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Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter XXVI - Harrison's Invasion of Canada - His Home.






Arrangements for Invading Canada. – Harrison’s Disinterestedness. – Governor Shelby and his Followers. – Sword presented to Governor Shelby. – Army of the Northwest in Motion. – Its Embarkation for Canada. – The Army crosses Lake Erie. – It lands without Opposition. – Vengeance of the Kentuckians and Fears of Proctor. – Tecumtha’s scornful Rebuke of Proctor. – The British and Indians fly toward the Thames. – The Americans pursue. – Johnson and his Horsemen cross the Detroit River. – Vigorous Pursuit of the British. – Perry’s Squadron in the Thames. – Pursuit up the Thames. – A Halt at Dolsen’s – The American Troops at Chatham. – Skirmish at M‘Gregor’s Mill. – Destruction of Property. – The British nearly overtaken. – The fugitive British and Indians discovered. – The chosen Battle-ground. – Tecumtha’s chief Lieutenant. – Harrison’s Arrangements for Battle. – The British Line of Battle. – Change of Battle Order. – Battle of the Thames. – Flight of Proctor. – The Contest with the Indians. – The Fight a fierce one. – The Savages defeated. – Escape of Proctor. – Death of Tecumtha. – Who killed Tecumtha? – The Gallantry of Colonel Johnson in the Battle. – His Wounds. – Samuel Theobald. – Johnson conveyed Homeward. – Rejoicings because of the Victory. – Harrison and Proctor properly rewarded. – Proctor’s Punishment considered too mild by the Prince Regent. – The Remnant of Proctor’s Army. – Effects of the Victories of Perry and Harrison. – Disposition of the Troops. – A Journey to the Thames. – A Visit to the Battle-field on the Thames. – Recollections of an old Resident. – Tecumtha and his Pistol. – Appearance of the Battle-field of the Thames. – Moravian Town. – Return to Chatham. – Dolsen’s – Journey Eastward. – Harrison on the Northern Frontier. – Treatment of Harrison by the Secretary of War. – Harrison leaves the Army. – A Journey in Ohio. – Ancient Mounds and Relics at Newark, Ohio. – Ancient Coffin and Inscribed Stones. – An ancient stone Box and its Contents. – An immense ancient Earth-work near Newark visited and described. – Thoughts concerning the Mound-builders. – City of Columbus. – Journey down the Scioto Valley. – Circleville. – Arrival at Chillicothe. – Its Site and early Buildings. – Visit to "Fruit Hill" and "Adena." – Governor Worthington. – Description of "Adena." – M‘Arthur’s Portrait. – A Visit to Cincinnati and its Vicinity. – Veterans of the War of 1812 at Batavia. – An Evening with a Daughter of General Harrison. – Settlement at North Bend. – Symmes’s City to be the future Capital of Ohio. – A successful Rival. – Captain Harrison and Anna Symmes as Lovers. – Their Marriage opposed. – Its Consummation and Result. – An early Settler in Ohio. – A Visit to the Tomb of General Harrison. – Captain Symmes and his Theory. – Site of General Harrison’s Residence. – Destruction of his House by Fire. – Mementoes.


" ’Twas on La Tranche’s fertile banks

A gallant host appeared;
But fourteen hundred formed their ranks –
No chance of war they feared.
Their country’s cause had called them forth
To battle’s stormy field;
They deemed the man of little worth
Whose mind but thought to yield.
There our Columbia’s warrior bands
The star-stud ensign bear,
And General Harrison commands
The men to valor dear."


When Perry’s victory gave the sovereignty of Lake Erie to the Americans, General Harrison had completed his arrangements for invading Canada. He had called on Governor Shelby, of Kentucky, for fifteen hundred men, and, with the generosity of an unselfish patriot as he was, invited that veteran to the field and to the chief command, saying, "Why not, my dear sir, come in person? You would not object to a command that would be nominal only. I have such confidence in your wisdom, that you, in fact, should ‘be the guiding head and I the hand.’ The situation you would be placed in would not be without its parallel. Scipio, the conqueror of Carthage, did not disdain to act as the lieutenant of his younger and less experienced brother, Lucius."

This invitation roused the martial spirit of Shelby, and he resolved to lead, not to send his people against the foe. He called for mounted volunteers to assemble at Newport, opposite Cincinnati, at the close of July [July 31, 1813.]. "I will meet you there in person," he said; "I will lead you to the field of battle, and share with you the dangers and honors of the campaign." His words were electrical; Kentucky instantly blazed with enthusiasm. "Come," said the young men and veterans, "let us rally round the eagle of our country, for Old King’s Mountain 1 will certainly lead us to victory and conquest." Twice the required number flocked to his standard; and with Major John Adair, 2 and the late venerable United States senator John J. Crittenden, 3 as his aids, and wearing upon his thigh a sword just presented to him by Henry Clay, in the name of the State of North Carolina, in testimony of appreciation of his services in the old war for independence, 4 he led thirty-five hundred mounted men, including Colonel R. M. Johnson’s troop, in the direction of Lake Erie. At Urbana he organized his volunteers into eleven regiments, 5 and on the 12th of September reached Upper Sandusky. From that post Shelby pushed forward with his staff and at Fort Ball (Tiffin) he heard of Perry’s victory. He dispatched a courier to Major General Henry, whom he had left in command at Lower Sandusky, giving him the glorious news, and directing him to press forward with the troops as fast as possible. The intelligence of success nerved them to more vigorous action; and on the 15th and 16th [September, 1813.] the whole army of the Northwest, excepting the troops at Fort Meigs and minor posts, were on the borders of Lake Erie, on the pleasant peninsula between Sandusky Bay and the lake below the mouth of the Portage River, now Port Clinton. 6 Shelby arrived there on the 14th, a few minutes before a part of Perry’s squadron appeared bearing three hundred British prisoners. These were landed at the mouth of the Portage, placed in charge of the infantry, and a few days afterward were marched to Franklinton and Chillicothe, escorted by a guard of Kentucky militia under Quartermaster Payne.

Preparations were now made for the embarkation of the army. Harrison had been joined at Seneca by about two hundred and sixty friendly Wyandot, Shawnoese, and Seneca Indians under chiefs Lewis, Black Hoof, 7 and Blacksnake. General M‘Arthur, Clay’s successor in command of Fort Meigs, was ordered to embark artillery, provisions, and stores from that now reduced post, and to march the regulars there, with Clay’s Kentuckians, to the Portage. Colonel Johnson was directed to remain at Fort Meigs with his mounted regiment until the expedition should sail, and then march toward Detroit, keeping abreast of the army on the transports, as nearly as possible.

The embarkation of the army commenced on the 20th [September.]. The weather was delightful. On the 24th the troops rendezvoused on Put-in-Bay Island, and on the 25th they were upon the Middle Sister, an island containing six or seven acres. Upon that small space almost five thousand men were encamped. The Kentuckians had left their horses on the peninsula, and were acting as infantry. 8 The elements were favoring. There was a fresh breeze from the south, and General Harrison and Commodore Perry sailed in the Ariel to reconnoitre the enemy at Malden. They accomplished their object fully and returned at sunset. Directions were at once given for the embarkation of the troops the next morning, and in a general order issued that evening, the place and manner of landing, the arrangement of the order of march, the attack on the foe, and other particulars, were prescribed with great minuteness. It was believed that the enemy would meet them at the landing-place. This order was signed by E. P. Gaines, the adjutant general, and contained the following exhortation: "The general entreats his brave troops to remember that they are the sons of sires whose fame is immortal; that they are to fight for the rights of their insulted country, while their opponents combat for the unjust pretensions of a master. Kentuckians! remember the River Raisin! but remember it only while victory is suspended. The revenge of a soldier can not be gratified upon a fallen enemy." 9

The final embarkation took place on the morning of the 27th [September, 1813.]. No lovelier autumnal day ever dawned upon the earth. The sky was cloudless, the atmosphere balmy, and a gentle breeze from the southwest lightly rippled the waters. In sixteen armed vessels and almost one hundred boats that little army was put afloat. All was in motion at nine o’clock, and as the great flotilla moved northward toward the hostile shore, Harrison’s stirring address was read to the men on each vessel. From these went up a hearty shout of Harrison and Victory, and then all moved on silently into the Detroit River. The spectacle was beautiful and sublime.

Hartley’s Point, three or four miles below Amherstburg (Malden), and opposite the lower end of Bois Blanc Island, had been selected by Harrison and Perry as the landing-place. The debarkation took place at about four o’clock, on a low, sandy beach there, which stretched out in front of high sand-drifts, behind which it was believed the enemy lay concealed. The army landed in perfect battle order, the Kentucky Volunteers on the right, the regulars on the left, and Ball’s Legion and the friendly Indians in the centre. But no enemy was there. Proctor, who was in command at Malden, taking counsel of Prudence and Fear, 10 and contrary to the solemn advice, earnest entreaties, and indignant remonstrances of his more courageous brother officer Tecumtha, 11 had fled northward with his army, and all that he could take with him, leaving Fort Malden, the navy buildings, and the store-houses smoking ruins. As the Americans approached the town, with Governor Shelby in advance, they met, not valiant British regulars nor painted savages, but a troop of modest, well-dressed women, who came to implore mercy and protection. The kind-hearted veteran soon calmed their fears. The army entered Amherstburg with the bands playing Yankee Doodle. The loyal inhabitants had fled with the army. The ruins of Fort Malden, the dock-yard, and the public stores were sending up huge volumes of smoke.

Proctor had impressed into his service all the horses of the inhabitants to facilitate his flight, yet Harrison wrote courageously to the Secretary of War, on the evening after his arrival at Amherstburg [September 27, 1813.], saying, "I will pursue the enemy to-morrow, although there is no probability of overtaking him, as he has upward of a thousand horses, and we have not one in the army. I shall think myself fortunate to collect a sufficiency to mount the general officers." Only one, and that a Canadian pony, was procured, and on that the venerable Shelby was mounted.

When Harrison’s vanguard arrived at Amherstburg, the rear-guard of the enemy had not been gone an hour. Colonel Ball immediately sent an officer and twenty of his cavalry after them, to prevent them destroying the bridge over the Aux Canards, or Ta-ron-tee. They had just fired it when the Americans appeared. A single volley scattered the incendiaries, and the bridge was saved. The next morning Harrison’s army, excepting a regiment of riflemen under Colonel Smith left at Amherstburg, crossed it, and encamped in the Petit Côte Settlement, 12 and at two o’clock on the 29th they entered Sandwich. At the same time the American flotilla reached Detroit; and on the following day, Colonel Johnson and his mounted regiment arrived there. M‘Arthur, with seven hundred effective men, had already crossed over, driven off a body of Indians who were hovering around the place, and retaken the town. General Harrison had also declared the martial law enforced by Proctor at an end, and the civil government of Michigan re-established, to the great joy of the inhabitants. 13

On the arrival of Johnson the general-in-chief sent on one of his aids-de-camp, Captain C. S. Todd, 14 to order the colonel to cross immediately with his troops, for he was resolved to push on in pursuit of the enemy as quickly as possible. He called a council of his general officers, informed them of his intention, and consulted with them concerning the best route to pursue, only two being feasible, namely, by land in rear of the British, or by Lake Erie to Long Point, where the Americans might make a rapid march across the country, and intercept the fugitives. The land route was chosen.

Johnson and his mounted men crossed the river to Sandwich on the evening of the 1st [October, 1813.], and on the following morning the pursuit was commenced. M‘Arthur and his brigade were left to hold Detroit; Cass’s brigade and Ball’s regiment were left at Sandwich; and about one hundred and forty regulars, Johnson’s mounted corps, and such of Shelby’s Kentucky Volunteers as were fit for long and rapid marches, the whole three thousand five hundred in number, left Sandwich, and pressed on toward Chatham, on the Thames, 15 near which, it was alleged, Proctor was encamped. General Marquis Calmes, and Adjutant General Gaines were compelled by illness to remain at Sandwich; and General Cass accompanied Harrison as volunteer aid.

Information had been received two days before [September 30.] that some small vessels, with the enemy’s artillery and baggage, were escaping up Lake St. Clair toward the Thames, when Commodore Perry dispatched a portion of his squadron, consisting of the Niagara, Lady Prevost, Scorpion, and Tigress, under Captain Elliott, in pursuit. Perry soon followed in the Ariel, accompanied by the Caledonia; and on the day when Harrison left Sandwich [October 2.] the little squadron appeared off the mouth of the Thames, having in charge the baggage, provisions, and ammunition-wagons of the American army. The enemy’s vessels, having much the start, escaped up the Thames. 16

Proctor seems not to have expected pursuit by land, and the Americans found all the bridges over the streams that fall into Lake St. Clair uninjured. Harrison pressed forward rapidly along the good road by the borders of the lake for twenty miles, when seven British deserters informed him that Proctor, with seven hundred white men and twelve hundred Indians, was encamped at Dolsen’s farm, about fifteen miles from the mouth of the Thames, on its right or northern bank, and fifty-six miles from Detroit by water.


This information stimulated the Americans to greater exertions, and when they halted at night on the banks of the Ruscom, they had marched twenty-five miles from Sandwich. At dawn the next morning the pursuit was renewed, and near the mouth of the Thames Johnson’s regiment captured a lieutenant of dragoons and eleven privates, who had just commenced the destruction of a bridge over a small tributary of the river. This was the first intimation to Harrison that Proctor was aware of the pursuit. The capture of this little party was considered a good omen. The pursuit was continued, and that night the Americans encamped on Drake’s farm, on the left bank of the Thames, about four miles below Dolsen’s. The Scorpion, commanded by the gallant Champlin, the Tigress, and the Porcupine, had followed the army up the river as convoys to the transports, and to cover the passage of the troops over the mouths of the tributaries of the Thames, or of the river itself. At this point the character of the stream and its banks changed. Below, the channel was broad, the current sluggish, and the shores were extended flat prairies; here the country became hilly, the banks high and precipitous, the channel narrow, and the current rapid. On these accounts, and because of the exposure of the decks to Indian sharp-shooters from the lofty wooded banks, it was concluded not to take the vessels higher than Dolsen’s. Perry now left the vessels, offered his services as volunteer aid to General Harrison, and joined the army in the exciting pursuit of the fugitives.

Harrison pressed forward on the morning of the 4th. Proctor fled up the Thames from Dolsen’s, cursed by Tecumtha for his cowardice, to Chatham, two and a half miles, where an impassable stream, called M‘Gregor’s Creek, flows into the Thames between steep banks. There Proctor promised Tecumtha he would make a final stand. "Here," he said on his arrival, "we will defeat Harrison or lay our bones." These words pleased the warrior, and he regarded the position as a most favorable one. "When I look on these two streams," he said, "I shall think of the Wabash and the Tippecanoe."


A bridge at the mouth of the creek, and another at M‘Gregor’s mill, a mile above, had been partially destroyed, and a considerable body of Indians were at each, to dispute the passage of the pursuers or their attempts to make repairs.


Two six-pound cannons, under the direction of Major Wood, soon drove the savages from the bridge at Chatham, and a dash of Colonel Johnson and his horsemen upon the dusky foe at M‘Gregor’s also sent them flying after Proctor. Johnson lost two men killed and six or seven wounded. The Indians had thirteen killed and a large number wounded.

Both bridges were speedily repaired, and the troops were about to push forward, when Walk-in-the-water, the Wyandot chief already mentioned, who had left the banner of Proctor with sixty warriors, came to Harrison and offered to join his army conditionally. The general had no time to treat with the savage, so he told him that if he left Tecumtha he must keep out of the way of the American army. He did so, and returned to the Detroit River.

The enemy spread destruction in their flight. Near Chatham they fired a house containing almost a thousand muskets. The flames were quenched and the arms were saved. Half a mile farther up the river they burned one of their own vessels laden with ordnance and military stores; and opposite Bowles’s farm, where Harrison encamped, two more vessels and a distillery, containing ordnance, naval and military stores, and other property of great value, were in flames. The Americans secured two 24-pounders and a quantity of shot and shell. Certain intelligence was received that the enemy were only a few miles distant, and that night Harrison intrenched his camp and set a double guard. At midnight Proctor and Tecumtha reconnoitred the camp, but prudently refrained from attacking it.

The Americans were in motion at dawn, the mounted regiments in front, led by General Harrison and his staff. The Kentuckians, under Shelby, followed. They soon captured two of the enemy’s gun-boats and several bateaux, with army supplies and ammunition, and several prisoners. At nine o’clock they reached Arnold’s Mill, at the foot of rapids, where the Thames was fordable by horses. There Harrison determined to cross the river and follow directly in the rear of Proctor. The mounted men each took one of the infantry behind him, and at meridian, by this means and the bateaux, the whole American army was on the north side of the Thames, and pressing on vigorously after the fugitives. Every where on the way evidences of the precipitation of the retreat were seen in property abandoned.

At two o’clock, when eight miles from the crossing place, the Americans discovered the smouldering embers of the recently-occupied camp of the enemy’s rear-guard, under Colonel Warburton. It was evident that the fugitives were nearly overtaken. Colonel Johnson dashed forward to gain intelligence. Within about three miles of the Moravian Town 20 he captured a British wagoner, and from him learned that Proctor had halted across the pathway of the pursuers, only three hundred yards farther on. Johnson, with Major James Suggett and his spies, immediately advanced cautiously, and found the enemy awaiting the arrival of the Americans in battle order. He obtained sufficient information respecting their position to enable General Harrison and a council of officers, held on horseback, to determine the proper order for attack. His force was now little more than three thousand in number, consisting of one hundred and twenty regulars of the 27th Regiment, five brigades of Kentucky volunteers under Governor Shelby, and Colonel Johnson’s regiment of mounted infantry.

The ground chosen by the enemy to make a stand was well selected. On his left was the River Thames, with a high and precipitous bank, and on his right a marsh running almost parallel with the river for about two miles. Between these, and two and three hundred yards from the river, was a small swamp, quite narrow, with a strip of solid ground between it and the large marsh. The ground over which the road lay, and indeed the whole space between the river and the great swamp, was covered with beech, sugar-maple, and oak trees, with very little undergrowth. The British regulars (a part of the Forty-first Regiment) were formed in two lines, between the small swamp and the river, their artillery being planted in the road near the bank of the stream.


The Indians were posted between the two swamps, where the undergrowth was thicker, their right, commanded by the brave Oshawahnah, 21 a Chippewa chief extending some distance along and just within the borders of the larger marsh, and so disposed as to easily flank Harrison’s left. Their left, commanded in person by Tecumtha, occupied the isthmus, or narrowest point between the two swamps.

In the disposition of his army for battle, General Harrison made arrangements for the horsemen to fall back, allow the infantry to make the attack, and then charge upon the British lines. For this purpose General Calmes’s brigade, five hundred strong, under Colonel Trotter, 22 was placed in the front line, which extended from the road on the right toward the greater marsh. Parallel with these, one hundred and fifty yards in the rear, was General John E. King’s brigade, and in the rear of this was General David Chile’s brigade, posted as a reserve. These three brigades were under the command of Major General Henry. Two others (James Allen’s and Caldwell’s 23) and Simrall’s regiment, forming General Desha’s 24 division, were formed upon the left of the front line, so as to hold the Indians in check and prevent a serious flank movement by them. At the crotchet formed by Desha’s corps and the front line of Henry’s division (see map on page 554), the venerable Governor Shelby, then sixty-six years of age, took his position. In front of all these was Johnson’s mounted regiment in two columns (one under the colonel, and the other commanded by his brother James, the lieutenant colonel 25), its right extending to within fifty yards of the road, and its left resting on the smaller swamp. A small corps of regulars, under Colonel Paul, about one hundred and twenty in number, were posted between the road and the river for the purpose of advancing in concert with some Indians under the wooded bank, to attempt the capture of the enemy’s cannon. These Indians, forty in number, were to stealthily gain the British rear, fire upon them, and give them the fearful impression that their own savage allies had turned upon them. The defection of Walk-in-the-water would be instantly remembered.

When every preparation for attack was completed, Major Wood, who had just been reconnoitring the enemy’s position, informed General Harrison that the British lines were drawn up in open order. This information induced the general, contrary to all precedent, to incur the peril of changing the prescribed mode of attack at the last moment. Instead of having Henry’s division fall upon the British front, he ordered Johnson to charge their line with his mounted riflemen. 26 That gallant officer made immediate preparations for the bold movement, but found the space between the river and the small swamp too limited for his men to act efficiently. In the exercise of discretion given him, he led his second battalion across the little swamp to attack the Indian left, leaving the first battalion, under his brother James and Major Payne, to fall upon the British regulars. The latter were immediately formed in four columns of double files, with Major Suggett and his two hundred spies in front. Colonel Johnson formed the second battalion in two columns, in front of Shelby, with a company of footmen before him, the right column being headed by himself, and the left by Major David Thompson. Harrison, accompanied by Acting Adjutant General Butler, 27 Commodore Perry, and General Cass, took position on the extreme right, near the bank of the river, where he could observe and direct all movements.


A bugle sounded, and the Americans immediately moved forward with coolness and precision in the prescribed order, among huge trees, some undergrowth, and over fallen timber. They were compelled to move slowly. When at some distance from the front line of the British regulars, the latter opened a severe fire. The horses of the mounted Kentuckians were frightened, recoiled, and produced some confusion at the head of the columns. Before order was restored, another volley came from the enemy. With a tremendous shout the American cavalry now boldly dashed upon the British line, broke it, and scattered it in all directions. The second line, thirty paces in the rear, was broken and confused in the same way. The horsemen now wheeled right and left, and poured a destructive fire upon the rear of the broken columns. The terrified foe surrendered as fast as they could throw down their arms, and in less than five minutes after the first shot of the battle was fired, the whole British force, more than eight hundred strong, were totally vanquished, and most of them made prisoners. Only about fifty men and a single officer (Lieutenant Bullock), of the Forty-first Regiment, escaped. Proctor fled in his carriage, with his personal staff, a few dragoons, and some mounted Indians, hotly pursued by a part of Johnson’s corps under Major Payne.

"When Proctor saw lost was the day,

He fled La Tranche’s plain;
A carriage bore the chief away,
Who ne’er returned again." – OLD SONG.

The battle on the right was over before the advancing columns of General Henry were fairly in sight of the combatants.


When the bugle sounded for attack on the right, the notes of another on the left rang out on the clear autumn air. Colonel Johnson and the second battalion of his troops moved against the Indians almost simultaneously with the attack on the British line. The savages, under the immediate command of Tecumtha, reserved their fire until the Americans were within a few paces of them, when they hurled a most deadly shower of bullets upon them, prostrating a greater portion of the vanguard, or forlorn hope, and wounding Colonel Johnson very severely.

"Sudden, from tree and thicket green,
From trunk, and mound, and bushy screen,
Sharp lightning flashed with instant sheen,

A thousand death-bolts sung!
Like ripen’d fruit before the blast,
Rider and horse to earth were cast,
Its miry roots among;
Then wild, as if that earth were riven,
And, poured beneath the cope of heaven,
All hell to upper air was given,
One fearful whoop was rung;
And, bounding each from covert forth,
Burst on their front the demon birth."

The branches of the trees and the undergrowth in this part of the field were too thick to allow the mounted riflemen to do much service on horseback. Perceiving this, Johnson ordered them to dismount, and carry on the conflict on foot at close quarters. For seven or eight minutes the battle raged furiously, and there were many hand-to-hand fights between the Kentuckians and savages, while the former raised the fearful cry, at times, "Remember the River Raisin!" Victory was poised for a while. Perceiving this, Shelby ordered Lieutenant Colonel John Donaldson’s regiment to the support of Johnson, and directed General King to press forward to the front with his brigade. The Indians had already recoiled from the shock of the Kentucky rifles, and only a part of Donaldson’s regiment participated in the fight. The savages fled, and a scattering, running fire was kept up for some time along the swamp in front of Desha’s division, and by the fugitives pursued by Major Thompson and his men. Other movements were ordered by Governor Shelby, but the Indians had given up the contest, and the battle was over before they could be effected. The pagan allies of the British scattered through the forest in rear of the greater swamp, while Proctor and his few followers were flying like hunted deer before Payne and his horsemen, who pursued him far beyond the Moravian Town, killing some Indians, capturing some prisoners, and securing valuable spoils. Among the latter were six brass cannon, three of which were taken from the British in the War of the Revolution, and were retaken from Hull at Detroit. Majors John Payne, E. D. Wood, C. S. Todd, John Chambers, and A. L. Langham, and Lieutenants Scroggin and Bell, with three privates, continued the pursuit of the fugitive general until dark, but could not overtake him. He abandoned his carriage, left the road, and escaped by some by-path. Within twenty-four hours he was sixty-five miles from the battle-ground! His carriage, sword, and valuable papers were captured by Major Wood, 29 and the party returned to Moravian Town, taking with them sixty-three prisoners. They found the little village deserted. So panic-stricken were some of the women that, when they left, being unable to carry their children in their flight, they threw them into the Thames to prevent their being butchered by the Americans! 30

The loss in this short, sharp, and decisive battle was not large. The exact number was not ascertained. That of the Americans was probably about fifteen killed and thirty wounded. The British lost about eighteen killed, twenty-six wounded, and six hundred made prisoners; of these, twenty-five were officers. Harrison estimated the number of small-arms taken from the enemy during the pursuit and the battle, with those destroyed by them, at more than five thousand, nearly all of which had been captured from the Americans at Detroit, Frenchtown, and Dudley’s defeat on the Maumee. The Indians left thirty-three of their dead on the field. How many they lost by death and wounds in the contest was never ascertained. Tecumtha, their great leader, and really great and noble man, all things considered, was among the slain. He was much superior to Proctor in manhood, military genius, and courage, and is worthy to be remembered with profound respect. He was killed early in the action, while inspiriting his men by words and deeds. Tradition and History relate that he had just wounded Colonel Johnson with a rifle-bullet, and was springing forward to dispatch him with his tomahawk, when that officer drew a pistol from his belt and shot the Indian through the head.

"The moment was fearful; a mightier foe

Had ne’er swung his battle-axe o’er him;
But hope nerved his arm for a desperate blow,
And Tecumtha fell prostrate before him.
He fought in defense of his kindred and king,
With a spirit most loving and loyal,
And long shall the Indian warrior sing
The deeds of Tecumtha the royal."

The statement of tradition and history has been made in enduring marble by the sculptor on Johnson’s monument in the cemetery at Frankfort, Kentucky. 31 It has been questioned, and positively denied; and during the political campaign when Johnson was a candidate for the chair of Vice-President of the United States, the question caused much warm discussion. Johnson, it is said, never affirmed or denied the story. He killed an Indian under the circumstances and in the manner just related, on the spot where two red warriors, stripped naked, were found after the battle, one of whom it was believed was Tecumtha. 32

Johnson behaved most gallantly in the action. He was mounted on a white pony that his servant had ridden, his own horse having been disabled. This made him a conspicuous mark for the enemy. At the sound of the bugle charge he dashed forward at the head of his Forlorn Hope, and attacked the Indian left, where Tecumtha was stationed. 33 The first volley of bullets from the foe wounded him in the hip and thigh. He almost immediately received another bullet in his hand from the Indian that he shot, which traversed his arm for some distance.

He was disabled, and said to Dr. Theobald, 34 one of his staff; who was dismounted, and fighting near him, "I am severely wounded; where shall I go?" "Follow me," answered Theobald. He did not know where to find the surgeon of the regiment, so he led him across the smaller swamp to the road, and about three hundred rods in the rear, to the stand of Dr. Mitchell, Governor Shelby’s surgeon general. The colonel, faint with the loss of blood, was taken from his horse, when the little animal, having performed its duty to the last, fell dead, having been wounded in seven places. Theobald ran to the Thames for water, which revived the colonel. His wounds were dressed, and he was conveyed to a vessel a few miles below, under charge of Captain Champlin, of the Scorpion, which that gallant officer had captured from the British. In that vessel he was conveyed to the Scorpion, at Dolsen’s, and in her to Detroit. There he remained a short time, and then, with much suffering, he made his way homeward. 35 He reached Frankfort early in November, and in February, after kind and skillful nursing by Major C. S. Todd, although unable to walk, he resumed his seat in Congress, at Washington. His journey thither was a continued ovation, for his gallantry on the Thames was known to the nation. 36

Harrison’s successes, and the annihilation of the allied armies of the foe westward of Lake Ontario, produced great rejoicing throughout the United States. 37 All that Hull had lost had now been recovered, and more. The hopes of the Americans were stimulated. They felt that a really able general was in the field, and all the arts of Harrison’s political and personal enemies could not blind them to the fact that, by the exercise of military genius, indomitable perseverance, and unflinching courage, he had accomplished more than all the other leaders, and had fully vindicated his country’s honor. His praises were on every honest lip. In the chief cities, from Maine to Georgia, bonfires and illuminations attested the public satisfaction, and in many places joint honors were paid to the heroes of Lake Erie and the Thames – Perry and Harrison. 38 As usual, songs written for the occasion were heard in theatres and in the streets, and at every festive table Harrison was toasted as The Hero of Tippecanoe and of the Thames. The Congress of the United States, in testimony of their appreciation of his services, afterward gave him their cordial thanks, and voted him a gold medal. 39



Proctor received his reward in the form of the censure of his superiors, the severe rebuke of his sovereign, and the scorn of all honorable men. He had the meanness to shift the disgrace of defeat from his own cowardly shoulders to those of his gallant regulars, and there it remained for more than twelve months. Upon his misrepresentations Sir George Prevost severely censured the detachment of the Forty-first Regiment that were in the battle, in a general order issued at Montreal on the 24th of November [1813.]. But they were vindicated by the trial of Proctor in December the next year [1814.], when the cause of his defeat and the loss of the Western province were found to be in his own demerits as a soldier. He was found guilty of misconduct in not providing measures for a retreat, while the court, with singular inconsistency, acquitted him of any lack of personal bravery or indiscretion at the time of the battle. He was sentenced to be "publicly reprimanded, and suspended from rank and pay for six months." So notorious was the fact of his cowardly abandonment of his army at the very beginning of the battle that the Prince Regent severely reprimanded the court for its "mistaken leniency," expressed his "regret that any officer of the length of service and the exalted rank" attained by General Proctor "should be so extremely wanting in professional knowledge, and deficient in those active, energetic qualities which must be required of every officer," and that the charges and finding of the court should "be entered in the general order-book, and read at the head of every regiment in his majesty’s Service." General Proctor is represented as a stout, thick-set, fine-looking man. He died in Liverpool in 1858 or 1859.

The few British regulars and militia who escaped after the battle of the 5th of October fled in confusion through an almost unbroken wilderness toward Lake Ontario. They rendezvoused at Ancaster, seven miles westward of Hamilton and the head of the lake, on the 17th, when their numbers, inclusive of seventeen officers, amounted to two hundred and fifty-six. Their flight spread consternation over all that region.

The victory in itself and its subsequent effects was most complete. It broke up the Indian confederacy of the Northwest, and caused the disheartened warriors to forsake their white allies, and sue humbly for peace and pardon at the feet of the Americans. Their very personal existence compelled them to endure this humiliation. The winter was approaching, and they and their families were destitute of provisions and clothing, without the means of procuring either. Their prayers were heard and heeded; and those whom they had fought against at the instigation of a professed Christian government, became their saviors from the deadly fangs of hunger and frost. 40 The base conduct of Proctor, and the kindness of Harrison, gave a fatal blow to British influence among the Indians of the Northwest.

The American troops occupied the battle-ground on the Thames, and on the 7th [October, 1813.] General Harrison departed for Detroit, leaving Governor Shelby in command. The army commenced moving that day in the same direction, taking with them the property they had captured and the prisoners. On the 10th they arrived at Sandwich in the midst of a furious storm of wind and snow, during which several of the vessels from the Thames were injured, and much of the captured property was lost. Harrison and Perry had planned an immediate attack on Mackinack, and Captain Elliott had volunteered to command the naval force, but the extreme cold and the blinding storm warned them of the near approach of winter and the dangers that might be encountered, and they prudently abandoned the enterprise. Rumors came that the enemy had fled from Mackinack; so, after concluding an armistice with the chiefs of several of the hostile tribes, among whom was Maipock, the fierce and implacable Pottawatomie, and receiving hostages for their faithfulness, 41 Harrison prepared to go down the lake with M‘Arthur’s brigade, a battalion of regular riflemen under Colonel Wells, and mounted men under Colonel Ball, to join the American forces on the Niagara frontier. The Kentuckians returned home, after stopping at the Raisin to bury the whitened bones of their massacred countrymen, and on the Sandusky peninsula to recover their horses, 42 suffering much from fatigue, hunger, and cold on the way.

General Harrison appointed General Cass military and civil governor of Michigan, and directed him to retain his brigade (about one thousand in number) to keep the Indians in check, and hold possession of that portion of Canada lately conquered by the Americans west of Lake Ontario. Harrison arrived at Buffalo on the 24th of October, with about thirteen hundred men, only one thousand of them effective soldiers. There he joined General M‘Clure in active preparations against the enemy.

I visited the battle-ground on the Thames on a cold, blustering day in October [October 11, 1860.], 1860, accompanied by Miles Miller, Esq., of Chatham, Canada West, formerly editor of The Western Planet newspaper. I left Detroit in the morning with my family, crossed the river, took seats in a carriage on the Great Western Railway, and, after a swift journey of an hour and a half, over a space of fifty-four miles along the borders of Lake St. Clair, through oozy swamps, broad prairies, tangled forests, and wealthy farms to the Thames, following the route of Harrison’s pursuing army, we alighted at Chatham, a pleasant village of six thousand inhabitants, on the left or south bank of the Thames, and the capital of the county of Kent. It lies upon a plain in the midst of a fine agricultural country, at the head of steam-boat navigation on the Thames. It was originally laid out by Governor Simcoe, who reserved six hundred acres for a town plot. On the opposite side of the river, in the township of Dover, is the little suburban village of North Chatham, connected with the main town by a toll-bridge.

We took rooms at the Royal Exchange Hotel, and, as soon as a vehicle could be procured, I started with Mr. Miller for the Thames battle-ground, about eighteen miles distant. The sky was overcast by broken masses of clouds, and a biting north wind came from the great Canadian wilderness, with Winter Tales upon every blast. We followed the route of the American army, sketching the ruins of M‘Gregor’s mill (see page 550) on the way, and at about one o’clock in the afternoon were at the little village of Tecumseh (Thamesville Station), within a mile and a half of the historic ground. There we dined, and had the pleasure of seeing David Sherman, Esq., a life-long resident of that spot, who was a lad nine or ten years of age when the battle occurred, and had a clear recollection of the events of the day which came under his observation. He informed us that the Americans encamped on his father’s farm, where the village of Tecumseh now stands, on the night before the battle. His father was a soldier with Proctor, and left home twenty-four hours before. During the forenoon of the day of the battle, young Sherman went up to within half a mile of the place where Johnson discovered the British line, and saw Tecumtha sitting on a log near where a white cow that belonged to a neighbor had been killed and was then a-roasting. Tecumtha asked him whose boy he was. He told him, when the chief, who was acquainted with his father, said, "Don’t let the Americans know that your father is in the army, or they’ll burn your house. Go back, and stay home, for there will be a fight here soon."


Mr. Sherman said he scanned the great chief with the wide-open eyes of wonder and curiosity of a boy of his age, and, among other things, saw two pistols in the warrior’s belt, unlike the English ones he had been accustomed to. Having satisfied his curiosity, he took Tecumtha’s advice, and hastened homeward. He saw the Americans passing rapidly onward toward the place where he left the chief; and heard the din of battle during the afternoon. All was quiet before sunset and during the night; and early the next morning he ventured to go upon the battle-ground, where he saw the two Indians, one of whom was supposed to be General Tecumtha. On that spot a pistol precisely like one of those that he saw in Tecumtha’s belt was found by a neighbor, and was in his possession. He has no doubt of its being one of the great leader’s weapons, and cherishes it as such. It is of American manufacture, fourteen inches in length, has a flint-lock, is rifled, and bears the name of "H. Albright," maker. I made a sketch of it, and, upon the circumstantial evidence of Mr. Sherman, present it to the reader as a picture of one of the pistols of the great Shawnoese chief.

From Mr. Sherman we learned some interesting facts concerning the locality of the battle-ground, but he refused to indicate the exact place where Tecumtha fell, giving as a reason for his reticence on that point that he had been making efforts to induce the provincial government to erect a monument on the spot, and, until that should be accomplished, he should keep the secret in his own bosom. I think the place designated on the map on page 554 is the correct one.

After dinner we rode up to the dwelling of the old Watts Farm, on which most of the battle was fought, while the troops under Shelby occupied a portion of the lands owned by James Dixon at the time of our visit. We had very little trouble in finding the places sought. The forest had disappeared, and nothing remained of the grand old trees except a few ravaged and mostly dead stems, many of them blackened by fire. The smaller swamp had also disappeared, but its place was distinctly marked by deep black mould. In the rear is the great swamp still, and in front, between lofty wooded banks, flows the beautiful La Tranche or Thames, near which are graves of the slain. From a corn-field between the smaller and larger swamps, near the spot where Johnson and Tecumtha met, I made a sketch of the battle-field.


Around us were golden pumpkins and wealthy shocks of Indian corn, and in the recently-cleared field, where the small swamp lay, cattle were quietly grazing on the frost-nipped grass. It is an attractive spot for the historical student, and our visit was an item in the fulfillment of the poet’s prophecy, that

"Oft to La Tranche’s battle-field

In future times shall traveler come,
To mute reflection’s power to yield,
And gaze on lowly warriors’ tomb.
Here,’ shall he say, ‘our soldiers stood;
There were the Indians’ numerous host;
Here flowed the gallant Johnson’s blood;
There died the Shawnoean boast.’ "

We intended to visit the Moravian town, 44 but, after sketching the battle-ground, and the little view of the Thames printed on page 553, the day was so far spent that we felt compelled to turn back toward Tecumseh, where we partook of refreshments, and at twilight started on our return to Chatham. We arrived at the "Royal Exchange" at nine in the evening, cold and weary, but full of satisfaction.

Before sunrise on the following morning I sketched the view at the mouth of M‘Gregor’s Creek, printed on page 550, and after an early breakfast, again accompanied by the courteous Mr. Miller, crossed the river, and rode down to Dolsen’s to procure a drawing of his residence, made famous by the events of the campaign of Harrison against Proctor. We returned in time for myself and party to take the cars for the East at half past nine o’clock. We passed through London (a flourishing town of about seven thousand inhabitants, pleasantly situated at the confluence of the north and east branches of the Thames) at noon, and arrived at Paris, forty-seven miles farther eastward, in time for dinner. There we left the railway, and traveled in a private carriage to Norwichville, twenty-five miles southward, where we were received at twilight by relatives – descendants of the first settlers of that region, who built log huts, and felled the primeval forest there only a little more than fifty years ago. Now it is a fertile, well-cultivated, and highly-picturesque country, bearing few traces of a settlement so new that many of the inhabitants remember its beginning. We tarried there a few days, and then returned to our home on the Hudson by way of the Niagara Suspension Bridge, after an absence of more than five weeks, bearing rich treasures from the historic fields of the Northwest.

As the campaign that closed on the banks of the Thames was the last in which General Harrison was engaged, we will here consider a brief outline of his career from his arrival on the Niagara frontier until he left the service in the spring of 1814.

Harrison, as we have observed, arrived at Buffalo on the 24th of October. He went immediately down to Newark, the head-quarters of General M‘Clure, of the New York Militia, and soon afterward commenced active operations, by order of the Secretary of War, for an expedition against the British at Burlington Heights, at the west end of Lake Ontario, the "capture or destruction of which," the Secretary said in his letter, "would be a glorious finale to his campaign." While in the midst of these preparations, another letter came from the same functionary, written only four days later than the former, requiring General Harrison to send M‘Arthur’s brigade to Sackett’s Harbor, as Montreal, not Kingston, would be the point of attack on the enemy by Wilkinson’s army, by which the country eastward of Lake Ontario might be exposed to the incursions of the British from the latter place. There were valuable stores at Sackett’s Harbor, and it was thought to be more important to save these than to assail the enemy farther west. Like an obedient soldier, Harrison obeyed. His troops were embarked on Chauncey’s fleet at the middle of November. The programme having been changed, the Secretary of War gave General Harrison permission to visit his family near Cincinnati. The general accompanied his troops to Sackett’s Harbor, and then journeyed homeward by the way of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, every where receiving the plaudits of his countrymen.

The campaign under the old generals (Dearborn, Hampton, and Wilkinson) on the northern frontier in 1813 having been fruitless of much good to the American cause, the eyes of the people were turned in expectation toward General Harrison, the successful leader, as the future acting commander-in-chief of the American army, or at least of that portion of it on the northern frontier. Such was the expectation of his companions in arms. "Yes, my dear friend," Perry wrote to him, "I expect to hail you as the chief who is to redeem the honor of our arms in the North." "You, sir," wrote M‘Arthur to him from Albany, in New York, 45 "stand the highest with the militia of this state of any general in the service, and I am confident that no man can fight them to so great an advantage, and I think their extreme solicitude may be the means of calling you to this promotion."

These expectations were not realized. For reasons unexplained, the feelings of General Armstrong, the Secretary of War, appear to have been suddenly and greatly changed toward General Harrison, and his treatment of that officer deprived the country of his military services at a most critical time. He persistently interfered with Harrison’s prerogatives as commander-in-chief of the Eighth Military District, and the general became convinced, by circumstances not necessary to detail here, that the secretary disliked him, and was determined to deprive him of all active command. He remembered Armstrong’s unasked permission to visit his family at Cincinnati, and he now construed it as a deliberate hint that he might retire from the army a while. These suspicions were fostered and confirmed by subsequent events, and on the 11th of May, 1814, Harrison, in a letter to the Secretary of War, and another to the President of the United States, offered to resign his commission. When Governor Shelby heard of the movement he wrote an earnest letter to the President, urging him not to accept the resignation, and saying, "Having served in a campaign with General Harrison, by which I have been enabled to form some opinion of his military talents and capacity to command, I feel no hesitation to declare to you that I believe him to be one of the first military characters I ever knew, and, in addition to this, he is capable of making greater personal exertions than any officer with whom I have ever served." 46 Harrison was then forty years of age.

Unfortunately for the country, the President was absent from Washington, at his home in Virginia, when the letters of Harrison and Shelby reached the capital. They were both forwarded to Madison. Meanwhile the Secretary of War, without consulting the President, accepted the general’s resignation. This was an assumption of authority never exercised before nor since. In a letter to Governor Shelby, the President expressed his sincere regret that the valuable services of General Harrison could not have been secured to the government for the approaching campaign. Harrison left the army, and, during the ensuing summer he was appointed, in conjunction with Governors Shelby and Cass, to treat with the Indians of the Northwest concerning all things in dispute between the tribes and the United States.

As we shall not meet General Harrison again in active military service, nor mention his name except incidentally, I will take this occasion to notice a short journey in Ohio, in the autumn of 1860, while collecting materials for this work, in which was included a visit to the home and grave of that faithful public servant at North Bend, on the banks of the Ohio.

In a former chapter (see page 542) I have mentioned my departure from Cleveland after the inauguration of Perry’s statue, for Columbus, the capital of Ohio. The railway between the two places lies, much of the distance from Cleveland to Delaware, through a flat, not very fertile, and a newly-cleared country, the latter fact being attested by a profusion of stumps of trees in most of the clearings. On the summit of the water-shed between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, the country is more rolling and fertile. We journeyed one hundred and thirty-five miles in the course of five hours and forty minutes, and reached Columbus at about two o’clock in the afternoon of a delightful September day [September 12, 1860.]. At three I left for Newark, the capital of Licking County, thirty-three miles eastward of Columbus, for the twofold purpose of visiting an old and highly-esteemed friend, 47 and viewing, in the neighborhood, one of the most remarkable of the tumuli, or ancient mounds, with which the Ohio country abounds. I found my friend very ill – too ill to endure more than a few minutes’ conversation. During the evening, in company with his son, I visited Mr. David Wyrick, a resident of the village, an engineer by profession, and an enthusiastic antiquary, who had lately been made famous as the discoverer of a stone, with Hebrew inscriptions, in a portion of the ancient earth-works that abound in the neighborhood of Newark. I found him a plain, earnest man, and bearing, among those who know him best, a character above reproach for truth and sincerity. He showed me a large number of curious things taken from mounds in the neighborhood.


Among them was a portion of a coffin, made of a hollowed oak log, found beneath a truncated circular pyramid forty feet in height, with a base one hundred and eighty-two feet in diameter, evidently constructed by a people ignorant of metallic-edged tools. 48


But the most curious of all the relics was the stone upon the four sides of which are words in Hebrew letters. Mr. Wyrick found them while searching for human remains in the centre of a small depression of the earth connected with the system of ancient earth-works in that region. The stone is in the form of a truncated cone, five inches in length, with two sides broader than the other two sides, and a neck and knob, evidently formed for suspending it by a cord or chain. It has the appearance, in texture and color, of a novaculite, or "hone-stone," and is finely polished. The letters (said by those who are competent to decide to be ancient Hebrew) are neatly made in intaglio upon each of the four sides. How, and when, and for what practical or symbolical purpose that stone was deposited in the earth there, may forever remain a mystery. 49


Early the following morning, accompanied by my young friend, I visited the "Old Fort," as the people there call one of the most magnificent of the ancient earth-works that abound in that section of Ohio. It is a mile and a half from Newark, in the midst of a primeval forest, and forms a pleasant resort in summer. It is composed of a continuous mound, that sweeps in a perfect circle a mile in circumference, broken only by the entrance to it, where the banks, higher than any where else, turn outward for fifty feet or more, and form a magnificent gateway. The embankment averages from fifteen to twenty feet in height, and is covered with maple, beech, and hickory trees of every size, from the huge Anak of the forest to the lithe sapling – the former indicating the origin of the structure to be far more remote than the advent of Europeans in the New World. These also cover the area inclosed by the mound. The ditch from which the earth was thrown is within the embankment, and is visible around the entire line of the work, proving it not to have been a fortification. In the centre of the area (which is perfectly level) is a slight elevation, in the form of a spread eagle, covering many yards, and is called the Eagle Mound. 50

The ground covered by this ancient work is owned by the Licking County Agricultural Society, and within the earth-walled inclosure their annual fairs are held, for the accommodation of which some buildings have been erected. These, with the general appearance of the work, and the trees upon the banks, as seen from the entrance, may be observed in the picture on page 565. After finishing that sketch, and exploring every part of this strange old structure by an unknown people in an unknown age, I returned to Newark, the quickened imagination filling the mind with wondrous visions of the earlier ages of our continent, while Memory recalled those suggestive lines of Bryant in his "Prairie," in which, turning to the Past, he soliloquizes concerning the mound-builders, saying, as introductory,

"And did the dust

Of these fair solitudes once stir with life
And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
That overlook the rivers, or that rise
In the dim forest, crowded with old oaks,
Answer. A race that long has passed away
Built them; a disciplined and populous race
Heaped with long toil the earth, while yet the Greek
Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms
Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock
The glittering Parthenon."

I returned to Columbus in time to visit the magnificent State-house, dine, and leave in the stage-coach at two o’clock for Chillicothe, forty-five miles down the Scioto Valley, toward the Ohio River. Columbus is a beautiful city, of almost twenty thousand inhabitants, standing upon a gently-rolling plain on the eastern side of the Scioto River, 51 about half a mile below its confluence with the Olentangy. The streets are broad, its public buildings are attractive, and many private mansions display great elegance. It is pleasant in every feature as the political capital of a great state. Where it now stands was a dark forest when Harrison had his head-quarters at Franklinton, on the opposite side of the Scioto, in 1812 and 1813. Then a settlement was commenced there, and in 1816 it was made the seat of the state government. The county seat of Franklin was removed to Columbus from Franklinton in 1824, and the present city was chartered in 1834.

The journey from Columbus to Chillicothe, in an old-fashioned elliptical stage-coach drawn by four horses, was a very delightful one. The day was perfect in purity of air and in temperature; the sky was unflecked by the smallest cloud, and the whole country was green with verdure. I was granted the privilege of a seat by the side of the driver, and thus I secured uninterrupted views of the country, which exhibited all the picturesque beauty possible without the charms of mountains or high hills. Our route lay along the gentle slopes on the eastern side of the Scioto until we reached Shadeville, a pleasant little embowered village, where we first struck the bottom of the Scioto Valley, nine miles from Columbus. There we changed horses, and, eight miles farther on, stopped at Bloomfield, another little village, where fresh horses were waiting our arrival. A little before sunset we rode into Circleville, a large town at the head of the great Pickaway Plains. 52 Our route had been through one of the most beautiful regions of Ohio, and would increase in interest, we were told, as we advanced toward Chillicothe. But the night was near. We had passed broad fields of Indian corn, plants full twelve feet in height, heavily laden with ears, beneath which droves of swine were frequently seen. The streams were fringed with heavy-foliaged trees and shrubbery, interspersed with magnificent sycamores, while the little forests and pleasant groves through which we rode presented to the eye timber-giants of a size seldom seen eastward of the Alleghany Mountains.

We found Circleville crowded with people of every sex, color, and condition, in attendance upon a county fair – so crowded that our most earnest endeavors to procure some supper at the tavern where the coach stopped failed. We tarried there but a short time, and at sunset resumed our journey with fresh horses. To avoid the heavy dew and chilly night air, I took a seat inside the coach, with eight other adults and two children, and enjoyed a delightful ride across the Pickaway Plains 53 during the strangely luminous twilight that lingered long at the close of that lovely September day. Just as night fell upon the landscape, we diverged from the Plains to pass through the village of Kingston, and at ten o’clock in the evening we sat down to an excellent supper, with keen appetites, at the "Valley Hotel" in Chillicothe.

Chillicothe, the capital of Ross County, and centre of the trade of the Scioto region, is delightfully situated on a perfectly level plain, at a narrow and picturesque part of the valley, with lofty and rugged hills rising around it. In ancient times it was a place of great attraction for the inhabitants, and was one of the principal rendezvous of the Shawnoese when the white man began to seat himself in the Ohio country. It was early settled, and in the year 1800 the seat of government of the Northwestern Territory was removed from Cincinnati to Chillicothe.


The building of a state-house there was commenced the same year, and was completed early enough in 1801 for the Territorial Legislature to meet in it. 54 In the same room, the Convention that framed the Constitution for the State of Ohio met in the autumn of 1802. It was built of stone, and was the first public edifice made of that material in the Territory. That venerable and venerated structure was demolished about the year 1850, and on its site was erected the present court-house for the county, of light brown freestone, and remarkable as one of the most beautiful public buildings west of the Alleghanies. The old jail, also built in 1801, was yet standing when I visited Chillicothe. The above sketch of the state-house is copied, by permission, from Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, page 436.

Chillicothe was an important rendezvous of United States soldiers during the War of 1812, as we have already incidentally observed. They were stationed at Camp Bull, about a mile north of the town, on the west side of the Scioto. There several hundred British prisoners, captured by Perry and Harrison, were confined for some time.


On the morning after my arrival I rode out to "Fruit Hill," the residence of General Duncan M‘Arthur during a greater portion of his life, and then (1860) the property and dwelling of his son-in-law, Honorable William Allen, late member of Congress. It was about two and a half miles from the court-house in Chillicothe, upon the lofty plain between the Scioto and Paint Creek Valleys, and was so situated as to command a fine view of the town and the surrounding country. It was reached from the valley by a winding road among the hills. The mansion was of hewn sandstone, spacious and elegant in finish within and without. It was erected in 1802, and stood in the midst of a pleasant grassy lawn, dotted with a variety of ornamental trees and fruit-bearing Osage orange-trees. I was disappointed in not finding the proprietor at home, but this was lessened by the kind hospitalities of a young woman, a member of the family, who led me to the observatory on the top of the house, from which may be obtained charming views of the Scioto and Paint Creek Valleys.

Having sketched the "Fruit Hill" mansion, 55 I rode to "Adena," the fine old residence of Governor Thomas Worthington, chief magistrate of Ohio from 1814 to 1818.

It is situated upon the same ridge, two hundred feet above the Scioto, and half a mile north from M‘Arthur’s mansion. It overlooks the same valleys, and, because of the beauty of its situation, it was called "Adena," or Paradise. The building is of hewn sandstone, and was erected in 1805, at great expense, under the supervision of the elder Latrobe, of Washington City. Its elegance and novelty were such, in its form, its large panes of glass, its papered rooms, and marble fireplaces, that persons came from long distances to see it, and considered its name appropriate.


It was the finest mansion in all that region; and, so much was Worthington respected, that all agreed that man and dwelling were worthy of each other. He was an early settler in the vicinity. In 1798 he built the first frame house, with glazed windows, erected in Chillicothe, oiled paper being then the substitute for glass. 56 He erected a saw and grist mill for the accommodation of the inhabitants, and in every way was a very public-spirited man. 57

Adena was then owned by Governor Worthington’s son, General James Worthington. The court in front of the mansion was filled with trees, shrubbery, and flowers. On the right was an enormous cherry-tree, planted in 1798 by the side of the log cabin in which Governor Worthington and his family lived until the house in Chillicothe was completed. There was a fine garden attached to the mansion, and from various points in the vicinity most charming views of the Scioto Valley may be obtained. The proprietor was not at home at the tune of my visit, but I have very pleasant recollections of the kind courtesy I received from his family in showing me works of art and curiosities, and imparting information. Among the relics of the past which I saw there was a hatchet-pipe, almost precisely like the one shown me at Brantford, in Canada, and delineated on page 421. It was presented to Governor Worthington by Tecumtha, and is highly valued by the family.

Leaving "Adena," I passed down the winding road through the hills to the plain, by a beautiful little lake at the foot of the wooded acclivity, and, on reaching Chillicothe, called at the residence of the Honorable C. A. Trimble, member of Congress, and son-in-law of M‘Arthur, who owns the fine portrait of the general from which the engraving on page 267 was copied. He, too, was absent, but, through the kind offices of his brother, I was permitted to have a daguerreotype of the painting made. This was completed just in time to allow me to take the cars on the Marietta and Cincinnati Railway for the latter place at about three o’clock in the afternoon. We reached the "Queen City" at seven in the evening, having journeyed ninety-six miles through an interesting country from the Valley of the Scioto to that of the Little Miami.

During the three succeeding days I visited men and places of interest in and about Cincinnati. I crossed the Ohio to Covington and Newport, cities on the Kentucky shore, flanking the mouth of the Licking River. I also rode out to Batavia, the capital of Clermont County, about twenty miles distant, one hot afternoon, fortunately occupying a portion of the driver’s seat on a stage-coach. Our route lay along the Ohio through Columbia, a suburban village (settled before the seed of Cincinnati was planted), to the mouth of the Little Miami, the eye every where delighted with the picturesque beauty of the shores of the great river, covered with vineyards then wealthy with immense stores of grapes, on the Ohio side.

"There grows no vine

By the haunted Rhine,
By Danube or Guadalquivir,
Nor on island or cape,
That bears such grape
As grows by the Beautiful River."

We crossed the Miami, and made our way along the level country on its eastern side a few miles, when our course bent more eastward among lofty cultivated hills. Toward sunset we looked down from a rugged eminence into the fertile vale of the east branch of the Little Miami, then flooded with the evening sunlight, which brought out, in luminous relief, against the green verdure back of it, the quiet village of Batavia, that lay nestled in the lap of the hills at the head of the valley. There, at the houses of relatives and friends, I passed the Sabbath, and met three surviving soldiers of the War of 1812, namely, John Jamieson, Abraham Miley, and James Carter. Mr. Jamieson was from Kentucky, and belonged to a company of spies in Porter’s regiment. He was active on the frontier in the vicinity of Detroit during a greater portion of the war. In 1814 he saw the infamous Simon Girty on the rack of severe rheumatism at his house a few miles below Malden. The villain’s cabin was decorated with scalps. Mr. Miley was a rifleman in Fort Meigs at the time of the siege in May, 1813. Mr. Jamieson and Mr. Carter confirmed the horrid story of the conversion of some of the skin of Tecumtha into razor-strops. One of them had seen pieces of the skin in the hands of a Kentuckian who took it from Tecumtha’s thigh!

On the evening after my return to Cincinnati from Batavia [September 18, 1860.] I departed for North Bend, fourteen miles westward, on the Ohio and Mississippi Railway, where General Harrison was wedded while yet a subaltern in the army of the United States, where he lived when he bore the honors of a gallant general of that army, and where he was buried while the laurels which composed the most precious civic crown in the power of a people to bestow were yet fresh upon his brow.

The annual fair of the United States Agricultural Society was about to close in Cincinnati, and thousands of visitors were making their way homeward. The cars were densely packed, and, because of some detention in the lower part of the city, we did not reach North Bend until after dark. The nearest public house was at the little village of Cleves, a mile distant over the hills, and thitherward I made my way on foot, accompanied by a grandson of General Harrison, son of W. W. H. Taylor, Esq., at whose house I supped and spent the evening. Their dwelling is pleasantly situated on a slope overlooking the village of Cleves and the Great Miami Valley at that point, and is only half a mile from the tomb of Harrison. Mrs. Taylor is a daughter of the general. She kindly invited me to pass the night under their roof; but circumstances made it proper for me to take lodgings at the tavern in Cleves. In the possession of Mrs. Taylor were portraits of her father and mother, the former painted in the winter of 1840-’41 by J. G. H. Beard, of Cincinnati, and pronounced a faithful likeness by the family.

The latter, an equally faithful likeness, was painted in 1828 by a young artist named Corwin, who died in New York when about to embark for Italy. It is the portrait of a small and beautiful woman at the age of fifty-three years. Mrs. Taylor kindly furnished me with photographic copies of the portraits.

When I visited North Bend, Mrs. Harrison, who had just passed the eighty-fifth year of her age, was residing with her son, Scott Harrison, Esq., 59 at Lawrenceburg, five miles farther down the Ohio. I was informed that she had not received visits from strangers for a long time, her sensitive nature instinctively shrinking from the notoriety which her husband’s exalted position had given her. It was said that she retained much of the rare beauty of her earlier years, and that the portrait of her given on the opposite page is a fair likeness of her in her extreme old age. 60 She was Anna Symmes, daughter of the Honorable John Cleves Symmes, of New Jersey, who, as we have observed (page 36), purchased an immense tract of land between the Great and Little Miami Rivers, and who, early in February, 1790, landed with some settlers at the most northerly bend of the Ohio River in its course below Wheeling, and proceeded to found a settlement by laying out a village upon the elevated plateau through which the Whitewater Canal courses at the present North Bend Station. He commenced the construction of hewn-log huts, with substantial stone chimneys, and the town was named "Symmes’s City." The first house erected is yet [1867] standing on the bank of the canal, a few rods from the Ohio, and about eighty rods from the North Bend Station. The chimneys of two others might be seen at the time of my visit nearer the station and the river.


Settlers on the "Miami Purchase" had already built huts at Columbia and on the site of Cincinnati, but at North Bend Judge Symmes designed to plant the fruitful seed of a commercial city; but the choice of the site of Cincinnati for a block-house to protect the Miami settlers deranged all the judge’s plans and destroyed his hopes. The settlers that came preferred to place their families under the immediate wing of military protection, and Cincinnati, instead of "Symmes’s City," or North Bend, became the great emporium of the Ohio region. 61 There Fort Washington was built and a garrison stationed, 62 and there, after the treaty of Greenville 63 in 1795, Captain Harrison was stationed as commander.


Meanwhile a block-house had been erected at North Bend, and about a quarter of a mile above the present railway station, on the bank of the river, Judge Symmes had erected quite a commodious house for himself; the ruins of whose chimney and fire-place might yet be seen in 1860. To that dwelling came his family in January, 1795, one of whom was the beautiful Anna, then a girl twenty years of age. The block-house was a dependency of the post at Cincinnati, and it received the early personal attention of Captain Harrison, then a young man twenty-two years of age. He was the son of a leading citizen of Virginia, and bearing the highest praises of his commander, General Wayne, as a gallant soldier. He was a welcome guest in the hospitable house of Judge Symmes; and his visits, which became more and more frequent, were especially pleasing to the gentle Anna, who had first met him at the house of her sister, Mrs. Major Short, near Lexington, Kentucky. The young friends soon became lovers, and the judge gave his consent to their marriage. Hearing some slanderous stories concerning Captain Harrison, he withdrew that consent, but the loving Anna, like a true woman, had implicit confidence in her affianced. She resolved to marry him, and her faithfulness verified the saying that

"Love will find its way

Through paths where wolves would fear to prey."

On the morning of the day fixed for the marriage, Judge Symmes, without any suspicion of such an event then, mounted his horse and rode to Cincinnati. The lovers were united at his house [November 22, 1795.], in the presence of Anna’s step-mother and many friends, by Dr. Stephen Wood, then a magistrate. The judge did not see his son-in-law until a few weeks afterward, when he met him at a dinner-party given by General Wilkinson, then in command of Fort Washington, to General Wayne. "Well, sir," the judge said, somewhat sternly, "I understand you have married Anna." "Yes, sir," responded Captain Harrison. "How do you expect to support her?" the father inquired, "By my sword and my own right arm," quickly answered the young officer. Judge Symmes was pleased with the reply, and, like a sensible man, was reconciled, and gave them his blessing. He lived to be proud of that son-in-law as governor of the Indiana Territory, and the hero of Tippecanoe, Fort Meigs, and the Thames; and the devoted wife, after sharing his joys and sorrows for five-and-forty years, laid him in the grave within sight of the place of their nuptials, while the nation mingled its tears with hers, for he was crowned with the unsurpassable honor of being the chief magistrate of this republic. 65

I passed the night, as I have intimated, at the tavern in Cleves, and in the morning had the good fortune to meet the venerable Daniel G. Howell, who was the first man-child born on "Symmes’s Purchase." That event occurred at North Bend, on the 23d of August, 1790. A child of the opposite sex, the first in the settlement, was born nine days earlier. Mr. Howell’s family were from New Jersey, and came West with Judge Symmes. He gave me some interesting particulars concerning the hardships of the early settlers, and his adventures as one of the volunteers for the relief of Fort Meigs. At first the settlers could not spare land enough for raising flax, but they fortunately found a useful substitute in a species of nettle that grew on the open glades in the Miami Valley to the height of about three feet. The autumn winds would prostrate it, beneath the winter snows it would rot, and in the spring all the boys of the settlement would be engaged in carrying the crop to North Bend, where it was treated like flax, spun by the women, and woven into cloth for summer wear. This was all the linen in use there for some time. It was very dark at first, but was susceptible of bleaching. They used dressed deer-skin for external clothing, and wild turkeys came over from Kentucky in abundance, like the quails to the Hebrews, and supplied them with much food.


After breakfast I called at Mr. Taylor’s, and his son accompanied me to the tomb of Harrison. On an adjacent hill, about thirty rods westward from it, is a family burial-ground, in which is the grave of Judge Symmes, covered by a marble slab, resting a little above the ground, on brick-work. 66 From this little cemetery we crossed a grassy hollow and ascended to the tomb of Harrison, on a beautiful knoll about two hundred feet above the Ohio River. It was built of brick, was ten by twelve feet in size, and was surrounded by trees, shrubbery, and green sward. At its foot was a noble mulberry-tree, and at its head was the entrance, with doors slightly inclined. The only tenants when I was there were the remains of General Harrison and his second daughter, Mrs. Doctor Thornton. The engraving shows the appearance of the spot, and a view of the great North Bend of the Ohio, as we look eastward from the grave. On the right, near the bank of the river, is seen one of the stone chimneys already mentioned, a few rods from the North Bend Station.

Descending from Harrison’s tomb, we crossed the Whitewater Canal, and, after sketching the old house seen on page 571, visited the site of General Harrison’s residence, on a level spot at the foot of gentle hills, about three hundred yards from the Ohio, and in full view of the North Bend Railway Station. Nothing of it remained but the ruins of cellar and fire-places, and these were covered with brambles. The house was set on fire by a dismissed servant-girl, it was believed, a few years ago, and entirely consumed. All of General Harrison’s military and other valuable papers were burned; also many presents that were sent to him by political friends during the presidential canvass in 1840. The family portraits and a few other things were saved. 67


I sketched the locality from the railway station. Placing a drawing of the mansion, from one in Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, in the proper position, I give to the reader a correct view of the residence and its surroundings before the fire. The water seen in the foreground is that of the Whitewater Canal. I returned to Cincinnati toward noon, and left the same evening for Dayton and the shores of Lake Erie.



1 Governor Shelby was one of the leaders of the militia who defeated the banded Tories under Major Ferguson on King’s Mountain, on the upper borders of South Carolina, on the 7th of October, 1781. Shelby’s valor on that occasion was conspicuous, and he was known in later years by the familiar name of Old King’s Mountain.

2 John Adair was a North Carolinian, and emigrated to Kentucky in 1786, at the age of thirty-one years. He was an active officer in the Indian wars on the Northwestern frontier. He held the commission of major in 1792. He was popular in his adopted state until 1807, when his unfortunate connection with Burr obscured his reputation for a while. He seems not to have been aware (like other of Burr’s dupes) of the traitor’s real designs. In politics he was a Federalist. His conduct during the campaign of 1813 was every way praiseworthy. He was afterward appointed adjutant general of the Kentucky troops, with the brevet rank of brigadier general. In that capacity he commanded the Kentuckians in the battle of New Orleans. In 1820 he was elected Governor of Kentucky, and was often a member of the State Legislature. He had been United States senator in 1805; in 1831 he was elected a member of the lower house of Congress. He died on the 19th of May, 1840, at the age of eighty-three years.

3 John J. Crittenden was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, in September, 1786. His father was an early settler in that state. Young Crittenden studied law, and commenced its practice in Russellville, Logan County. He was among the first volunteers raised by Governor Shelby for Harrison in 1812. He accompanied General Hopkins in his expedition on the Wabash (see page 336), and the next year was with Harrison on the Northwestern frontier. He performed gallant service in the battle on the Thames, after which he resumed his profession at Russellville. He was several times a member of the State Legislature, and was elected United States senator in 1817. He afterward removed to Frankfort, where he practiced his profession until 1835, serving his constituents as legislator occasionally. That year he was elected to the United States Senate. He was called to the cabinet of President Harrison, in 1841, as attorney general. He was again elected to the Senate, and in 1848 was chosen Governor of Kentucky. President Fillmore called him to his cabinet in July, 1850, as attorney general. He entered the United States Senate again as a member in 1854, and held his seat there until 1861, when his term of office expired. He took an active part, as a Union man, in legislative measures pertaining to the Great Rebellion, and his proposition for conciliation will ever be known in history as The Crittenden Compromise. In 1861 he was elected a representative of the lower house of the Thirty-seventh Congress, which position he occupied until the close of the session on the 3d of March, 1863, when he was again put in nomination for the same office. But he did not live until the time for the election. His physical powers had been gradually giving way for some time, and at half past three o’clock on Sunday morning, July 26, 1863, he died at his residence at Frankfort, without a struggle, at the age of almost seventy-seven years.

4 I have before me Mr. Clay’s autograph letter to Governor Shelby on the subject. The following Is a copy:


"LEXINGTON, 22d August, 1813.

"MY DEAR SIR, – I have seen by the public prints that you intend leading a detachment from this state. As you will want a sword, I have the pleasure to inform you that I am charged by Governor Turner and Mr. Macon with delivering to you that which the State of North Carolina voted you in testimony of the sense it entertained of your conduct at King’s Mountain. I would take it with me to Frankfort, in order that I might personally execute the commission, and at the same time have the gratification of seeing you, if I were not excessively oppressed with fatigue. I shall not fail, however, to avail myself of the first safe conveyance, and if any should offer to you I will thank you to inform me. May It acquire additional lustre in the patriotic and hazardous enterprise in which you are embarking!

"Your friend, H. CLAY"


The sword was placed in the hands of Mr. W. T. Barry, a mutual friend, on the day when the letter was written, who conveyed it to Governor Shelby, at Frankfort.

5 The regiments were officered respectively as follows: Lieutenant Colonels Trotter, Donaldson, Poague, Mountjoy, Reinick, Davenport, Paul, Calloway, Simrall, Barbour, and Williams. They were formed into five brigades, under Brigadiers Calmes, Chiles, King, Allen, and Caldwell. The whole were formed into two divisions, under Major Generals William Henry and Joseph Desha. W. T. Barry was appointed the governor’s secretary, Thomas T. Barr judge advocate general, and Doctor A. J. Mitchell hospital surgeon.

6 The Portage is a deep, sluggish stream. It rises in the Black Swamp, and flows between thirty and forty miles. There is a good harbor at Port Clinton.

7 Black Hoof was a famous Shawnoese chief. He was born in Florida, and remembered his tribe moving from there to Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was prominent in the fight against Braddock in 1755, and was in all the Indian wars with the Americans in the Northwest toward the close of the last century, until the treaty of Greenville in 1795. Up to that time he had been the bitter enemy of the white man; afterward he remained faithful to that treaty. Tecumtha tried to seduce him, but failed, and by his influence he kept a greater portion of his tribe from joining the British in the War of 1812. He became the ally of the United States, but bodily infirmity kept him from active service. In the instance of his friendship just mentioned, he simply brought his people to camp, and left younger chiefs to conduct them in the campaign.

8 There were not vessels enough to transport the horses with forage, and they were left behind. A strong fence of brush and fallen timber was constructed across the isthmus from near Port Clinton, a distance of not more than two miles, making the whole peninsula an inclosure for the horses to pasture in. One of every twenty Kentuckians were drafted to form a guard for the horses, and these were placed under the command of Colonel Christopher Rife.

9 The terrible massacre at the River Raisin, and the circumstances attending it, inspired the Kentuckians with almost savage desires for vengeance. One of their songs sung around camp-fires recounted the cruelties of the Indians and the inhumanity of Proctor on that occasion. The following is one of the stanzas:

"Freemen! no longer bear such slaughters;

Avenge your country’s cruel woe;
Arouse, and save your wives and daughters!
Arouse, and smite the faithless foe!
CHORUS. – Scalps are bought at stated prices,
Malden pays the price in gold."

10 Proctor, like the Kentuckians, remembered the River Raisin, and was afraid of falling into the hands of those whose sons and brothers had been butchered a few months before by his permission. His scouts had seen the Americans on the Sandusky Peninsula, and had reported their number at fifteen thousand, at least ten thousand of whom were Kentnckians burning with revenge. The fear of these gave fleetness to his feet.

11 The defeat and capture of the British squadron had been foolishly concealed from Tecumtha for fear of its demoralizing effect on his savage followers. The Indian leader was therefore greatly astonished when he observed Proctor preparing to flee. He had been delighted when the British vessels went out to fight. He crossed over to Bois Blanc Island to watch the first appearance of them returning with the vanquished American squadron – an apparition which Proctor’s boasting had made him believe would certainly be revealed. He was disappointed, bewildered, and perplexed; and, with great vehemence of manner, he addressed Proctor, saying, "Father, listen! Our fleet has gone out; we know they have fought; we have heard the great guns; but we know nothing of what has happened to our father with one arm [Captain Barclay]. Our ships have gone one way, and we are much astonished to see our father tying up every thing, and preparing to run the other way, without letting his red children know what his intentions are. You always told us to remain here and take care of our lands. You always told us you would never draw your foot off British ground; but now, father, we see you are drawing back, and we are sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our father’s conduct to a fat dog that carries its tail upon its back, but when affrighted it drops it between its legs and runs off.

"Father, listen! The Americans have not yet defeated us by land, neither are we sure that they have done so by water; we therefore wish to remain here and fight our enemy, should they make their appearance. If they defeat us we will then retreat with our father. . . . You have got the arms and ammunition which our great father, the king, sent for his red children. If you have an idea of going away, give them to us, and you may go and welcome for us. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and, if it be his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them."

This speech was addressed to Proctor at a council held on the 18th of September in one of the store-houses at Amherstburg. Its effect was powerful. The Indians all started to their feet, and brandished their tomahawks in a menacing manner. Proctor had resolved to flee to the Niagara frontier, but this demonstration made him hesitate. He finally quieted Tecumtha and his followers by promising to fall back only to the Moravian Towns, on the Thames, and there make a stand. These were about half way between Amherstburg and the outposts of the centre division of the British army, on the western borders of Lake Ontario. On the day of the council Proctor left Amherstburg with a large portion of his force. Major Warburton remained, charged with destroying the public property on the appearance of the Americans.

12 See Map on page 266.

13 Before the Americans landed, the joyous inhabitants ran up the United States flag. They had suffered dreadfully. For months the insolent savages had made their dwellings free quarters. When they fled the Indians fired the fort. The flames were soon extinguished.

14 Harrison’s gallant aid-de-camp, Charles Scott Todd, is yet [1867] living in his native state, Kentucky, where he was born on the 22d of January, 1791. I met him in Washington City at near the close of 1861, when he was almost seventy-one years of age. His mental and physical vigor seemed equal to those of most men at fifty. He was there to offer his services in the field to his government in its war against the Great Rebellion. Colonel Todd is one of the most eminent of the public servants of this country. He was educated at the College of William and Mary, in Virginia, where he was graduated with distinction in 1809. Law became his profession, but on the breaking out of the war he entered the military service as ensign of a company of volunteers raised for Harrison at Lexington, where he was engaged in his profession. He became acting quarter-master and judge advocate of Winchester’s wing of the Northwestern Army, and was exceedingly active in the wilderness. "He combined," said Harrison at that time, "the ardor of youth with the maturity of age." In May, 1813, he was commissioned a captain in the United States army, and Harrison appointed him his aid. His conduct in the campaign in the autumn of that year was highly commended, especially at the battle on the Thames. He succeeded Major Hukill as deputy inspector general of the Eighth Military District, and was adjutant general of the district the following year, when he served with General M‘Arthur with great acceptance. He became inspector general in March, 1815, with the rank of colonel, but left the army in June following; and after the war Harrison said that "Colonel Todd was equal in bravery and superior in intelligence to any officer of his rank in the army." He resumed his practice of the law at Frankfort, where he married a daughter of Governor Shelby. He soon became secretary of state, then a member of the Legislature, and was finally sent by President Monroe on a confidential mission to Colombia, South America. His services there were very important. In the spring of 1840 he assisted, by request, in the preparation of a Life of General Harrison, and, as editor of a Cincinnati paper, he warmly advocated the general’s election to the presidency. In the summer of 1841 he was appointed United States minister to Russia, and served his country in that capacity to the perfect satisfaction of both governments. It was while he was there that the portrait from which the above likeness was taken was painted. In private, as in public life, Colonel Todd is a model of a Christian gentleman.

15 This considerable stream was called La Tranche by the French. It is sometimes called the Trent, but now is known only by the name of Thames. In the poetic epigraph to this chapter it is called La Tranche.

16 M‘Afee (page 383) says that when the American army arrived at the mouth of the Thames, an eagle was seen hovering over it. "That," said Harrison, "is a presage of success." Perry, who had landed and was with the general, remarked that an eagle hovered over his squadron on the morning of the 10th of September.

17 The above sketch is a view of Dolsen’s house, made when I visited the spot in the autumn of 1860. It is a hewn log structure, and stands very near the right or north bank of the Thames. It is about two miles and a half below Chatham. The owner and resident there in 1813, Isaac Dolsen, Esq., was then living in Chatham, but was absent at the time of my visit. He was then about eighty years of age. He and his brother John were natives of the Mohawk Valley, of Dutch descent. On their return, after the battle some miles above, the American army encamped on the farm of John, half a mile below Isaac’s. The Thames is here sluggish, and about three hundred yards wide.

18 This sketch is a view of the junction of the Thames and M‘Gregor’s Creek, from the present bridge at Chatham, looking up the river. The Thames is seen on the left, and M‘Gregor’s Creek on the right. The upper termination of the bridge, mentioned in the text, was between the two clumps of trees on the bluff. In the distance is seen the courthouse and jail of Chatham. On the flat between it and the creek the British built two or three gun-boats, under the superintendence of Captain Baker, the same person who constructed the barge that bore Washington from Elizabeth-town to New York in 1789, when going there to be inaugurated President of the United States. Looking beyond the point of the bluff, up the Thames, is seen the residence of Henry Jones. It is upon the site of the building, mentioned in the text, in which were a large quantity of muskets saved from the flames by the Americans. Farther up the stream lay a sunken steam-boat, that craft being in the habit of plying between Detroit and Chatham. On the opposite side of the Thames is seen a tannery. The plain on which the gun-boats were built is now a military reserve.

19 This little sketch shows the appearance of the ruins of M‘Gregor’s mill when I visited it in the autumn of 1860. The timbers of the ends of the dam are seen on the shores. The bridge carried by Johnson crossed the stream very near the mill. In this view we are looking east from the southwest side of the creek. A beautifully shaded ravine, with a small creek, is seen here.

20 This village is in the township of Oxford, Canada West, on the right bank of the Thames. The settlers were Indians converted to Christianity by the Moravians, who fled to Canada from the Muskingum, in Ohio, in 1792. By an order of the Provincial Council in 1793, a large tract of land, comprising about fifty thousand acres, was granted for their use, on which they proceeded to build a church and village. The Rev. John Scott, of Bethlehem, ministered there for some time. At the period we are considering this Christian-Indian village had nearly one hundred houses, mostly well built. Many of the Indians spoke English. They had a school-house and a chapel, and very fine gardens. Village and crops were destroyed by the American troops, it having been alleged that some of the Indians residing there had been foremost in the massacre on the Raisin. In 1836 the Indians surrendered a large portion of their lands to the Canadian government, for an annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds sterling. The present Moravian Town is back from the Thames, about a mile and a half from the original site.

21 The likeness on the next page of this chief, Tecumtha’s lieutenant, or second in command, in the battle on the Thames, is from a daguerreotype taken from life at Brantford, in Canada, in September, 1858; and presented to me by G. H. M. Johnson, chief of the Six Nations on the Grand River (see page 421), in the summer of 1860. The old chief attended a grand council of all the Indians in Canada, at Brantford, and was the guest of Mr. Johnson. In the council he appeared with all his testimonials of bravery – his "stars and garters" – as seen in the picture. Around his hat was a silver band. He also displayed a silver gorget, medals, etc., a sash of bead-work, strings of wampum, and an ornamented tomahawk pipe, like the one on page 421. He was then about ninety years of age. He had been a famous warrior – the hero of fifteen battles. He was a mild-spoken, pleasant man, very vigorous in mind and body. He was yet living in 1861, the principal of seven or eight chiefs, on Walpole Island, in Lake St. Clair, opposite the town of Algomac, Michigan, fifty miles above Detroit. Walpole Island is about ten miles in length. The Indians are Chippewas, Pottawatomies, and Ottawas. They were settled here by the Indian Agent of the British government at the close of the War of 1812. They were placed in charge of a superintendent in 1839. The number now (1867) is about one thousand. Their principal business is hunting in the country around the Canadian borders of Lake St. Clair.

22 George Trotter was then lieutenant colonel. He was a captain in Simrall’s regiment, and was distinguished and wounded in the action of Colonel Campbell at the Mississiniwa Towns in December, 1812. He was acting brigadier general in the battle on the Thames. He was a native of Kentucky, and died at Lexington, in that state, on the 13th of October, 1815.

23 Samuel Caldwell was a distinguished Kentuckian. He was a major of Kentucky levies in 1791, and distinguished himself with Wilkinson in the Wabash country in August of that year. He was lieutenant colonel commanding volunteers in the autumn of 1812, and was in General Green Clay’s brigade the following year. He was made brigadier general of volunteers in August, 1813, and as such commanded in the battle on the Thames.

24 Joseph Desha was a descendant of a Huguenot family. He was born in Western Pennsylvania in December, 1768, and emigrated to Kentucky, with his father, in 1781. In 1790 he settled permanently in Mason County, Kentucky. He performed military service under Wayne in 1794 and ’95, having, at the early age of fifteen, been engaged in conflicts with the Indians. He represented Mason County in the State Legislature, and in 1816 was chosen a member of Congress. His only military service in the War of 1812 was under Harrison in the campaign in Canada. In 1824 he was elected governor of Kentucky, and held the office four years. He then retired to private life. He died at Georgetown, Scott County, on the 11th of October, 1842.

25 The spirit of the Kentuckians who formed that corps may be inferred by the fact that Lieutenant Colonel James Johnson had with him his two sons, Edward P. and William, the one seventeen and the other only fifteen years of age. James Johnson was a representative in Congress in 1825 and ’26. He died in August, 1826.

26 "The measure," said General Harrison, in his report to the Secretary of War on the 9th of October, "was not sanctioned by any thing that I had seen or heard of, but I was fully convinced that it would succeed. The American back-woodsmen ride better in the woods than any other people. A musket or rifle is no impediment, they being accustomed to carrying them on horseback from their earliest youth. I was persuaded, too, that the enemy would be quite unprepared for the shock, and that they could not resist it."

27 We shall meet Adjutant Robert Butler hereafter in the battle of New Orleans.

28 This view is from the road-side, on the high river bank, at the point where the British left rested on the Thames, and a few rods from the residence occupied by Mr. Watts.

29 In a letter to the author, Captain Stanton Sholes (see page 541), who was in the battle of the Thames, says, "I had a very pleasant ride back to Detroit in Proctor’s beautiful carriage. I found in it a hat, a sword, and a trunk. The latter contained many letters, mostly written in the handsomest writing I ever saw, by Proctors wife to her ‘dear Henry.’ "

30 "I had this fact," says Samuel H. Brown, in his Views on Lake Erie, page 63, "from an American gentleman who was at Oxford when Proctor and the Indians passed through there. The squaws were lamenting the loss of their children."

31 See page 496.

32 The solution of the question, "Who killed Tecumtha?" is of no historic importance, yet, it having been the subject of much discussion, a few facts bearing upon it may be appropriately introduced here. These facts have been drawn chiefly from a very interesting written communication made to me in January, 1861, by Dr. Samuel Theobald, who was Johnson’s judge advocate, and with him in the battle. When Dr. Theobald (see a sketch of him in note 2, page 556) wrote to me he was residing near Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi. He says that, early in the campaign, Johnson organized a small corps, composed of the staff of his regiment, which he denominated the Forlorn Hope. It was designed to accompany him immediately in the event of a battle. One of these was the venerable Colonel William Whitely, who had been distinguished in conflicts with the Indians in the early years of settlements in Kentucky, and then over seventy years of age. He had volunteered as a private in Captain Davidson’s company. The others who composed the Forlorn Hope, and charged upon the enemy at the opening of the battle, were Benjamin S. Chambers, Robert Payne (a nephew of Colonel Johnson), Joseph Taylor, William Webb, Garrett Wall, Eli Short, and Dr. S. Theobald. Whitely was killed, and was found lying near the two Indians mentioned in the text by Theobald and Wall, after the battle. They found the bodies of the two Indians lying a little way apart. On the following morning the news spread that the body of Tecumtha had been found. One of the Indians alluded to was designated as the fallen chief. Theobald felt a desire to identify the body of the chief, and took Anthony Shane, a half-breed Shawnoese, who knew Tecumtha well, to view it. The body was entirely naked, and several strips of skin had been taken from the thighs by some of the Kentuckians, who had reason to remember the River Raisin, and, as I was informed by a soldier who was in the battle, these strips were used for making razor-strops! Shane did not recognize the body as that of Tecumtha. The late Colonel John Johnston, of Dayton, Ohio, who, as Indian agent, often employed Shane, informed me that he told him that Tecumtha once had his thigh-bone broken, and that a sort of ridge had been formed around the fracture that might be easily felt. No such ridge was observed in the thigh of the Indian claimed to be Tecumtha, found on the ground where the charge of the Forlorn Hope was made and Johnson was wounded. Dr. Theobald farther informs me that his friend, Captain Benjamin Warfield, commander of a company in Johnson’s regiment, told him that he was directed to search the battle-field for wounded soldiers. He found a British soldier, named Clarke, lying there mortally wounded. He was the Indian interpreter for Proctor, and asserted positively that Tecumtha was killed, and his body was carried off by the Indians. I have since been informed by Colonel C. S. Todd, one of Harrison’s aids at that time (see page 547), that he was told by the celebrated chief Black Hawk that he was present at that battle, and that Tecumtha’s body was certainly carried off by his followers. These facts show that, while Colonel Johnson may have shot Tecumtha, the body supposed to be his, and so barbarously mutilated by the exasperated Kentuckians, was that of another warrior.

33 Tecumtha, as we have seen, had reason to doubt the word and courage of Proctor. He doubtless took his position at the junction of the British and Indian lines, so as to have a near and direct communication between himself and Proctor. He knew that Proctor was flying through fear. The Canadians on the route of the retreat had told him that Proctor would not fight if he could help it. Proctor knew that Tecumtha would compel him to fight here, or feel the force of savage resentment, so he fled at the commencement of the battle; and no doubt the haste of his white troops to surrender was to secure themselves from the vengeance of Tecumtha and his followers.

34 Samuel Theobald was born near Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, on the 22d of December, 1790. He was "graduated in medicine" at Transylvania University, at Lexington, and in that borough practiced medicine for twenty years. For the last thirty years he has been engaged in cotton-planting, most of the time residing near Greenville, Mississippi. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were Kentucky pioneers. His younger brother, James, was with him in the battle of the Thames, and another brother, Thomas S., was in the military service on the frontier for twelve months as a lieutenant of rangers.

35 He remained several days under a surgeon’s care at Urbana, in a commissary office near Doolittle’s tavern, then the head-quarters of Governor Meigs.

36 The authorities from which I have drawn the chief materials for the foregoing narrative in this chapter are the official reports of General Harrison to the Secretary of War; the several histories of the period already cited; written and oral statements of survivors; official reports of the British officers; the newspapers of the day, and biographies of Harrison, Johnson, Cass, and Tecumtha, etc.

37 Harrison, in his official letter to the War Department, spoke in the highest terms of his officers and troops. "I am at a loss," he said, "how to mention the conduct of Governor Shelby." After paying a well-merited compliment to the veteran, and the major generals and brigadiers, he said, "Of Governor Shelby’s staff, his adjutant general, Colonel M‘Dowell, and his quarter-master general, Colonel Walker, rendered great services; as did his aids-de-camp, General Adair, and Majors Barry and Crittenden. The military skill of the former was of great service to us, and the activity of the two latter gentlemen could not be surpassed." He highly commended Acting Adjutant General Butler, and said, "My aids-de-camp, Lieutenant O’Fallon and Captain Todd, of the line, and my volunteer aids, John S. Smith and John Chambers, Esquires, have rendered me most important service from the opening of the campaign. I have already stated that General Cass and Commodore Perry assisted me in forming the troops for action. The former is an officer of the highest merit, and the appearance of the brave commodore cheered and animated every breast." He highly complimented the officers and men of the mounted regiment, and Major Wood, of the Engineers.

38 On the 23d of October the new City Hall in New York was splendidly illuminated in honor of these two victories. Also Tammany, Washington, and Mechanics’ Halls, the theatre, the City Hotel, and hundreds of private residences, were illuminated. In the windows of the City Hall were several transparencies. One of them represented the battle on Lake Erie, and the words "DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP!" In front of Tammany Hall was a superb painting exhibiting a full-length portrait of Harrison, and the figures of several Indian warriors, the chief of whom was on his bended knees suing for peace, and offering at the same time a squaw, and her papoose on her back, as hostages for their fidelity. On it was also represented the naval engagement on Lake Erie.

39 On one side is a bust of General Harrison, and the words MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM H. HARRISON. On the reverse is seen a woman placing a wreath around two bayonets fixed on muskets, and a color-staff, stacked over a drum and cannon, bow and quiver. Her right hand rests upon the Union shield, and holds a halbert. From the point of union of the stack hangs a banner, on which is inscribed FORT MEIGS – BATTLE OF THE THAMES. Over these, in a semicircle, are the words, RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS, APRIL. 4, 1818. Beneath, BATTLE OF THE THAMES, OCTOBER 5, 1813.

40 An eye-witness says: "A few days after Proctor’s defeat, Detroit was so full of famished savages that the issue of rations to them did not keep pace with their hunger. I have seen the women and children searching about the ground for bones and rinds of pork which had been thrown away by the soldiers. Meat in a high state of putrefaction, which had been thrown into the river, was carefully picked op and devoured. The feet, heads, and entrails of the cattle slaughtered by the public butchers were collected and sent off to the neighboring villages. I have counted twenty horses in a drove fancifully decorated with the offals of the slaughter-yard." – Views on Lake Erie, by Samuel R. Brown, page 95.

41 We have already observed that Walk-in-the-water, and many of his followers, deserted Proctor at Chatham. While Harrison was in pursuit of the enemy up the Thames, chiefs of the Miamis, Ottawas, Pottawatomies, Chippewas, and Kickapoos proposed to General M‘Arthur, at Detroit, a suspension of hostilities, and agreed to "take hold of the same tomahawk with the Americans, and to strike all who are, or may be enemies of the United States, whether British or Indians." They brought in their women and children, and offered them as hostages for their own good behavior."

42 See page 540.

43 In this sketch the spectator is looking southward, toward the Thames. Its line is marked by the distant trees. The fence seen along the edge of those trees indicates the position of the road that leads to Detroit, across which stood Proctor’s regulars, and on which were his cannon. The line of Proctor’s army was north and south, across the upper edge of the smaller swamp, near where the cattle are seen.

44 I was informed that the Moravians there were all Indians except their minister, the Rev. Mr. Vogler. There were about fifty families, mostly Delawares, and descendants of the early settlers. Each family had a plank house and forty acres of land, furnished by the government. The houses appeared very much like those of the pensioners at Amherstburg, mentioned on page 299. They had a neat church. Some of the log houses of the original town, a mile and a half from the present village, not destroyed in 1813, were yet standing. The chief or military leader of the Indians was Philip Jacobs, who lived on the site of the old town. He was about sixty years of age at the time of my visit.

45 M‘Arthur was then in attendance as a witness upon the court-martial for the trial of Brigadier General Hull. See page 294.

46 Governor Shelby to President Madison, May 15, 1814.

47 Samuel G. Arnold, Esq., editor and proprietor of the Newark North American, and author of a Life of Patrick Henry, and one or two other small volumes.


48 This coffin is quite shallow, and more like the hollowed platform of a scaffolding. It bears evidence of having been hollowed by the processes employed by the aborigines when Europeans first visited America, namely, by fire and stone axes. With these they felled trees and hollowed out logs for canoes. They first burnt the timber, and then removed the charred part with the blunt stone axe, for these could not be made sharp enough to cut, and endure. These processes were repeated until the requisite depth was obtained. Every part of the hollowed portions of the ancient coffin that I saw bore clear marks of these operations. The coffin, when found, was in a concavity of earth lined with clay made impervious to water. It lay in water twelve inches in depth, resting upon seven pieces of small timber, these resting upon two larger pieces, as seen in the above sketch. These, like the coffin, were completely "water-sogged." The coffin was lined with a fabric resembling old carpeting, so fragile that it crumbled at the slightest touch. On this the body of the deceased had been laid; and thereon was found the skeleton in fragments, locks of beautiful black hair, and ten copper rings lying near where the hands might have been folded over the breast. The whole were imbedded in clay, over which was an arch of small and large stones. Over this was a mound of clay, making the whole structure inclosing the coffin about seven feet in height. The remainder of the pyramid was composed of stone. These the State of Ohio purchased for constructing the "Licking Summit Reservoir" for the use of the Ohio Canal, and removed about fifty thousand wagon-loads. The sepulchre was found when these stones were removed, and was explored by Mr. Wyrick. The clay was brought from a distance, for there is none like it in the vicinity.


The annexed diagram, kindly drawn for me by Mr. Wyrick, shows a sectional view of the clay mounds, the small stone arch, and the position of the coffin. A the upper part of the clay mound, and B the lower portion. In these the open dots indicate the places where it was evident timbers had been placed, and had rotted away. C the arch of stone, 1 1 1 1 indicating two layers of small stones from six to ten inches in diameter, and 2 a layer of broad flat stones. D the coffin and skeleton, and E the concavity filled with water, in which they rested. The clay had evidently been formed into a kind of mortar, and was as hard as sun-dried brick. The pyramid was on an eminence seven miles south of Newark, and five hundred feet above the level of any stream of water near.

49 The cavity in which Mr. Wyrick found this stone was about twenty feet in circumference, and about two feet in depth at the centre. When he had excavated through dark and rich alluvium about fourteen inches, he came to a lighter soil of a clayey nature, in which were pebbles. One of these, of oblong form, composed of reddish quartz, first attracted his attention. Soon afterward he found the inscribed stone imbedded in the clay. Gentlemen of learning examined it, and proved the letters to be obsolete Hebraic. The Reverend J. W. M‘Carty, of Newark, a Hebrew scholar, translated the words on three of the four sides as follows: "Holy of Holies;" "The Word of the Law;" and "The Word of the Lord." At a meeting of some of the leading citizens of Newark, held at the Court-house about two months after my visit there, to consider the character and the circumstances of the finding of the "Holy Stone," General Dille presided, and Mr. M‘Carty gave an interesting account of the whole matter. It was stated that only four or five of the characters correspond to those now in use in the Hebrew books, but these furnished a key to the translation. It had already been stated by a gentleman familiar with the history and practice of the Freemasons, and who was a member of the fraternity, that the stone was of the kind used by masons of a certain grade in the East soon after the building of the first temple by Solomon. It has in their system, he said, a well-known meaning, its principal use in ancient times being for deposit beneath whatever structure the master mason might superintend. This symbol, he said, was not necessarily furnished with inscriptions, but masons entitled to use it might put such sentences upon it as that one has. It would be placed in the northeastern part of the foundation, and if it stood on its point would indicate that something more was deposited beneath. If it lay on its broadest face, the point or small end would indicate the direction where other deposits would be found. These, if found, would disclose facts connected with the building. Was not the cavity in which the stone was found the foundation of a structure never erected?

A few weeks subsequent to my visit, Mr. Wyrick found, in one of the mounds in that vicinity, a stone box, nearly egg-shaped, the two halves fitting together by a joint which runs around the stone lengthwise. Within this box was a stone seven inches long and three wide, on a smooth surface of which is a figure, in bas relief, well cut, and surrounded by characters thus described by the Rev. Mr. M‘Carty: "The words over the head of the human figure contain three letters. Two of them are Hebrew, Sheir and He (or Heth). The third I inferred to be Mem – a conjecture most readily suggested by its form, it being exactly that of the old Gaelic Muin (M), and afterward fully borne out by its always answering thereto. This gave the word Mosheh (Moses) or Meshiach (Messiah)." Of the characters Mr. M‘Carty said "some looked like the Hebrew coin character, some like the Phœnician alphabet, a few bore resemblance to those on the Grave Creek stone, * and some I could not identify with any known alphabet." He at last found that the language was really Hebrew, much like that found in the Bibles of the German Jews, and, after great and patient labor, he discovered that the whole constituted an abridged form of the Ten Commandments.

This is not the place, nor has the writer the knowledge requisite for a discussion of the matter. I have simply stated the curious facts – facts well worthy of the earnest investigation of archeologists, for they raise the ethnological and historical question whether the mound-builders of this continent were of Asiatic origin, or were related to the Indian tribes whose remnants still exist.

* A small stone tablet, found in a large mound near Grave Creek, in the vicinity of Winchester, Virginia, having an inscription in cuneiform characters like the ancient Phœnician.

50 Other mounds in this vicinity are in the shape of animals. One of the most curious and extensive of these is about four miles from Newark, on the road to Granville. It is in the shape of a lizard, and covers the whole summit of a hill. Its dimensions, in feet, are as follows: Length of the head and neck, 32; of the body, 73; of the tail, 105; width from the ends of the fore feet over the shoulders, 100; from the ends of the hind feet over the hips, 92; between the legs, across the body, 32; across the tail, close to the body, 18; height at the highest point, 7 whole length, 210. It appears to be mainly composed of clay, and is overgrown with grass. Visitors have made a path from the nose, along the back, to where the tall begins to curl, at which point stands a large black walnut-tree. – See Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, page 298.

51 According to a statement of Rev. David Jones in his journal in 1774, Scioto, in the Shawnoese language, signifies hairy river, so called because that stream in the spring was filled with hairs, from the immense number of deer that came to it to drink when shedding their coats.

52 Circleville is the capital of Pickaway County, situated on the Ohio Canal and Scioto River. It stands upon the site of one of the ancient earth-works that abound in that region, which was of circular form, and gave the name to the village. The court-house stood in the centre of the circle, and the town grew up around It. For an interesting account of the mounds in that vicinity, the reader is referred to Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, page 410.

53 These plains lie south of Circleville, on the east side of the Scioto, and are said to contain the richest body of land in Ohio. They are called respectively upper and lower plains. The black soil is the result of vegetable decomposition during many ages. Beneath it is a bed of pebbles and gravel, and the surface of the Plains is from forty to fifty feet above the Scioto. These plains were the resort not only of the mound-builders, but of the Indians before the Europeans came. There they had a general council-fire for all the associated tribes in that region; there it was that the warriors assembled to confront the army of Lord Dunmore in 1774, and there the horrid rites of torturing prisoners were frequently performed, There, on that classic Indian ground, Logan, the bereaved Mingo chief, made the famous speech preserved by Mr. Jefferson; and there was "Camp Charlotte," on Scippo Creek, seven miles southwest from Circleville, where, by treaty, Dunmore’s campaign was brought to a close. For a full account of Dunmore’s expedition, and Logan and his famous speech, the reader is referred to Lossing’s Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution, ii., 281 and 284 inclusive.

54 The first two sessions of the Territorial Legislature were held in a small, two-storied log house that stood on the Corner of second and Walnut Streets. This had a wing, in which were public offices. This building was used for barracks during the War of 1812.

55 This view is from the lawn, looking toward Chillicothe, a glimpse of which is seen on the extreme left of the picture.

56 The first dwelling for a white man on the site of Chillicothe was a bark cabin erected by General M‘Arthur.

57 Thomas Worthington was born in Jefferson County (then Berkeley), Virginia, about the year 1769. He took with him to the Ohio country quite a number of slaves, whom he emancipated. He was one of the most energetic of the pioneers to that region, and soon became a leading man among the settlers. He was a member of the Convention that formed the Constitution of the State of Ohio in 1803. Soon after that he was chosen to represent the new state in the Senate of the United States, and was an active supporter in Congress of Jefferson’s administration. He was elected governor of the state in 1814, and held the office four years. After his retirement from the chief magistracy he was appointed a member of the first board of Canal Commissioners, and held that office until his death in the year 1827, having been in public station about thirty years.

58 Ohio is the Shawnoese word for Beautiful River. The French called it La Belle Riviere.

59 Mr. Harrison had in his possession the telescope used by Commodore Perry in the engagement on Lake Erie, which that gallant commander presented to General Harrison as a token of his regard.

60 Mrs. Harrison died on the 25th of February, 1864, when lacking exactly five months of being eighty-nine years of age. She was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, on the 25th of July, 1775. Her remains were taken to the house of her daughter, Mrs. Taylor, at Cleves, and at the Presbyterian Church in that village the Reverend Mr. Bushnell preached a funeral sermon, from the text which she had selected for the occasion a year before – "Be still, and know that I am God." Her remains were then laid in the vault overlooking the North Bend, by the side of those of her husband. Mrs. Harrison was distinguished for personal courage, good sense, modesty, and sincere piety. Her life was made up of alternate excitement and repose. She was loved most dearly by all who knew her.

61 We have observed in Note 4, page 40, that Ensign Luce, of the United States Army, in the exercise of his discretion, chose the site of Cincinnati for the block-house in opposition to the powerful influence of Judge Symmes. According to common tradition, it was passion, not judgment, that fashioned the ensign’s decision. He had formed an acquaintance with the beautiful young wife of one of the settlers at the Bend. When the husband discovered the gallant officer’s too great attention to his black-eyed spouse, he removed to Cincinnati, that she might be beyond the power of the tempter. This movement suddenly changed the mind of the ensign. He had resolved to build the block-house at the Bend; now he discovered that Cincinnati was a much more eligible site. He accordingly marched his troops to that little settlement. Judge Symmes warmly remonstrated, but in vain. The ensign was fairly captivated by the sparkling eyes, and they decided the question. "Thus we see," says Judge Burnet, from whose "Notes" these facts have been gleaned, "the incomparable beauty of a Spartan dame produced a ten years’ war which terminated in the destruction of Troy, and the irresistible charms of another female transferred the commercial emporium of Ohio from the place where it had been commenced to the place where it now is. If this captivating American Helen had remained at the Bend the block-house would have been erected there, population, capital, and business would have centred there, and there would have been the Queen City of the West."

62 See page 40.

63 See page 57.

64 This is copied, by permission, from a sketch in Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, page 236.

65 William Henry Harrison, the youngest of fifteen children, was born at Berkeley, on the James River, in Virginia, on the 9th of February, 1773. He was descended from a celebrated leader of the same name in Cromwell’s army. He was educated at Hampden-Sydney College, in Virginia. On the death of his father, Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, became his guardian. Contrary to the advice of that gentleman, he entered the army. He hastened to the Northwest, but too late to share in the horrors of St. Clair’s defeat. His services with Wayne have already (page 53) been noticed. Soon after his marriage he resigned his commission, and entered upon the duties of civil life, at the age of twenty-four, as Secretary of the Northwestern Territory. In 1799 he was elected the first delegate in Congress for that extensive region. Soon afterward, when Indiana was erected into a separate Territory, he was appointed governor, and clothed with extraordinary powers. He entered upon the duties of his office at the old military post of Vincennes in 1801, and discharged his duties for several years with great wisdom and fidelity. His troubles with the Indians, and his military movements in the Wabash Valley, are recorded in Chapter X. of this work. In subsequent chapters may be found a detailed account of his conduct as a military commander. His services in the field ended with the battle on the Thames, in October, 1813, and in the following spring he retired to his farm at North Bend. He was frequently called to serve his adopted state in public capacities. He was a member of the Ohio Legislature and of the United States House of Representatives. In 1824 he was elected to a seat in the United States Senate, and in 1828 was appointed minister to Colombia. Differing with President Jackson in some views respecting Panama, he was recalled. In 1840, after living in retirement many years, he was nominated by the party then called Whig for the chief magistracy of the United States, and was elected by an overwhelming vote. He was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1841, being then a little past -sixty-eight years of age. Precisely a month afterward he died, leaving behind him a clean record of almost fifty years of public service.

"Calm was the life he led, till, near and far,

The breath of millions bore his name along,
Through praise, and censure, and continuous jar –"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
But long as on Ohio’s coursing wave
Is borne one freeman toward the glowing West,
His eye and tongue above the chieftain’s grave
Shall hail the marble honors of his rest!
And, long as Dian lifts her waning crest
Where Liberty yet holds what she hath won,
A pensive thought shall haunt the patriot’s breast
Of him, whose reign in her brief year was done,
And from his heart shall rise the name of HARRISON." – GEORGE H. COLTON.

66 The following is the inscription on the slab: "Here rest the remains of John Cleves Symmes, who, at the foot of these hills, made the first settlement between the Miami Rivers. Born on Long Island, New York, July 21, A. D. 1742. Died at Cincinnati, February 26, A. D. 1814."

John Cleves Symmes was born at Riverhead, Long Island, and in early life was a surveyor and school-teacher. He married a daughter of Governor William Livingston, of New Jersey, and sister of the wife of John Jay. He was active during the Revolution, and in 1777 was made an associate judge of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey. On his removal to the Northwestern Territory he was appointed one of the United States district judges. Near the present village of Cleves he built a fine house, at a cost of $12,000, the brick for which was burned on the spot. A political enemy, named Hart, set it on fire on the 1st of March, 1811, and it was entirely consumed. Judge Symmes died, as his monument says, in 1814, at the age of about seventy-four years.

A nephew and namesake of Judge Symmes attracted much public attention and considerable ridicule, about forty years ago, by the promulgation of his belief that the earth was open at the poles, and that its interior was accessible and habitable. He had held the office of captain in the army in the war of 1812, and performed gallant service at Fort Erie. He petitioned Congress in 1822 for aid in performing a voyage of discovery to the inner earth, setting forth the honor and wealth that would accrue to his country from a discovery which he deemed certain. His memorial was presented by Colonel Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, but was laid on the table. He found very little encouragement or support from any quarter.


His arguments were ingenious, and he had a few believers. He died at Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio (the site of old Fort Hamilton), on the 28th of May, 1828, and some admirer of his caused a monument to his memory, having as a part of it a globe open at both ends, to be constructed. The picture of it here given is from Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio, page 77.

67 Among these was a beautiful black cane with a silver head, on which was engraved a log cabin, a cider-barrel, a sheaf of wheat, a steam-boat, and other devices; also his name, and presentation "by a gentleman of Louisiana." The log cabin and cider-barrel refer to a peculiarity in the features of that campaign. The eastern end of Harrison’s mansion was one of the original log houses built by the settlers at North Bend, and clap-boarded over. His partisans, when he was nominated, started the story that he lived in a log cabin, whose latch-string was always on the outside, so that the traveler might enter, and that a mug of cider was always ready there for the wayfarer. The story was popular with the masses. Log cabins were erected all over the country, in which Harrison meetings were held, and a barrel of cider was always ready for free distribution at these meetings. The canvass was known as "the Hard Cider Campaign," and the demoralization produced by it was very great. Many a song was composed in his praise and sung at these meetings, in one of the most popular of which occurs the following verse, that may be appropriately quoted in this connection:

"Hurrah for the log cabin chief of our choice!

For the old Indian fighter, hurrah!
Hurrah! and from mountain to valley the voice
Of the people re-echoes hurrah!
Then come to the ballot-box – boys, come along,
He never lost battle for you;
Let us down with oppression and tyranny’s throng,
And up with Old Tippecanoe!"



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