this place, to ap- 
pearance, though they tell me that to-day will finish getting timber 
for it. The boom is likewise placed, but very feebly secured for 
want of rope for the cables. A party of Bradford's arrived yester- 
day in good season, and had a pleasing effect upon our people, who, 
never the most lively or gallant, began to show signs of dejection 
already. How they may hold out, God knows, but this has raised 
their spirits a little. I could wish that J;he bateaux were all over 
soon, or that you would not send them. I am extremely apprehen- 
sive that the enemy will possess themselves of the landing; in 
which case they may faU into their hands. We can not venture the 
teams now without a strong guard, and so many parties as we are 
obliged to make with the fatigues, will very soon wear down our 
men. We can do nothing but form conjectures about the force of 
the enemy, for I can not find a single j^erson on whom I can depend 
to venture amongst them for intelligence ; but from their manner 
of beginning the campaign, I conclude they are either in full force 
or very weak, and hope, by letting loose the Indians, to intimidate 

^ Captain Whitcomb was a noted scout, and was relied on to select men to 
act as spies, etc. 

412 The St. Clair Papers. 

us. I mtJrne jo believe the last, but have, as yet, no certain rule 
to go by; however, we must know soon, and it is said they have 
marked to-morrow to attack. I beg leave to refer you to Colonel 
Varick for further particulars, who takes the charge of this letter. 

General Schuyler to General St. Clair. 

Albany, June 28, 1777. — 11 o'clock a. m. 

Your favor of the 25th instant is this moment delivered to me. 
It seems as if the enemy mean a real attack on your post. I shall 
move the militia of this State as soon as I can collect them, and dis- 
patch messengers to the Eastern States for as many as they can 
send.^ The militia from T\Tone county I shall order to be kept in 
readinass to protect the Western frontiers, having just received in- 
telligence that Sir John Johnson is on his way to attack us in that 

God bless and protect you, and the troops under your command. 
I shall exert myself to afford you every assistance I possibly can. 

Your favor of the 2()th is just come to hand. I have dispatched 
a copy of it to General Washington, and to the Council of Safety 
of this State. The orders for the militia to march up are already 

General Schuyler to General Wasihngton. 

Albany, June 28f/i, 1777. — 11 o'clock a. m. 
Dear Sir: — ... I am this moment favored with a letter 
of the 2oth instant, from General St. Clair, a coj)y whereof I 
herewith transmit. Should an accident happen to the garrison of 
Ticunderoga, and General Burgoyne make a push to gain the south 
part of the lake, I know of no obstacle to prevent him ; compara- 
tively speaking, I have not a man to oppose him ; the whole num- 

* General Sehuyler wrote on the same day to the President of Massa- 
chusetts Hay, saying: "Our garrison at Ticonderoga is greatly inadequate 
to the defense of the extensive works on both sides of the lake, and 1 have 
unhappily no troops to reinforce them." ** I have written to the committee 
of Berkshire, and requested them to call upon the adjacent counties and dis- 
tricts in that State and Connecticut. Sliould the militia turn out with spirit, 
I am in licpes we >hall be able to baffle the enemy." But the militia did not 
turn out, and nothing was done to aid in defense until alter the evacuation 
of the posts, and the people feared the British more than they regarded their 
<»vvn comfort. 

Correspondence y Addresses^ Etc. 413 

ber at the different posts at and on this side of the lake, including 
the garrison's of Fort Greorge and Skenesborough not exceeding 
seven hundred men, and these I can not draw away from their 
several stations; in every one of which they are already much too 
weak. It is, therefore, highly necessary that a strong reinforce- 
ment should, without delay, be sent me. If the sloops are not yet- 
sent to bring the troops, your Excellency has ordered to be kept in 
readiness at Peekskill, I shall push them off without delay. As it 
is not probable that we shall in time be supplied with field pieces 
from the eastward, I must entreat that the reinforcements may 
bring some up with them. I have this moment also received a let- 
ter from Mr. Deane, the Indian interpreter, extracts whereof I in- 
close you. As the information tallies exactly with what I had be- 
fore, it leads me to conclude that an irruption will be made from the 
westward. I shall apply for the aid of the militia of this and the 
neighboring States, but I fear it will not be very powerful, as many 
must be necessarily left at home. I have received a letter from the 
Commissary-General, which I think neither so temperate or decent 
as it should be. I shall take the first leisure hour to transmit you a 
copy, with my answer, in which I believe it will be evinced from 
authentic returns, that the scarcity of provisions in this department 
is, in a great measure, if not altogether, to be imputed to a want of 
attention in the persons whose duty it was to supply this depart- 

P. 8. — I have sent express to General Putnam to hasten on the 
troops your Excellency had ordered to be in readiness for this quarter. 
Since writing the above, I have received another letter from Gen- 
eral St. Clair, a copy whereof is inclosed. I am in pain about Fort 
Greorge, but have no troops to throw in, and some time will neces- 
sarily elapse before the militia can be got to march. 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TicoNDEROGA, June 30, 1777. — 1:30 o'clock. 
Dear General : — This morning some of the enemy's gun-boats ap- 
peared at the Three-Mile Point, when the alarm was given. We 
could see them disembark a number of men, and the boats in- 
creased to eighteen, which are now lying abreast from the hither 
side of the Point to about half-way across the lake; The bateaux 
in which they transported their troops are not come in sight, lying 
on the far side of the Point, under cover of it. 

414 The St. Clair Papers. 

Soon after their landing, a party, chiefly Indians and Canadians, 
pushed towards our lines. As we had a scout down the lake at the 
time of their arrival, I immediately sent out two parties to support 
them and bring them off. The scouts fell in with the enemy, and 
after a few shots, in which they say some of the Indians were 
killed, they, being overpowered by numbers, dispersed, and part of 
them have got in, and I have little doubt but the greatest part of 
them will yet make their appearance. It is probable, however, that 
some of them have fallen into their hands. We have had one or 
two alarms before this, but it was occasioned by their boats coming 
up near our guard-boats, and their firing upon them. 

My people are in the best disposition possible, and I have no 
doubt about giving a good account of the enemy, should they think 
proper to attack us ; and if the person I mentioned to you in my last 
pursued the opportunity that now presents itself, they will go back 
&ster than they came on. He has above a thousand men. 

General St. Clair to Lieutenant-Colonel Hay. 

[Instructions.] TiCONDEROGA, July 1, 1777. 

Sir : — I wish you to go with the party ordered to escort the wag- 
ons to-morrow to Lake Greorge Landing, and direct the loading of 
the most valuable and necessary articles first, which will be deliv- 
ered at the hither landing and embarked on board the scow, which 
must be sent up for that pur]K)so, and forwarded to this place. The 
wagons will then return, and bring what remains to camp, under 
the convoy of Colonel Cockburn, who I wish to consult with you 
about every thing necessary. You will order Captain Hutchins, 
who commands at the landing, after every thing is removed, or can 
Ix) removed, to fit out and man all the bateaux at the landing, or 
as many of tliem as his and Lieutenant Lyford's party can manage, 
and proceed witli them to Fort George, taking for the signal of their 
departure the burning of the block-houses and mills at the hither 
landing, which you will direct the officer commanding there to exe- 
cute and retreat to the lines, forming the rear guard for Colonel 
Cockburn. I wish as many of Lieutenant Lyford*s party to re- 
turn here as possible ; but if the landing of the bateaux demand 
thoni, they must all go, and they and Captain Hiitcliins' party re- 
turn to this place by Skenesborough or the lake, as either commu- 
nication may be oi)en. 

Correspondence^ Addresses^ Etc. 415 

Any bateaux that can not be carried off from the landing must 
be destroyed. 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TiCONDEROGA, Jvlxf 1, 1777. 

Dear Oeneral: — ^Not finding a convenient opportunity to send off 
my letter, I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter of the 28th. The success of General Washington over Gen- 
eral Howe is an event of such importance as must destroy every 
prospect of the enemy's carrying their plans into execution, should 
they succeed here. I have ordered a feu-de-joie upon the occasion, 
and will find some way to communicate the intelligence to the en- 
emy. They have now two ships, eighteen gun-boats, and three 
sloops, lying off the Three-Mile Point, and they are forming a camp 
upon the point, and retrenching it. This does not look like their 
being strong. Other matters I hope to manage to-morrow morning, 
but can not be particular, for fear of accidents. 

P. S. This moment I have discovered that they are throwing a 
boom across the river. Bravo I ^ 

General St. Clair to General Schuyler. 

TiCONDEROGA, July 2, 1777. 
Dear Oeneral: — ^Yesterday at noon, in the very instant of the 
fevrd&joiey which consisted of thirteen pieces of cannon (the mus- 
ketry might have discovered to the enemy our numbers), forty-one 
bateaux appeared off the Three-Mile Point, crossed the lake, and 
landed troops on the east side, in the bay formed behind the Long 
Point, opposite to the Three-Mile Point. I observed them very at- 
tentively, and am certain they did not contain, en an average, above 
twenty men. It is not improbable, however, that part of the troops 
transported in them from Canada may have landed on the western 
side, so low down as to be out of our sight, and I am rather inclined 
to think this the case, from their camp extending a considerable 
distance down the lake, and its being much too large for the number 
of men we saw embark at the Point. 

1 The hope now was that Burgoyne had few troops with him (and the great 
precaution taken in throwing up works gave color to the theory), in which 
case the defense of Ticonderoga would seem to be practicable. 

416 The St. Clair Papers. 

I am in great pain for the bateaux and stores at the landing. We 
can not possibly get thcra over (the enemy having possessed them- 
selves of Mount Hope), without risking such large detachments as 
must oblige us to come to action in the open field, which would not 
he altogether prudent. I had ordered a party to bring them off 
this moruing, but the escape of some of the cattle, and the stupid- 
ity of the drivers, retarded us so much that day appeared, and it 
was then too late to attempt it. The design was, therefore, laid 
aside, and a party sent to reinforce the party at the landing, with 
orders to take back the stores to Fort George, and all the bateaux, 
destroying the block-house and such bateaux as they might not be 
able to carry off. At the same time, I sent orders to the block-house 
at the mills, which has been attacked several times, and was sur- 
rounded yesterday all day, for the officer to set fire to it and the 
mills, and to retire to camp, which he has this moment effected. 
The jmrty gone over with the boats I have desired to return to 
Skcnesborough. It will be of the utmost importance to secure that 
communication, which I have no doubt of your being able to do ; 
and when the Grant people come in, I hoi)e to keep open that by 
Castleton. A party of them, with cattle, should have been here 
yesterday. I hope no accident has happened to them. 

The inhabitants who live between this and the bridge, I found it 
necessary to bring within the lines, and have now sent them to 
Skcnesborough, with directions to Captain Grey to forward them to 
Albany by the first opportunity. I do not know that they are our 
enemies, but they are certainly not our friends, and when the enemy 
first presented themselves they were through their houses, and they 
gave us no intelligence of them. 

I am still of opinion that the enemy have no great force here, but 
whether the whole of their army may as yet come up I am not cer- 
tain, but last night they fired their evening gun from three different 
places, further down the lake than their post at Three-Mile Point. 
A little time will clear up this matter. I am not sufficiently ac- 
quainted with this country to form any judgment how a body of 
men can be sent out to our relief, in cas