Annals of the west [electronic resource] : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories from the discovery of the Mississippi Valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty six

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Annals of the west [electronic resource] : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories from the discovery of the Mississippi Valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty six

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AMAIS

OF THE WEST:

EMBRACING A CONCISE ACCOUNT OF

PEINCIPAL EVENTS WHICH HAVE OCCURRED

I

VESTEM

IN

THE

STATES AND TERRITORIES, FROM THE

DISCOVERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY

YEAR EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND

FIFTY-SIX.

COMPILED FROM THE MOST AUTHENTIC SOURCES,

AND PUBLISHED BY

JAMES

W.

S.

R.

ALBACH,

PITTSBURGH: HAVEN, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER, CORNER

OF

MARKET AND SECOND STREETS.

1857.

F3S-1 ,

Entered accoi'ding

to

Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by

JAMES in

tlie

R

.

ALBAC

H

,

Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

PREFACE The

popularity and apparent demand, throughout our

country, for a to the public,

inducement

for

fi'om the point

The

volume such as the compiler now presents was a principal, though not the strongest preparing a third edition at this time and



now

selected for its publication.

projector of these

Annals has been most

correct errors, unavoidable in former editions,

anxious to

and

to

em-

To secure

brace in the present his entire original plan.

greater facilities for that accurate knowledge of the early

Western Settlements by the English, so necessary in the compilation of a reliable work on the subject, Pittsburgh was selected as the most eligible place of publication. The first edition was issued at Cincinnati, where he was assisted by the lamented James H. Peekins, a gentlemen highly competent for the task. That volume was, however, necessarily incomplete, embracing only the central portion of the West.

A

desire to include in its pages a

more

account of

full

events connected with the early history of Illinois, Missouri

and other communities, induced him, at a later period, to prepare a second edition, which was issued a few years ago in St. Louis, and included a thorough revision of the former issue, with considerable additions in which he had the valuable assistance of Rev. J. M. Peck, a gentleman whose long residence in the Far West, and familiarity with the



history of those portions less elaborately treated of in the first

edition,

rendered

him admirably

qualified

for

the

undertaking.

Although the author claims credit

for

but

little

originality tlian that displayed in the plan of the

more

work now

IV

1' i;

much time and more

presented, he has devoted

most

K F A C E.

labor than

by experience with such tasks, will give him credit for, in its compilation to which he brings the knowledge acquired by the observation of thirty-five years in the extensive Mississij)pi Valley, and by visits to nearly every memorable spot connected with its of his readers, unacquainted



early history.

Although not arranged originally projected,

it

in strict accordance with the plan

believed this

is

new and

greatly

extended edition, for general accuracy, and especially for fullness of detail, may be fairly commended to the reader, as worthy of attention, as a work for perusal and future reference.

While

not pretended, in view of the necessary imper-

it is

fection of all

human

works, that the volume

is

wholly free

from errors and imperfections, the author has endeavored to procure all the facts detailed or in any way alluded to in its pages, from the most reliable sources and the best authorities of the

;

it

will be

found

prondnent events

in

to contain a faithful narratii^e

Western History, deserving

the perusal, not only of the millions acres,

but of every American

—and especially

THIS

1\

n

M

VOLUME

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED. Pittsburgh, October, 185G.

of

its fertile

of the

our country,

YOLT^'G me:^ of T

who occupy

LIST OF AUTHORITIES USED

IN

THE PREPARATION OF THIS WORK

American State Papers.

21

Washington.

vols.

Vols. ^'

IV. are Foreign Affairs, I. to IV. V. and VI. are Indian Affairs, 1., IL to

I.

VIIL, IX.,

are Finance,

'. The Washington Female Seminary was established about the year 1836, commencing with forty pupils. In 1842, its catalogue numbered one hundred and forty-seven. This institution is supposed to be one of the most flourishing and permanent female

The

first class

schools west of the Alleghenies.

Wliat Burr

may have

followers at the

felt

or intended after he

mouth of Cumberland

met

river, late in

his fugitive

December,

it is impossible to say, but it is certain that he went on openly and boldly, protesting against the acts of Ohio, and avowing his innocence. If he had relied on Wilkinson, he was as yet unde-

1806,

ceived with regard to him.

On

the 4th of January, 1807, he was at Fort Pickering, Chicka-

and soon after at Bayou Pierre. From this point, he wrote to the authorities below, referring to the rumors respecting him, alleging his innocence, and begging them to avoid the horrors of civil war. Word had just been received from Jeflerson, however, of the supposed conspiracy; the militia were under arms, and the acting governor of the Mississippi territory, Cowles Mead, on the 16th of January, sent two aids to meet Colonel Burr; one of these was George Poindexter. At this meeting an interview between the acting governor was arranged, which took place on the 17th, at which time Burr yielded himself to the civil saw

Bluffs,

authority.

was

taken to Washington, the capital of the territory, commenced. Mr. Poindexter was himself attorney-general, and as such, advised that Burr had been guilty of no crime within Mississippi, and wished to have him sent to the lie

and

tlien

legal proceedings

peat of government of the ever,

summoned

United States

a grand jury, which,

the presiding judge, howupon the evidence before

;

:

:

burr's trial and purposes.

1807.

815





them, presented not Burr, for treason, but the acting governor, for calling out the militia! That evening, Colonel Burr, fearing an arrest by officers sent by Wilkinson, forfeited his bonds and disappeared.

A proclamation

being issued by the governor for his apprehenhe was seized on the Tombigbee river on his way to Florida, and was sent at once to Richmond, where he arrived March 26th. On the 22d of May, Burr's examination began in the Circuit Court of the United States, at Richmond, before Judge Marshall two bills were found against him; one for treason against the United States, the other for a misdemeanor in organizing an enterprise against Mexico, while at peace with the United States but on both these charges the jury found him "not guilty," " upon the principle that the offense, if committed anywhere, was committed out of the jurisdiction of the court." The Chief Justice, however, upon the latter charge, subsequently ordered his commitment for trial within the proper jurisdiction. This commitment, however, being impliedly upon the supposition that the United States wished, under the circumstances, to prosesion,

;

;

government declining to no further steps were taken to bring the supposed culprit to justice, and the details of his doings and plans have never yet been cute the accused, and the attorney for the

do

so,

made known. Although a mystery

hangs about Burr's plans, in consequence of the discontinuance of the suit by the United States, it has been clearly proved by the trial at Richmond, and other evidence, that Burr went into the West in 1805, with the feeling that his day at the East was over in I^ew York he feared even a prosecution if he remained there. That his plans, until late in that year, were undefined; speculations of various kinds, a residence in Tennessee, an appointment in the South-West, were under consideration, but nothing was deterstill

;

mined That he :

at length settled

upon three

objects, to

one or the other

of which, as circumstances might dictate, he meant to devote his energies.

These were



A separation of the West from the East, under himself and Wilkinson Should this be, upon further examination, deemed impossible, then an invasion of jVIexico, by himself and Wilkinson, with or without the sanction of the federal government In case of disappointment in reference to Mexico, then the foun-

bukr's purposes unfathomable.

816

180T.

State upon the Wasliita, over which he might preand patriarch. That the Washita scheme was not a mere pretense, is evident from the fact that Burr actually paid toward the purchase, four or live thousand dollars; that it was not the only object, and that the conquest of Mexico, if it could be efiected, was among his settled determinations, his friends all acknowledged, but said this conquest was to take place upon the supposition of a war with Spain, and in no other case that Burr may have thought the government would wink at his proceedings, is very possible and that Wilkinson either meant to aid him, or pretended he would, in order to learn his plans, is certain but the secrecy of his movements, the language of his letter to Wilkinson in July, 1806, and his whole character implies that he would, if he could, have invaded Mexico, whether the United States were at war or peace with Spain. But it cannot be doubted that, going beyond a violation of the laws of the Union, he was disposed to seek a separation of that datioii of a

new

side as founder

;

;

;

Union itself. During his

visit of 1805, he was undoubtedly made fully the old schemes for independence entertained in with acquainted Kentucky, and was led to question the real attachment of the west-

So long

ern people to the federal government.

as

he thought

there was a probability of disunion, it would naturally be his first object to place himself at the head of the republic beyond the

mountains, and should he find himself deceived as to the extent of disaftection in the Great Valley, all his means could be brought His conversations with the Morgans at to bear upon Mexico. Pittsburgh, the views of the " Querist" prepared by Blannerhassett under Burr's eye, and the declarations of Blannerhassett to Henderson and Graham, seem to leave no room for doubting the fact that a dissolution of the United States had been contemplated by the ex-Vice-President, although to

doubt that

it

we think

had been abandoned

there

is

as little reason

as hopeless, long before his

arrest.

With regard opinion

;

to Wilkinson,

it

is

not easy to form a decided

the strongest fact in his favor

is

that he informed the gov-

ernment of Burr's projects, in the fall of 1805 the strongest fact against him is, that if innocent, he was able to outwit and entrap so subtile a man as the conspirator. It has been charged against Wilkinson, that he altered tlie letter sent him by Burr, and then swore that the copy was a true copy this, however, is fully explained by the deposition of Mr. Duncan, Wilkinson's legal adviser ;

:

GOVERNOR HULL BUYS EAST MICHIGAN.

1807.

at l!^evv Orleans,

bv

whom

817

indeed the omission was suffered

desiffn-

edly to remain, in opposition to the general's repeated and strong expression of his wish that it should be supplied.

Another charge has been brought against Wilkinson since his Mexico two hundred thousand dollars for stopping Burr. This charge seems improbable, and it seems death, that he claimed of

equally improbable that during the persecution of the general in

knowledge of so strange an act, and one of so public a by his enemies. As it was not brought forward till 1836, eleven years after his death, no opportu1810, no

nature, should have been reached

nity has occurred for explaining or disproving to

weigh against

his

memory

it,

but

it

ought not

until further evidence is offered in its

support.

On

the 27th of January, 1807, Governor Hull, of Michigan Ter-

had been authorized by the federal government to enter into a treaty with the ITorth- Western Indians, for the lands upon the

ritory,

eastern side of the Peninsula, and for those west of the Connecti-

cut Reserve, as far as the An Glaize. The directions then given having been repeated in September, a council was held at Detroit, and a treaty made ISTovember 17th, with the Ottawas, Chippewas, Wyandots, and Pottawattamies, by which the country from the Maumee to Saginaw Bay, on the eastern side of Michigan, was transferred, with certain reservations, to the United States. Congress confirmed the old French claims to land in the West, during this year. stockade was built round the new town of Detroit. The region of country comprised in the Territories of Indiana

A

and Upper Louisiana, for a number of years after their organization, was too remote, too much exposed to Indian depredations, and too destitute of the comforts of civilized

life,

to attract

many

emi-

grants.

" Lands equally good, and much more secure from danger, were more convenient. Hence the settlements on the Wabash, on the Illinois, on the Upper Mississippi, and near the Detroit river, increased in numbers slowly. The Indians still lingered around

and familiar hunting grounds, as if reluctant to abandon the scenes of their youth, and the graves of their ancestors, altljough they had received the stipulated payment, and had consented to retire from them."*

their houses

* Valley of the Mississippi,

ii.

523.

;

SLAVERY IN INDIANA PROHIBITED.

818

"Enterprise had not then pushed derness as in

modern

the Eastern States.

times,

In

fact,

and

its

1807.

energies so far into the wil-

capital floated along the shores of

a great portion of that uncultivated

which constitutes the splendid scenery of western iN'ew York, adorned, as it now is, w^ith large cities and villages, and The prinintersected by rail roads and canals, was a dense forest. trade fur cipal business of the settlements in Michigan was the and the wilderness around, instead of revealing its treasures to the gubstantial labor of agriculture, was preserved a waste, for the propagation of wild game, and the fur-bearing animals. "E'o permanent settlements of any considerable importance had been made throughout this section of the countr3^, besides those at tract of country,

Detroit, Michilimackinack, a small establishment at St. Mary's

Fox

Green Bay, Prairie du Chein, and certain trading posts of eastern companies, some of which are now in ruins. 'Grim-visaged war had smoothed her wrinkled front,' and the country which had been for so long a period drenched in blood, river,

river of

now shone During

out in the mild, but glorious light of peace."*

this year

was brought

to a close the

of introducing slavery into Indiana Territory.

movement It

in favor

began with the

men in the Kaskaskia region, in 1796. was again brought before Congress, and reported against by Mr. Randolph. In 1804, it was a third time brought and following up, the resolution offered in the House of Represenpetition of four

In 1803,

tatives

it

:

"Resolved, That the sixth

article of the

ordinance of 1787, which

prohibited slavery within the said territory, be suspended, in a

manner, for ten years, so as to permit the introduction of born within the United States, from any of the individual States Provided, That such individual State does not permit the importation of slaves from foreign countries. And provided, further. That the descendants of all such slaves shall, if males, be free at the age of twenty-five years, and if females, at the age of twentyone years." In 1806, the report of the committee offering this resolution was referred, and the same resolve again offered. In 1807, the subject once more came up, upon a representation by the House of Representatives and Legislative Council of the territory. The National Representatives were again asked by qualified slaves,

:

* History of Micliigan, 183.

MOVEMENTS OF TECUMTHE.

1808.

819

committee to approve tlie step but in the Senate a different view was taken, and it was declared inexpedient to suspend the

their

;

ordinance.

During the year 1808, Tecumthe and the Prophet continued quino other end than a reformation of the Indians. Before the month of June, they had removed from Greenville to the banks of the Tippecanoe, a tributary of the Upper Wabash, where a tract of land had been granted them by the Pottawattamies and Kickapoos. In July, the Prophet" sent to General Harrison a messenger, begging him not to believe the tales told by his enemies, and promising a visit. In August, accordingly, he spent two weeks at Vincennes, and by his words and promises, led the governor to change very much his previous opinion, and to think his influence might be beneficial rather than etly to extend their influence, professing

mischievous.

Tecumthe entered upon the great work he had long contempla1805 or 1806. He was then about thirty-eight years of age. To unite the several Indian tribes, many of which were hostile to, and had often been at war with each other, in this great and important undertaking, prejudices were to be overcome, their original manners and customs to be re-established, the use of arted, in the year

dent spirits to be abandoned, and all intercourse with the whites to be suspended. " The task was herculean in its character, and beset with diffiHere was a field for the display of the highculties on every side. He had already gained the est moral and intellectual powers. reputation of a brave and sagacious warrior, and a cool-headed, upright, wise,

nor a peace

and efficient counselor. He was neither a war and yet he wielded the power and inlluence of

chief,

both. " The time having

now

arrived for action, and

knowing

full well,

that to win savage attention, some bold and striking movement was necessary, he imparted his plan to his brother, the Prophet,

who

and without a moment's delay, prepared himself for was appointed to play in this great drama of savage life. Tecumthe well knew that excessive superstition was everywhere a prominent trait in the Indian character; and therefore, with the tlie

adroitly,

part he

skill

of another Cromwell, brought superstition to his aid.

his brother began to dream dreams, and see visions; he became afterward an inspired prophet, favored with a divine commission from the Great Spirit the power of life and death was placed in his hands. He was appointed agent for preserving the

"Suddenly,



820

MOVEMENTS OF TECUMTHE.

1808.

property and lands of the Indians, and for restoring them to

tlieir

happy condition. He thereupon commenced his sacred work. The public mind was aroused, unbelief gradually gave way; credulity and wild fanaticism began to spread its circles, widening and deepening, until the fame of the prophet and the divine character of his mission had reached the frozen shores of the lakes, and overran the broad plains which stretched far beyond the great original

'

Father of Waters.' "Pilgrims from remote

tribes,

sought with fear and trembling

the head-quarters of the prophet and the sage.

and

Proselytes were

beyond all former example. and seizing upon the golden opportunity, he mingled with the pilgrims, won them by his address, and on their return sent a knowledge of his plan of concert and union to the most distant tribes. " The bodily and mental labors of Tecumthe next commenced. His life became one of ceaseless activity. He traveled, he argued, he commanded. His persuasive voice was one day listened to by the Wyandots, on the plains of Sandusky on the next, his commands were issued on the banks of the Wabash. "He was anon seen paddling his canoe across the Mississippi, multiplied,

his followers increased

Even Tecumthe became

a believer,

;

then boldly confronting the governor of Indiana, in the councilhouse at Vincennes. JSTow carrying his banner of union among the Creeks and Cherokees of the south, and from thence to the cold and inhospitable regions of the north, neither intoxicated by success,

nor discouraged by failure." The year 1808, made a change in the Presidency of the United States, though not in political measures. Mr. Jeiferson, who had administered the affairs of the country with pre-eminent success through two terms, and who was generally popular throughout the West, retired to private life, and Mr. Madison became his successor, in March, 1809. England and France, and indeed most of the European governments, had been in a state of hostility for some years. Napoleon had introduced and carried into effect what has been called the " Continental System." This was designed to exclude England from all intercourse with the continent of Europe. All importation of English manufactures and produce was prohibited. This system involved the rights of neutral powers, and both England and France commenced depredations on the commerce of the United States. In November, 1806, Napoleon issued the famous decree of Berlin, by which the British Islands were declared to be in a state of

— BRITISH ADVISE

1808.

IISTDIAN HOSTILITIES.

821

Immediately, England directed reprisals against the Berlin decree, and issued her " Orders in Council" in 1807. Every

blockade.

neutral vessel with

England

orders.

its

cargo was confiscated which violated these

also claimed the right to search all neutral ves-

With this odious was connected the "right of search" on neutral vessels, for British seamen, and all were claimed as such, who could not show official papers of their birth, and regular shipment under a neutral government. IIuTidreds of naturalized citizens, and even native born Americans, were thus taken under our flag and impressed on board of British ships of war. These " orders " were followed on the part of France, by the decree of Milan, December, 1^07, and a more aggravated one of the Tuilleries, in January, sels, in

order to execute the orders in council.

practice

1808.

These decrees denationalized and confiscated every neutral veswhich had been searched by an English ship. These difficulties with England were greatly increased by the wanton attack on the frigate Chesapeake, in the waters of the United States. This produced a call upon the militia of the United States. The Imperial decrees of France, and the aggressions of Great Britain, induced Congress, by recommendation of the President, to lay an embargo prohibiting the exportation of all articles from This measure met with so the United States, in December, 1807. much opposition that it was repealed in 1809, and at the same time all trade and intercourse with France and England was prohibited by an act of Congress.* During the same period, British officers and traders were encouraging the Indians to contend for their rights, by instilling into their minds the notion that they had sovereignty over all the counThese lessons were try not ceded by the treaty of Greenville. relished by Tecumthe and his brother, the Prophet. In reference to the hostilities of 1811, but which had existed in feelings and plans at an early period, Mr. Lanman says " The basis of these hostilities was the fact that Elshwatawa, th© Prophet, who pretended to certain supernatural powers, had formed a league with Tecumthe, to stir up the jealousy of the Indians against the United States. It seems that this was an act of preconcert on the part of these brothers, in order to produce a general confederacy of Indians against the United States. sel

:

* Sec Enoyclopaedia Americana,

articlo,

"Continental Syitem."

CONTROVERSY BETWEEN HARRISON AND TECUMTIIE.

822

1808.

" Mutual complaints were urged on both sides. It was maintained by Governor Harrison that the Indians had endeavored to excite insurrection against the Americans, their property,

and murdered

had depredated upon and that they were,

their citizens;

moreover, in league with the British, to return to their respective tribes,

He and

ordered them, therefore, up the property

to yield

which tliey had stolen, and also the murderers. " Tecumthe, in answer, denied the league. He alleged that his only design, and that of his brother, was to strengthen the ainity between the diftereut tribes of Indians, and to improve their moral In answer to Governor Harrison's demand for the murcondition. derers of the whites who had taken refuge among their tribes, he denied that they were there and secondly, that if they were there, it was not right to punish them, and that they ought to be forgiven, as he had forgiven those who had murdered his people in Illinois. " The Indians, comprised of seceders from the various tribes, were incited by the conviction that their domain was encroached upon by the Americans that they were themselves superior to the white men and that the Great Spirit had directed them to make one mighty struggle in throwing off the dominion of the United British influence, which had before exerted its agency in States. the previous Indian war, was active on the American side of the Detroit river, and it must be admitted that it had strong ground of ;

;

;

action.

"An

ardent correspondence had for some time existed regarding of the savages, and powerful eftbrts were made to disconduct the suade them from advancing in their projects. In a speech which was sent to Tecumthe and his brother, complaining of injuries which had been committed by the Indians, and demanding redress, BrothGov. Harrison, who then resided at Vincennes, remarks as soon as they hear my ers, I am myself of the Long Knife fire :

'

;

voice,

you

shirt men,' as

Wabash.

them pouring forth their swarms of 'huntingnumerous as the musquitoes on the shores of the

will see

Brothers, take care of their stings.'

"

the 25th of November, Governor Hull met at Brownstown, Ottawas, Pottawattamies, AVyandots, and Shaw^Chippewas, the nese, and obtained from them a grant of a strip of land connecting the Maumee with the "Western Reserve, and another strip connecting Lower Sandusky with the country south of the line agreed upon in 1795. These strips were to be used for roads. The white settlements in Upper Louisiana, in the beginning of 1808, had not extended much beyond the boundaries claimed by

On

HOSTILE MOVEMENTS OF TUE SAVAGES.

1809.

823

the Spanish authorities in virtue of former treaties with native tribes.

On

the 10th of J^ovember of that year, a grand council of the

nation of Osages was hekl at Fort Clark, on the right

bank of

the

where a treaty was made in which the Osages relinquish their claims to all their lands between the Missouri and Arkansas rivers, as far west as a line drawn from Fort Clark due south to Arkansas. This treaty threw open the territory to settlements to this boundary. Throughout the year 1809, Tecumthe and his brother were strengthening themselves, both openly and secretly. Governor Harrison, however, had been once more led to suspect their ultimate designs, and was preparing to meet an emergency, whenever The probability of its being at hand was very it might arise. greatly increased by the news received from the Upper Mississippi, Missouri

river,

of hostile movements there

among

the savages.

In reference to

these movements, and the position of the Shawanese brothers, Gov-

ernor Harrison wrote to the Secretary of War, on the 5th of July, as follows

:

"

The Shawanese prophet and about forty followers arrived here about a week ago. He denies most strenuously any participation which he says and Illinois and he claims the merits of having prevailed upon them to

in the late combination to attack our settlements,

was

entirely confined to the tribes of the Mississippi

rivers

;

relinquish their intentions.

"I must confess that my suspicions of his guilt have been rather strengthened than diminished at every interview I have had with

him

since his arrival.

tation to

war against

He us,

acknowledged that he received an invifrom the British, last fall, and that he was

apprised of the intention of the Sacs, Foxes, &c., early in the spring,

But he could give no satisfactory explanation of his neglecting to communicate to me, circumstances so extremely interesting to us, and toward which I had a few months before directed his attention, and received a and warmly

solicited to join in their league.

solemn assurance of his cheerful compliance with the injunctions I had impressed upon him. "The result of all my inquiries on the subject is, that the late combination was produced by British intrigue and influence, in It was, anticipation of war between them and the United States. however, premature and ill-judged, and the event sufficiently manifests a great decline in their influence, or in the talents and ad-

ILLINOIS TERRITORY FORMED.

824

which they have been accustoraed

dress, with

1809.

manage

to

their

Indian relations.

"The

warlike and well armed tribes of the Pottawattamies, Ottawas, Chippewas, Delawares, and Miamies, I believe neither had,

nor would have joined in the combination; and although the Ivickapoos, whose warriors are better than those of any other tribe, the remnant of the Wyandot excepted, are much under the influence of the prophet, I am persuaded that they were never made acquainted with their intentions, if these were really hostile to the

United States." In this same letter the governor, at the request of the secretary, Dr. Eustis, gives his views of the defense of the frontiers, in which portion of his epistle

many

valuable hints are given in relation to

the course proper to be pursued in case of a war with England.

In September, October, and December, the governor of Indiana succeeded in extinguishing the claims of the Delawares, Pottawattamies, Miamies, Eel river Indians, Weas, and Kickapoos, to certain lands upon the Wabash, which had not yet been purchased, and which were believed to contain copper ore. The treaties with the Delawares, Pottawattamies, Miamies, and Eel river Indians, were made at Fort Wayne the others at ;

Vincennes they were protested against by Tecumthe in the following year. On the 17th of February the Legislature of Ohio passed the ;

charter of the

Miami

University.

With regard

to this institution,

a question at once arose, whether it should be within Symmes' Purchase, as it had been originally intended it should be, and as the char-

upon the lands with which it was endowed which lands it had been found necessary to select out of the PurThe legislature decided that chase, as has been already related. the University should be upon the lands which had been appropriated to its support in the township of Oxford, and there, accordingly, it was placed. One of the events of 1809, which claims special notice, was the ter required

;

or placed

;

organization of the territory of Illinois.

The people

of Illinois, as has happened to others

more

recently,

were left without a regularly constituted governOriginally it was a portion of ancient Louisiana, under the ment. French monarchy. By the treaty of France with Great Britain, in 1763, all Canada, including the Illinois country, was ceded to the latter power. at several periods

ILLINOIS TERRITORY FORMED.

1809.

But Britisli when Captain

825

authority and laws did not reach Illinois until 1765, Sterling, in the name and by the authority of the

British crown,

established the provisional

government

at

Fort

Chartres.

In 1766, the " Quebec Bill," as Parliament, which placed

under the

Illinois,

local administration of

was called, passed the British and the ISTorth-Western Territory

it

Canada.

The conquest of the country by General

Clark, in 1778, brought under the jurisdiction of Virginia, and in the month of October, the Legislature of that State organized the county of Illinois. The cession of the country to the Continental Congress was made in 1784, and the ordinance to or^nize the North-Western Territory, which provided for a territorial government, was not passed until 1787, and the governor and judges who exercised, in one body, legislative and judicial authority, did not go into operation until July, 1788. Still the Illinois country remained without any organized government till March, 1790, when Governor St. Clair organized the county that bears his name. Hence, for more than six years at one period, and for a shorter time at other periods, there was no executive, legislative, and judicial authority in the country. The people were a "law unto themselves," and good feelings, harmony, and fidelity to engagements predominated. From 1800 they had been a part of the territory of Indiana. In all the territories at thatperiod, there were two grades of territorial government. The first was that of governor and judges. These constituted the law-making power. Such was the organization of Illinois in 1809. The next grade was a territorial legislature; the people electing the house of representatives, and the j^resident and it

senate appointing the council.

By an act of Congress, of February 3d, 1809, all that part of Indiana Territory which lies west of the Wabash river, and a direct line drawn from that river and Post Vincennes, due north, to the between the United States and Canada, was constinameof Illinois and the iirst grade of territorial government was established. For eight years Illinois had formed a part of Indiana, and the principal statutes of that territory were re-enacted by the governor and judges, and became the basis of statute law in Illinois, much of which, without change of phraseology, remains in the revised code of that State, as the same laws, in substance, originated in the legislation of the governor and judges of the North- Western Territory, and were enacted by the governor and judges of Indiana, in territorial line

tuted into a separate territory, by the

63

;

1808.

OLDEIf STATUTES OF INDIANA.

826

the territory of Louisiana, during the period of their temporary ju-

west of the Mississippi.

risdiction

The following specimen of

their early jurisprudence

may

not be

without interest to the reader. competent number of persons for each county were nominated and commissioned by the governor with power to take all manner of recognizances and obligations as any justices of the peace in the Uni-

A



all to be certitied to the court of common pleas at the next session except those for a felony, which belonged to the One or more justices of the peace, court of oyer and terminer. may hear and determine, by due course of law, any petty crimes

ted States



and misdemeanors, where the punishment shall be tine only, not exceeding three dollars. Justices were required to commit the ofl'ender when a crime was perpetrated in their sight, without further testimony. All warrants to be under the hand and seal of the justice. Justices to have power to punish by fine, as provided in the statute, all assaults and batteries not of an aggravated nature; and cause to be arrested all affrayers, rioters and disturbers of the peace, and bind them over by recognizance, to appear at the next general court, or court of county, and

common

pleas, to be held within the

to require such persons to give security.

the peace to examine into

all

Justices of

homicides, murders, treasons and

and to commit to prison be guilty of manslaughter, murder, treason, or other capital offense, and hold to bail all persons suspected to be guilty of lesser oflenses and require sureties for the felonies, all

done

persons

in their respective counties,

suspected to

;

good behavior of idle, vagrant, disorderly characters swindlers and gamblers, as well as every description of disorderly and ;

vagrant persons. Courts of Courts.



common

pleas were organized in each county,

of three judges, any two of whom were a quorum. They were appointed and commissioned by the governor for and during good behavior. Said courts to hear and determine, according to the

common

law, all crimes

and misdemeanors, the punishment where-

of did not extend to life, limb, imprisonment for one year, or forfeiture of goods and chattels, lands and tenements. This court held pleas of assize^ scire facias, replevins, and >vas

empowered

to hear

and determine all manner of pleas, suits, actions and crimes, real, personal, and mixed, according to law. For the more speedy administration of justice, the court held six sessions annually. If the court

was not opened on the day appointed, the

sheriff

could adjourn from day to day for two days, and then until the

next term.

OLDEN STATUTES OF INDIANA.

1808.

82T

Compensation of the judges of this court was two dollars and per day, paid from the county levy. This court had power to take all recognizances and obligations, and

fifty cents

cases not within their jurisdiction, to be certified to the next court of oyer and terminer. All fines to be duly and truly assessed accorall

ding to the quality of the ofiense, without afl:ection or partialit}-. Criminals w^ho had absconded from the counties to be brought back by w^arrant. Any person aggrieved may a})peal to the general court. All writs issued to be in the name of the United States. Judges had power to grant under seal, replevins, ivrits of parlitioii, writs of view, and all other writs and process, under said pleas and actions cognizable in said court, as occasion may require. The court could issue subpoenas, under seal, and signed by any clerk, into any county in the territory, summoning any witness. The clerk of said court was appointed by the governor during good behavior.

The Supreme cennes, on the

—styled General Court— was held twice a year, ViuTuesdays in April and September— had authority at

first

to issue writs of habeas corpus, certiorari,

members of

the court were constituted

and writs of error. The judges, and required

circuit

to hold a circuit court once in each year in the counties of Dear-

born, Clark, Randolph and St. Clair.

This court was empowered and determine all cases, matters and things, cognizable in court to examine and correct errors of inferior courts, and

to hear said

;

punish; to punish the "contempts, omissions, neglects, favors, corruptions and defaults of

all

justices of the peace, sherifts, coro-

and all other officers; award process to collect all fines, forfeitures and amercements " to hold courts of oyer and terminer, and general jail delivery. The governor was empowered to call a special term for capital offenses. ners, clerks,

;

By

the requisition of the Secretary of War, under the act of Congress of 1808, for arming and equipping one hundred thousand

Governor Lewis of the territory of for raising and equipping three hundred and seventy-seven militia of the territory, which were

militia in the

Louisiana,

United

States,

made proclamation

duly apportioned in the counties of St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, N'ew Madrid, and Arkansas, On the 28th of June, 1809, Nicholas Jarrot, of Cahokia, who had just returned from Prairie du Chein, made affidavit, that the

and traders at that place, and on the frontiers of Canada, were stirring up the Indians, furnishing them with guns and ammunition, and preparing thcmfor hostile demonstrations.

British agents

RESOLUTIONS OF OHIO LEGISLATURE.

828

1810.

In November, a communication came from Messrs. Portier and Bleakly, of Prairie du Chain, denying the statements of

They were persons

implicated.

About

M.

Jarrot.

the same period, hostile

the part of the Sac and Fox nations, During the same month, hostilities commenced between the Osages and lowas; the latter having killed some of the former, not far from where Liberty is now situated,

demonstrations were

made on

against Fort Madison.

north of the Missouri river.

About

some three or four years, great excitement was caused in Ohio, by wliat was known under the name of the "Sweeping Eesolutions." The legislature of Ohio had passed this time, for

1810.]

an

act,

giving justices of the peace jurisdiction, without the aid of a

jury, in the first instance in the collection of debts, in all eases

where the demand did not exceed

fifty dollars.

the constitution of the United States,

all

Inasmuch

as

by

matters of claim, where

amount exceeds twenty dollars, are referred to a jury; and, inasmuch too, as anything in tl>e laws or constitution of a State,

the

contrary to the provisions of the national constitution, void,

and of no

efi:ect,

the judges of

all

is

utterly

the courts declared this act

of the legislature void, and of no effect. This boldness of the judges aroused the anger of the legislators, and in order to punish the bold expounders of the law, the latter were impeached in the Three judges were in this way Senate, and removed from office. successively removed, in the years preceding 1809-10 for this In the fall of 1809, however, the people did not elect cause. "sweepers" (as the impeaching legislators were called,) enough to the Senate, to enable the House to carry an impeachment through the same, and a new plan was therefore devised for asserting the

supremacy of the legislature. The doctrine was started, that in a it would be seven j-cars since the constitution of Ohio went into operation, and certainly all civil officers ought to go out of ofiice every seven years, and so have the field entirely cleared ofi'for new aspirants to ofiice; and accordingly, on the 7th of January, 1810, the great so called "Sweeping Kesolutiou" was passed, short time

preamble, reads as follows: "Whereas, it is provided by the eighth section of the third article of the constitution of this State, that the judges of the

which, with

its

and associate judges of the court of be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of the general assembly, and shall hold their offices for seven years, and whereas, the first general assemif so long they behave well bly of this State did appoint judges of the supreme court, presi-

supreme

court, the presidents

common

pleas, shall

;

— 1810.

RESOLUTIONS OP OHIO LEGISLATURE.

829

dents and associate judges of the court of common pleas, many of whose offices have become vacant at different times, and electo fill vacancies; and whereas, tbe original about to expire, and it becomes necessary for the general assembly to provide for that event: "Therefore, Resolved, by the general assembly of the State of Ohio, that the constitution of the State having limited and defined tbe term of office whicli the judges of the supreme court, tbe presidents and judges of the court of common pleas, the secretary

tions have

term of

been bad

office is

of State, tbe auditor and treasurer of the State shall bold, and mode of filling vacancies by the legislature, it cannot, of right, be construed to extend beyond the end of the original term also tbe

which tbe first officers were appointed."* This resolution, when passed, was sent to tbe Senate, and passed there on the 18th of January, 1810, and thus every civil officer in tbe State was at once swept out of office, and in the following month the legislature proceeded to fill some of tbe vacancies so made, and to order elections by the people of those officers who were so elected. Many of the counties had not been organized longer than three or four years, and many judges had not held office for two years, although the constitution makes the term for

By

seven years.

fusion for a time

new

this ;

means the whole

many

was thrown

State

into con-

of the old officers refused to give

way

to

was some time before the utter unconstitutionality of the proceedings of the legislature was seen and acknowledged all around, and peace and order again restored. the

The

ones,

and

it

Tecumthe and his were placed beyond a doubt in

hostile intentions of

United

States,

causes were

—the

purchase at Fort

Shawanese denounced

And

as illegal

here, as in 1790 to 1795,

and

it is

Wayne unjust,

followers toward tbe

1810.

The

exciting

in 1809,

which the

and British

influence.

almost impossible to learn what

was the amount of British influence, and whence it prowhether from tbe agents merely, or from higher authority. On the one hand there are many assertions like the following:

really

ceeded

;

ViNCENNES, 26th June, 1810.t

"Winemac assured me that the Prophet, not long since, proposed to the young men to murder the principal chiefs of all the tribes,

*Atwater's History of Ohio.

f Ilarrison Dispatches.

INDIAN HOSTILITIES THREATENED.

830

1810.

would never be untied until this was that these were the men who had sold their lands, and effected who would prevent them from opposing the encroachments of the observing, that their hands ;

white people. An Iowa Indian informs me, that two years ago this summer, an agent from the British arrived at the Prophet's town, and, in his presence, delivered the messag-e with which he was charged, the substance of which was, to urge the Prophet to unite as many tribes as

he could against the United States, but not to commence they gave the signal.

hostlities until

YiNCENNES, July

18, 1810.

From the lowas, I learn that the Sacs and Foxes have actually received the tomahawk, and are ready to strike whenever the considerable number of the Sacs went, Prophet gives the signal.

A

some time

and on the

first

destination.

A

since, to see the British superintendent;

instant, fifty

more passed Chicago

Miami

who

chief,

for the

same

has just returned from his annual

visit to

Mai-

was keep your eyes be you ready, but do not

den, after having received the accustomed donation of goods,

thus addressed by the British agent: fi^ed on

me

;

my tomahawk

is

now up

"My ;

son,

strike until I give the signal."

YiNCENNES, July 25th, 1810.

There can be no doubt of the designs of the Prophet and the British agent of Indian affairs, to do us injury.

This agent

is

a

and his implacable hatred refugee from the neighborhood of him take part with the Indians, prompted to country, native his to ,

between them and General Wayne's army. He has, ever since his appointment to the principal agency, used his utmost endeavors to excite hostilities and the lavish manner in which he is allowed to scatter presents among them, shows that his government participates in his enmity and authorizes his measures.

in the battle

;

Fort Wayne, August 7, 1810. Since writing you on the 25th ultimo, about one hundred men of the Saukies have returned from the British agent, who supplied them liberally with everything they stood in want of. The party

received forty-seven

powder and

lead.

rifles,

This

country, inasmuch as

it

is

and a number of

fusils,

with plenty of

sendii^g fire-brands into the Mississippi

will

draw numbers of our Indians to the same liberality.

British side, in the hope of being treated with the

John Johnston, Indian Agent.

TECUMTHE AND HARRISON IN COUNCIL.

1810.

831

On the other hand, it is well known that Sir James Craig, the governor of Canada, wrote on the 25th of ]!^ovember, 1810, to Mr. Morier, the British Minister at Washington, authorizing him to inform the United States government that the northern savages were meditating hostilities it is likewise known that in the following March, Sir James wrote to Lord Liverpool in relation to the Indians, and spoke of the information he had given the Americans, ;

and that

his

conduct was approved, besides the repeated denial by

the English minister at Washington, of any influence having been

exerted over the frontier tribes adverse to the States, by the authority or with the knowledge of the English ministry, or the

governor of Canada. These, disconnected with other circumstanbut they do not ces, should a^iquit the rulers of Great Britain show who, nor how high in authority the functionaries were who ;

tried, as

Tecumthe

told Harrison, to set the red

men,

as dogs,

upon

the whites.

But, however the evil influence originated, certain it is that the determination was taken by "the successor of Pontiac," to unite all the western tribes in hostility to the United States, in case that power would not give up the lands bought at Fori Wayne, and undertake to recognize the principle, that no purchases should after

made

nation.

iinless

By

from a

be there-

council representing all the tribes united, as one

various acts, the feelings of

Tecumthe became more

August, he having visited Vincennes to see the governor, a council was held at which, and at a subsequent Of interview, the real position of afi'airs was clearly ascertained. that council, the account contained in Drake's life of the great

and more evident; but

in

is given : " Governor Harrison had

chieftain

made arrangements for holding the own house, which had been fitted up

council on the portico of his with seats for the occasion. Here, on the morning of the fifteenth, he awaited the arrival of the chief, being attended by the judges of the Supreme Court, some officers of the army, a sergeant and twelve men, from Fort Knox, and a large number of citizens. " At the appointed hour, Tecumthe, supported by forty of his principal warriors, made his appearance, the remainder of his fol-

lowers being encamped in the village and its environs. When the chief had approached within thirty or forty yards of the house, he suddenly stopped, as if awaiting some advances from the governor. "

An

was sent requesting him and his followers to take seats on the portico. To this Tecumthe objected he did not Uaink the place a suitable one for holding the conference, but preinterpreter



TECUMTHE AND HARRISON IN COUNCIL.

882





should take place in a grove of trees to which he .standing a short distance from the house. The governor

ferred that

pointed

1810,

it

had no ohjection to the grove, except that there were no it for accommodation. "Tecumthe replied, that constituted no objection to the gi'ove, the earth being the most suitable place for the Indians, who loved The governor yielded to repose upon the bosom of their mother. the point, and the benches and chairs having been removed to the spot, the conference was begun, the Indians being seated on the said he

seats in

grass.

"Tecumthe opened

the meeting

tions to the treaty of Fort

the previous year; and in

by

stating, at length, his objec-

Wayne, made by Governor Harrison in the course of his speech, boldly avowed

the principle of his party to be, that of resistance to every cession of land, unless made by all the tribes, who, he contended, formed but one nation. He admitted that he had threatened to kill the chiefs who signed the treaty of Fort "Wayne, and that it was his fixed determination not to permit the village chiefs, in future, to manage their affaii's, but to place the power with w^hich they had been heretofore invested, in the hands of the war chiefs. "The Americans, he said, had driven the Indians from the sea coast, and would soon push them into the lakes and, while he disclaimed all intention of making war upon the United States, he ;

declared

to be his unalterable resolution to take a stand,

it

resolutely oppose the

further intrusion of the whites

and upon the

He

concluded by making a brief but impassioned wrongs and aggressions inflicted by the white upon the Indians, from the commencement of the Revolu-

Indian lands.

recital of the various

men

tionary

war down

to the period of that council, all of

calculated to arouse as

which was and inflame the minds of such of his followers

were present.

"To him interpreter

the Governor replied, and having taken his seat, the

commenced explaining

the speech to Tecumthe, who, sprung to his feet and began to speak with great vehemence of manner. " The governor was surprised at his violent gestures, but as he did not understand him, thought he was making some explanation, and suflered his attention to be drawn toward Winnemac, a friendly Indian lying on the grass before him, who was renewing the priming of his pistol, which he had kept concealed from the other Indians, but in full view of the governor. "His attention, however, was again directed toward Tecumthe, after listening to a portion of

it,

;

TECUMTSE AND HARRISON IN COUNCIL.

1810.

8S3

by hearing General Gibson, who was intimately acquainted with the Shawanee language, say to Lieutenant Jennings, those fellows intend mischief; you had better bring up the guard.' "At that moment, the followers of Tecumthe seized their tomahawks and war clubs, and sprung upon their feet, their eyes turned upon the governor. As soon as he could disengage himself from the arm chair in which he sat, he rose, drew a small sword which he had by his side, and stood on the defensive. " Captain G. R. Floyd, of the army, who stood near him, drew a dirk, and the chief Winnemac cocked his pistol. The citizens present were more numerous than the Indians, but were unarmed some of them procured clubs and brick-bats, and also stood on the defensive. The Rev. Mr. Winans, a minister of the Methodist church, ran to the governor's house, got a gun, and posted himself '

door to defend the family. " During this singular scene, no one spoke, until the guard

at the

came

running up, and appearing to be in the act of firing, the governor ordered them not to do so. lie then demanded of the interpreter an explanation of what had happened, who replied that Tecumthe had interrupted him, declaring that all the governor had said waa false, and that he and the Seventeen Fires had cheated and imposed on the Indians. "The Governor then told Tecumthe that he was a bad man, and that he would hold no further communication with him that as he had come to Yincennes under the protection of a council-fire, he might return in safety, but that he must immediately leave the ;

village.

was supposed the council would terminate. But early on the succeeding morning, the Shawanese chief appeared at the and after governor's residence, and desired another interview request was making an apology for his conduct the day before, his

"Here

it

;

complied with. "Lest he should have a body of his followers secreted in the neighborhood, ready to join those who were with him, two companies of militia were mustered from the village and neighborhood, and ordered to parade morning and evening ready for action. " The governor and several of his friends also attended the council, well armed. Tecumthe's conduct was upon this occasion, however, very diflerent from what it had been at any previous meeting, and though firm and intrepid, he said nothing that was

insolent.

" After finishing his speech, a Wyandot, a Kickapoo, a Pottawat-

834

SHATVANESE CONFEDERACY STRENGTHENS.

tamie, an Ottawa, and a

Winnebago,

1810.

severally spoke

;

each, declar-

ing his tribe had entered into the Shawanese confederacy, and would support the principles laid down by Tecumthe, whom they had appointed their leader. " The now undoubted purposes of the ISTorthern Indians being of a character necessarily leading to war, Governor Harrison proceeded to

strengthen himself for the contest, by preparing the militia, and posting the regular troops that were with him, under Captains Posey and Cross, at Vincennes. " In a few days the Indians departed, and little more was heard

from Tecumthe, the warrior, until next year. Meanwhile, his brother remained at Prophet's town, professing friendship for the frontier inhabitants; and, at one time previous to the warrior's last visit at

Vincennes, he sent a message to Governor Harrison, asking

that implements for building houses, as likewise farming utensils,

be remitted from government, for the benefit of himself and others at their village."

With

the close of the year 1810, western history

is

brought down

war with Great Britain, which, though an event that had "cast its shadow before," cannot be said to have its commencement until 1811, and it was therefore thought well to end to the very eve of the

the present period at this time.

The next period commences with the year 1811, and, after embracing the incidents of the war, and the intermediate events, it is extended to 1820, which may be said to bear the date of the commencement of State sovereignty west of the the year in which Missouri, the

admitted into the Union.

first

Mississippi, that being

State of the

"Far West," was



PERIOD

VII.

1811—1820.

During the land

first

half of this year, while the difficulties with

made a war with her

Eng-

every day more probahle, nothing took

In June, Harrison sent to the Shawanese leaders a message, bidding them beware of hostilities. To this Tecumthe gave a brief reply, promising the governor a visit. place to render a contest with the Indians any the less certain.

be seen by the following, that his brother, the Prophet^ demonstration soon afterward " June, 1811. The boat which was sent up the "Wabash some time past, with the United States annuity of salt, for the Delaware, Miami, and Pottawattamie tribes of Indians, and a few barrels as a present to the Prophet, has returned without having accomplished the main object of its mission. Having proceeded as high up as the It will

made

his first hostile

:

Prophet's town, they halted in order to leave that part destined for him. He at first refused to accept of it, but detained the boat unand after detaining them til he would have a council of his chiefs ;

two days, he seized the whole cargo. So the Indians will not only sufler for want of salt, but may blame the government for faithlessness, in failing to deliver the article at the usual period.

"On

being demanded the cause of his treachery and rash conProphet gave no answer, or any explanation, but said his brother Tecumthe would visit the governor at Vincennes soon, and duct, the

with Mm."*Again, July 27th " For some days past very considerable alarm has existed in this place and vicinity, occasioned by the approach of the Shawanese chief, Tecumthe, the brother of the Prophet, accompanied by a On the 28th he entered the town. His great number of warriors. march here was performed leisurely, having been seven days occupied in traveling the last seventy miles." Although the ostensible object of this visit was Tecumthe's going settle the affair

to the council, yet

it

was believed by many, that

* Western Sun of June

11, 1811.

his real object

UARRISON PREPARES FOR INDIAN WAR.

836

1811.

was to intimidate the whites, by a show of his force, a belief that seems to gain strength from the unusual tardiness of his march. This last council was still less satisfactory to the governor and citizens than the former one of August, 1810, because Tecumthe, on this occasion, acknowledged that he had already united the northern Indians, and furthermore, avowed, his intention of proceeding south, on the errand of bringing the savages of that region into a league of offensive warfare, to reclaim their country.

Henceforth, nothing short of a speedy Indian war was anticipaand on the 31st of July, during the session of the council, the citizens of Vincennes and its vicinity met in convention, and me-

ted,

morialized President Madison on the subject, though not so for protection

Indians their

from a military

much

force, as for permission to fight the

own way.

The following

letters furnish additional evidences of the state

of affairs at that time, as being indicative of the impending war;

Fort Wayne, February has been at this place.

him

is

8,

1811.

The information derived from

the same I have been in possession of for several years, to

wit: the intrigues of the British agents and partizans, in creating

an influence hostile to our people and government, within our terI do not know whether a garrison is to be erected on the Wabash or not, but every consideration of sound policy urges the early establishment of a post, somewhere contiguous to the ritory.

Prophet's residence.*

Vincennes, 6th August, 1811.

The Shawanee chief, Tecumthe, has made a visit to this place, with about three hundred Indians, though he promised to bring but a few attendants; his intentions are hostile, though he found us prepared for him. Tecumthe did not set out till yesterday; he then descended the Wabash, attended by twenty men, on his way to the southward. After having visited the Creeks and Choctaws, he is to visit the Osages, and return by the Missouri.

Tlie spies

say-,

his object in

coming with so many, was to demand a retrocession of the last purAt the moment he was promising to bring but few men chase. with him, he was sending in every direction to collect his people. That he meditated a blow at this time, was believed by almost all the neutral Indians.f * Correspondence of Colonel Johnston, Indian agent, f GoYcrnor Harrison's correspondence.

CORRESPONDENCE OF HARRISON AND JOHNSTON.

1811.

Fort Wayne, August

837

18, 1811.

Shawanee Prophet, and his band, more genuine colors than lieretofore.

It appears that the fruit of the is

making

its appearance in

had opportunities of seeing many of the Indians of this agency, from difierent quarters, and by what I have been able to learn from them, particularly the Pottawattamies, I am induced to believe the news circulating in the papers, respecting the depredations committed in the Illinois territory, by the Indians, is mostly correct, and is thought by them to have proceeded from Mar Poe, and the influence of the Shawanee Prophet. Several of

I have lately

the tribes have sent to

me

for advice.

YiNCENNES, September

17, 1811.

almost every Indian from the country above this had been, or were then gone to Maiden, on a visit to the British agent. "We shall probably gain our destined point at the moment of their return. If then the British agents are really enstates that

deavoring to instigate the Indians to make war upon us, we shall be in their neighborhood at the very moment when the impressions which have been made against us are most active in the

minds of the savages. succeeded in getting the chiefs together at Fort Wayne, though he found them all preparing to go to ISIaldcn. The result of the council discovered that the whole tribes (including the Weas and Eel rivers, for they are all Miamies,) were about equally divided in favor of the Prophet, and the United States. Lapousier the Wea chief, whom I before mentioned to you as being seduced what laud it was by the Prophet, was repeatedly asked by that he was determined to defend with his blood whether it was that which was ceded by the late treaty or not but he would give ;

;

no answer. reports that all the Indians of the Wabash have been, or now are, on a visit to the British agents at Maiden. He had never known one-fourth as many goods given to the Indians as they are now distributing. He examined the share of one man (not a chief,) and found that he had received an elegant rifle, twenty-five pounds of powder, fifty pounds of lead, three blankets, three trouds of cloth, ten shirts and several other articles. He says every Indian is furnished with a gun (either rifle or fusil) and an abundance of ammunition. A trader of this country was lately in the king's stores at Maiden, and was told that the quantity of goods

BUILDING OF FORT HARRISON.

838

for the Indiau department,

ceeded that of It

is

common

1810.

which had been sent out

this year, ex-

years by twenty thousand pounds sterling.

impossible to ascribe this profusion to any other motive than

that of instigating the Indians to take up the tomahawk.

It cannot be to secure their trade for all the peltry collected on the waters of the Wabash in one year, if sold in the London market, would not pay the freight of the goods which have been given to the Indians. ;

Harrison, meanwhile, had taken steps to increase his regular

and had received the promise of strong reinforcements, with orders, however, to be very backward in employing them unless in case of absolute need. Under these circumstances his plan as given to the Secretary of War upon the 1st of August was to again warn the Indians to obey the treaty at Greenville, but at the same time to prepare to break up the Prophet's establishment, troops,

if necessary.

Messages were sent out as proposed, and deputations from the and compliance, but the governor, having received his reinforcements, commenced his proposed progress. On the 5th of October he was on the Wabash sixty or sixty-five miles above Vincennes, at which point he built " Fort Harrison." Here one of his sentinels was fired upon, and news was received from the friendly Delawares which made the hostile purposes of the Prophet plain. The governor then determined to move directly upon Tippecanoe, still offering peace, however. Upon the 31st of October he was near the mouth of the Vermillion river, where he built a block house for the protection of his boats, and a place of deposit for his heavy baggage. The following account of the succeeding events is given by General Harrison himself in an oflicial letter to the Secretary of natives followed, promising peace

War: " YiNCENNES, 18th IsTovember, 1811. "Sir: In my letter of the 8th inst., I did myself the honor to communicate the result of an action between the troops under my command and the confederation of Indians under the control of the Shawanee Prophet. I had previously informed you in a letter of the 2d inst., of my proceedings previous to my arrival at the Vermillion river, where I had erected a block house for the pro-



tory for

which

was obliged to leave, and as a deposiour heavy baggage, and such part of our provisions as we

tection of the boats

I

were unable to transport in wagons. "On the morning of the 3d inst., I commenced

my march from

HARRISON MARCHES AGAINST THE INDIANS.

1811.

the block liouse.

The Wabash, above

this,

839

turning considerably

to the eastward, I was obliged to avoid the broken and woody country, which borders upon it, to change my course to the west-

ward of

north, to gain the prairies

which

lie

to the

back of those

woods. At the end of one day's march, I was enabled to take the proper direction, (IST. E.) which brought me, on the evening of the 5th, to a small creek, at about eleven miles from the Prophet's town. I had, on the preceding day, avoided the dangerous pass of Pine creek, by inclining a few miles to the left, where the Our troops and wagons were crossed with expedition and safety. route on the 6th, for about six miles, lay through prairies, separated by small points of wood^ " My order of march hitherto had been similar to that used by

General Wayne; that is, the infantry were in two columns of files on either side of the road, and the mounted rifle men and cavalry Where the ground was in front, in the rear and on the flanks. unfavorable for the action of cavalry, they were placed in the rear; but where it was otherwise, they were made to exchange positions with one of the mounted rifle corps. "Understanding that the last four miles were open woods, and the probability being greater that we should be attacked in front, than on either flank, I halted at that distance from the town, and formed The United States infantry placed in the army in order of battle. militia infantry, and one of mounted the centre, two companies of riflemen, on each flank, formed the front line. In the rear of this line was placed the baggage, drawn up as compactly as possible, and immediately behind it, a reserve of three companies of militia The cavalry formed a second line, at the distance of infantry. three hundred yards in the rear of the front line, and a

mounted

To

company of

riflemen, the advanced guard at that distance in front.

facilitate the

march, the whole were then broken

columns of companies

ofi'

into short

— a situation the most favorable for

in order of battle with facility

and

forming

precision.

and much delayed by the examination of every place which seemed calculated for an ambuscade. Indeed the ground was for some time so unfavorable, that I was obliged to change the position of the several corps three times in the distance of a mile. At half past two o'clock, we

"Our march was slow and

cautious,

passed a small creek at the distance of one mile and a half from town, and entered an open wood, when the army was halted, and again drawn up in order of battle. " During the whole of the last day's march, parties of Indians

840

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

were constantly about

and every

us,

effort

preters to speak to tliem, but in vain.

1811.

was made by tbe

New

inter-

attempts of the kind

were now made, but proving equally ineffectual, a Captain Dubois, of the spies and guides, offering to go with a flag to the town, I dispatched

him with an interpreter, to request a conference with In a few moments a messenger was sent by Captain

the Prophet.

me that in his attempts to advance, the Indians appeared on both his flanks, and although he had spoken to them in the most friendly manner, they refused to answer, but beckoned to him to go forward, and constantly endeavored to cut him ofl' from the army. Upon this information I recalled the captain, and determined to encamp for the night, iyid take some other measures for opening a conference with the Prophet. Dubois, to inform

"Whilst I was engaged in tracing the lines for the encampment, Major Daviess, who commanded the dragoons, came to inform me that he had penetrated the Indian fields; that the ground was entirely open and favorable that the Indians in front had manifested nothing but hostility, and had answered every attempt to bring them to a parley with contempt and insolence. I was immediately advised by all the ofiicers around me to move forward a similar wish, indeed, pervaded all the army. It was drawn up in excellent order, and every man appeared eager to decide the contest immediately. " Being informed that a good encampment might be had upon the Wabash, I yielded to what appeared the general wish, and di;

;

rected the troops to advance, taking care, however, to place the interpreters in front, with directions to invite a conference with any

We had not advanced above four hundred yards, when I was informed that three Indians had approached the advanced guard, and had expressed a wish to speak to me. I found, upon their arrival, that one of them was a man in Indians they might meet with.

lie informed me that the chiefs were much surprised at my advancing upon them so rapidly that they were given to understand, by the Delawares and Miamies, whom I had sent to them a few days before, that I would not advance to their town, until I had received an answer to my demands made through them that this answer had been dispatched by the Pottawattamie chief, AVinncmac, who had accompanied the Delawares and Miamies, on their return that they had left the Prophet's town two days before, with a design to meet me, but had unfortunately taken the road on the south side of the Wabash. "I answered that I had no intention of attacking them, until I discovered that they would not comply with the demands that I

great estimation with the Prophet.

;

;

;

;

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

1811.

841

had made that I would go on, and encamp at the Wabash and in the morning would have an interview with the Prophet and his chiefs, and explain to them the determination of the President that in the meantime, no hostilities should be committed. He seemed much pleased with this, and promised that it should be observed on their part. I then resumed my march. We struck the cultivated ground about five hundred yards below the town, but as these extended to the bank of the Wabasb, there was no possibility of getting an encampment which was provided with both ;

;

wood and

water.

"My guides

and interpreters being still with the advanced guard, and taking the direction of the town, the army followed, and had advanced within about one hundred and fifty yards, when fifty or sixty Indians sallied out, and with loud acclamations called to th« cavalry and to the militia infantry, which were on our right flank, to halt. I immediately advanced to the front, caused the army to halt, and directed an interpreter to request some of the chiefs to come to me. " In a few moments, the man who had been with me before,

made

his appearance.

I informed

him

that

my object for

the pres-

where we could get wood and water; he informed me that there was a creek to the north-west, which he thought would suit our purpose. I immediately dispatched two officers to examine it, and they reported the situation was excellent. I then took leave of the chief, and a mutual promise was again made for a suspension of hostilities until we could have an interview on the following day. "I found the ground destined for the encampment not altogether such as I could wish it it was indeed admirably calculated for the encampment of regular troops, that were opposed to regulars, but It was a piec« it afforded great facility to the approach of savages. of dry oak land, rising about ten feet above the level of a marshy prairie in front, (toward the Indian town,) and nearly twice that height above a similar prairie in the rear, through which, and near to this bank, ran a small stream, clothed with willows and brushwood. Toward the left flank, this bench of high land widened considerably, but became gradually narrow in the opposite direction^ and at the distance of one hundred and fifty yards from the right ent was to procure a good piece of ground to

encamp

on,



an abrupt point. infantry occupied the front and rear of this ground, at the distance of about one hundred and fifty yards from each other on the left, and something more than half that distance flank, terminated in

"

The two columns of

64

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

842

on the right flank panies of

1811.

—these Hanks were

mounted

riflemen,

filled up, the first by two comamounting to about one hundred and

twenty men, under the command of Major-General Wells, of the Kentucky militia, who sei-ved as a major the other by Spencer's company of mounted riflemen, which amounted to eighty men. "The front line was composed of one battalion of United States infantry, under the command of Major Floyd, flanked on the right by two companies of militia, and on the left by one company. The rear line was composed of a battalion of United States troops, under the command of Captain Bean, acting as major, and four com;

panies of militia infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Decker. " The regular troops of this line joined the mounted riflemen,

under General Wells, on the left flank, and CoL Decker's battalion formed an angle with Spencer's company on the left. " Two troops of dragoons, amounting to, in the aggregate, about sixty men, w^ere encamped in the rear of the left flank, and Captain Parke's troop, which was larger than the other two, in the rear of the front line. Our order of encampment varied little from that above described, excepting when some peculiarity of the ground

made

it

necessary.

"

For a night attack, the order of encampment was the order of battle, and each man slept immediately opposite to his post in the line. In the formation of my troops, I used a single rank, or what because in Indian warfare, where there is no is called Indian file shock to resist, one rank is nearly as good as two, and in that kind



of warfare, the extension of line

is

of the

maneuver with much more

troops also

first

importance.

facility in single

Raw

than in

double ranks. " It was

my

my

constant custom to assemble

all

the field officers at

tent every evening by signal, to give

them the watchword, and

—those

given for the night of

their instructions

for

the night

the Gth were, that each troop which formed a part of the exterior line of the

encampment, should hold

its

own ground

until relieved.

"The dragoons were

ordered to parade in case of a night attack, with their pistols in their belts, and to act as a corps de reserve. The

camp was defended by two

captains' guards, consisting each of

four non-commissioned officers and forty-two privates

;

subalterns' guards, of twenty non-commissioned officers vates.

The

The whole under

the

command

and two and pri-

of a field officer of the day.

troops were regularly called up an hour before day, and

under arms

was quite light. " On the morning of the 7th, I had risen at a quarter

to continue

until

made

it

after four

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

1811.

843

o'clock, and the signal for calling out tho men would have been given in two minutes, when the attack commenced. It began on



but a signal gun was tired by the sentinels, guard in that direction, which made not the least resistance, but abandoned their officer, and fled into camp, and the first notice which the troops of that flank had of the danger, was from the yells of the savages within a short distance of the line but even under those circumstances the men were not wanting to themselves or the occasion. "Such of them as were awake, or were easily awakened, seized their arms, and took their stations; others which were more tardy, had to contend with the enemy in the doors of their tents. The storm first fell upon Captain Barton's company of the 4th United States regiment, and Captain Geiger's company of mounted riflemen, which formed the left angle of the rear line. The fire upoa these was exceedingly severe, and they suffered considerably before relief could be brought to them. " Some few Indians passed into the encampment near the angle, and one or two penetrated to some distance before they were killed. I believe all the other companies were under arms, and tolerably formed before they were fired on. " The morning was dark and cloudy our fires afforded a partial light, which, if it gave us some opportunity of taking our positions, was still more advantageous to the enemy, affording them the means of taking a surer aim they were therefore extinguished.

our

flank

left

or by the



;

;

Under

all

these discouraging circumstances, the troops (nineteen-

whom

had never been

behaved in a manner much applauded. They took their places without noise, and less confusion than could have been expected from veterans placed in the same situation.

twentieths of

in action before,)

that can never be too

"As soon

as I coulS

—I

mount

my

horse, I rode to the angle that

found that Barton's company had suffered seleft of Geiger's entirely broken. I immediately ordered Cook's company and the late Captain Wentworth's, under Lieutenant Peters, to be brought up from the center of the rear line, where the ground was much more defensible, and formed

was attacked verely and the

and Geiger's. was then engaged by a heavy firing upon the left of the front line, where were stationed the small company of United States' riflemen, (then, however, armed with muskets) and the companies of Bean, Snelling, and Prescott, of the 4th regiment. I found Major Daviess forming the dragoons in the rear

across the angle in support of Barton's

"

My

attention

1811.

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

844

of those companies, and understanding that the heaviest part of the enemy's fire proceeded from some trees about fifteen or

twenty paces in front of those companies, I directed the major to dislodge them with a part of the dragoons, " Unfortunately the major's gallantry determined him to execute the order with a emaller force than was sufficient, which enabled the enemy to avoid him in front and attack his flanks. The major was mortally wounded, and his party driven back. The Indians were, however, immediately and gallantly dislodged from their advantageous position, by Captain Snelling, at the head of his

company.

"In

the course of a few minutes after the

commencement of the

whole of the and part of the rear line. Upon Spencer's mounted riflemen, and the right of Warwick's company, which was posted on the rear of the right line, it was excessively severe. Captain Spencer and his flrst and second lieutenants, were killed, and Captain Warwick was mortally wounded those companies, however, still bravely maintained their posts, but Spencer had suffered so severely, and having originally too much ground to occupy, I reinforced them with Robb's company of riflemen, which had been driven back, or by mistake ordered from their position on the left flank, toward the center of the camp, and filled the vacancy that had been occupied by Robb with Prescott's company of the 4tli United States regiment. "My great object was to keep the lines entire, to prevent the enemy from breaking into the camp until daylight, which should enable me to make a general and eftectual charge. With this view, I had reinforced every part of the line that had suftered much and as soon as the approach of morning discovered itself, I withdrew from the front line, Snelling's, Posey's (under Lieutenant Albright,) and Scott's, and from the rear line, Wilson's companies, and drew them up upon the left flank, and at the same time, I ordered Cook's and Bean's companies, the former from the rear, and the latter from the front line, to reinforce the right flank; forseeing that at these points the enemy would make their attack, the tire extended along the left flank, the front, the right flank,



;

last eftbrts.

"Major Wells, who commanded on the left flank, not knowing intentions precisely, had taken command of these companies, and charged the enemy before I had formed the body of dragoons with which I meant to support the infantry a small detachment of these were, however, ready, and proved amply suflicient for the

my

;

purpose.

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

1811.

845

"

The Indians were driven by the infantry, at the point of the bayonet, and the dragoons pursued and forced tliem into a marsh, where they could not be followed. Captain Cook and Lieutenant Larabee had, agreeable to my order, marched their companies to the right flank, had formed them under the fire of the enemy, and being then joined by the riflemen of that flank, had charged the Indians, killed a number, and put the rest to precipitate flight. favorable opportunity was here offered to pursue the enemy with dragoons, but being engaged at that time on the other flank, I did not observe it till it was too late. " I have thus, sir, given you the particulars of an action, which was certainly maintained with the greatest obstinacy and perseveThe Indians manifested a ferocity uncomrance, by both parties. mon even with them to their savage fury our troops opposed that cool, and deliberate valor, which is characteristic of the Christian

A



soldier."*

had not more than seven hundred the Inofficers and privates dians are believed to have had seven hundred or one thousand warriors. The loss of the American army was thirty-seven killed on the field, twenty-five mortally wounded, and one hundred and twenty-six wounded that of the Indians about forty killed on the spot, the number of wounded being unknown. Governor Harrison, although very generally popular, had enemies, and after the battle of Tippecanoe they denounced him, for suffering the Indians to point out his camping ground for allowing himself to be surprised by his enemy and, because he sacrificed either Daviess or Owen, (accounts differed,) by placing one or the other on a favorite white horse of his own, which caused the savages to make the rider an especial mark. To these charges elaborate replies have been made: justice cannot do more than say,

The Americans

efficient

men,

in this battle

—non-commissioned

;

;

;

;

that although, as Harrison relates, the Indians pointed out the creek upon which was the site of his encampment, his own officers found, examined, and approved that particular site, and

to the

first,

other military

men have

next, the only reply

since approved their selection

needed

is,

;

to the

that the facts were just as stated in

the dispatch which has been quoted and to the third, that Daviess was killed on foot, and Owen on a horse not General Harrison's: the last stoi-y probably arose from the fact that Major Taylor, a ;

American

State Papers,

v.

777, 778.

:

;

84G

INDIAN HOSTILITIES CEASE.

1811.

Owen, was mounted on a horse of the Governor's but Taylor was not injured, though the horse he rode was killed under him. The battle of Tippecanoe was fought upon the 7th of ISTovember, lu a few weeks afterward, Harrison addressed the Secretary of War

fellow aid of

as follows

" ViNCENNES, 4th December, 1811. " I have the honor to inform you that two principal chiefs of the

Kickapoos of the Prairies arrived here, bearing a flag, on the evening before last. They informed me that they came in consequence of a message from a chief of that part of the Kickapoos which had joined the Prophet, requiring them to do so, and that the said chief is to be here himself in a day or two. The account which they give of the late confederacy, under the Prophet, is as follows The Prophet, with his Shawanese, is at a small Huron village, about twelve miles from his former residence, on this side of the Wabash, where, also, were twelve or fifteen Hurons. The Kickapoos arc encamped near to the Tippecanoe. The Pottawattamies have scattered and gone to difi'erent villages of that tribe. The Winnebagoes had all set out on their return to their own country, excepting one chief and nine men, who remained at their former village. The latter had attended Tecumthe in his tour to the northward, and had only returned to the Prophet's town the day before the action. The Prophet had sent a messenger to the Kickapoos the Prairie, of to request that he might be permitted to retire to their town. This was positively refused, and a warning sent to him '

:

not to come there.

He

then sent to request that four of his



men

might attend the Kiekapoo chief here this was also refused. These chiefs say, on the whole, that all the tribes who lost warriors in the late action, attribute their misfortune to the Prophet alone that they constantly reproach him with their misfortunes, and threaten ;

him with death

that they are all desirous of making their peace with the United States, and will send deputations to me for that purpose, as soon as they are informed that they will be well received. The two chiefs further say, that they were sent by Governor Howard and General Clarke, sometime before the action, to endeavor to bring ofl' the Kickapoos from the Prophet's town that they used their best endeavors to effect it, but unsuccessfully. That the Prophet's followers were fully impressed with the belief that they could defeat us with ease that it was their intention to have attacked us at Port Harrison, if we had gone no higher that Kacoou creek was then fixed on, and finally Pine creek; and that the latter ;

;

;

;

;

EARTHQUAKE OF THE

1811.

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

84T

would probably had been the place, if the usual route had not been abandoned, and a crossing made higher up that the attack made on our sentinels at Fort Harrison, was intended to shut the door against accommodation that the Winnebagoes had forty warriors killed They in the action, and the Kickapoos eleven, and ten wounded. tribes other the Pottawattamies and many of have never heard how were killed that the Pottawattamie chief left by me on the battle ;

;

;

ground, is since dead of his wounds, but that he faithfully delivered my speech to the difl'erent tribes, and warmly urged them to abandon the Prophet, and submit to my terms.' " I cannot say, sir, how much of the above may be depended ou. I believe, however, that the statement made by the chiefs is genererally correct, particularly with regard to the present disposition of

our frontiers have never enjoyed more profound tranquillity than at this time. ISTo injury of any kind, that I can hear of, has been done, either to the persons or property of our citizens. Before the expedition, not a fortnight passed over, without some vexatious depredations being committed. "TheKickapoo chiefs certainly tell an untruth, when they say the Indians.

It is certain that

that there were but eleven of their tribe killed,

and ten wounded

impossible to believe that fewer were wounded than killed. They acknowledge, however, that the Indians have never sustained so severe a defeat since their acquaintance with the white people."

it is

During

this year

Tippecanoe, which of the

two events took

make

it

place, beside the battle of

in the history

especially noticeable

West; the one was, the building of the steamer New

Orleans, the first boat built beyond the Alleghenies the other waa the series of earthquakes which destroyed New Madrid, and afiected the whole valley. Of the latter event, the following descrip;

from the pen of Dr. Ilildreth :* first shock was felt in the night of the 16th of December, and was repeated at intervals, with decreasing violence, into 1811, February following. New Madrid, having suffered more than any other town on the Mississippi from its eifects, was considered as situated near the focus from whence the undulations proceeded. The center of its violence was thought to be near the Little Praithe vibrations rie, twenty-five or thirty miles below New Madrid from which were felt all over the valley of the Ohio, as high up as tion

is

" The

;

Pittsburgh.

* Dawson, 204

to

208.— McAfee's History

of the Var, 18 to 38.

EARTHQUAKE OF THE MISSISSIPPI YALLEY.

848

"From an

1811.

who was then about forty miles below on his way to l^ew Orleans with a load of produce, and who narrated the scene to me, the agitation which convulsed the earth and the waters of the mighty Mississippi filled every living creature with horror. The first shock took place in the night, while the boat was lying at the shore in company with several others. At this period there was danger apprehended from the southern Indians, it being soon after the battle of Tippecanoe, and for safety several boats kept in company, for mutual defense eye-witness,

that town, in a

flat boat,

in case of an attack.

"In the middle of the night there was a ternble shock and all awakened and hurried on deck with their weapons of defense in their hands, thinking the Indians were rushing on board. The ducks, geese, swans, and various other aquatic birds, whose numberless flocks were quietly resting in the eddies of the river, were thrown into the greatest tumult, and with loud screams expressed their alarm

jarring of the boats, so that the crews were

in accents of terror.

"The

commotion soon became hushed, and nothing could be discovered to excite apprehension, so that the boatmen concluded that the shock w^as occasioned by tlie falling in of a large mass of the bank of the river near them. As soon as it was light enough to distinguish objects, the crews were all up making noise and

ready to depart. "Directly a loud roaring and hissing was heard, like the escape of steam from a boiler, accompanied by the most violent agitation of the shores and tremendous boiling up of the waters of the Mississippi

in

huge

swells, rolling

the waters below back on the

descending stream, and tossing the boats about so violently that men wdth difficulty could keep on their feet. The sandbars and points of the islands gave way, swallowed up in the tumultuous bosom of the river; carrying down with them the cottonwood trees, cracking and crashing, tossing their arms to and fro, as if sensible of their danger, while they disappeared beneath the flood. "The water of the river, which the day before was tolerably clear, l)eing rather low, changed to a reddish hue, and became thick with mud thrown up from its bottom while the surface, lashed violently by the agitation of the earth beneath, was covered with foam, which, gathering into masses the size of a barrel, floated along on the trembling surface. The earth on the shores opened in wide fissures, and closing again, threw the water, sand and mud, in huge jets, higher than the tops of the trees.

the

;

EARTHQUAKE OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

1811.

"The atmosphere was

filled

849

with a thick vapor or gas, to which

the light imparted a purple tinge, altogether difterent in appear ance from the autumnal haze of Indian summer, or that of smoke.

the temporary check to the current, by the heaving up of the bottom, the sinking of the banks and sandbars into the bed of the stream, the river rose in a few minutes five or six feet; and,

From

impatient of the restraint, again rushed forward with redoubled now set loose by the horror-

impetuosity, hurrying along the boats,

struck boatmen, as in less danger on the Avater than at the shore, where the banks threatened every moment to destroy them by the falling earth, or carry

them down

in the vortices of the sinking

masses.

boats were overwhelmed in this manner, and their crews perished with them. It required the utmost exertions of the men to keep the boat, of which my informant was the owner,

"Many

from the shores, sandbars and ISTumerous boats wrecked on the snags and islands as they could. old trees thrown up from the bottom of the Mississippi, where they had quietly rested for ages, while others were sunk or stranded on the sandbars and islands. At Kew Madrid several boats were

in the middle of the river, as far

carried

by the

reflux of the current into a small stream that puts

into the river just above the town,

and

left

on the ground by the

returning water a considerable distance from the Mississippi. " man who belonged to one of the company boats, was left for several hours on the upright trunk of an old snag in the middle of the river, ao-ainst which his boat was wrecked and sunk. It stood

A

with the roots a few feet above the water, and to these he contrived to attach himself, while every fresh shock threw the agitated waves against him, and kept gradually settling the tree deeper into the mud at the bottom, bringing him nearer and nearer to the deep

muddy

waters, which, to his terrified imagination, seemed desirous him up. While hanging here, calling with piteous

of swallowing

shouts for aid, several boats passed by without being able to relieve him, until finally a skiff' was well manned, rowed a short distance above him, and dropped down stream close to the snag, from which

he tumbled into the boat as she fioated by. " The scenes which occurred for several days, during the repeated The most destructive ones took place in the shocks, were horrible. beginning, although they were repeated for many weeks, becoming lighter and lighter, until they died away in slight vibrations, like The sulphurated the jarring of steam in an immense boiler. gases that were discharged during the shocks, tainted the air with

:

;

EARTHQUAKE OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

&50

their noxious effluvia,

1811.

and

so strongly impregnated the water of the one hundred and fifty miles below, that it could hardly be used for any purpose for a number of days. "ISTew Madrid, which stood on a bluff bank, fifteen or twenty feet above the summer floods, sunk so low that the next rise covered it to the depth of five feet. The bottoms of several fine lakes in the vicinity were elevated so as to become dry land, and have since been planted with corn " * To this interesting sketch by Dr. Hildreth, we append a few river, to the distance of

!

particulars.

In the town of Cape Girardeau, were several edifices of stone and The walls of these buildings were cracked, in some

brick.

instances from the ground to the top, and wide fissures were

left.

" The great shake,'' as the people call it, was so severe in the county of St. Louis, that domestic fowls fell from the trees as if dead; crockery fell from the shelves and was broken, and many families left their cabins,

from fear of being crushed beneath

their

ruins.

Mr. Bradbury, an English scientific explorer, boat passing down the river at the time, says

"On

a keel

the night of the 15th of December, the keel boat was

moored crew,

who was on

all

from Little Frenchmen, were frightened, almost

to a small island, not far

Prairie,

where the by

to helplessness,

the terrible convulsions.

"Immediately after the shock, we noticed the time, and found it near two o'clock in the morning of the 16th. In half an hour another shock came on, terrible, indeed, but not equal to the first." This shock made a chasm in the island, four feet wide and eighty yards in length.

After noticing successive shocks, the writer states

"I had already noticed

that the sound which was heard at the time

of every shock, always preceded

it

at least a second,

and that

it

always proceeded from the same point, and went ofiT in an opposite direction. I now found that the shock came from a little northward of east, and proceeded to the westward. At daylight we had counted twenty-seven shocks, during our stay on the island," f B. further records a series of shocks that continued daily, as he passed down the river, until the 21st of December. The late L. F. Linn, in a letter to the Chairman of the Committee

* American Pioneer, f Travels in

tlio

i.

129.

Interior of America, by

John Bradbury, pp. 199-207.

1811.

EARTHQUAKE OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

on Commerce, dated February

Ist,

851

1836, " relative to the obstruc-

tions to the navigation of the White,

Big Black, and St. Francis and descriptive sketch of

rivers," has given a lucid geographical this part of Missouri,

from which

"The memorable earthquake tlie

is

given a brief extract.

of December, 1811, after shaking

valley of the Mississippi to

its

center, vibrated along the

mounaway along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

courses of the rivers and valleys, and passing the primitive tain barriers, died

In the region

now under

consideration, during the continuance of

phenomenon, which commenced by distant rumbling sounds, succeeded by discharges as if a thousand pieces of artillery were suddenly exploded, the earth rocked io and fro^ vast chasms opened, from whence issued columns of water, sand, and coal, accompanied by hissing sounds, caused, perhaps, by the escape Off pent-up steam, while ever and anon flashes of electricity gleamed so appalling a

through the troubled clouds of night, rendering the darkness doubly horrible. " The current of the Mississippi, pending this elemental strife, was driven back upon its source w^ith the greatest velocity for sevBut this eral hours, in consequence of an elevation of its bed. noble river was not thus to be stayed in its course. Its accumulated waters came

booming

on, and, o'ertoppiug the barrier thus

suddenly raised, carried every thing before them with resistless power. Boats, then floating on the surface, shot down the declivity like an arrow from a bow, amid roaring billows, and the wildest

commotion. " few days' action of its powerful current

A

sufficed to

wear away

every vestige of the barrier thus strangely interposed, and its waters moved on in their wonted channel to the ocean. The day that

succeeded this night of terror, brought no solace in its dawn. Shock followed shock a dense black cloud of vapor overshadowed the land, through which no struggling sumbeam found its way to cheer the desponding heart of man, who, in silent communion with himself, was compelled to acknowledge his weakness and dependence on the everlasting God. " The appearances that presented themselves after the subsidence of the principal commotion, were such as strongly support an ;

Hills had disappeared, and lakes and numerous lakes became elevated ground, over the surface of which vast heaps of sand were scattered

opinion heretofore advanced.

were found in their stead

;

in every direction, while in

sunk below the general

many

places the earth for miles

level of the surrounding country,

was

without

852

fitch's application of steam.

1811.

being covered with water, leaving an imjwession in miniature of a catastrophe much more important in its effects, ivhich had, perhaps, preceded it ages before. " One of the lakes

formed on

this occasion is sixty or seventy

miles in length, and from three to twenty in bread tli. places very shallow; in others, from

which

is

quarter.

fifty to

It is in

some

one hundred feet deep,

much more

than the depth of the Mississippi river in that In sailing over its surface in a light canoe, the voyager is

struck with astonishment at beholding the giant trees of the forest standing partially exposed amid a waste of waters, branchless and leafless.

"But

the

wonder

is still

further increased, on casting the eye on

the dark-blue profound, to observe cane-brakes covering

its

bot-

tom, over which a mammoth species of testudo is seen dragging its slow length along, while countless myriads of fish are sporting

through the aquatic thickets."* In the midst of this terrible convulsion, the first of western steamers was pursuing her way toward the south. But before mentioning her progress, the reader should be informed of the discovery of steam power, as likewise its application to utilitarian purposes. In 1781, the invention of Watts' double-acting engine was made public, and in 1784 it was perfected.f Previous to this time many attempts had been made to apply steam to navigation, but, from want of a proper engine, all had been failures and the first efforts to apply the new machine to boats were made in America, by John ;

Fitch and James Rumsey. The conception by Fitch, liffe is reliable,

was formed

announcement of

if

the statement

made by Robert Wick-

as early as June, 1780, anterior to the

"Watts' discovery of the double-acting engine,

though eleven years

after his single engine had been patented. This conception Fitch said he communicated to Rumsey. The latter gentleman, how^ever, proposed a plan so entirely different from that of his fellow countrymen, (apian which he is said to have

originated in 1782 or rist.

tion

'83,)

that he cannot be considered a plagia-

The idea of steam navigation was not new

—How shall we use

as to immortalize the successful respondents

Fitch replied,

By

;

it

was the ques-

the steam? which was to be so answered



and to this question using Watts' engine so as to propel a system of :

* Wctmorc's Gazattcor, pp. W.\ 1 f Kcnwick on Steam Engine, 2G0.

10.

— FIRST WESTERN STEAMBOAT,

1811.

By applying water at the bow, and force out at the stern of your vessel, and so drive her by water acting

paddles at

tlie

sides of tlie boat

the old atmospheric engine, to it

853

upon water.

;

while Eiimsey said,

pump up

Referring, therefore, to the authorities quoted below^

relative to Fitch

and

others,

it

must be given up that

all failed

Fulton, in 1807, launched his vessel upon the Hudson.

til

un-

Fitch's

however, was not from any fault in his principle and had knowledge of mechanics equaled Fulton's, or had his means been more ample, or had he tried his boat on the Hudson, where coaches could not compete with him, as they did on the level banks of the Delaware, there can be no doubt that he would have entirely succeeded, twenty years before his plans were realized by failure,

;

his

another.

In the Columbian Magazine, published in Philadelphia, about year 1786, is a plate showing the steamboat made by Fitch, with its paddles, and a description of its action, on the Delaware. tlio

John Fitch had received the patronage necessary, it is probable would have been successful. "When Fulton had at length attained, by slow degrees, success upon the Hudson, he began to look elsewhere for other fields of action, and the west, which had attracted the attention of both of his American predecessors, could not fail to catch his eye. Mr. Latrobe, who spoke, as will be seen, by authority, says: If

his boat

"The complete success attending the experiments in steam navimade on the Hudson and the adjoining w^aters previous to

gation

the year 1809, turned the attention of the principal projectors to its application on the western rivers; and in the month

the idea of

of April of that year, Mr. Roosevelt, of New York, pursuant to an agreement with Chancellor Livingston and Mr. Fulton, visited those rivers, with the purpose of forming an opinion whether they admitted of steam navigation or not. "At this time two boats, the North River and the Clermont, were running on the Hudson, Mr. R. surveyed the rivers from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, and as his report was favorable, it was decided to build a boat at the former town. "This was done under his direction, and in the course of 1811 the first boat was launched on the waters of the Ohio. It was called tlie "New Orleans," and intended to ply between Natchez, in the

and the city whose name it bore. "In October it left Pittsburgh for its experimental voyage. On this occasion no freight or passengers were taken, the object being merely to bring the boat to her station. Mr. R., his young wife State of Mississippi,

FIRST WESTERN STEAMBOAT.

854

1811.

and family, Mr. Baker, the engineer, Andrew Jack, the pilot, and six hands, with a few domestics, formed her whole burden. There were no wood-yards at that time, and constant delays were unavoidable.

"When,

as related, Mr. R. had gone down the river to reconnoihe had discovered two beds of coal, about one hundred and twenty miles below the rapids of Ohio, at Louisville, and now took tools to work them, intending to load the vessel with the coal, and to employ it as fuel, instead of constantly detaining the boat while wood was ]>rocured from the banks. "Late at night on the fourth day after quitting Pittsburgh, they arrived in safety at Louisville, having been but seventy hours descending upwards of six hundred miles. "The novel appearance of the vessel, and the fearful rapidity with which it made its passage over the broad reaches of the river, excited a mixture of terror and surprise among many of the settlers on the banks, whom the rumor of such an invention had never reached; and it is related that on the unexpected arrival of the boat before Louisville, in the course of a fine still moonlight night, the extraordinary sound which filled the air as the pent-up steam was suffered to escape from the valves, on rounding to, produced a general alarm, and multitudes in the town rose from their beds to ascertain the cause. "I have heard that the general impression among the good Kentuckians was, that the comet had fallen into the Ohio but this does not rest upon the same foundation as the other facts which I lay before you, and which I may at once say, I had directly from the lips of the parties themselves. "The small depth of water in the rapids prevented the boat from pursuing her voyage immediately and during the consequent detention of three weeks in the upper part of the Ohio, several trips were successfully made between Louisville and Cincinnati. In fine the waters rose, and in the course of the last week in l^ovember, the voyage was resumed, the depth of water barely adtre,

;

;

mitting their passage."

This steamer, after being nearly overwhelmed with the earthquakes, reached Natchez at the close of the first week of January, 1812.

The year 1811 was marked by of an

uncommon

nature,

the occurrence of various events

which exerted a combined influence,

to

throw a shade over the spirits of the people. Early in September, a comet made its appearance in the northern

GLOOMY CLOSE OF THIS YEAR.

1811.

855

part of the heavens, and passing across our hemisphere, disappeared at the south, toward the end of the year. This created a feeling of alarm in the at least,

minds of very many, of the less enlightened it as an ominous forerunner of dire mis-

who looked upon

fortunes to come.

This alarm, where it existed, was increased on the 17th of September, on which day there was an annular eclipse of the sun,

which lasted from about twelve until half past three o'clock, and afibrded a solemnly grand and impressive sight. The day was remarkably serene, and the sky cloudless, so that the contrast between the brightness before and the almost twilight darkness, during the height of the eclipse, was peculiarly striking. 'Next came a circumstance, which, though it affected none but the most ignorant and superstitious, had yet its force, in fostering the gloomy apprehensions that were already existing. About the 1st of October, an impostor named Hughes, who had been imprisoned in south-west Virginia, on a charge of larceny, pretended, while in confinement, to have been entranced, and in that supernatural state to have had a revelation, foretelling the destruction of one-third of mankind, which was to take place on the 4th of June, 1812. The idea having been taken up by a certain ingenious and visionary young lawyer, was dressed up by him in the shape of a seemingly plausible story, and published in pamphlet form, adorned with sundry yaukee pictures of horrible sights, portraying the dire calamity. It found an immense circulation, especially in the south-west.

Soon

after, (on

the 7th of November,) was fought the battle of

Tii)pecanoe, Avhich had brought grief and distress into almost every

who had not some relaamong the gallant slain or wounded; and on December followed the extraordinary earth-

family of the West, as there were but few tive or intimate friend

the 15th and 16th of

quake, already described.

Added to all these, was, on the 24th

or 26th of December, the burn-

ing of the theatre at Richmond, Virginia, which took place while fi^lled with an audience of most respectable citizens.

the house was

The flames spread with such terrific rapidity, that the people had not time to escape, and some seventy persons lost their lives some



being burnt, and others crushed to death in the escaping crowd. The accident was so heart-rending, and excited such a lively interest, that it served to throw a shade of grief, for a time, over the whole country. In addition to these circumstances, the unmistakable evidence

TECUMTHE JOINS THE BRITISH STANDARD.

856

1812.

of an approacliing Indian war, were peculiarly calculated to alarm among whom, at the close of the year,

the people of the West,

there existed a universal feeling of

gloom and consternation.

Although Harrison had written ahout the 1812.]

^'

the frontiers never

close of the last year that

enjoyed more perfect rei^ose"

\i is

evi-'

dent that a disposition to do mischief was by no means extinguished

among the savages. At the time of the

battle of Tippecanoe, Tecumthe, the master Indian diplomacy, was amongst the southern Indians, to bring them into the grand confederacy^ he had projected. On his return, where he supposed he had made a strong and permanent impression, a few days after the disastrous battle, when he saw the spirit in

dispersion of his followers, the disgrace of his brother, and the destruction of his long cherished hopes, he

was exceedingly angry.

The rash presumptuousness of the Prophet, in attacking the American army at Tippecanoe, destroyed his own power, and crushed it was completed. "When Tecumthe first met the Prophet, he reproached him in the bitterest terms, and when the latter attempted to palliate his conduct, he seized him by the hair, shook him violently, and threat-

the grand confederacy before

ened to take his life. Tecumthe immediately sent word to Governor Harrison, that he had returned from the south, and that he was ready to visit the president, as had been previously proposed. The governor gave him permission to proceed to Washington, but not as the leader of a party of Indians, as he desired. The proud chief, who had appeared at Vincennes in 1811, with a large party of braves, had no desire to appear before his " Great Father," the president, without his retinue. The proposed visit was declined, and the intercourse between Tecumthe and the governor terminated. In June, he sought an interview with the Indian agent at Fort Wayne disavowed any intention of making war on the United States, and reproached General Harrison for having marched against ;

Ms

people during his absence. The agent replied to this Tecumthe listened with frigid indiiference, and after making a few general remarks, with a haughty air, left the council house, and ;

departed for Fort Maiden, in Upper Canada, where he joined the British standard.

The causes of complaint on the part of the United States against England, which at length led to the war of 1812, were, the interference with American trade enforced by the blockade system ; the

'

GOVERNOR HULL MADE MILITARY COMMANDER,

1812.

857

impressment of American seamen the encouragement of the Indians in their barbarities; and the attempt to dismember the Union bj the mission of Henry. Through the winter of 1811-12, these causes of provocation were discussed in Congress and the public prints, and a war with Great Britain openly threatened even in Pecember, 1811, the proposal to invade Canada in tlie tbllowing spring, before the ice broke up, was debated in the House of Representatives, and in particuhir was urged the necessity of such ope;

:

rations at the outset of the anticipated contest, as sliou Id wrest from

the

enemy

the

command

of the upper lakes, and secuic

ity or favor of the

Indian tribes by

command

Erie.

tiie

neutral-

conquest of Uj)per Canada. While, therefore, measures were taken to seize the h)wer province, other steps were arranged for the defense of tho north-west frontier against Indian hostility, and w^hich, in the evenr of a rupture with Great Britain, would enable the United States to (obtain the of

Lake

These

tlie

steps,

however, wore by no means

suitable to the attainment of the object last

named

;

in

[liacc

of a

upon Lake Erie, the necessity of which bad been pressed upon the Executive, by Governor Hull of Michigan Tmitoiy, in

naval force

them as early as the year IS*;; a second dated March 6th, and a third on or about April lltb. Llj and

three memorials, one of

.

;

although the same policy was pointedly urged upon tin- Secretaiy of War, by General Armstrong, in a private letter of J a nary 2d, yet the government proposed to use no other than military means, and hoped by the presence of two thousand soldiers, to etfect the ii

fleet. Nay, so blind was the Department, that it refused to increase the number of troops to three thousand, although informed by General Hull, that that was the least number from which success could be hoped. When, therefore, Governor, now General Hull (to whom, in consideration of his revolutionary services, and his sn[iposed knowledge of the country and the natives, the command of the army (Jestined for the conquest of the Canadas had been confided) commenced his march from Dayton, on the 1st of June, it was with means which he himself regarded as utterly inadequate to the

capture or destruction of the British

War

Qbject aim^d

at,

a fact which sufficiently explains his vascillating,

Through that whole month, he and his troops on toward the Maumee, busy with their roads, bridges and

i^eryeless conduct.

toiled

block houses.

War, dated on the 18th, came to hand, but not a word contained in them made it probable that the long expected war would be immediately de;;;

Oni.

the 24th, advices from the Secretary of

55

;

:

BLUNDEKS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

858

1812.

although Colonel McArthur at the same time received from Chiliicothe, -warning him, on the authority of Thomas word Worthington, then Senator from Ohio, that before the letter reached him, the declaration would have been made public. This information McArthur laid before General Hull; and when, upon reaching the Maumee, that commander proposed to place his baggage, stores, and sick on board a vessel, and send them by water to Detroit, the backwoodsman warned him of the danger, and refused to trust his own property on board. Hull, however, treated the report of war as the old story which had been current through all the spring, and refused to believe it possible that the government would not give him information at the earliest moment that the measure was resolved on. The following message from a gentleman at Detroit to his friend at Pittsburgh, gives a disinterested narrative of the then passing clarecl,

events " On Thursday morning, the 2d

inst.,

our enemies gave us the

war being declared against them. The evening preceding, an officer was seen to go with great dispatch down the opposite side of the river to Fort Maiden, and the next morning the ferry boats that went from this side were detained on the other shore, which made us suspect that afi'airs were not long to remain

tirst

notice of

tranquil between us.

Shortly after, a gentleman in this place

received a message from his friend on the British side, informing him of the declaration of war.

"I will now inform you of the remissness of government in not immediately sending an express to Governor Hull, and to this important place, on an event of so much magnitude; and the consequences which have resulted from that neglect. ''It now appears to us, that war was declared on the 18th of June, and dispatches sent otf the next day by the common course of mail to Cleveland, which place they reached on Monday the 29th, about the middle of the day; making ten days and a half to that place; when the news ought to have been received her« (Detroit) before that time.

"The

postmaster at Cleveland received a letter from Washinghim to hire a person to go on with the dispatches to

ton, directing

Governor Hull, who was at that time about eighty miles from this place, and he received them on the morning of the 2d inst. making thirteen days from Washington. This information I had from the person who was hired by the postmaster at Cleveland, and who is now in this place; its correctness cannot be doubted.

:

BLUNDERS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

1812.

859

" The British received their information

an express instantly started from thence,

byway of Fort Erie, and who came the north side of

Maiden, and delivered the intelligence to that place by a circuitous route of one hundred miles greater distance than Governor Hull then was. The evil consequences of this gross negligence might have been immense I will mention one which has resulted from it.

Lake Erie on the Ist

to

inst.,

;

"When

the

army came

to the foot of the rapids of

Maumee

Governor Hull, not then having received intelligence of the declaration of war, hired a small sloop in which he put his baggage and that of many of the officers of the army, all the hospital stores, his instructions from the war department, his commission and those of most of the officers of the 4th regiment, the ladies of two officers of said regiment, Lieutenant Goodwin and about thirty men, and was on the point of sending the pay-master with all the public money; this vessel, on passing Maiden, was captured with all its contents; the ladies, Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. Goodwin, were put on shore at this place the next day, but all the others of course river,

detained."

Another item of intelligence connected with this chapter of blunand woes, was communicated to the publisher by Mr. R a venerable and highly respected gentleman of Amherstburg, Canada West " The commander at Fort Maiden was so certain of the Ame-riders, mishaps, ,

cans he'mgjirst informed of the declaration of war, that he desisted from attacking Detroit, at the sight of an unusual number of Mackinaw boats at the head of Lake Erie, which were supposed to contain an invading army." On the 2d of July, a letter of the same date with that received on the 24th of June, reached General Hull, and apprised him that the declaration of war was indeed made,* and before his astonishment was over, word was brought of the capture of his packet off JSIalden. The conduct of the executive at this time was certainly most remarkable having sent an insufficient force to effijct a most important object, it next did all in its power to ensure the destruction of ;

that force.

On

the 1st of June, Mr. Madison recommended war to the Senon the 3d of June, Mr. Calhoun reported in favor it, and in an able manifesto set forth the reasons and, on the 19th, proclamation of the contest was made. Upon the day preceding, Congress havate

;

;

* Hull's Defense,

11,1'.

HULL AT SANDWICH, CANADA.

8G0

1812.

ing passed the needful act, the Secretary of War wrote to General Hull, one letter saying nothing of the matter, and sent it by a special messenger and a second, con tiiining the vital news, which he con-



fided to a half organized post as far as Cleveland, and thence liter-

Nor

ally to accident.

is

this all:

while the general of the north

western army was thus, not uninformed njerely, but a,ctually misled, letters franked by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, bore the notice of what had been done to the British post of St.

Joseph, near the north-western shore of Lake

to Alalden,

which place

if to

complete the

lect,

suffered his official

circle

Huron and ;

also

reached upon the 28th of June. And as of folly, the misled general, through neg-, papers,, which he owned ought never to

it

have been out of his possession, to pass into that of the foe, and thus informed them of his purposes and strength.* That strength, however, wg^^ such, compared with their own, that no ettbrt was made Xo prevent the march of the Americans to Dct troit, nor to interfere with their passage across the river to Sandwich, where they established themselves on the 12th of July^ preparatory to attacking Maiden itself, and commencing. the conquest and conversion of Upper riauada. And here, at once, the incapacity of Hull showed itself; by his Own confession he took every step under tlie iuliuence of two sets of fears; he dared not, on the one hand, act bohlly, for fear that his incompetent force would be all de^tioyed; while, on the other hand, he dared not refuse to act, for fear his militia, already uneasy, would utterly desert

him.

Thus embarrassed, he proclaimed freedom and the need of submission to the Canadians, held out inducements to the British

and sat still at Sandwich, striving to pacify his blood thirsty backwoodsmen, who itched to be at Maiden. To amuse his own army, and keep them from trying dangerous experiments, he found cannon needful to the assault of the British posts, and spent three wrecks making carmilitia to desert,

and

to the Indians to

keep

quiet,

riages for five guns.

While these were under way, Colonel Cass and Colonel Miller, by an attack upon the advanced parties of the enemy, demonstrated the willingness and power of their men to push their conquests, if the chance were given, but Hull refused the opportunity and when at length the cannon were prepared, the ammunition placed in wagons, and the moment for assault agreed on, the general, up;

*For the foregoing

facts see Manifesto of the Senate,

June 3d, 1812.

;

PROCTOR ARRIVES AT MALDEN.

1812.

861

on hearing that a proposed attack on the ITiagara frontier had not been made, and that troops from that quarter were moving westward, suddenly abandoned the enterprise, and with most of his army, on the night of the 7th of August, returned to Detroit, having effected nothing except the destruction of all confidence in himself, on the part of the whole force under his control, officers and privates. Meanwhile, upon the 29th of Jul}^, Colonel Proctor had reached Maiden, and perceiving instantly the power which the position of that post gave him over the supplies of the army of the United States, he commenced a series of operations, the object of which was to cut off the communications of Hull with Ohio, and thus not merely neutralize all active operations on his part, but starve him into surrender, or force him to detail his whole army, in order to keep open his way to the only point from which supplies could reach him. proper force on Lake Erie, or the capture of Maiden, would have prevented this annoying and fatal mode of warfare, but the imbecility of the government, and that of the general, combined to favor the plans of Proctor.* Having by his measures stopped the stores on their way to Detroit, at the river Raisin, he next defeated the insufllcient baud of two hundred men under Van Horn, sent by Hull to escort them and so far withstood that of five hundred under Miller, as to cause Hull to recall the remnant of that victorious and gallant band, though it had completely routed the British and Indians. By these means. Proctor amused the Americans until General Brock reached Maiden, which he did upon the 13th of August, and prepared to

A

attempt the conquest of Detroit itself. And here again occurred a most singular want of skill on the part of the Americans. In order to prevent the forces in Upper

Canada from being combined against Hull, General Dearborn had been ordered to make a diversion in his favor at Niagara and Kingston, but in place of doing this, he made an armistice with the British commanders, which enabled them to turn their attention entirely to the more distant West, and left Hull to shift for himself.

On the 14th of August, therefore, while a third party, under M'Arthur, was dispatched by Hull to open his communications with the river Raisin, though b}^ a new and impracticable road,

*See Jluirp Defense, 42

to 71.

IJull's

Proclamation in Broivn's History of

Illinois.

f

862

;

hull's surrender of Michigan.

1812-

General Brock appeared at Sandwich, and began to erect batteries These batteries Hull would not to protect his further operations. suffer any to molest, saying, that if the enemy did not fire on him, he would not on them, and though, when summoned to surrender upon the 15th, he absolutely refused, yet upon the IGth, without a blow struck, the governor and general crowned his course of indecision and unmanly fear, by surrendering the towm of Detroit and territory of Michigan, together with fourteen hundred brave men longing for battle, to three hundred English soldiers, four hundred Canadian militia, disguised in red coats, and a band of Indian allies.* For this conduct he was accused of treason and cowardice, and found guilty of the latter. However brave he may have beea personally, he was, as a commander, a coward; and moreover, he

was influenced, confessedly, by

his fears

daughter and her children should

fall

as

into

a father,

the hands

lest

his

of the

Indians.

In truth, his faculties seemed to have been paralyzed by fear he should fail fear that his troops would be unfair to him, fear that the savages would spare no one, if opposed with vigor fear of some undefined and horrid evil impending. M'Afee accuses him of intemperance, but no effort was made on his trial to prove this, and we have no reason to think it a true charge but his conduct was like that of a drunken man, without sense or fear that

;

spirit.

But the fall of Detroit, though the leading misfortune of this unfortunate summer, was not the only one. Word, as we have had been sent through the kindness of some friend, under a frank from the American Secretary of the Treasury, informing the British commander at St. Joseph, of the declaration of war; while Lieut. Hanks, commanding the American fortress at Mackinac, received no notice from any source. The consequence was an attack upon the key of the northern lakes, on the 17th of July, by a force of British, Canadians, and savages, numbering in all, one thousand and twenty-one the garrison amounting to but fifty-seven eflective men, felt unable to withstand so formidable a body, and to avoid the constantly threatened Indian massacre, surrendered as prisoners of war, and were stated,

:

dismissed on parole.

*M'Afec, from 85

to 92.

Armstrong's Notices,

i.

2G to 33

;

ibid.

j-For the British account of Hull's surrender, sec Niles' Register,

i.

iii.

Appendix, No. 10. 14, 33,

2G5

to 268^

.

INDIANS THREATEN FORT DEARBORN.

1812.

Less fortunate in

863

was the garrison of Fort Dearborn

its fate

at

Chicago.

The Indians in northern Illinois, and the country bordering on Lake Micliigan, had manifested hostile feelings toward the AmeriGovernor Edwards, employed trusty Frenchmen, who had traded with these Indians, and who could still pass under that guise, as spies in the Indian country. Their communications, in a plain unlettered style, have been examined on the files of the State Department of Illinois. They are often particular and minute in giving the position of Indian villages, number of the braves, sources from whence they received their supplies, the names of head men, and other details. These facts, at short intervals, were communicated by the Governor to the War Department, as proofs that the Indians were hostile, and were urged in his repeated applications to the War Department cans even before the battle of Tippecanoe.

who was

indefatigable in his efforts to protect the settlements,

for protection to the inhabitants of that frontier territory.

A

small trading post had been established at Chicago in the

period of the French explorations, but no village fomied.

one of the thoroughfares Indians.

By

It

in the excursions of botli traders

was and

the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, negotiated with

and other northern tribes, they agreed to relinquish their right to "one piece of land six miles square, at the moutb of Chicago river, empt3dng into the southwest end of Lake Michigan, cohere a foiH formerly stood."* In 1804, a small fort was erected here by the United States government. It stood on the spot where the fort stood in 1833, but it was differently constructed, having two " block houses on the the Pottawattamies, Miamies,

side, and on the northern side, a sally-port, or subterranean passage from the parade ground to the river." f It was called Fort Dearborn. Heald, the commandThe officers in 1812, were Captain ing officer, Lieutenant Helm, and Ensign Ronau, (the two last very young men,) and the surgeon. Dr. Voorhees, with seventyfive men, very few of whom were effective. Friendly intercourse had existed between these troops and indiThe principal chiefs viduals and bands of neighboring Indians. and braves of the Pottawattamie nation visited Fort Maiden on the Canada side annually, received presents to a large amount,

southern

=*

Indian Treaties, Washington, 182G, p. 51.

fKinzie's Narrative.

GARRISON ORDERED TO LEAVE FORT DEARBORN,

864

1812.

and were in alliance with Great Britain. Many Pottawattamies, Winnebagoes, Ottawas, and Sbawanese were in the battle of Tippecanoe, yet the principal chiefs in the immediate vicinity were on amicable terms with the Americans, and gave proof of it, by theiF rescue of those who were saved. Besides those persons attached to the garrison, there was the family of Mr. Kinzie, who had been engaged in the fur trade at that spot from 1804, and a few Canadians, or engages, with their wives and children, who were attached to the same establishment.

On

the afternoon of the 7th of August, Winnemeg, or Catfish, a

trust-worthy Pottawattamie chief, arrived at the post, bringing dis-

patches from Governor Hull, the commander-in-chief.

These

dis-

patches announced the declaration of war between the United States and Great Britain furthermore, and that the British troops had already taken Mackinac. His orders to Captain Heald were, "to evacuate the post if prac;

ticable, and, in that event, to distribute the

the United States, in the

fort,

and

property belonging to

in the factory or agency, to the

Indians in the neighborhood."

"After having delivered his dispatches, TVinnemeg requested a who had taken up his residence in the fort. He stated to Mr. Kinzie that he was acquainted with the purport of the communications he had brought, and begged him to ascertion if it were the intention of Captain Heald to evacuHe advised strongly that such a step should not be ate the post. taken, since the garrison was well supplied with ammunition, and with provision, for six months; it would, therefore, he thought, be far better to remain until a reinforcement could be sent to their assistance. If, however. Captain Heald should decide on leaving the post, it should, by all means, be done immediately. The Pottawattamies, through whose country they must pass, being ignorant of Winnemeg's mission, a forced march might be made before the hostile Indians were prepared to interrupt them. " Of this advice, so earnestly given, Captain Heald was immediprivate interview with Mr. Kinzie,

ately informed.

He

replied that

it

was

his intention to evacuate

the post, but that inasmuch as he had received orders to distribute the United States property, he should not feel justified in leaving

he had collected the Indians in the neighborhood, and made an equitable division among them. "Winnemeg then suggested the expediency of marching out and until

leaving

all

things

—possibly,

standing

while the

savages were

:

1812.

GAKKISON ORDERED TO LEAVE FORT DEARBORN.

engaged in a partition of the

spoils, the troops

might

865 effect their

This advice was strongly seconded by Mr. Kinzie, but did not meet the approbation of the commanding retreat unmolested.

ofiicer.

"The

order for evacuating the post was read next morning upon

It is difficult to understand why Capt. Heald, in such an emergency, omitted the usual form of calling a council of war, with his officers. Perhaps it arose from a want of harmonious feeling between himself and one of his subalterns Ensign Ronan a hiffhspirited and somewhat overbearing, but brave and generous young man. In the course of the day, finding no council was called, the officers waited upon Capt. Heald, to be informed what course ho intended to pursue. When they learned his intention to leave the post, they remonstrated with him upon the following grounds "First. It was highly improbable that the command would be permitted to pass through the country in safety, to Fort \Yayne. For, although it had been said that some of the chiefs had opposed an attack upon the fort, planned the preceding autumn, yet, it was well known that they had been actuated in that matter by motives of private regard to one family, and not to any general friendly feeling toward the Americans and that, at any rate, it was hardly to be expected that these few individuals would be able to control the whole tribe, who were thirsting for blood. " In the next place, their march must necessarily be slow, as their movements must be accommodated to the helplessness of the women and children, of whom there were a number with the detachment. That of their small force, some of the soldiers were superannuated and others invalid therefore, since the course to be pursued was left discretional, their advice was to remain where they were, and fortify themselves as strongly as possible. Succora from the other side of the peninsula might arrive before they could be attacked by the British from Mackinac, and even should there not, it were far better to fall into the hands of the latter, than to

parade.





;

;

become the victims of the savages. " Capt. Heald argued in reply,

that a special order had been Department, that no post should be surrendered without battle having been given and that his force was totally inadequate to an engagement with the Indians. That he should, unquestionably, be censured for remaining, when there appeared a prospect of a safe march through, and that upon the whole, he deemed it expedient to assemble the Indians, distribute the property among them, and then ask of them an escort to Fort Wayne, with

issued by the

'

War

;

— OFFICERS OF FORT DEARBORN DISAGREE.

866

upon

the promise of a considerable reward

1812.

their safe arrival

adding, that he had full confidence in the friendly professions of

whom,

the Indians, from

as well as

from the

soldiers, the capture

of Mackinac had been kept a profound secret.'

"From but

little

this

time the

upon the

Capt. Heald

little

officers

subject,

held themselves aloof, and spoke

though they considered the project of

the soldiers hourly increased, until

Upon one

insubordination.

sing with Mr.

remain, even

it

enough

occasion, as Capt.

I thought

it

best, for I

Captain,' said a soldier,

man, "

salt to

among

Heald was conversaid,

'I could not

have but a small store of pro-

who

stood near, forgetting

moment,

'

you have

cattle

'But,' replied Capt. Heald,

to last the troops six months.'

have no

dissatisfaction

reached a high degree of

upon the parade, he

etiquette, in the excitement of the

all

I

Kinzie,

'Why

visions.'

'

if

The

short of madness.

preserve the beef with.'

'

Then jerk

it,'

said the

'as the Indians do their venison.'

The Indians now became

daily

in defiance of the sentinels, they

more unruly.

made

their

Entering the

fort

way without ceremony

On

one occasion, an Indian took commanding officer, as an expression of defiance. Some were of opinion, that this was intended, among the young men, as a signal for an attack. The old chiefs passed backward and forward, among the assembled groups, with the appearance of the most lively agitation, while the into the quarters of the officers.

up a

rifle

and

fired

it

in the parlor of the

squaws rushed to and fro in great excitement, and evidently prepared for some fearful scene. "Any further manifestation of ill-feeling was, however, suppressed for the present, and Capt. Heald, strange as it may seem, continued to entertain a conviction of his having created so amicable a disposition among the Indians, as would ensure the safety of the command, on their march to Fort Wayne." During this excitement amongst the Indians, a Funner arrived with a message from Tecumthe, with the news of the capture of Mackinac, the defeat of Van Home, and the retreat of Gen, Hull from Canada. He desired them to arm immediately, and intimated that he had no doubt but Hull would soon be compelled to surrender.

In this precarious condition, matters remained until the 12th of August, w^hen a council was held with the Indians who collected from the vicinity. None of the military officers attended but Capt. Heald, though requested by him. They had been informed that it was the intention of the young chiefs to massacre them in council,

867

CAPTAIN WELLS AREIVES AT THE PORT.

1812.

and soon

as the

commander

left tlie fort, tlicy

command

took

of

the block houses, opened the port holes and pointed the loaded cannon so as to command the whole council. This, probably,

caused a postponement of their horrid designs. The captain informed the council of his intentions to distribute the next day, among them, all the goods in the storehouse, with the ammunition and provisions. He requested the Pottawattamies to furnish him an escort to Fort Wayne, promising them a liberal retheir arrival there, in addition to the liberal presents

ward upon they were

now

to receive.

The Indians were profuse

good will and and promised all he desired.

friendship, assented to all

fessions of

of the Indians.

The

result

in their pro-

he proposed,

shows the true character

N"o act of kindness, nor ofier of reward, could as-

suage their thirst for blood. Mr. Kiuzie, who understood well the Indian character, and their designs, waited on the commander, in the hope of opening his eyes He told him the Indians had been seto the appalling danger. cretly hostile to the Americans for a long time; that since the bat-

had dispatched orders to all his traders, to ammunition to them, and pointed out the wretched policy of Captain Heald, of furnishing the enemy with arms and ammunition to destroy the Americans. This argument opened the eyes of the commander, who was struck with the impolicy, and resolved to destroy the ammunition and liquor.

tle

of Tippecanoe he

furnish no

The next

day, (13th,) the goods, consisting of blankets, cloths,

were distributed, but at night the ammunition was thrown into an old well, and the casks of alcohol, including a large quantity belonging to Mr. Kinzie, was taken through the sally-port, their heads knocked in, and the contents poured into the river. The Indians, ever watchful and suspicious, stealthily crept around, and soon found out the loss of their loved "fire-water." On the 14th, Captain Wells departed with fifteen friendly Miamies. He was a brave man, had resided among the Indians from boyhood, and knew well their character and habits. He had heard at Fort Wayne, of the order of General Hull to evacuate Fort Dearborn, and knowing the hostile intentions of the Pottawattamies, he

paints, &c.,

had made a rapid march through the wilderness, sible,

the exposure of his

sister,

to prevent, if pos-

Mrs. Heald, the

officers

and

The amand on the provisions the enemy was

garrison, to certain destruction.

But he came

too late

!

munition had been destroyed, His only alternative was to hasten their departure, rioting.

and every preparation was made morning.

for the

march of the troops next

868

A SECOND COUNCIL WITH THE INDIANS.

A second council was Thej expressed nition

and

1812.

held witli the Indians in the afternoon.

great indignation at the destruction of the

liquor.

Murmurs and

threats

ammu-

were heard from every

quarter.

Among the chiefs and hraves were several, who, although they partoo