Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter II - Events in the Northwestern Territory.







Foundations of Government laid by the People. – They comprehend the Value of the Great Wilderness. – Indian Treaties. – Anti-slavery Movements. – The Ordinance of 1787. – First Settlements in Ohio. – Campus Martius and Fort Washington. – Miss Heckewelder. – General St. Clair. – Temper of the Western Indians. – The British tampering with them. – Lord Dorchester. – Frontier Troops and Posts. – Council at Fort Harmar. – Little Turtle’s Opposition. – Uneasiness of the Indians of the Gulf Region. – Evidences of British Intrigues. – Proposed Western Boundary of the United States. – Indian Warriors on the Ohio. – Fort Washington, on the Site of Cincinnati. – Harmar’s Expedition against the Indians. – Battle near Fort Wayne, and Harmar’s Defeat. – The Disaster and its Consequences. – Scene of Harmar’s Defeat. – Visit of the Author to the Places of Conflict. – Site of the Miami Village. – A venerable Historical Apple-tree. – Chief Richardville. – The Twightwees. – Their Cruelty to Prisoners. – Indian Hostilities continued. – Expeditions of Generals Scott and Wilkinson. – Destruction of Villages and Crops. – Efforts to form an Indian Confederacy. – Building of Forts in the Indian Country. – A Camp deep in the Wilderness. – St. Clair’s Troops and the Indians. – St. Clair’s Camp. – The Tribes represented by the Warriors. – St. Clair’s Battle with the Indians and his Defeat. – Flight of the vanquished Army. – A fleet-footed Woman. – Effect of St. Clair’s Defeat on the Public Mind. – Expression of President Washington’s Indignation. – Washington’s Kindness to St. Clair. – Resignation of the latter. – His later days. – General Wayne and his Troops. – Wayne in Indian Country. – A grand Council. – Interference of British Officials. – Hostile Intentions of the British revealed. – Allied Indians and British in Arms. – Battle at Fort Recovery. – Wayne’s Expedition down the Maumee. – His Offers of Peace rejected. – Conduct of Little Turtle. – Battle of the Fallen Timbers. – Devastations around Fort Miami. – The Punishment of M‘Kee. – The British and Indians humbled. – Death of Turkey-foot. – Scenes at the Place of his Death. – The Troops build Fort Wayne. – Colonel Hamtramck. – The humbled Indians sue for Peace. – Treaty with the Indians at Greenville. – Peace secured.


"Old burial-places, once sacred, are plundered,

And thickly with bones is the fallow field strown;
The bond of confederate tribes has been sundered –
The long council hall of the brave overthrown.
The Sac and Miami bowmen no longer
Preserve at the door-posts unslumbering guard;
We fought, but the pale-browed invaders were stronger;
Our knife-blades too blunt, and their bosoms too hard."


We have seen the development of weak, isolated commonwealths into a powerful, consolidated nation, and are now to observe the growth of that nation in resources and strength until, by an exhibition of its powers in vindication of its rights before the world, it became absolutely independent, and was respected accordingly.

That assertion and vindication were made by the moral forces of legislation and the patriotism of the people, coworking with the material forces of army and navy. In this view is involved the whole drama of the contest known in history as the War of 1812, or the Second Struggle for Independence – a drama, many of whose characters and incidents appear upon the stage simultaneously with the persons and events exhibited in the preceding chapter. Looking back from the summer of 1812, when war against Great Britain was formally declared, the causes of the conflict appear both remote and near. The war actually began years before the President proclaimed the appeal to arms.

While statesmen and politicians were arranging the machinery of government, the people were laying broad and deep the visible foundations of the state, in the establishment of material interests and the shaping of institutions consonant with the new order of things, and essential to social and political prosperity. They had already begun to comprehend the hidden resources and immense value of the vast country within the treaty limits of the United States westward of the Alleghany Mountains. They had already obtained prophetic glimpses of a future civilization that should flourish in the fertile regions watered by the streams whose springs are in those lofty hills that stretch, parallel with the Atlantic, from the Lakes almost to the Gulf, across fourteen degrees of latitude. Pioneers had gone over the grand hills and sent up the smoke of their cabin fires from many a fertile valley irrigated by the tributaries of the Ohio and Mississippi. Already they had learned to regard the Father of Waters as a great aqueous highway for an immense inland commerce soon to be created, and had begun to urge the supreme authority of the land to treat with Spain for its free navigation. Already peace and friendship with the savage tribes on the remote frontiers of civilization had been promised by treaties made upon principles of justice and not fashioned by the ethics of the sword. 1

By treaty with the chief tribes between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and the cession by Virginia 2 to the United States of all claims to lands in that region, the general government became absolute possessor of a vast country, out of which several flourishing states have since been formed. 3

While the National Convention was in session at Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, the Continental Congress, sitting at New York, feeble and dying, with only eight states represented, took up and disposed of in a satisfactory manner a subject second only in importance to that under discussion in the capital of Pennsylvania. They adopted [July 13, 1787.], by unanimous vote, "An Ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio." 4 In anticipation of this action, extensive surveys had been made in the new territory. Soon after the passage of the ordinance above mentioned, a sale of five millions of acres, extending along the Ohio from the Muskingum to the Sciota, were sold to the "Ohio Company," which was composed of citizens of New England, many of whom had been officers of the Continental army. 5 A similar sale was made to John Cleve Symmes, of New Jersey, for two millions of acres, in the rich and beautiful region between the Great and Little Miami Rivers, including the site of Cincinnati.

These were the first steps taken toward the settlement of the Northwestern Territory, in which occurred so many of the important events of the War of 1812. Hitherto New England emigration had been chiefly to Vermont, Northern New Hampshire, and the Territory of Maine. Now it poured, in a vast and continuous stream, into the Ohio country. General Rufus Putnam, at the head of a colony from Massachusetts, founded a settlement 6 (the first, of Europeans, in all Ohio, if we except the Moravian missionary stations 7) at the mouth of the Muskingum River, and named it Marietta, in honor of Maria Antoinette, the queen of Louis the Sixteenth, of France.


A stockade fort, called Campus Martius, was immediately commenced, as a protection against the hostile Indians. 8 In the autumn of the same year a party of settlers seated themselves upon Symmes’s purchase, and founded Columbia, near the mouth of the Little Miami. Fort Washington was soon afterward built a short distance below, on the site of Cincinnati.

It has been estimated that within the years 1788 and 1789, full twenty thousand men, women, and children went down the Ohio in boats, to become settlers on its banks. Since then, how wonderful has been the growth of empire beyond the Alleghanies!

Soon after the organization of the Northwestern Territory, Major General Arthur St. Clair, 9 an officer in the old French War, and in the Continental army during the Revolution, was appointed its governor by the Congress, of which body he was then president. He accepted the position with reluctance. "The office of governor was in a great measure forced on me," he said, in a letter to a friend. 10 Yet, ever ready to go where duty to his country called him, he proceeded to the Territory in the summer of 1788, and took up his abode in Campus Martius [July, 1788.], with Winthrop Sargent as secretary or deputy, who acted as chief magistrate during the absence of the governor.


St. Clair at once instituted inquiries, in accordance with his instructions, concerning the temper of the Indians in the Territory. They were known to be exceedingly uneasy, and sometimes in frowning moods; and the tribes on the Wabash, numbering almost two thousand warriors, who had not been parties to any of the treaties, were decidedly hostile. They continued to make predatory incursions into the Kentucky settlements, notwithstanding chastisements received at the hands of General George Rogers Clarke, the "father of the Northwest," as he has been called; and they were in turn invaded and scourged by bands of retaliating Kentuckians. These expeditions deepened the hostile feeling, and gave strength and fierceness to both parties when, in after years, they met in battle.

It soon became evident that all the tribes in the Territory, numbering full twenty thousand souls, were tampered with by British emissaries, sent out from the frontier forts, which had not been given up to the United States in compliance with treaty stipulations. Sir John Johnson (son of Sir William, of the Mohawk Valley, and the implacable enemy of the United States 11) was the Inspector General of Indian Affairs in America, and had great influence over the savages; and Lord Dorchester (formerly Sir Guy Carleton) was again governor general of those provinces, 12 and, by speeches at Quebec and Montreal, directly instigated the savages to war.

These circumstances gave rise to the opinion that the British government, which yet refused to send a representative to the United States, and treated the new republic with ill-concealed contempt, was preparing the way for an effort to reduce the members of the League to colonial vassalage.

The Confederacy was but feebly prepared to meet hostilities on their northwestern frontier. The military force at the time the Territory was formed consisted of only about six hundred men, commanded by Brigadier General Harmar. 13 Of these there were two companies of artillery, formed of volunteers who enlisted to put down Shays’s Rebellion in Massachusetts. The frontier military stations were Pittsburg, at the forks of the Ohio, Fort M‘Intosh, on Beaver Creek, and Fort Franklin, on French Creek, near old Fort Venango, in Pennsylvania; Fort Harmar, at the mouth of the Muskingum River; Fort Steuben, on the Ohio River, now Jeffersonville, opposite Louisville; and Fort Vincennes, on the Wabash River.


Early in 1789 [January 9.], Governor St. Clair held a council at Fort Harmar 14 with chiefs and sachems of the Six Nations. He also held a council with the leading men of the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawatomies, and Sacs. With all these representatives of thousands of Indians, scattered over the country from the Mohawk Valley to that of the Wabash, he made treaties, when old agreements were confirmed, and remunerations and boundaries were specified. The Six Nations (or, rather, five of the six nations, for the Mohawks, who were in Canada, were not represented) were faithful to the treaty; but the great body of the others, influenced by British emissaries and unscrupulous traders, refused to acknowledge the validity of the treaty made by their warriors and rulers. 15 Within a few weeks after the council at Fort Harmar, parties of them were out upon the war-path on the frontiers of Virginia and Kentucky.

Nearer the Gulf, the Creeks and Cherokees, brought into immediate contact with the wily Spaniards in Florida and at New Orleans, who were already preparing seductive temptations to the settlers in the trans-Alleghany valleys to leave the American League and join fortunes with the children of Old Spain, became first uneasy, and at the time in question were assuming a hostile attitude. The Creeks, led by the talented M‘Gillivray, a half-breed, whose father was a Scotchman, had formed a close alliance with the Spaniards, and through them might receive arms and other military supplies. In view of all these circumstances, the portentous cloud of a threatened general Indian war was gathering in the western horizon at the close of 1789.

Yet more threatening was the aspect of affairs on the Western frontier in the spring of 1790. Serious trouble was evidently brewing. Major Hamtramck, a small Canadian Frenchman, and a spirited officer in the United States army, was in command of the military post at Vincennes, an important point on the Wabash, 16 surrounded by French families, whose long residence made them influential among the Indians. Many of the latter spoke their language, and some had embraced the Roman Catholic religion. Taking advantage of this intimate relationship, Hamtramck sent out Antoine Gamelin, with speeches to the Wabash and Miami Indians from Governor St. Clair, offering them peace and friendship. In the course of his tour Gamelin obtained positive evidence of the influence of the British at Detroit over the savage mind in the West. He traversed the country from Post Vincennes along the Wabash, and eastward to the Miami village, where the conjunction of the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Rivers forms the Maumee, or Miami of the Lakes, at the present city of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He made speeches himself, and offered them St. Clair’s; but he was every where met with the reply that they could do nothing definitely until they could hear from Detroit. "You invite us to stop our young men," said the Kickapoos. "It is impossible to do it, being constantly encouraged by the British." "We are all sensible of your speech, and pleased with it," said Blue Jacket, chief warrior of the Shawnoese; "but we can not give you an answer without hearing from our father at Detroit." "We can not give a definite answer without consulting the commandant at Detroit," said Le Gris, the great chief of the Miamis. "The English commandant at Detroit is our father since he threw down our French father," said the Shawnoese. 17 And so, on all occasions, they were unwilling to accept proffers of peace with the United States without first consulting the commandant at Detroit, with whom Johnson and Carleton were in constant communication. Instigated by these men, these Western tribes insisted on the establishment of the Ohio River as the boundary between the Indians and the United States, and would listen to no other terms. 18

Hamtramck was so well satisfied of these machinations of the British that he assured Governor St. Clair that a permanent peace with the savages was an impossibility. The governor, meanwhile, had received accounts of the depredations of the Indians along the Ohio from the Falls (Louisville) to Pittsburg. They infested the banks in such numbers, waylaying boats and plundering and wounding the voyaging emigrants, that an utter cessation of the navigation of the river seemed inevitable.

The principal rendezvous of the marauders was near the mouth of the Scioto, on the north bank of the Ohio, and to that point two hundred and thirty Kentucky volunteers and one hundred regular troops were sent., under General Harmar. They assembled at Fort Washington, 19 then not quite completed, and marched from thence to the Scioto. The Indians fled on their approach, and the expedition returned without accomplishing any thing.


A more formidable expedition, to penetrate the Miami country, was determined upon, and, at the close of September [1790.], General Harmar left Fort Washington with over fourteen hundred troops, 20 and moved toward the heart of the hostile Indian country around the head waters of the Maumee. St. Clair, in obedience to instructions from President Washington, had previously sent a letter [September 19.] to the British commandant at Detroit, courteously informing him that the expedition had no designs upon any possessions of the crown. He added that he had every reason to expect, after such a candid explanation, that the commandant would neither countenance nor assist the tribes in their hostilities. Of course, this expectation was not realized.

Harmar reached the Maumee at the middle of October. As he approached an Indian town the inhabitants fled, leaving it to be burned by the invaders. Colonel Hardin, with some Kentucky volunteers and thirty regulars, was sent in pursuit. He fell into an ambuscade of one hundred Indians, under Mish-i-kin-a-kwa, or Little Turtle (an eminent Miami chief), about eleven miles from the site of Fort Wayne, where the Goshen state road crosses the Eel River. The frightened militia fled without firing a gun, while the regulars stood firm until twenty-two of their number were slain. Captain Armstrong, who escaped, stood in mud and water up to his chin, and saw the savages dance in frantic joy because of their victory.

Harmar moved about two miles to Chillicothe 21 and destroyed it; then, after being menaced by the Indians, he turned his face toward Fort Washington [October 21, 1790.]. That night was a starry one, and Hardin, who was full of fight, proposed to Harmar a surprise of the Indians at the head of the Maumee, where they had a village on one side of the river and an encampment of warriors on the other side. Harmar reluctantly complied, and four hundred men were detached for the purpose. 22 Sixty of them were regulars, under Major Wyllys. They marched in three columns (the regulars in the centre), and pushed forward as rapidly as possible, hoping to fall upon the Indians before dawn. But it was after sunrise before they reached the bank of the Maumee. A plan of attack was soon arranged. Major Hall, with a detachment of militia, was to pass around the village at the bend of the Maumee, cross the St. Mary’s and the St. Joseph’s, gain the rear of the Indian encampment unobserved, and await an attack by the main body of the troops in front. These, consisting of Major M‘Mullin’s battalion, Major Fontaine’s cavalry, and the regulars under Major Wyllys, were to cross the Maumee at and near the usual ford, and thus surround the savages.


The game was spoiled by the imprudence of Major Hall, who fired prematurely upon a solitary Indian and alarmed the encampment. The startled Miamis were instantly seen flying in different directions. The militia under M‘Mullin and the cavalry under Fontaine, who had crossed the river, started in pursuit, in disobedience of orders, leaving the regulars under Wyllys, who had also crossed the Maumee, unsupported. The latter were attacked by Little Turtle and the main body of the Indians, and driven back with great slaughter. Richardville, a half-blood and successor to Little Turtle, who was in the battle, and who died at Fort Wayne in 1840, often asserted that the bodies of the slain were so numerous in the river at the ford that he could have crossed over the stream upon them dryshod. 23

While this conflict was going on at the ford, M‘Mullin and Fontaine, in connection with Hall, were skirmishing with parties of Indians a short distance up the St. Joseph’s. Fontaine, with a number of his followers, fell at the head of his mounted militia, in making a charge. He was shot dead, and, falling from his horse, was immediately scalped. The remainder, with those under Hall and M‘Mullin, fell back in confusion toward the ford of the Maumee, and followed the remnant of the regulars in their retreat. The Indians, having suffered severely, did not pursue.

General Harmar was informed of the disaster by a horseman who had outstripped the rest. A detachment of militia was immediately ordered to the assistance of the retreating parties; but such mortal fear had taken possession of these raw recruits that only thirty, willing to go, could be found among them. On his arrival at camp Hardin urged Harmar to proceed with his whole force to the Maumee. The latter, having lost all confidence in the militia, refused; and, as soon as preparations could be made, the whole army took up its march [October 23.] for Fort Washington, which they reached on the 4th of November. 24

I visited the scene of the disaster at the Maumee Ford toward the close of September, 1860. I came up the Maumee Valley to Defiance on the night of the 24th, and, after visiting places of historic interest there the next morning (of which I shall hereafter write), I rode on to Fort Wayne upon the Toledo and Wabash Railway, a distance of forty-three miles. It was a delightful day, but the journey was very monotonous, because almost interminable forests covered the flat country over which we passed. I arrived at the flourishing city of Fort Wayne, the shire town of Allen County, Indiana, late in the afternoon, and by twilight had visited the fords of the Maumee and St. Joseph’s, made famous by the events of the 22d of October, 1790. I was accompanied by the Hon. F. P. Randall, the mayor of the city, who kindly offered his services as guide. We crossed the great bridge at the head of the Maumee, and rode first down that stream to the place yet known as "Harmar’s Ford." It is about half a mile below the confluence of the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s at Fort Wayne. The river was not then fordable there, a dam having been built about half a mile below, making the water four feet deep at the old crossing-place. The road that led to and crossed the ford was along the margin of the Maumee, which was skirted by the same forest-trees in whose presence the battle was fought. They had grown to be grand and stately, and were made exceedingly picturesque by the trailing grape-vines.


We returned to the bridge and rode up the St. Joseph’s to the place where Major Hall and his detachment forded it. It is about half a mile above the bridge. There the St. Joseph’s, with its banks fringed with a variety of graceful trees, swept in gentle curves, and presented to the eye pictures of great beauty. Near the spot here represented, on the east bank of the St. Joseph’s, was once a stockade, built by the French, and occupied by the English in Pontiac’s time.

The land of the point between the St. Joseph’s and the Maumee, on which Little Turtle was encamped and the principal Miami village was situated, is a level bottom, and known as the Cole Farm. Much of it was covered with Indian corn of luxuriant growth; and I was told that there is evidence that a similar crop has been raised from it year after year for almost a century, and yet the soil was black, rich, and apparently inexhaustible. Here, it is said, was the place where the Miamis were accustomed to burn their prisoners. 25


About three hundred yards westward from Harmar’s Ford, on the site of the Indian camp, was a venerable apple-tree, full of fruit, its trunk measuring fifteen feet in circumference. Under this tree Chief Richardville, to whom allusion has been made, was born a little more than a hundred years ago. 26 It was a fruit-bearing tree then, and is supposed to have grown from a seed dropped by some French trader among these Twightwees, as the Miamis were called in early times. 27 In the sketch of the apple-tree the city of Fort Wayne is seen in the distance. The spires on the left are those of the Roman Catholic Cathedral.

We returned to Fort Wayne at twilight, and I spent the evening profitably with Mr. Hedges, one of the oldest and most intelligent of the inhabitants of that town 28 He was there in the spring of 1812, while the old stockade was yet standing, and before a garrison of United States troops from Harrison’s army arrived. He has seen the city bloom out into its present form and beauty from the folds of the dark forest, and its history and traditions are as familiar to him as those of his own biography. We chatted on the events of the past until a late hour, and parted with an agreement to visit the historic scenes together in the morning. The air toward midnight was as mild as early June, but a dappled sky prophesied a storm. At three o’clock in the morning I was aroused by heavy thunder-peals, and the dawning of the 28th was made dreary by a cold drizzle drifting upon a northeast wind. I went out alone, and made the sketches at the two fords and other drawings, and, after visiting the grave of Little Turtle, departed in the midday train for Indianapolis. Of Fort Wayne in 1812, and of Little Turtle and his grave, I shall hereafter write.

Although Harmar in his expedition had punished the Miamis and Shawnoese severely, and Hamtramck meanwhile had been up the Wabash to the mouth of the Vermilion River and destroyed some deserted villages, Indian hostilities in the Northwest were not even checked. The settlers along the Ohio were continually menaced and sometimes attacked by the savages, back of whom was distinctly heard the voice of the British commandant at Detroit. Western Virginia and Kentucky were threatened, and life and property on the frontiers were in jeopardy every hour. The Virginia Legislature adopted measures for the protection of the settlers, and the national government, awake to the importance of the subject, put forth all its available strength for the same purpose. General Knox, the Secretary of War, issued orders to proper authorities beyond the mountains "to impress the Indians with the power of the United States," and "to inflict that degree of punishment which justice may require." 29 Under these instructions, General Scott, of Kentucky, with eight hundred mounted men, crossed the Ohio [May 23, 1791.], and penetrated the Wabash country to the large village of Ouiatenon, situated about eight miles below the present village of Lafayette, Indiana, where several French families resided. There he found ample evidence of the Indians’ connection with and dependence on the British at Detroit. Scott destroyed the town, and several villages in the neighborhood, and desolated the country. He killed thirty-two Indians, "chiefly warriors of size and figure," and took fifty-eight prisoners, without losing any of his own men. 30

On the 1st of August Brigadier General James Wilkinson left Cincinnati (Fort Washington) with five hundred and twenty-five men, and penetrated the same region, by a different route, to the important Ouiatenon village of Ke-na-pa-com-a-qua, which the French called L’Anguille (The Eel), on the Eel River, about six miles from the present Logansport, Indiana. 31 He destroyed that village, desolated the country around as far as Tippecanoe, and then pushed forward to the great prairies that stretch away toward Lake Michigan. But deep morasses, into which he was sometimes plunged armpit deep, compelled him to return. He then destroyed another Kickapoo village of twenty houses, desolated all the crops, and, after a march of four hundred and fifty miles, reached the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville) on the 21st of August. 32

The misfortune that befell the Indians under the lash of Scott and Wilkinson did not quiet them. The British emissaries stimulated their courage to a point of desperation by assuring them that the grand object of the United States was to exterminate the tribes and take possession of their lands. 33 Thus two most powerful incentives to war were presented – self-preservation and patriotism. In defense of life and country they resolved to fight to the last. Little Turtle, of the Miamis, Blue Jacket, of the Shawnoese, and Buck-ong-a-helos, of the Delawares, put forth all their energies in the Summer of 1791, as Pontiac had done thirty years before, to confederate all the Western tribes in an effort to drive every European from the soil north of the Ohio. The protestations of St. Clair that peace, friendship, and justice, not war, subjugation, and robbery, were the desire of the people and government of the United States, were of no avail; and he was compelled, for the sake of the national life on the frontier, to attempt to convince them, by the stern argument of arms, that they were governed by bad counselors at Detroit.

It was determined to establish a strong military post in the heart of the Miami country, on the site of the present city of Fort Wayne. Congress authorized the raising of sufficient troops for the purpose, and during the spring and summer of 1791, St. Clair was putting forth strong efforts in that direction, but with indifferent success. Enlistments were slow, and it was not until the beginning of September that he had collected a sufficient force to attempt the enterprise with an appearance of safety. These had been collected in the vicinity of Cincinnati, and placed under the immediate command, in camp, of Major Hamtramck, who was remarkable as a tactician and disciplinarian. 34 St. Clair took the field as commander-in-chief. Major General Richard Butler, of Pennsylvania, was his second in command, and Winthrop Sargent, Secretary of the Territory, was appointed adjutant general.

An army little more than two thousand strong, under the immediate command of General Butler, and accompanied by General St. Clair, moved forward on the 5th and 6th of September [1791.]. On the bank of the Great Miami, little more than twenty miles from Fort Washington, they halted and built Fort Hamilton, on the site of the present village of Hamilton. Forty-two miles farther on, at a point about six miles south of Greenville, in the present Darke County, Ohio, they built Fort Jefferson. When they moved from there, on the 24th of October, they began to encounter the subtle foe in small parties. It was evident that dusky scouts were hanging upon their flanks, and they became hourly more cautious and vigilant. The nights were frosty, but serene. The days were genial and brilliant. The summer warmth had been diffused over the whole of September; and now the forests were arrayed in all the gorgeous beauty of autumnal splendors peculiar to them.

At length, when dark clouds were overhead, and falling leaves were thick in their path, the invading army halted and encamped upon the borders of an unknown stream, which proved to be a chief tributary of the Upper Wabash. They were ninety-seven miles from Fort Washington, deep in the wilderness. A light fall of snow lay upon the ground – so light that it appeared like hoar-frost. Over a piece of rising ground, timbered with oak, ash, and hickory, the encampment was spread, with a fordable stream, forty feet in width, in front. The army lay in two lines, seventy yards apart, with four pieces of cannon in the centre of each. Across the stream, and beyond a rich bottom land three hundred yards in width, was an elevated plain, covered with an open forest of stately trees. There the militia – three hundred and fifty independent, half-insubordinate men, under Lieutenant Colonel Oldham, of Kentucky – were encamped.

Eight weary miles through the woods the soldiers had marched that day, and when the camp was arranged the sun was low in the cloudless sky of the west. The tired soldiers early sought repose, without suspicion of danger near. All around them were evidences of old and recent Indian camps, and a few lurking savages had been seen by vigilant eyes; but no one knew whether Little Turtle and his confederates, with their followers, were near or far away.

They were near. Only a few miles distant the great Miami leader, Blue Jacket the Shawnoese chief; and Buck-ong-a-helos, the leader of the Delawares, with the cruel Girty and other white men in the British interest, were lying in wait, with two thousand fierce warriors at their beck. 35 These had been watching St. Clair’s movements for several days, and were waiting for the proper moment to fall upon him like a bolt from the cloud.


EXPLANATION. – a, Butler’s battalion; b b, artillery; c, Clarke’s battalion; d, Patterson’s battalion; e, Faulkner’s rifle company; f f, cavalry; g, detachment of U. S. Second Regiment; h, Gaither’s battalion; j, Beddinger’s battalion; b n p, flank guards; o 2, pickets; s, swamp; m, camp guard. The numerous crosses represent the enemy; z z, troops retreating; the crooked stream, a tributary of the Wabash.

The morning of the 4th dawned brilliantly. "Moderate northwest wind, serene atmosphere, and unclouded sky." 37 All night long the sentinels had been firing upon prowling Indians, and the men, by order of the commanding general, had slept upon their arms.

The troops had been early mustered and dismissed from parade. They were preparing for breakfast, when, half an hour before sunrise, a body of Indians, with yells that wakened horrid echoes miles away through the forest, fell suddenly upon the militia. The assailed camp was immediately broken up, and the frightened soldiers, most of whom had never been in battle, rushed wildly across the bottom and the creek into the lines of the regulars, producing alarm and confusion there. The Indians closely followed, and fell upon the regulars. The savages were several times repulsed, but soon rallied, and directed their most effective shots upon the artillery in the centre. Every officer there was prostrated, and the cannon were silenced. The carnage among the Americans was terrible, yet they withstood the enemy with great gallantry for almost three hours. Finally, when full one half of the army had fallen, St. Clair ordered a retreat to an old Indian road or trail. This was accomplished after a furious charge as if to turn the enemy’s flank. 38 The militia then led the van in the precipitate retreat, which soon became a flight. 39 The fugitive army was well covered by Major Clarke and his battalion; and the Indians, after following about four miles, turned back, wonderfully elated with their victory. Little Turtle was in chief command.

St. Clair behaved gallantly during the dreadful scene. He was so tortured with gout that he could not mount a horse without assistance. He was not in uniform. His chief covering was a coarse cappo coat, and a three-cocked hat from under which his white hair was seen streaming as he and Butler rode up and down the lines during the battle, He had three horses killed under him. Eight balls passed through his clothes. He finally mounted a pack-horse, and upon this animal, which could with difficulty be spurred into a trot, he followed in the retreat.

The fugitive army did not halt until safely within the palisades of Fort Jefferson. The panic was terrible, and the conduct of the army after quitting the ground was most disgraceful. Arms, ammunition, and accoutrements were almost all thrown away; and even officers, in some instances, threw away their arms, "thus setting an example for the most precipitate and ignominious flight." 40 They left the camp at nine o’clock in the morning, and at seven o’clock that evening they were in Fort Jefferson, twenty-nine miles distant. That evening Adjutant General Sargent wrote in his diary, "The troops have all been defeated; and though it is impossible, at this time, to ascertain our loss, yet there can be no manner of doubt that more than half the army are either killed or wounded." 41

At Fort Jefferson the flying troops found the First Regiment of the United States army, about three hundred strong. Leaving a well-provisioned garrison there, the remnant of St. Clair’s force made their way to Fort Washington, where they arrived at noon on the 8th [November, 1791.].

Intelligence of St. Clair’s defeat produced the greatest alarm among all the settlers in the West, even as far eastward as Pittsburg. It cast a gloom over society in all parts of the Union, and checked for a short time the tide of emigration in the direction of the Ohio. 42

St. Clair was condemned in unmeasured terms by men of all classes and parties, and the indignation of President Washington was exceedingly hot. "Here," he said to Tobias Lear, his private secretary, "yes, HERE, on this very spot, I took leave of him. I wished him success and honor. You have your instructions, I said, from the Secretary of War. I had a strict eye to them, and will add but one word – beware of a surprise! I repeat it – BEWARE OF A SURPRISE! You know how the Indians fight us. He went off with that, as my last solemn warning, thrown into his ears. 43 And yet!! to suffer that army to be cut to pieces, hacked, butchered, tomahawked, by a surprise – the very thing I guarded him against!! O God, O God, he is worse than a murderer! How can he answer it to his country? The blood of the slain is upon him – the curse of widows and orphans – the curse of Heaven!"

The tone of Washington’s voice was appalling as these vehement sentences escaped his lips. "It was awful!" said Mr. Lear. "More than once he threw his hands up as he hurled imprecations upon St. Clair." Mr. Lear remained speechless – awed into breathless silence.

"The roused chief;" says the chronicler, "sat down on the sofa once more. He seemed conscious of his passion, and uncomfortable. He was silent; his wrath began to subside. He at length said, in an altered voice, ‘This must not go beyond this room.’ Another pause followed – a longer one – when he said, in a tone quite low, ‘General St. Clair shall have justice. I looked hastily through the dispatches – saw the whole disaster, but not all the particulars. I will hear him without prejudice; he shall have full justice.’

"He was now," said Mr. Lear, "perfectly calm. Half an hour had gone by; the storm was over, and no sign of it was afterward seen in his conduct or heard in his conversation." 44

Washington was both generous and just, and St. Clair found in him a most faithful friend. "The first interview of the President with the unfortunate general after the fatal 4th of November," says the late Mr. Custis, who was present, "was nobly impressive. St. Clair, worn down by age, disease, and the hardships of a frontier campaign, assailed by the press, and with the current of popular opinion setting hard against him, repaired to his chief as to a shelter from the fury of so many elements. Washington extended his hand to one who appeared in no new character, for, during the whole of a long life, misfortune seemed ‘to have marked him for her own.’ Poor old St. Clair hobbled up to his chief; seized the offered hand in both of his, and gave vent to his feelings in an audible manner." 45

St. Clair’s case was investigated by a committee of the House of Representatives, and he was honorably acquitted. But public sentiment had set against him in a current too strong to be successfully resisted, and he resigned his commission. 46 General Anthony Wayne, whose impetuosity exhibited during the old war for independence had gained him the title of "Mad Anthony," was appointed to fill his place. Wayne was then in the prime of manhood, and Congress and the people had confidence in his intelligence, courage, and energy. Congress authorized an increase of the regular army to a little over five thousand men, and a competent part of this force, to be called the Legion of the United States, was to be assigned to Wayne for an expedition against the Indians in the Northwest. He took post at Pittsburg early in the following June [1792.], and appointed that place as the rendezvous of his invading army. It was soon perceived that it was easier to vote troops in the halls of Congress than to draw them out and muster them in the camp; and it was not until near the close of November that Wayne had collected a sufficient number to warrant his moving forward. He then went down the Ohio only about twenty miles, and there hutted his soldiers in a well-guarded camp, which he called Legionville. There he was joined by Lieutenant William Henry Harrison, afterward the distinguished general in the armies of the United States, and the ninth President of the republic. The young Virginian soon exhibited qualities which caused Wayne to make him a member of his military family as his aid-de-camp.

Wayne remained at Legionville until the close of April, 1793, when his whole force proceeded to Cincinnati in boats, and took post near Fort Washington. There they remained all the summer and until the 7th of October, when Wayne moved forward and encamped [October 23.] six miles in advance of Fort Jefferson, on the site of Greenville. His army then numbered three thousand six hundred and thirty men, exclusive of a small body of friendly Indians from the South, chiefly Choctaws, under the eminent warrior, Humming-bird.

While the army was making these tardy movements, the government was using its best endeavors to effect a pacification of the tribes, and to establish a solid peace without more bloodshed. These efforts promised success at times. With the aid of the pious Heckewelder, the Moravian, General Putnam made a treaty of peace and friendship with the Wabash and Illinois tribes, at Vincennes, on the 27th of September, 1792. At about the same time great numbers of the tribes on the Miami, the Maumee (or Miami of the Lakes), and Sandusky Rivers, assembled at the Maumee Rapids to hold a grand council, at which Red Jacket, Cornplanter, Big Tree, the aged Guasutha, and other representatives of the Six Nations appeared, at the request of the Secretary of War. Simon Girty was the only white man present. The savages, on consultation, determined, in conformity with the advice of the British, not to acknowledge any claim of the United States to lands northwest of the Ohio River. 47

In the spring of 1793 a commission was sent by the President to treat with the hostile tribes. 48 Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, of Canada, professing to be friendly, and favorable to a pacification of the tribes, the commissioners went by the way of Niagara, a post yet held by the British. Simcoe received them courteously, and hospitably entertained them for five or six weeks, while the Indians were holding another grand council at the Rapids of the Maumee. While tarrying there, the commissioners were informed by a Mohawk Indian from the Grand River that Governor Simcoe had "advised the Indians to make peace, but not to give up any of their lands." 49 The commissioners called Simcoe’s attention to this. He did not deny the allegation, but replied, "It is of that nature that it can not be true," as the Indians had not "applied for his advice on the subject." 50 This subterfuge was well understood by the commissioners; and his admission that, "ever since the conquest of Canada," it had been "the principle of the British government to unite the American Indians," was ominous of ulterior designs.

At Niagara, and at Captain Elliott’s, near the mouth of the Detroit River, in Canada, the commissioners held councils with the Indians, but nothing satisfactory was accomplished. British influence was more powerful than ever, and the savages in council plainly told the commissioners that if they insisted upon the treaty at Fort Harmar, and claimed lands on the northern side of the Ohio, they might as well go home, as they would never agree to any other boundary than that river. So the commissioners, after several months of fruitless labor, turned homeward late in August. It was evident that the might of arms must make a final settlement of the matter, and to arms the United States resorted.

We left Wayne and his army near Fort Jefferson, eighty miles from Fort Washington, on the 23d of October. He was then embarrassed by a lack of sufficient convoys for his stores. Already a party detailed for this purpose had been attacked and severely handled by a strong band of Indians under Little Turtle near Fort St. Clair. Lieutenant Lowry and fourteen of his companions were killed, 51 and all the horses attached to the wagons were carried off.

The season was now too far advanced to enter upon a campaign, so Wayne set his army to building a very strong fort on the spot where he was encamped. It was made impregnable against the Indians. There they went into winter-quarters. 52 Sufficient garrisons were placed in the forts at Vincennes, Cincinnati, and Marietta; and the return of spring was waited for with anxiety, for it was obvious that hostilities with the savages could not be long delayed.

A European war, to which we shall soon have occasion again to refer, was now having its effect upon the United States, complicating the difficulties which naturally attend the arrangement of a new system of government. Ill feeling between the United States and Great Britain was increasing, and evidences were not wanting that the latter was anxious for a pretense to declare hostilities against the former. Taking advantage of this state of things, Lord Dorchester (formerly Sir Guy Carleton), the Governor of Canada, encouraged the Indians in maintaining their hostile attitude. At a council of warriors from the West, held at Quebec early in 1794 [February 10, 1794.]. Dorchester, in a speech, said, "Children, since my return I find no appearance of a line remains; and from the manner in which the people of the states push on, and act, and talk on this side, and from what I learn of their conduct toward the sea, I shall not be surprised if we are at war with them in the course of the present year; and if so, a line must then be drawn by the warriors."

This was a suggestion for the savages to prepare for war. It was followed by an order from Dorchester to Lieutenant Governor Simcoe to establish a British military post at the rapids of the Maumee, fifty miles within the Indian country and the treaty limits of the United States. At the very time when this menacing attitude was assumed, the government of the new republic was exhibiting the most friendly feelings toward that of Great Britain by a position of strict neutrality.

Wayne was compelled to wait until late in the summer of 1794 before he felt strong enough to move forward. Meanwhile the Indians appeared in force. On the 30th of June, about a thousand of them, accompanied by a number of British soldiers and French Canadian volunteers, 53 made their appearance before Fort Recovery (mentioned in note 2 below), and during the day assailed the garrison several times. During these assaults the Americans lost fifty-seven men in killed, wounded, and missing, and two hundred and twenty-one horses. The Indians lost more, they said, than in their battle with St. Clair.

Less than a month after this engagement, Wayne was joined [July 26, 1794.] by Major General Scott, with sixteen hundred mounted volunteers from Kentucky; and two days afterward [July 28.] he moved forward with his whole force toward the Maumee. Admonished by the fate of St. Clair, he marched cautiously and slowly – so slowly and stealthily that the Indians called him The Blacksnake. Little Turtle was again upon the alert, with two thousand warriors of his own and neighboring tribes within call. The vigilant Wayne well knew this. He had faithful and competent scouts and guides, and by unfrequented ways and with perplexing feints, he moved steadily onward, leaving strength and security in his rear.

Twenty-five miles beyond Fort Recovery he built a stockade on the bank of the St. Mary’s, and called it Fort Adams. From this point he moved forward on the 4th of August, and at the end of four days encamped on a beautiful plain at the confluence of the Au Glaize and Maumee Rivers, on the site of the present village of Defiance. There he found a deserted Indian town, with at least a thousand acres of corn growing around it. 54 There, as elsewhere on his march, the alarmed savages fled at his approach. He tarried there a week, and built a strong fortification, which he called Fort Defiance. Of this fort, and the appearance of its remains when I visited it in the autumn of 1860, I shall hereafter write.

Wayne was now at the most important and commanding point in the Indian country. "We have gained the grand emporium of the hostile Indians of the West without loss of blood," he wrote to the Secretary of War [August 14, 1794.]. And there he gained full and positive information concerning the character, strength, and position of the British military post at the foot of the Maumee Rapids already alluded to. 55

Once more peace and reconciliation were offered to the Indians. Notwithstanding he was in possession of full power to subjugate and destroy without fear of the British intruders below, Wayne, unwilling to shed blood unnecessarily, sent a message to the Indians down the Maumee with kind words. "Be no longer deceived or led astray," he said, "by the false promises and language of bad white men at the foot of the Rapids; they have neither the power nor the inclination to protect you." He offered them peace and tranquillity for themselves and their families, and invited them to send deputies to meet him in council without delay. His overtures were rejected, and by craftiness they endeavored to gain time. "Stay where you are," they said, "for ten days, and we will treat with you; but if you advance we will give you battle."

This defiance was contrary to the advice of the sagacious Little Turtle, who counseled peace. 56 For this he was taunted with accusations of cowardice. The false charge enraged him, and he was foremost in the conflict that immediately ensued. That conflict was unavoidable. The vigilant Wayne perceived that nothing but a severe blow would break the spirit of the tribes and end the war, and he resolved to inflict it mercilessly. For this purpose his legion moved forward on the 15th of August, and on the 18th took post at Roche de Bout, at the head of the Rapids, near the present town of Waterville, and there established a magazine of supplies and baggage, with protecting military works, which they called Fort Deposit. There, on the 19th, Wayne called a council of war, and adopted a plan of march and of battle submitted by his young aid-de-camp, Lieutenant Harrison, who, nineteen years afterward, as a general-in-chief; performed gallant exploits in that portion of the Maumee Valley. 57


EXPLANATION OF THE PLAN. – A A, two squadrons of expert woodmen; B B, two squadrons of light dragoons; E E, two companies of Infantry front and rear; G G, one troop of light dragoons on each flank; H H, one company of Infantry on each flank; I I, one squadron of dragoons on each flank: J J, two companies of riflemen on each flank; K K, expert woodmen on the extreme of each flank. F F F F represent the main army in two columns, the legion of regular troops on the right, commanded by General Wilkinson, and the Kentucky volunteers, under Scott, on the left.

On the morning of the 20th, at eight o’clock, Wayne advanced with his whole army according to the adopted plan of march, having for his subordinate general officers Major General Scott, of the Kentucky volunteers, and Brigadier Generals Wilkinson, Todd, and Barber. They had proceeded about five miles when the advanced corps, under Major Price, were terribly smitten by heavy volleys from the concealed foe, and were compelled to fall back. The legion was immediately formed in two lines, principally in a dense wood on the borders of a wet prairie, where a tornado had prostrated a large number of trees, making the operations of cavalry very difficult. This fallen timber 58 afforded an admirable covert for the enemy, who, full two thousand strong, and composed of Indians and Canadian volunteers, 59 were posted in three lines, within supporting distance of each other. Wayne’s troops fell upon the foe with fearful energy, and made them flee toward Fort Miami like a herd of frightened deer to a covert. In the course of an hour the victory was complete. The mongrel horde were driven more than two miles through the thick woods, and left forty of their number dead in the pathway of their flight. By the side of each body lay a musket and bayonet from British armories. 60


Three days and three nights the victorious army remained below the Rapids, wielding the besom of destruction in defiance of the threats of the commandant of Fort Miami, within view of whose guns Wayne pitched his tents.

On the site of the present Maumee City, near Fort Miami, Colonel M‘Kee, the British agent already mentioned, and chief instigator of the war, had extensive store-houses and dwellings, for he was carrying on a most lucrative trade with the Indians. These, with their contents, were committed to the flames, while every product of the field and garden above and below the British fort was utterly destroyed. 61 Wayne’s men sometimes approached within pistol-shot of Fort Miami, but its guns prudently kept silence. Major Campbell, the commandant, contented himself with scolding and threatening, while Wayne coolly defied him and retorted with vigor. Their correspondence was very spicy, but harmless in its effects.


Among the brave warriors in the battle who was the last to flee before Wayne’s legion, was Me-sa-sa, or Turkey-foot, an Ottawa chief, who lived on Blanchard’s Fork of the Au Glaize River. He was greatly beloved by his people. His courage was conspicuous. When he found the line of the dusky warriors giving way at the foot of Presque Isle Hill, he leaped upon a small boulder, and by voice and gesture endeavored to make them stand firm. He almost immediately fell, pierced by a musket ball, and expired by the side of the rock. Long years afterward, when any of his tribe passed along the Maumee trail, they would stop at that rock, and linger a long time with manifestations of sorrow. Peter Navarre, a native of that region, and one of General Harrison’s most trusted scouts during the War of 1812, who accompanied me to the spot in the autumn of 1860, told me that he had seen men, women, and children gather around that rock, place bits of dried beef; parched peas and corn, and sometimes some cheap trinket upon it, and, calling frequently upon the name of the beloved Ottawa, weep piteously. They carved many rude figures of a turkey’s foot on the stone, as a memorial of the English name of the lamented Me-sa-sa. The stone is still there, by the side of the highway at the foot of Presque Isle Hill, within a few rods of the swift-flowing Maumee. Many of the carvings are still quite deep and distinct, while others have been obliterated by the abrasion of the elements. 62 Of this locality, so famous in the chronicles of the War of 1812, I shall have more to say hereafter.

Having thoroughly accomplished his work, Wayne returned with his army to Fort Defiance [August 27, 1794.], while the Indians, utterly defeated and disheartened, retired to the borders of Maumee Bay, in the vicinity of Toledo, to brood over their misfortunes and ponder upon the future. At the middle of September the victors moved from Defiance to the head of the Maumee, and at the bend of that river, just below the confluence of the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s, which form it, they built a strong fortification, and named it Fort Wayne.

It was completed on the 22d of October, and was immediately garrisoned with infantry and artillery, under Colonel Hamtramck. 63 This accomplished, the remainder of the troops left, some for Fort Washington, to be discharged from the service, and the others for Fort Greenville, where Wayne made his head-quarters for the winter. Thither deputations from the various tribes with whom he had been at war came to Wayne, and agreed upon preliminary terms of peace. They well remembered his assurance that the British had neither the power nor the inclination to help them – an assurance verified by the silence of Fort Miami’s guns. They promised to meet him in council early in the ensuing summer, for the purpose of forming a definitive treaty of peace between the United States and the Indian tribes of the Northwest. Faithful to their promise, chiefs and sachems began to reach Fort Greenville early in June. A grand council was opened there on the 16th of that month, and was continued until the 10th of August. Almost eleven hundred Indians were present, representing twelve tribes. 64 A definitive and satisfactory treaty was signed by all parties on the 3d of August, and the pacification of the Indians of the Northwest was thereby made complete. 65 By the operations of a special treaty between the United States and Great Britain, the Western military posts were speedily evacuated by the British, and for fifteen years the most remote frontier settlements were safe from any annoyance by the Indians. This security gave an immense impetus to emigration to the Northwestern Territory, and the country was rapidly filled with a hardy population.



1 Necessity, if not conscience, recommended this policy, for at the close of the Revolution the "regular army" had been reduced to less than seven hundred men, and no officer was retained above the rank of captain. This force was soon still farther reduced to twenty-five men to guard the military stores at Pittsburg, and fifty-five to perform military duty at West Point and other magazines.

Peace was negotiated with most of the tribes which had taken part against the United States in the late war. A treaty was concluded at Fort Stanwix (now Rome, New York) In October, 1784, with the Six Nations. Another was concluded at Fort M‘Intosh in January, 1785, with the Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas, and Ottawas; and another with the Cherokees, at Hopewell, in November the same year. Dissatisfaction having arisen concerning remuneration for lands, two new treaties were made at Fort Harmar, on the Muskingum, Ohio, at the beginning of 1789, by which allowances were made for ceded lands. By treaty, the Indian titles to lands extending along the northern bank of the Ohio and a considerable distance inland, as far west as the Wabash River, were extinguished. This tract comprised about seventeen millions of acres.

2 The deed of cession, signed by Virginia commissioners, with Thomas Jefferson at their head, was executed on the first day of March, 1784. It stipulated that the territory ceded should be laid out and formed into states, not less than one hundred nor more than one hundred and fifty miles square; that the states so formed should be "distinct republican states," and admitted as members of the National Union, having the same rights of sovereignty, etc., as the older states.

After the cession was executed the Congress referred the matter to a committee, of which Mr. Jefferson was chairman. That committee reported an ordinance containing a plan for the government of the whole Western territory north and south of the Ohio, from the thirty-first degree of north latitude to the northern boundary of the United States, it being supposed that other states owning territory south of the Ohio would follow the example of Virginia. The plan proposed to divide the great Territory into seventeen states, and among the conditions was the remarkable one "that, after the year 1800, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said states, other than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." This provision did not get the vote of nine states, the number necessary to adopt it. New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with the four New England States, voted for it; North Carolina was divided; Delaware and Georgia were unrepresented; Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina voted against it. (See Journal of Congress, April 19, 1784.) After expunging this proviso the report was adopted, but the subject was not definitely acted upon.

3 Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

4 This ordinance was reported by a committee, of which Mr. Dane, of Massachusetts, was chairman. It contained Mr. Jefferson’s anti-slavery proviso, with a clause relative to the rendition of fugitive slaves, similar in form to the one incorporated in the National Constitution a few weeks later.

5 This company was formed in Boston, and Rev. Manasseh Cutler, and Winthrop Sargent were the authorized agents of the association to make the contract with the United States Treasury Board. Among the associates were Generals Parsons and Rufus Putnam, of Connecticut; General Varnum and Commodore Whipple, of Rhode Island; General Tupper, of Massachusetts, and men of lesser note in public life.

6 Putnam and his party landed on the site of Marietta on the 7th of April, 1788. The governor of the territory had not yet arrived, so they established temporary laws for their own government. These were published by being written and nailed to a tree. Return J. Meigs, afterward governor of the state, was appointed to administer the laws. Such was the beginning of government in the State of Ohio.

7 These devoted missionaries were the first white inhabitants who took up their abode within the present limits of the State of Ohio. The Rev. John Frederick Post and Rev. John Heckewelder had penetrated the wilderness in this direction before the commencement of the Revolution. Their first visit was as early as 1761. Others followed, and they established three stations, or villages of Indian converts, on the Tuscarawas River, within the limits of the present county of that name. These were named Schoenbrun, Gnadenhutten, and Salem. The latter was near the present village of Port Washington. There Heckewelder resided for sometime, and there his daughter Johanna Maria was born, on the 6th of April, 1781.

She was the first white child born in Ohio, and is yet living [1867] at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in full possession of her mental faculties. She has been deaf for a number of years, and uses a slate in conversation. Her hand is firm, and she writes with vigor, as her signature, carefully copied in the engraving, made at the close of 1859, attests. It was appended to an autograph note to the writer. The portrait was taken by the Daguerreian process at that time. In a diary kept by the younger pupils of the Bethlehem boarding-school, where Miss Heckewelder was educated, under date of December 23, 1788 (the year when Marietta was founded), occurs the following sentence "Little Miss Polly Heckewelder’s papa returned from Fort Pitt, which occasioned her and us great joy." See Bethlehem Souvenir, 1858, p. 67.

8 This fort was a regular parallelogram, with an exterior line of seven hundred and twenty feet. There was a strong block-house at each corner, surmounted by a tower and sentry-box. Between them were dwelling-houses. At the outer corner of each block-house was a bastion, standing on four stout timbers. There were port-holes for musketry and artillery. These buildings were all made of sawed timbers. Twenty feet in advance of these was a row of very strong and large pickets, with gateways through them, and a few feet outside of these was placed a row of abatis.

9 Arthur St. Clair was a native of Edinburg, in Scotland, where he was born in 1734. He came to America with Admiral Boscawen in 1759, and served under Wolfe as a lieutenant. After the peace in 1763 he was placed in command of Fort Ligonier, in Pennsylvania. When the Revolution broke out he espoused the patriot cause, and was appointed a colonel in the Continental army in January, 1776. He was active most of the time during that war, and after its close settled in Pennsylvania. He was President of the Continental Congress in 1787, and the following year was appointed governor of the newly-organized Northwestern Territory. His services in that region are recorded in the text. He survived his misfortunes there almost a quarter of a century, and then died, in poverty, at Laurel Hill, in Western Pennsylvania, in August, 1818, at the age of eighty-four years.

10 William B. Giles, a member of Congress from Virginia.

11 Sir John was the heir to the title and fortune of Sir William, and was at the head of the Loyalists in the Mohawk Valley at the beginning of the Revolution. He had lived some time in England, and returned to settle in Canada in 1785. He had suffered in person and estate at the hands of the republicans, having been expelled from his home, his property confiscated, and his family exiled. These circumstances made him a bitter and relentless foe, and ready to strike a blow of retaliation. His losses were made up by the British government by grants of land. He died at Montreal in 1830, at the age of eighty-eight years. For a detailed account of his career during the old war for independence, see Lossing’s Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i.

12 Sir Guy Carleton was Governor of Canada when the old war for Independence broke out, and continued there until its close. He was acquainted with all the affairs of the Indians, and had great influence over them.

13 Appointed brigadier general on the 31st of July, 1787.

14 This fort was commenced in the autumn of 1785, by a detachment of United States troops under the command of Major John Doughty. It was on the right bank of the Muskingum, at its junction with the Ohio, and was named in honor of Colonel Josiah Harmar, to whose regiment Major Doughty’s corps was attached. It was the first military post of the kind erected within the limits of Ohio. The outlines formed a regular pentagon, embracing about three fourths of an acre. United States troops occupied it until 1790, when they left it to construct and occupy Fort Washington, on the site of Cincinnati. During the Indian wars that succeeded it was occupied by a few troops, and was finally abandoned after the treaty of Greenville in 1795.

15 In the great council at Fort Greenville in 1795, Little Turtle, the most active of the chiefs in the Northwest, gave the following reason for their refusal to comply with the treaties: "You have told me," he said, "that the present treaty should be founded upon that of Muskingum. I beg leave to observe to you that that treaty was effected altogether by the Six Nations, who seduced some of our young men to attend it, together with a few of the Chippewas, Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, and Pottawatomies. I beg leave to tell you that I am entirely ignorant of what was done at that treaty."

16 Vincennes was so named by the French traders, who established a trading-post there as early as 1730. The name is in honor of the Sieur de Vincennes, an officer sent to the Miamis as early as 1705, and who commanded the post on the Wabash, afterward called by his name. It was alternately in possession of the Americans and British during the Revolution, while the head-quarters of the latter were at Detroit. It is on the bank of the Wabash, one hundred miles from its mouth, and is the capital of Knox County, Indiana.

17 Gamelin’s Journal, cited by Dillon, in his History of Indiana, p. 226.

18 This curtailment of the boundaries of the United States, so as to prevent their control of the upper lakes and the valuable fur trade of the country around them, was a favorite scheme of British statesmen. It was even proposed as a sine qua non, at one time, by the British commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Peace in 1814, that the Indians inhabiting a portion of the United States within the limits established by the Treaty of 1783 should be included as the allies of Great Britain in the projected pacification; and that definite boundaries should be settled for the Indian territory, upon a basis which would have operated to surrender to a number of Indians, not probably exceeding a few thousands, the rights of sovereignty as well as of soil, over nearly one third of the territorial dominions of the United States, inhabited by more than one hundred thousand of its citizens. *

* See American State Papers, ix., 332 to 421, inclusive.

19 Fort Washington was built on the site of a block-house erected by Ensign Luce within the limits of the present city of Cincinnati, which was first named Losantiville by a pedantic settler, from the words le os anti vile, which he interpreted as meaning "the village opposite the mouth" – mouth of Licking River. Luce was at North Bend with a detachment of troops, charged with selecting a site for a block-house. Judge Symmes wished it to be built there, but Luce, according to the judge, was led to Cincinnati, as Losantiville was then called, on account of his love for the beautiful wife of a settler, who went there to reside because of the attentions to her of the ensign at the Bend. Luce followed, and erected the block-house there; and in 1790 Major Doughty built Fort Washington on the same spot. It was a rude but strong structure, and stood upon the eastern boundary of the town as originally laid out, between the present Third and Fourth Streets, east of Eastern Row, now Broadway, which was then a "two-pole alley." The celebrated English writer and traveler, Mrs. Trollope, resided in Cincinnati for a while, and had a noted bazar on the site of the fort. That work was composed of a number of strongly-built hewn-log cabins, a story and a half in height, arranged for soldiers’ barracks. Some, better finished than the majority, were used by the officers. They formed a hollow square, inclosing about an acre of ground, with a strong block-house at each angle. One of these was Luce’s. These were built of the timber from the ground on which the fort stood. In 1792 Congress reserved fifteen acres around it for the use of the garrison. In the autumn of 1790, Governor St. Clair arrived at Fort Washington, organized the County of Hamilton, and decreed that the little village of Cincinnati, commenced around the fort, should be the county seat. Thus commenced the Queen City of the West, as it has been called.

20 These consisted of three battalions of Virginia militia, one battalion of Pennsylvania militia, one battalion of mounted light troops, and two battalions of regulars – in all, 1453. Of these, 320 were regulars.

21 This has been mistaken for the present Chillicothe on the Scioto. Chillicothe was the name of one of the principal tribes of the Shawnoese, and was a favorite name for a village. There were several of that name in the country of the Shawnoese. There was Old Chillicothe, where Boone was a captive for some time. It was on the Little Miami, on the site of Xenia. There was another on the site of Westfall, in Pickaway County; and still another on the site of Frankfort, in Ross County. There was an Indian town of that name on the site of the present Chillicothe. All these were within the present limits of Ohio. It signified "the town," or principal one.

22 Harmar’s halting-place was on Nine-mile Creek, a tributary of the Maumee, nine miles south of Fort Wayne.

23 Statement of John P. Hedges, of Fort Wayne, to the author.

24 Harmar lost, in this expedition, 183 killed and 31 wounded. Among the killed were Majors Wyllys and Fontaine. The loss of the Indians was supposed to be about equal to that of the white people. Criminations and recriminations grew out of this expedition. Harmar and Hardin were both tried by court-martial and both were acquitted. Harmar resigned his commission on the 1st of January, 1792. Hardin had been a lieutenant in Morgan’s rifle corps in the Revolution, and was a brave soldier. He was a Virginian by birth, but settled in Kentucky after the war. He was killed by some Shawnoese while on a mission of peace to them in 1792, when he was in the thirty-ninth year of his age. A county in each of the states of Ohio and Kentucky bears his name, in his honor.

25 We have mentioned Mr. Gamelin’s peace mission, on page 40. He was at this place, and only three days after he left (about the 1st of May, 1790), the savages, as if in derision of the United States authority, brought an American prisoner there and burned him. – See DILLON’S History of Indiana.

About seventy years ago a white man was bound to the stake at this place. The mother of Chief Richardville, mentioned in the next note, and a woman of great influence, had made fruitless attempts to save him. The torch was applied. Richardville, then quite young, had been designated as their future chief. She appealed to him, and, placing a knife in his hand, bade him assert his chieftainship and cut the cords that bound the prisoner. He obeyed, and the prisoner was released. The kind-hearted Miami woman secreted the prisoner and sent him down the Maumee in a canoe, covered with furs and peltries, in charge of some friendly Indians. Many years afterward Richardville stopped at a town in Ohio. A man came to him and threw his arms affectionately around his neck. It was the rescued prisoner. – Lecture before the Congregation of the First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne.

26 Pis-he-wa (Wildcat), or Jean Baptiste Richardville, was born in 1759. His father was Joseph Drouet de Richardville, a Frenchman, who traded at Ke-ki-on-ga * (Fort Wayne) from 1750 to 1770. He was elected chief of the Miamis, on the death of Little Turtle, in 1811. He was a large, fine-looking man, of quite light complexion, and spoke English well. Richardville left a fortune at his death in 1840. I was told by an old resident of Fort Wayne, who knew him well, that he had received large sums of money and immense tracts of land, from time to time, in consideration of his signing treaties; and that, at his death, he had $200,000 buried where no one but his daughter could find it. He was a temperate man, with acquisitiveness largely developed. He was buried in Fort Wayne.

* Ke-ki-on-ga in the language of the Miamis, and Kee-ke-ogue in that of the Pottawatomies.

27 The Twightwees once formed a powerful confederacy of tribes, and claimed to be the possessors of a vast territory. At the treaty with Wayne at Greenville, which we shall notice presently, Little Turtle thus defined the ancient boundary of the Twightwees or Miamis: "It is well known by all my brothers present that my forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his lines to the head waters of the Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash: and from thence to Chicago, on Lake Michigan." – American State Papers, i., 570. This comprises about one half of Ohio, the whole of Indiana, and a part of Southern Michigan.

28 John P. Hedges was employed in the commissary’s department, under John H. Platt, of Ohio, the contractor for the army of the Northwest, commanded by General Harrison. He was active in that department during the whole of the war, and became familiar with all the territory. He was with General M‘Arthur in his campaign in Western Canada, and was with Harrison at the battle of the Thames. He was at the treaty with the Indians at Greenville in 1814, and distributed provisions to the savages on that occasion.

29 Instructions of the Secretary of War to Brigadier General Scott, of Kentucky, March 9, 1791.

30 Scott’s official report to the Secretary of War, June 28, 1791.

31 Ouiatenon, a stockade built by the French, was near the present city of Lafayette, Indiana.

32 "I have destroyed," he said, "the chief town of the Ouiatenon nation, and made prisoners of the sons and sisters of the king. I have burned a respectable Kickapoo village, and cut down at least four hundred and thirty acres of corn, chiefly in the milk. The Ouiatenons, left without houses, home, or provisions, must cease to war, and will find active employ to subsist their squaws and children during the Impending winter." – WILKINSON’S Official Report to Governor St. Clair, August 24, 1791.

33 The most active of these British emissaries were Simon Girty, Andrew M‘Kee, and Mathew Elliott, three malignant Tories during the Revolution. The two latter were natives of Path valley, Pennsylvania. Many a murder was justly charged to these men while the old war for independence was in progress. They carried on their depredations on the frontier with a high hand, and, for their faithfulness in inciting Indian hostilities during that war that led to frightful massacres, the British government rewarded them with official station. They married Indian women, and became thoroughly identified with the savages. At the time we are now considering Elliott and M‘Kee were subordinate agents in the British Indian Department, and, with Girty, had homes near Malden, in Canada, on the Detroit River. We shall meet Elliott again. Girty was an unmitigated scoundrel. More brutal than the most savage Indian, he had not one redeeming quality. He was the offspring of crime. His father, an Irishman, was a sot; his mother was a bawd. He was nurtured among the warlike Senecas, and his innate cruelty had free scope for growth. With Elliott and M‘Kee, who, with him, had been imprisoned at Pittsburg in 1778, he aroused the Indians in the Northwest with the same cry that now alarmed them: "The Americans want to take your lives and your lands." For more than twenty years the women and children of the Ohio country turned pale when his name was mentioned.

34 Hamtramck was a poor rider. "He was crooked like a frog on horseback," said the venerable Major Whitlock, of Crawfordsville, to me, who knew him well, and had served under him. He had the faculty of inspiring the men with self-confidence, and, notwithstanding he was a most rigid disciplinarian, the troops all loved him, for he was kindhearted, generous, and brave.

35 The late Colonel John Johnson, of Dayton, mentioned hereafter, informed me that, from the best information he could obtain, the Indians numbered about two thousand. Some have estimated their number at one thousand, and others at three thousand. The principal tribes engaged in the battle were the Miamis, Delawares, Shawnoese, Wyandots, Ottawas, and a few Chippewas and Pottawatomies.

36 This sketch of St. Clair’s encampment is from Winthrop Sargent’s MS. Journal of the Campaign, kindly lent to me by his grandson, Winthrop Sargent, Esq., of Philadelphia. It is a fac-simile of Mr. Sargent’s sketch.

37 Winthrop Sargent’s MS. Journal, November 4, 1791.

38 There were quite a large number of the wounded so maimed that they could not walk or sit upon a horse, and their companions were compelled to leave them upon the field. "When they knew they must be left," says Sargent, "they charged their pieces with a deliberation and courage which reflects the highest honor upon them; and the firing of musketry in the camp after we had quitted it leaves little doubt that their latest efforts were professionally brave, and where they could pull a trigger they avenged themselves." – MS. Journal.

During the engagement, the Indians, as opportunity offered, plundered and scalped their victims. They also disfigured the bodies of the slain. Having been taught by the British emissaries that the Americans made war upon them for their lands, they crammed clay and sand into the eyes and down the throats of the dying and dead. – DILLON’S History of Indiana, p. 283. Among the slain was Major General Butler; and it has been authoritatively asserted that the miscreant, Simon Girty, instigated a savage warrior, while the general was yet alive on the field, to scalp him, and take out his heart for distribution among the tribes!

39 The whole number of effective troops in the battle, according to Sargent’s return, was 1748.

40 Sargent’s MS. Journal. There were almost two hundred female camp-followers, chiefly wives of the soldiers. Of these, fifty-six were killed; most of the remainder were in the flight. One of them, Mrs. Catharine Miller, who died in Cincinnati about the year 1838, was so fleet afoot that she ran ahead of the army. She had a great quantity of long red hair, that streamed behind her as she ran, and formed the oriflamme which the soldiers followed – Statement of Major Whitlock, of Crawfordsville, Indiana.

41 MS. Journal, Friday, November 4, 1791. Mr. Sargent was slightly wounded. According to his report, afterward made out carefully, thirty-six officers were killed and thirty wounded; and 593 privates were killed and missing, and 214 wounded. He did not think many Indians were lost – probably not more than one hundred and fifty killed and wounded. Several pieces of cannon, and all the baggage, ammunition, and provisions were left on the field, and became spoil for the savage victors. The value of public property lost, according to the report of the Secretary of War toward the close of 1792, was $32,810.75. The signature of the Adjutant General, of which a fac-simile is given on page 38, was copied from his report. In Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio may be found many particulars and anecdotes of this disastrous campaign.

Among the slain, as we have observed, was Major General Butler, a highly esteemed officer from Pennsylvania. He held the rank of colonel in the Continental army. In 1787 he was sent to the Ohio as agent for Indian affairs in that quarter. He was wounded early in the action, and before his wounds could be dressed, an Indian, who had penetrated the camp, ran up and tomahawked and scalped him. Butler was much beloved by the Indians who were friendly to the United States. Among those who loved him most was Big Tree, a Seneca chief in the Genesee Valley. He vowed to avenge the death of Butler by killing three of the hostile Indians. Because the treaty of peace at Greenville in 1795 thwarted his bloody purpose, Big Tree committed suicide.

42 This event was the theme for oratory, the pulpit, poetry, art, and song. I have before me a dirge-like poem, printed on a broadside, and embellished with rude wood-cuts representing forty coffins at the head, a portrait of General Butler, a Miami village, an Indian with a bow, and the hideous skull and cross-bones. It is entitled "The Columbian Tragedy," and professes to give, in verse, "a particular and official account" of the affair. It was published "by the earnest request of the friends of the deceased worthies who died in defense of their country." According to this "official account," the battle was fought between two thousand United States troops "and near four thousand wild Indian savages, at Miami Village, near Fort Washington!" A pious tone runs through the mournful ballad, and the feelings of the writer may be imagined after the perusal of this single verse:

"My trembling hand can scarcely hold

My faint, devoted quill,
To write the actions of the Bold,
Their Valor and their Skill."

There was a famous song that was sung for many years afterward, entitled "Sinclair’s Defeat," written, as the author thus informs us, by one of the soldiers:

"To mention our brave officers is what I write to do;
No Sons of Mars e’er fought more brave, or with more courage true.
To Captain Bradford I belonged, in his Artillery;
He fell that day among the slain – a valiant man was he."

This song may be found in Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, p.138.

43 This Interview was on the 28th of March, 1791, the day when St. Clair left Philadelphia and proceeded to the frontier post of Pittsburg. Thence he went to Kentucky, and afterward to Fort Washington, every where endeavoring to enlist the sympathies and co-operation of the inhabitants for the campaign.

44 Washington in Domestic Life, by Richard Rush, p. 67.

45 Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, by his adopted son, G. W. P. Custis, p.419.

46 The late Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, of Ohio, First Auditor of the United States Treasury during a portion of the first term of Mr. Lincoln’s administration, and a veteran soldier of 1812, furnished me with the following interesting account of his interview with St. Clair three years before his death:

"In May, 1815, four of us called upon him, on the top of Chestnut Ridge, eastwardly eight or ten miles from Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. We were traveling on horseback to Connecticut, and being informed that General St. Clair kept tavern, we decided to call for entertainment during the night. We alighted at his residence late in the afternoon, and, on entering his log house, we saw an elderly, neat gentleman, dressed in black broadcloth, silk stockings, and small-clothes, shining shoes whose straps were secured by large silver buckles, his hair clubbed and powdered. On closing his book he rose, received us most kindly and gracefully, and pointing us to chairs, he asked us to be seated. On being asked for entertainment, he said, ‘Gentlemen, I perceive you are traveling, and although I should be gratified by your custom, It is my duty to inform you I have no hay nor grain. I have good pasture, but if hay and grain are essential, I can not furnish them.’

"There stood before us a major general of the Revolution – the friend and confidant of Washington – late governor of the Territory northwest of the River Ohio – one of nature’s noblemen, of high, dignified bearing, whom misfortune, nor the ingratitude of his country, nor poverty could break down nor deprive of self-respect – keeping a tavern in a log house, but could not furnish a bushel of oats nor a lock of hay. We were moved principally to call upon him to hear him converse about the men of the Revolution and of the Northwestern Territory, and our regret that he could not entertain us was greatly increased by hearing him converse about an hour. The large estate he sacrificed for the cause of the Revolution was within a short distance of the top of Chestnut Ridge, if not in sight. After he was governor he petitioned Congress for relief, but died before it was granted." *

* During the last two years of his life General St. Clair received a pension of sixty dollars a month from his government, and his latter days were made comfortable thereby. About 1856, Senator Brodhead, of Pennsylvania, procured from Congress an appropriation for the heirs of General St. Clair.

47 The sentiments of the Indians, even the friendly ones, concerning the boundary, may be inferred from the following toast given by Cornplanter, at the table of General Wayne, at Legionville, in the spring of 1793: "My mind is upon that river," he said, pointing to the Ohio. "May that water ever continue to run, and remain the boundary of lasting peace between the Americans and Indians on the opposite shore." – HALL’S Memoir of W. H. Harrison, p. 31.

48 The commission consisted of Benjamin Lincoln, Beverly Randolph, and Timothy Pickering.

49 Note of commissioners to Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, 7th June, 1793.

50 Reply of Lieutenant Governor Simcoe to American commissioners, 7th June, 1793.

51 Fort St. Clair was at a point about a mile from the site of Eaton, in Preble County, Ohio. Between it and Eaton is a small cemetery, and therein, upon one of those ancient artificial mounds common in Ohio, a neat monument of Rutland marble, twelve feet in height, was erected by the citizens in commemoration of the slain at Fort Recovery.


Lowry and his companions were buried in Fort St. Clair. His remains were removed to the little cemetery on the 4th of July, 1822, and there reinterred with the honors of war. They were afterward buried in the mound.

52 This was called Fort Greenville, and covered a large part of the site of the present village of Greenville. The soldiers built several hundred log huts, in which they wintered comfortably. Each hut was occupied by six persons.

From Fort Greenville Wayne sent out eight companies, and a detachment of artillery to take possession of and fortify the place where St. Clair was defeated. They arrived on the ground on Christmas-day, and proceeded to build a strong stockade, They named it Fort Recovery, in commemoration of the fact that they had recovered the territory lost by St. Clair, as well as all but one of the cannon which he was compelled to leave behind. A company each of artillery and riflemen were left there as a garrison.

53 Burnet, in his notes, asserts upon good authority that there were "a considerable number of British soldiers and Detroit militia with the Indians." Friendly Choctaws and Chickasaws with Wayne, who had been sent on a scout a few days before, saw a large body of Indians, among whom, they asserted, were many white men with their faces painted.

54 "The very extensive and highly cultivated fields and gardens show the work of many hands. The margin of those beautiful rivers, the Miami of the Lakes (pronounced Maumee] and Au Glaize, appear like one continued village for a number of miles both above and below this place; nor have I ever before beheld such immense fields of corn in any part of America from Canada to Florida." – WAYNE’S Letter to the Secretary of War from Fort Defiance, August 14, 1794.

55 It was a strong work of earth and logs, mounting four 9-pounders, two large howitzers, six 6-pounders, and two swivels. The garrison, under Major Campbell, a testy Scotchman, consisted of 250 British regulars and 200 militia.

56 "We have beaten the enemy twice, under separate commanders," said Little Turtle, in a speech. "We can not expect the same good fortune always to attend us. The Americans are now led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and the day are alike to him; and during all the time that he has been marching upon our villages, notwithstanding the watchfulness of our young men, we have never been able to surprise him. Think well of it. There is something whispers me it would be prudent to listen to the offers of peace."

57 I am indebted to the Hon. John Francis Hamtramck Claiborne, of Mississippi, for the plan of the line of march and order of battle given in the text. In a letter to me, covering the drawings, dated "Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, August 20,1860," Mr. Claiborne remarks: "This day, sixty-six years ago, was fought the great Battle of the Rapids. I send you the original ‘Plan of the Line of March’ and of the ‘Order of Battle.’ I found these diagrams among the papers of my father, the late General Claiborne, who was in the battle, a lieutenant and acting adjutant in the First Regiment United States Infantry, Colonel J. F. Hamtramck. I found them in a package of letters from Harrison to my father, the ‘Plan of the Line of March’ indorsed, in my father’s handwriting, ‘Lieutenant Harrison’s Plan, adopted in council, August 19, ’94.’

"Wayne, it appears, called a council of war on the 19th, and the plan, drawn up by Harrison, then a young man of twenty-one years, was adopted by the veteran officers the moment it was submitted – an homage to skill and talent rarely awarded to a subaltern."

58 This conflict is often called in history and tradition the Battle of the Fallen Timbers.

59 There were about seventy white men, including a corps of volunteers from Detroit under Captain Caldwell.

60 Among the officers mentioned by Wayne, in his dispatch to the secretary of War, whose services demanded special mention, were Wilkinson and Hamtramck: his aids-de-camp De Butt, Lewis, and Harrison; Mills, Covington of the cavalry, Webb, Slough, Prior, Smith, Van Rensselaer, Rawlins, M‘Kenney, Brook, and Duncan. His loss in killed and wounded was 133. Of these, 113 were regulars. The loss of the enemy was not ascertained. In their flight they left forty of their dead in the woods.

61 Wayne’s dispatch to the Secretary of War from Fort Defiance, August 28, 1794.

62 The above view of Turkey-foot’s Rock is at the foot of the Maumee Rapids, looking up the stream. It is seen in the foreground, on the right, and over it the road passing over Presque Isle Hill. It was here, and farther to the right, that the Indians were posted among the fallen trees. On the left is seen the Maumee, which here sweeps in a graceful curve. The point across the Maumee at the bend is the river termination of a plain, on which General Hull’s army was encamped while on its march toward Detroit in the summer of 1812. There the army crossed the Maumee.

Turkey-foot Rock is limestone, about five and a half feet in length and three feet in height. It is about three miles above Maumee City. In allusion to the event which the rock commemorates, Andrew Coffinberry, of Perrysburg, in a poem entitled "The Forest Ranger, a Poetic Tale of the Western Wilderness of 1794," thus wrote, after giving an account of Wayne’s progress up to this time:

"Yet at the foot of red Presque Isle
Brave Me-sa-sa was warring still:
He stood upon a large rough stone,
Still dealing random blows alone;
But bleeding fast – glazed were his eyes,
And feeble grew his battle-cries;
Too frail his arm, too dim his sight,
To wield or aim his axe aright;
As still more frail and faint he grew,
His body on the rock he threw.
As coursed his blood along the ground,
In feeble, low, and hollow sound,
Mingled with frantic peals and strong,
The dying chief poured forth his song."

Here follows "The Death-song of the Sagamore."

63 John Francis Hamtramck was a most faithful and useful officer. He was a resident of Northern New York when the Revolution broke out, and was a captain in the Continental army. He was appointed a major in the regular army of the United States in September, 1789, and was promoted to be lieutenant colonel commandant of the first sub-legion in February, 1793. He commanded the left wing under General Wayne in the battle of the Maumee, in August, 1794, and held the rank of lieutenant colonel in the First Infantry in 1796. He was retained as colonel on the reduction of the army in April, 1802, and on the 11th of April the following year he died and was buried at Detroit.

While in Detroit, in the autumn of 1860, I visited the grave of Colonel Hamtramck, and made the accompanying sketch. It is in the grounds attached to St. Anne’s Orphan Asylum, and between that Institution and St. Anne’s Church, both belonging to the Roman Catholics. The monument over his grave and the grounds around it were much neglected. The former was dilapidated, the latter covered with weeds and brambles. The monument is composed of a light freestone slab, grown dingy from the effects of the elements, lying upon a foundation of brick. It bears the following inscription:


"Sacred to the memory of JOHN FRANCIS HAMTRAMCK, Esq., Colonel of the First United States Regiment of Infantry, and Commandant of Detroit and its dependencies. He departed this life on the 11th of April, 1808, aged 45 years, 7 months, and 27 days. True patriotism, and zealous attachment to national liberty, joined to a laudable ambition, led him into military service at an early period of his life. He was a soldier even before he was a man. He was an active participator in all the dangers, difficulties, and honors of the Revolutionary War; and his heroism and uniform good conduct procured him the attention and personal thanks of the immortal Washington. The United States, in him, have lost a valuable officer and good citizen, and society a useful and pleasant member. To his family his loss is incalculable, and his friends will never forget the memory of Hamtramck. This humble monument is placed over his remains by the officers who had the honor to serve under his command: a small but grateful tribute to his merit and his worth."

64 Wyandots, Delawares, Shawnoese, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawatomies, Miamis, Weas, Kickapoos, Piankeshaws, Kaskaskias, and Eel River Indians.

65 After the treaty had been twice read to the Indians, and every section explained by General Wayne, that officer said: "Brothers, – All you nations now present, listen! You now have had, a second time, the proposed articles of treaty read and explained to you. It is now time for the negotiation to draw to a conclusion. I shall, therefore, ask each nation individually if they approve of and are prepared to sign those articles in their present form, that they may be immediately engrossed for that purpose. I shall begin with the Chippewas, who, with the others who approbate the measure, will signify their assent. You, Chippewas, do you approve of these articles of treaty, and are you prepared to sign them? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Ottawas, do you agree? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Pottawatomies? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Wyandots, do you agree? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Delawares? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Shawnoese? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Miamis, do you agree? [A unanimous answer – yes.] You, Weas? [A unanimous answer – yes.] And you, Kickapoos, do you agree? [A unanimous answer – yes.] The treaty shall be engrossed; and, as it will require two or three days to do it properly on parchment, we will now part, to meet on the 2d of August. In the interim, we will eat, drink, and rejoice, and thank the Great Spirit for the happy stage this good work has arrived at."

After the treaty was signed, a copy of it on paper was given to the representative of each nation, and then a large quantity of goods and many small ornaments were distributed among the Indians present. On the 10th, at the close of the council, General Wayne said to them: "Brothers, I now fervently pray to the Great Spirit that the peace now established may be permanent, and that it may hold us together in the bonds of friendship until time shall be no more. I also pray that the Great Spirit above may enlighten your minds, and open your eyes to your true happiness, that your children may learn to cultivate the earth and enjoy the fruits of peace and industry. As it is probable, my children, that we shall not soon meet again in public council, I take this opportunity of bidding you all an affectionate farewell, and of wishing you a safe and happy return to your respective homes and families."

By this treaty the Indians ceded about twenty-five thousand square miles of territory to the United States, besides sixteen separate tracts, including lands and forts. In consideration of these cessions, the Indians received goods from the United States, of the value of $20,000, as presents, and were promised an annual allowance, valued at $9500, to be equitably distributed among all the tribes who were parties to the treaty.



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