Wyandot County was formed from Crawford, Marion, Hardin and Hancock, Feb. 3, 1845. The surface is level and soil fertile. About one-third of it is prairie land, being covered by the Sandusky plains. These plains are chiefly bounded by the Sandusky, the Little Scioto and the Tyemochte, which last signifies, in the Wyandot language, “around the plains.” This tract in its natural state is covered with a rank, wild grass several feet in height, and in some parts are interspersed beautiful groves of timber.
Area, about 400 square miles. In 1887 the acres cultivated were 127,700; in pasture, 56,450; woodland, 36,700; lying waste, 1,336; produced in wheat, 453,013 bushel; rye, 5,694; buckwheat, 434; oats, 406,780; barley, 10,747; corn, 1.103,949; meadow hay, 19,776 tons; clover, 4,613 tons; flaxseed, 862 bushels, potatoes, 63,204; tobacco, 200 lbs.; butter, 388,374; cheese, 24,300; sorghum, 1,682; maple syrup, 4,730 gallons; honey, 3,014 lbs.; eggs, 488,210 dozen; grapes, 1,040 lbs.; sweet potatoes, 84 bushels; apples, 10,384; peaches, 1,011; pears, 828; wool, 409,387 lbs.; milch cows owned, 5,160. School census, 1888, 6,974; teachers, 237. Miles of railroad track, 89.
Population of Wyandot in 1860 was 15,956; 1880, 22,395; of whom 17,650 were born in Ohio; 1,475, Pennsylvania; 507, New York; 208, Virginia; 173, Indiana; 28, Kentucky; 1,037, German Empire; 214, Ireland; 116, England and Wales; 43, France; 35, British America; 11, Scotland; and 6, Sweden and Norway. Census, 1890, 21,722.
This county was, from an early day, a favorite residence of the Wyandot Indians. It is noted for being the scene of CRAWFORD’S defeat in June, 1782, and his subsequent death by the most cruel tortures.
The view representing CRAWFORD’S Battle-Ground was taken on the road to Tiffin, three miles north of Upper Sandusky, and one west of the Sandusky river. The action, it is said, began some distance north of the cabin shown, in the high grass of the prairie in which the Indians were concealed. The parties afterwards were engaged in the grove or island of timber represented in the view, called at this day “Battle Island,” in which the principal action was fought. Many of the trees now  bear the marks of the bullets, or rather the scars on their trunks made by the hatchets of the Indians in getting them out after the action. The large oak on the right of the view has these relics of that unfortunate engagement. A part of the whites slain were buried in a small swamp about thirty rods south of the spot from whence the drawing was taken. It is not shown in the view, as the scene is represented to the eye as if looking in a northern direction.
The annexed history of Crawford’s Campaign we take from DODDRIDGE’s “Notes:”
with the Christian Indians at their new establishment on the Sandusky. The next object was that of destroying the Wyandot towns on the same river. It was the resolution of all those concerned in this expedition not to spare the life of any Indians that might fall into their hands, whether friends or foes. It will be seen in the sequel that the result of this campaign was widely different from that of the Moravian campaign the preceding March.
It should seem that the long continuance of the Indian war had debased a considerable portion of our population to the savage state of our nature. Having lost so many relatives by the Indians, and witnessed their horrid murders and other depredations on so extensive a scale, they became subjects of that indiscriminating thirst for revenge which is such a prominent feature in the savage character, and, having had a taste of blood and plunder without risk or loss on their part, they resolved to go on and kill every Indian they could find, whether friend or foe.
Preparations for this campaign commenced soon after the return of the Moravian campaign in the month of March, and as it was intended to make what was called at that time “a dash,” that is, an enterprise conducted with secrecy and despatch, the men were all mounted on the best horses they could procure. They furnished themselves with all their outfits except some ammunition, which was furnished by the lieutenant-colonel of Washington county [Pennsylvania].
The Rendezvous and March.—On the 25th of May, 1782, 480 men mustered at the old Mingo town, just below the site of Steubenville, on the western side of the Ohio river. They were all volunteers from the immediate neighborhood of the Ohio, with the exception of one company from Ten Mile in Washington county. Here an election was held for the office of commander-in-chief for the expedition. The candidates were Col. WILLIAMSON and Col. CRAWFORD; the latter was the successful candidate. When notified of his appointment it is said that he accepted it with apparent reluctance.
The army marched along “WILLIAMSON’S trail,” as it was then called, until they arrived at the upper Moravian town, in the fields belonging to which there was still plenty of corn on the stalks, with which their horses were plentifully fed during the night of their encampment there.
Shortly after the army halted at this place two Indians were discovered by three men, who had walked some distance out of the camp. Three shots were fired at one of them, but without hurting him. As soon as the news of the discovery of Indians had reached the camp more than one-half of the men rushed out, without command, and in the most tumultuous manner, to see what happened. From that time Col. CRAWFORD felt a presentiment of the defeat which followed.
The truth is that, notwithstanding the secrecy and despatch of the enterprise, the Indians were beforehand with our people. They saw the rendezvous on the Mingo bottom, knew their number and destination. They visited every encampment immediately on their leaving, and saw from the writing on the trees and scraps of paper that “no quarter was to be given to any Indian, whether man, woman or child.”
Nothing material happened during their march until the sixth of June, when their guides conducted them to the site of the Moravian villages on one of the upper branches of the Sandusky river; but here, instead of meeting with Indians and plunder, they met with nothing but vestiges of desolation. The place was covered with high grass, and the remains of a few huts alone announced that the place had been the residence of the people whom they intended to destroy, but who had moved off to Scioto some time beforehand.
In this dilemma what was to be done? The officers held a council, in which it was determined to march one day longer in the direction of Upper Sandusky, and if they should not reach the town in the course of the day to make a retreat with all speed.
The Battle.—The march was commenced the next morning through the plains of Sandusky, and continued until about two o’clock, when the advance guard was attacked and driven in by the Indians, who were discovered in large numbers in the high grass, with which the place was covered. The Indian army was at that moment about entering a piece of woods, almost entirely surrounded by plains; but in this they were disappointed by a rapid movement of our men. The battle then commenced by a heavy fire from both sides. From a partial possession of the woods which they had gained at the onset of the battle, the Indians were soon dislodged. They then attempted to gain a small skirt of wood on our right flank, but were prevented from doing so by the vigilance and bravery of Maj. LEET, who commanded the right wing of the army at that time. The firing was incessant and heavy until dark, when it ceased. Both armies lay on their arms during the night. Both adopted the policy of kindling large fires along the line of battle, and then retiring some distance in the rear of them to prevent being surprised by a night attack. During the conflict of the afternoon three of our men were killed and several wounded.
In the morning our army occupied the battle ground of the preceding day. The Indians made no attack during the day, until late in the evening, but were seen in large bodies traversing the plains in various directions. Some of them appeared to be employed in carrying off their dead and wounded.
marching directly to Upper Sandusky. This proposition the commander-in-chief prudently rejected, saying, “I have no doubt but that you would reach the town, but you would find nothing there but empty wigwams, and having taken off so many of our best men, you would leave the rest to be destroyed by the host of Indians with which we are now surrounded, and on your return they would attack and destroy you. They care nothing about defending their towns; they are worth nothing. Their squaws, children and property have been removed from them long since. Our lives and baggage are what they want, and if they can get us divided they will soon have them. We must stay together and do the best we can.”
The Indians Renew the Battle.—During this day preparations were made for a retreat by burying the dead, burning fires over their graves to prevent discovery, and preparing means for carrying off the wounded. The retreat was to commence in the course of the night. The Indians, however, became apprized of the intended retreat, and about sundown attacked the army with great force and fury, in every direction, excepting that of Sandusky.
When the line of march was formed by the commander-in-chief, and the retreat commenced, our guides prudently took the direction of Sandusky, which afforded the only opening in the Indian lines and the only chance of concealment. After marching about a mile in this direction, the army wheeled about to the left, and by a circuitous route gained the trail by which they came, before day. They continued their march the whole of the next day, with a trifling annoyance from the Indians, who fired a few distant shots at the rear guard, which slightly wounded two or three men. At night they built fires, took their suppers, secured the horses and resigned themselves to repose, without placing a single sentinel or vedette for safety. In this careless situation, they might have been surprised and cut off by the Indians, who, however, gave them no disturbance during the night, nor afterwards during the whole of their retreat. The number of those composing the main body in the retreat was supposed to be about three hundred.
The Retreat.—Most unfortunately, when a retreat was resolved on, a difference of opinion prevailed concerning the best mode of effecting it. The greater number thought best to keep in a body and retreat as fast as possible, while a considerable number thought it safest to break off in small parties and make their way home in different directions, avoiding the route by which they came. Accordingly many attempted to do so, calculating that the whole body of the Indians would follow the main army; in this they were entirely mistaken. The Indians paid but little attention to the main body of the army, but pursued the small parties with such activity that but very few of those who composed them made their escape.
The only successful party which was detached from the main army was that of about forty men under the command of a Captain WILLIAMSON, who, pretty late in the night of the retreat, broke through the Indian lines under a severe fire, and with some loss, and overtook the main army on the morning of the second day of the retreat.
For several days after the retreat of our army, the Indians were spread over the whole country, from Sandusky to the Muskingum, in pursuit of the straggling parties, most of whom were killed on the spot. They even pursued them almost to the banks of the Ohio. A man of the name of MILLS was killed, two miles to the eastward of the site of St. Clairsville, in the direction of Wheeling from that place. The number killed in this way must have been very great; the precise amount, however, was never fairly ascertained.
Colonel CRAWFORD Captured.—At the commencement of the retreat Colonel CRAWFORD placed himself at the head of the army and continued there until they had gone about a quarter of a mile, when missing his son, John CRAWFORD, his son-in-law, Major HARRISON, and his nephews, Major ROSE and William CRAWFORD, he halted and called for them as the line passed, but without finding them. After the army had passed him, he was unable to overtake it, owing to the weariness of his horse. Falling in company with Doctor KNIGHT and two others, they travelled all the night, first north and then to the east, to avoid the pursuit of the Indians. They directed their courses during the night by the north star.
On the next day they fell in with Captain John BIGGS and Lieutenant ASHLEY, the latter of whom was severely wounded. There were two others in company with BIGGS and ASHLEY. They encamped together the succeeding night. On the next day, while on their march, they were attacked by a party of Indians, who made Colonel CRAWFORD and Doctor KNIGHT prisoners. The other four made their escape, but Captain BIGGS and Lieutenant ASHLEY were killed the next day.
Colonel CRAWFORD and Doctor KNIGHT were immediately taken to an Indian encampment at a short distance from the place where they were captured. Here they found nine fellow prisoners and seventeen Indians. On the next day they were marched to the old Wyandot town, and on the next morning were paraded, to set off, as they were told, to go to the new town. But alas! a very different destination awaited these captives! Nine of the prisoners were marched off some distance before the colonel and the doctor, who were conducted by PIPE and WINGENUND, two Delaware chiefs. Four of the prisoners were tomahawked and scalped on the way, at different places.
place of execution the remaining five of the nine prisoners were tomahawked and scalped by a number of squaws and boys. Colonel CRAWFORD’S son and son-in-law were executed at the Shawnese town. . . .
Dr. KNIGHT was doomed to be burned at a town about forty miles distant from Sandusky, and committed to the care of a young Indian to be taken there, but escaped. See Vol. II., page
Thus ended this disastrous campaign. It was the last one which took place in this section of the country during the revolutionary contest of the Americans with the mother country. It was undertaken with the very worst of views, those of plunder and murder; it was conducted without sufficient means to encounter, with any prospect of success, the large force of Indians opposed to ours in the plains of Sandusky. It was conducted without that subordination and discipline so requisite to insure success in any hazardous enterprise, and it ended in a total discomfiture. Never did an enterprise more completely fail of attaining its object. Never, on any occasion, had the ferocious savages more ample revenge for the murder of their pacific friends, than that which they obtained on this occasion.
Should it be asked what considerations led so great a number of people into this desperate enterprise? Why with so small a force and such slender means they pushed on so far as the plains of Sandusky?
The answer is, that many believed that the Moravian Indians, taking no part in the war, and having given offence to the warriors on several occasions, their belligerent friends would not take up arms in their behalf. In this conjecture they were sadly mistaken. They did defend them with all the force at their command, and no wonder, for notwithstanding their Christian and pacific principles, the warriors still regarded the Moravians as their friends, whom it was their duty to defend.
We have omitted to copy from the preceding the account of the burning of Colonel CRAWFORD, for the purpose of giving the details more fully. “The spot where CRAWFORD suffered,” says Col. John JOHNSTONE, “was but a few miles west of Upper Sandusky, on the old trace leading to the Big Spring, Wyandot town. It was on the right hand of the trace going west, on a low bottom on the east back of the Tyemochte creek. The Delawares burnt CRAWFORD in satisfaction for the massacre of their people at the Moravian towns on the Muskingum.” It was at a Delaware town which extended along the Tyemochte. The precise spot is now  owned by the heirs of Daniel HODGE, and is a beautiful green, with some fine oak trees in its vicinity.
The following is from HECKEWELDER, and describes an interview which CRAWFORD had with the Indian chief, WINGENUND, just previous to his death. Some doubts have been expressed of its truth as the historian HECKEWELDER has often been accused of being fond of romancing, but Colonel JOHNSTONE (good authority here) expresses the opinion that “it is doubtless in the main correct”—that it gives the spirit of what was said.
WINGENUND, and Indian Chief, had an interview with Colonel CRAWFORD just before his execution. He had been known to CRAWFORD some time before, and had been on terms of friendship with him, and kindly entertained by him at his own house, and therefore felt much attached to the colonel. WINGENUND had retired to his cabin that he might not see the sentence executed; but CRAWFORD sent for him, with the faint hope that he would intercede for and save him. WINGENUND accordingly soon appeared in presence of CRAWFORD, who was naked and bound to a stake. WINGENUND commenced the conversation with much embarrassment and agitation, as follows:
WINGENUND—“Are you not Colonel CRAWFORD?”
Wingenund, somewhat agitated, ejaculated, “So!—yes!—indeed!”
CRAWFORD—“Do you not recollect the friendship that always existed between us, and that we were always glad to see each other?”
WINGENUND—“Yes! I remember all this, and that we have often drank together, and that you have been kind to me.”
CRAWFORD—“Then I hope the same friendship still continues.”
WINGENUND—“It would, of course, were you where you ought to be, and not here.”
CRAWFORD—And why not here? I hope you would not desert a friend in time of need. Now is the time for you to exert yourself in my behalf, as I should do for you were you in my place.”
WINGENUND—“Colonel CRAWFORD! You have placed yourself in a situation which puts it out of my power, and that of others of your fiends, to do anything for you.”
CRAWFORD—“How so, Captain WINGENUND?”
such a number of Moravian Indians, knowing them to be friends; knowing that he ran no risk in murdering a people who would not fight, and whose only business was praying.”
CRAWFORD—“But I assure you, WINGENUND, that had I been with him at the time this would not have happened. Not I alone, but all your friends, and all good men, whoever they are, reprobate acts of this kind.”
WINGENUND—“That my be; yet these friends, these good men, did not prevent him from going out again to kill the remainder of these inoffensive, yet foolish Moravian Indians. I say foolish, because they believed the whites in preference to us. We had often told them they would be one day so treated by those people who called themselves their friends! We told them there was no faith to be placed in what the white man said; that their fair promises were only intended to allure us that they might the more easily kill us, as they had done many Indians before these Moravians.”
CRAWFORD—“I am sorry to hear you speak thus; as to WILLIAMSON’s going out again, when it was known he was determined on it, I went out with him to prevent his committing fresh murders.”
WINGENUND—“This the Indians would not believe, were even I to tell them so.”
CRAWFORD—“Why would they not believe?”
WINGENUND—“Because it would have been out of your power to have prevented his doing what he pleased.”
CRAWFORD—“Out of my power! Have any Moravian Indians been killed or hurt since we came out?”
WINGENUND—“None; but you first went to their town, and finding it deserted, you turned on the path towards us. If you had been is search of warriors only, you would not have gone thither. Our spies watched you closely. They saw you while you were embodying yourselves on the other side of the Ohio. They saw you cross the river—they saw where you encamped for the night—they saw you turn off from the path to the deserted Moravian town—they knew you were going out of your way—your steps were constantly watched, and you were suffered quietly to proceed until you reached the spot where you were attacked.”
CRAWFORD felt that with this sentence ended his last ray of hope, and now asked, with emotion, “What do they intend to do with me?”
WINGEMUND—“I tell you with grief. As WILLIAMSON, with his whole cowardly host, ran off in the night at the whistling of our warriors’ balls, being satisfied that now he had no Moravians to deal with, but men who could fight, and with such he did not wish to have anything to do—I say, as they have escaped and taken you, they will take revenge on you in his stead.”
CRAWFORD—“And is there no possibility of preventing this? Can you devise no way of getting me off? You shall, my friend, be well rewarded if you are instrumental in saving my life.”
WINGENUND—“Had WILLIAMSON been taken with you, I and some friends, by making use of what you have told me, might perhaps have succeeded in saving you; but as the matter now stands, no man would dare to interfere in your behalf. The king of England himself, were he to come on to this spot, with all his wealth and treasure, could not effect this purpose. The blood of the innocent Moravians, more than half of them women and children, cruelly and wantonly murdered, calls loudly for revenge. The relatives of the slain who are among us cry out and stand ready for revenge. The nation to which they belonged will have revenge. The Shawanese, our grandchildren, have asked for your fellow-prisoner; on him they will take revenge. All the nations connected with us cry out, Revenge! revenge! The Moravians whom you went to destroy, having fled, instead of avenging their brethren, the offence is become national, and the nation itself is bound to take revenge!”
CRAWFORD—“My fate is then fixed, and I must prepare to meet death in its worst form.”
WINGENUND—“I am sorry for it, but cannot do anything for you. Had you attended to the Indian principle, that as good and evil cannot dwell together in the same heart, so a good man ought not to go into evil company, you would not be in this lamentable situation. You see now, when it is too late, after WILLIAMSON has deserted you, what a bad man he must be. Nothing now remains for you but to meet your fate like a brave man. Farewell, Colonel CRAWFORD!—they are coming. I will retire to a solitary spot.”
The savages then fell upon CRAWFORD. WINGENUND, it is said, retired, shedding tears, and ever after, when the circumstance was alluded to, was sensibly affected.
The account of the Burning of Colonel Crawford is related in the works of Dr. KNIGHT, his companion, and an eye-witness of this tragic scene:
When the speech was finished, they all yelled a hideous and hearty assent to what had been said. The Indian men then took up their guns and shot powder into the colonel’s body, from his feet as far up as his neck. I think that not less then seventy loads were discharged upon his naked body. They then crowded about him, and to the best of my observation cut off his ears; when the throng had dispersed a little, I saw the blood running from both sides of his head in consequence thereof.
The fire was about six or seven yards from the post to which the colonel was tied; it was made of small hickory poles, burnt quite through in the middle, each end of the poles remaining about six feet in length. Three or four Indians by turns would take up, individually, one of these burning pieces of wood, and apply it to his naked body, already burnt black with the powder. These tormentors presented themselves on every side of him with the burning fagots and poles. Some of the squaws took broad boards, upon which they would carry a quantity of burning coals and hot embers, and throw on him, so that in a short time he had nothing but coals of fire and hot ashes to walk upon.
In the midst of these extreme tortures he called to Simon GIRTY and begged of him to shoot him; but GIRTY making no answer, he called to him again. GIRTY then, by way of derision, told the colonel he had no gun, at the same time turning about to an Indian who was behind him, laughed heartily, and by all his gestures seemed delighted at the horrid scene.
GIRTY then came up and bade me prepare for death. He said, however, I was not to die at that place, but to be burnt at the Shawanese towns. He swore by G—d I need not expect to escape death, but should suffer it in all its extremities.
Colonel CRAWFORD, at this point of his sufferings, besought the Almighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, and bore his torments with the most manly fortitude. He continued in all the extremities of pain for an hour and three-quarters or two hours longer, as near as I can judge, when at last, being almost exhausted, he lay down on his belly, they then scalped him, and repeatedly threw the scalp in my face, telling me, that “that was my great captain.” An old squaw (whose appearance every way answered the ideas people entertain of the devil) got a board, took a parcel of coals and ashes and laid them on his back and head, after he had been scalped; he then raised himself upon his feet and began to walk round the post; they next put a burning stick to him, as usual, but he seemed more insensible to pain than before.
The Indian fellow who had me in charge now took me away to Capt. PIPE’s house, about three-quarters of a mile from the place of the colonel’s execution. I was bound all night, and thus prevented from seeing the last of the horrid spectacle. Next morning, being June 12, the Indian untied me, painted me black, and we set off for the Shawanese town, which he told me was somewhat less than forty miles distant from that place. We soon came to the spot where the colonel had been burnt, as it was partly in our way: I saw his bones lying among the remains of the fire, almost burnt to ashes; I suppose, after he was dead, they laid his body on the fire. The Indian told me that was my big captain, and gave the scalp halloo.
The following extract from an article in the American Pioneer, by Joseph M’CUTCHEN, Esq., contains some items respecting the death of CRAWFORD, and GIRTY’s interference in his behalf, never before published. He derived them from the Wyandot Indians, who resided in the county, some of whom were quite intelligent:
As I have it, the story respecting the battle is, that if CRAWFORD had rushed on when he first came among the Indians, they would have given way and made but little or no fight; but they had a talk with him three days previous to the fight, and asked him to give them three days to collect in their chiefs and head men of the different tribes, and they would then make a treaty of peace with him. The three days were therefore given; and during that time all their forces were gathered together that could be raised as fighting men, and the next morning CRAWFORD was attacked, some two or three miles north of the island where the main battle was fought. The Indians then gave back in a south direction, until they got into an island of timber which suited their purpose, which was in a large plain, now well known as Sandusky plains. There the battle continued until night. The Indians then ceased firing; and, it is said, immediately afterwards a man came near to the army with a white flag. Col. CRAWFORD sent an officer to him. The man said he wanted to talk with Col. CRAWFORD, and that he did not want CRAWFORD to come nearer to him than twenty steps, as he (GIRTY) wanted to converse with CRAWFORD, and might be of vast benefit to him. CRAWFORD accordingly went out as requested.
to-morrow morning, when they intend to commence the fight; and as they are three times as strong as you are, they will be able to cut you all off. To-night the Indians will surround your army, and when that arrangement is fully made, you will hear some guns fire all around the ring. But there is a large swamp or very wet piece of ground on the east side of you, where there will be a vacancy; that gap you can learn by the firing, and in the night you had better march your men through and make your escape in an east direction.”
CRAWFORD accordingly in the night drew up his men and told them his intention. The men generally assenting, he then commenced his march east; but the men soon got into confusion and lost their course. Consequently, the next day they were almost to a man cut off, and, as history tells us, CRAWFORD taken prisoner. He was taken by a Delaware; consequently the Delawares claimed the right, agreeably to their rules, of disposing of the prisoner. There was a council held, and the decision was to burn him. He was taken to the main Delaware town, on a considerable creek, called Tymochtee, about eight miles from the mouth. GIRTY then supposed he could make a speculation by saving CRAWFORD’s life. He made a proposition to Capt. PIPE, the head chief of the Delawares, offering three hundred and fifty dollars for CRAWFORD. The chief received it as a great insult, and promptly said to GIRTY, “Sir, do you think I am a squaw? If you say one word more on the subject, I will make a stake for you, and burn you along with the white chief.”
GIRTY, knowing the Indian character, retired and said no more on the subject. But, in the meantime, GIRTY had sent runners to the Mohican creek and to Lower Sandusky, where there were some white traders, to come immediately and purchase CRAWFORD—knowing that he could make a great speculation in case he could save CRAWFORD’s life. The traders came on, but too late. When they arrived, CRAWFORD was tied to a stake, blacked, his ears cut off and part burnt—too much so to live had he been let loose. He asked GIRTY to get a gun and shoot him, but GIRTY, knowing the rebuke he got the day before, dared not say one word.
Notwithstanding the above, the cruelty of GIRTY to CRAWFORD at the stake is established by other sources than that of Dr. KNIGHT. Col. JOHNSTON informs us that he has been told by Indians present on the occasion that GIRTY was among the foremost in inflicting tortures upon their victim. This, however, does not materially conflict with the above when we regard the motives of GIRTY in his behalf as having been mercenary.
The CRAWFORD monument stands on the bank of the Big Tymochtee, about 300 feet from the spot where he was burnt.
By the treaty concluded at the foot of the Maumee rapids, September 29, 1817, Hon. Lewis CASS and Hon. Duncan M’ARTHUR, commissioners on the part of the United States, there was granted to the Wyandot tribe a reservation of twelve miles square in this county, the center of which was Fort Ferree, at Upper Sandusky, and also a tract of one mile square on the Cranberry Swamp, on Broken Sword creek. At the same time was granted to the Delawares a tract of three miles square, adjoining the other, on the south. Their principal chief was Capt. PIPE, son of the chief so officious in the burning of CRAWFORD.
The Delawares ceded their reservation to the United States in 1829. The Wyandots ceded theirs by a treaty made at Upper Sandusky, March 17, 1842, they being the only Indians remaining in the State. The commissioner on the part of the United States was Col. John JOHNSTON, who had then the honor of making the last Indian treaty in Ohio—a State, every foot of whose soil has been fairly purchased by treaties from its original possessors. The Wyandots left for the far west in July, 1843, and numbered at that time about 700 souls.
The Wyandots were the bravest of the Indian tribes, and had among their chiefs some men of high moral character. Gen. W. H. HARRISON, in a discourse in the “Collections of the Historical Society of Ohio,” states this of the Wyandots:
quested him to go to Sandusky and take a prisoner, for the purpose of obtaining information. WELLS—who had been bred with the Indians, and was perfectly acquainted with their character—answered that he could take a prisoner, but not from Sandusky, because Wyandots would not be taken alive.
We annex a brief sketch of the Wyandot, or Huron tribe, as they were anciently called, in a letter from the Rev. Joseph BADGER to John FRAZIER, Esq., of Cincinnati, dated Plain, Wood county, August 25, 1845.
Having been a resident missionary with the Wyandot Indians before the late war, and obtained the confidence of their chiefs in a familiar conversation with them, and having a good interpreter, I requested them to give me a history of their ancestors as far back as they could. They began by giving a particular account of the country formerly owned by their ancestors. It was the north side of the river St. Lawrence, down to Coon lake, and from thence up the Utiwas. Their name for it was Cu-none-tot-tia. This name I heard applied to them, but knew not what it meant. The Senecas owned the opposite side of the river and the island on which Montreal now stands. They were both large tribes, consisting of many thousands. They were blood relations, and I found at this time they claimed each other as cousins.
A war originated between the two tribes in this way. A man of the Wyandots wanted a certain woman for his wife; but she objected, and said he was no warrior: he had never taken any scalps. To accomplish his object, he raised a small war party, and in their scout fell upon a party of Seneca hunters, killed and scalped a number of them. This procedure began a war between the nations, that lasted more than a century, which they supposed was fully a hundred winters before the French came to Quebec. They owned they were the first instigators in the war, and were generally beaten in the contest. Both tribes were greatly wasted in the war. They often made peace; but the first opportunity the Senecas could get an advantage against them they would destroy all they could, men, women and children. The Wyandots, finding they were in danger of being exterminated, concluded to leave their country, and go far to the West. With their canoes the whole nation made their escape to the upper lakes, and settled in the vicinity of Green Bay, in several villages, but, after a few years, the Senecas made up a war-party and followed them to their new settlements, fell on one of their villages, killed a number and returned. Through this long period they had no instruments of war but bows, arrows, and the war club.
Soon after this the French came to Quebec, and began trading with Indians, and supplied them with fire-arms and utensils of various kinds. The Senecas having got supplied with guns, and learned the use of them, made out a second war-party against the Wyandots—came upon them in the night, fired into their huts and scared them exceedingly: they thought at first it was thunder and lightning. They did not succeed so well as they intended. After a few years they made out a third party, and fell upon on of the Wyandot villages and took them nearly all; but it so happened at this time that nearly all the young men had gone to war with the Fox tribe, living on the Mississippi.
Those few that escaped the massacre by the Senecas agreed to give up and go back with them and become one people, but requested of the Senecas to have two days to collect what they had and make ready their canoes, and join them on the morning of the third day at a certain point, where they had gone to wait for them and hold a great dance through the night. The Wyandots sent directly to the other two villages which the Senecas had not disturbed, and got all their old men and women, and such as could fight, to consult on what measures to take. They came to the resolution to equip themselves in the best manner they could, and go down in perfect stillness so near the enemy as to hear them. They found them engaged in a dance, and feasting on two Wyandot men they had killed and roasted, as they said, for their beef; and as they danced they shouted their victory and told how good their Wyandot beef was. They continued their dance until the latter part of the night, and being pretty tired they all laid down and soon fell into a sound sleep.
A little before day the Wyandot party fell on them and cut them all off; not one was left to carry back the tidings. This ended the war for a great number of years. Soon after this the Wyandots got guns from the French traders and began to grow formidable. The Indians, who owned the country where they had resided for a long time, proposed to them to go back to their own country. They agreed to return, and having prepared themselves as a war party, they returned—came down to where Detroit now stands, and agreed to settle in two villages, one at the place above mentioned, and the other where the British fort, Malden, now stands.
and offer some of their tobacco to the Great Spirit, and prepare for action. The chief had his son, a small boy with him: he covered the boy in the bottom of the canoe. He determined to fight his enemy on the water. They put out into the open lake: the Senecas came on. Both parties took the best advantage they could, and fought with a determination to conquer or sink in the lake. At length the Wyandots saw the last man fall in the Seneca party; but they had lost a great proportion of their own men, and were so wounded and cut to pieces that they could take no advantage of the victory but only to gain the shore as soon as possible, and leave the enemy’s canoes to float or sink among the waves. Thus ended the long war between the two tribes from that day to this.
Col. John JOHNSTON relates, in his “Recollections,” an interesting account of an Indian council, held at Upper Sandusky in 1818, on the occasion of the death of TARHE, or “the Crane,” a celebrated chief of the Wyandots.
Twenty-eight years ago, on the death of the great chief of the Wyandots, I was invited to attend a general council of all the tribes of Ohio, the Delawares of Indiana, and the Senecas of New York, at Upper Sandusky. I found, on arriving at the place, a very large attendance. Among the chiefs was the noted leader and orator, RED JACKET, from Buffalo. The first business done was the speaker of the nation delivering an oration on the character of the deceased chief. Then followed what might be called a monody, or ceremony, of mourning and lamentation. Thus seats were arranged from end to end of a large council-house, about six feet apart. The head men and the aged took their seats facing each other, stooping down their heads almost touching. In that position they remained for several hours. Deep, heavy and long continued groans would commence at one end of the row of mourners, and so pass round until all had responded, and these repeated at intervals of a few minutes. The Indians were all washed, and had no paint or decorations of any kind upon their persons, their countenances and general deportment denoting the deepest mourning. I had never witnessed anything of the kind before, and was told this ceremony was not performed but on the decease of some great man.
After the period of mourning and lamentation was over, the Indians proceeded to business. There were present the Wyandots, Shawanese, Delawares, Senecas, Ottawas and Mohawks. The business was entirely confined to their own affairs, and the main topic related to their lands and the claims of the respective tribes. It was evident, in the course of the discussion, that the presence of myself and people (there were some white men with me) was not acceptable to some of the parties, and allusions were made so direct to myself that I was constrained to notice them by saying that I came there as the guest of the Wyandots by their special invitation; that as the agent of the United States I had a right to be there or anywhere else in the Indian country; and that, if any insult was offered to myself or my people, it would be resented and punished. RED JACKET was the principal speaker, and was intemperate and personal in his remarks. Accusations, pro and con, were made by the different parties, accusing each other of being foremost in selling lands to the United States. The Shawanese were particularly marked out as more guilty than any other; that they were the last coming into the Ohio country, and although they had no right but by permission of the other tribes they were always the foremost in selling lands. This brought the Shawanese out who retorted through their chief, the BLACK HOOF, on the Senecas and Wyandots with pointed severity. The discussion was long continued, calling out some of the ablest speakers, and was distinguished for ability, cutting sarcasm and research—going far back into the history of the natives, their wars, alliances, negotiations, migrations, etc.
I had attended many councils, treaties and gatherings of the Indians, but never in my life did I witness such an outpouring of native oratory and eloquence, of severe rebuke, taunting national and personal reproaches. The council broke up late, in great confusion, and in the worst possible feeling. A circumstance occurred towards the close which more than anything else exhibited the bad feeling prevailing. In handing round the wampum belt, the emblem of amity, peace and good will, when presented to one of the chiefs, he would not touch it with his fingers, but passed it on a stick to the person next him. A greater indignity, agreeable to Indian etiquette, could not be offered.
speeches to the same effect, handing round wampum in turn, and in this manner the whole difficulty of the preceding day was settled, and to all appearance forgotten. The Indians are very courteous and civil to each other, and it is a rare thing to see their assemblies disturbed by unwise or ill-timed remarks. I never witnessed it except on the occasion here alluded to; and it is more than probable that the presence of myself and other white men contributed toward the unpleasant occurrence. I could not help but admire the genuine philosophy and good sense displayed by men whom we call savages in the transaction of their public business; and how much we might profit in the halls of our legislatures by occasionally taking for our example the proceedings of the great Indian council at Sandusky.
Upper Sandusky in 1846.—Upper Sandusky, the county-seat, is on the west bank of the Sandusky, sixty-three miles north of Columbus. It was laid out in 1843, and now contains 1 Methodist church, 6 mercantile stores, 1 newspaper printing office, and about 500 inhabitants. In the war of 1812 Gen. HARRISON built here Fort Ferree, which stood about fifty rods northeast of the court-house on a bluff. It was a square stockade of about two acres in area, with block-houses at the corners, one of which is now standing. One mile north of this, near the river, Gov. MEIGS encamped, in August, 1813, with several thousand of the Ohio militia, then on their way to the relief of Fort Meigs. The place was called “the Grand Encampment.” Receiving here the news of the raising of the siege of Fort Meigs, and the repulse of the British at Fort Stephenson, they prosecuted their march no farther, and were soon after dismissed.
Crane Town, four miles northeast of the court-house, was the Indian town of Upper Sandusky. After the death of TARHE, the CRANE, in 1818, the Indians transferred their council-house to the present Upper Sandusky, gave it this name, and called the other Crane Town. Their old council-house stood about a mile and a half north of Crane Town. It was built principally of bark, and was about 100 feet long and 15 wide. Their last council-house, at the present Upper Sandusky, is yet standing near the river bank. It is a small frame structure, resembling an ordinary dwelling.—Old Edition.
On the bank of the river, half a mile above Upper Sandusky, is a huge sycamore, which measures around, a yard from its base, thirty-seven feet, and at its base over forty feet. On the Tyemochte, about six miles west, formerly and perhaps now stands another sycamore, hollow within, and of such generous proportions that Mr. Wm. BROWN, a surveyor, now residing in Marion, with four others, several years since, slept comfortably in it one cool autumnal night, and had plenty of room.—Old Edition.
The big sycamore at Upper Sandusky is yet standing, perhaps the largest live tree east of the Rockies. Our correspondent writes: “A measurement taken in the fall of 1889 gave its girth at the base forty-one feet, and a few feet above thirty-nine feet; it has reached its summit of stateliness and glory. The fact is it is now in a state of decline. It has seven branches which start out from some twelve feet from the ground. I believe it would make forty cords of wood, though it is a mere guess.”
The big sycamore is about fifty feet form the river. Just before his decease in 1885 the then owner of the land, being a stringent Methodist, was shocked by the oft gathering of the young men of the town, on Sundays, under its branches, to play cards. To remove this temptation he girdled the tree, and hauled brush and piled it around, intending to burn it down. The girdling was not sufficiently deep to destroy it, and then he was taken sick and died before he could effect its destruction by fire.
This tree had had its equals elsewhere in the valleys of the Scioto and Muskingum (see Index).
the occasion. The first illustrates the strength of affection which existed among the early frontiersmen, and the last their vivid recollection of localities.
In January, 1827, I was passing from Lower Sandusky, through the Wyandot reservation, in company with Simon KENTON. We stopped at CHAFFEE’s store, on the Tyemochte, and were sitting at the fire, when in stepped an old man dressed in a hunting-shirt, who, after laying his rifle in a corner, commenced trading. Hearing my companion’s voice, he stepped up to him and inquired, “Are you Simon KENTON?” He replied in the affirmative. “I am Joseph LAKE,” rejoined he. Upon this KENTON sprang up as if by electricity, and they both, by a simultaneous impulse, clasped each other around the neck, and shed tears of joy. They had been old companions in fighting the Indians, and had not met for thirty years. The scene was deeply affecting to the bystanders. After being an hour or two together, recalling old times, they embraced and parted in tears, never again expecting to meet.
While travelling through the Sandusky plains KENTON recognized at the distance of half a mile the identical grove in which he had run the gauntlet in the war of the Revolution, forty-nine years before. A further examination tested the truth of his recollection, for there was the very race-path still existing in which he had run. It was near a road leading from Upper Sandusky to Bellefontaine, eight or ten miles from the former. I expressed my surprise at his remembering it. “Ah!” replied he, “I had a good many reasons laid on my back to recollect it.”
Upper Sandusky, county-seat of Wyandot, sixty miles northwest of Columbus and sixty-four miles southeast of Toledo, is at the crossing of the P. Ft. W. & C. and C. H. V. & T. Railroads. County Officers, 1888 : Auditor, Samuel J. WIRICK; Clerk, Anselm MARTIN; Commissioners, Caspar VEITH, James H. BARNTHOUSE, John CASEY; Coroner, J. A. FRANCISCO; Infirmary Directors, Christian BARTH, John BINAU, Matthew ORIANS; Probate Judge, Curtis BERRY, Jr.; Prosecuting Attorney, James T. CLOSE; Recorder, Jacob P. KAIG; Sheriff, Henry J. SHUMAKER; Surveyor, William C. GEAR; Treasurer, Andrew H. FLICKINGER. City Officers, 1888: Joel W. GIBSON, Mayor; W. R. HARE, Clerk; Nicholas GRUNDTISCH, Marshal; D. D. HARE, Solicitor; Frand KELLER, Treasurer; Joseph KELLER, Street Commissioner. Newspapers: Wyandot Chief, H. A. TRACHT, editor and publisher; Wyandot Union, Democrat, R. D. DUMM & Son, editors and publishers; Die Germania, German Democrat, Jacob SCHELL, Jr., editor; Wyandot County Republican, Republican, Pietro CUNEO, editor and publisher. Churches: 1 Catholic, 1 Presbyterian, 1 United Brethren, 1 African Methodist Episcopal, 1 German Lutheran, 1 English Lutheran, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Evangelical, 1 German Reformed, 1 Universalist. Banks: First National, S. W. WATSON, president; Jas. G. ROBERTS, cashier; Wyandot County, Lovell B. HARRIS, president; Ed A. GORDON, cashier.
Manufactures and Employees.-INGARD & SMITH, planing mill, 5 hands; KERR Brothers, flour, etc., 4; John SHEALY, planing mill, 13; AGERTER, STEVENSON & Co., general machine work; S. BECHLER, lager beer, 4; Jacob GLOESER, tannery, 3; W. S. STREBY, flour, etc., 1.—State Report, 1888.
Population in 1890, 3,568. School census, 1888, 1,170; W. A. BAKER, school superintendent. Capital invested in industrial establishments, $135,000. Value of annual product, $143,000.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887.
The Methodists sustained a mission among the Wyandots for many years. Previous to the establishment of the Methodists a portion of the tribe had been for a long while under the religious instruction of the Catholics. The first Protestant who preached among them at Upper Sandusky was John STEWART, a mulatto, a member of the Methodist denomination, who came here of his own accord in 1816, and gained much influence over them. His efforts in their behalf paved the way for a regularly established mission a few years after, when the Rev. James B. FINLEY, at present (1846) chaplain of the Ohio penitentiary, formed a church and established a school here. This was the first Indian mission formed by the Methodists in the Mississippi valley.
from government funds, Rev. Mr. FINLEY having permission from Hon. John C. CALHOUN, then Secretary of War, to apply $1,333 to this object. The church stands upon the outskirts of the town, in a small enclosure, surrounded by woods. Connected with the mission was a school-house, and a farm of one mile square.
WYANDOT MISSION CHURCH AT UPPER SANDUSKY.
Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.
The following inscriptions are copied from monuments in the grave-yard, attached to the mission church:
Between-the-Logs, died December, 1826, aged fifty years.
Rev. John Stewart, first missionary to the Wyandots; died December 17, 1833, aged 37 years.
Sum-mun-de wat, murdered December 4, 1845, aged 46 years. Buried in Wood county, Ohio.
The remains of Sum-mun-de-wat were subsequently reinterred here. He was, at the time of his death, on a hunting excursion with his family in Hancock county. In the evening three white men with axes entered their camp, and were hospitably entertained by their host. After having finished their suppers the Indian, agreeable to his custom, kneeled and prayed in his own language, and then laid down with his wife to sleep. In the night these miscreants who had been so kindly treated rose on them in their sleep and murdered Sum-mun-de-wat and his wife with their axes in the most brutal manner. They then robbed the camp and made off, but were apprehended and allowed to break jail. In speaking of this case Col. JOHNSTON says that, in a period of fifty-three years, since he first came to the West, he never knew of but one instance in which a white man was tried, convicted and executed for the murder of an Indian. This exception was brought about by his own agency in the prosecution, sustained by the promptness of John C. CALHOUN, then Secretary of War, who manifested an interest in this affair not often shown on similar occasions in the officers of our government.
Sum-mun-de-wat is frequently mentioned in the Rev. Mr. FINLEY’s interesting history of the Wyandot mission, published by the Methodist Book Concern at Cincinnati. The following anecdote which he relates of this excellent chief shows the simple and expressive language in which the Christian Wyandots related their religious feelings:
asked me, ‘How far is it to a house?’ I answer, ‘I don’t know--may be ten miles--may be eight miles.’ ‘Is there a path leading to it?’ ‘No-by and by dis go out (pointing to the path they were on), den all woods. You go home me—sleep—me go show you tomorrow.’ Then he come my camp—so take horse—tie—give him some corn and brush—then my wife give him supper. He ask where I come. I say, ‘Sandusky.’ He say, ‘You know FINLEY?’ ‘Yes,’ I say, ‘he is my brother—my father.’ Then he say, ‘He is my brother.’ Then I feel something in my heart burn. I say, ‘You preacher?’ He say, ‘Yes;’ and I shook hands and say, ‘My brother!’ Then we try talk. Then I say ‘You sing and pray.’ So he did. Then he say to me, ‘Sing and pray.’ So I did; and I so much cry I can’t pray. No go sleep—I can’t—I wake—my heart full. All night I pray and praise God, for his send me preacher to sleep my camp. Next morning soon come, and he want to go. Then I go show him through the woods until come to big road. Then he took me by hand and say ‘Farewell, brother; by and by we meet up in heaven.’ Then me cry, and my brother cry. We part—I go hunt. All day I cry, and no see deer jump up and run away. Then I go and pray by some log. My heart so full of joy that I cannot walk much. I say ‘I cannot hunt.’ Sometimes I sing—then I stop and clap my hands, and look up to God, my heavenly Father. Then the love come so fast in my heart, I can hardly stand. So I went home, and said, ‘This is my happiest day.’”
The history of the mission relates an anecdote of ROHN-YEN-NESS, another of the Christian Indians. It seems that after the conflict of POE with the Indians the Wyandot determined on revenge.
POE then lived on the west side of the Ohio river, at the mouth of Little Yellow creek. They chose ROHN-YEN-NESS as a proper person to murder him, and then make his escape. He went to POE’s house, and was met with great friendship. POE not having any suspicion of his design, the best in his house was furnished him. When the time to retire to sleep came he made a pallet on the floor for the Indian guest to sleep. He and his wife went to bed in the same room. ROHN-YEN-NESS said they both soon fell asleep. There being no person about the house but some children, this afforded him a fair opportunity to have executed his purpose; but the kindness they had shown him worked in his mind. He asked himself how he could get up and kill even an enemy that had taken him in and treated him so well—so much like a brother? The more he thought about it the worse he felt; but still, on the other hand, he was sent by his nation to avenge the death of two of its most valiant warriors; and their ghosts would not be appeased until the blood of POE was shed. There, he said, he lay in this conflict of mind until about midnight. The duty he owed to his nation, and the spirits of his departed friends, aroused him. He seized his knife and tomahawk, and crept to the bedside of his sleeping host. Again the kindness he had received from POE stared him in the face; and he said, it is mean, it is unworthy the character of an Indian warrior to kill even an enemy, who has so kindly treated him. He went back to his pallet and slept until morning.
His kind host loaded him with blessings, and told him that they were once enemies, but now they had buried the hatchet and were brothers, and hoped they would always be so. ROHN-YEN-NESS, overwhelmed with a sense of the generous treatment he had received from his once powerful enemy, but now his kind friend, left him to join his party.
He said the more he reflected on what he had done, and the course he had pursued, the more he was convinced that he had done right. This once revengeful savage warrior was overcome by the kindness of an evening, and all his plans frustrated.
This man became one of the most pious and devoted of the Indian converts. Although a chief, he was humble as a child. He used his steady influence against the traders and their fire-water.—Old Edition.
The foregoing concludes our original account of the Indian mission. We extend this history with other matters of interest.
HISTORIC AND BIOGRAPHIC MISCELLANIES.
When Rev. James B. FINLEY came to the mission in 1821, he built a log-mission and school-house—the first Protestant mission in America.
In this mission house the Indian maidens were taught to cook, bake and sew, while outside, in field, at anvil and at bench, the young men learned the trades of civilization. Thus was started the first industrial school on the continent.
The number of converts continued to increase rapidly, and soon a special place of worship was needed. Through the aid of the government the stone mission church was built. It was finished late in 1824, and for nearly twenty years the Indians met for worship in it, and buried their dead within the shade of its sacred walls.
In 1842 a treaty was effected by which the Wyandot Indians were removed to a reservation west of the Mississippi, the United States government agreeing that the mission church and the ground around it containing the graves of its dead congregation should remain forever consecrated to the purpose for which it was
OLD MISSION CHURCH, 1888 MOTHER SOLOMON.
originally designed. “In order, therefore,” the agreement read, “that the object of the aforesaid reservation may be secured and carried out, we request that the Methodist Episcopal Church take possession thereof and appoint trustees over the same according to its rules and regulations.”
For a time after the Indians left, the church and graves were kept up, but they were soon forgotten, and the roof decayed and fell in, and the walls crumbled.
In 1888, however, the General Conference of the M. E. Church determined to make amends, and appropriated $2,000 to restore the church. Work was begun and finished in 1889. The church has been restored as nearly as possible to its original appearance.
A Christian Wyandot preacher. A Christian Wyandot preacher.
one who was present at its restoration, being the only one of the tribe living in Ohio—the last of the Wyandots.
Mother SOLOMON, as she was known in the vicinity of Upper Sandusky, died August 17, 1890.
Two of the Christian Indians of the Wyandot mission are deserving of special mention, BETWEEN-THE-LOGS and MONONCUE. The latter was a man of great native eloquence, and of great service to the mission as a local preacher, exerting much influence among the people of his tribe. He was a cheerful and ready worker, and a man of warm affections. Rev. J. B. FINLEY speaks of him as “my faithful Indian friend and brother,”
BETWEEN-THE-LOGS was born about the year 1780, his father a Seneca and his mother a Wyandot of the Bear tribe. He took part in battle with the Indians when they were defeated by General WAYNE, became a chief in his tribe at an early age, and on account of his retentive memory and ability in discussion was constituted chief speaker of the nation.
He spent a year with the Shawnee prophet, TECUMSEH’s brother, and returning to his tribe convinced them that the prophet’s pretensions were destitute of truth. He also detected the fallacy of the Seneca prophet’s pretensions.
As head chief of the Wyandots in the Indian council at Brownstown, he rejected all overtures to join in war against the Americans. He and his warriors left the council and joined the American cause. When General HARRISON invaded Canada, BETWEEN-THE-LOGS, in company with a party of Wyandot chiefs and warriors, accompanied him.
After the war he settled permanently near Upper Sandusky. He became intemperate, and in a drunken fit killed his wife. When sober the horror of this deed caused him to measurably abandon the use of ardent spirits.
When STEWART, the colored missionary, went among the Wyandots BETWEEN-THE-LOGS was the first man converted. He became a regularly appointed exhorter in the church, was a regular attendant upon the annual Ohio conference, at which he made some of the most eloquent and rational speeches delivered. Rev. James B. FINLEY, from whose “Autobiography” this sketch is derived, says of this Indian chief:
“BETWEEN-THE-LOGS was rather above the common stature, broad and thin built, but otherwise well proportioned, with an open and manly countenance.
“Through his life he had to contend with strong passions, which through grace he happily overcame in the end. His memory was so tenacious that he retained every matter of importance, and related it, when necessary, with minute correctness that was truly astonishing. And such were his natural abilities otherwise that, had he received a suitable education, few would have exceeded him either as a minister of the gospel or as a statesman or politician.”
The Matthew BRAYTON Mystery.
In the fall of 1825 the disappearance of Matthew BRAYTON, a child of seven years, from the home of his parents in Crawford township, Wyandot county, aroused the sympathy and interest of the pioneers throughout a wide extent of territory.
hunting party increasing in number as the story of the lost boy spread throughout the region, but the day closed, and no further trace of the boy found. The second day the woods were filled with searching parties that came in from all directions to show their sympathy and lend their aid to the distressed parents.
The Indian villages were examined, but the Wyandots not only expressed ignorance of the boy’s movements but joined in the search with great zeal. It was learned from them, however, that a party of Canadian Indians had passed north on the day of the boy’s disappearance, but they did not know whether the boy was with them or not.
The search continued for many days, the settlers for miles around participating, but nothing further could be learned of the boy, and the search was finally abandoned.
Years passed by and the story of the boy’s disappearance became one of the unsolved mysteries of the past. The parents, however, never gave up hope of recovering their lost child: every vague rumor was followed up without avail, until, after a lapse of sixteen years, the mother died of a broken heart, in her last moments weeping for her lost child.
Thirty-four years after the boy’s disappearance the BRAYTON family learned through a weekly newspaper of an Indian captive, then in Cleveland, who did not know his own name, but in his youth had been stolen by Canadian Indians from some place in northwestern Ohio, had been taken into Michigan, and after thirty-four years of captivity had returned to Ohio to find his parents.
William BRAYTON at once started to see the “captive.” Previous to setting out he had been instructed by his father to look for two scars by which his brother might be identified—one on his head, and the other on his great toe of the right foot, resulting from the cut of an axe. The returned “captive” was examined and found to have these scars on his person just as represented by the father. Word was sent to the BRAYTON family that the long lost child had been found after many years, and was on his way home. The news spread throughout the region, and for many miles from his home multitudes of people gathered at the railroad stations to see the man whose experience had been so remarkable. Among them were many old men who had searched for the lost boy; aged mothers whose hearts had ached in sympathy for the bereaved parents; young men and maidens who had heard the story of the lost boy related by their parents at the fireside.
The meeting at the family home was extremely touching, but the season of rejoicing was of short duration, for it soon transpired that it was not the long lost son and brother returned, but the child of other parents, and no tidings of Matthew BRAYTON ever reached his family.
It was conclusively proven that the “captive” was William TODD, and he was restored to his parents in Michigan. At the outbreak of the rebellion he enlisted in the cavalry service, and died in Nashville, Tenn. The foregoing account is abridged from the Wyandot County History.
An Immigrant’s Experience
The career of Mr. Pietro CUNEO, as given in the Wyandot County Republican, is such a striking, instructive example of the result of industrious perseverance in a high purpose and its possibilities under the institutions of American government, as contrasted with the conditions of life under foreign governments, that we are constrained to make a few extracts therefrom for the education of the youth of Ohio.
Mr. CUNEO was born in a small village near Genoa, Italy. He says:
of ever improving his condition over there. Yes, the poor peasant is born in a rude and humble home, and there he must die. He cultivates his little hillside and fields of ground, eats his common coarse meal, admires the beauties with which nature has surrounded him, but no light of education enters his mind. There were then no rolling mills, factories or mechanical establishments to furnish him steady labor, or even to incite him to industry. He was born poor—poor and uneducated he must remain. Nature has done all she could for him, but he is the victim of cruel tyranny. I tell you, my friends, that it may be, and undoubtedly is, very pleasing to the eye, to behold the very elaborate terraced hillsides, and valley decorated with grapevines, fig and olive trees, but to reside and make a living there is altogether a different thing.
Despotic Rule.—And what is still more unendurable is the stern fact of having to live under rulers who occupy their positions, not because of eminent merits, peculiar qualification, or the voice of the people over whom they rule, but simply by the right of hereditary descent, a principle which originated in hell. Then, too, with the knowledge that those very despots are placed over you and your children for life. There is no alternative but to bow and submit. I wish you to think for a moment, and to imagine what feeling would creep over you, if you were now to be informed that you had no longer a voice in the making of your laws and the choice of your rulers. In this country the people are the rulers, and the officers mere hired servants. In Italy a public functionary will pass you with less respect than you would a cow. In this country he will stop to inquire as to the condition of your health, and that of your family, especially if he be a shrewd politician, with aspirations for re-election or promotion. He knows that, religiously and politically, you stand upon the infallible rock of equality, and he treats you accordingly. Here every citizen worships God as he pleases. If our public servants prove meritorious, we honor them by re-election; and if unworthy, we kick them out and repeal the bad laws they have enacted. In Italy, although a man may have the brains of an ignoramus, and the heart of a villain, yet if he be the son of a king he becomes heir to the throne; and he who is born poor, although endowed with the genius of Shakspeare, and the wisdom of a Franklin, he must die as he was born, in obscurity.
Liberty and Equality.—But in this country, thanks be to God, the noble patriots who established this benign government, and the hosts of its living maimed defenders, the fact that a man may have been born in an humble cottage and followed the trade of a tanner, like General GRANT; split rails, like Abraham LINCOLN; drove a canal boat, like James A. GARFIELD; or taught school for a living, like Millard FILLMORE, does not debar him from becoming the honored executive of the nation. Truly here are no distinctions but such as man’s merits may originate. Here the temple of fame opens its portals alike to all. Still it is my experience, that whatever may be a man’s surroundings, or the country where he resides, the novelty of all around him will wear off, and in turn he becomes the victim of despondency and discontentment. The peasant of Italy is ignorant, without ambition, and requires much less to satisfy him. Our own people are ambitious. This is right. A man without ambition is as worthless and powerless as an engine without steam. But the more we have the greater our desire for what we have not.
Appreciation of American Institutions.—We take up a poor boy, educate him, make a Governor of him, send him to Congress, and then, instead of feeling grateful, he will growl, and even abandon his benefactors, because they don’t keep him there for life, or elect him to the Presidency. The Italian peasant feels thankful and happy when he has health, sufficient to eat and work; but we keep up the perpetual cry of “hard times,” because we haven’t thousands of bushels of wheat to sell and piles of greenbacks in the back. And when we have plenty of wheat we are not happy, because the price is too low. Now, my kind reader, when you are disposed to despond, when business is dull, don’t fret because you aint in California, digging up nuggets of gold; but remember how transcendentally superior is your lot when compared with the condition of the peasants of Italy, and the millions of the poor and oppressed of other lands. He who fails to find a reasonable degree of happiness in America is truly to be pitied, for I don’t know where he can go to better his condition. It has often seemed to me that the American people do not appreciate their institutions and privileges as they should. I will not say that I prize and enjoy them better than they, but I do say, most emphatically, that I appreciated them for better than if I had not gone through what I have related in these chats.
Sails for America.—On March 6, 1849, Pietro, then thirteen years of age, accompanied his father to Genoa, from which city they were to sail for America.
“In sixty days from the time we sailed we reached New York city. There were about one hundred passengers on that little ship. We were packed below like criminals, and our situation, especially during the prevalence of sea-sickness, can be better imagined than described.”
a solitary word of the English language, had no trade, and could not read nor write my own name in any language. What to do was the question. Father was advised to start me out with an organ. He accordingly rented one. I shouldered it, and went to that part of the city then called ‘Five Points.’ I rested the organ on a cane and proceeded to turn the crank. I gathered a few pennies, but soon found that I could not carry it. It was different form those we occasionally see on our streets. It had a top to it in which were figures that danced to the tunes played. It was too heavy for me, and so father had to return it to the owner. I have mentioned this to some kind friends, and it got to the ears of some Democratic editors, and when they got displeased at me they called me ‘the organ grinder.’ I am guilty, and the worst of it is that I did not make a success of it. I gave them the best tunes that the internal machinery of the box and diligently turning of the crank would afford, took such pennies, and they were few, passers-by saw fit to give me. If I had been three or four years older I think I would have made it go. I would have added a monkey to the business after a while. I had the will but not the strength so I made a failure of it. And I tell you I was discouraged and home-sick.”
A Farm Laborer.—From New York he went to Philadelphia, and then worked on a farm in Milford, Del., receiving three dollars per month and board. In about two years, on account of sickness, his father was compelled to return to Italy, expecting Pietro to follow, but the latter had begun to master the difficulties of the English language, and decided to remain in America. For the next four years he drifted from farm to farm in the vicinity of Philadelphia. In 1852, while working on the farm of Mr. STARN near Camden, N.J., he was urged by his friends and fellow-laborers to go to school and learn to read and write.
“Mr. STARN told me that if I wanted to go to school he would board me for what work I could do about the farm night and morning, or, if I wanted to work steadily, he would give me three dollars per month. I accepted the latter offer, and promised to try and learn at home in the evenings. The teacher was boarding in the family of Mr. STARN, and offered to teach me; so I purchased a spelling book and tried a few evenings, but soon became utterly discouraged, and gave the book to a little daughter of Mr. Samuel ROSS.”
A year later, at the age of seventeen, he again tried to get the rudiments of an education, and took his first lesson in learning the alphabet.
Learning to Read and Write.—“I tried hard to learn, and the teacher and pupils took particular pains to assist me. The teacher, Wm. SNOWDEN, I think, was his name, and the pupils, were very kind to me. He became interested in my welfare, and soon after I began the term he invited me to stand by his side one noon, while he was eating dinner, and spell words on the book, which he helped me to pronounce. The next day I did not go up. The second day he invited me again. I went up, and he asked me why I did not go up the day before. I told him that I did not know that he wanted me to do so. He then explained that he was willing to hear me every noon. I was only too glad to accept. So, after that, every noon, for the balance of the winter, I stood by his side and spelled a lesson while he was eating his dinner. It was no trouble to him, but a great favor to me. He was one of God’s noblest men. On taking my leave of school I asked my teacher to sell me a copy of ‘SWANN’S Instructive Reader,’ of which he had several ‘second-hand copies. ‘Why,’ said he, ‘what do you want with it? You can’t read it.’ ‘Well,’ said I, ‘I will keep it till I can.’ He said I could have a copy for 12 1/2 cents. I took him up and honored my promise as I kept the book, read, and have it yet. I was determined to make a useful man of myself if possible, and decided to work hard during the spring, summer and fall of each year, and attend school during the three winter months till I arrived at the age of twenty-one. I had heard good reports of Pennsylvania, and in the fall came to Coatesville , Chester county, of that state.
derstand the definitions as the words themselves. When I read a book or paper I found so many strange words that I could hardly get any sense of the subject. I finally resorted to this practice : When I found strange words I wrote them on a slip of paper, and, after I was through reading, would examine the dictionary and write the definition opposite the word, and carried it in my pocket. When at my work I would reflect over what I had read; and if I could not remember the words or their meaning I would pull the slip from my pocket and read it. To learn to pronounce the words was another great task, and one which I never expected to master.”
Wants to be an Editor.—In September, 1856, Mr. CUNEO came to Canton, Ohio, worked in the shops of Aultman & Co., carrying lumber and doing other manual labor at seventy-seven cents a day. He worked for this firm for the next nine years, excepting during certain intervals when he worked on a farm for his board while attending school. He gradually mastered, with great difficulty, one after another of the different branches taught in the public schools until he received notice of his promotion to the high school. From time to time he purchased standard books until he had the nucleus of a library, and in the fall of 1858 taught in a school where he had formerly been a pupil. Through reading the “Life and Essays of Benjamin FRANKLIN” he was stimulated with a desire to become a newspaper editor, and entered the office of the Stark County Republican as a printer’s “devil” at the age of twenty-two. About five months later his parents arrived in Canton, and as he could render them and his sisters no assistance while an apprentice in a printing office he was obliged to return to work in the shops of Aultman & Co. In the fall of 1865, still ambitious to become an editor, he purchased with his savings a half interest in the Medina Gazette. In September, 1866, he sold out this interest and purchased the Wyandot Pioneer, of Upper Sandusky. He changed its name to the Wyandot County Republican in 1869, and has been its sole editor and proprietor ever since.
In concluding the sketch of his career Mr. CUNEO says:
Mean fun.—During the several years I worked in the machine shops I carried books in my pocket, and when I arrived at the shops a few minutes before the time to commence work I would seize the books and study them. Sometimes, when deeply absorbed over those books, some of the shop fellows would throw iron turnings on me, which would come down like vigorous hail. But when I looked to learn who threw them, no one was to be seen—that is, the guilty fellow was not visible. It was very annoying and unkind to me, but great fun for the boys.
When working on the farm I kept a book in the barn, and while the horses ate I read. Thus I gathered a little here and a little there, which has been a great help to me.
Poor Boy’s Opportunities.—I had now acquired such a thirst for knowledge, that when I heard of a book, the study of which I thought would assist me, I resolved to have it if it took the very last cent. As I continued my readings I found that the great philosopher, Benjamin FRANKLIN, was once a poor printer boy; the statesman, Roger SHERMAN, was a shoemaker; William WIRT was left a poor orphan boy at eight years of age. In fact I found that a large number of those who have contributed so much to the lustre of our nationality and the glory of our institutions began their careers in obscurity and poverty.
Then, too, as I looked among the living, I saw men everywhere, who were once poor, in the possession of wealth and stations of honor. This encouraged me, for the idea of poor boys becoming rich was new to me, as I never saw such instances in Italy. The experience of others taught me the fact that, in most every community, in this country, the men and women who have made honorable reputations, and achieved success in business and mental culture, began in humble circumstances, often at the very bottom of the ladder. Yes, in the old country, men boast of having royal blood flowing in their veins, but in this country we often point with pride to an humble log-house—which we did not own, but paid rent for the privilege of living in it—as our starting point. True, indeed, that “Westward the star of empire takes its way,” and equally true, that the heart of the honest, ambitious American lad looks upward and onward, in the direction of an honorable career which is within the reach of every boy gifted with common sense, integrity, grit and laudable ambition.
Pleasure in Work.—In conclusion, and in all candor, allow me to assure you, reader, that I see nothing in the story of my humble experience to boast about. Indeed, I have never thought and have no intentions of applying for a patent for anything recorded above. I claim no merits for myself, have done nothing that any ordinary boy may not do. Every boy, born in this country, has at once the advantage of learning our language from his mother’s lips, and entering the school door at the age of six years. I had a harder struggle to learn what little I know, of the English language, than most of our boys have in acquiring a practical common school education. In fact, with me, progress in the way of acquiring knowledge and property has always seemed slow, hard work, uphill. But there is a pleasure in diligent study, persistent industry and practical management. I wish I could impress upon the minds of my young readers that we are most happy when we are busy, engaged in accomplishing something useful. The writing of this long article has been a pleasing task to me.
shall not boast, for the long weary years, the heartaches and gloomy future of my boyhood and young manhood are far more vividly impressed upon my mind and heart than any joy I ever experienced. No, I claim no merits for myself, but attribute what little success may have attended my efforts to the free, common schools of our glorious county, and have thus briefly related my experience, since arriving in America, for the purpose of demonstrating to our young men that they are surrounded by golden opportunities, which, if properly improved, will enable them in due time to reap a pleasurable harvest. I close with works and sentiments that I penned a little over eighteen year ago, and which are as warm in my heart now as they were then: “The gratitude I bear toward those who urged me to go to school, and gave me an opportunity to do so : to the teachers and this benign government, which opened the schoolroom doors to me, shall only fade away when my heart shall beat no more. God grant that this, my adopted country, this beloved land, this paradise for men on earth, this asylum for the oppressed of all countries, this Union of States and of hearts, may be as lasting and indestructible as Time.”
The following account of the execution for murder of a Wyandot Indian has been written for this work by Dr. A. W. MUNSON, of Kenton, O., an eye-witness of the execution, under date of Kenton, O., January 3, 1891, and directed to Henry Howe:
In compliance with a promise made you on your visit to this city a few years ago I send the following account of the incidents leading to and connected with the last Wyandot Indian execution which took place at Upper Sandusky in October, 1840. For many years previous to the time here spoken of, owing to Christian influence, the Wyandot nation had been divided into two parties, one known as the Christian, the other as the Heathen party.
May of the Indians, being very fond of drink, would become intoxicated whenever they could obtain whiskey, and when intoxicated were troublesome and difficult to control. In consequence of this, the United States officers at the Agency had issued an order prohibiting persons settling on the reservation from selling or giving to any Indian any intoxicating liquors.
There being no law preventing persons living outside the reservation from keeping and selling liquor to any person, a number of small villages outside were liberally supplied with liquor vendors, from whom the Indians could obtain all they wanted. It was in one of these villages that a party of Indians in September, 1840, congregated, many of whom became intoxicated and engaged in numerous contentions. Among those present were two who were parties to the tragedy about to be described.
The Murder.—One old man, a half-brother to a prominent half-breed named John BARNET, belonged to the Christian party, and although he had indulged in frequent potations, was but slightly intoxicated; the other, a young man, the son of a noted chief know as “BLACK CHIEF,” was a rude and turbulent fellow, and had become greatly intoxicated during the day. Late in the afternoon, the former having procured a jug of whiskey started to go home, when the latter joined him. Their route was along a trail through the thick woods. Soon after entering the forest the young Indian wanted the old man to give him some whiskey, and when refused became enraged and seizing a bludgeon dealt the old man a murderous blow on the head, felling him to the ground, and following up his murderous blows crushed the head of the prostrate victim, killing him on the spot.
The Arrest and Trial.—Soon thereafter a body of Indians going along the trail came upon the dead body of the victim, and passing a short distance farther found the murderer, still drunk, and lying upon the ground fast asleep, while the jug sat near by. This party seized the drunken Indian, and, binding his arms, conveyed him, together with the dead body, to Upper Sandusky, and lodged the former in the little Indian jail for safe-keeping. The news of the tragedy created great excitement in the nation, and soon the executive council ordered an examination, whereupon the prisoner was taken before that tribunal, and after examining into the particulars found him guilty of murder while in a state of intoxication, and sentenced him to perpetual banishment and the confiscation of all his property.
This disposition of the case caused great dissatisfaction among the nation, especially among the Christian party, and a demand was made for a reversal of the decree, and the culprit to be tried by the highest tribunal, viz., a trial before the assembled nation, acting as a jury, to decide by ballot the question of life or death.
of the chiefs was set aside, the accused brought before the grand tribunal, and, after a full investigation of the case, the question, “Shall the prisoner suffer death or be permitted to live?” was decided by a vote of all persons entitled to vote (all male persons over twenty-one years of age). The vote resulted in an overwhelming majority in favor of death. The prisoner was thereupon sentenced to be shot to death, and the third Friday thereafter selected as the day. The place of execution was to be the Sandusky bottoms, adjoining the village of Upper Sandusky.
The Indian Jail.—It was early in the morning of the Friday designated for the execution that I set off on horseback to make a journey of twenty miles to witness the proceedings. I arrived at the village about nine in the morning, and found a considerable number of both whites and Indians of both sexes already in the village. The prisoner was confined in the jail, which was a hewed log structure standing upon a high bluff a short distance northeast from the council-house, which stood on a lot used as an Indian graveyard, and enclosed by a rude fence. Evidences of that graveyard may yet be seen. The jail building was about 14x18 feet and
THE INDIAN JAIL.
two stories high, standing with the ends pointing north and south, and overlooking the Sandusky bottoms to the south and east. The lower story consisted of one room about eight feet high, supplied with one small window in the south end, from which a fair view of the bottoms could be had. The entrance was near the northwest corner; the outer door was a thick, heavy plank batten, and the inner door an iron grated one. These doors were so arranged that the outer one could be opened, and afford an opportunity for outside persons to converse with the prisoner, while the inner grated door, being securely fastened, prevented any escape.
The lower floor, as indeed the upper one, was made of hewed logs about eight or ten inches thick.
The upper room was of the same dimensions as the lower, with a window in the south end and an entrance at the north end, provided with two doors, situated and arranged as in the room below. The roof projected over the north end some six or eight feet, thus affording a kind of porch. The upper room was reached by an outside stairway, which commenced at the northwest corner and extended up to the platform at the door to the upper apartment. This building was erected soon after the establishment of the government agency, and stood as a pioneer relic until a few years ago, when the vandal hands of progress demolished it, and nothing now remains to mark the place where it stood.
The Executive Council.—Upon my arrival I was informed that the prisoner could be seen at the jail, and that the execution would not take place until afternoon, as the executive council was then in session in the council-house, probably arranging the details of procedure.
about forty-six rods west from the river and at a point about thirty yards north from the present embankment of the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R., which was also where the execution was to take place.
A Talk With the Prisoner.—I visited the hail for the purpose of seeing the prisoner and if possible, to have a talk with him. I found, upon arriving at the jail, quite a number of visitors, actuated by the same motive, already there. The outer door was open, and an old negro interpreter named Jonathan POINTER was seated by the door ready to give any information in his power, or to ask the prisoner any questions desired and interpret the answer. This old negro was taken captive by the Indians when a child, had grown to manhood and to old age (he was then about sixty year old) among them. He had learned to speak their dialect, as also the English language, and was the principal interpreter for the nation.
The prisoner was a stout, muscular young man, apparently about twenty-two years old, brave and sullen as a lion. I conversed with him some by means of the interpreter Jonathan. He had but little to say, answering my questions in the shortest manner possible. He was very uneasy, continually pacing around his prison, frequently stopping for a moment at the little window to gaze away in the direction of his grave-diggers, who were plainly visible at their work. After standing and gazing thus for a few moments he would turn suddenly away, and resume his uneasy walking around his prison like a hyena in his cage.
Preparing for the Execution.—The chiefs of the nation were closely shut in the council-house from early morn until late in the afternoon, when, having arranged the execution, which was to be conducted in true Indian military style, came out and gave orders to proceed with the execution. The executioners were six in number, secretly selected, three from the Christian and three from the heathen party. They were each at the proper time to be furnished with a loaded rifle, five of which were to contain powder and ball, and on to contain only powder. None of these were to know which had the rifle with the blank charge.
As before stated the execution was to take place at the grave. Accordingly, about 4 p.m., the spectators were arranged in two parallel lines, about fifteen yards apart, extending from the grave northward to a point about twenty rods from the grave, at which point the executioners were to be stationed. The Indian spectators were upon the west side of the line, while the whites occupied the east side. There were many more whites than Indians, consequently a better chance of witnessing the proceeding was enjoyed by those on the Indian side. It was my fortune to occupy a position among the Indians, within a few feet of the grave.
The Prisoner Brought Forth.—Orders were given to bring the prisoner to the place of execution, and four braves, with rope in hand, approached the jail, two of whom entered and bound the prisoner securely by passing the rope twice around his body over his arms, which were securely fastened to his sides. He was now directed to pass out, each guard holding opposite ends of the rope. Once out of the prison the march to the place of execution commenced, the prisoner marching between the guards, two on either side, holding firmly the rope that bound him.
The route taken was along an old trail past the graveyard and council-house before spoken of, down to the river bottom at the southeast part of the village to the grave—a distance of about a mile. I accompanied this march and watched the prisoner closely, who marched the whole distance without a falter, and apparently as firm and steady as though nothing unusual was in waiting. Soon after the arrival of the prisoner, and while he was standing at the foot of his grave, Chief William WALKER, one of the principal men of the nation, a good scholar and grand orator, advanced along the open space between the two lines of spectators to a point about twenty feet from the prisoner, and directly fronting him, proceeded in a loud and clear voice to read the death warrant. This was done first in the Wyandot dialect, and then in the English language. This document was a model one, couched in the finest language, and clear and pointed in every detail; one that would do honor to the most learned judiciary of any civilized nation. It recited the circumstances under which the crime had been committed, the details of the trial, how the prisoner had been tried by two tribunals, and had been found guilty by the highest one known to the nation, and sentenced to suffer death.
Stoicism of the Prisoner.—The most perfect silence prevailed among the entire audience during the reading. The prisoner, standing erect and gazing sway into space, seemed perfectly unconcerned about what was passing. During the time these proceedings were taking place, his coffin, a rude box, was brought and placed beside his grave. He simply turned his head and took a look at it for a moment, and then, without apparently any emotion, resumed his vacant stare into space. He did not utter a word or make a noise of any kind during this whole performance. After concluding the reading of the death warrant he was asked by Chief WALKER if he had anything to say. He simply shook his head, at which WALKER, moving away, gave a signal to the guards.
marching directly to the head of the open space between the lines of spectators, took their position, when on officer, detailed for the purpose, advanced and handed each man his rifle, and stepping aside, another officer stepped to the front and to the east, with rod in hand, and raised it up, at which the executioners raised their rifles to take aim; the officer dropped his rod, and the six rifles were fired simultaneously—not a word was spoken.
Upon the report of the rifles the prisoner instantly fell forward and to the right, and did not make a single motion or utter a sound. Dr. MASON, a physician at the agency, stepped forward, and after a short examination pronounced him dead. The body was now put into the coffin and the lid nailed on, and the whole was lowered into the grave and covered. Thus ended the last Indian execution among the Wyandots at Upper Sandusky.
This tribe left their reservation about three years thereafter, and settled in the then Territory of Kansas.
Intemperance was the great curse of the Indians, and one often reads the expression of “tying up an Indian” when wild and dangerous from intoxication. This means tying his elbows together behind his back and his ankles together, and then laying him on the ground until he becomes sober.
Charles DICKENS at Upper Sandusky.
In 1842, four years before my own visit to Upper Sandusky, Charles DICKENS passed through the place, tarrying over night at a log-tavern. He had come in a stage coach from Columbus, and was en route to Sandusky City, where he took a steamer for Buffalo. In his “American Notes,” after describing the roughness of the travelling by stage coach, the painful experience of jolting over corduroy roads, and through forests, bogs and swamps, the team forcing its way cork-screw fashion, says:
At Length, between ten and eleven o’clock at night, a few feeble lights appeared in the distance, and Upper Sandusky, an Indian village, where we were to stay till morning, lay before us. They were gone to bed at the log-inn, which was the only house of entertainment in the place, but soon answered our knocking, and got some tea for us in a sort of kitchen or common room, tapestried with old newspapers pasted against the wall. The bedchamber to which my wife and I were shown was a large, low, ghostly room, with a quantity of withered branches on the hearth, and two doors without any fastening, opposite to each other both opening on the black night and wild country, and so contrived that one of them always blew the other open; a novelty in domestic architecture which I do not remember to have seen before, and which I was somewhat disconcerted to have forced on my attention after getting into bed, as I had a considerable sum in gold for our travelling expenses in my dressing-case. Some of the luggage, however, piled against the panels soon settled this difficulty, and my sleep would not have been very much affected that night, I believe, though it had failed to do so.
My Boston friend climbed up to bed somewhere in the roof, where another guest was already snoring hugely. But being bitten beyond his power of endurance he turned out again, and fled for shelter to the coach, which was airing itself in front of the house. This was not a very politic step as it turned out, for the pigs seeing him, and looking upon the coach as a kind of pie with some manner of meat inside, grunted round it so hideously that he was afraid to come out again, and lay there shivering till morning. Nor was it possible to warm him, when he did come out, by means of a glass of brandy; for in Indian villages the legislature, with a very good and wise intention, forbids the sale of spirits by tavern-keepers. The precaution, however, is quite inefficacious, for the Indian never fails to procure liquor of a worse kind at a dearer price from travelling peddlers.
It is a settlement of Wyandot Indians who inhabit this place. Among the company was a mild old gentleman (Col. John JOHNSTON), who had been for many years employed by the United States government in conducting negotiations with the Indians, and who had just concluded a treaty with these people by which they bound themselves, in consideration of a certain annual sum, to remove next year to some land provided for them west of the Mississippi and a little way beyond St. Louis. He gave me a moving account of their strong attachment to the familiar scenes of their infancy, and in particular to the burial places of their kindred, and of their great reluctance to leave them.
He had witnessed many such removals, and always with pain, though he knew that they departed for their own good. The question whether this tribe should go or stay had been discussed among them a day or two before in a hut erected for the purpose, the logs of which still lay upon the ground before the inn. When the speaking was done the ayes and noes were ranged on opposite sides, and every male adult voted in his turn. The moment the result was known the minority (a large one) cheerfully yielded to the rest, and withdrew all kind of opposition.
Carey is ten miles northwest of Upper Sandusky, on the I.B. & W., C. H. V. & T. and C. & W. Railroads. It was founded in 1844 by McDonald CAREY and D. STROW, who are yet heavy real estate owners. City Officer, 1888: J. H. RHODES, mayor; E. G. LAUGHLIN, clerk; J. B. CONRAD, treasurer; Charles BUCKLAND, Marshall; Albert HART, street commissioner. Newspapers: Wyandot County Times, Independent, W. N. FISHER, editor and publisher. Churches: 1 Catholic, 1 United Brethren, 1 Methodist, 1 Lutheran, and 1 Evangelical. Bank: People’s, D. STRAW, president; D. H. STRAW, cashier. Population, in 1890, 1,605. School census, 1888, 436; R. H. MORRISON, school superintendent. Capital invested in manufacturing establishments, $83,500. Value of annual product, $270,500.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888.
Carey is a flourishing little town, is lighted and warmed by gas. It is in a rich agricultural country in a gas and oil producing region.
Nevada is eight miles east of Upper Sandusky, on the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R. Newspaper: Enterprise, Independent, WILCOX & HOLMES, editors and publishers. Bank: Nevada Deposit, William L. BLAIR, president; J. A. WILLIAMS, assistant cashier. Population in 1880, 1,036. School census, 1888, 279; George ROSSITER, school superintendent.
Sycamore is eleven miles northeast of Upper Sandusky, on the O. C. R. R. Newspaper: Observer, Republican, F. LADD, editor and publisher. School census, 1888, 205; H. P. TRACEY, school superintendent.
Marseilles is twelve miles southwest of Upper Sandusky, on the O. C. R. R. Population in 1880, 273.
Kirby is eight miles west of Upper Sandusky, on the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R. Population in 1880, 294.
Wharton is eight
miles west of Upper Sandusky, on the I. B. & W. R. School
census, 1888, 176.