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' '. 






LA SALLE ..... 

Foi/r DEARBORN, 1803 . 














0^ THE 





By thy rivers gently 

Illinois, Illinois. 
o'er thy prairies verdant growing, 

Illinois, Illinois, 
Comes an echo on the breeze, 
Hustling through the leafy trees, 
And its mellow tones are these, 

Illinois, Illinois, 
And its mellow tones are these, 

A <-rand old state is Illinois! A wonderful city is 
Chicago ! 

' They have grown up within one century," 
people proudly say. 

Yes, the part we se<- to-day has ^rown up within 
one century. 

But there was glorious history here centuries and 
centuries before white men had ever set foot on 
Illinois soil, 


How do we know? Oh, but there are signs of it 
relics everywhere. 

We are sure that our grand old Lake Michigan 
was once very much higher than it is now. 

We are sure that once Lakes Superior, Huron, and 
Michigan all three poured their waters down 
through our own Illinois River to the Mississippi, 
then through the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. 

It does seem almost unbelievable. But wait! 
Have you ever noticed those long, long bluffs on 
either side of the Illinois River? They are a great 
distance from the present banks of the river, to be 
sure a whole mile apart we are told. 

And, really, now that you come to look at them, 
they do look for all the world as if they were water 
worn, do they not? See the long horizontal lines, 
the stained rock, the worn ridges. 

Haven't you seen river banks, when the water was 
low because of a long dry season, that looked like 
these bluffs? 

And when you saw them, you said, " How low the 



water is! See the banks! See where the river has 
been ! " 

But I'm sure you have already guessed the secret. 
Yes, those old bluffs a mile apart are the banks 


of the Illinois River of long ago. Of course they 
look as if they were water worn; for that is just 
what happened to them. 

And all this was thousands of years ago. This 
was when the great phain of -lakes poured its waters 
into the Illinois. No wonder its banks were a mile 
apart. Surely a river would need to be a mile wide 
to take care of such a flood of water as that must 
have bfeen. 

But why has the river grown so narrow? For the 
very same reason that the little streams you have 
noticed sink sometimes to w low- water mark," leav- 
ing their banks deserted. For we may be sure all 
rivers obey the same laws. It is simply that for 
some reason the water supply has been cut oif or 
turned away. 

The Niagara River, always rapid because of the 


slope of the land in that region, must, from its v.ry 
beginning, have been a noisy, rushing stream; while 
the great western river must at the same time have 
rolled on its way, always slow and dignified. As 
a natural consequence of these conditions, while the 
slow western stream would tend rather to build up 
land, the tearing, rushing Niagara would be steadily 
and surely wearing it down. 

Why, even within the memory of man the Niagara 
Falls have worn back in their solid rock several 
inches! And wise men say that some time, if nothing 
happens to change the action of Niagara, Lake Erie 
itself will tumble over the falls, leaving the lake- 
ports of Cleveland and Sandusky high and dry. 

Then you can see, I am sure, how it was that the 
Niagara, always digging deeper and deeper, wearing- 
its way backward, and driving the soil before it, 
made the descent more and more marked, and so 
filially began to draw^ off the water from Lakes 
Superior, Michigan, and Huron, and to turn their 
outflow eastward. 


Then Lake Michigan receded, and we had what? 
Just this: miles and. miles of the rich lake bed soil 
that makes onr state of Illinois the grand agricul- 
tural section that it is, and the Illinois River 
still holding its course steadily seaward, gathering 
up the waters of the many smaller rivers, and so 
serving the state grandly for drainage and irrigation. 

Ft was long after these marvellous changes of 
land and river making had taken place that man 
came to make his home on these rich prairies. 

Xo one knows who the first people were, whence 
they came, or whither they went. But here and 
there, up and down the country and along the lakes, 
are signs that in very early times people were here, 
and that they were people of semi-civilization at 

On Lake Superior are mines which they left - 
copper mines in which we know they must have 
worked for years and years. Remains of machinery 
have been found there; but what the people did 
with the copper, why they mined it. or why they left 


the mines at last their wealth by no means ex- 
hausted that, no one knows. 

After these mysterious people, came that savage 
race which we call the American Indian. 

All over the continent, within latitude of possible 
dwelling;, these red men spread themselves; and in 
our own state, chief among others, were the Illinois, 
the Pottawottamies, the Ottawas, the Chippewas, 
and the Ivickapoos. .That these tribes found even 
in their day a commercial centre at Chicago we 
know; for from no spot were there so many well- 
worn trails extending in all directions, as from this 
Chicago portage, even in the earliest times. 

The savages came overland, and down the river 
also, to Chicago portage; for from there, then as 
now, the route out into the lake and thence on from 
lake to lake, was clear and direct. It was their 
route by which to carry to each other either war or 
trade. It was the great route which served their 
national interests, such as they were, even as to-day 
it is ours. 


But while all this was happening on the western 
prairie, while the savages were roaming up and 
down the Illinois, wonderful things were taking 
place on the eastern continent. 

It is hard, to realize, in these days of locomotives 
and telegraphs, that there ever was a time when the 
two continents did not know of each other's 

But we all know now there was such a time; and 
that it was in 14:92 that the first discovery was made. 



How the news spread up and down all Europe I 
A new land found! Out across the waters of the 
sea! Due west it lay! And with people of a kind 
never before seen by European eyes ! 

It was not very long before England, Holland, 
France, Spain, Portugal each bent upon posses- 
sion, began to .send out their explorers to learn 
more about this new country. 

It was De Soto, we know, who first touched upon 
the Florida shore ; Cortez who inarched into Mexico ; 
Raleigh who reached the Virginia shore; Hudson 
who pushed up the great river of New York. 

But none of these explorers pushed on towards 
the Northwest. None of them ever dreamed of our 
marvelous country inland. 

For the French this honor and glory was reserved. 
In 1534, Jacques Cartier, finding the outlet of the 
noble St. Lawrence, sailed up to Quebec, then 
hurried home to tell of the wonderful - f wedge- 
shaped " river he had found a river ninety miles 
wide at its outlet, and more miles long than even 


an imaginative Frenchman could picture to his 

With delight the French people received news of 
their success in the new world; and as soon as their 
own national troubles could be adjusted, Champlain 
.was sent out to see what use could be made of the 
river, and what manner of country and people were 
to be found along its shores. 

Settlements were made at Montreal and Quebec; 
trading stations were pushed into the interior; and 
the French and Northwest Indians became friendly 
through their mutual trade interests. But the 
French were not content with mere discovery and 
trade. They were a zealous, religious people; and 
when French monks came to know that here in the 
new w r orld, there were thousands and thousands of 
untrained, untaught savages, their zealous hearts 
burned with the desire to go among them, to set up 
the Cross, and teach them the religion of the civilized 
European countries. 

And so, as we shall see, it was through these 


people first of all that it came about that Illinois was 
explored, the Illinois chief, Chicago, counseled with 
by white men, and the Chicago portage discovered 
and located by white men. 


From the first coming of the French into the St. 
Lawrence, their ambitions were turned towards the 
Northwest, from which quarter most enticing stories 
of fur trade possibilities were poured into their ears 
by the Indians. But it was only eighteen days after 
the discovery of the lake by Champlain that the 
first battle for conquest took place. 

Champlain himself, in his own quaint way, wrote 
the story of that first battle : 

" As we began to approach," he says, ' ? the abode 
of the Iroquois, we advanced only at night, resting 
during the day. . . . . 

f When it was evening we embarked in our canoes 
to continue our course, and as we advanced very 
quietly, we met the foe on the 29th of July at about 
ten o'clock in the evening, at the extremity of a cape 
that extends into the lake. 



f The Iroquois had come to fight. We both began 
to utter bitter cries, all getting in readiness for 
battle. We withdrew out into the water; the 
Iroquois went on shore. They drew their canoes 
up close together, and began to fell trees with poor 
axes. Thus they barricaded themselves very well. 

" Our forces also passed the entire night, their 
canoes being drawn up close to each other and 
fastened to poles that they might not get separated, 
and might be in readiness to fight. We were upon 
the water within narrow range of the barricades. 

f When the Iroquois were armed and in array, 
they dispatched two canoes by themselves to the 
enemy to inquire if they wished to fight, to which 
the latter replied that they wished for nothing else ; 
but that at the present there was not much light and 
that it would be necessary to wait for daylight. 
As soon as the sun rose they would offer battle. 

r To this we agreed. Meantime the entire night 
was spent in dancing on both sides, with endless 
insults and other talk as to how little courage we 


had, how feeble a resistance we could make against 
their arms, and that when day came we should 
realize our ruin. 

" Ours also were not slow to retort, telling them 
that they would see such an execution of arms as 
never before, together with an abundance of such as 
is not unusual in the siege of a town. 

"After this singing, dancing, and bandying of 
words on both sides to the fill, when day came, my 
companions and myself continued under cover for 
fear the enemy would see us. 

? We arranged our arms in the best way possible, 
being, however, separated each in one of the canoes 
of the savage Montagnais. 

f? After arming ourselves in light armor, we each 
took an arquebuse and went on shore. I saw the 
enemy go out of their barricade, two hundred in 
number, stout and rugged of appearance. They 
came at a slow pace towards us, three chiefs at 
their head. Our men also advanced in the same 
order, telling me that those with three large plumes 


were the chiefs, that they had only these three, and 
that they could be distinguished by the plumes, 
which were much larger than those of their compan- 
ions, and that I should do what I could to kill them. 

"I promised to do all in my power, and said I was 
very sorry that they could not understand me, so 
that I might give order and shape to their mode of 
attacking their enemies, as then we should without 
doubt defeat them all. But since this could not be 
obviated, I should be very glad to show my courage 
when we should engage in fight. 

' r As soon as we had landed they began to run for 
some two hundred paces towards their enemies, who 
stood firmly, not having as yet noticed my com- 
panions who had gone into the woods with some 

"Our men began to call me with loud cries; and 
in order to give me passage way they opened in two 
parts and put me at their head, where T marched 
some twenty paces in advance of the rest. When I 
was within thirty paces of the enemy they at once 




noticed me and, halting, gazed at me as I did also at 

"When I saw them make a move to fire at us, I 
rested my musket against my cheek, and aimed 
directly at one of the chiefs. With the same shot 
two fell to the ground ; one so wounded that he died 
soon after. 

"I had loaded my musket with four balls. When 
our side saw the shot so favorable to themselves, 
they raised so loud cries that one could not have 
heard it thunder. 

fr Meantime the arrows Hew on both sides. The 
Iroquois were greatly astonished that two men had 
been killed so quickly, although they were equipped 
for battle with armor made from cotton cloth with 
wood which was proof against arrows. This caused 
great alarm among them. 

"As I was' loading again, one of my companions 
tired a shot from the woods that so astonished them 
anew that, seeing their chief dead, they lost courage 
and took to flight, abandoning their camp and 


fort, and fleeing into the woods, whither I pursued, 
them, killing still more of them and taking ten or 
twelve prisoners. The remainder escaped with the 

"After gaining this battle our men amused them- 
selves with taking a quantity of corn and meal from 
our enemies, also their arrows, which they had left 
behind that they might run better. After feasting, 
dancing, and singing, we returned three hours after 
with our prisoners." 

Such reports as this, together with most vivid 
drawings, at which Champlain was a genius, fired 
the ambition of the French people to push on into 
the new country, which was inhabited by such 
strange simple people as these Indians seemed to be. 

? These people are heathens," said the zealous 
monks ; " we must go to them and teach them the 
true religion." 

:? There are vast fields for fur trading farther 
west," said the more secular minded; "these people 
are hunters and can help us to gather skins," 


And so both priests and traders pushed on from 
the Great Lakes into the territory of the Northwest. 
It was not very long before the Falls of St. Mary 
had been reached and a brisk trade with the red 
men established at the outlet of Lake Superior. 

These traders were kind and fair in their dealings 
with the Indian, and it was fortunate they were; 
otherwise, when eighteen years later good Fathers 
Marquette, Hennipin, and Joliet pushed their canoes 
down the lake again, their welcome might not have 
been so cordial. 

But as it w r as, the red men, remembering the first 
visit of the French, received Marquette and Joliet, 
his companion, gladly. They made huts for them; 
they brought them food and bear skins, and made 
them warm and comfortable the whole long winter. 
' It was in 1661 that Marquette had left his home 
in France to come to this new country ; for news of 
the new discoveries and the strange heathen people 
had reached him even in his quiet monastery. "I 
must go to these people," he said at once; and from 


that time forth no other desire had Marquette in his 
heart than to reach these red men. 

The red men from the beginning felt Marquette's 
love for them; for from the very day of his coming 
among them they lived together in peace, and it was 
not very long before they loved and trusted him, and 
were eager to learn all that he was so eager to teach 

For three happy years Marquette dwelt among 
the red men; and during that time he heard much 
of a great river the Father of Waters, the Indians 
called it somewhat farther west. f There are wild 
men living along the banks of the river," the Indians 
said; "they fight every tribe that approaches 
them; and they scalp and burn their captives." 

But Marquette longed to reach these wild men 
and to teach them better ways of living. The more 
he heard of them the more he was convinced that he 
ought to go to them and carry the gospel of loving 
brotherhood. So after a long time Marquette, with 
Joliet and a few companions, set out from their safe 


home at Green Bay Mission, and journeyed down 
rivers and across country to the Mississippi. It 
was a wonderful journey, and strange and wild 
indeed were the people they found up and down the 
hanks of the Mississippi. So wild and warlike were 
they, indeed, that Marquette, even when near the 
mouth of the Mississippi, turned back rather than 
have the records of the journey lost. And it was on 
his return that he heard of the Illinois River. r? It 
is a large river; and it will make your journey 
shorter," the friendly natives of the upper Mississippi 
told the explorers ; .and glad of any route that woutd 
shorten the journey, they paddled up the Illinois, 
and so discovered it for the French. 

? Truly," Joliet wrote, " we have seen nothing 
like the fertility of this river valley. As far as 
we can see, lie green fields, level, and rich in soil. 
The forests are dense; wild birds and cattle roam 
up and down the prairies; and wild deer and water 
birds rest upon the river banks." 

At Green Bay, Marquette, ill from long exposure 


to all kinds of weather, sank exhausted. He could 
go no farther; but he begged Joliet to push forward 
to Quebec and tell them there what a wonderful 
country they had found. Joliet did push on, 
though the way was full of danger. At one time 
his canoe was overturned in the treacherous rapids 
of the St. Lawrence and many valuable records of 
the journey were lost; but Quebec was reached at 
last, and the wonderful story told. 

Then there was great rejoicing among the French 
people. The Cathedral was thrown open, and 
services of praise and thanksgiving were held. 
Bells were rung, flags were floated, and peals of 
cannon rolled out across the great St. Lawrence. 
It was nearly a year before Marqnette grew strong 
and well enough to come out from his cabin again; 
but as soon as he could even walk about the little 
village he said to his people, w There are red men on 
the Illinois that need me and I told them I would 
come back to them. I would not like to deceive 
this simple people; so let us go back to them at 


once." " But, good Father, you are not yet able," 
his friends pleaded. ff lf I am to he well again, I 
shall grow well there, if I am not to be well again, 
then let me hasten that I may reach there before I 
die. These Illinois red men must not think we 
would deceive them/' And so the zealous monk 
set forth again. Two companions he took with him; 
and together they dragged their canoe across the 
country. Il was November when at last they 
reached the lake, and the winds were blowing across 
it cold and biting, then as now. 

Already there was ice upon the lake and the 
foaming waters were lashing themselves against the 
shores. Still the little canoe pushed on till the 
Chicago River was reached. Here Marquette again 
sank exhausted; and the little party was unable to 
move farther. The red men, seeing the white men, 
went down to the river; and with the help of 
Marquette's companions, they made for the sick man 
a rough little cabin and laid him upon a bed of moss 
and dried leaves. All winter long Marquette lay 


there, sick and suffering. f? Let them come in," he 
would say to his companions, when the red men 
would come to the cabin to bring his food. And so 
when he could, he talked with the red men and told 
them why he had come. He taught them his own 
religion and pleaded with them to be kind and 
loving Avith each other; to cease, from bloodshed, 
and to live together in peace and brotherly love. 

How these simple red men loved the good 
Marquette! How they watched over him and cared 
for him! 'They brought me back to life," Mar- 
quette used to say. And, indeed, it would seem as 
if they did; for in the spring time the dying man 
rallied, and again the little party pushed on towards 
those Indian camps which Marquette had visited as 
he came up the Illinois. 

At the Kankekee dwelt a tribe of Indians, three 
thousand strong; and it was to this camp that 
Marquette and his companions came. The red men 
had not forgotten him; but like trustful children hac( 
watched and waited all winter long. And when 


now he had come, they fell at his feet, so great was 
their joy to see him. They brought him food and 
prepared a cabin for him. They seated themselves 
in a great circle around him and listened to his 
words of love and wisdom. 

For a few months Marquette lived here with the 
red men, teaching them. But as the summer died 
away, again his strength failed. Even the red men 
could see the pale-face had not long to live; and so 
when he asked them to take him back to Green Bay 
to die, they w^ent to work to make his canoe ready, 
They lined it with soft skins and spread a canopy 
over it; then, silent and sad, the chiefs went with 
him down the river, back to the lake, and on 
towards Green Bay. It was a very slow journey; 
for often Marquette was forced to rest for days upon 
the shore. 

Then the faithful red men would build great fires 
for warmth, and wrapping the sick man in skins and 
blankets, would lay him upon a bed of leaves and 
moss before the fires, that he might grow warm and 


gather strength. So they carried him on until 
Green Bay at last was reached. Then the faithful 
Indians left him with his companions; and, still 
silent and sad, turned back to their homes. 

There was but a short distance farther to go; but 
Marquette's life was fading fast. >f I am afraid we 
shall not reach the Mission," he said; ff I wish it 
might have been." One evening, just as the sun 
was sinking below the water's edge, Marquette's 
companions lifted him once more, and for the last- 
time, from the canoe. For that night Marquette 
died; and they buried him upon the sunny hillside, 
wrapped close in his priestly robes, as he had asked 
them to bury him; and over his grave they read the 
burial service and tolled the Mission bell Marquette 
carried always with him. 

fr He is dead," the companions said, when they 
reached the Mission ; rf and we buried him upon the 

"Let us go and bring him home," the red men 
said simply. And at once thirty canoes were made 


ready to go back down the lake to the burial 
place. And so the body of Marquette was brought 
to the Green Bay Mission and was buried again, 
this time beneath the little chapel which he himself 
had built. 

At the time the news of Marquette's great 
discovery was brought to Quebec, there was in 
Canada an enthusiastic, energetic young man named 
La Salle, who had come over from France fired with 
ambition to explore this new country across the 

tf Let us establish trading posts up and down this 
great river," La Salle said at once, when he heard 
the story Joliet had to fell. 

"It might be well," said the cautious Governor- 
General. " Will you go back to France, report to 
the King, and ask for assistance to carry out these 


' P I will," was La Salle's hearty answer; and away 
he went to France to tell his story. 

And he must have told it well ; for the King not 
only gave him the assistance he asked, but gave him 
permission to rebuild Fort Frontenac, and also hon- 
ored him with the title, Chevalier. 

And so Chevalier Robert La Salle came back to 
Canada. He rebuilt the fort, held it for two years, 
then went again to France. On this second visit, 
he was received with honor; more titles were 
showered upon him, and more extended privileges 
in the new country were given him. 

Again he came to Canada, bringing with him his 
faithful Tonti, and at once set to work building a 
fort above the falls of Niagara, which falls he him- 
self had discovered not very long before. Not one 
hour did the energetic La Salle waste; for before he 
had been a week at work on the foil, he had begun 
the building of a vessel that should carry him west- 
ward, up the lakes toward the region of the Illinois. 

Now the coat of arms of the La Salle family in 


Prance was a griffin; and for this reason La Salle 
named his new boat The Griffin. In due time it 
was sailing westward, bearing upon its deck the 
daring Chevalier, his faithful Tonti and many other 
brave companions. 

Very slowly and carefully they made their way 
along the lakes; for no one knew their depths and 
shallows, since never before had their waters been 
stirred by other vessels than the tiny canoes of the 
red men. By and by these brave navigators came 
upon an island. Red men lived there; and when 
they saw the white men coming, they ran down to 
the shore to welcome them. " Marquette! Mar- 
quette ! " they shouted ; and from this La Salle knew 
that Marquette must some time have visited the 

" See to it," La Salle said to his companions, " that 
we do not disappoint these simple people. Do them 
no harm. Be kind to them even as Marquette has 
been." So the boat drew near and anchored; small 
boats were lowered, and the Frenchmen went ashore. 



The natives received them warmly, bringing food 
and furs for them. The Frenchmen, too, were 
cordial and generous. They heaped presents upon 
the red men knives and beads and colored cloths, 
such as the red men loved. 

Then trade was opened with these red men, and 
the boat was loaded with furs and sent back to the 
fort, while La Salle and a few companions went on 
in canoes farther up the lakes. 

"Unload the cargo and come back to overtake 
us," had been La Salle's command when the boat 
left the island and turned back. 

But now whole weeks had gone by. Xo boat had 
returned. Winter was coming on, and already La 
Salle and his men had tasted the bitterness of the 
winter winds upon the lakes. Once, driven upon 
the shore by the storms, the men had lived four 
days without food; and already many of them were 
rebellious. How they watched the east for the coin- 
ing of The Griffin these suifering, starving heroes! 

But alas! The Griffin did not come. Xor did it 


ever come; and to this day no trace of it has ever- 
been found. It never reached the fort and no man 
ever knew its fate. 

? We must stay here," said La Salle, "until spring 
opens;" and so the men set to work to build a fort, 
and the little band crept within its shelter now 
their only hope. But La Salle himself was not con- 
tent to waste even the winter time; so with a few 
faithful ones he pushed on in his canoe to Lake 
Peoria. w Here," La Salle said, " we saw an excel- 
lent site for a trading post ; and though we had little 
heart to begin, we set to work to build another fort 
for shelter; and we named-it Fort Crevecceur, which 
means broken-hearted, for indeed we were broken- 
hearted, one and all." 

But no sooner had this fort been completed and 
the men safely garrisoned, than La Salle, with only 
five men, turned back, meaning to make his way 
to Fort Frontenac for food and supplies. 

"I shall build another vessel," this unflinching 
hero said to his men, "and come back to you. 


While I am gone, go on westward. Search for the 
great river. Should you find it, we will build a 
great vessel and follow it to its outlet. Who knows 
but it may prove to be the Northwest Passage! " 

And so La Salle left his men and turned back. 
Xow, among La Salle's companions was good Father 
Hennepin, one of those who had accompanied Mar- 
quette on his voyage up and down the Mississippi; 
and it was to Father Hennepiivs care and wisdom 
that La Salle entrusted the expedition in search of 
the Northwest Passage. 

'' I shall know that all that can be done will be 
done," were La Salle's parting words; "and when 
by and by I shall return with more men and 
supplies, let me be greeted with news of a great 
discovery. Such news would indeed pay me a 
thousand times over for all the suffering and disap- 
pointments of the past." 

So La Salle set out; and hardly was he out of 
sight before the faithful Father Hennepin began 
his preparations for pushing westward. Only two 


companions did he take with him; but their canoe 
was well stored, their hearts were brave, and the sun 
shone down brightly upon them the morning they 
set sail, as if to give them God-speed. 

They had sailed but a little way when they met 
canoes filled with Illinois Indians. The white men 
were received by these most cordially, and for a few 
miles the canoes glided on, side by side. 

" Oh, good Father," begged the friendly chiefs, do 
not go on into these unknown waters. Dread 
dangers await you dangers such as white men 
know not of. There are terrible birds, with poison- 
ous claws, which watch to swoop down upon the 
canoes of the children of the Great Spirit. There 
are rabbits with talons like eagles; and there are 
winged buffaloes waiting to fly with their prey 
across the plains; and in the water, too, there are 
terrible creatures with sharp teeth and tusks that 
will shatter the sides of the canoes. Whirlpools, 
too, there are, and rapids, and on the banks live 
tribes who kill and eat each other. Pray do not go! 


Stay here and dwell in our wigwams and eat of our 

venison.' 1 

But Father Hennepin had heard all this before; 
he had heard it when, with Marquette, he had set 
forth down the Mississippi; and although his heart 
beat warmly towards the friendly Illinois, he knew 
full \vell how mistaken they were. Other dangers 
awaited him that he knew but not these. And 
so, bidding his dusky advisers good-bye, he pushed 
on with his men, in search of the Northwest 

In due time they reached the Mississippi and 
just in time to witness the breaking up of the vast 
sheets of ice on the river. Down they came huge 
blocks crushing and grinding, heaping themselves 
upon each other, sliding and falling. It was a 
wonderful sight. f We stood," Father Hennepin 
wrote, pf awestruck before the mighty mass. Xor 
could I have believed such sheets of ice could have 
formed except in the frozen waters of a northern 



Around the tree-covered islands at the mouth of 
the Illinois River, were drifted masses of wood and 
moss and trunks of trees heaps on heaps 
brought down by the mighty current. 

Here the brave little band waited until the river 
was clear; then they set out up the Mississippi. 

For several days the little boats passed on 
unmolested. But one day there came gliding 
around a sudden bend in the river a tribe of Indiars 
in war paint and feathers. Thirty canoes full there 
were; and at sight of the three lone Frenchmen, 
they bore down upon them, yelling and howling and 
waving their tomahawks. 

Escape was impossible. Resistance was worse 
than useless. Father Hennepin rose in his canoe 
and extended the calumet. That was the only 
hope; but the calumet was tossed aside, the canoe 
dragged ashore, its contents overhauled by the red 
men, the gifts of beads and bright colored cloth 
confiscated, and Father Hennepin and his compan- 
ions were led away into captivity. 


For several days the chiefs of the tribes coun- 
selled whether to tomahawk, burn, or shoot their 
captives; and the three white men knew full well 
their peril. Still they flinched not. Indeed, Father 
Hennepin, to convince his captors of his bravery, 
himself placed a tomahawk in the hands of the 
chief, and bowed his head before it. 

Most pleasing was this to the Chiefs crude idea 
of bravery; then, too, if a captive was so willing to 
die, there was far less pleasure and excitement in 
killing him; at least so the red men may have 
reasoned; for in a few days the Chief smoked the 
pipe of peace with his captives, and then, together, 
the white men and the red men started up the river. 

To the white men it was a wonderful journey. 
Some days the warriors were kind to their captives, 
some days cruel. Some days they would feed them 
and pet them like favored children; some days they 
would starve and neglect them. 

After a journey of many days, the whole tribe 
landed at a dreary little village encampment, where 


they left their canoes and proceeded on foot still 
farther north. 

The three Frenchmen had already been appor- 
tioned, one to each of the three chiefs; and now, 
loaded down with baggage, they were driven on 
like cattle before the tribe. Over hill and through 
forest, across rivers and into swamps, the tribe 
pressed on through the heavy snows, into the teeth 
of the biting wind. 

r Often," so Father Hennepin wrote, '' 1 was so 
benumbed with cold that I could not push my way; 
and so exhausted that I could not stand. At one 
time I fell beside the river bank, hoping to die there 
rather than to struggle on. But even this was not 
allowed me. One Indian came towards me, frowned 
down upon me, then quietly and without a word, 
set the grass on all sides of me on fire. f Now,' 
said the savage, ' follow us or burn/ 

' f It seemed an endless journey ; but at last we 
reached the home of our captors. It was not a 
successful returning of these warriors, for they 


brought no scalps, no prisoners only three help- 
less canoe-men who had never harmed them, never 
resisted them, and who had come into their country 
loaded with presents, and intending nothing but to 
explore the rivers and peacefully return to their own 

f The Indians seemed to feel that tl ey had little 
to boast of; and therefore determined to make as 
grand a parade of us as could be made. They 
dressed us in feathers and war paints, placed gourds 
in our hands, and bade us dance and sing. 

ff And as we neared the village, though they 
could not make their ? scalp-haloo ', nor give the 
yell that would indicate to the women in the village 
that stakes should be built and fires made ready, 
they yelled and shouted, making the forests and the 
hills to echo and re-echo with their brutal whoops. 

f And now, alas ! came a sorrow, harder for us to 
bear than either cold or starvation. On reaching 
the village, our band of warriors broke up, and the 
chiefs with their followers went away, each to his 


own village; then it was we learned that henceforth 
we were to be separated, each one of us to be 
carried away to the village of the chief to whom we 
had been given. 

'There was no escape; hardly were we permitted 
to say farewell to each other; but were hurried off 
across marshes, over hills, and through forests, to 
our various villages, each several miles from the 

" So, for man}' long months I dwelt here in this 
little village, often wondering if ever a way should 
be made for me to escape; or, if it was indeed to be 
my lot to live out my days among these people. ' 

rf One day a messenger came from the other vil- 
lages. We were bidden to embark and sail farther 
south in search of newer hunting grounds. Gladly 
did I prepare for this departure, hoping that at last 
we should be allowed to return to our own people. 

" Our journey down the river was indeed hard to 
bear. I, with one of my former companions, was 
often in our canoe alone; yet we were forced on to 


keep pace with the rapidly moving canoes of the 
Indians, with their ten and twelve paddles for each 

>f I hardly know how it came about; but my chief 
had grown to believe whatever I promised him. 
Therefore one day I said to him, f Good friend, yon 
have been very kind to me. I have been happy and 
contented among you for all these months. Now I 
wish to go back to my country with these five 
Frenchmen. I will come back again. And I will 
come with rich presents for your tribe.' 

"I dared hardly hope for the ready permission 
the chief gave to my request. It was, I fear, the 
hope of presents rather than any better motive that 
induced him to allow me to depart. But, be that as 
it might, I was once more a free man; and most joy- 
ously did I start forth with my companions down 
the Mississippi to the Wisconsin, thence across the 
country, down the lakes to Montreal. 

' ? The governor, who had believed me long since 
dead, stood thunderstruck. He took me with him to 


his own home; and their I gave him a full account 
of my adventures, and proved to him the advantages 
of our discoveries." 

But all this time, what was happening at Fort 
Crevecoeur? La Salle had left there, with the 
other men, his own faithful Tonti, and also two 
missionaries who should work among the Indians 

For some time all went well. The Indians 
seemed friendly, there was food in plenty, and the 
men were well sheltered. But one day an Indian 
lad came running into the village round about the 
fort, yelling and jumping high in the air. ' The 
Frenchmen are upon us! The Iroquois! La 

And, impulsive, excitable creatures as they were, 
they were in a moment up and in arms. They 
yelled and howled and flourished their tomahawks. 
" r On to the fort! " they cried. 

The white men heard the uproar, and all too soon 
learned the occasion. Without a word, Tonti 


rushed out from the fort into the midst of the 
excited throng. 

' The enemy! The enemy! " he shouted, " Where 
are they? tell us! we will join you! " 

The Indians were struck dumb. ' You join us? 
Why, but you are the enemy! " they, cried. ''You 
-led by La Salie! " 

? We ! La Salle ! " Tonti cried, pretending amaze- 
ment, too ; " La Salle is hundreds of miles away ! " 

But meantime the real enemy was close at hand. 
The hostile tribe was encamped only a short distance 
from the fort. w I will go to them," Tonti said. 

It was a perilous thing to do; for the young 
warriors of the tribe were blood-thirsty, and were 
bent on massacre. No peace was possible; and 
Tonti and his men were soon glad to escape up the 
river, leaving the fort to the mercy of the savage 
foe. It was a terrible journey that followed. The 
wind was biting cold, the way unknown; and to 
complete the danger and discomfort, the little canoe 
failed them in their hour of need, so that they were 


forced to leave it and make their way as best they 
could along the bank, carrying the little boat with 
them till they should reach a place where they 
dared stop to repair it. 

For fourteen long days the little band pushed on 
through the wilderness, often losing their way and 
retracing it for miles, hungry, discouraged, and 

At last the little mission at Green Bay was 
reached, and the worn-out men sank down, glad 
indeed once more to feel the warmth of fire and 
taste the savor of food. For weeks they rested 
here, gathering up their strength and courage, that 
they might be ready again to set out when La Salle 
should bid them. 

With the first signs of spring they pushed on 
towards Fort Mackinaw. La Salle was there; but he 
had already made his way to Fort Crevecoeur, and 
was now returning, sad at heart; for he knew not 
what had become of the brave men he had left there. 

Tonti told his sad story of their winter to La 


Salle; and La Salle told the story of his own weary 
journeying back and forth from Frontenac. Still 
neither La Salle nor his men seemed to have lost 
heart ; and when La Salle stretching his right hand 
westward cried, "On! on to the Mississippi! " every 
man answered heartily and with a great shout of 
joy. "On! on to the Mississippi!" 

That La Salle and his men did push on down the 
Father of Waters, we all know. And a grand suc- 
cess the voyage proved to be ; for La Salle planted 
the French banner, and buried a leaden plate, upon 
which were engraved these words : 

rf Louis the Great Reigns. Robert, Cavalier, 
with Lord Tonti, Ambassador, Lenobia Membrc, 
Ecclesiastic, and twenty Frenchmen first navigated 
this river from the country of the Illinois and passed 
through this mouth on the 9th of April, 1682." 

From this time on, the great tract of land up and 
down the Mississippi was the noble property of the 
French. As Parkman has so strongly put it: "On 
that day the realm of France received a splendid 


acquisition. The fertile plains of Texas; the vast 
basin of the Mississippi from its frozen northern 
springs to the sultry borders of the gulf from the 
woody ridges of the Alleghanies to the bare peaks 
of the Rocky Mountains a region of savannahs 
and forests, sun cracked deserts and grassy prairies, 
watered by a thousand rivers, ranged by a thousand 
warlike tribes, passed beneath the sceptre of the 
Sultan of Versailles." 

Such, and a great deal more that we cannot here 


take time to touch upon, were the sufferings and the 
heroism that led to a knowledge of the rivers and 
the lands of this unknown country, of which our 
Illinois is now so nearly the centre. Such were the 
first means through which it came about in time that 
trading posts werje established up and down the 
rivers; that both the English and the French began 
to look with deep commercial interest upon the 
section; and that in time the Chicago Portage, as 
we shall learn later, became the one central point of 
eastern interest. 

" O, city by the inland sea, 

Grand monument of industry, 


Gath'ring gladly from all lands, 
For the love of thee, 

" O, city by the inland sea. 
Columbia has chosen thee 
To proudly say, " I WILL," 
And all prophecy fulfill, 
Mighty city by the inland sea." 

Did you ever see the Rush Street Bridge in 
Chicago at the foot of Wabash Avenue? There is 
nothing remarkable about it, you will say. No; 
there are other bridges quite as good in and about 

And still, there was a time, only a few years ago, 
when every stranger coming to the city paid a visit 


to the Rush Street Bridge. He would not be eon- 
tent to leave Chicago until he had visited that 

Sometimes strangers go there now. There seems 
little to see; still the visitors look and look. 

And this is what they say: f * So this is Chicago's 
oldest historical site!'- Or, r? So this is where 
Chicago began! Well, well, well!" 

There is one old Chicagoan who still lives not 
very far from this bridge. He knew Chicago when 
it was only a town; and he is very proud of the 
great city. 

''You see," he says, "the city and I grew up 
together. That makes me love it. 

" Right here, where this south abutment of the 
bridge now is, the old light-house keeper's little 
hoirip ^tood.- Just beyond, was the tall, white light- 
h( rf *e tower. And just across a little road from stood the old Fort." 

Old Fort Dearborn! Yes, that is why strangers 
even now go down to the Rush Street Bridge; for 


that spot has had a noble history; and there was a 
time when no fort in the land meant so much to the 
country as did old Fort Dearborn. 

It is hard to believe, as we stand on the Rush 
Street Bridge to-day, that only a few years ago 
there were prairies and trees and green fields as far 
as the eye could see; that the air was clear and 
sweet, and that the only smoke was that from the 
Indian camps, scattered here and there up and down 
the prairie. But so it was; and so it might be now 
who knows? had it not been for the Chicago 
River. Flowing as it does into the lake, the site 
was early discovered and appreciated even by the 
Indians themselves. The French and the English 
fur traders, too, were quick to see the convenience 
and usefulness of the river; so that from the very 
beginning the Chicago Portage was important. 
And when, later, the Mississippi valley became out 
property of our people, the government, recognizn. 
the value of this portage, sent men to build a fort 
there. "" For," said they, " the Chicago Portage will 


some time, as our country grows westward, come to 
be a commercial centre.''. 

No Chicago boy or girl needs now to be told that 
these early prophecies were wise ones. We only 
wonder if these early prophets knew how wise they 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there 
were no white people living farther west than 
Detroit; but the government had bought from the 
Indians a piece of land six miles long on the western 
shore of the lake, near its southern end; and it was 
there the fort was to be built. 

There were Indians in the forest round about ; 
and one day these red men were surprised to see a 
great white schooner coming down the lake. They 
all ran down to the shore, staring in grim wonder. 

'" Big bird! " said one Indian. 

"Canoe with wings," grunted another; and not 
until the men began to land with guns and the boats 
had been loaded with the schooner's cargo, did the 
red men creep back to their own camps. Then the 


schooner sailed back to Detroit, and the history of 
Chicago had began. 

The little band of men set at once to work. First, 
a block-house must be built, and the grounds must 
be enclosed by palisades high and strong. 

So they chose a site for the fort, and set to work 
hauling the logs and driving the stakes. 

They had neither horses nor cattle to help them; 
had they, the hauling of logs would have been quite 
easy and they might have built their fort with 
greater speed. 

But when the men had to w play horse " as the 
children say, fasten the ropes around their own 
waists, and drag the logs themselves, it was not 
quite so easy building forts as we might think The 
men were brave and plucky, however, and often 
their shouts and laughter rang out over the lake, 
as they dragged the big logs along. All the 
summer and all the fall they worked, day in and day 
out, never forgetting, day or night, to keep a watch 
upon the savages lurking in the forests round about; 


for the red men did not love the white men over 
much, you know, and did not always favor their 
presence on the western prairies. 

But when the first frosts came, the fort was 
finished, and the men were in comfortable quarters. 

Very wise had those men been in the choice of 
the site for their fort. On one side of the palisades 
lay a branch of the Chicago River; on another lay a 
broad swamp; on another were treacherous sands 
beneath which the waters of the river made their 

These three sides of the fort were not, then, 
easily approached by an attacking enemy; and 
besides all this, the men had built a sallyport, as 
they called it that is, an underground passage 
from the block-house down to the river. 

Thus protected, the little garrison settled into its 
new quarters for the winter. 

Fort Dearborn was now the farthest settlement 
in this ]^orth West; and people spoke of it as 
w away out west." Wonderful stories were told 


of it, and adventurous men from here and there 
began to gather around the fort. By and by, a 
little village was formed, and already the settlers 
began to speak of their new home by its Indian 
name Chicago. 

The first man settler to come to Chicago was 
John Kinzie. Now, John Kinzie had led an adven- 
turous life, even from boyhood; and when he came 
out here into the wilderness, he came, no doubt, from 
love of adventure. But he proved himself a brave 
and sturdy man, not afraid to work for his new 
home; and Chicago's historians are proud now to 
speak of him as the first citizen of Chicago. 



John Kinzie was born in Quebec; but when only 
five years old went with his mother to live in New 
York. New York, in those days, was little 
more than a town, and John's adventurous soul 
longed for greater freedom; so. one day he boarded 
a vessel bound for Albany, and from there made his 
way back to Quebec. 

He was a little fellow; and many a time -so he 
used to say afterwards he would have been glad 
to creep into his own bed at home and be sure of a 
warm breakfast in the morning. But he was a 
plucky lad; and having reached Quebec, he was 
bound to stay. 

It was not very long before he found work with a 
silversmith; and there, hard at work, he lived in 
Quebec until he was a young man. 

Now, during all these years the fur traders were 
making stations here and there west of the Allegha- 
nies, where the Indians might come to sell the skins 
their hunters had prepared. 

Wonderful Indian stories these fur traders had to 


tell of their life at the stations; and whenever one of 
them came to Quebec, every man, woman, and child 
were eager to hear about the red men and the 
marvelous adventures of the white men among 

All this was sweet music to John Kinzie's restless 
soul; and away he went to Detroit then a little 
village the most western of the fur-trading 

This life was more to his taste than that of a 
silversmith had been; and he soon made friends 
with all the Indian traders round about. He went 
hunting with them; he gave them tobacco and 
bright colored beads; he invited them to the camp; 
and soon the Indians became the best of friends 
with the " white brave " as they called him. 

One day there came into the camp an old chief 
from Chillicothe. With him were two maidens 
sunburnt, weather-beaten and dressed in Indian 
squaw fashion, to be sure; but still very beautiful 
white maidens for all that. 


c They are beautiful," said John Kinzie. w It is 
wrong for them to be brought up like Indian 
squaws;" and the man's generous, honest heart was 
filled with pity for them. 

With John Kinzie was a young Scotchman 
James Clark; and these two brave hearted lads had 
many a long talk over the beautiful maidens. 

r They should be rescued," John would say. 

'They should," James would say. 

Pr Margaret is very beautiful," John would say. 

'Yes, but Elizabeth is more beautiful," James 
would answer again. 

'You and I have been adventurers long enough/' 
said John at last; " and for my part I should like a 

"Well, nobody quite knows all these two men said; 
but in the end this is what happened. The old Chief 
went back to his home alone; James and John built 
two snug little cabins, and Margaret and Elizabeth 
took their respective places in them, the proudest of 
home-makers and housewives. 


For five happy years these four people lived on in 
their little log houses. Then one clay there came 
into the village an old man. He was bent, and 
gray, and feeble. f They tell me," he said, ff that 
my two children my Margaret and Elizabeth 
are living here in Detroit ; and I have come all the 
way from Virginia to see if it be. true." 

Now Margaret and Elizabeth as you have, 
perhaps, already guessed had been stolen from 
their home long before when they were little 
children. In vain had the father tried all these 
years to find them; they had been carried beyond 
the Alleghanies into the tribe of the Shawanese, 
and he could get no trace of them. 

The Shawanese chief had been kind to them 
always; but the little girls had never forgotten their 
old home, and had often wondered, as they grew 
up, if they should ever know where this home 
had been, or should see their father and mother 


There was then great joy in the two little cabins, 


ivhen the old father came to Margaret and Eliza- 
jeth; and for a long time he dwelt among the simple 
3eople of Detroit. Each morning he would say, " I 
mist go back to Virginia ; " but the next morning 
*till found him in the home of his children. 

At last, one morning he said " Each day for 
kveeks I have meant to go back to my home. But 
t will be very lonely there. For twenty years I 
searched formy children. 

' f Never an Indian entered my village, that I 
lid not say to him, " Do you know of two little 
^irls, taken captive in the Dunmore war ? Are they 
still alive? Do they live among your people? Are 
they being brought up as slaves; or has some 
generous chief taken them to his wigwam, where 
they are treated kindly and protected from the 
cruelty of the tribe? But no one could tell me, and 
for many years I mourned them as dead, 

" I am very old. I have not long to live. I wish 
it might be that my sons and daughters and those 
little grand-children would go home with me. 


Virginia is a country of fine farms; the soil is rich, 
the climate is mild, and farms are plentiful." 

But this picture of quiet comfort was not to the 
taste of John Kinzie and James Clark. Into the 
hearts of Margaret and Elizabeth, however, there 
came a great longing to see the old home they still 
remembered, and the friends who would greet them 
so warmly. The old father, too, they had grown to 
love ; and when he spoke to them of his old age and 
his loneliness, their hearts filled with sorrow. 

"Let us go home with him," they said to John 
and James; our hearts long to see the old home and 
our people, whom we have never known." 

So it came about that the two daughters, with 
their children, went away with the old father, back 
to their home in Virginia. 

N"ow, to go on a journey in those days was a 
great event. There were no railroads; the country 
was unexplored; the Indians lay in wait to spring 
upon the white people, as they traveled through the 
forests and over the mountains. 


Margaret and Elizabeth, however, were used to 
danger and hardship; so, when they rode out from 
Detroit, their hearts were brave. rf Good-bv! " they 
said, to their husbands and all the friends who 
watched them setting forth upon the journey, 
"good-by! We shall come back again. Have no 
fear for us! " 

NYnv, all this time, the Chicago Portage was 
coming more and more to be talked of among the 
Detroit traders. The Fort had stood now for many 
years, and the fur trade had prospered. 

History does not tell us why; but it happened 
that Margaret and Elizabeth never returned from 
their visit to Virginia. Although the old father 
died, they seemed to prefer the peace and civiliza- 
tion of a settled country rather than a frontier life 
of hardship and danger. 

And so it was that Kinzie, again alone and free 
to wander at his pleasure, left Detroit and went to 
St. Joseph's. There he married again, and when 
the success of the Chicago Portage was assured, 


and the Indians had proven their friendliness so that 
it seemed safe to build homes outside the fort, John 
Kinzie set forth with his wife and baby boy for the 
new settlement. 

It was a long, hard journey. All such household 
goods as were portable were heaped upon the backs 
of horses. Mr. and Mrs. Kinzie each had a horse; 
and in a big bag, hung on the horn of Mr. Kinzie's 
saddle, the baby was placed. In this odd fashion, 
camping at night, the family made their way across 
the wild prairie, along the Indian trail, to their 
new home at Fort Dearborn. John Kinzie was an 
energetic man. In a very few days a cabin was 
built, and the Kinzie family the first residents of 
Chicago were settled in their new home. 

From a French trader, Kinzie bought a trading 
station, and began at once a brisk business with the 
Indians. Very soon he won their confidence, 
so upright were his dealings with them, and before 
very long John Kinzie began to be spoken of as a 
man of wealtlu 


Every year he improved his home. First it was 
only a little cabin with one room; then another room 
was added, and then another. Windows and real 
doors with hinges were added, the walls were made 
close and warm, by and by a frame building was 
made; till at last there stood upon the north bank 
of the river, opposite the fort, and facing the sunny 
south, a pretty little home the first real American 
dwelling house ever built in the city of Chicago. 


Tecmnseh was a Shawanese chief. For a long 
time he had watched the advance of the white 
people into the territory of the Red Men. 

Very willing were the tribes to sell an acre of 
their land from time to time, and to keep peace with 
the white men who were settled upon it. They 
gave no thought to the future; but were content 
with the tobacco and bright colored trifles which the 



white men were always ready to give in exchange 
either for furs or for land. 

But Tecnmseh had more foresight than others of 
the simple red men of the western tribes. Every 
sale of land he regarded with disfavor; every new 
village that sprang up he watched with fierce hate 
and jealousy. 

f We shall have no land left," he would say to his 
people. '' Do you not see that every year these 
white men are pushing farther and farther west?" 

Now Tecumseh had learned to read and write and 
count; and not a settlement was there through the 
entire North West that he did not know. He knew 
the traders far and near; he knew the number of 
people in each village. Most carefully he watched 
the increase in population; and when, in 1810, there 
were already more than twenty-four thousand white 
people w r here only a few years before there had 
been only a vast wilderness, his angry soul could 
endure no more. 

And so Tecnmseh set forth. Up and down 


the country, from tribe to tribe, he rushed like a 
madman. Councils were held with chiefs, and mul- 
titudes of red men were called together to listen to 
the torrent of eloquence Tecumseh was ever ready 
to pour out upon them. 

With Tecumseh was a brother, Avise and cunning. 
He claimed for himself wonderful powers. He 
could see spirits and hear spirit voices. By the 
spirits he was warned of the danger in store for the 
red men. He could read the future; and he urged 
the people to rise, even as Tecumseh should bid 
them, and go forth, thousands strong, to overcome 
and drive back the intruding white men. 

^ Rise, rise ! '' he said to one reluctant tribe ; 
ff else to-morrow, in the midst of the daylight, the 
sun will hide its face, and there will fall a deep 
shadow upon the earth." 

The red men sneered and went back to their wig- 
wams. The next day dawned bright and clear. 
Higher and higher, brighter and brighter, climbed 
the sun up the eastern sky. 


T We see no shadow,'' the red men said; and they 
laughed to think how wise they had been, and how 
foolish were those tribes who had been frightened 
by the prophet's words. 

Hut even as they spoke, a strange light began to 
creep over the land. They looked up to the sun 
there was a shadow upon it! Darker and darker 
grew r that shadow! The yellow noon-day light 
changed to a dark gray twilight! There were 
strange shadows everywhere! 

'' It is as the great prophet said! " they whispered. 
' The Great Spirit is angry with us ! " And, tremb- 
ling with fear, the chiefs hurried to Tecumseh and 
pledged themselves to join the federation to 
carry war against the white men. 

?r ^ow the shadow will be lifted," said the prophet . 
And the shadow was lifted; and from that day 
the prophet's authority over the red men was estab- 
lished. Such was the advantage that a wise ma a 
had always, even from the beginning, over the simple- 
hearted, superstitious red men. 


It was in the spring of 1808 that these two Indian 
leaders set up their tents on the Tippecanoe, not far 
from the Wabash. 

Here the prophet made his abode, and chiefs for 
hundreds and hundreds of miles around came to him 
for advice. From this station Tecumseh journeyed 
north, south, east, and west, stirring up the tribes, 
and planning the great war of the red men against 
the white men. 

All this the white men, everywhere through the 
west, watched with no little dread. Tecumseh had 
great influence among his people, the white men 
well knew; and an Indian war was a thing to be 
dreaded, even by the bravest. 

For a long time there was no outbreak, even upon 
the frontiers. Tecumseh was hard at work, night 
and day; but the time had not yet come. 

Once, when Governor Harrison sent a message to 
the Shawanese, it was received with bitterness and 
the messengers sneered at as dogs. 

All this showed that trouble was brewing, and 


that plans for vengeance were in the hearts of the 

Again messengers were sent. ' r How dare you," 
thundered one of the chiefs of the red men, f? come 
into our presence! You are spies! Right here is 
your grave ! Look at it ! " 

But just then Tecumseh himself came forward, 
saying to the messengers, rf Fear not; my people 
shall not harm you here. Go back to Governor 
Harrison and tell him that I shall come to talk with 
him at Fort Vincennes." 

In a few days Tecumseh, with seventy-five of 
his bravest warriors, did come into the presence of 
Governor Harrison. For more than a week the 
red men dwelt in the camp among the white men, 
and during all that time Tecumseh stalked among 
them, stern and solemn. 

^N~ot once did he allow himself to talk with the 
white men; not once did he forget" his dignity as 
one aggrieved. At last he spoke to the white men 
assembled before the Governor. 


'Years ago, v said he, ff you white men made a 
peace with us. But since then you have killed 
many of the Shawanese, and yon have taken our 
lands. How can we, then, keep peace with the 
white men? You force us to do you injury. You 
do not want us to band together against you. You 
try to set our tribes one against the other. You 
would make us fight each other. We red men 
never do that to your people. 

'You are driving us west. You would drive us 
into the lake. We are forbidding the chiefs of our 
tribe to sell you any more land. You must not try 
to buy it. If you do, we shall make war upon you. 
We cannot give our land to you; for then there 
would be no home for the red men." 

Poor Tecumseh! He could not understand. He 
could only see that there was danger ahead for his 

Then Governor Harrison tried to talk with him. 

' Think," said he, " how the cruel Spaniards treated 

you in the past. And the French ! How little have 


they cared for your rights or for your comfort. 
Compare our treatment of your people with that 
of these other nations." 

But Tecumseh was only maddened by these 
words. He sprang to his feet with a true savage 
yell, and seized his tomahawk. His companions 
sprang to his side, their knives glittering. 

Quickly Governor Harrison drew his sword, and 
his soldiers rushed upon the scene with sabres 
drawn. "Shame upon you, Tecumseh!" thundered 
the Governor, ff to behave like a savage who knows 
nothing but savagery ! " 

Then Tecumseh and his men crept away, their 
faces black and revengeful. 

" I forgot myself," said Tecumseh the next day. 
? 'I should not have grown angry; but there can be 
no peace. The chief* of your people may sit in his 
great wigwam and drink his wine; but you and I, 
Governor Harrison, out here on the western fron- 
tiers, must fight it out." 

Nor did Tecumseh, even for a moment, swerve 

* The President. 


from his purpose. Already thousands of red men 
had pledged to join against the white men, and 
the times were full of danger. 

About this time, too, a war broke out between the 
English and the Americans the "War of 1812, 
and Tecumseh, his confederacy now organized, joined 
forces with the British against the Americans. All 
the frontier forts were reinforced, Fort Dearborn 
among the rest, and war was threatened every- 

During John Kinzie's eight years at Fort Dear- 
born, he had won the love and confidence of the 
Indian tribes for miles about; still, under the excite- 
ment of war and spurred on by Tecumseh, no one 
could tell what even these friendly Indians might 

There were many families in the village of 
Chicago now, and all looked to Kinzie for advice 
and protection. 

At the risk of his own life, Kinzie set off among 
the neighboring tribes to strengthen, if possible, their 


loyalty; or, at least, to find what the people at 
the fort might expect from them. Even those 
tribes who had been most friendly had little to say; 

and when Kinzie spoke to them of the war and of 
themselves, they sat in sullen silence. 

f We cannot depend upon these red men," was all 
Kinzie could say when he came back to the Fort. 

One day an Indian came into the Fort upon some 
errand. As he looked at the women and children, 
he said, w In a few days these women will be hoeing* 
in our corn fields; and the children will be our 
captives." This certainly was not encouraging; and 
close watch from that time on was kept upon the 


Of^ THE 




Among the tribes that fell in all too readily with 
the scheme of Tecumseh were the Winnebagoes on 
the Rock River. For a long time they lurked in the 
forests round about, watching their chance for an 
attack upon Fort Dearborn. It was their plan to 
surround the settlement, attack first the outlying 
houses, then sweep in upon the others, destroying 
them all, even to the very palisades. 

It was one afternoon, just at dusk, that twelve 


Indians came across the prairie, entered the house of 
a white man named Lee, and sat down in solemn 
silence. This, of itself, was nothing, for the Indians 
often came into the houses like this. And, although 
their manners were not quite like those of white 
people when making calls, the settlers understood 
and received them always with hospitality. 

But on this occasion there was something unusual 
in the behavior of the red men. They said nothing, 
but sat in grim silence; and in their eyes was a fire 
that boded evil to the settlement. At least, so two 
women of the Lee family thought, who, pretending 
to leave the house to feed the cattle, ferried them- 
selves across the river and hurried to the Fort. On 
their way, the two women called to every household, 
"To the Fort! To the Fort! The Indians! The 

In one house a woman lay weak and sick. Beside 
her sat Mrs. Kinzie, when the terrible news reached 
their ears. Fleeing to her own house, with speed 
born of the moment of terror, Mrs. Kinzie rushed in 


upon her household, gasping, "The Indians! The 
Indians are coming! " 

John Kinzie sat playing with his children about 
him. Seizing his gun, he rushed out Into the town. 
Who should go to the rescue of the sick woman and 
her children ! 

"I will go! " shouted Ensign Konan, "I will go, 
while you, Kinzie, hurry your people into the Fort 
and give the signal to all on the outskirts ! " 

Leaping into a boat, with six brave soldiers, 
Konan rowed up the river, and even under the very 
eyes of the red men rescued the poor helpless 
woman and her children, and brought them safely 
back to the Fort. 

Now the gun was fired the danger signal 
from the Fort, and every settler on the outskirts, 
understanding well what it meant, hurried with his 
family to the Fort. 

The Indians, finding their plot discovered, fell 
upon the Lee household with most brutal fury. 
When morning dawned, there lay the ruins of the 


little home; and beside it the dead bodies of two 
white men. 

' This is but the beginning," the people said; and 
every preparation was made for a siege. 

Already the Fort was well supplied with food and 
ammunition. Orders were issued that no citizen or 
soldier should leave without a guard, and a line of 
sentinels was stationed up and down outside the 

A few nights later, the Indians again crept into 
the settlement. The signal was given, and a volley 
of shot was poured upon them from the sentinels 
at the block-house. With a yell of fury, one Indian 
hurled his battle-axe towards one of the sentinels, 
then turned and fled; but in the morning the stains 
of blood upon the grass showed that the shots had 
not been fired in vain, though no Indian had fallen 
dead beneath them. 

Weeks passed by, and no other attack was 
attempted. Scouts were sent out, but there seemed 
to be no further sign of trouble. The 'Indians were 


busy with their farming and their hunting; and once 
more the settlers ^ent back to their little homes. 
The Indians came and went as of old, the white men 
visited their camps, trade was renewed, and peace 
seemed to have again settled upon the community. 

But there was trouble now at Detroit. General 
Hull, w^ho was in charge of the American army 
there, had grave fears for the future. " Go," said 
he to Winnemac, a friendly Pottawatomie chief, " to 
Fort Dearborn, and warn Captain Heald of possible 
danger. Unless his forces and provisions are such 
that he can stand alone against attack, advise him to 
retreat to Fort Wayne at once." 

Winnemac set forth, and for days and nights 
traveled on through the unbroken wilderness. 

It was a most exciting announcement he brought 
from the east; and all the people from far and near 
flocked to the block-house to hear. 

War had been declared against England! 
Another war! And the country had hardly recov- 
ered from the last. Already Michilimackinac had 


fallen! The Indians were allying themselves by 
thousands to the English! Detroit itself was hard 
pressed ! 

Serious, indeed, was all this to the little Chicago 
settlement; for what could so few men, however 
brave, do, if left without hope of reinforcement ! 

ff If the Fort must be evacuated," said Kinzie, pf let 
it be done at once, before the report of HnlFs 
condition reaches the Indians round about us." 

rf General Hull sends orders that all property in 
the Fort be distributed among the Indians," Avas 
Captain Heald's evasive answer. 

"Leave all the goods and let the Indians distribute 
for themselves," said Winnemac. Pf But first take 
your people to Fort Wayne." 

'That is right," said Ensign Konan, for this 
fierce, fiery young officer often disapproved of 
Captain Heald, and seldom failed to express it. 

But to all this Captain Heald made no reply. He 
sat in sullen silence. 

On the next morning, at roll-call, lie quietly 


announced that the plan of delay, as previously 
stated by himself, would be carried out. 

r The fool!" growled the impatient Konan. 
' ? Does he not know that he is imperiling* the lives 
of every man of us ! " 

ff Our hold on Indian friendship is too frail for 
any such c-onfidence in them," said another. 

"Let us go and tell them we are at their mercy," 
sneered Ronan. 

"I will distribute the goods and offer rewards to 
our Indian neighbors to escort us in safety to Fort 
Wayne," was Heald ? s only reply to these 
remonstrances from his officers. 

"Better stay and risk attack than do that," said 
one office r bitterly. 

Pf I could not do that, even if it seemed best," said 
Captain Heald; "for we have no provisions." 

" But, Captain, you have cattle enough to last 
six months, " cried Kinzie. 

r We have no salt to preserve the meat with," 
answered Heald. 


"Jerk it, then, as the Indians do their venison," 
cried one soldier angrily. 

But Captain Heald was unmoved, and the 
precious hours for escape flew by. Hardly had the 
sun risen again before the savages began to show 
signs of insolence. Even the squaws looked in at 
the gate- ways and sneered. 

It was three days after Winnemac's arrival before 
Captain Heald made ready a council with the 
Indians. The council was held outside the fort 
upon the parade ground, all the officers being 

" If we are not all massacred on the spot, we may 
count ourselves fortunate," said Ronan ; and indeed 
a massacre was not improbable, should opportunity 
occur. The cannons were loaded and turned upon 
the parade ground ready for use in case of trouble; 
sentinels were placed on watch ; signals were agreed 
upon, and Heald and his officers went forth to meet 
the Indians. 

"It seems best," said Captain Heald to the red 


men, " to leave this fort and go to Fort Wayne. 
We want your escort from fort to fort. 'Not only 
shall you divide among" yourselves all the goods, both 
in the fort and in the agency house, but on reaching 
Fort Wayne, you shall receive still greater reward." 

To all this the Indians listened with stolid faces. 
What they thought no man could tell. But they 
promised all that Captain Heald asked of them, then 
went silently back to their own camp. 

"What have you done, Captain, in giving these 
savages even the ammunition from the agency 
house ! " cried Kinzie, as soon as the Indians were 
beyond hearing. f What if they should hear of the 
fall of Michilimackinac! What if Tecumseh should 
send messages to them! Do you not see that this 
ammunition would then be in their hands to use 
against us?" 

At this Captain Heald seemed to awaken to a 
sense of possible danger. Ff Perhaps you are right, 
Kinzie," he, said. 

"Right! too right, I fear!" answered Kinzie. 


r Then we must destroy the ammunition; that is 
the best we can do now," was all Heald could say. 

The next day the Indians were called together 
and the goods from the fort distributed. "Come 
again to-morrow," said Captain Heald, " and yon 
shall have whatever there is in the agency house." 

'To-day! let ns have it to-day!" clamored the 
red men. 

Cf Xot to-day;" and Heald sent them away angry 
and discontented. For the Indians were suspicious. 
They felt that, in sending them away, the white men 
meant to deprive them of the contents of the ageney 

' \\ e will watch," said they; and so, as soon as 
darkness fell, they crept back to the fort. They lay 
down flat in the grass and squirmed and crawled, 
serpent-like, close up to the fort. The garrison, 
too, were very still as still as the Indians them- 
selves andy they worked in the dark. The 
Indians, lyink" there in the grass, watched and 
listened. Thi\ white men weie destroying the 


muskets ! And see ! The ammunition ! They were 
throwing it in the well! The Indians grew wild 
with anger. Their fierce eyes shone like fire. 
They clutched at the tall grass and hissed liked 

But the white 'men were busy and saw nothing. 
They rolled the casks of fire water out from the 
store house. Very carefully they rolled them down 
to the river, and poured the contents over the hank. 
The fumes of fire water filled the air. It reached 
the Indians lying in the grass. It was to them like 
the smell of powder to a war horse. It aroused 
them to redoubled fury. They hissed and writhed; 
they muttered and growled and showered curses 
upon the treacherous white men, who not only were 
thus attempting to deceive them, but were wasting in 
the river current cask on cask of precious fire-w r ater. 

They wriggled through the grass up to the river 
bank. They lapped the soil over which the fire- 
water had poured; they drank the waters of the 
river, laden as they were with it. Infuriated, maddened 


by the taste of the fire water, these spies crept back 
to their camp. Half drunk, they staggered into the 
presence of their chief and told him what they had 

^ow, as we know, the Pottawatomies had been 
true to their peace compact with the white men, and 
even now their chief had hoped to hold back the 
young warriors of the tribe, who longed for 
vengeance upon one and all. But when the spies 
came into the camp smelling of fire-water and telling 
their tale of treachery, the young warriors would 
not be held back. They tightened their war belts, 
seized their tomahawks, and filled the air with 

Early in the morning Black Partridge, one of the 
braves of the Pottawatomie chiefs, came into the 
presence of Captain Heald. 

' f l come," he said, r to bring you this medal. 
You gave it to me, and I have worn it as a pledge 
of friendship to your people. But now my warriors 
are angry with you. You have deceived them. I 


cannot restrain them. The tribe vows vengeance 
upon you; therefore I return the medal." 

Black Partridge laid down the medal, and 
silently turned and went out from the Fort. 

Xot a man in the Fort spoke. Captain Heald 
bowed his head in sorrow. What should they do? 
Only one box of cartridges and twenty-five rounds 
of ammunition had been reserved from the general 
destruction, and little would this avail against an 
attack from the Pottawatomies. 

But already, though the garrison knew it not, aid 
was near at hand. In the family of Captain Heald 
was a white man who had been brought up among 
the Indians. He had been captured by them when 
a lad of thirteen years, and had been adopted into 
the family of Little Turtle, a chief of character as 
true and noble as that of Black Partridge. 

Little Turtle loved the white boy; and while he 
taught him to live the life of an Indian warrior, he 
taught him to despise meanness and cowardice and 


Now Little Turtle was a brave and daring chief; 
and when the boy watched him, foremost always in 
honorable battle, straightforward, upright, kindly in 
his dealings with both friend and foe, he learned 
many a lesson of truest heroism from his half-savage 
friend and foster-father. 

In that battle in which St. Clair fell, this man - 
William Wayne Wells stood and fought with his 
red men his adopted people in the foremost 
ranks, till the dead bodies of the American artillery- 
men lay heaped around him like a barricade, shield- 
ing him from the bullets that poured in upon his 
people. No man, red or white, ever fought more 
valiantly, more bravely, more desperately for the 
cause he thought to be right. 

But when this battle was over, and Wells lay in 
his wigwam alone and thought upon the great con- 
flict between the white men and the red, he foresaw 
what the end must be. He realized the superiority 
of the white men; he knew their cause must win; 
and he knew, too, that it was right and best both 


for the country and all mankind that it should win. 
So he went to Little Turtle and tolct him all that 
he thought; for to desert his adopted people 
unfairly and without the full consent of Little 
Turtle, his straightforward soul would never have 
permitted him to do. All night long Little Turtle 
and his adopted son talked of- their past and their 
possible future. All that was in his heart to tell, 
Wells told to his good friend. 

And in the end, Little Turtle grasped the young 
man's hand and said; '' Go, my son, and do whatever 
the Good Spirit bids yon; for it is He that speaks 
to us and tells us what is right for each of us to do." 

And so it was that Wells, who had lived so many 
years with the Indians, and who loved his adopted 
people as his own, went out from the camp of Little 
Turtle and joined himself with the white forces 
under the command of General Wayne. This was 
during the revolution in 1794; and in the battles that 
followed his bravery made for himself a name that 
America will never forget. 


But now again the Indian war whoop was ringing 
through the forest; again the white men and the red 
men were at war. From Fort Wayne news reached 
Wells of the danger at Fort Dearborn. 

' The Healds are of my own family," he said to 
himself; "and even if they were not, I would go to 
their rescue in a time like this." 

With fifteen Miamis he hastened to relieve the 
unfortunate garrison. 

Never was reinforcement more welcome. For 
despair had settled down upon the little garrison, 
brave as it was. It was, of course, too late to 
defend the Fort. There was nothing for them to do 
but march out from it, assuming a courage that they 
had not, and, in the face of the Pottawatomies, angry 
and revengeful as they were, make a bold retreat 
toward Fort Wayne. 

''First of all, go to sleep," said Wells to the worn- 
out garrison; "I will keep watch. You will need 
your strength, may be, to-morrow." 

Early in the morning, August 15, 1812, the troops 


were ready. At nine o'clock they were to march 
out. At daybreak a friendly Indian came rushing 
into the Fort. ff Mr. Kinzie," he whispered, ff The 
Pottawatonries are ready for an attack. Conic with 
me you and your family and I will carry yon to 
Fort Wayne by boat." 

f Go, v said Kinzie to his wife and children; 
ff but I will inarch. The Pottawatomies have been 
friendly with me; it may be I can hold them, even 
now, in check/' 

But hardly had the boat reached the mouth of the 
river, when another messenger came running. 
* f Stay here! Stay here!'' he shouted to the boat- 
man; then ran back toward the Fort. 

There, at the mouth of the river, Mrs. Kinzie, 
claspinp- both her frightened children in her arms, 
waited. Out from the Fort the troops inarched 
before the wagons containing the women and 
children. The mournful notes of the Dead March 
floated down the waters. Wells, his face blackened, 
as was the custom of his adopted tribe, marched 


along at the head of his little band of Miamis, 
followed by the escort of about five hundred 
Pottawatomies, their faces set, but with no sign thus 
far of evil design. 

All together they marched along the shore, until 
they came to a line of sand dunes stretching 
between the beach and the prairie. Here the com- 
pany separated; for the Pottawatomies now turned 
towards the prairie, instead of keeping along the 
shore line with the troops and Miamis. ' 

r What does that mean?*' said Kinzie quicklv. 
? We may be sure these red men do nothing without 
a meaning." 

Meantime, Wells, riding ahead, was watching 
closely. Suddenly, with a whoop, he turned his 
horse back upon the troops. 

''The attack! the attack !" he shouted. " They 
are ready! Charge upon them! Charge!" 

And almost before the words were said, out there 
burst from the sand hills a volley of shot. 

Another instant, and the troops charged upon 


the bank and poured a deadly volley upon the 
crouching savages. 

At the sound of the first shot, Wells' fifteen 
Mianiis, panic stricken, fled. Straight up into the 
face of the chief of the Pottawatomies, Wells rod<\ 
brandishing his tomahawk and shouting in tones 
that rolled like thunder above the noise of battle: 

-You are cowards! You have played a trick 
upon us! But I will come back! I will punish yon 
for your treachery, even as the Great Spirit 
always punishes cowards and unfair warriors!" 

And before even a rifle could be raised against 
him, Wells turned and galloped across the prairie 
in pursuit of his Mianiis. 

Hand to hand, man to man, the savages and the 
troops fought, drawing each other back and forth 
across the dunes. Five hundred savages, and a 
mere handful of troops to hold them back! 

Ensign Ronan, one of the first to fall, staggered 
foward and fought till exhausted. Then the red 
men pressed through and fell upon the wagons. 




One savage, with a howl like that of a beast, seized 
the wife of Helm and dragged her to the ground. She 
wrenched herself from his grasp, but his tomahawk 
fell upon her shoulder. Springing to her feet, 
strong in her agony of pain, she seized the Indian 
by the arm and hurled the scalping knife from his 

Just then, another savage seized upon her; and, 
dragging her to the lake, plunged her into the water 
and held her there. 

rf lt is you! You! Black Partridge!" gasped Mrs. 
Helm; for indeed it was Black Partridge, and it 
was in this way that he had rescued her from the 
tomahawk of the enraged Indian. 

It was a brief, hard struggle; bravely though the 
white men fought, with five hundred desperate, 
maddened savages against them, there could be but 
one end. By twos and threes, the white men fell 
beneath the tomahawks and scalping knives of the 
savage foe. 

Hardly a third of the little band was now alive; 


and these, knowing" the hopelessness of their 
struggle, surrendered on condition that the women 
and children, such as were not already slain, should 
be unmolested. 

"When the firing ceased, Black Partridge dragged 
Mrs. Helm forth from the water, and placing her 
upon a horse, led her away captive. By her side 
walked a savage, from whose belt hung the scalp of 
the brave Wells, who had fallen fighting most 

Fainting, the captive woman sank upon the 
ground before the wigwam of the chief, Wau-bee- 

But already the plunder of the Fort had begun. 
The cattle had been shot down, and now lay dead 
and dying upon the ground among the men who 
had fought so desperately. And, although the 
savages had promised to spare the women and 
children and also the few remaining troops, they 
seemed to think their promise did not include those 
already wounded. These they seized upon as if 


to vent their fury; nor did they cense until every 
man, woman and child lay dead before them. 

All this time the family of Mr. Kinzie sat in the 
boat at the mouth of the river, unharmed. 

"Harm not the wife of the Shaw-nee-aw-kee," 
Black Partridge had commanded before the battle 
had begun; and this command the savages had not 
forgotten, even in the fiercest of the fight. 

In the boat, terribly wounded, covered with a 
great robe of buffalo, lay the wife of Captain Heald, 
who had been rescued by the boatman and hidden 

By and by, there was once more quiet upon the 
prairie. The savages had wreaked their vengeance; 
and there was no further horror left for them to do. 

The Kinzie family was carried back to the old 
Kinzie home, while the other captives lay bound in 
the wigwams of the red men. Here the Kin/ies 
remained, guarded by a few friendly Indians, who 
meant to escort them back to Detroit. 

Black Partridge himself stood guard over the 


cottage; and it was well, perhaps, that lie did so, for 
the next morning there came hurrying in upon the 
scene more Indians, and from another and fiercer 
tribe. These, hearing of the intended attack, had 
come from the Wabash simply to take their part in a 
possible battle against white men, whom, one and 
all, they hated. 

Thirsting for bloodshed, they rushed in upon the 
scene, only to find themselves too late. The battle 
w T as over, the spoils divided, and the scalps all 
taken. Only the Kinzie family seemed to them 
available, and these they reckoned at once as their 
prey. And so, blackening their faces, they crept 
toward the little cottage. Entering, they seated 
themselves upon the floor in sullen silence. Even 
Black Partridge felt there was little hope; for he 
well understood the meaning of the savages. 

Just then a friendly whoop was heard outside. 

f 'Who are you?" shouted Black Partridge; for 
canoes were moored to the river bank and red men 
were landing just outside. 


" I am a man," answered the leader among them. 
r? A man like yourself." 

"But who are you?" shouted Black Partridge, 
meaning and the man upon the bank understood 
whose friend are you? 

"I am the Sau-ga-nash ! " answered the man from 
the bank. 

'Then come quick! your friend is in danger!" 
for he was a half breed; and when he said, "I am 
the Sau-ga-nash," he meant, " I am an English- 
man." Had he said, "I am a Pottawatomie," no 
one would have known better than Black Partridge 
himself that all hope of saving the Kinzies was at 
an end. 

With all speed the Sau-ga-nash hurried up to the 
cottage. In an instant he took in the situation. 

"Well, well, good friends!" he said to the 
savages, "glad am I to see you. They told me 
there were enemies here! Strange! and your faces 
blackened! Why is that? Ah, but T know. It is 
that you mourn for friends that have fallen in battle. 



"Or, perhaps, you are hungry. If yon are, ask 
for food from Mr. Kinzie. He is the Indian's friend. 
Never yet did an Indian go away from his door 

By this time the savages were confused and 
ashamed. They dared not tell why they had come; 
and so, to save themselves, they said; ff Tt is as you 
say, we mourn the death of friends; we come to 
ask for white cotton in which to roll them for 

'You shall rme it," said Kinzie; and loading 
them down with all the house could afford, he sent 
them away crestfallen, but not suspecting that they 
had been outwitted by the Sau-ga-nash. 

On the third day, the Kinzie family was con- 
ducted to St. Joseph, and a few months later they 
returned to Detroit. 

Sick and wounded, Captain and Mrs. lleald had 
already been sent to St. Joseph as prisoners of war. 
Mrs. Helm, too, was finally sent to Canada as 
prisoner of war. 


The soldiers and their families, the few who had 
survived the cruel slaughter, were scattered up and 
down the country among the different villages of the 
Pottawatomies; but, after a time, all these were 
taken to Detroit and ransomed. 

So fell Fort Dearborn; and for a time it seemed, 
indeed, as if the end of the story of Chicago had 
come. For who then could see into the future? 
AVho then could prophesy that from these ruins the 
city should rise again rise, and grow, and become, 
as it already has become, the foremost city in the 
country ? 


Meantime the forts at Michilimackinac and at 
Detroit had fallen into the hands of the British and 
their Indian allies. Not for one day had Tecumseh 
rested ; not one opportunity had he lost to spur his 
people on and to turn them against the settlers. 

The British general, Brock, looked upon Tecum- 
seh as the hero of the hour. He knew full well, and 
readily acknowledged it, that very much of the 
British success was due to this chiefs tireless 
energy and unceasing labor among his own people. 


Teeumseh had accomplished all that he meant 
to do; the three stations were destroyed, and the 
future of the Northwest seemed hopeless. It seemed 
as if once more the territory must fall back into the 
possession of the savages. 

Teeumseh was jubilant. British honors were 
showered upon him. Still he cared little for that ; 
for, be it said to this chiefs credit, he did what lie 
did from honest love of his own people and for the 
protection of what he truly believed to be their 

With the fall of Michilimackinac, Detroit, and 
Dearborn, his spirits rose, his courage increased. 
Surely the Great Spirit was with him; the good 
manittos were helping; else such grand success 
could never have been his. 

All this the prophet told the red men; and 
spurred on by success and the assurance of the 
Great Spirit's approval, they rose again at 
Tecumseh's call and gathered their forces for 
another campaign. 


It was the plan of General Brock this time to 
carry war into the heart of the "Northwest. 

There were still Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison; 
and these must be taken. " We must destroy these 
as we destroyed Fort Dearborn/' General Brock 
said; and Tecnmseh was ready with his help and 
hearty approval. 

This was not altogether an easy task; for the 
British, strangers as they were in the territory, 
knew nothing of distance. The rivers were all un- 
known to them; and without the guidance of the 
savages, an attempt to attack these forts would have 
been most perilous. 

Tecumseh knew the country well; and was ready 
to map out, in his own crude way, the rivers and the 

With this as a guide, General Brock laid out his 
plan, and at once the campaign was opened. 

Fort Wayne was to be attacked first. There was 
no time to be lost, lest the Americans should 
re-enforce the place, knowing as they must that 


Fort Wayne and Harrison would not long be left 
unmolested by the British. 

The savages then were sent ahead, since they 
could march more rapidly, with directions to sur- 
round the fort and see that re-enforcements were 
not received; neither was the garrison to be allowed 
opportunity for escape. 

Of the several tribes who joined in this enterprise, 
none were more eager than the Pottawatomies. 
Little had they ever suffered from the settlers; and 
until the coming of Tecumseh, none had been more 
friendly to the white men or more contented with 
their relations. 

But now the savage in them was aroused ; their 
success at Fort Dearborn had whetted their savage 
appetites and made them impatient for more blood- 

Upon their eagerness General Brock looked with 
satisfaction. He could afford to be generous. So 
he said to their chief, ' If you succeed in this, the 
entire contents of the fort shall be vours." 


At this the tribe rang out a chorus of approving" 
whoops, flourished their tomahawks, and made ready 
for the onslaught. 

In only a few days the Shawanese, the Miamis, 
and the Pottawatomies appeared .before the fort. 
It was never the Indian custom to make a bold 
and open attack; and so, true to their tribal tradi- 
tions, they scattered themselves in the forests round 
about, hid themselves in the grasses, and watched 
their chances for catching sentinels off guard or for 
sneaking in unseen through gates. 

While these tribes lay in wait at Foil Wayne, 
another band of savages fell upon Fort Harrison. 
First a little settlement outside the fort was 
attacked, and twenty people slain. Then, with 
twenty scalps dangling from their belts, the savages 
pressed on close up to the fort. 

Young Captain Taylor, afterward President of 
the United States, was in command, with a little 
garrison of only eighteen men. 

All day and all night the little band lay in dread 



suspense, for the forests were alive with savages. 
Towards morning, the report of a rifle brought 
every man to the barricades. The foe were skulk- 
ing outside, and a few shots had already entered the 
fort. Then the blockhouse was fired; and at the 
same time, so that the attention of the little garrison 
should be distracted, shots poured in thick and fast. 

ff Oft with the roof! " shouted Captain Taylor. 
" Off with the roof! " 

At this, two men, panic stricken, jumped the walls 
and fled to the forest; thus the little garrison was 
reduced' to only sixteen. 

ff Each man must be as brave as ten ! " said Taylor. 
' There are women here, and children, who need 
our protection." 

Above the din of battle the captain's voice rang 
out; and every man heard and obeyed. 

Quick and fast these sixteen, men loaded and re- 
loaded, and the savages were kept at bay. When the 
sun rose, they withdrew; and, although another 
attack was sure to come, the brave garrison 


was given time to rest and prepare for stronger 

In the midst of all this a messenger crept through 
the Indian lines and made his way to General 
Harrison. Without a moment's waiting, Colonel 
Hopkins, at the General's command, started out at 
the head of twelve hundred volunteers for Fort 
Harrison. Never was help more welcome. A hard, 
quick march was made, the Indians dispersed, and 
the army marched in upon the brave sixteen, w r ho 
welcomed them with as joyous cheers as sixteen 
men so worn and exhausted could raise. 

But all this time the savages about Fort Wayne 
were busy. They made no direct attack, for they 
waited the arrival of other tribes. They even made 
pretense now and then at friendship. Old Chief 
Winnemac, once the white man's friend, was now 
the leading spirit in the treachery. 

It was their plan to gain admittance a few of 
them to the fort, overpower the sentinels, open 
the gates, raise a whoop, and thus signal the tribes 


outside. These, listening and ready, were then to 
rush in, and so the fort was to be captured. 

Once Winnemac, under a white flag, was admitted 
with a band of comrades. But he found the guard 
drawn up inside, rifles in hand, and ready to charge. 

He saw that his trick was understood. Then, 
making some excuse, which no one failed to inter- 
pret, he crept out from the fort, unharmed, because 
protected by the flag under which he himself had 
proved such a traitor. 

For two days more the siege went on. Messages 
had been sent to General Harrison; but no one 
within the fort could know whether or not the 
messengers had succeeded in passing alive beyond 
the Indian lines. 

That the savages were expecting reinforcements, 
was evident; and so both waited the besieged and 
the besiegers. 

One morning, a shout of triumph and a thunder- 
ing at the great gateway brought the little garrison 
of eighty men to their feet. 


Had help come? They looked out. No army 
was in sight! 

w Who is it?" the sentinel called. 

"Open! It is I! Oliver." 

Then the gate, was drawn back, and William 
Oliver, the garrison's old sutler, accompanied by 
three friendly Indians, rode in. 

rp Harrison is on his way!" he cried, as soon as 
the gate was closed. rf I was at Cincinnati when 
your messenger came in. We hurried ahead to tell 
yon that help is coming!" 

Brave William Oliver! For it had been no simple 
risk to dash in through the horde of savages that 
lay outside ! 

ff Harrison is on his way!" This was welcome 
news; and every one of the eighty felt his courage 
rise. rf Even though the savage reinforcements 
arrive, we can hold out twelve hours," they 
thought. And surely Harrison will reach the fort 
in that time. 

On the next day Harrison did arrive, with two 


thousand Kentucky troops and seven hundred Ohio 
volunteers! And at sight of him the savages, with- 
out a single attempt at battle, fled to the forest. 
For miles they ran, pursued by a few of Harrison's 
horsemen. Not once did they turn or attempt to 
give battle. On, on, like the cowards they were, 
they ran, scattering in all directions. 

So the siege of Fort Wayne was lifted; and once 
more the little garrison was safe. 

Far less successful had this eain])aign been thai 
the first, in which Detroit, Michilimackinac, anc 
Dearborn had fallen. 

Still the British were not discouraged. On the 
contrary, with greater vigor than before, the) 
planned a third campaign. 

Even yet Tecumseh hoped to establish a boundary 
between his own and the white men's countries, one 
over which the whites should pledge themselves 
never to encroach. 

In Tecumseh the British still hoped. The\ 
looked upon him as their strong ally --the one red 



man who had power to sway his people and bring 
them into co-operation with the British. 

It was to Harrison, however, that the Americans 
turned their faces. On his way to Fort Wayne, 
messengers had overtaken him, bringing him his 
appointment of Commander-in-chief of all the forces 
in the Northwest. 

With a force of ten thousand men Harrison set at 
once to work. First of all he meant to provide 
protection for the frontier. Next, he prepared to 
march in and recapture Detroit, and so reclaim 
Michigan. Nor was this all. Detroit retaken, he 
then proposed to invade Canada. 

A magnificent plan! Yes, and western heroism 
and patriotism were fired. Volunteers were impa- 
tient to join the army, for Harrison was a born 

All this meant endless labor, untiring zeal. First, 
there was the soil rich, black, oozing, then as now. 
But with no roads, and in a vast uncultivated region, 
it was a terror to the army with its heavy machinery 
of war. 


Still, at Harrison's call, the divisions came, wading 
often through the black marshes, knee-deep in mud, 
mid often sinking in the treacherous swamps. 

First of all came the terrible defeat and massacre 
on the River Raisin. Then Harrison built Fort 
Meigs, where, hemmed in by mud blockades, he 
remained even until the British General Proctor, 
with Tecumseh himself as aid, took up his position 
before the fort and opened fire. 

As we have read in our histories, this was a hard 
battle; but in the end Harrison was victorious and 
Proctor withdrew, although he had with him 
eighteen hundred Indians more than Tecumseh 
had before commanded at any one time. 

Following close upon this, came the siege of Fort 
Stephenson, in which the Americans were again 
grandly successful. 

Then the cry, ff On to Maiden! " the grand battle 
on the lakes, Perry's victory, and finally the battle 
of the Thames, in which Tecumseh himself fell, and 
the war of 1812 came virtually to an end. 


During all this time the Kinzies were living in 
Detroit held by the British and watched, as a man 
so patriotic had need to be watched, by his British 
prison keeper. 

One day General Proctor became suspicions that 
Kinzie might be in correspondence with Harrison. 

f We must shut the man up," said Proctor to 
Lieutenant Watson. 

So Watson went to Kinzie, telling him that Proc- 
tor wished to see him on the opposite side of the river. 

Kinzie, suspecting nothing, crossed the river; 
only to find himself a prisoner and under guard. 

Hours passed, and Kinzie did not return. ?f Some- 
thing is wrong," said Mrs. Kinzie; and she called a 
friendly Indian chief one who, in all the changes 
of conditions, had remained true to Kinzie and 
told him her fears. 

rr We will see," said the chief. And, with a little 
band of friends, he set out for the house of the 
commanding officer. 

To avoid trouble Kinzie was released, and his 




Indian friends, carried him back to his old station in 
triumph. But in a day or two Proctor sent 
dragoons and they arrested him again. 

r Where is Shaw-nee-aw-kee?." again the Indians 

f There ! " said Mrs. Kinzie, r ' taken prisoner by 
the Red Coats!" 

Without one word, the Indians ran down the 
river, seized their canoes, and rowed across. 

It is not recorded what they said; but again 
Proctor released Kinzie and the Indians carried him 
back a second time to Mrs. Kinzie. 

A few days later he was again seized upon, and 
this time was carried to the prison at Fort Maiden, 
at the mouth of the river. Here he was a prisoner, 
when Perry's victory took place. 

He was out in the^ prison court when the first 
sound of cannon rolled down across the waters. 
What could it mean! Soon the battle was on, and 
both Kinzie and his prison keeper watched with 
breathless eagerness. 


ff It is time for you to go back to your cell, sir," 
said an officer. 

rt Never mind! Wait! Let me see how the battle 
goes ! " cried Kinzie. 

Just then a sloop rounded the point. Pressing- 
close upon her were two gun boats. 

"What is that! She runs! The British colors! 
See! she is lowering them! Hurrah! Yes, Sir 
Officer, I am ready to go back to my cell. I have 
seen how the battle has gone ! " 

For the sloop was the " Little Belt " the very 
last one of the British squadron that fell that day 
before the gallant Perry. 

And now the war was over, the English were 
driven out, and the Indian confederations broken. 
The attention of American people was again turned 
towards the Northwest as a future home for the 
rapidly growing nation. 

During the war much had been learned of its rich 
soil, its vast prairies, its timber lands, and its 
navigation resources, that might not have been 



revealed in a century to' come had not attention 
been forced upon it. 

All these glorious conditions began now to be 
talked about. The government was roused to 
interest; families began to migrate by tens and 
hundreds. The pioneer spirit was awake. 

The chain of Great Lakes grew rapidly in the 
people's recognition of their importance. The Ohio, 
until now the only westward commercial route, found 
itself challenged by a rival. 

And with all this renewal of interest, we may be 
sure the "Portage of Chicago " was not forgotten. 
Indeed, towards this were all eyes turned; in it was 
recognized the future centre of the western home 
life and commerce. 

As early as 1814, President Madison, in his 
message to Congress, recommended that it give due 
attention to the importance of a ship canal connect- 
ing Lake Michigan with the Illinois by way of 
Chicago. This good advice the War Department 
readily recognized, and Captain Hezekiah Bradley 


was sent to rebuild and re-establish Fort Dear- 

With two companies of men he set out and, as it 
happened, again on J'uly 4, just thirteen years from 
the day Captain Whistler had sailed with his ^ great 
white bird" up to the portage, this man landed to 
rebuild the old fort. 

Great changes had taken place since that sunny 
day thirteen years before, when Whistler arrived 
and the natives hurried down, amazed and pleased, 
to see the white men and the white bird. 

Here stood the little Kinzie house, almost 
unharmed, and near it lay the ruins of the old fort; 
and there, a little way up the river, in the stubble 
and bunch grass, lay the whitened and weather- 
beaten bones of the brave martyrs, slaughtered that 
day when the savages fell upon the little band they 
had promised to protect. 

Captain Bradley and his men thought of all these 
things when again they landed upon the spot that 
had seen such suffering a few years since. 


Bat these men were brave and energetic, too; and 
they set to work at once to build a new fort 
upon the site of the old one. This new fort 
consisted of a strong block-house and barracks for 
the soldiers the whole enclosed, as before, in 
strong high palisades. 

Hardly was the fort finished and the place 
protected, when John Kinzie came back with his 
family again to make himself Chicago's first 
citizen. He had been told that, out of love for him 
the Indians had allowed his home to stand, but 
even he hardly expected to find it in so good a 

But there it stood even the vines about the 
porch still climbing roofward just as it had been 
in those other days when these same people dwelt 
there so happily and peacefully. 

"People said we were foolhardy to come back," 
Kinzie used to say; "and perhaps we were. But 
we loved our little home on the river, and we wanted 
to get back to it; so we came." 


But Northwest history was making rapidly in these 
days; and in this very year a treaty was made with 
the Ottawas, Cbippewas, and Pottawatomies. This 
treaty all the chiefs and warriors signed, Black 
Partridge's name leading all the rest. 

It was most necessary that this strip of land 
be secured for a future military road, when the 
time should come for the building of the ship canal. 

But the surveying was not done exactly as we 
might, perhaps, wish. Lines did not always meet, 
and so we have in our maps of Illinois even to this 
day a monument to the Indian Treaty, in the 
diagonal offsets and the triangular wedges that are 
to be seen along the lines that bound and separate 
our beautiful townships and counties. 

The new colony at Fort Dearborn prospered, how- 
ever; encouraged by the Kinzie family's bravery, 
people began to come again; the block-house itself 
was rebuilt; a large parade ground was laid out; a 
magazine was constructed; and a great field planted 
with corn and other vegetables. 



Communications were opened with the several 
little settlements in southern Illinois, and boats ran 
up and down the south branch of the Chicago River, 
Mud Lake, the Desplaines, and Illinois, bringing 
supplies to the fort. 

Pioneers were coming fast; and in the very next 
year 1818 the territory sent its first delegate to 
Congress, and Nathaniel Pope applied for and was 
granted the admission of the territory as a state 
the State of Illinois ! 

There were very few settlements in the northern 
part of the state at that time; but Congressman 
Pope was far sighted and most wise. 

The northern boundary line was due west from 
the southern point of Lake Michigan. 

This, of course, did not include the portage of 

' We must have Chicago in Illinois," Pope firmly 
declared. "It will be a great centre by and by. 
Why should not Illinois have the glory? " 

And so he set to work to have the boundary 


changed. He wrote his reasons most clearly and 
laid them before Congress. 

Congress accepted the change; and there has not 
been an epoch in our history since but has shown 
how wise and far-sighted an act this was on the part 
of Illinois' first Congressman. 

The Northwest was rapidly becoming populated. 
Wars were over; our territory was secure; the East 
was becoming crowded; rumors of the wonderful 
country and its great advantages were spreading 
, up and down the Atlantic coast, and not only men 
for business purposes alone, but whole families - 
sometimes whole neighborhoods were coming out 
across the prairies. 



The country along the eastern coast of Lake 
Michigan still belonged to the Pottawatomies, the 
Ottawa*, and the Chippewas. The white people 
were, however, crowding close upon them, and the 
time came when both Indians and white men were 
glad to make a treaty that should make them both 
feel more secure. 

It was in 1821 and at Chicago that this treaty 
was made. Lewis Cass, the Governor -of Michigan 
represented the white men, and Metea, a Potta- 
watomie Chief, represented the red men. 

One of our greatest authorities on Ihdian affairs 
was Henry Schoolcraft. He had travelled among the 
Indians, had studied them, learned their Languages, 
their legends, their manners and customs. At the 
time of this treaty Henry Schoolcraft was the Indian 
Agent for the United States and was located in this 
section. He was present at the treaty gathering, 
and because he wrote it out as no one else could 
write it so vigorously, so truthfully, so intelligently 
why may we not read the story in his own words? 


f To accommodate the numerous delegation which 
gathered at Chicago at this council, great prepara- 
tions had to be made at the expense of the 
government. Rations must be issued, not only to 
the chiefs who took part in the deliberations, but to 
all who came' as spectators to grunt out gutteral 
approbation to the various speeches to be made. 

'These numbered over three thousand; they had 
wearily toiled around the southern extremity of 
Lake Michigan, and reached Chicago with a keen 
relish for the 'mess of pottage' for which their 
birthright was to be sold, and he who would deny 
this poor pittance to them ought to be branded with 
anathema. The northern bank of the river immedi- 
ately opposite the fort was the spot selected for the 
council, within range of its , guns perhaps as a 
measure of caution. In the centre of the grounds 
an open bower was erected, with rustic seats for the 
chiefs. Two or three days were taken up in 
formalities essential to the etiquette of Indian 
customs in all important negotiations, and the 


council was opened by a speech from Governor 
Cass, setting forth the objects of the convention, in 
which the politic orator emphasized his words 
describing the benefits resulting to the Indians 
through the money and goods they were to get for 
Iheir lands, and, after reminding them that their 
country was now nearly destitute of game, formally 
proposed to buy it, generously offering to let them 
still retain portions of it till wanted for settle- 
ments, although they were receiving annuities for 
the same. 

"A short pause ensued after the respectful atten- 
tion which the Indians had given to this speech, and 
then after two days' consideration, Metea replied to 
it in his happiest vein of oratory. The following 
are extracts from it. 

' ' My Father, our country was given to us by the 
Great Spirit, who gave it to us to hunt upon, to 
make our corn fields upon, and to live upon, and to 
make our beds upon when we die; and he would 
never forgive us should we now bargain it away. 


When you first spoke to us of the lands of the St. 
Marys, we said we had a little, and agreed to sell 
you a piece of it; but we told you we could spare 
no more. Now you ask us again. You 'a re never 
satisfied! We have sold you a great tract of land 
already; but it is not enough! We sold it to you 
for the benefit of your children, to farm and to live 
upon. We shall want it all for ourselves. We 
know not how long we may live, and we wish to 
leave some lands for our children to hunt upon. 
You are gradually taking away our hunting grounds. 
We are growing uneasy. What lands you have 
you may retain, but we shall sell no more. You 
think perhaps I speak in passion, but my heart is 
good towards you. AVe have now told you what we 
had to say. It is what was determined on in a 
council among ourselves; and what I have spoken 
is the voice of my nation. But do not think we 
have a bad opinion of you. We speak to you with 
a good heart, and the feelings of a friend.' 

"Governor Cass replied to this speech, indulging 


in soft words not unjustly applied, as due in the 
main to the honor and good faith of the Indians, to 
which various Indian chiefs replied in the usual 
style of Indian oratory. John Kinzie also made a 
speech, in which he refuted a charge of non-fulfill- 
ment of treaty obligations on the part of the United 
States. These deliberations lasted till the 23rd, 
pending which no one doubted, either white or 
Indians, that the latter would come to the terms 
required of them and sell their lands, but no signs 
of yielding were yet manifest in the impenetrable 
countenances of the chiefs, as the council was closed 
on this day by one of the chiefs, who said : 

f My Father, it is late; I shall do no more to-day; 
but to-morrow you shall hear our final council. 
You are hungry by this time. You white men eat 
at certain fixed hours; we Indians do what we have 
to do and eat when it is convenient. ' 

" The deliberations lasted till the 29th, when the 
treaty was signed by both parties. 

w The Indians made a cession of their land in 


Michigan, amounting to over five million acres, for 
which the Pottawatomies were to receive an annuity 
of five thousand dollars per annum for twenty years, 
in specie, and the sum of one thousand dollars 
expended annually among them during the time to 
support a blacksmith and a teacher. The right to 
immediately construct roads through the territory 
ceded, connecting Detroit, Fort Wayne, and 
Chicago, was also guaranteed. 

f The Ottawas were to receive a perpetual annuity 
of one thousand dollars, and for ten years the sum 
of fifteen hundred dollars expended annually to 
furnish them a blacksmith and a teacher." 

This was, of course, a great gain, both in territory 
and in security to the white people, and it gave, too, 
a great impetus to immigration. Still we must 
remember life was very crude and simple here, even 
then, in 1821. 

The garrison and the few citizens of the place 
amused themselves with hunting and fishing. Sup- 
plies were obtained from Detroit by a sailing vessel 


in her annual trip, or from Southern Illinois, up the 
Illinois and Desplaines rivers, to this then obscure 
port, environed as it was by a hundred miles of 

Colonel Childs, of La Crosses once wrote of the 
country at this time: - 

" In 1821, I made a trip to St. Louis in a bark 
canoe up Fox River, across the Portage, and down 
the Wisconsin to Prairie clu Chien, and thence down 
the Mississippi. I was sixteen days on my journey, 
and saw but seven white men in the whole distance, 
outside the forts. I met one keel-boat on the Mis- 
sissippi bound for Fort Armstrong at Rock Island. 
There was a small garrison opposite the mouth of 
the Des Moines River. There were but few 
Americans and few Spaniards at St. Louis; the 
inhabitants were mostly French. There was but 
one brick building in the place, and no buildings 
were located on Front Street, or where the levee 
now is. I remained two weeks, when I was advised 
to return by way of the Illinois River. 


"I started by that route, and the next day was 
taken down with the ague and fever, and the day 
following one of my men was taken with the same 
complaint, which left me with one Frenchmen and 
one Indian to paddle my canoe. I did not provide 
a sufficiently large stock of provisions when I left 
St. Louis, presuming that I could get plenty on the 
Illinois. But all I was able to obtain was one ham 
full of maggots, and one peck of Indian meal. I 
saw but one house from the mouth of the Illinois to 
Fort Clark, where Peoria now is, at which latter- 
place one French trader resided. When we reached 
there I was completely exhausted, and remained a 
few days to recruit ;; little. 

We continued up the Illinois to the junction of 
the Kankakee and Eau Plaine, and thence up the 
Eau Plaine to where I supposed we had to make a 
portage to Chicago River; but 1 could not see any 
signs of the portage. There had been heavy rains 
for several days, which had so raised the streams 
that they overflowed their banks. I concluded that 


I had gone far enough for the portage, so I left 
the Eau Plaine and took a northeast direction. 
After traveling a few miles, I found the current of 
the Chicago River. The whole country was inun- 
dated; I found not less than two feet of water all 
the way across the portage. 

T That night I arrived at Chicago, pitched my tent 
on the bank of the lake, and went to the fort for 
provisions. I was not, however, able to obtain any; 
the commissary informing me- that the public stores 
were so reduced that the garrison were subsisting 
on half rations, and he knew not when they would 
get any more. I went to Colonel Beaubien, who 
furnished me with a small supply. I found two 
traders here from Mackinaw; and as my men were 
all sick, I exchanged my tent and canoe for a horse, 
and took passage on the Mackinaw boat for 
Manitowoc. One of our party had to go by land 
on horse back. There were at this time but two 
families residing outside of the fort at Chicago, 
those of Mr. Kinzie and of Colonel Beaubien." 



But, although a treaty had been made, and 
although for a time there was peace and comparative 
safety in these little western settlements, cessation 
of all Indian troubles had not yet come. 

There was Black Hawk, in whom the spirit of 
Tecumseh still lived; and there were, alas! white 
men who were ready to push the savages, fairly or 
unfairly, let but the opportunity arise. 

Now, it was on the 15th day of July, 1822, that 



Keokuk, the chief of the Sacs and Foxes, ceded 
to the United States all the territory owned by his 
tribe east of the Mississippi, and agreed to with- 
draw across the river during the following year. 

' This is not fair! " Black Hawk thundered when 
he heard of the action of Keokuk; and at once 
this warrior arrayed himself against the chief and 
against the white people. 

Keokuk, true to his agreements, crossed the river, 
taking with him the greater part of his tribe. But 
Black Hawk refused to move a step. pf I shall stay 
here upon my own territory," he said. ' The treaty 
is not fair, and the white men know it was made 
by only four of our chiefs, and that, too, after the 
white men had first made them drunk." 

" Tell me," said Black Hawk to the Indian Agent ; 
"is this treaty fair?" 

-You can do nothing," said the Indian Agent; 
w the land was sold to the government, and already 
the government has sold it to individuals who will 
soon claim their portions." 


"It is a lie! " Black Hawk growled; and away he 
went to his old British allies at Maiden. 

w lf you have not sold your home it is certainly 
yours," said the British, ready, of course, to 
sympathize with Black Hawk, more especially now 
that he was arrayed against the Government of the 
United States. 

? Then I shall defend my home ! " was the old 
chiefs tragic answer; and away he hurried to the 
chiefs of the different tribes, bent, as Tecumseh had 
been before him, on stirring up a war. 

Not for one moment was this fierce determination 
absent from his thoughts. He talked of it by day and 
he dreamed of it by night; and when, on his return 
from a hunting expedition, he found his own village 
already taken possession of by the white men, and 
active preparations in force for cultivating the 
rich seven hundred acres on which, for so many 
years, Black Hawk's people had raised their crops of 
corn, his fury burst forth. 

Now, whether or not the original treaty had been 


fair, this last act even the white men knew full well 
was an unwarrantable proceeding. The frontier 
settlements were fifty miles away; and there was no 
reason, other than deliberate design, why this little 
spot should have been seized upon just now by 
white men. 

Black Hawk's fury knew no bounds. Even 
Keokuk, under this insult, could not hold back his 
warriors. With Black Hawk at their head, they 
fell upon the little white settlement and took 
possession of the field. 

But even now a compromise was made; the white 
men should cultivate one half the seven hundred 
acres, and the squaws the other half. Pressed by 
necessity, both red men and white men agreed to 
this. But little advantage was the arrangement 
to either side. The white men plowed up the corn 
the squaws had planted, and the squaws, in re- 
venge, drove their cows into the fields of -the white 

The latter called for military assistance, and 


General Games, at once advancing to Rock Island, 
summoned a council. 

"Who is this Black Hawk?" he asked with a 
sneer. Black Hawk trembled with fury. >r You ask 
who is Black Hawk; and why does he sit among 
the chiefs? I will tell you who I am! I am a Sac! 
My father was a warrior! Ask these braves who 
have followed me to battle! They will tell you who 
I am! Provoke our people to war, and you yourself 
will learn who Black Hawk is! v 

'You will leave this territory and cross the Mis- 
sissippi," was General Games' peremptory reply to 
this outburst of simple eloquence. 

rf l will not!" Black Hawk answered; and so the 
council ended. 

But Black Hawk knew full well he could not, 
with his little band, stand against the militia of the 
United States. Accordingly he withdrew across 
the river, * and General Gaines counted the Black 
Hawk insurrection at an end. 

Black Hawk however, was no such warrior. He 


could wait; but surrender his purpose he would not. 

At once he set to work. He sent emissaries to all 
the tribes, calling upon them to band with him 
against this common foe. 

The emissaries came back pretending to have 
secured promises of aid from the Chippewas, the 
Pottawatomies, the Ottawas and the Winnebagos. 
In this faith Black Hawk assembled his people. 
They crossed the river, landing near the fort at the 
mouth of Rock River. 

f We are going to our friends, the Winnebagos, r 
Black Hawk answered, when messengers were sent 
after him. T We go to plant corn in the territory of 
the Winnebagos! " 

But the white men had good reason to doubt the 
truth of the savage chief's word just here; and a 
force of militia followed close upon Black Hawk's 

A skirmish followed in which Black Hawk's 
warriors were victorious; and Black Hawk, excited 
by his success, sent runners to every Indian tribe, 


urging them, with yells and war whoops, to join 
forces and push the war forward. 

On towards l^aperville the savages came and a 
terrible slaughter took place. 

Naperville was the settlement nearest Chicago, 
and now the people of Chicago began to realize the 
danger close at hand. The outlying families hurried 
in to the city, as they had some years before, to 
place themselves under the protection of old Fort 

One man, writing of this time, said; 

r The inhabitants came flying from Fox River, 
through fear of their dreaded enemy. They came 
with their cattle and horses, some bareheaded, and 
others barefooted, crying ? The Indians! The 
Indians ! ' Those that were able hurried on with all 
speed for Danville. 

" Some found their way to Danville in advance of 
the rest, and told their fearful stories how the 
Indians were killing and burning all before them, 
while at this time it is presumed that there was not 


a hostile Indian south of the Desplaines river. At 
Plainfield, however, the alarm was so great that it 
was thought best to make all possible efforts for 
defense, in case of an attack. My house was con- 
sidered the most secure place. I had two long pens 
built, one of which served for a barn and the other 
for a shed. These were torn down, and the logs used 
to build up a breastwork around the house. Ail 
the people living on Fox river, who could not get 
farther away, made my home a place of shelter. 
There were one hundred and twenty-five, old and 

>f We had four guns, some useless. Ammunition 
was scarce. All our pewter spoons, basins, and plat- 
ters were soon moulded by the women into bullets. 
As a next best means of defense, we got a good 
supply of axes, hoes, forks, sharp sticks and clubs. 
Here we intended to stay till some relief could be 
obtained. This was on Thursday, and we remained 
here till the next Sabbath, when the people of 
Chicago, hearing of our distress, raised a company 


of twenty-five white men and as many Indians, who 
came to our aid." 

Ottawa, Danville, and Chicago became places of 
refuge for all frontier settlers. Rough forts were 
hastily thrown up here and there; and the frontier 
men, having sent their wives and children away in 
safety to the fort, made brave efforts to save 
their little homes. 

General Scott, with nine companies, was sent 
from Washington; and glad indeed were the people 
crowded into the little fort, when one morning a 
cannon boomed out across the waters, a vessel sailed 
up to the mouth of the Chicago River, and a troop 
of soldiers landed. 

A week later General Scott himself arrived; but, 
alas, for the white men, that dire disease cholera 
had broken out among his forces, and men were 
dying hourly. Terror now fell upon the people. 
Black Hawk outside the Fort! Cholera within! 
Which was the more terrible? The poor people 
hardly knew. 


But fortunately there were detachments out upon 
the trail of Black Hawk, and, although the spirit of 
the savage was as fierce as ever, he now held hack 
from the active onslaught he longed to make. 

At Stephenson, however, another small victory 
was scored for the savage leader. Encouraged by 
this, Black Hawk passed on to Apple River Fort, 
where Captain Stone, with his plucky garrison of 
only twenty-five, held the little wooden stockade for 
a refuge to the mining camp that was clustered 
around it. 

Stealthily Black Hawk and his warriors crept 
toward the fort and concealed themselves in a 
thicket. From this ambush it was the savage's 
intention to burst upon the fort when darkness came 
on; and very successful, no doubt, their plan might 
have been, had not one of the warriors, with more 
zeal than discretion, shot at a body of white men 
who chanced to be passing the ambush. 

One white man fell wounded and the others, 
quickly turning their guns towards the concealed 


Indians, retreated slowly towards the fort, giving 
the alarm as they approached. 

Black Hawk, foiled in his purpose but spurred on 
by desperation, burst upon the fort, and for ten long 
hours kept up a w r ild attack upon the little band. But 
the garrison dealt their shot wisely; there was no ex- 
citement, aim was steady, and many a red man fell be- 
fore the bullets that the white men poured upon them. 

The Indians, finding they could make no gain 
upon the fort, turned upon the little village, de- 
stroyed the buildings, burned the cornfields, and 
then, with whoops and yells of defiance, retreated. 

The white men followed Black Hawk's warriors 
in quick pursuit. Other skirmishes took place; but 
finally the savages, fleeing as rapidly as their scanty 
means of transportation would allow, were overtaken 
by General Henry, on the southern bank of the 
Wisconsin. It was a quick battle, and disastrous to 
the red men. Fifty braves were killed and many 
more wounded. 

Still Black Hawk fled before the pursuing white 


men. During the night he succeeded in hurry- 
ing his pool- fugitives across the Wisconsin, 
whence they could fly towards the Mississippi. 
General Atkinson in hot pursuit of the Sacs soon 
arrived at Helena, joined Colonel Dodge and, cross- 
ing over to the north side, soon struck the trail of 
the fated Black Hawk. 

On the second day of August the advance guard, 
under Colonel Dodge and Colonel Taylor, overtook 
them. The main army, however, under General 
Atkinson, pressed on, thinking the main body of the 
Sacs was in front. 

In this they were outwitted by Black Hawk, who, 
that he might escape with the main forces while the 
white men should be engaged with the little detach- 
ment, had sent them on to the mouth of the Bad 
Axe River. General Henry, who was in the rear, 
suspected this and, waiting not for conference or 
instructions, dashed forward and fell upon the 
Indians, huddled there together awaiting further 


With hardly a moment's warning, General Henry 
burst upon them, a quick panic followed, the red 
men were hemmed in, and a fierce, hot battle took 

With a yell Black Hawk turned and fled, his few 
remaining warriors with him. On, on, to Prairie La 
Crosse they fled; and then Black Hawk, helpless, 
trapped, knowing that his cause was a lost one, 
surrendered himself. Fifty of the warriors were 
taken prisoners, a few escaping to the Winnebagoes, 
where they hoped to find shelter and protection; but 
alas! here the Sioux, old enemies of theirs, fell upon 
the outcasts, and all were slain by their savage foe. 

In September, the prisoners, Black Hawk among 
them, were sent to St. Louis, and the Black Hawk 
war was at an end. 

A little later, Black Hawk was allowed to return 
to his people; and on the Des Moines River in Iowa 
the old chief spent the last five years of his life in 
peace and quiet. Near the present site of Iowa 
City the old chief lies buried. Over his dead body 


was raised a mound the last honor his simple 
countrymen . could pay to Black Hawk, the last 
native defender of the soil of the Northwest! 

And this was the last of organized Indian trouble 
for Chicago or for Illinois. From this time on 
civilization rapidly increased; the city grew, com- 
mercial interests were enlarged, newspapers were 
established, organizations of all kinds were formed, 
until croakers began to say; "The city is growing 
too fast. It will go down! Up like a rocket, down 
like a stone ! " 

But all these gloomy predictions have failed. 
Chicago has grown bravely and steadily. 


Although Chicago had now been surveyed and 
laid out, although its name had now appeared on the 
maps in the geographies which the school children 
of the United States were using, it was not, even 
yet, much of a town only a very stammering 
prophecy of what so soon it was to be. 

Indian scares, even, were not yet at an end; and 
when, in 1827, the Winnebagoes threatened the 
village, the Kinzies, the Helms, and. others who had 
lived through the attack of 1812, had good reason to 
fear a repetition of the same barbarous cruelty. 
Let us read the account, as one of the villagers then 
told it : 

"At the breaking out of the Winnebago war, 
early in July, 1827, Fort Dearborn was without 
military occupation. 

"Doctor Alexander Wolcott, Indian Agent, had 
charge of the Fort, living in the brick building, just 



within the north stockade previously occupied by 
the commanding officers. 

f The old officers' quarters, built of logs, on the 
west, and within the pickets, were occupied by 
Russell E. Heacock, and one other American family; 
others dwelt with their families in the soldiers' 
quarters, on the east side of the enclosure. The 
store-house and guard-house were on either side of 
the southern gate; the sutler's store was east of the 
north gate, and north of the soldiers' barracks; the 
block-house was located at the southwest and the 
bastion at the northwest corners of the fort; and the 
magazine of brick was situated about half-way, 
between the west end of the guard and block-houses. 

'The annual payment of the Pottawatomie 
Indians occurred in September of the year 1828. A 
large body of them had assembled, according to 
custom, to receive their annuity. These left after 
the payment for their respective villages, except a 
portion of Big Foot's band. 

' The night following the payment, there was a 


dance in the soldiers' barracks, during the progress 
of which a violent storm of wind and rain arose; and 
about midnight these quarters were struck by light- 
ning and totally consumed, together with the store- 
house and a portion of the block-house. 

".The sleeping inmates of Mr. Kinzies's house, on 
the opposite bank of the river, were aroused by the 
cry of ? Fire' from Mrs. Helm, one of their 
number, who from her window had seen the flames. 
On hearing the alarm, I, with Robert Kinzie, late 
Paymaster of the United States' Army, hastily arose 
and, only partially dressed, ran to the river. To our 
dismay, we found the canoe, which was used for 
crossing the river, filled with water; it had been 
partially drawn up on the beach and had been filled 
by the dashing waves. Not being able to turn it 
over, and having nothing with which to bail it out, 
we lost no time, but swam the stream. Entering by 
the north gate we saw at a glance the situation. 
- The barracks and store-house being wrapped in 
flames, we directed our energies to the saving of the 


guard-house, the east end of which was on fire. 
Mr. Kinzie, rolling himself in a wet blanket, got 
upon the roof. The men and women, about forty in 
number, formed a line to the river, and with buckets, 
tubs and every available utensil, passed the water to 
him; this was kept up till daylight before the flames 
were subdued, Mr. Kinzie maintaining his dangerous 
position with great fortitude, though his hands, face, 
and portions of his body were severely burned. His 
father, mother and sister, Mrs. Helm, had mean- 
while freed the canoe from water, and crossing in it, 
fell into line with those carrying water. 

" Some of the Big Foot band of Indians were 
present at the fire, but merely as spectators, and 
could not be prevailed upon to assist; they all left 
the next day for their homes. The strangeness of 
their behavior was the subject of discussion among us. 

rf Six or eight days after this event, while at 
breakfast in Mr. Kinzie's house, we heard singing, 
faintly at first, gradually growing louder as the 
singers approached. Mr. Kinzie recognized the 


voice as that of Bob Forsyth, and left the table for 
the piazza of the house, whither we all followed. 
About where Wells street now crosses the river, in 
plain sight from where we stood, was a light birch 
canoe, manned with thirteen men, rapidly approach- 
ing, the men keeping time with their paddles to one 
of the Canadian boat songs; it proved to be 
Governor Cass and his secretary, Robert Forsyth, 
and they landed and soon joined us. 

r? From them we first learned of the breaking out of 
the Winnebago war, and the massacre on the upper 
Mississippi. Governor Cass was at Green Bay by 
appointment, to hold a treaty with the Winnebagoes 
and Menomonee tribes, who, however, did not appear 
to meet him in council. News of hostilities reach- 
ing the Governor there, he immediately procured a 
light birch-bark canoe, purposely made for speed, 
manned it with twelve men at the paddles and a 
steersman, and started up the river, making a port- 
age into the Wisconsin, then down that river and 
the Mississippi to Jefferson Barracks, below St. Louis, 


" Here he persuaded the commanding officer to 
charter a steamer and, embarking troops on it, 
ascended the Mississippi in search of the hostile 
Indians, and to give aid to the troops at Fort 
Snelling. On reaching the mouth of the Illinois 
River, the Governor (his men and canoe having 
been brought so far on the steamer), ascended that 
stream and the Des Plaines, and passing through 
Mud Lake into the south branch of the Chicago 
River, reached Chicago. This trip from Green 
Bay was performed in about thirteen days, the 
Governor's party sleeping only five to seven hours, 
and averaging sixty to seventy miles travel each day. 

' f On the Wisconsin River they passed Winnebago 
encampments without molestation. They did not 
stop to parley, passing rapidly by, singing their 

boat songs; the Indians were so taken by surprise 

that, before they recovered from their astonishment, 

the canoe was out of danger. Governor Cass 
remained at Chicago but a few hours, coasting Lake 
Michigan back to Green Bay. As soon as he left, 


the inhabitants of Chicago assembled for consulta- 
tion. Big Foot was suspected of acting in concert 
with the Winnebagoes, as he was known to be 
friendly to them, and many of his band had inter- 
married with that tribe. 

ff Shab-o-nee was not here at the payment, his 
money having been drawn for him by his friend, 
Billy Caldwell. The evening before Governor 
Case's visit, however, he was in Chicago, and then 
the guest of Caldwell. At my suggestion, he and 
Caldwell were engaged to visit Big Foot's village 
(Geneva Lake), and get what information they- 
could of the plans of the Winnebagoes; and also 
learn what action Big Foot's band intended taking. 
They left immediately, and on Hearing Geneva Lake 
arranged that Shab-o-nee should enter the village 
alone, Caldwell remaining hidden. 

"Upon entering the village, Shab-o-nee was made 
a prisoner, and accused of being a friend of the 
Americans and a spy. He affected great indigna- 
tion at these charges and said to Big Foot: " I was 


not at the payment, but was told by my braves that 
yon desired ns to join the Winnebagoes and make 
war on the Americans. I think the AVinnebagoes 
have been foolish; alone they cannot succeed. So 
I have come to council with yon, hear what you 
have to say, when I will return to my people and 
report all yon tell me; if they shall th'jn say, we 
will join you, I will consent/ 

w After talking nearly all night they agreed 
to let him go, provided he was accompanied 
by one of their own number; to this proposal 
Shab-o-nee readily consented, though it placed 
him in a dangerous position. His friend Cald- 
well was waiting for him in the outskirts of 
the village, and his presence must not be known, 
as it would endanger both of their lives. Shab-o- 
nee was equal to the emergency. After leaving in 
company with one of Big Foot's braves, as the 
place of CaldwelPs concealment was neared, he 
commenced complaining in a loud voice of being 
suspected and made a prisoner, and when quite near, 


said, ' We must have no one with us in going to 
Chicago. Should we meet any one of your band 
or any one else, we must tell them to go away; we 
must go by ourselves, and get to Chicago by noon 
to-morrow. Kinzie will give us something to eat, 
and we can go on next day.' 

rr Caldwell heard and understood the meaning of 
this, and started alone on another route. Strategy 
was still to be used, as Shab-o-nee desired to report, 
so on nearing Chicago, he said to his companion, 
f If Kinzie sees you, he will ask why your band did 
not assist in putting out the fire. Maybe he has 
heard news of the war and is angry with Big Foot; 
let us camp here, for our horses are very tired.' 
This they did, and after a little, the Big Foot brave 
suggested that Shab-o-nee should go to the Fort for 
food and information. This was what he wanted to 
do, and he lost no time in reporting the result of his 
expedition, and procuring food, returned to his camp. 

w He started the next morning with his companion 
for his own village; on reaching it he called a council 



of his Indians, who were addressed by Big Foot's 
emissary, but they declined to take part with the 
Winnebagoes, advising Big Foot to remain neutral. 

" On receiving Shab-o-nee's report, the inhabit- 
ants of Chicago were greatly excited; fearing an 
attack, we assembled for consultation, when I 
suggested sending to the "Wabash for assistance, 
and tendered my services as messenger. This was 
at first objected to, on the ground that a majority of 
the men at the Fort were in my employ, and in case 
of an attack, no one could manage them or enforce 
their aid but myself. It was, however, decided that 
I should go, as I knew the route and all the settlers. 
An attack would probably not be made until Big 
Foot's ambassador had returned with his report; 
this would give at least two weeks' security, and in 
that time I could, if successful, make the trip and 

" I started between four and five P. M., reach- 
ing my trading house on the Iroquois River by 
midnight, where I changed my horse and went on. 


It was a dark, rainy night. On reaching Sugar 
Creek, I found the stream swollen out of its banks, 
and my horse refusing to cross, I was obliged to 
wait till daylight, when I discovered that a large 
tree had fallen across the trail, making the ford 
impassable. I swam the stream and went on, 
reaching my friend Mr. Spencer's house at noon, 
tired out. Mr. Spencer started immediately to give 
the alarm, asking for volunteers to meet at Danville 
the next evening, with five days' rations. 

" By the day following, at the hour appointed, one 
hundred men were organized into a company, and 
appointing a Mr. Morgan, an old frontier fighter, as 
their captain, we immediately started for Chicago, 
camping that night on the north fork of the Vermil- 
lion River. It rained continually, the trail was very 
muddy, and we were obliged to swim most of the 
streams and many of the large sloughs, but we still 
pushed on, reaching Fort Dearborn the seventh day 
after my departure, to the great joy of the waiting 


' We reached Chicago about four o'clock in the 
evening of the fourth day, in the midst of one of the 
most severe rainstorms I ever experienced, accom- 
panied by thunder and vicious lightening. The rain 
we did not mind; we were without tents and were 
used to wetting/ The water we took within us hurt 
ns more than that which fell upon us, as drinking it 
made many of us sick. 

f The people of Chicago were very glad to see us. 
They were expecting an attack every hour since 
Colonel Hubbard had left them, and as we 
approached they did not know whether we were 
enemies or friends, and when they learned that we 
were friends they gave us a shout of welcome. 

" We kept guard day and night for some eight or 
ten days, when a runner came I think from Green 
Bay bringing word that General Cass had con- 
cluded a treaty with the Winnebagoes and that we 
might now disband and go home." 

And thus, with little real suffering, did the Win- 
nebago scare of 1827 come to its end. 


When the white men came here, they found the 
country round about Chicago occupied, as we know, 
by the Pottawatomies. These were their hunting 
grounds; and here their tents were pitched, their 
wigwams and villages built. 

They were an intelligent tribe, even from the 
beginning, and were possessed of no little informa- 
tion, as the result of their quick observation and 
ready conclusions regarding what they saw. 

The white men had little difficulty in making 
friends with them; and from the beginning the white 
men and the red men hunted and fished, ate and 
drank together around their hospitable camp fires. 

The Illinois Indians, who dwelt up and down 
this Northwest Territory from the Wabash to 
the Mississippi, and from the Ohio to the Great 
Lakes had their central village in northern 
Illinois where Utica now is. 



Then, as now, it was a beautiful location, nestled 
in the valley, and these Indians were not lacking in 
appreciation of its beauty when they chose it for 
their home. 

It was not long- after the discovery of this section 
by La Salle, that the Iroquois burst upon these 
peace-abiding Illinois, laid waste their city, and 
scattered them up and down the plain. 

Until this time they too had been a powerful 
tribe, and had their share in the glories of Indian 
warfare. But from this blow they never recovered. 
For three generations they struggled on, though 
with little success, against foe after foe. 

Close by their city, a part of what was once the 
bank of the great Illinois River in those days of long 
ago, stands a great water-worn rock. 

This rock the Illinois Indians often looked upon 
as their natural fortress, should ever attack come to 
them; and, indeed, had it been planned and built for 
a fortress, it could not have been made more secure 
from attack, so high and steep is its craggy front. 


Now, the Pottawatouaies and the Ottawas were 
most friendly. Indeed, Pontiac, the old Ottawa 
chief, the idol of his -tribe, was obeyed and 
reverenced hardly less by the Pottawatomies than 
by his own people. 

It was but natural, then, when this old chief fell, 
slain, as the Pottawatomies believed, by the Illinois, 
that they should join forces with the Ottawas and 
swear eternal enmity to the offending tribe. 

Accordingly, war was waged upon the Illinois, 
already broken in spirit; and at last so few of them 
remained that they fled to Starved Rock, so long 
looked upon as their natural fortress. There, 
besieged by their enemy, unable to obtain food or 
water though the river ran at their feet they 
starved on until, in desperation, knowing that death 
was theirs if they remained upon the rock no less 
than if they left it, they rushed down into the 
valley to fight for their lives. 

'Very softly, and in the dead of night, they crept 
down the stone stairway, only to meet there at the 


foot a great army of Pottawatomies and Ottawas 
waiting and ready for the slaughter. 

A terrible scene followed. War whoops filled the 
air; and with the fury of wild beasts the Poltawato- 
inies and Ottawas fell upon the little band of hall' 
starved Illinois. The women and children mere 
skeletons, so reduced were they by starvation fell 
easy victims to the foe, who slew them with no less 
satisfaction than they did the warriors of the 
unfortunate tribe. 

The conflict lasted but a short time; for the weak, 
starved Illinois had little courage or endurance to 
do battle, and in an hour the ground was covered 
with the dead bodies of the Illinois. 

Eleven only escaped. These eleven, strengthened 
by desperation, broke through the ranks of the 
enemy, and in the darkness and confusion, seized 
some canoes that were anchored there and made 
their way to St. Louis. 

Here they were protected by the people in the 
fort, given food and allowed to rest, until at last, 




broken in spirit, not even longer claiming 1 the name 
Illinois, they crept away to friendly tribes farther 
south, whoever would hear their piteous tale and 
accept them into their tribe. 

So perished the Illinois at the hands of the Potta- 

It was this extermination of the Illinois that 
secured to the Pottawatomies the country up and 
down this section. 

Chicago had always been a favorite hunting 
ground for the Pottawatomies. Around it they 
liked to set up their wigwams; here they were 
accustomed to hold their great councils; and here it 
was that they finally made their last treaty with our 

In this treaty they agreed to move to a certain 
locality west of the Missouri ; and gradually they 
went away, leaving only a few of their number, who 
still lingered about the growing city, trading a little, 
working a little, but in no way molesting the 


In 1835, the Pottawatomies assembled for the last 
time in Chicago to receive their annuity from the 

Most amazed did they seem to find houses and 
business blocks already erected upon the very places 
where, in their day, the tall, rank grass had grown. 

To some of them the realization seemed to come 
that their country was gone, that they were 
exiles, and that a greater people had indeed taken 
possession of their lands. 

There were five thousand Pottawatomies assem- 
bled in the city on this day in 1835; and as they 
realized that never again would they come together 
on their native soil, the old spirit of savagery seemed 
to leap up in them and a desire once more to 
express themselves in old time Avar dance took 
possession of them. 

Accordingly, without warning to the white men, 
'they assembled at the Council House, near the 
present Lake House. 

They wore only a strip of cloth around their loins, 


and they had painted their bodies in a great variety 
of most brilliant colors. 

On their faces, certainly, they had allowed their 
most savage artistic instincts full play; for never 
were faces made more hideous! 

Their long, coarse, black hair they had gathered 
in old time scalp locks, and among the hair were 
feathers and plumes, strung together so that 
in some cases they hung down behind and even 

Kach Indian was armed with tomahawk and war 
club, and the leaders beat upon hollow pans, making 
a noise deafening and horrible. 

Up and down the north side of the river they 
marched, stopping at each house to whoop and yell 
and flourish their tomahawks. 

Over the old bridge they marched, on across the 
South Branch, up to the Sauganash Hotel. 

It was a hot close morning in August; the per- 
spiration poured down their faces, their tongues 
rolled out, and their eyes were wild and bloodshot. 


Their faces were fierce and cruel and their strong- 
muscles were drawn up in great knots so strained 
and tense were they. 

They danced and leaped at every step, and 
brandished their Avar clubs with constant whoops 
and yells. 

Surrounding the hotel, they leered in at the 
windows and shook their tomahawks at the women, 
yelling and howling and threatening. 

More than one brave heart beat high; for even 
the bravest of the men knew that at any moment the 
savages, excited and wrought up as they were, 
might turn this sham war dance into actual warfare 1 , 
lose control of themselves and burst in upon the 
people, helpless as they were before them. 

Fortunately this did not happen, and the Indians 
marched on to Fort Dearborn, where, before the 
assembled officers, they finished their exhibition, 
with louder yells, higher leaps and greater 

Then, at the word of command, they ceased, 


wiped their perspiring faces, and dispersed to their 
lodging places, content now to leave their old hunt- 
ing grounds and go back to their home beyond the 

Xo less glad were the people of Chicago to see 
them go; for, tragic though their exile was, the 
white man knew full well that their sham war dance 
might have proved a real one, that many a white 
village had witnessed it as real, and that for the 
safety and peace of mind of the growing city it was 
best that the Pottawatomies appear never again 
within its limits. 


41 O city by the inland sea, 

The whole world's heart in sympathy, 


Throbbed for thee in thy distress, 
But thon'rt risen now to bl ss 
All who call on thce. 

It had been a most unusually dry summer. Since 
July there had been only two and one-fourth inches 
of rainfall in the prairie section of the country less 
than one-fourth the average amount. 

It was on October 7th, 1871, that the first fire in 
Chicago broke out, and the four blocks included by 
Adams, Clinton, A T an Buren Streets and the South 
Branch, were destroyed. 

This of itself was no small fire. Dry as the build- 
ings were, and with a south wind blowing, it was 
only by the most energetic labor that even this fire 
was brought under control and the city saved. 

But hardly had the firemen recovered from the 



exhaustion of this night's work, when on Sunday 
evening- out ran^ another- alarm of fire this time 
from l)e Koven Street locality. 

The southwest wind was now blowing a gale. 
The watchmen on the Court House misjudged the 
locality, and the nearest engine reached the scene 
only to find the fire already beyond control. 

The wind rose higher and higher; the dry roofs 
snapped and crackled. Great tongues of fire were 
whirled high in the air; pieces of burning timber 
were blown hundreds of feet to the northeast, 
dropping here and there and everywhere upon the 
dry roofs of buildings. The fire was everywhere! 
The fifteen engines were but toys, in their power to 
stav the flames! 

Already the old Judge Caton place one of 
Chicago's earliest landmarks was in flames. The 
beautiful forest around about it hissed and crackled 
like fire-works; and in a lew moments, little else 
than the twelve old chimneys were left to mark the 
ruin of the grand old mansion house. 


On, on the fire rushed, towards the district 
burned the night before. ff ~ But it must stop then ! " 
the people said; and in their despair, they even 
watched, with relief, the destruction of the blocks up 
to that charred and empty square. 

Certainly this seemed probable; and under any 
ordinary conditions it must have been so. But the 
city seemed fated. 

At half past twelve, with a howl, as if exulting in 
the dire destruction, the wind swept up with a fear- 
ful gust, siezed a brand of fire, hurled it high in the 
air, and sent it with the speed of a rocket across the 
river, down upon the roof of a miserable little 
tenement house built of wood. 

One second, and the roof was in a blaze; five 
minutes, and the whole wooden section was one 
sheet of flames. 

On the roof of the Court House the watchmen 
fought the falling embers, and rang the great bell. 
At last the wooden cupola caught,, and the watch- 
men were driven below. The bell rang on and on, 


until it fell with a great crash into the meltrng 
caldron of flames below. 

In the jail basement, the prisoners shrieked and 
howled and shook their iron doors. 

"Let them go!" came the command from Captain 
Hickey; and out they rushed, blinded and half 
suffocated, into the street below the only beings 
in the whole doomed city to whom the fire was not a 
sorrow and a terror! 

Here and there, powder was used and buildings 
blown np, that great gaps might be made, which, 
it was hoped, might stop the onward rush of fire. 
But even this was of little avail; for hardly had the 
first great black chasm been made, where the 
business palace of the Merchants' Insurance Com- 
pany stood, when the flames, with superhuman 
power, leaped the chasm and fell with redoubled 
fury upon the roof beyond. 

And now the fire crossed the main river! It was 
half past two, when a car-load of keros.ene, standing 
on the N. "W. K. K., caught; and from that the fire 


fiend rushed straight on towards the dwelling houses 
of that section of the city. 

An hour later, and the City Water Works were 
attacked. This building was of stone and the roof 
slated over. But the fire seemed no respector of 
material. The flames fell upon this slated roof, 
which ignited and sent a blaze down in upon the 
ceilings below. 

Most courageously the engineer and his force 
held theit* post and fought the flames, till the very 
roof fell in, when flight was all that was left to them. 

N~ow, with the pumping' engines themselves 
destroyed, the fire had no obstruction. On, on it 
sped, even up to the very limits of Lincoln Park; 
nor did it stop until the last house upon the limit 
was reached. 

For twenty-five long hours had the fire raged, 
and over a distance of four miles it swept in dire 
destruction. Thousands of people were driven into 
the streets, homeless and penniless, and hundreds lay 
dead beneath the ruins of fallen buildings. ]S"o 


whole volume could tell the story of this fire, the 
misery of the people, the destruction of the city. 

What now would be the future of this ruined 
city? Would it, could it recover? That was the 
question asked by the people of Chicago and of all 
other cities of the country. 

On the morning after the fire was over, one man 
was seen looking at the ruins of his business block, 
and turning over the bricks here and there. 

? What are you doing?" a neighbor asked. 

" Seeing how soon these bricks will be cool 
enough to build again ! " was the laconic answer. 

And that answer seemed the prophecy of the 

"Ruined!" exclaimed the editor of the Tribune; 
"Never! Our city will boast a population of one 
million in twenty years;" and his prophecy was 

Such has been, and such is, the spirit of the 
Chicago people-! 


" () city by the inland sea, 

Whose institutions grand and free, 


Give instruction and delight. 
Making darkened pathways bright, 
For Humanity. 

"A burden of honor!" Yes, and how grandly 
our brave city bore the burden! 

When the idea of celebrating the four hundreth 
anniversary of the coining of Columbus sprang into 
the minds of the people, the next question was. 
Where should we hold the celebration ? At the 


West Indies, where first the caravels landed? 
Columbus' tomb was there; that made it fitting. 
In Boston, because it was historic? In New 
York, because it was New York? In Philadelphia, 
because the Centennial was held there? 

No none of these! But in our own Chicago! 
Because Chicago was large and central the City 
of the Future; and above all, because the people 
of Chicago dared. 

And it was, indeed, no little undertaking, no little 
risk and burden. But Chicago knew its resources 
and its citizens knew its brave men and women 
their intelligence, their energy, their patriotism and 
their unfailing capacity for successful enterprise. 

And so it came about that it was Chicago who 
entertained the guests for the World's Fair a fail- 
greater than which no country of the world has ever 
seen. But it will be most superfluous to talk 
T World's Fair " to Illinois boys and girls ! It is all 
too fresh in our minds; and we know, as no one can 
tell us, how grand and beautiful it was. 


Indeed, Illinois boys and girls have a right to be 
proud of that part of the exhibition which they 
themselves provided their educational exhibit. If 
it were not already conceded by the thousands of 
educational men and women who were there, that no 
exhibit from any other state excelled our own, we 
should not claim it ourselves. But they said it 
they said it at the time, and they say it still; and so 
they will not count it ill taste in us if we trust their 
judgment and take deserved comfort to ourselves, 
that we contributed acceptably in this, as in other 
lines, to the World's Exposition of 1893. 

The first definite movement towards the celebra- 
tion of the discovery of America was the forming 
of a corporation in 1889 under the laws of Illinois. 

The next, was the passing of an act in Congress, 
in the preamble of which we find these words : 

>f Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of 
Representatives of the United States of America in 
Congress assembled; that an exhibition of arts, 
industries, manufactures, and products of the soil, 


mine, and sea, shall be inaugurated in the year 1892, 
in the city of Chicago in the state of Illinois, as 
hereafter provided." 

But the corporation must first have ready 
$5,000,000, to begin the work, and 5,000,000 more 
to bring forward on demand during the exposition. 
This did not appall the Illinois spirit. The five 
million was raised by popular subscription, all gladly 
contributing, from the millionaire to the day laborer, 
according to their means. 

And it was because this first sum was so gener- 
ously contributed, that the second five million was 
raised by issue of city bonds. 

So the preliminary work went on. A greater 
undertaking our country never saw; but that it was 
wisely and successfully carried forward, we had our 
proof when the Fair was thrown open to the public. 

It was on the 12th of October, 1892 the 
anniversary of the landing of Columbus that the 
dedication took place. And what a day that was, 
not only in Chicago, but throughout the country! 


Columbus day! Celebrated by the school boys 
and girls in every city and town and borough! 
MiisiQ, processions and flags! And in the evening, 
patriotic songs, fireworks, speeches and cheers for 
the land of Columbus! We remember it still. 
And we are proud to-day, as we then were, that we 
are Americans, ready now and forever to hail 
Columbia our ow r n, our native land. 

And upon our Chicago, the burden of all this fell 
It is over now; and has passed into the history of 
our city. It was great; it was established on a 
mighty scale; it was carried on with energy and 
enthusiasm, and it w^as a success. Each state and 
territory in the Union helped, and had its represent- 
atives in delegates and officers. All worked in 
harmony. Great dreams of achievement were ful- 
filled. And in all this Chicago failed not in any 
respect to support and carry on, with glory to her- 
self and comfort to her guests, her f ' great burden of 
honor," The Columbian Exposition. 

And now, Chicago's future ! 


What shall it be? Who shall tell? 

But of one thing we may be sure the same 
brave spirit of enthusiasm that has pervaded the 
hearts of the present and past generations, will per- 
vade the hearts of those yet to come. Love for the 
city by its citizens is, to us and to it, a tower of 
strength. We are proud of our city; and we are 
proud that we are proud. 

No city on earth has a record like it. Fifty years 
ago a prairie to-day a city of more than a million 
inhabitants, representing every interest commer- 
cial, industrial, educational and artistic known to 
any section in our broad land. Of our city in its 
earlier days, one old man, still hearty and strong, 
says with glowing pride; 

" I was born in 1822 in a little house at the foot 
of Washington Street, four blocks from old Fort 
Dearborn. The house was one that had been used 
as a trading post. Afterward, about 1834, when the 
pier was built at the mouth of the river, the course 
of the river was changed, and the foundations of the 


old house were so undermined that it had to be 
torn down. 

rc I can recollect the time when I could g-o to 


the fort and count only twenty-five buildings out- 
side the garrison, and these were mostly log houses. 

f This part of the city was then a forest. The 
trees were as thick as they could be down to 
Chicago Avenue. In this very place we could sit 
and shoot deer; and there were wood wolves, which 
were larger and darker than the ordinary prairie 

"Prairie wolves, by the way, were exceedingly 
numerous all around Harrison and Vali Buren 
Streets. From Randolph Street, running south, 
there was a strip of forest to Sixteenth Street, and 
between Fifth Avenue and the lake. This was 
heavy timber, and once in a while a bear or a lynx 
would get in there." 

And another no less proud of the wonderful 
change in his own life-time, says: 

pf l was born in one of the old Fort Dearborn 


houses, and I have played over the ground time and 
time again as a boy. 

? There is one point in connection with old Fort 
Dearborn that I should like to have corrected, and 
that is the statement that it was surrounded by a 
solid plank fence. Instead of this it was surrounded 
by five rows of sharp pickets, each about fifteen feet 


Other cities have gone through the same process 
of change and growth, to be sure; but not in half a 
century. And it is because of this proud past that 
we hope so much for the future. Great schemes and 
great interests even now are pending; and in them 
Chicago will not fail. Pride of citizenship will pre- 
serve and push forward our city in the years to come, 
even as it has done in the few short years that have 
passed; and we shall sing as proudly then as now: 

^ O, city by the inland sea, 
Columbia has chosen thee 
To proudly say, < I Will,' 
And all prophecy fulfill, 
Mighty city by the inland sea." 



Stories of 



,llus. Price, Bds., 30 cts. 
Cloth, 40 cts. 

Daniel Boone Lewis 
and Clark Fremont 
Kit Carson, 

(jrti Grade.) 

Stories of 

Great Inventors. 

Illus. Boards, 30 cents; 
Cloth, 40 cents. 

Fulton Cooper 
Whitney Morse 
Edison, with graphic 
stories of their wonderful 
discoveries and inventions. 


(3rd Grade.} 

Stories of the Red Children. 

By DOROTHY BROOKS. Large type. Illus. 
Price, Boards, 30 cents; Cloth, 40 cents. 

It is both natural and fitting that the boys and girls of 
America should be interested and familiar with the legends 
that have woven so much of poetry and romance about the 
life of the Red men. And \\hen these fanciful talcs are 
presented as a part of the life-his'ory of the little Red chil- 
dren they touch tl e kindred love of the ma velous in the 
civilized children of to-day with a pecu'iar closeness. All 
barriers of race and centuries of time fa e away and the red 
and white children clasp hands in joy and delight in their 
mutual love of Nature's wonder-tales. The author's well- 
known charm in story telling has never shown bett< r than 
in this little book. The style is smooth, flowing and beauti- 
ful. Wind, stars, rain, snow, rainbows and the \\hole phe- 
nome 1 a of nature are woven into charnrng stories which 
will feed the imagination without injuring the children. 
The book is illustrated by twenty-three striking pictures 
vivid with Indian life and activities. 


American History Stories. 

By MARA L. PRATT, Author of Young Folk's Library of 
American History, etc. Vols. I., II., III., IV. 

Price, Boards, 36 cents each; Cloth, 50 cents. 


(For ^rd, ^.th and ^th Years.} 

Your American History Stories are, in my opinion among 
the most valuable aids to the work of introducing History in 
the lower grades. We are using a quantity of them in Grades 
III. and IV. Reading and language are best developed in 
connection with what is intensely interesting, and I predict a 
*arge demand for books of this sort. 

S. T. BUTTON, Supt. of Schools, Brookline, Mass.