Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter XV - Military Events in the then Far Northwest.






Journey from Chicago to Detroit. – A Sabbath in Detroit. – A Trip from Detroit to Amherstburg. – One of the "oldest Inhabitant’s" Recollections of the War of 1812. – The Vicinity of Amherstburg. – Historical Localities. – A veteran British Officer. – Return to Detroit. – Equine Entertainment at "Windsor Castle." – Siege of Detroit by Pontiac. – Fight at Bloody Run. – Origin of the Name. – Elmwood Cemetery. – Interviews with Citizens of Detroit. – Chicago, its Name, Settlement, and Position. – Fort Dearborn. – Kinzie’s Residence. – The Garrison at Chicago. – Signs of Trouble with the Indians. – An Indian Raid. – Massacre of White People. – Order for the Evacuation of Chicago. – Danger in the Movement. – The Commandant warned against it. – A Treaty with the Indians. – Their Faithlessness known. – Solemn Warnings unheeded. – Another Warning. – Arms, Powder, and Whisky destroyed. – Arrival of Re-enforcements. – Too late. – A solemn March out of the Fort. – Treachery of the Indians. – Massacre of the White People. – Incidents of the Conflict with the Savages. – Death of Captain Wells. – Bravery of Women. – Act of a friendly Indian. – The Wounded butchered for their Scalps. – Scalps purchased by the British Commander. – Survivors of the Massacre at Chicago. – Sketch of Mr. Kinzie. – Remains of the Fort. – Block-house at Chicago. – The Author of Wau-bun. – Amazing Growth of Chicago. – Chicago a Generation ago. – Its historical Localities. – Tecumtha’s Hopes revived. – Designs against Fort Wayne. – Massacre of Settlers. – Attack on Fort Wayne. – "Quaker Guns." – The Garrison firm. – Siege of Fort Wayne. – Ravages of the Indians. – The Grave of Little Turtle. – Forts Wayne and Miami. – Treachery of the Indians. – Site of Fort Wayne. – Fort Harrison besieged. – Perils of the Garrison. – Firmness and Courage of Captain Taylor. – The Indians driven from Fort Harrison. – Relief sent to the Garrison. – Character and Services of Captain Taylor. – Attack on Fort Madison. – Repulse of the Savages. – Biography of Zachary Taylor.


"And who supplies the murderous steel?

And who prepares the base reward
That wakes to deeds of desperate zeal
The fury of each slumbering horde?
From Britain comes each fatal blow;
From Britain, still our deadliest foe."


It was a beautiful, clear, breezy morning, early in October, 1860, when the writer left Chicago, with his family, to visit the theatre of events described in the two preceding chapters. We took the Michigan Central train for Detroit, and soon lost sight of the marvelous metropolis of Illinois, and Lake Michigan, on which it stands. 1 We swept rapidly around the magnificent curve of the head of the lake, and after leaving the sand dunes of Michigan City, and the withered bud of a prospective great mart of commerce at New Buffalo, traversed a beautiful and fertile country in the western half of the lower part of the peninsula and State of Michigan. Large streams of water, mills, neat villages, broad fields covered with ripe corn, spacious barns, and hardy people, seen all along the way to Marshall, where we dined, and beyond, proclaimed general prosperity. Among the most considerable streams crossed during the day were the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and Huron. Over the latter, in its crooked course, we passed several times when approaching the metropolis (Lansing is the capital) of Michigan. It was the dusk of mere starlight when we traveled over that section of the route, and it was late in the evening when we reached Detroit, and found a pleasant home at the Russell House for the few days of our sojourn in that neighborhood.

The following day was the Sabbath. The air was as warm as in early June. A drizzling rain moistened all the streets and caused small congregations in the churches. We listened to the full, powerful voice of Bishop M‘Coskry in the morning, and in the afternoon strolled with a friend far down beautiful Fort Street, 2 and enjoyed the prospect of fine residences and ornamental gardens. The sun shone brightly all the afternoon, but in the evening heavy clouds came rolling up from the southwest. At nine o’clock a thunder-storm burst over the city, which sent down lightning and rain until past midnight. No traces of this elemental tumult were seen above in the morning –

"The thunder, tramping deep and loud,

Had left no foot-marks there."

The sky was cloudless, and a cool breeze from the northwest – cooler than any we had felt since the dog-days – reminded us that autumn had succeeded summer. It came from the far-off region beyond Mackinack, where snow had already whitened the hills.

At an early hour I started for Monroe, on the site of old Frenchtown, on the river Raisin, to visit the places of historic interest in that vicinity, where I spent the day pleasantly and profitably. Of the events of that day I shall write hereafter. On the following morning [October 6, 1860.] I procured a horse and light wagon, crossed the ferry to the Canada shore at Windsor, and started for Amherstburg, eighteen miles down the stream toward Lake Erie. In the lower part of Windsor I sketched Colonel Babie’s house, delineated on page 262, and then rode on to Sandwich, two miles below, where I met one of that famous class known as "the oldest inhabitants" in the person of Mr. John B. Laughton, who was born in Detroit, but who has been a British subject from his early years.

When, in 1796, the post of Detroit was evacuated by the British, according to the provisions of the treaty of 1783, many residents of English, Irish, and Scottish lineage, preferring "not to be Yankees," as Mr. Laughton said, crossed the river and settled along its Canada shore. Mr. Laughton was a member of the Kent militia in 1812; and from Sandwich he saw the white flag that proclaimed the surrender of Detroit. He was then a young man twenty-two years of age. He was afterward in the affair known as the battle of the Long Woods, in Canada; also at the battle of Chippewa, where he lost a brother killed; and at that of Niagara, where he lost his own liberty, and was sent a prisoner to Greenbush, opposite Albany. He related many interesting circumstances connected with the surrender. He spoke of the Canadian Volunteers in the uniforms of regulars, by which Hull was deceived; and said that among the Indians who followed Brock into the fort at Detroit were several Canadians, painted and dressed like the savages, who each held up a white arm to show Hull that they had defied the menace in his proclamation respecting the treatment of such offenders.

Sandwich was an exceedingly pleasant village. Around it were orchards of pear and apple trees of great size, which attested the fact that it is one of the oldest settlements in Canada. Here the disbanded French soldiers settled after the peace of Paris in 1763. The houses had pleasant gardens attached to them; and as the town was the capital of Essex County, it contained a jail and court-house, and the residence of the county officers.

I left Sandwich toward noon, and a little past meridian crossed Turkey Creek. For several miles below Sandwich the banks of Detroit are low and sandy. The road, lying much of the way in sight of the river, was in excellent condition, and with the picturesque and interesting scenery forms a most attractive drive in pleasant weather. Passing through the Petit Côte settlement, I arrived at a neat little tavern near the northern bank of the Aux Canards, where I met an old French Canadian who was present when Cass, and Findlay, and M‘Arthur, and Snelling made their military visits there in 1812. He was loyal then, but quiet; and when it was safe to do so, in the absence of the Americans, he furnished the Queen Charlotte with vegetables. He pointed out the ridge from which M‘Arthur reconnoitred the whole position, and also the spot where Colonel Cass planted his six-pounder, and "blazed away" at the enemy on the southern shore of the stream. The bridge seen in the centre of the picture on page 264 was upon the site of the old one, and, like it, was reached by a causeway at both ends. I sketched the scene, then crossed the Aux Canards over the causeway and the bridge, and hastened on to Amherstburg, for the day was rapidly wearing away. Most of the way from Aux Canards, or Ta-ron-tee, to Amherstburg, the river bank is high, and the road passing along its margin was thickly settled, for the farms were narrow. Most of the houses were large, with fine gardens around them. Among the most attractive of these was "Rosebank," the residence of Mr. James Dougall, an eminent horticulturist, about three miles from Amherstburg.

It was nearly three o’clock when the steeples of Amherstburg announced its presence. I soon crossed a beautiful open plain, whereon cattle were grazing, bounded on the left by streets of neat log cottages, whitewashed and embowered, each a story in height, with two acres of land attached. The plain was a military reserve of one hundred and thirty acres, and the cottages were the dwellings of pensioners – superannuated British soldiers – who were well cared for by their government. On the right of the road, in the upper part of Amherstburg, within a high picket inclosure, was Fort Malden; its chief building (barracks) were then devoted to more humane purposes than war. It was used for the insane in Canada West, as a branch of a parent asylum for such unfortunates situated at Toronto. No part of the old fort remained. The new one was constructed during the excitement incident to the "Patriot War," or "Rebellion," as men of different bias respectively call an outbreak in the Canadas in 1838. It was constructed in 1839.


Amherstburg had an antiquated appearance, the houses having been chiefly built by the French. The streets were narrow, and the side-walks were mostly paved with irregular stones. I had but little time to devote to an inspection of the place. After ordering dinner at Salmoni’s, I went out with an intelligent lad, and visited the fort and other places of interest along the shore. The ship-yard, where a part of Barclay’s fleet on Lake Erie was built, was a few rods above Salmoni’s; and from the corner of a large red stone house, overlooking the whole locality, and commanding quite an extensive view of the river southward, with Elliott’s Point on the left and Bois Blanc Island on the right, I made the accompanying sketch. The wharf then used chiefly for wood, was precisely where the British vessels were launched. In the direction of the ship under sail (seen in the picture), just off Elliott’s Point on the left, is seen Lake Erie. Looking a little farther to the right, on Bois Blanc Island, is seen the light-house, near which was a block-house and battery in 1812; and on each side of the group of sails at the wharf is seen a block-house, both erected in 1838. There was a block-house on the right of Salmoni’s Hotel, and another at the upper end of the ship-yard, near the fort, in 1812.

After dinner I visited the venerable Robert Reynolds, living in a fine brick mansion, surrounded by charming grounds, on the bank of the river, just below Amherstburg. From his grounds there is a view of Elliott’s Point, where Colonel Elliott, already mentioned frequently, resided. Just below it, three or four miles from Amherstburg, is Hartley’s Point, where General Harrison landed when he invaded Canada in 1813. Mr. Reynolds was in the eightieth year of his age when I visited him. His sister, but little his junior, lived with him. They were born in Detroit. He was deputy assistant commissary general in the British army in the War of 1812, and was at the taking of Detroit. He was also at Dolsen’s on the day of the battle of the Thames. From that time until the peace he was stationed at Burlington Heights, at the west end of Lake Ontario. His sister told me that she distinctly heard the firing between the fleets of Perry and Barclay in the memorable battle of Lake Erie, in September, 1813; and that she also saw from her residence the vessels conveying Harrison’s army from the Raisin to the Canada shore. Mr. Reynolds knew Proctor and Tecumtha well, and seemed to have a very unfavorable opinion of the former as a commander. He spoke of his conduct at the Thames as "shameful," and justified the strictures of Tecumtha.

It was sunset when I left Amherstburg for Detroit. In the western sky, as I looked over the fields where Van Horne and Miller had wrestled with the mongrel foe, when the country was almost a wilderness, were seen gorgeous cloud-bars of crimson and gold. These faded into dull lead; and just as daylight yielded the sceptre to starlight, I crossed the sluggish Ta-ron-tee. It was a summer-like evening, and before I reached the slope of the highway leading up to Sandwich, the lights of Detroit gave pleasant indications that the end of the journey was near. It was nine o’clock when I entered Windsor, and on inquiring of a man, standing on the piazza of a large wooden building, for the proper turn to the Ferry, I was told that the boat had ceased running for the night. For a moment I was perplexed. I did not wish to remain all night in Windsor when Detroit was so near. "Where can I leave my horse and wagon in safety," I inquired. "At this house," the man replied. "What is the name of it?" I asked. "Windsor Castle," he answered. The name and the building were in ludicrous contrast. But my business was not to criticise; so I left the horse in care of the groom of the stables of Windsor Castle, crossed the dark and swift-flowing waters to Detroit in a light skiff hired for the occasion, and wondered all the way at my confidence in a stranger whose face I could not see in the darkness. But horse and wagon were found the next morning well cared for at "Windsor Castle."


I spent Wednesday, the 7th of October, in visiting places of interest in Detroit under the kind guidance of Mr. Moore, of that city. We first went to the wharves in rear of the warehouses of Messrs. Mooney and Foote, and Sheldon, to see three iron cannon that were captured from the British in the naval battle on Lake Erie, where Perry was victorious. They were then put to the more commendable use of posts for fastening vessels to the wharves. One of them was a long twenty-four-pounder, and the other two were thirty-two-pound carronades. After visiting the rooms of the Michigan Historical Society, where I found nothing of interest connected with the subject of my researches, we rode out on the noble Jefferson Avenue to Bloody Run, stopping on the way for a brief interview with the late Honorable B. F. H. Witherell, from whose local sketches quotations have been made in preceding chapters. Judge Witherell kindly placed in my hands much valuable historical material, the fruit of his own researches.

Bloody Run, as a little stream that comes down gently to the great avenue, after beautifying Elmwood Cemetery, is called, holds a conspicuous place in the annals of Indian wars. The event which gave it its present name (it was formerly known as Parent’s Creek) may be thus briefly stated: We have already alluded to the conspiracy of Pontiac in 1763. He had said to some Canadians in council: "I have told you before, and I now tell you again, that when I took up the hatchet it was for your good. This year the English must all perish throughout Canada. The Master of Life commands it." He then told them that they must act with him, or he would be their enemy. They cited the capitulation at Montreal, which transferred Canada to the English, and refused to join him. He pressed forward in his conspiracy without them, and finally invested Detroit with a formidable force.

In July, 1763, Pontiac was encamped behind a swamp, about two miles north of the fort at Detroit. Captain Dalyell, 3 who had ranged with Putnam in Northern New York, arrived with re-enforcements for the fort at the close of the month, and obtained permission of the commandant to attack Pontiac at once. A perfidious Canadian, possessed of the fact, communicated it to Pontiac, and he made ready for an attack.

At a little past midnight [July 31, 1763.], Dalyell marched to Parent’s Creek. The darkness, owing to a storm, was intense. Pontiac, forewarned, had posted his warriors all along the route for a mile in front of his camp, so that a thousand eager ears were listening for the approach of the white men. Five hundred dusky warriors were lurking near the rude log bridge, at the mouth of the wild ravine, through which Parent’s Creek flowed. Dalyell’s advance was just crossing the bridge when terrific yells in front, and a blaze of musketry on the left flank, revealed the presence of the wily foe. One half of the advanced party were slain, and the remainder shrank back appalled. The main body advancing also recoiled. Then came another volley, when the voice of Dalyell in the van inspirited his men. With his followers he pushed across the bridge, and charged up the hill; but in the blackness the skulking enemy could not be seen, and his presence was known only by the flash of his guns.

Word now reached Dalyell that the Indians, in large numbers, had gone to cut off his communication with the fort. He sounded a retreat, and in good order pressed toward Detroit, exposed to a most perilous enfilading fire. Day dawned with a thick fog enveloping all objects, and now, for the first time, dim glimpses of the enemy were obtained. They came darting through the mist on flank and rear, and as suddenly disappeared after firing deadly shots upon the English. One of these slew Captain Dalyell while he was attempting to bear off a wounded sergeant. The detachment finally reached the fort, having lost sixty-one of their number in killed and wounded. Most of the slain fell at the bridge. Parent’s Creek has ever since been called, from that circumstance, Bloody Run, and the old structure was always called Bloody Bridge. That bridge, as we have before remarked, was much nearer the Detroit than Jefferson Avenue. At the culvert where that avenue crosses Bloody Run stands a huge whitewood tree, delineated on page 261, yet, as we have observed, scarred by the bullets that were fired in that sanguinary encounter more than a hundred years ago.

On leaving Bloody Run we rode up to the Elmwood Cemetery, and made the tour of those hallowed grounds, where taste and industry, aided by natural advantages, have produced one of the most charming places for the repose of mortality with which our country begins to abound. We lingered there for more than an hour, and returned to the city in time for a late dinner, and a visit to the grave of Colonel Hamtramck, with Mr. R. M. Lyon, 4 to whose kind attentions while in Detroit I was much indebted. The monument that covered that brave soldier’s grave is delineated on page 56.

At twilight I called upon the Hon. C. Moran, who, though only a lad of sixteen years, was performing sentinel duty in the fort at Detroit when it was surrendered. He said he saw General Hull during the heavy cannonading, just before the white flag was run up, sitting upon the grass within the fort apparently unmoved by the terrors of the scene. He related many interesting particulars of occurrences within the fort at that time, and it was with real regret that I felt compelled to make the interview short, for I had made an engagement to call on Mr. Robert M. Eberts, a native of Detroit, and a resident of that place since his birth in 1804. Mr. Eberts was full of interesting reminiscences, and the half hour passed with him was one of real pleasure and profit. 5 Late in the evening I returned to the Russell House, copied the picture of Mackinack on page 267, and early the following morning – a cold, blustering, genuine late-November kind of morning – crossed the Detroit, and proceeded by railway along the borders of Lake St. Clair to Chatham, for the purpose of visiting the battleground of the Thames or Moravian Towns. Of that visit I shall write hereafter.

I have said that we went from Chicago to Detroit. These cities bear an intimate relation in the history of the period we are considering, for on the very day [August 15, 1812.] when Brock demanded the surrender of Detroit, the little garrison of Fort Dearborn, at Chicago, compelled to leave that post, set out upon their fatal march toward Fort Wayne.

The site of Chicago (spelt by the early settlers Chigagua, Chikakou, and Chikako) was first visited by a white man in 1674, when Father Marquette, a French Jesuit priest, built a cabin there, planted a missionary station, and deposited the seed of the present great city. It lay in the path of explorations by commercial and religious adventurers, one seeking trade, the other desiring to give the light of the Gospel to the heathen of the New World. It was visited in turn by Marquette, Allouez, La Salle, Durantaye, La Hontan, De St. Come, Gravier, Charlevoix, and others of less note. In 1685 Durantaye built a fort where, eleven years before, Marquette erected his cabin. How long it remained a missionary station it is difficult now to determine. 6

"The first white man who settled here was a negro," the Indians of Chicago said, with great simplicity. He was a mulatto from St. Domingo, named Jean Baptiste Point au Sable, who found his way to that far-off wilderness in the year 1796. He did not remain long, and the improvements which he had commenced fell into the hands of John Kinzie, a native of Quebec, and for nearly twenty years the only white inhabitant of Northern Illinois, with the exception of a few American soldiers. He was an enterprising trader with the Indians, and in 1804 made Chicago his home. During the two previous years the United States government had erected a stockade there, and on the 4th of July of that year it was formally named Fort Dearborn, in honor of the then Secretary of War. It had a block-house at each of two angles on the southern side, a sally-port and covered way on the north side, that led down to the river, for the double purpose of providing a means of escape and for receiving water during a siege, and was strongly picketed. 7 It stood upon a little rise of ground on the south bank of the Chicago River, about half a mile from its mouth.


On the north bank of that stream, directly opposite the fort, Mr. Kinzie enlarged into a spacious but very modest mansion the house built by Jean Baptiste and his immediate successor, Le Mai. Within an inclosed green in front he planted some Lombardy poplars, and in the rear was a fine garden and growing orchard. There he lived with his young family for eight years, isolated from society excepting that of the military, but enjoying great peace, with every necessary and many of the luxuries of life, and possessing the confidence and esteem of the surrounding Indians.

The peacefulness of the current of life at Chicago was interrupted in the spring of 1812. The garrison was commanded by Captain Nathan Heald, 8 assisted by Lieutenant Linai T. Helm, 9 a son-in-law of Mrs. Kinzie, and Ensign George Ronan. The surgeon was Dr. Van Voorhees. The garrison consisted of fifty-four men. The only other residents of the post, at the time of the events we are about to consider, were Mr. Kinzie and his family, the wives of Captain Heald and Lieutenant Helm and of some of the soldiers, and a few Canadian voyageurs, with their wives and children. The officers and their troops, like Mr. Kinzie, were on the most friendly terms with the Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes, the principal tribes in that neighborhood; yet they could not win them from their decided attachment to the British, from whom, at Fort Malden, they annually received large presents as bribes to secure their alliance. After the battle of Tippecanoe, the previous autumn [November, 1811.], in which portions of their tribes were engaged, it had been observed that the leading chiefs became sullen, and suspicions of contemplated hostility sometimes clouded the minds of Heald and his command. One day in the spring of 1812, Nau-non-gee and a companion, both of the Calumet band, were at Fort Dearborn. When passing through the quarters, they observed Mrs. Heald 10 and Mrs. Helm 11 playing at battledore. Turning to Mr. Griffith, the interpreter, Nau-non-gee said: "The white chiefs’ wives are amusing themselves very much; it will not be long before they are living in our corn-fields." The terrible significance of these words, then hidden, was made apparent a few weeks later.

On the evening of the 7th of April, 1812, Mr. Kinzie’s children were dancing before the fire to the music of their father’s violin, when their mother came rushing wildly in, pale with terror, and exclaiming, "The Indians! the Indians!" "What? where?" exclaimed Mr. Kinzie, in response. "Up at Lee’s, killing and scalping!" gasped the affrighted mother. It seems that the alarm had been given by a man and boy, 12 who had been fleeing from destruction down the opposite side of the river, and had shouted the terrible fact to the family of Mr. Burns, half a mile above the fort, where Mrs. Kinzie was in attendance upon a newly-made mother. Not a moment was to be lost. Mr. Kinzie immediately hurried his family into two old pirogues 13 moored in front of his house, and conveyed them across the river to the fort. At the same time the intrepid Ensign Ronan, with six men, started up the river in a scow to save the Burns family; and a cannon was fired to give notice of danger to a party of soldiers who had gone up the river to catch fish. Mrs. Burns, with an infant not a day old, 14 and the rest of her family, were taken in safety to the fort; and the absent soldiers, who were two miles above Lee’s, made their way back in the darkness, discovering on their way the bodies of murdered and scalped persons at Lee’s Place. These were obtained the next day, and were buried near the fort. It was afterward ascertained that the savage scalping-party were Winnebagoes, from Rock River, who had come with the intention of destroying every white person outside of the fort. The noise of the cannon frightened them, and they fled back to their homes.

All of the inhabitants of Chicago not belonging to the garrison now took refuge in the Agency House, which stood upon the esplanade, about twenty rods west from the fort, on the site of the present light-house, and there intrenched themselves. This was an old-fashioned log house, with a passage running through the centre, and piazzas extending the whole length of the building, front and rear. These were planked up. Port-holes were cut in the barricade, and sentinels were posted there every night. For some time hostile Indians hovered around the post and committed depredations; but at last they disappeared, and for several weeks the dwellers at Chicago experienced no alarm.

Toward the evening of the 7th of August [1812.], Win-ne-meg, or The Catfish, a friendly Pottawatomie chief who was intimate with Mr. Kinzie, came to Chicago from Fort Wayne as the bearer of a dispatch from General Hull to Captain Heald, in which the former announced his arrival at Detroit with an army, the declaration of war, the invasion of Canada, and the loss of Mackinack. It also conveyed an order to Captain Heald to evacuate Fort Dearborn, if practicable, and to distribute, in that event, "all the United States property contained in the fort, and in the government factory or agency, among the Indians in the neighborhood." This was doubtless intended to be a peace-offering to the savages, to prevent their joining the British, then menacing Detroit.

Win-ne-meg, who knew the purport of the order, begged Mr. Kinzie to advise Captain Heald not to evacuate the fort, or the movement would be difficult and dangerous. The Indians had already received information from Tecumtha of the disasters to the American arms, and the withdrawal of Hull’s army from Canada, and were becoming daily more restless and insolent. Heald had an ample supply of ammunition and provisions for six months; why not hold out until relief could be sent from the southward? Win-ne-meg farther urged that, if Captain Heald should resolve to evacuate, it should be done immediately, before the Indians should be informed of the order, or could prepare for formidable resistance. "Leave the fort and stores as they are," he said, "and let them make distributions for themselves; and while the Indians are engaged in that business, the white people may make their way in safety to Fort Wayne."

Mr. Kinzie readily perceived the wisdom of Win-ne-meg’s advice, and so did Captain Heald’s officers, but the commander resolved to obey Hull’s order strictly as to evacuation and the distribution of the public property. He caused that order to be read to the troops on the morning of the 8th [August, 1812.], and then assumed the whole responsibility. His officers expected to be summoned to a council, but were disappointed. Toward evening they called upon the commander, and, when informed of his determination, they remonstrated with him. The march, they said, must necessarily be slow, on account of the women and children and infirm persons, and therefore, under the circumstances, extremely perilous. Hull’s order, they said, left it to the discretion of the commander to go or to stay; and they thought it much better to strengthen the fort, defy the savages, and endure a siege until relief should reach them. Heald argued in reply that special orders had been issued by the War Department that no post should be surrendered without battle having been given by the assailed, and that his force was totally inadequate to an engagement with the Indians. He should expect the censure of his government, he said, if he remained; and having full confidence in the professions of friendship of many of the chiefs about him, he should call them together, make the required distribution, and take up his march for Fort Wayne. After that his officers had no more communications with him on the subject. The Indians became more unruly every hour, and yet Heald, with fatal procrastination, postponed the assembling of the savages for two or three days. They finally met near the fort on the afternoon of the 12th [August.], and there the commander held a farewell council with them.

Heald invited the officers to join him in the council, but they refused. They had received intimations that treachery was designed – that the Indians intended to murder them in the council-circle, and then destroy the inmates of the fort. The officers remained within the pickets, and, opening the port of one of the block-houses so as to expose the cannon pointed directly upon the group in council, they secured the safety of Captain Heald. The Indians were intimidated by the menacing monster, and accepted Heald’s offers with many protestations of friendship. He agreed to distribute among them not only the goods in the public store – blankets, broadcloths, calicoes, paints, etc. – but also the arms, ammunition, and provisions not necessary for the use of the garrison on its march. It was stipulated that the distribution should take place the next day, soon after which the garrison and white inhabitants would leave the works. The Pottawatomies agreed, on their part, to furnish a proper escort for them through the wilderness to Fort Wayne, on condition of being liberally rewarded on their arrival there.

When the result of the council was made known, Mr. Kinzie warmly remonstrated with Captain Heald. He knew the Indians well, and their weakness in the presence of great temptations to do wrong. He begged the commander not to confide in their promises at a moment so inauspicious for faithfulness to treaties. He especially entreated him not to place in their hands arms and ammunition, for it would fearfully increase their power to carry on those murderous raids which for months had spread terror throughout the frontier settlements. Heald perceived his folly, and resolved to violate the treaty so far as arms and ammunition were concerned.


On that very evening, when the chiefs of the council seemed most friendly, a circumstance occurred which should have made Captain Heald shut his gates to his dusky neighbors, and resolve not to leave the fort. Black Partridge, a hitherto friendly chief and a man of much influence, came quietly to the commander and said: "Father, I come to deliver to you the medal I wear. It was given me by the Americans, and I have long worn it in token of our mutual friendship. But our young men are resolved to imbrue their hands in the blood of the white people. I can not restrain them, and I will not wear a token of peace while I am compelled to act as an enemy." 15 This solemn and authentic warning was strangely unheeded.

The morning of the 13th was bright and cool. The Indians assembled in great numbers to receive their presents. Nothing but the goods in the store were distributed that day; and in the evening the Black Partridge said to Mr. Griffith, the interpreter, "Linden birds have been singing in my ears to-day; be careful on the march you are going to take." This was another solemn warning, and it was communicated to Captain Heald. It, too, was unheeded; and at midnight, when the sentinels were all posted and the Indians were in their camps, a portion of the powder and liquor in the fort was cast into a well near the sally-port, and the remainder into a canal that came up from the river far under the covered way. The muskets not reserved for the garrison were broken up, and these, with shot, bullets, flints, gun-screws, and every thing else pertaining to fire-arms, were also thrown into the well. A large quantity of alcohol belonging to Mr. Kinzie was poured into the river, and before morning the destruction was complete. But the work had not been done in secret. The night was dark, and vigilant Indians had crept to the fort as noiselessly as serpents, and their quick senses had perceived the destruction of what, under the treaty, they claimed, as their own. In the morning the work of the night was made more manifest. The powder was seen floating upon the surface of the river, and the sluggish water had been converted by the whisky and the alcohol into "strong grog," as an eye-witness remarked. Complaints and threatenings were loud among the savages because of this breach of faith; 16 and the dwellers in the fort were impressed with a dreadful sense of impending destruction, when the brave Captain Wells, Mrs. Heald’s uncle, and adopted son of the Little Turtle, was discovered upon the Indian trail near the Sand hills, on the border of the lake not far distant, with a band of mounted Miamis, of whose tribe he was a chief. 17 He had heard at Fort Wayne of the orders of Hull to evacuate Fort Dearborn, and, being fully aware of the hostilities of the Pottawatomies, he had made a rapid march across the country to re-enforce Captain Heald, assist in defending the fort, or prevent his exposure to certain destruction by an attempt to reach the head of the Maumee. But he was too late. All means for maintaining a siege had been destroyed a few hours before, and every preparation had been made for leaving the post the next day.

When the morning of the 15th arrived, there were positive indications that the Indians intended to massacre all the white people. They were overwhelming in numbers, and held the fate of the devoted band in their grasp. When, at nine o’clock, the appointed hour, the gate was thrown open, and the march commenced, it was like a funeral procession. The band struck up the Dead March in Saul. Captain Wells, with his face blackened with wet gunpowder in token of his impending fate, took the lead with his friendly Miamis, followed by Captain Heald, and his heroic wife by his side. Mr. Kinzie accompanied them, hoping, by his personal influence, to soften, if he could not avert, the impending blow. His family were left in a boat, in charge of a friendly Indian, to be conveyed around the head of the lake to Kinzie’s trading station, on the site of the present village of Niles, in Michigan.

Slowly the procession moved along the lake shore until they came to the Sand Hills, between the prairie and the beach, when the escort of Pottawatomies, about five hundred in number, under The Black-bird, filed to the right, and placed those hills between themselves and the white people. Wells and his Miamis had kept in the advance; suddenly they came dashing back, the leader shouting, "They are about to attack us: form, instantly!" These startling words were scarcely uttered when a storm of bullets came from the Sand Hills, but without serious effect. The treacherous and cowardly Pottawatomies had made those hillocks their cover for a murderous attack. The troops, hastily brought into line, charged up the bank, when one of their number, a white-haired man of seventy years, fell dead from his horse, the first victim. The Indians were driven back, and the battle was waged on the open prairie between fifty-four soldiers, twelve civilians, and three or four women, against about five hundred Indian warriors. Of course, the conflict was hopeless on the part of the white people; but they resolved to make the butchers pay dearly for every life which they destroyed. 18

The cowardly Miamis fled at the first onset. Their chief rode up to the Pottawatomies, charged them with perfidy, and, brandishing his glittering tomahawk, declared that he would be the first to lead Americans to punish them. He then wheeled and dashed after his fugitive companions, who were scurrying over the prairie as if the Evil Spirit was at their heels.


The conflict was short, desperate, and bloody. Two thirds of the white people were slain or wounded, and all the horses, provisions, and baggage were lost. Only twenty-eight strong men remained to brave the fury of about five hundred Indians, who had lost but fifteen in the conflict. The devoted band had succeeded in breaking through the ranks of the assassins, who gave way in front and rallied on the flank, and gained a slight eminence on the prairie near a grove called The Oak Woods. The savages did not pursue. They gathered upon the Sand Hills in consultation, and gave signs of willingness to parley. Farther conflict with them would be rashness; so Captain Heald, accompanied by Perish Le Clerc, a half-breed boy in Mr. Kinzie’s service, went forward, met Black-bird on the open prairie, and arranged terms for a surrender. It was agreed that all the arms should be given up to Black-bird, and that the survivors should become prisoners of war, to be exchanged for ransoms as soon as practicable. With this understanding, captured and captors all started for the Indian encampment near the fort. 19

So overwhelming was the savage force at the Sand Hills, that the conflict, after the first desperate charge, became an exhibition of individual prowess – a life-and-death struggle, in which no one could render any assistance to his neighbor, for all were principals. In this conflict women bore a conspicuous part. All fought gallantly so long as strength permitted them. The brave Ensign Ronan wielded his weapon even when falling upon his knees because of loss of blood. 20 Captain Wells displayed the greatest coolness and gallantry. He was by the side of his niece when the conflict began. "We have not the slightest chance for life," he said. "We must part, to meet no more in this world; God bless you." With these words, he dashed forward with the rest. In the midst of the fight he saw a young warrior, painted like a demon, climb into a wagon in which were twelve children of the white people, and tomahawk them all! Forgetting his own immediate danger, Wells exclaimed, "If that is their game, butchering women and children, I’ll kill too." He instantly dashed toward the Indian camp, where they had left their squaws and little ones, hotly pursued by swift-footed young warriors, who sent many a rifle ball after him. He lay close to his horse’s neck, and turned and fired occasionally upon his pursuers. When he had got almost beyond the range of their rifles, a ball killed his horse and wounded himself severely in the leg. The young savages rushed forward with a demoniac yell to make him a prisoner and reserve him for the torture, for he was to them an arch offender. His friends Win-ne-meg and Wau-ban-see vainly attempted to save him from his fate. He knew the temper and the practices of the savages well, and resolved not to be made a captive. He taunted them with the most insulting epithets to provoke them to kill him instantly. At length he called one of the fiery young warriors (Per-so-tum) a squaw, which so enraged him that he killed Wells instantly with a tomahawk, jumped upon his body, cut out his heart, and ate a portion of the warm and half-palpitating morsel with savage delight. 21

The wife of Captain Heald, who was expert with the rifle and an excellent equestrian, deported herself bravely. She received severe wounds. Faint and bleeding, she managed to keep the saddle. A savage raised his tomahawk to kill her, when she looked him full in the face, and, with a sweet, melancholy smile, said, in the Indian tongue, "Surely you will not kill a squaw!" The appeal was effectual. The arm of the savage fell, and the life of the heroic woman was saved. Mrs. Helm, the stepdaughter of Mr. Kinzie, had a severe personal encounter with a stalwart young Indian, who attempted to tomahawk her. She sprang on one side, and received the blow intended for her head upon her shoulder, and at the same instant she seized the savage around the neck, and endeavored to get hold of his scalping-knife, which hung in a sheath upon his breast. While thus struggling, she was dragged from her antagonist by another Indian, who bore her, spite of her desperate resistance, to the margin of the lake, and plunged her in, at the same time, to her astonishment, holding her so that she would not drown. She soon perceived that she was held by a friendly hand. It was that of the Black Partridge who had saved her. When the firing ceased and the capitulation was concluded, he conducted her to the prairie, where she met her father, and heard that her husband was safe. Bleeding and suffering, she was conducted to the Indian camp by the Black Partridge and Per-so-tum, the latter carrying in his hand a scalp which she knew to be that of Captain Wells by the black ribbon that bound the queue.

The wife of a soldier named Corbord, believing that all prisoners were reserved for torture, fought desperately, and suffered herself to be literally cut in pieces rather than surrender. The wife of Sergeant Holt, who was badly wounded in his neck at the beginning of the engagement, received from him his sword, and behaved as bravely as an Amazon. She was a large and powerful woman, and rode a fine, high-spirited horse, which the Indians coveted. Several of them attacked her with the butts of their guns, for the purpose of dismounting her, but she used her sword so skillfully that she foiled them. She suddenly wheeled her horse and dashed over the prairie, followed by a large number, who shouted, "The brave woman! the brave woman! don’t hurt her!" They finally overtook her, and, while two or three were engaging her in front, a powerful savage seized her by her neck, and dragged her backward to the ground. The horse and woman became prizes. The latter was afterward ransomed.

When the captives were taken to the Indian camp a new scene of horrors was opened. The wounded, according to the Indians’ interpretation of the capitulation, were not included in the terms of the surrender. Proctor had offered a liberal sum for scalps delivered at Malden; so, nearly all the wounded men were killed, and the value of British bounty, such as is sometimes offered for the destruction of wolves, was taken from each head. 22 In this tragedy Mrs. Heald played a part, but fortunately escaped scalping. In order to save her fine horse, the Indians had aimed at the rider. Seven bullets took effect upon her person. Her captor, who was about to slay her upon the battle-field, as we have seen, left her in the saddle, and led the horse toward the camp. When in sight of the fort his acquisitiveness overpowered his gallantry, and he was taking her bonnet from her head in order to scalp her, when she was discovered by Mrs. Kinzie, who was yet sitting in the boat, and who had heard the tumult of the conflict, but without any intimation of the result until she saw the wounded woman in the hands of her savage captive. "Run! run, Chandonnai!" exclaimed Mrs. Kinzie to one of her husband’s clerks, who was standing on the beach. "That is Mrs. Heald. He is going to kill her! Take that mule, and offer it as a ransom." Chandonnai promptly obeyed, and increased the bribe by offering in addition two bottles of whisky. These were worth more than Proctor’s bounty, and Mrs. Heald was released. She was placed in Mrs. Kinzie’s boat, and there concealed from the prying eyes of other scalp-hunters.

Toward evening the family of Mr. Kinzie 23 were allowed to return to their own house, where they were greeted by the friendly Black Partridge. Mrs. Helm was placed in the house of Ouilmette, a Frenchman, by the same friendly hand. But these and all the other prisoners were exposed to great jeopardy by the arrival of a band of fierce Pottawatomies from the Wabash, who yearned for blood and plunder. They searched the houses for prisoners with keen vision, and when no further concealment and safety seemed possible, some friendly Indians arrived, and so turned the tide of affairs that the Wabash savages were ashamed to own their blood-thirsty intentions. 24

In this terrible tragedy in the wilderness fifty-five years ago, twelve children, all the masculine civilians but Mr. Kinzie and his sons, Captain Wells, Surgeon Van Voorhees, 25 Ensign Ronan, and twenty-six private soldiers, were murdered. The prisoners were divided among the captors, 26 and were finally reunited, or restored to their friends and families. A few of them have survived until our day. Mrs. Rebecca Heald died at the St. Charles Mission, in Missouri, in the year 1860. Major John H. Kinzie, of Chicago (husband of the writer of "Wau-bun"), his brother Major Robert A. Kinzie, and Mrs. Hunter, wife of General David Hunter, of the National Army, are [1867] surviving children of Mr. Kinzie, and were with their mother in the boat. The brothers were both officers of Volunteers during the late Civil War; and a most promising son of John Kinzie became a martyr for his country in that war. Paul de Garmo, another survivor, was living at Maumee City, Ohio, when I visited that place in 1860, but I was not aware of the fact until after I had left. Jack Smith, a sailor on the lakes, who was a drummer-boy at the tune, was alive within the last two or three years. It is believed that no other survivors of the massacre are now [1867] living.

On the morning after the massacre the fort was burned by the Indians, and Chicago remained a desolation for about four years. In 1816 the Pottawatomies ceded to the United States all the land on which Chicago now stands, when the fort was rebuilt on a somewhat more extended scale, and the bones of the massacred were collected and buried.


One of the block-houses of the new fort remained, near the bank of the river, until 1856, when it was demolished. The view here given (by whom sketched I know not) was drawn not long before the demolition. On the left of the picture is seen the light-house and a steam-boat in the Chicago River, above the Rush Street bridge, at the termination and junction of Wabash Avenue and River Street. On the right, across the river, not far from the site of the Kinzie mansion, is seen the hotel called the Lake House, and in the foreground, on the right, is seen two venerable trees, one of which was standing on the vacant lot where the block-house was when I visited Chicago in 1860. At that time I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. John H. Kinzie, the author of Wau-bun, at her own house, and heard from her own lips interesting reminiscences of Chicago in 1831, the year after state commissioners laid it out into town lots. To Mrs. Kinzie’s skillful pencil we are indebted for the sketch of Fort Dearborn and the Kinzie mansion printed on page 303; also for the map on page 308. Although she was a woman of about middle age, she and her husband were the "oldest inhabitants" of Chicago. They are the only persons now [1867] living there who were residents of Chicago in 1831, within the present city limits. There were two settlers living without the city limits in 1860 who resided on the same spot in 1831. These were Archie Clybourn and John Clack, the latter generally known as "Old Hunter Clack." They were originally from the Kanawha Valley, in Virginia. These had been witnesses of its marvelous growth from a stockade fort in the wilderness, and a few rude houses, to a city of almost two hundred thousand inhabitants in the course of only thirty-six years! Chicago is now the great entrepôt for the grain of the teeming Northwest – the central point to which about a dozen important railways converge 27 – and yet there, only thirty-six years ago, Mrs. Kinzie and her family, during a whole winter, were compelled to use the greatest economy for fear they might exhaust their slender stock of flour and meal before it could be replenished from "below!" At the same time, the Indians of that neighborhood were famishing – "dying in companies from mere destitution. . . . . . Soup made from the bark of the slippery elm, or stewed acorns, was the only food that many had subsisted on for weeks." 28

The city of Chicago now covers the entire theatre of the events just described. The old channel of the river, from the fort to its mouth, has been filled or covered, and the present harbor constructed. The Sand hills have been leveled; and where the battle on the prairie – the struggles of brave warriors, and the chase and murder of Wells – occurred, populated streets now lie. It was while passing along one of these (Michigan Avenue) – the finest in point of beauty, taste, and prospect in all the West, when on our way out to the pleasant suburban village of Hyde Park, on the lake shore, to visit some old friends, that we were directed to the site of the Sand Hills, the Oak Woods, and Lee’s Place. Very near the spot where the Kinzie mansion stood – where food was so scarce only thirty years ago, immense "elevators" – the largest in the world – receive, weigh, and send off annually millions of bushels of the surplus grain of the Northwest! This transformation is the work of a single generation. It seems like a magic product evolved by the attrition of Aladdin’s lamp. 29

When the work of destruction, and the final disposition of the prisoners at Chicago were completed, The Black-bird and his savage horde pressed toward Fort Wayne. The fall of Mackinack and Detroit, and the destruction of the military post at Chicago, so completely broke the power of the United States in the Northwest for the moment, that the Indians, believing that there would be perfect safety in openly joining the British, did so. Tecumtha’s hopes of establishing a confederacy of the Indians to drive the white people from the country north of the Ohio revived. The prospect of success seemed brighter than ever, and, with the energy of a patriot and enthusiast, he sent emissaries among all the tribes to invite them to take the warpath, with the sole intent of complete expulsion or utter extermination. The Winnebagoes, Pottawatomies, Kickapoos, Ottawas, Shawnoese, and less powerful tribes, gladly listened; and all over the region south of Lake Erie, far toward the Ohio, the young men were speedily engaged in the war-dance.

Proctor and Tecumtha resolved to reduce Forts Wayne and Harrison immediately. The former, as we have seen, was at the head of the Maumee, 30 and the latter on the Wabash. 31 Major Muir, with British regulars and Indians, were to proceed from Malden up the Maumee Valley to co-operate with the Indians; and the 1st of September was appointed as the day when Fort Wayne should be invested by them. The garrison consisted of only seventy men, under Captain James Rhea, 32 with four small field-pieces. The savages were there as early as the 28th of August [1812.], and at about the same the hostile bands, for the purpose of diverting attention from Forts Wayne and Harrison, and preventing their garrisons being re-enforced, were directed to prosecute warfare at distant points in their usual mode – murdering isolated settlers, with their women and children. Pursuant to these instructions, a scalping-party of Shawnoese fell upon "The Pigeon Roost Settlement," on a tributary of the White River, within the limits of the present Scott County, in Southern Indiana, on the 3d of September [1812.]. They first killed two bee-hunters of the settlement; 33 and between sunset and dark they murdered one man, five women, and sixteen children. 34 Only two men and five children escaped. 35 These made their way, under the cover of the night, to the house of a settler six miles distant. One hundred and fifty mounted riflemen, under Major John M‘Coy, gave chase to the murderers the next day [September 4.]. They followed them twenty miles, but they escaped during the night. The militia of Scott, Jefferson, Clarke, and Knox Counties were soon assembled, and were joined [September 7.] by about three hundred and fifty volunteers from Kentucky, under Colonel Geiger, for the purpose of destroying the towns of the Delawares, on the White River, who were suspected of being the murderers. Evidence of the innocence and even friendliness of those Indians was not wanting, and they were spared. From that time until the close of the war, the settlers in that region lived in a continual state of fear and excitement. 36

For several days the Indians, in large numbers, had been seen hovering in the woods around Fort Wayne, and on the night of the 5th of September they commenced a series of attacks by firing upon the sentinels, without effect. Up to that time, the Miamis in the neighborhood, who had resolved to join the British, had made great professions of friendship, hoping, no doubt, to gain possession of the fort by a surprise. This hypocrisy availed them nothing, so they cast off all disguise and opened hostilities. On the morning of the 6th they were invisible, and some of the soldiers ventured out of the fort. They had not proceeded seventy yards when bullets from a concealed foe killed two of their number. Their companions hastened back, carrying the bodies of their comrades with them.

On the night of the 6th the whole body of Indians, supposed to have been six hundred strong, attacked the fort, They attempted to scale the palisades, but so vigilant and skillful were the garrison that the savages were not permitted to do the least damage. Perceiving such assaults to be useless, they resolved to employ strategy in the morning. Two logs were formed into the shape of cannon, and placed in battery before the fort. A half-breed, with a flag, approached and informed the commandant that the British, then on their march, had sent them two battery cannon, and that if a surrender was not immediately made, the fort would be battered down. He also threatened a general massacre of the garrison within three days, as a re-enforcement of seven hundred Indian warriors were expected the next day. The troops were not frightened by the "Quaker guns." They were aware that friends were on the way to relieve them, 37 and resolved to hold out while their provisions lasted. For nearly three days after the menace there was quiet. Then the savages renewed the attack [September 9, 1812.], and kept up a fire at intervals for twelve hours. On the following day they raised a tremendous war-whoop, to frighten the garrison, and again commenced an assault, with as little success as on previous occasions. The patient little garrison remained unharmed; and on the 12th, the besiegers fled precipitately, having heard of the approach of a large re-enforcement for the fort. That evening the deliverers arrived, and Fort Wayne was saved. 38


Before they left, the Indians destroyed every thing outside the fort – live-stock, crops, and dwellings. Among the latter was the house of Captain Wells, who was killed at Chicago. It was on his reservation of rich bottom lands on the north side of the St. Mary’s River, opposite the present city of Fort Wayne, and not more than half a mile distant from it. When I visited the spot in the autumn of 1860, in company with the venerable Mr. Hedges, already mentioned, 39 and the Hon. I. D. G. Nelson, more than twenty apple-trees of an orchard planted by Captain Wells – the oldest in Northern Indiana, having been set out in 1804 or 1805 – were yet standing, shorn of beauty, huge, gnarled, and fantastical, but fruit-bearing still. They were on the land of Mr. Edward Smith, on the east side of the road from Fort Wayne to White Pigeon.


In Mr. Smith’s garden, which was within the inclosure of the orchard, only a few yards westward of a group of larger trees, was the grave of the Little Turtle. Its place is marked in our little sketch of that group of five apple-trees by the figures in the foreground. There the Little Turtle was buried in the middle of July, 1812, and his nephew, Co-is-see, pronounced a funeral oration at his grave. His residence was then at Eel River, about fifteen miles northwest of Fort Wayne. He had come to the fort to be treated by the garrison surgeon for the gout, and died there. 40 Mr. Hedges was at his funeral. By the side of his remains reposed those of his sister, the wife of Captain Wells. Their graves were unhonored, but I was informed that the kinsfolk of the noted man were about to erect a neat monument to mark the place of their sepulture.

Fort Wayne, delineated on page 315, was built, as we have seen (page 56), in the autumn of 1794. It was not on the site of the old French stockade, known as Fort Miami; 41 nor on that of the one which was occupied by an English garrison, consisting of a captain’s command, at the time of Pontiac’s conspiracy in 1763. At that time the old Fort Miami was a ruin, and the stockade to which reference is here made was in perfect order. It was about half a mile from the present bridge across the Maumee, on the east bank of the St. Joseph. The commander was a surgeon, and his profession was the cause of his own death and the capture of the garrison by the Indians at that time. He was asked by an Indian girl to go out of the fort to see a sick savage at the Miami village near by, where a young woman of the tribe, chosen for the purpose, to show the contempt of the savages for the English, murdered him. The garrison became prisoners to the Miamis. 42 When, three years later, George Croghan visited the spot, the fort was "somewhat ruinous." He found forty or fifty Indian cabins at the village across the Maumee (that "stood on both sides of the St. Joseph"), besides "nine or ten French houses." Among the latter was that of Drouet de Richardville, a French trader, and father of Chief Richardville, already mentioned as the successor of the Little Turtle. 43 The fort of 1794-1812 stood on the bank of the Maumee (see map on page 43 {original text has "266".}), at the junction of the present Main and Clay Streets, Fort Wayne. The Wabash and Erie Canal passes through a portion of it. It was a well-built stockade, with two block-houses and comfortable barracks, and of sufficient strength to defy the Indians, but not the British with cannon.


A large and substantial bridge now spans the Maumee from near the site of Fort Wayne to the plains on which the Miami village stood. The sketch on page 316 was taken from near the line of the eastern side of the fort. At the centre of the picture is seen the point of confluence of the St. Mary’s and the St. Joseph’s rivers, which form the Maumee.

While these demonstrations against Fort Wayne were in progress, similar efforts were made against Fort Harrison, on the Wabash. At sunset on the day of the Pigeon Roost massacre [September 3, 1812.], two young haymakers near Fort Harrison were killed and scalped by a party of Indians. The crack of the murderers’ muskets was heard at the fort, and excited the vigilance of Captain Zachary Taylor, the commander of the garrison, who was just recovering from an attack of bilious fever. On the following morning the bodies of the young men were taken to the fort and buried. Late that evening [September 4.] old Joseph Lenar came to the fort with a flag, followed by about forty Indians, one fourth of them women. The men were chiefs of the several tribes – Winnebagoes, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Shawnoese, and some Miamis – who still adhered to the fortunes of the Prophet. They came from his town near Tippecanoe, on the Wabash, where he was still busy in stirring up the Indians against the white people. One of Lenar’s party, a Shawnoese who could speak English, told Taylor that their leader would speak to him in the morning about food for his company. Friendly Miamis had warned Taylor of the hostile disposition of all the neighboring tribes, and he was perfectly on his guard.

The garrison consisted of only about fifty men, of whom, on account of the prevailing fevers, not much more than a dozen were free from the care of Dr. Clark, the surgeon. Only six privates and two non-commissioned officers could mount guard at a time. Yet now, in the presence of impending danger, some of the convalescents went freely upon duty. The arms of the garrison were examined with great care that evening; and, when every thing necessary for watchfulness and security had been arranged, the commander, weak and exhausted, lay down and fell asleep. His slumbers were short. Toward midnight he was aroused by the firing of his sentinels. Springing from his couch, he hastened to the parade and ordered every man to his post. It was soon ascertained that the lower block-house (on the left of the picture of the fort on page 315), had been set on fire by the savages. It was the most important point in the fort excepting the magazine, for there were the contractor’s stores – the supplies for the garrison. The guns, at this time, had "begun to fire pretty smartly" on both sides, and the attack and defense were fairly begun at a little past eleven, with great vigor.

The chief efforts of the commander were directed to the extinguishment of the fire. General confusion reigned, and efforts for the safety of the fort were, for a while, put forth feebly. The entire garrison were either sick or faint with fatigue, and for a time the utter destruction of the whole fortification seemed inevitable. The blockhouse was consumed, and the fort was thus opened to the savage foe. This exposure and their horrid yells dismayed the little garrison, and for a moment they regarded all as lost, and gave up in despair. Two of the stoutest and most trusted of the soldiers leaped the palisades, and attempted to escape, leaving their companions to their fate. Nothing saved the fort and garrison but the presence of mind, courage, prudence, and energy of the commander. The fire was about to communicate to the barracks, when he shouted, "Pull off the roofs nearest the block-house, pour on water, and all will be well!" His voice gave new courage to his troops. Water was brought in buckets, and several of the men, led by Dr. Clark, climbed to the roof, cut off the boards, and by great exertions, in the face of bullets and arrows, they subdued the flames, and saved the menaced buildings. Only eighteen or twenty feet of the fort was opened by the fire, and up to this time only one man had been killed and two wounded. Before daylight the breach was covered by a breastwork as high as a man’s head, in spite of the incessant firing of the foe, and only one man was killed (none wounded) in the fort. At six o’clock in the morning, when the garrison returned the fire more briskly, after a conflict of almost eight hours, the savages retired beyond the reach of the guns of the fort, and then proceeded to destroy or drive off the live-stock – horses, hogs, and cattle – found in the neighborhood. Fortunately for the garrison, the standing corn around the fort was left unharmed. Their food having been destroyed with the block-house that contained it, and their cattle being driven away, they were compelled to subsist for several days on that delicious and nourishing green corn.

One of the men who leaped the pickets and fled from the fort returned toward morning badly wounded. He approached the gate, and begged, "for God’s sake," to be let in. Captain Taylor was near, but, not recognizing the voice, and believing it to be a trick of the Indians to get the gate open, he ordered the soldiers near to shoot the man. Fortunately for him, he had run to the other bastion with the same supplication, where his voice was recognized, and he was told to lie quietly behind some empty barrels at the foot of the pickets until morning. He did so, and was saved. His companion had been literally cut in pieces by the savages within a few yards of the fort. The entire loss of the garrison was only three men killed and three wounded, and all but two of the latter met with disaster because of disobedience of orders. 44

On the 5th [September, 1812.] Captain Taylor effectually repaired the breach in the fort made by the fire by placing in the opening strong pickets made of the logs of the guard-house; and he furnished a messenger with dispatches for Vincennes, asking for relief. This was a difficult task, for the Indians hovered about the fort for several days. At length the messenger made his way through their circumvallating line, during a dark night, and soon afterward General Hopkins, with Kentucky Volunteers, marched up the valley on an expedition against the Indians on the head waters of the Wabash, and gave ample relief to the sick, weary, and worn soldiers at Fort Harrison.

The soldierly qualities displayed by Captain Taylor in the defense of his post against such fearful odds won for him promotion to a major by brevet, and from that time until his death, nearly forty years afterward, which occurred while he was President of the United States, he was one of the most reliable, useful, and modest of public officers. 45

Simultaneous with the attack on Fort Harrison, an attempt was made by a party of the British allies to capture a small military post a short distance from the site of the present city of St. Louis, on the bank of the Mississippi River. The place was called Bellevue, and the stockade Fort Madison. The post was very ineligibly situated, and totally unfitted for defense. The savages appeared before it on the afternoon of the 5th of September [1812.]. They were fierce Winnebagoes, two hundred strong. The garrison, under Lieutenants Hamilton and Vasques, consisted of a small party of the First Regiment of United States Light Infantry. The approach of the foe was heralded by the shooting and scalping of some of the garrison within thirty yards of the fort. For three days the Indians kept up the assault, with frequent attempts to fire the block-houses and barracks. Buildings outside were burnt, and all the livestock were slaughtered. The gallant little garrison defended the imperiled fort, with great spirit and perseverance, until ten o’clock on the night of the 8th, when the enemy withdrew. With the exception of the man murdered at the commencement of the attack, not one of the garrison was seriously injured. One of the men was slightly wounded in the nose.



1 This is the largest of the lakes that lie wholly within the United States. It is 330 miles long, and has an average width of 60 miles. It contains 16,981 square miles, or 10,868,000 acres. Its average depth is about 900 feet, and its elevation above tide water is about 300 feet.

2 The residence of the late General Cass was on this street. It was a spacious but very modest wooden building, on the corner of Fort and Cass Streets, a little westward of the site of the old fort. His former residence – a small, low, one-storied building, with four dormer windows – was yet standing, on the west side of Larned Street, near the corner of Second Street.

3 This name is frequently written Daizell. James Dalyell had been appointed a lieutenant in the Sixtieth Regiment of Royal Americans in 1756, and obtained the command of a company in the second battalion of the First Regiment of Foot. He was a brave and efficient officer, and had performed important services during the French and Indian war.

4 Mr. Lyon was a Pension and Bounty Land Agent in Detroit. He informed me that he had in his possession complete copies of all army rolls of the War of 1812 for Michigan, Ohio, New York, and other states, besides other record evidence of service. He had also in his possession muster-rolls of the Black Hawk, Patriot, and Mexican wars. He was probably better prepared, by the amount of positive information in his possession, and the devotion of undivided attention to the subject, to serve claimants for pensions and bounties than any other man west of Lake Erie.

5 Positive statements made to me by Mr. Eberts and Judge Moran, when combined, form a curious subject for speculation. Mr. Eberts assured me that General Brock sent a hollow silver bullet (repeating Sir Henry Clinton’s famous act in 1777) from Fort George to Major Muir at Fort Malden, containing a message, and that the major sent it by Richard Eberts (whom I saw at Chatham), brother of my informant, to Colonel Askin, a British officer residing at Strahan in Canada. Askin’s son-in-law, Colonel Brush, was then one of General Hull’s aids-de-camp, and it was believed, after the surrender, that the bullet contained a communication from Brock to Brush. Judge Moran told me that on one occasion his uncle was sent by Colonel Brush to Askin, his father-in-law, with a package, and that he was made a prisoner, and detained in Canada for some time. The bullet and the package seem to have some connection in the matter.

6 Chicagou was the Indian name of the Illinois River, at the mouth of which the city stands. In the language of the Pottawatomies, who inhabited that region, the name signifies a skunk or pole-cat – some say the wild onion, both of which emit unpleasant odors, and were abundant there. It is said that the Pottawatomies wore garters of the dried skunk’s skin. – Sketch of the Early History of Chicago, by John Gilmartin Shea.

7 Fort Dearborn was erected under the superintendence of Major John Whistler, who was also the overseer of the construction of Fort Wayne, at the forks of the Maumee. Major Whistler was an Englishman. He was taken prisoner with Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777, and remained in the United States. He settled in Maryland, and in 1790-91 joined the troops under General St. Clair, and was with him at his defeat on the Miami in November, 1791, where he was acting as adjutant and was wounded. He was commissioned an ensign of the First Infantry in the spring of 1792, and in the autumn was made a lieutenant in the first sub-legion. He passed through other grades of service until, on the 10th of July, 1812, be was breveted a major. He was disbanded in 1815, and three years afterward became military storekeeper at St. Louis. He died at Belle Fontaine, Missouri, in 1827.

In building Fort Dearborn, Major Whistler had no oxen, and the timber was all dragged to the spot by the soldiers. He worked so economically that the fort, Colonel Johnston, of Dayton (who furnished him with some materials from Fort Wayne), told me, did not cost the government over fifty dollars. For a while the garrison could get no corn, and Whistler and his men subsisted on acorns.

8 Heald, who was a native of Massachusetts, joined the army as ensign in the spring of 1799. He became a first lieutenant in November of the same year. In January, 1807, he was commissioned a captain, and held that office until the 26th of August, 1812, when, on account of his good conduct at Chicago, he was promoted to major. He was disbanded in 1815.

9 Helm, of Kentucky, entered the army as ensign in December, 1807, and became second lieutenant the following year. He was promoted to first lieutenant in January, 1813, and to captain in April, 1814. He resigned in September following.

10 Rebecca Heald was a daughter of General Samuel Wells, of Kentucky (one of the heroes of Tippecanoe), and niece of Captain William Wells, who will appear prominently in our narrative. She was with her uncle at Fort Wayne two or three years before the war, where Captain Heald became acquainted with her. Their acquaintance ripened into mutual attachment. He taught her the use of the rifle, in which she became very expert. They were married in 1810 or 1811, and she accompanied her husband to Fort Dearborn.

11 Mrs. Helm was a daughter of Colonel M‘Killup, a British officer attached to one of the companies who were stationed at Fort Miami, on the Maumee, at the time of Wayne’s appearance there in 1794. While reconnoitring one night, he was mistaken for an enemy, and mortally wounded. His widow married Mr. Kinzie, with whom, and this daughter, she removed to Chicago in 1803. Here the daughter, at the age of eighteen years, married Lieutenant Helm, of Kentucky, in 1811. She died suddenly at Waterville, in Michigan, in 1844. – Pioneer Women of the West, by Mrs. E. F. Ellet.

12 These were a discharged soldier and a son of Mr. Lee, who lived near the fort, and cultivated a farm about three miles up the south branch of the Chicago River, in the vicinity of the point where Halstead Street now crosses that stream. See map on page 308 {original text has "266".}. This was known as Lee’s Place. Lee and all his family, except Mrs. Lee and her infant, perished in the massacre at Chicago on the 15th of August.

13 Pirogue, or piragua , originally meant a canoe formed out of the trunk of a tree, or two canoes united. A vessel used in this country as a narrow ferry-boat, carrying two masts and a lee-board, is called piragua.

14 The main facts of this narrative of affairs at Chicago, in 1812, are derived from a most interesting account from the pen of Mrs. John H. Kinzie, of Chicago, published in pamphlet form in 1844, and repeated substantially in a charming history of personal adventures on the northwestern frontier, by the same accomplished lady, in a volume published in 1856, entitled, Wau-bun, the "Early Day" in the Northwest. Mrs. Kinzie is a daughter-in-law of Mr. John Kinzie, the trader just mentioned, and much of the narrative of the events which we are considering she received from Mrs. Helm, an actor in the events. Of this infant of Mrs. Burns she gives a few words of interesting narrative. The mother and child were made prisoners at Chicago by a chief, and carried to his village. His attentions to them aroused the jealousy of his spouse, and one day she spitefully struck the infant with a tomahawk with the intention of killing it. The blow took off some of the scalp. "Thirty-two years after this," says Mrs. Kinzie, "as I was on a journey to Chicago in the steamer Uncle Sam, a young woman, hearing my name, introduced herself to me, and, raising the hair from her forehead, showed me the mark of the tomahawk which had so nearly been fatal to her." – Wau-bun, page 244.

15 This medal, as I have been informed, was received by the Black Partridge at the treaty of Fort Wayne, on the 30th of September, 1809, mentioned on page 190. It was of silver. The engraving is the exact size of the original. It was copied from one in the possession of the widow of General Jacob Brown, of Brownsville, New York, where I saw it in the summer of 1860. She also had a smaller medal of the same kind, struck for the same occasion. These were distributed among the inferior chiefs.

16 The celebrated chief Black Hawk, who was among the Indians at the time of the massacre at Chicago, declared that, had the treaty been fully carried out, the white people would not have been attacked. And such has been the general impression of students. But the conduct of Black Partridge before the powder and liquor were destroyed disproves this. No doubt the massacre had been determined on as soon as the order for the evacuation was made known to the Indians.

17 When in Toledo, Ohio, in the autumn of 1860, I spent an hour pleasantly and profitably with General John E. Hunt, a brother-in-law of General Cass, whose early life was spent among the stirring scenes of the frontier. He was in the fort at Detroit when it was surrendered. He knew Captain William Wells, and from his lips the substance of the following brief notice was communicated: When a child, Wells was living with his relative, Hon. Nathaniel Pope, of Kentucky, where he was stolen by a band of Miami Indians and taken to the Maumee country. He was adopted by Little Turtle, the eminent Miami chief. He was rescued by his relatives, but had become so attached to his Indian friends and their mode of life that he returned to them. He was compelled to go upon the war-path when Harrison invaded that region, and was with the Indians who defeated St. Clair. No doubt he swayed the mind of Little Turtle when Wayne appeared in that region, for that chief was favorable to peace with the great Blacksnake, as they called him. Wells saw clearly the weakness of the Indians and one day, while in the woods, he suddenly informed his foster-father that he should leave him, to join the army of Wayne. "I now leave your nation for my own people," said Wells. "We have long been friends. We are friends yet, until the sun reaches there," pointing to a place in the heavens. "From that time we are enemies. Then, if you wish to kill me, you may; if I want to kill you, I may." At the hour named, Wells crossed the Maumee, and, asking the direction toward Wayne’s army, disappeared in the forest. In Wayne’s army he commanded a company of the spies. When peace was restored, after the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, he and the Little Turtle became good friends. He married the Little Turtle’s sister, a Miami girl, and became a chief of that nation. One of his daughters was the wife of Judge Wolcott, of Maumee City, Ohio. Wells was Indian Agent at Fort Wayne when the War of 1812 broke out. He had lived there since 1804.

18 The place of conflict at the Sand Hills was on the site of a lot (vacant when I visited it in 1860) in the rear of the house of the late Widow Clark, between Indiana and Michigan Avenues, just south of North Street, and about fifty rods from the lake.

19 Captain Heald’s dispatch to Adjutant General Cushing, October 23, 1812.

20 Mrs. Helm speaks of the terror of Dr. Van Voorhees at that time. He was badly wounded. His horse had been shot under him. "Do you think," he said to Mrs. Helm, "they will take our lives?" and then talked of offering a large ransom for existence. She advised him not to think of life, but of inevitable death. "Oh" he exclaimed, "I can not die. I am not fit to die. If I had only a short time to prepare for it – death is awful!" She pointed to the falling Ronan, and said, "Look at that man! at least he dies like a soldier." "Yes," gasped the terrified surgeon, "but he has no terror of the future – he is an unbeliever!" At that moment Mrs. Helm had a deadly struggle with a young Indian, and a moment afterward she saw the dead body of the surgeon. He had been slain by a tomahawk.

21 Statement of Colonel John Johnston, of Dayton, to the author.

22 A writer, signing his communication "An Officer," under date of "Buffalo, March 8, 1813," speaks of the arrival there of Mrs. Helm, and her narrative of sufferings at and after the massacre at Chicago. "She knows the fact," he says, "that Colonel Proctor, the British commander at Malden, bought the scalps of our murdered garrison at Chicago, and, thanks to her noble spirit, she boldly charged him with the infamy in his own house." This independence was probably the cause of the cruel treatment which she and her husband received at the hands of Proctor. She and her husband, after several weeks of captivity among the Indians, were united at Detroit, where Proctor caused them both to be arrested, and sent on horseback, in the dead of a Canadian winter, across the wilderness to Fort George, on the Niagara frontier. The writer farther says concerning the statements of Mrs. Heald, "She knows, from the tribe with whom she was a prisoner, and who were the perpetrators of those murders, that they intended to remain true, but that they received orders from the British to cut off our garrison whom they were to escort." – Niles’s Weekly Register, April 3, 1813.

23 John Kinzie, who bore so conspicuous a part in the events we are considering, was born in Quebec, in 1763, and was the only offspring of his mother’s second marriage. His father died while he was an infant, and his mother married a third time, and with her husband (Mr. Forsythe) removed to the city of New York. At the age of ten years young Kinzie was placed in a school in Williamsburg, near Long Island. One day he made his way to the North River, got on board of an Albany sloop, and started for Quebec. Fortunately for him, he found a passenger who was on his way to that city, who took charge of him. At Quebec the boy apprenticed himself to a silversmith. Three years afterward, his family, having returned to Canada for the purpose of moving to Detroit, discovered him. They had supposed him lost forever. When he grew up he loved the wilds. He became a trader, and lived most of the time on the frontier and among the Indians. He established trading-houses. He married the widow of a British officer in 1800, and settled at Chicago in 1804. There he became a captain in 1812, and in January, 1813, joined his family at Detroit. There he was badly treated by General Proctor, who cast him into prison at Malden. He was finally sent to Quebec, to be forwarded to England, for what purpose was never known. The vessel in which he sailed was compelled to put back, when he was released and returned to Detroit, where he found General Harris in possession. He and his family returned to Chicago in 1816, when the fort was rebuilt. Mr. Kinzie died there on the 6th of January, 1828, at the age of sixty-five years. This was two years before the town of Chicago was laid out into lots by commissioners appointed by the state.

24 The leader of the friendly party was Billy Caldwell, a half-breed and a chief. The Black Partridge told him of the evident intentions of the Wabash Indians. They had blackened their faces, and were then seated sullenly in Mr. Kinzie’s parlor, preparatory to a general massacre of all the remaining white people. Billy went in, took off his accoutrements, and said, in a careless way, "How now, my friends! A good day to you. I was told there were enemies here, but I am glad to find only friends. Why have you blackened your faces? Is it that you are mourning for your friends lost in battle? Or is it that you are fasting? If so, ask our friend here (Mr. Kinzie), and he will give you to eat. He is the Indian’s friend, and never yet refused them what they had need of." The hostile savages were surprised and overwhelmed with shame. – Mrs. Kinzie’s Wau-bun, page 238.

25 John Cooper, M. D., of Poughkeepsie, New York, was the immediate predecessor of Doctor Van Voorhees at Fort Dearborn. They were natives of the same town (Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York) and class-mates. Van Voorhees was a young man of great powers. Dr. Cooper left the fort in 1811, tendered his resignation, and left the army. He died at Poughkeepsie in 1863, where he had been for many years the oldest medical practitioner in the place.

26 Captain Heald was quite severely wounded and made a prisoner by an Indian from the Kankakee, who had a strong personal regard for him, but who, on seeing the feeble state of Mrs. Heald, released him and allowed him to accompany her to the mouth of the St. Joseph’s, in Michigan. On returning to his village, the Indian found himself an object of great dissatisfaction because he had released his prisoner; so he resolved to go to St. Joseph and reclaim him. Friendly Indians gave Heald warning, and he and his wife went to far-off Mackinack in an open boat, and surrendered themselves to the British commander there as prisoners of war. This kept them out of the hands of the savages. – Wau-bun, page 243.

27 The Michigan Central; the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana; the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne, and Chicago; the Chicago branch of the Illinois Central; the St.. Louis, Alton, and Chicago; the Chicago and Rock Island; the Illinois Grand Trunk; the Chicago, Fulton, and Iowa; the Galena, Chicago, and Union; the Chicago and Northwestern; and the Chicago and Milwaukee, with numerous tributaries.

28 For a full description of Chicago in 1831, the reader is referred to the seventeenth chapter of Mrs. Kenzie’s Wau-bun.

29 I am indebted to the accurate knowledge and kind courtesy of Mrs. Kinzie for the following information respecting the localities of acts in the events we have just recorded, as indicated by places to-day:

The "Kinzie mansion" was on the north side of the Chicago River, at the intersection of Pine and North Water Streets, as they now are in "Kinzie’s addition," and about eighty feet east of the Lake House.

The house of Ouilmette was between what are now Rush and Cass Streets, on North Water Street. Burns’s was near the foot of Wolcott Street, on the bank of the river. The east end of the Chicago and Galena Freight Dépôt covers the spot.

The place where the fight commenced was between the Widow Clarke’s and the lake. The trees are still standing which stood there at that day.

"Lee’s Place" was about a fourth of a mile above where Halstead Street crosses the South Branch.

Captain Wells was killed near the foot of Twelfth Street, on the Lake Shore path.

The "Oak Woods" were, in 1862, "Camp Douglas," just beyond the southern limits of the city, on the Lake Shore. "Chicago University" and the grave of the late Stephen A. Douglas, who owned the property, occupy a portion of the tract.

The place of the parley was about at the intersection of the Archer Road and Clarke Street.

30 See page 56.

31 See page 197.

32 James Rhea was a native of New Jersey, and was lieutenant and adjutant of "Rhea’s levies" in 1791. He was ensign and second lieutenant of infantry in 1799, and was promoted to first lieutenant in 1800. He was commissioned a captain in July, 1807, and resigned at Fort Wayne at the close of 1812. – Gardner’s Dictionary of the Army, page 377.

33 Jeremiah Payne and Frederick Kaupfman.

34 These were Henry Collings and his wife; the wife of Jeremiah Payne and eight of her children; Mrs. Richard Collings and seven of her children; Mrs. John Morris and her only child, and Mrs. Morris, the mother of her husband.

35 Mrs. Jane Biggs and her three children, and the aged William Collings and Captain John Morris, with two of the children (John and Lydia) of Mrs. Collings who was murdered. They all escaped to the house of Zebulon Collings. – Dillon’s History of Indiana, page 492.

36 Mr. Zebulon Collings, to whose house the fugitives from The Pigeon Roost escaped, has left on record the following vivid account of the sense of peril felt by the settlers during those dark days between the summer of 1812 and 1815:

"The manner in which I used to work was as follows: on all occasions I carried my rifle, tomahawk, and butcher-knife, with a loaded pistol in my belt. When I went to plow, I laid my gun on the plowed ground, and stuck up a stick by it for a mark, so that I could get it quick in case it was wanted. I had two good dogs. I took one into the house, leaving the other out. The one outside was expected to give the alarm, which would cause the one inside to bark, by which I would be awakened, having my arms always loaded. I kept my horses in a stable close to the house, having a porthole so that I could shoot to the stable-door. During two years I never went from home with a certainty of returning, not knowing the minute I might receive a ball from an unknown hand; but, in the midst of all these dangers, that God who never sleeps nor slumbers has kept me." – Dillon’s History of Indiana, page 493.

37 General Harrison, then at Piqua in command of Kentucky troops, sent Major William Oliver, a gallant officer, with four Shawnoese, to Fort Wayne to assure the garrison of speedy re-enforcement. They pushed through the wilderness for about sixty miles. Oliver was in Indian costume. When they approached the fort they came upon the out-guards of the savages. With great skill they evaded them, made their way through the lines of the besiegers, and, with fleet foot, gained the fort. Oliver and his companions remained there until the close of the siege. – Early History of the Maumee Valley, by H. L. Hosmer, page 32.

38 Thomson’s Sketches of the War, page 56: M‘Afee, page 127.

39 See page 44.

40 Mr. Drake, in his Book of the Indians, quotes the following notice of the Little Turtle’s death from one of the public prints of the day: "Fort Wayne, 21 July, 1812. – On the 14th instant the celebrated Miami chief, the Little Turtle, died at this place, at the age of sixty-five years. Perhaps there is not left on this continent one of his color so distinguished in council and in war. His disorder was the gout. He died in a camp, because he chose to be in the open air. He met his death with great firmness. The Agent for Indian Affairs had him buried with the honors of war, and other marks of distinction suited to his character." A writer, quoted by Mr. Drake, says that he saw the Little Turtle, soon after St. Clair’s defeat, at Montreal, and described him as about six feet in height, sour and morose, and apparently crafty and subtle. He wore Indian moccasins, a blue petticoat that came half way down his thighs, and a European waistcoat and surtout. On his head was a cap that hung half way down his back, bespangled with about two hundred silver brooches. In each ear were two rings, the upper parts of each bearing three silver medals about the size of a dollar, and the lower parts quarters of a dollar. They fell more than twelve inches from his ears. One from each ear fell over his breast, the others over his back. He also had three large nose jewels of silver, cunningly painted. Little Turtle was of mixed blood – half Mohican and half Miami. Colonel Johnston, who knew him well, called him "the gentleman of his race."

41 The French governor of Louisiana mentioned this stockade in a letter in 1751. It was situated near the St. Mary’s, probably in the vicinity of the canal aqueduct. The dim outlines of this fort were traced by Wayne in 1794, and by Colonel Johnston in 1800. – Lecture by J. L. Williams before the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Wayne, March 7th, 1860.

42 Oral statement of Colonel John Johnston, of Dayton, Ohio, to the writer, who knew the murderess, she being a resident of the Miami village when he went to Fort Wayne in the year 1800. Colonel Johnston gave me the names of the United States commanders of the fort in regular succession, as follows: Colonels J. F. Hamtramck, and Thomas Hunt; Majors John Whistler, Thomas Pasteaur, and Zebulon M. Pike; Captains Nathan Heald, James Rhea, and Hugh Moore; and Colonel Joseph H. Vose. The fort was abandoned in 1818. Captain Vose was a citizen of Manchester, and had been commissioned a captain in the Twenty-first Infantry in April, 1812. Colonel Johnston, in a letter written in 1859, said that Captain Vose was the only army officer within his knowledge, in 1812, who publicly professed Christianity. He was in the constant habit of assembling his men on the Sabbath and reading the Scriptures to them, and conversing with them on religious subjects. – Williams’s Lecture, p. 12. Captain Vose was promoted to major during the War of 1812. In 1842 he received the commission of colonel. He died at the New Orleans barracks, just below the city, on the 15th of July, 1845.

43 Dillon’s History of Indiana, p. 403.

44 Captain Taylor’s Dispatch to Governor Harrison, dated "Fort Harrison, September 10, 1812."

45 Zachary Taylor was born in Orange County, Virginia, on the 24th of September, 1784. His father removed with his family to Kentucky the following year, and settled near the site of the present city of Louisville, then known as The Falls of the Ohio. Zachary entered the army when about twenty-five years of age as first lieutenant of infantry. Two years afterward (May, 1810) he was promoted to captain, and at about the same time he was married to Margaret Smith, a young lady of good family in Maryland. When war was declared he was in command of Fort Harrison, and for his services there in defending it, in September, 1812, he was breveted a major. He was an active and useful officer in the West during the remainder of the war. When the army was reduced at the close of the contest, he was deprived of his commission of major, and recommissioned a captain, in consequence of which he resigned. He was soon afterward called back to the service by President Madison, and commissioned a major in the Third Infantry, and placed in command of a post at Green Bay. In 1819 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and in that position he remained until 1832, when President Jackson commissioned him a colonel. He served with distinction in the "Black Hawk War" that year, and remained in command of Fort Crawford, at Prairie du Chien, until 1836, when he was sent to Florida to operate against the Seminole Indians. His services there were of great importance, and at the close of 1837 he was breveted brigadier general. He remained in charge of all the troops in Florida until 1840, when he was appointed to the command of the southwestern division of the army. Fort Gibson was made his head-quarters in 1841, and the same year he purchased an estate near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and placed his family there.


When, in 1845, war with Mexico was imminent, he was ordered to take post in Texas with an army of observation, as it was called. It soon became an army of invasion. In the war that ensued he gained, in quick succession, several brilliant battles; and when the conflict was ended, and he returned home, he was greeted with the wildest enthusiasm. Congress honored him with the commission, by brevet, of major general, its thanks, and also with a ponderous gold medal, "in the name of the republic, as a tribute due to his gallant conduct, valor, and generosity to the vanquished." The "Whig" party nominated him for the presidency of the grateful republic, and he was elected to that high office in November, 1848. He entered upon the exalted duties of his office on the 4th of March, 1849, and died at the presidential mansion, in Washington City, on the 9th of July, 1850, at the age of sixty-five years.

The portrait of General Taylor, given on page 318, is from a daguerreotype taken after his return from Mexico. The picture of his residence is a fac-simile of a pencil-sketch made by the venerated hero himself for the author, in November, 1848. In his letter covering the drawing, he says, "The sketch, you will perceive, is rude, but the best I can offer to you at this time. Indeed, the building is rude in itself, and scarcely worthy of being sketched. I hope, however, that this may be suited to your purposes." It was the residence of Colonel Dixon, the English commander at Baton Rouge, when the fort there was taken by the Spaniards, under Don Bernardo de Galvez, in 1779, and that commander then made it his residence. It was demolished in 1859.



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