The Winning of the West, Volume Two
Theodore Roosevelt

Part 3 out of 7

his own neighborhood. He had lost a father and a brother by the Indians;
and in return he followed the red men with relentless hatred. But he
never killed peaceful Indians nor those who came in under flags of
truce. The tale of his wanderings, his captivities, his hairbreadth
escapes, and deeds of individual prowess would fill a book. He
frequently went on scouts alone, either to procure information or to get
scalps. On these trips he was not only often reduced to the last
extremity by hunger, fatigue, and exposure, but was in hourly peril of
his life from the Indians he was hunting. Once he was captured; but when
about to be bound to the stake for burning, he suddenly flung an Indian
boy into the fire, and in the confusion burst through the warriors, and
actually made his escape, though the whole pack of yelling savages
followed at his heels with rifle and tomahawk. He raised a small company
of scouts or rangers, and was one of the very few captains able to
reduce the unruly frontiersmen to order. In consequence his company on
several occasions fairly whipped superior numbers of Indians in the
woods; a feat that no regulars could perform, and to which the
backwoodsmen themselves were generally unequal, even though an overmatch
for their foes singly, because of their disregard of discipline.
[Footnote: In the open plain the comparative prowess of these forest
Indians, of the backwoodsmen, and of trained regulars was exactly the
reverse of what it was in the woods.]

So, with foray and reprisal, and fierce private war, with all the border
in a flame, the year 1781 came to an end. At its close there were in
Kentucky seven hundred and sixty able-bodied militia, fit for an
offensive campaign. [Footnote: Letter of John Todd, October 21, 1781.
Virginia State Papers, II., 562. The troops at the Falls were in a very
destitute condition, with neither supplies nor money, and their credit
worn threadbare, able to get nothing from the surrounding country
(_do_., p. 313). In Clark's absence the colonel let his garrison be
insulted by the townspeople, and so brought the soldiers into contempt,
while some of the demoralized officers tampered with the public stores.
It was said that much dissipation prevailed in the garrison, to which
accusation Clark answered sarcastically: "However agreeable such conduct
might have been to their sentiments, I believe they seldom had the means
in their power, for they were generally in a starving condition" (_do_.,
Vol. III., pp. 347 and 359).] As this did not include the troops at the
Falls, nor the large shifting population, nor the "fort soldiers," the
weaker men, graybeards, and boys, who could handle a rifle behind a
stockade, it is probable that there were then somewhere between four and
five thousand souls in Kentucky.



The Moravians.

After the Moravian Indians were led by their missionary pastors to the
banks of the Muskingum they dwelt peacefully and unharmed for several
years. In Lord Dunmore's war special care was taken by the white leaders
that these Quaker Indians should not be harmed; and their villages of
Salem, Gnadenhutten, and Schoenbrunn received no damage whatever. During
the early years of the Revolutionary struggle they were not molested,
but dwelt in peace and comfort in their roomy cabins of squared timbers,
cleanly and quiet, industriously tilling the soil, abstaining from all
strong drink, schooling their children, and keeping the Seventh Day as a
day of rest. They sought to observe strict neutrality, harming neither
the Americans nor the Indians, nor yet the allies of the latter, the
British and French at Detroit. They hoped thereby to offend neither
side, and to escape unhurt themselves.

But this was wholly impossible. They occupied an utterly untenable
position. Their villages lay mid-way between the white settlements
southeast of the Ohio, and the towns of the Indians round Sandusky, the
bitterest foes of the Americans, and those most completely under British
influence. They were on the trail that the war-parties followed whether
they struck at Kentucky or at the valleys of the Alleghany and
Monongahela. Consequently the Sandusky Indians used the Moravian
villages as halfway houses, at which to halt and refresh themselves
whether starting on a foray or returning with scalps and plunder.

The Wild Indians Hate Them.

By the time the war had lasted four or five years both the wild or
heathen Indians and the backwoodsmen had become fearfully exasperated
with the unlucky Moravians. The Sandusky Indians were largely Wyandots,
Shawnees, and Delawares, the latter being fellow-tribesmen of the
Christian Indians; and so they regarded the Moravians as traitors to the
cause of their kinsfolk, because they would not take up the hatchet
against the whites. As they could not goad them into declaring war, they
took malicious pleasure in trying to embroil them against their will,
and on returning from raids against the settlements often passed through
their towns solely to cast suspicion on them and to draw down the wrath
of the backwoodsmen on their heads. The British at Detroit feared lest
the Americans might use the Moravian villages as a basis from which to
attack the lake posts; they also coveted their men as allies; and so the
baser among their officers urged the Sandusky tribes to break up the
villages and drive off the missionaries. The other Indian tribes
likewise regarded them with angry contempt and hostility; the Iroquois
once sent word to the Chippewas and Ottawas that they gave them the
Christian Indians "to make broth of."

So Do the Americans.

The Americans became even more exasperated. The war parties that
plundered and destroyed their homes, killing their wives, children, and
friends with torments too appalling to mention, got shelter and
refreshment from the Moravians, [Footnote: Heckewelder's "Narrative of
the Mission of the United Brethren," Philadelphia, 1820, p. 166.]
--who, indeed, dared not refuse it. The backwoodsmen, roused to a mad
frenzy of rage by the awful nature of their wrongs, saw that the
Moravians rendered valuable help to their cruel and inveterate foes, and
refused to see that the help was given with the utmost reluctance.
Moreover, some of the young Christian Indians backslid, and joined their
savage brethren, accompanying them on their war parties and ravaging
with as much cruelty as any of their number. [Footnote: _Pennsylvania
Packet_ (Philadelphia, April 16, 1782); Heckewelder, 180; Loskiel's
"History of the Mission of the United Brethren" (London, 1794), P--172.
] Soon the frontiersmen began to clamor for the destruction of the
Moravian towns; yet for a little while they were restrained by the
Continental officers of the few border forts, who always treated these
harmless Indians with the utmost kindness.

They Blindly Court their Fate.

On either side were foes, who grew less governable day by day, and the
fate of the hapless and peaceful Moravians, if they continued to dwell
on the Muskingum, was absolutely inevitable. With blind fatuity their
leaders, the missionaries, refused to see the impending doom; and the
poor, simple Indians clung to their homes till destroyed. The American
commander at Pittsburg, Col. Gibson, endeavored to get them to come into
the American lines, where he would have the power, as he already had the
wish, to protect them; he pointed out that where they were they served
in some sort as a shield to the wild Indians, whom he had to spare so as
not to harm the Moravians. [Footnote: Loskiel, p. 137.] The Half King
of the Wyandots, from the other side, likewise tried to persuade them
to abandon their dangerous position, and to come well within the Indian
and British lines, saying: "Two mighty and angry gods stand opposite to
each other with their mouths wide open, and you are between them, and
are in danger of being crushed by one or the other, or by both."
[Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 41, Vol. III., pp. 78, 79; extract
from diary of Rev. David Zeisburger.] But in spite of these warnings,
and heedless of the safety that would have followed the adoption of
either course, the Moravians followed the advice of their missionaries
and continued where they were. They suffered greatly from the wanton
cruelty of their red brethren; and their fate remains a monument to
the cold-blooded and cowardly brutality of the borderers, a stain on
frontier character that the lapse of time cannot wash away; but it is
singular that historians have not yet pointed out the obvious truth,
that no small share of the blame for their sad end should be put to
the credit of the blind folly of their missionary leaders. Their only
hope in such a conflict as was then raging, was to be removed from
their fatally dangerous position; and this the missionaries would not
see. As long at they stayed where they were, it was a mere question of
chance and time whether they would be destroyed by the Indians or the
whites; for their destruction at the hands of either one party or the
other was inevitable.

Their fate was not due to the fact that they were Indians; it resulted
from their occupying an absolutely false position. This is clearly shown
by what happened twenty years previously to a small community of
non-resistant Christian whites. They were Dunkards--Quaker-like
Germans--who had built a settlement on the Monongahela. As they helped
neither side, both distrusted and hated them. The whites harassed them
in every way, and the Indians finally fell upon and massacred them.
[Footnote: Withers, 59.] The fates of these two communities, of white
Dunkards and red Moravians, were exactly parallel. Each became hateful
to both sets of combatants, was persecuted by both, and finally fell a
victim to the ferocity of the race to which it did not belong.

Evil Conduct of the Backwoodsmen.

The conduct of the backwoodsmen towards these peaceful and harmless
Christian Indians was utterly abhorrent, and will ever be a subject of
just reproach and condemnation; and at first sight it seems incredible
that the perpetrators of so vile a deed should have gone unpunished and
almost unblamed. It is a dark blot on the character of a people that
otherwise had many fine and manly qualities to its credit. But the
extraordinary conditions of life on the frontier must be kept in mind
before passing too severe a judgment. In the turmoil of the harassing
and long-continued Indian war, and the consequent loosening of social
bonds, it was inevitable that, as regards outside matters, each man
should do what seemed right in his own eyes. The bad and the good alike
were left free and untrammelled to follow the bent of their desires. The
people had all they could do to beat off their savage enemies, and to
keep order among themselves. They were able to impose but slight checks
on ruffianism that was aimed at outsiders. There were plenty of good and
upright men who would not harm any Indians wrongfully, and who treated
kindly those who were peaceable. On the other hand, there were many of
violent and murderous temper. These knew that their neighbors would
actively resent any wrong done to themselves, but knew, also, that,
under the existing conditions, they would at the worst do nothing more
than openly disapprove of an outrage perpetrated on Indians.

Its Explanation.

The violence of the bad is easily understood. The indifference displayed
towards their actions by the better men of the community, who were
certainly greatly in the majority, is harder to explain. It rose from
varying causes. In the first place, the long continuance of Indian
warfare, and the unspeakable horrors that were its invariable
accompaniments had gradually wrought up many even of the best of the
backwoodsmen to the point where they barely considered an Indian as a
human being. The warrior was not to them a creature of romance. They
knew him for what he was--filthy, cruel, lecherous, and faithless. He
sometimes had excellent qualities, but these they seldom had a chance to
see. They always met him at his worst. To them he was in peace a lazy,
dirty, drunken beggar, whom they despised, and yet whom they feared; for
the squalid, contemptible creature might at any moment be transformed
into a foe whose like there was not to be found in all the wide world
for ferocity, cunning, and blood-thirsty cruelty. The greatest Indians,
chiefs like Logan and Cornstalk, who were capable of deeds of the
loftiest and most sublime heroism, were also at times cruel monsters or
drunken good-for-nothings. Their meaner followers had only such virtues
as belong to the human wolf--stealth, craft, tireless endurance, and the
courage that prefers to prey on the helpless, but will fight to the
death without flinching if cornered.

Grimness of the Backwoods Character.

Moreover, the backwoodsmen were a hard people; a people who still lived
in an iron age. They did not spare themselves, nor those who were dear
to them; far less would they spare their real or possible foes. Their
lives were often stern and grim; they were wonted to hardship and
suffering. In the histories or traditions of the different families
there are recorded many tales of how they sacrificed themselves, and, in
time of need, sacrificed others. The mother who was a captive among the
Indians might lay down her life for her child; but if she could not save
it, and to stay with it forbade her own escape it was possible that she
would kiss it good-by and leave it to its certain fate, while she
herself, facing death at every step, fled homewards through hundreds of
miles of wilderness. [Footnote: See Hale's "Trans-Alleghany Pioneers,"
the adventures of Mrs. Inglis. She was captured on the head-waters of
the Kanawha, at the time of Braddock's defeat. The other inhabitants of
the settlement were also taken prisoners or massacred by the savages,
whom they had never wronged in any way. She was taken to the Big Bone
Lick in Kentucky. On the way her baby was born, but she was not allowed
to halt a day on account of this incident. She left it in the Indian
camp, and made her escape in company with "an old Dutch woman." They
lived on berries and nuts for forty days, while they made their way
homewards. Both got in safely, though they separated after the old Dutch
woman, in the extremity of hunger, had tried to kill her companion that
she might eat her. When Cornstalk's party perpetrated the massacre of
the Clendennins during Pontiac's war (see Stewart's Narrative), Mrs.
Clendennin likewise left her baby to its death, and made her escape; her
husband had previously been killed and his bloody scalp tied across her
jaws as a gag.] The man who daily imperilled his own life, would, if
water was needed in the fort, send his wife and daughter to draw it from
the spring round which he knew Indians lurked, trusting that the
appearance of the women would make the savages think themselves
undiscovered, and that they would therefore defer their attack.
[Footnote: As at the siege of Bryan's Station.] Such people were not
likely to spare their red-skinned foes. Many of their friends, who had
never hurt the savages in any way, had perished the victims of wanton
aggression. They themselves had seen innumerable instances of Indian
treachery. They had often known the chiefs of a tribe to profess warm
friendship at the very moment that their young men were stealing and
murdering. They grew to think of even the most peaceful Indians as
merely sleeping wild beasts, and while their own wrongs were ever
vividly before them, they rarely heard of or heeded those done to their
foes. In a community where every strong courageous man was a bulwark to
the rest, he was sure to be censured lightly for merely killing a member
of a loathed and hated race.

Many of the best of the backwoodsmen were Bible-readers, but they were
brought up in a creed that made much of the Old Testament, and laid
slight stress on pity, truth, or mercy. They looked at their foes as the
Hebrew prophets looked at the enemies of Israel. What were the
abominations because of which the Canaanites were destroyed before
Joshua, when compared with the abominations of the red savages whose
lands they, another chosen people, should in their turn inherit? They
believed that the Lord was king for ever and ever, and they believed no
less that they were but obeying His commandment as they strove mightily
to bring about the day when the heathen should have perished out of the
land; for they had read in The Book that he was accursed who did the
work of the Lord deceitfully, or kept his sword back from blood. There
was many a stern frontier zealot who deemed all the red men, good and
bad, corn ripe for the reaping. Such a one rejoiced to see his fellows
do to the harmless Moravians as the Danites once did to the people of
Laish, who lived quiet and secure, after the manner of the Sidonians,
and had no business with any man, and who yet were smitten with the edge
of the sword, and their city burnt with fire.

The Moravians Themselves not Blameless.

Finally, it must not be forgotten that there were men on the frontier
who did do their best to save the peaceful Indians, and that there were
also many circumstances connected with the latter that justly laid them
open to suspicion. When young backsliding Moravians appeared in the war
parties, as cruel and murderous as their associates, the whites were
warranted in feeling doubtful as to whether their example might not
infect the remainder of their people. War parties, whose members in
dreadful derision left women and children impaled by their trail to
greet the sight of the pursuing husbands and fathers, found food and
lodging at the Moravian towns. No matter how reluctant the aid thus
given, the pursuers were right in feeling enraged, and in demanding that
the towns should be removed to where they could no longer give comfort
to the enemy. When the missionaries refused to consent to this removal,
they thereby became helpers of the hostile Indians; they wronged the
frontiersmen, and they still more grievously wronged their own flocks.
They certainly had ample warning of the temper of the whites. Col.
Brodhead was in command at Fort Pitt until the end of 1781. At the time
that General Sullivan ravaged the country of the Six Nations, he had led
a force up the Alleghany and created a diversion by burning one or two
Iroquois towns. In 1781 he led a successful expedition against a town of
hostile Delawares on the Muskingum, taking it by surprise and
surrounding it so completely that all within were captured. Sixteen
noted warriors and marauders were singled out and put to death. The
remainder fared but little better, for, while marching back to Fort
Pitt, the militia fell on them and murdered all the men, leaving only
the women and children. The militia also started to attack the
Moravians, and were only prevented by the strenuous exertions of
Brodhead. Even this proof of the brutality of their neighbors was wasted
on the missionaries.

Maltreated by the British and Wild Indians.

The first blow the Moravians received was from the wild Indians. In the
fall of this same year (1781) their towns were suddenly visited by a
horde of armed warriors, horsemen and footmen, from Sandusky and
Detroit. Conspicuous among them were the Wyandots, under the Half King;
the Delawares, also led by a famous chief, Captain Pipe; and a body of
white rangers from Detroit, including British, French, and tories,
commanded by the British Captain Elliott, and flying the British
flag. [Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 41, Vol. III., p. 77.] With
them came also Shawnees, Chippewas, and Ottawas. All were acting in
pursuance of the express orders of the commandant at Detroit. [Footnote:
Haldimand MSS. De Peyster to Haldimand, October 5th and 21st, 1781;
McKee to De Peyster, October 18th.] These warriors insisted on the
Christian Indians abandoning their villages and accompanying them back
to Sandusky and Detroit; and they destroyed many of the houses, and much
of the food for the men and the fodder for the horses and cattle. The
Moravians begged humbly to be left where they were, but without avail.
They were forced away to Lake Erie, the missionaries being taken to
Detroit, while the Indians were left on the plains of Sandusky. The wild
Indians were very savage against them, but the British commandant would
not let them be seriously maltreated, [Footnote: _Do_., December u,
1781.] though they were kept in great want and almost starved.

Also by the Americans.

A few Moravians escaped, and remained in their villages; but these,
three or four weeks later, were captured by a small detachment of
American militia, under Col. David Williamson, who had gone out to make
the Moravians either move farther off or else come in under the
protection of Fort Pitt. Williamson accordingly took the Indians to the
fort, where the Continental commander, Col. John Gibson, at once
released them, and sent them back to the villages unharmed. [Footnote:
Gibson was the old friend of the chief Logan. It is only just to
remember that the Continental officers at Fort Pitt treated the
Moravians even better than did the British officers at Detroit.] Gibson
had all along been a firm friend of the Moravians. He had protected them
against the violence of the borderers, and had written repeated and
urgent letters to Congress and to his superior officers, asking that
some steps might be taken to protect the friendly Christian
Indians. [Footnote: Haldimand MSS. Jan. 22, 1780 (intercepted letters).]
In the general weakness and exhaustion, however, nothing was done; and,
as neither the State nor Federal governments took any steps to protect
them, and as their missionaries refused to learn wisdom, it was evident
that the days of the Moravians were numbered. The failure of the
government to protect them was perhaps inevitable, but was certainly

The very day after Gibson sent the Christian Indians back to their
homes, several murders were committed near Pittsburg, and many of the
frontiersmen insisted that they were done with the good will or
connivance of the Moravians. The settlements had suffered greatly all
summer long, and the people clamored savagely against all the Indians,
blaming both Gibson and Williamson for not having killed or kept captive
their prisoners. The ruffianly and vicious of course clamored louder
than any; the mass of people who are always led by others, chimed in, in
a somewhat lower key; and many good men were silent for the reasons
given already. In a frontier democracy, military and civil officers are
directly dependent upon popular approval, not only for their offices,
but for what they are able to accomplish while filling them. They are
therefore generally extremely sensitive to either praise or blame.
Ambitious men flatter and bow to popular prejudice or opinion, and only
those of genuine power and self-reliance dare to withstand it.
Williamson was physically a fairly brave officer and not naturally
cruel; but he was weak and ambitious, ready to yield to any popular
demand, and, if it would advance his own interests, to connive at any
act of barbarity. [Footnote: This is the most favorable estimate of his
character, based on what Doddridge says (p. 260). He was a very
despicable person, but not the natural brute the missionaries painted
him.] Gibson, however, who was a very different man, paid no heed to the
cry raised against him.

They Refuse to be Warned and Return to their Homes.

With incredible folly the Moravians refused to heed even such rough
warnings as they had received. During the long winter they suffered
greatly from cold and hunger, at Sandusky, and before the spring of 1782
opened, a hundred and fifty of them returned to their deserted villages.

That year the Indian outrages on the frontiers began very early. In
February there was some fine weather; and while it lasted, several
families of settlers were butchered, some under circumstances of
peculiar atrocity. In particular, four Sandusky Indians having taken
some prisoners, impaled two of them, a woman and a child, while on their
way to the Moravian towns, where they rested and ate, prior to
continuing their journey with their remaining captives. When they left
they warned the Moravians that white men were on their trail. [Footnote:
Heckewelder, 3:1.] A white man who had just escaped this same impaling
party, also warned the Moravians that the exasperated borderers were
preparing a party to kill them; and Gibson, from Fort Pitt, sent a
messenger to them, who, however, arrived too late. But the poor
Christian Indians, usually very timid, now, in the presence of a real
danger, showed a curious apathy; their senses were numbed and dulled by
their misfortunes, and they quietly awaited their doom. [Footnote:
Loskiel, 176.]

It was not long deferred. Eighty or ninety frontiersmen, under
Williamson, hastily gathered together to destroy the Moravian towns. It
was, of course, just such an expedition as most attracted the brutal,
the vicious, and the ruffianly; but a few decent men, to their shame,
went along. They started in March, and on the third day reached the
fated villages. That no circumstance might be wanting to fill the
measure of their infamy, they spoke the Indians fair, assured them that
they meant well, and spent an hour or two in gathering together those
who were in Salem and Gnadenhutten, putting them all in two houses at
the latter place. Those at the third town, of Schoenbrunn, got warning
and made their escape.

As soon as the unsuspecting Indians were gathered in the two houses, the
men in one, the women and children in the other, the whites held a
council as to what should be done with them. The great majority were for
putting them instantly to death. Eighteen men protested, and asked that
the lives of the poor creatures should be spared; and then withdrew,
calling God to witness that they were innocent of the crime about to be
committed. By rights they should have protected the victims at any
hazard. One of them took off with him a small Indian boy, whose life was
thus spared. With this exception only two lads escaped.

They are Massacred.

When the murderers told the doomed Moravians their fate, they merely
requested a short delay in which to prepare themselves for death. They
asked one another's pardon for whatever wrongs they might have done,
knelt down and prayed, kissed one another farewell, "and began to sing
hymns of hope and of praise to the Most High." Then the white butchers
entered the houses and put to death the ninety-six men, women, and
children that were within their walls. More than a hundred years have
passed since this deed of revolting brutality; but even now a just man's
blood boils in his veins at the remembrance. It is impossible not to
regret that fate failed to send some strong war party of savages across
the path of these inhuman cowards, to inflict on them the punishment
they so richly deserved. We know that a few of them were afterwards
killed by the Indians; it is a matter of keen regret that any escaped.

When the full particulars of the affair were known, all the best leaders
of the border, almost all the most famous Indian fighters, joined in
denouncing it. [Footnote: Col. James Smith, then of Kentucky, in 1799
calls it "an act of barbarity equal to any thing I ever knew to be
committed by the savages themselves, except the burning of prisoners."]
Nor is it right that the whole of the frontier folk should bear the
blame for the deed. It is a fact, honorable and worthy of mention, that
the Kentuckians were never implicated in this or any similar massacre.
[Footnote: The Germans of up-country North Carolina were guilty of as
brutal massacres as the Scotch-Irish backwoodsmen of Pennsylvania. See
Adair, 245. There are two or three individual instances of the barbarity
of Kentuckians--one being to the credit of McGarry,--but they are
singularly few, when the length and the dreadful nature of their Indian
wars are taken into account. Throughout their history the Kentucky
pioneers had the right on their side in their dealings with the Indians.
They were not wanton aggressors; they entered upon vacant
hunting-grounds, to which no tribe had a clear title, and to which most
even of the doubtful titles had been fairly extinguished. They fought
their foes fiercely, with varying fortune, and eventually wrested the
land from them; but they very rarely wronged them; and for the numerous
deeds of fearful cruelty that were done on Kentucky soil, the Indians
were in almost every case to blame.]

But at the time, and in their own neighborhood--the corner of the Upper
Ohio valley where Pennsylvania and Virginia touch,--the conduct of the
murderers of the Moravians roused no condemnation. The borderers at
first felt about it as the English Whigs originally felt about the
massacre of Glencoe. For some time the true circumstances of the affair
were not widely known among them. They were hot with wrath against all
the red-skinned race; and they rejoiced to hear of the death of a number
of treacherous Indians who pretended to be peaceful, while harboring and
giving aid and comfort to, and occasionally letting their own young men
join, bands of avowed murderers. Of course, the large wicked and
disorderly element was loud in praise of the deed. The decent people, by
their silence, acquiesced.

A terrible day of reckoning was at hand; the retribution fell on but
part of the real criminals, and bore most heavily on those who were
innocent of any actual complicity in the deed of evil. Nevertheless it
is impossible to grieve overmuch for the misfortune that befell men who
freely forgave and condoned such treacherous barbarity.

Crawford Marches against Sandusky.

In May a body of four hundred and eighty Pennsylvania and Virginia
militia gathered at Mingo Bottom, on the Ohio, with the purpose of
marching against and destroying the towns of the hostile Wyandots and
Delawares in the neighborhood of the Sandusky River. The Sandusky
Indians were those whose attacks were most severely felt by that portion
of the frontier; and for their repeated and merciless ravages they
deserved the severest chastisement. The expedition against them was from
every point of view just; and it was undertaken to punish them, and
without any definite idea of attacking the remnant of the Moravians who
were settled among them. On the other hand, the militia included in
their ranks most of those who had taken part in the murderous expedition
of two months before; this fact, and their general character, made it
certain that the peaceable and inoffensive Indians would, if
encountered, be slaughtered as pitilessly as their hostile brethren.

How little the militia volunteers disapproved of the Moravian massacre
was shown when, as was the custom, they met to choose a leader. There
were two competitors for the place, Williamson, who commanded at the
massacre, being one; and he was beaten by only five votes. His
successful opponent, Colonel William Crawford, was a fairly good
officer, a just and upright man, but with no special fitness for such a
task as that he had undertaken. Nor were the troops he led of very good
stuff [Footnote: A minute and exhaustive account of Crawford's campaign
is given by Mr. C. W. Butterfield in his "Expedition against Sandusky."
(Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1873). Mr. Butterfield shows
conclusively that the accepted accounts are wholly inaccurate, being
derived from the reports of the Moravian missionaries, whose
untruthfulness (especially Heckewelder's) is clearly demonstrated. He
shows the apocryphal nature of some of the pretended narratives of the
expedition, such as two in "The American Pioneer," etc. He also shows
how inaccurate McClung's "sketches" are--for McClung was like a host of
other early western annalists, preserving some valuable facts in a good
deal of rubbish, and having very little appreciation indeed of the
necessity of so much as approximate accuracy. Only a few of these early
western historians had the least conception of the value of evidence or
of the necessity of sifting it, or of weighing testimony.

On the other hand, Mr. Butterfield is drawn into grave errors by his
excessive partisanship of the borderers. He passes lightly over their
atrocious outrages, colors favorably many of their acts, and praises the
generalship of Crawford and the soldiership of his men; when in reality
the campaign was badly conducted from beginning to end, and reflected
discredit on most who took part in it; Crawford did poorly, and the bulk
of his men acted like unruly cowards.]; though they included a few
veteran Indian fighters.

The party left Mingo Bottom on the 25th of May. After nine days' steady
marching through the unbroken forests they came out on the Sandusky
plains; billowy stretches of prairie, covered with high coarse grass and
dotted with islands of timber. As the men marched across them they
roused quantities of prairie fowl, and saw many geese and sand-hill
cranes, which circled about in the air, making a strange clamor.

Crawford hoped to surprise the Indian towns; but his progress was slow
and the militia every now and then fired off their guns. The spies of
the savages dogged his march and knew all his movements [Footnote:
Heckewelder, 336. Butterfield shows conclusively that there is not the
slightest ground to accept Heckewelder's assertion that Crawford's
people openly declared that "no Indian was to be spared, friend or
foe."]; and runners were sent to Detroit asking help. This the British
commandant at once granted. He sent to the assistance of the threatened
tribes a number of lake Indians and a body of rangers and Canadian
volunteers, under Captain Caldwell. [Footnote: Haldimand MSS. May 14,
1782. De Peyster to Haldimand.]

The Fight at Sandusky.

On the fourth of June Crawford's troops reached one of the Wyandot
towns. It was found to be deserted; and the army marched on to try and
find the others. Late in the afternoon, in the midst of the plains, near
a cranberry marsh, they encountered Caldwell and his Detroit rangers,
together with about two hundred Delawares, Wyandots, and lake Indians.
[Footnote: _Do_. Official report of Lt. John Turney of the rangers, June
7, 1782.] The British and Indians united certainly did not much exceed
three hundred men; but they were hourly expecting reinforcements, and
decided to give battle. They were posted in a grove of trees, from which
they were driven by the first charge of the Americans. A hot skirmish
ensued, in which, in spite of Crawford's superiority in force, and of
the exceptionally favorable nature of the country, he failed to gain any
marked advantage. His troops, containing so large a leaven of the
murderers of the Moravians, certainly showed small fighting capacity
when matched against armed men who could defend themselves. After the
first few minutes neither side gained or lost ground.

Of the Americans five were killed and nineteen wounded--in all
twenty-four. Of their opponents the rangers lost two men killed and
three wounded, Caldwell being one of the latter; and the Indians four
killed and eight wounded--in all seventeen. [Footnote: _Do_. Probably
some of this loss occurred on the following day. I rely on Butterfield
for the American loss, as he quotes Irvine's official report, etc. He of
course wrote without knowledge of the British reports; and his account
of the Indian losses and numbers is all wrong. He fails signally in his
effort to prove that the Americans behaved bravely.]

That night Crawford's men slept by their watch-fires in the grove, their
foes camping round about in the open prairie. Next morning the British
and Indians were not inclined to renew the attack; they wished to wait
until their numbers were increased. The only chance of the American
militia was to crush their enemies before reinforcements arrived, yet
they lay supine and idle all day long, save for an occasional harmless
skirmish. Crawford's generalship was as poor as the soldiership of his

Rout of the Whites.

In the afternoon the Indians were joined by one hundred and forty
Shawnees. At sight of this accession of strength the disspirited militia
Rout gave up all thought of any thing but flight, though they were still
equal in numbers to their foes. That night they began a hurried and
disorderly retreat. The Shawnees and Delawares attacked them in the
darkness, causing some loss and great confusion, and a few of the troops
got into the marsh. Many thus became scattered, and next morning there
were only about three hundred men left together in a body. Crawford
himself was among the missing, so Williamson took command, and hastily
continued the retreat. The savages did not make a very hot pursuit;
nevertheless, in the afternoon of that day a small number of Indians and
Detroit rangers overtook the Americans. They were all mounted. A slight
skirmish followed, and the Americans lost eleven men, but repulsed their
pursuers. [Footnote: Who were probably at this point much fewer in
number than the Americans; Butterfield says the reverse, but his account
is untrustworthy on these matters.] After this they suffered little
molestation, and reached Mingo Bottom on the 13th of the month.
[Footnote: As Butterfield shows, Heckewelder's account of Crawford's
whole expedition is a piece of sheer romancing.]

Many of the stragglers came in afterwards. In all about seventy either
died of their wounds, were killed outright, or were captured. Of the
latter, those who were made prisoners by the Wyandots were tomahawked
and their heads stuck on poles; but if they fell into the hands of the
Shawnees or Delawares they were tortured to death with fiendish cruelty.
Among them was Crawford himself, who had become separated from the main
body when it began its disorderly night retreat. After abandoning his
jaded horse he started homewards on foot, but fell into the hands of a
small party of Delawares, together with a companion named Knight.

These two prisoners were taken to one of the Delaware villages. The
Indians were fearfully exasperated by the Moravian massacre [Footnote:
Haldimand MSS. De Peyster to Haldimand, June 23, 1782.]; and some of
the former Moravians, who had rejoined their wild tribesmen, told the
prisoners that from that time on not a single captive should escape
torture. Nevertheless it is likely that Crawford would have been burned
in any event, and that most of the prisoners would have been tortured to
death even had the Moravians never been harmed; for such had always been
the custom of the Delawares.

The British, who had cared for the remnants of the Moravians, now did
their best to stop the cruelties of the Indians, [Footnote: _Do_. Aug.
18, 1782.] but could accomplish little or nothing. Even the Mingos and
Hurons told them that though they would not torture any Americans, they
intended thenceforth to put all their prisoners to death. [Footnote:
_Do_. Dec. 1, 1782.]

Crawford Tortured to Death.

Crawford was tied to the stake in the presence of a hundred Indians.
Among them were Simon Girty, the white renegade, and a few Wyandots.
Knight, Crawford's fellow-captive, was a horrified spectator of the
awful sufferings which he knew he was destined by his captors ultimately
to share. Crawford, stripped naked, and with his hands bound behind him,
was fastened to a high stake by a strong rope; the rope was long enough
for him to walk once or twice round the stake. The fire, of small
hickory poles, was several yards from the post, so as only to roast and
scorch him. Powder was shot into his body, and burning fagots shoved
against him, while red embers were strewn beneath his feet. For two
hours he bore his torments with manly fortitude, speaking low, and
beseeching the Almighty to have mercy on his soul. Then he fell down,
and his torturers scalped him, and threw burning coals on his bare
skull. Rising, he walked about the post once or twice again, and then
died. Girty and the Wyandots looked on, laughing at his agony, but
taking no part in the torture. When the news of his dreadful fate was
brought to the settlements, it excited the greatest horror, not only
along the whole frontier, but elsewhere in the country; for he was
widely known, was a valued friend of Washington and was everywhere
beloved and respected.

Knight, a small and weak-looking man, was sent to be burned at the
Shawnee towns, under the care of a burly savage. Making friends with the
latter, he lulled his suspicions, the more easily because the Indian
evidently regarded so small a man with contempt; and then, watching his
opportunity, he knocked his guard down and ran off into the woods,
eventually making his way to the settlements.

Another of the captives, Slover by name, made a more remarkable escape.
Slover's life history had been curious. When a boy eight years old,
living near the springs of the Kanawha, his family was captured by
Indians, his brother alone escaping. His father was killed, and his two
little sisters died of fatigue on the road to the Indian villages; his
mother was afterwards ransomed. He lived twelve years with the savages,
at first in the Miami towns, and then with the Shawnees. When twenty
years old he went to Fort Pitt, where, by accident, he was made known to
some of his relations. They pressed him to rejoin his people, but he had
become so wedded to savage life that he at first refused. At last he
yielded, however, took up his abode with the men of his own color, and
became a good citizen, and a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church.
At the outbreak of the Revolution he served fifteen months as a
Continental soldier, and when Crawford started against the Sandusky
Indians, he went along as a scout.

Slover, when captured, was taken round to various Indian towns, and saw
a number of his companions, as well as other white prisoners, tomahawked
or tortured to death. He was examined publicly about many matters at
several Great Councils--for he spoke two or three different Indian
languages fluently. At one of the councils he heard the Indians solemnly
resolve to take no more prisoners thereafter, but to kill all Americans,
of whatever sex and age; some of the British agents from Detroit
signifying their approval of the resolution. [Footnote: Slover asserts
that it was taken in consequence of a message sent advising it by the
commandant at Detroit. This is doubtless untrue; the commandant at
Detroit did what he could to stop such outrages, although many of his
more reckless and uncontrollable subordinates very probably pursued an
opposite course. The ignorant and violently prejudiced backwoodsmen
naturally believed all manner of evil of their British foes; but it is
singular that writers who ought to be well informed should even now
continue to accept all their wild assertions as unquestioned facts. The
conduct of the British was very bad; but it is silly to describe it in
the terms often used. The year after their escape Slover dictated, and
Knight wrote, narratives of their adventures, which were together
published in book form at Philadelphia in 1783. They are very

Slover's Escape.

At last he was condemned to be burned, and was actually tied to the
stake. But a heavy shower came on, so wetting the wood that it was
determined to reprieve him till the morrow. That night he was bound and
put in a wigwam under the care of three warriors. They laughed and
chatted with the prisoner, mocking him, and describing to him with
relish all the torments that he was to suffer. At last they fell asleep,
and, just before daybreak, he managed to slip out of his rope and
escape, entirely naked.

Catching a horse, he galloped away sitting on a piece of old rug, and
guiding the animal with the halter. He rode steadily and at speed for
seventy miles, until his horse dropped dead under him late in the
afternoon. Springing off, he continued the race on foot. At last he
halted, sick and weary; but, when he had rested an hour or two, he heard
afar off the halloo of his pursuers. Struggling to his feet he continued
his flight, and ran until after dark. He then threw himself down and
snatched a few hours' restless sleep, but, as soon as the moon rose, he
renewed his run for life, carefully covering his trail whenever
possible. At last he distanced his enemies. For five days he went
straight through the woods, naked, bruised, and torn, living on a few
berries and a couple of small crawfish he caught in a stream. He could
not sleep nor sometimes even lie down at night because of the
mosquitoes. On the morning of the sixth day he reached Wheeling, after
experiencing such hardship and suffering as none but an iron will and
frame could have withstood.

Woe on the Frontier.

Until near the close of the year 1782 the frontiers suffered heavily. A
terrible and deserved retribution fell on the borderers for their crime
in failing to punish the dastardly deed of Williamson and his
associates. The Indians were roused to savage anger by the murder of the
Moravians, and were greatly encouraged by their easy defeat of
Crawford's troops. They harassed the settlements all along the Upper
Ohio, the Alleghany and the Monongahela, and far into the interior,
[Footnote: Va. State Papers, III., 235.] burning, ravaging, and
murdering, and bringing dire dismay to every lonely clearing, and every
palisaded hamlet of rough log-cabins.



Illinois Made a County.

The Virginian Government took immediate steps to provide for the civil
administration of the country Clark had conquered. In the fall of 1778
the entire region northwest of the Ohio was constituted the county of
Illinois, with John Todd as county-lieutenant or commandant.

Todd was a firm friend and follower of Clark's, and had gone with him on
his campaign against Vincennes. It therefore happened that he received
his commission while at the latter town, early in the spring of '79. In
May he went to Kaskaskia, to organize the county; and Clark, who
remained military commandant of the Virginia State troops that were
quartered in the district, was glad to turn over the civil government to
the charge of his old friend.

Together with his commission, Todd received a long and excellent letter
of instructions from Governor Patrick Henry. He was empowered to choose
a deputy-commandant, and officers for the militia; but the judges and
officers of the court were to be elected by the people themselves. He
was given large discretionary power, Henry impressing upon him with
especial earnestness the necessity to "cultivate and conciliate the
French and Indians." [Footnote: See Col. John Todd's "Record Book,"
while County Lieutenant of Illinois. There is an MS. copy in Col.
Durrett's library at Louisville. It is our best authority for these
years in Illinois. The substance of it is given on pp. 49-68 of Mr.
Edward G. Mason's interesting and valuable pamphlet on "Illinois in the
18th Century" (Chicago, Fergus Printing Co., 1881).] With this end in
view, he was bidden to pay special heed to the customs of the creoles,
to avoid shocking their prejudices, and to continually consult with
their most intelligent and upright men. He was to cooeperate in every way
with Clark and his troops, while at the same time the militia were to be
exclusively under his own control. The inhabitants were to have strict
justice done them if wronged by the troops; and Clark was to put down
rigorously any licentiousness on the part of his soldiers. The wife and
children of the former British commandant--the creole Rocheblave--were
to be treated with particular respect, and not suffered to want for any
thing. He was exhorted to use all his diligence and ability to
accomplish the difficult task set him. Finally Henry advised him to lose
no opportunity of inculcating in the minds of the French the value of
the liberty the Americans brought them, as contrasted with "the slavery
to which the Illinois was destined" by the British.

This last sentence was proved by subsequent events to be a touch of
wholly unconscious but very grim humor. The French were utterly unsuited
for liberty, as the Americans understood the term, and to most of them
the destruction of British rule was a misfortune. The bold,
self-reliant, and energetic spirits among them, who were able to become
Americanized, and to adapt themselves to the new conditions, undoubtedly
profited immensely by the change. As soon as they adopted American ways,
they were received by the Americans on terms of perfect and cordial
equality, and they enjoyed a far higher kind of life than could possibly
have been theirs formerly, and achieved a much greater measure of
success. But most of the creoles were helplessly unable to grapple with
the new life. They had been accustomed to the paternal rule of priest
and military commandant, and they were quite unable to govern
themselves, or to hold their own with the pushing, eager, and often
unscrupulous, new-comers. So little able were they to understand
precisely what the new form of government was, that when they went down
to receive Todd as commandant, it is said that some of them, joining in
the cheering, from force of habit cried "Vive le Roi."

For the first year of Todd's administration, while Clark still remained
in the county as commandant of the State troops, matters went fairly
well. Clark kept the Indians completely in check, and when some of them
finally broke out, and started on a marauding expedition against
Cahokia, he promptly repulsed them, and by a quick march burned their
towns on Rock River, and forced them to sue for peace. [Footnote: In the
beginning of 1780. Bradford MS.]

Todd appointed a Virginian, Richard Winston, as commandant at Kaskaskia;
all his other appointees were Frenchmen. An election was forthwith held
for justices; to the no small astonishment of the Creoles, unaccustomed
as they were to American methods of self-government. Among those whom
they elected as judges and court officers were some of the previously
appointed militia captains and lieutenants, who thus held two positions.
The judges governed their decisions solely by the old French laws and
customs. [Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 48, p. 51.] Todd at once
made the court proceed to business. On its recommendation he granted
licenses to trade to men of assured loyalty. He also issued a
proclamation in reference to new settlers taking up lands. Being a
shrewd man, he clearly foresaw the ruin that was sure to arise from the
new Virginia land laws as applied to Kentucky, and he feared the inrush
of a horde of speculators, who would buy land with no immediate
intention of settling thereon. Besides, the land was so fertile in the
river bottoms, that he deemed the amount Virginia allotted to each
person excessive. So he decreed that each settler should take up his
land in the shape of one of the long narrow French farms, that stretched
back from the water-front; and that no claim should contain a greater
number of acres than did one of these same farms. This proclamation
undoubtedly had a very good effect.

Financial Difficulties.

He next wrestled steadily, but much less successfully, with the
financial question. He attempted to establish a land bank, as it were,
setting aside a great tract of land to secure certain issues of
Continental money. The scheme failed, and in spite of his public
assurance that the Continental currency would shortly be equal in value
to gold and silver, it swiftly sank until it was not worth two cents on
the dollar.

This wretched and worthless paper-money, which the Americans brought
with them, was a perfect curse to the country. Its rapid depreciation
made it almost impossible to pay the troops, or to secure them supplies,
and as a consequence they became disorderly and mutinous. Two or three
prominent creoles, who were devoted adherents of the American cause,
made loans of silver to the Virginian Government, as represented by
Clark, thereby helping him materially in the prosecution of his
campaign. Chief among these public-spirited patriots were Francis Vigo,
and the priest Gibault, both of them already honorably mentioned. Vigo
advanced nearly nine thousand dollars in specie,--piastres or Spanish
milled dollars,--receiving in return bills on the "Agent of Virginia,"
which came back protested for want of funds; and neither he nor his
heirs ever got a dollar of what was due them. He did even more. The
creoles at first refused to receive any thing but peltries or silver for
their goods; they would have nothing to do with the paper, and to all
explanations as to its uses, simply answered "that their commandants
never made money." [Footnote: Law's "Vincennes," pp. 49, 126. For some
inscrutable reason, by the way, the Americans for a long time persisted
in speaking of the place as _St._ Vincennes.] Finally they were
persuaded to take it on Vigo's personal guaranty, and his receiving it
in his store. Even he, however, could not buoy it up long.

Gibault likewise [Footnote See his letter to Governor St. Clair, May I,
1790.] advanced a large sum of money, parted with his titles and beasts,
so as to set a good example to his parishioners, and, with the same
purpose, furnished goods to the troops at ordinary prices, taking the
paper in exchange as if it had been silver. In consequence he lost over
fifteen hundred dollars, was forced to sell his only two slaves, and
became almost destitute; though in the end he received from the
government a tract of land which partially reimbursed him. Being driven
to desperate straits, the priest tried a rather doubtful shift. He sold,
or pretended to sell, a great natural meadow, known as la prairie du
pont, which the people of Cahokia claimed as a common pasture for their
cattle. His conduct drew forth a sharp remonstrance from the Cahokians,
in the course of which they frankly announced that they believed the
priest should confine himself to ecclesiastical matters, and should not
meddle with land grants, especially when the land he granted did not
belong to him. [Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 48, p. 41. Petition
of J. B. La Croix and A. Girardin.]

It grew steadily more difficult to get the Creoles to furnish supplies;
Todd had to forbid the exportation of any provisions whatever, and,
finally, the soldiers were compelled to levy on all that they needed.
Todd paid for these impressed goods, as well as for what the contractors
furnished, at the regulation prices--one third in paper-money and two
thirds in peltries; and thus the garrisons at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and
Vincennes were supplied with powder, lead, sugar, flour, and, above all,
hogsheads of taffia, of which they drank an inordinate quantity.

The justices did not have very much work; in most of the cases that came
before them the plaintiff and defendant were both of the same race. One
piece of recorded testimony is rather amusing, being to the effect that
"Monsieur Smith est un grand vilain coquin." [Footnote: This and most of
the other statements for which no authority is quoted, are based on
Todd's MS. "Record Book."]

Burning of Negroes Accused of Sorcery.

Yet there are two entries in the proceedings of the Creole courts for
the summer of 1779, as preserved in Todd's "Record Book," which are of
startling significance. To understand them it must be remembered that
the Creoles were very ignorant and superstitious, and that they one and
all including, apparently, even, their priests, firmly believed in
witchcraft and sorcery. Some of their negro slaves had been born in
Africa, the others had come from the Lower Mississippi or the West
Indies; they practised the strange rites of voudooism, and a few were
adepts in the art of poisoning. Accordingly the French were always on
the look-out lest their slaves should, by spell or poison, take their
lives. It must also be kept in mind that the pardoning power of the
commandant did not extend to cases of treason or murder--a witchcraft
trial being generally one for murder,--and that he was expressly
forbidden to interfere with the customs and laws, or go counter to the
prejudices, of the inhabitants.

At this time the Creoles were smitten by a sudden epidemic of fear that
their negro slaves were trying to bewitch and poison them. Several of
the negroes were seized and tried, and in June two were condemned to
death. One, named Moreau, was sentenced to be hung outside Cahokia. The
other, a Kaskaskian slave named Manuel, suffered a worse fate. He was
sentenced "to be chained to a post at the water-side, and there to be
burnt alive and his ashes scattered." [Footnote: The entries merely
record the sentences, with directions that they be immediately executed.
But there seems very little doubt that they were for witchcraft, or
voudouism, probably with poisoning at the bottom--and that they were
actually carried out. See Mason's pamphlet, p. 59.] These two sentences,
and the directions for their immediate execution, reveal a dark chapter
in the early history of Illinois. It seems a strange thing that, in the
United States, three years after the declaration of independence, men
should have been burnt and hung for witchcraft, in accordance with the
laws, and with the decision of the proper court. The fact that the
victim, before being burned, was forced to make "honorable fine" at the
door of the Catholic church, shows that the priest at least acquiesced
in the decision. The blame justly resting on the Puritans of
seventeenth-century New England must likewise fall on the Catholic
French of eighteenth-century Illinois.

Early in the spring of 1780 Clark left the country; he did not again
return to take command, for after visiting the fort on the Mississippi,
and spending the summer in the defence of Kentucky, he went to Virginia
to try to arrange for an expedition against Detroit. Todd also left
about the same time, having been elected a Kentucky delegate to the
Virginia Legislature. He afterwards made one or two flying visits to
Illinois, but exerted little influence over her destiny, leaving the
management of affairs entirely in the hands of his deputy, or
lieutenant-commandant for the time being. He usually chose for this
position either Richard Winston, the Virginian, or else a Creole named
Timothea Demunbrunt.

Disorders in the Government.

Todd's departure was a blow to the country; but Clark's was a far more
serious calamity. By his personal influence he had kept the Indians in
check, the Creoles contented, and the troops well fed and fairly
disciplined. As soon as he went, trouble broke out. The officers did not
know how to support their authority; they were very improvident, and one
or two became implicated in serious scandals. The soldiers soon grew
turbulent, and there was constant clashing between the civil and
military rulers. Gradually the mass of the Creoles became so angered
with the Americans that they wished to lay their grievances before the
French Minister at Philadelphia; and many of them crossed the
Mississippi and settled under the Spanish flag. The courts rapidly lost
their power, and the worst people, both Americans and Creoles, practised
every kind of rascality with impunity. All decent men joined in
clamoring for Clark's return; but it was impossible for him to come
back. The freshets and the maladministration combined to produce a
dearth, almost a famine, in the land. The evils were felt most severely
in Vincennes, where Helm, the captain of the post, though a brave and
capable man, was utterly unable to procure supplies of any kind. He did
not hear of Clark's success against Piqua and Chillicothe until October.

Then he wrote to one of the officers at the Falls, saying that he was
"sitting by the fire with a piece of lightwood and two ribs of an old
buffloe, which is all the meat we have seen this many days. I
congratulate your success against the Shawanohs, but there's never
doubts where that brave Col. Clark commands; we well know the loss of
him in Illinois.... Excuse Haste as the Lightwood's Just out and mouth
watering for part of the two ribs." [Footnote: Calendar of Va. State
Papers, I., pp. 380, 382, 383, Oct. 24-29, 1780.]

La Balme's Expedition.

In the fall of 1780 a Frenchman, named la Balme, led an expedition
composed purely of Creoles against Detroit. He believed that he could
win over the French at that place to his side, and thus capture the fort
as Clark had captured Vincennes. He raised some fifty volunteers round
Cahokia and Kaskaskia, perhaps as many more on the Wabash, and marched
to the Maumee River. Here he stopped to plunder some British traders;
and in November the neighboring Indians fell on his camp, killed him and
thirty or forty of his men, and scattered the rest. [Footnote: Haldimand
MSS. De Peyster to Haldimand, Nov. 16, 1780.] His march had been so
quick and unexpected that it rendered the British very uneasy, and they
were much rejoiced at his discomfiture and death.

The following year a new element of confusion was added. In 1779 Spain
declared war on Great Britain. The Spanish commandant at New Orleans was
Don Bernard de Galvez, one of the very few strikingly able men Spain has
sent to the western hemisphere during the past two centuries. He was
bold, resolute, and ambitious; there is reason to believe that at one
time he meditated a separation from Spain, the establishment of a
Spanish-American empire, and the founding of a new imperial house.
However this may be, he threw himself heart and soul into the war
against Britain; and attacked British West Florida with a fiery energy
worthy of Wolfe or Montcalm. He favored the Americans; but it was patent
to all that he favored them only the better to harass the British.
[Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 50, p. 109.]

Besides the Creoles and the British garrisons, there were quite a number
of American settlers in West Florida. In the immediate presence of
Spanish and Indian foes, these, for the most part, remained royalists.
In 1778 a party of armed Americans, coming down the Ohio and
Mississippi, tried to persuade them to turn whig, but, becoming
embroiled with them, the militant missionaries were scattered and driven
off. Afterwards the royalists fought among themselves; but this was a
mere faction quarrel, and was soon healed. Towards the end of 1779,
Galvez, with an army of Spanish and French Creole troops, attacked the
forts along the Mississippi--Manchac, Baton Rouge, Natchez, and one or
two smaller places,--speedily carrying them and capturing their
garrisons of British regulars and royalist militia. During the next
eighteen months he laid siege to and took Mobile and Pensacola. While he
was away on his expedition against the latter place, the royalist
Americans round Natchez rose and retook the fort from the Spaniards; but
at the approach of Galvez they fled in terror, marching overland towards
Georgia, then in the hands of the tories. On the way they suffered great
loss and damage from the Creeks and Choctaws.

A Spanish Attempt on St. Joseph.

The Spanish commander at St. Louis was inspired by the news of these
brilliant victories to try if he, too, could not gain a small wreath at
the expense of Spain's enemies. Clark had already become thoroughly
convinced of the duplicity of the Spaniards on the upper Mississippi; he
believed that they were anxious to have the British retake Illinois, so
that they, in their turn, might conquer and keep it. [Footnote: Clark to
Todd, March, 1780. Va. State Papers, I., 338.] They never had the chance
to execute this plan; but, on January 2, 1781, a Spanish captain, Don
Eugenio Pierro, led a hundred and twenty men, chiefly Indians and
Creoles, against the little French village, or fur post, of St. Joseph,
where they burned the houses of one or two British traders, claimed the
country round the Illinois River as conquered for the Spanish king, and
forthwith returned to St. Louis, not daring to leave a garrison of any
sort behind them, and being harassed on their retreat by the Indians. On
the strength of this exploit Spain afterwards claimed a large stretch of
country to the east of the Mississippi. In reality it was a mere
plundering foray. The British at once retook possession of the place,
and, indeed, were for some time ignorant whether the raiders had been
Americans or Spaniards. [Footnote: Haldimand MSS. Haldimand to De
Peyster, April 10, 1781. Report of Council at St. Joseph, March 11,
1781.] Soon after the recapture, the Detroit authorities sent a scouting
party to dislodge some Illinois people who had attempted to make a
settlement at Chicago. [Footnote: _Do._ Haldimand to De Peyster, May 19,
1782. This is the first record of an effort to make a permanent
settlement at Chicago.]

At the end of the year 1781 the unpaid troops in Vincennes were on the
verge of mutiny, and it was impossible longer even to feed them, for the
inhabitants themselves were almost starving. The garrison was therefore
withdrawn; and immediately the Wabash Indians joined those of the Miami,
the Sandusky, and the Lakes in their raids on the settlements.
[Footnote: Va. State Papers, III., 502.] By this time, however,
Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown, and the British were even more
exhausted than the Americans. Some of the French partisans of the
British at Detroit, such as Rocheblave and Lamothe, who had been
captured by Clark, were eager for revenge, and desired to be allowed to
try and retake Vincennes and the Illinois; they saw that the Americans
must either be exterminated or else the land abandoned to them.
[Footnote: Haldimand MSS. Letter of Rocheblave, Oct. 7, 1781; of
Lamothe, April 24, 1782.] But the British commandant was in no condition
to comply with their request, or to begin offensive operations. Clark
had not only conquered the land, but he had held it firmly while he
dwelt therein; and even when his hand was no longer felt, the order he
had established took some little time before crumbling. Meanwhile, his
presence at the Falls, his raids into the Indian country, and his
preparations for an onslaught on Detroit kept the British authorities at
the latter place fully occupied, and prevented their making any attempt
to recover what they had lost. By the beginning of 1782 the active
operations of the Revolutionary war were at an end, and the worn-out
British had abandoned all thought of taking the offensive anywhere,
though the Indian hostilities continued with unabated vigor. Thus the
grasp with which the Americans held the conquered country was not
relaxed until all danger that it would be taken from them had ceased.

Confusion at Vincennes.

In 1782 the whole Illinois region lapsed into anarchy and confusion. It
was perhaps worst at Vincennes, where the departure of the troops had
left the French free to do as they wished. Accustomed for generations to
a master, they could do nothing with their new-found liberty beyond
making it a curse to themselves and their neighbors. They had been
provided with their own civil government in the shape of their elective
court, but the judges had literally no idea of their proper functions as
a governing body to administer justice. At first they did nothing
whatever beyond meet and adjourn. Finally it occurred to them that
perhaps their official position could be turned to their own advantage.
Their townsmen were much too poor to be plundered; but there were vast
tracts of fertile wild land on every side, to which, as far as they
knew, there was no title, and which speculators assured them would
ultimately be of great value. Vaguely remembering Todd's opinion, that
he had power to interfere under certain conditions with the settlement
of the lands, and concluding that he had delegated this power, as well
as others, to themselves, the justices of the court proceeded to make
immense grants of territory, reciting that they did so under "_les
pouvoirs donnes a Mons'rs Les Magistrats de la cour de Vincennes par le
Snr. Jean Todd, colonel et Grand Judge civil pour les Etats Unis_";
Todd's title having suffered a change and exaltation in their memories.
They granted one another about fifteen thousand square miles of land
round the Wabash; each member of the court in turn absenting himself for
the day on which his associates granted him his share.

This vast mass of virgin soil they sold to speculators at nominal
prices, sometimes receiving a horse or a gun for a thousand acres. The
speculators of course knew that their titles were worthless, and made
haste to dispose of different lots at very low prices to intending
settlers. These small buyers were those who ultimately suffered by the
transaction, as they found they had paid for worthless claims. The
speculators reaped the richest harvest; and it is hard to decide whether
to be amused or annoyed at the childish and transparent rascality of the
French Creoles. [Footnote: State Department MSS., Nos. 30 and 48. Laws

Lawlessness in the Illinois.

In the Illinois country proper the troops, the American settlers,
speculators, and civil officials, and the Creole inhabitants all
quarrelled together indiscriminately. The more lawless new-comers stole
horses from the quieter Creoles; the worst among the French, the idle
coureurs-des-bois, voyageurs, and trappers plundered and sometimes
killed the peaceable citizens of either nationality. The soldiers became
little better than an unruly mob; some deserted, or else in company with
other ruffians, both French and American, indulged in furious and
sometimes murderous orgies, to the terror of the Creoles who had
property. The civil authorities, growing day by day weaker, were finally
shorn of all power by the military. This, however, was in nowise a
quarrel between the French and the Americans. As already explained, in
Todd's absence the position of deputy was sometimes filled by a Creole
and sometimes by an American. He had been particular to caution them in
writing to keep up a good understanding with the officers and troops,
adding, as a final warning: "If this is not the case you will be
unhappy." Unfortunately for one of the deputies, Richard Winston, he
failed to keep up the good understanding, and, as Todd had laconically
foretold, he in consequence speedily became very "unhappy." We have only
his own account of the matter. According to this, in April, 1782, he was
taken out of his house "in despite of the civil authority, disregarding
the laws and on the malitious alugation of Jno. Williams and Michel
Pevante." Thus a Frenchman and an American joined in the accusation, for
some of the French supported the civil, others the military,
authorities. The soldiers had the upper hand, however, and Winston
records that he was forthwith "confined by tyrannick military force."
From that time the authority of the laws was at an end, and as the
officers of the troops had but little control, every man did what
pleased him best.

In January, 1781, the Virginia Legislature passed an act ceding to
Congress, for the benefit of the United States, all of Virginia's claim
to the territory northwest of the Ohio; but the cession was not
consummated until after the close of the war with Great Britain, and the
only immediate effect of the act was to still further derange affairs in
Illinois. The whole subject of the land cessions of the various States,
by which the northwest territory became Federal property, and the heart
of the Union, can best be considered in treating of post-revolutionary

The French Creoles had been plunged in chaos. In their deep distress
they sent to the powers that the chances of war had set above them
petition after petition, reciting their wrongs and praying that they
might be righted. There is one striking difference between these
petitions and the similar requests and complaints made from time to time
by the different groups of American settlers west of the Alleghanies.
Both alike set forth the evils from which the petitioners suffered, and
the necessity of governmental remedy. But whereas the Americans
invariably asked that they be allowed to govern themselves, being
delighted to undertake the betterment of their condition on their own
account, the French, on the contrary, habituated through generations to
paternal rule, were more inclined to request that somebody fitted for
the task should be sent to govern them. They humbly asked Congress
either to "immediately establish some form of government among them, and
appoint officers to execute the same," or else "to nominate
commissioners to repair to the Illinois and inquire into the situation."
[Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 30, p. 453. Memorial of Francois
Carbonneaux, agent for the inhabitants of Illinois.]

One of the petitions is pathetic in its showing of the bewilderment into
which the poor Creoles were thrown as to who their governors really
were. It requests "their Sovereign Lords," [Footnote: "Nos Souverains
Seigneurs." The letter is ill-written and worse spelt, in an
extraordinary French patois. State Department MSS., No. 30, page 459. It
is dated December 3, 1782. Many of the surnames attached are marked with
a cross; others are signed. Two are given respectively as "Bienvenus
fils" and "Blouin fils."] whether of the Congress of the United States
or of the Province of Virginia, whichever might be the owner of the
country, to nominate "a lieutenant or a governor, whomever it may please
our Lords to send us." [Footnote: State Department MSS., No. 30, p. 459,
"de nomer un lieutenant ou un gouverneur tel qu'il plaira a nos
Seigneurs de nous l'envoyer."] The letter goes on to ask that this
governor may speak French, so that he may preside over the court; and it
earnestly beseeches that the laws may be enforced and crime and
wrong-doing put down with a strong hand.

The conquest of the Illinois Territory was fraught with the deepest and
most far-reaching benefits to all the American people; it likewise
benefited, in at least an equal degree, the boldest and most energetic
among the French inhabitants, those who could hold their own among
freemen, who could swim in troubled waters; but it may well be doubted
whether to the mass of the ignorant and simple Creoles it was not a
curse rather than a blessing.



Seventeen hundred and eighty-two proved to be Kentucky's year of blood.
The British at Detroit had strained every nerve to drag into the war the
entire Indian population of the northwest. They had finally succeeded in
arousing even the most distant tribes--not to speak of the twelve
thousand savages immediately tributary to Detroit. [Footnote: Haldimand
MSS. Census for 1782, 11,402.] So lavish had been the expenditure of
money and presents to secure the good-will of the savages and enlist
their active services against the Americans, that it had caused serious
complaint at headquarters. [Footnote: _Do._ Haldimand to De Peyster,
April 10, October 6, 1781.]

Renewal of the Indian Forays.

Early in the spring the Indians renewed their forays; horses were
stolen, cabins burned, and women and children carried off captive. The
people were confined closely to their stockaded forts, from which small
bands of riflemen sallied to patrol the country. From time to time these
encountered marauding parties, and in the fights that followed sometimes
the whites, sometimes the reds, were victorious.

One of these conflicts attracted wide attention on the border because of
the obstinacy with which it was waged and the bloodshed that accompanied
it. In March a party of twenty-five Wyandots came into the settlements,
passed Boonsborough, and killed and scalped a girl within sight of
Estill's Station. The men from the latter, also to the number of
twenty-five, hastily gathered under Captain Estill, and after two days'
hot pursuit overtook the Wyandots. A fair stand-up fight followed, the
better marksmanship of the whites being offset, as so often before, by
the superiority their foes showed in sheltering themselves. At last
victory declared for the Indians. Estill had despatched a lieutenant and
seven men to get round the Wyandots and assail them in the rear; but
either the lieutenant's heart or his judgment failed him, he took too
long, and meanwhile the Wyandots closed in on the others, killing nine,
including Estill, and wounding four, who, with their unhurt comrades,
escaped. It is said that the Wyandots themselves suffered heavily.
[Footnote: Of course not as much as their foes. The backwoodsmen (like
the regular officers of both the British and American armies in similar
cases, as at Grant's and St. Clair's defeats) were fond of consoling
themselves for their defeats by snatching at any wild tale of the losses
of the victors. In the present instance it is even possible that the
loss of the Wyandots was very light instead of very heavy.]

These various ravages and skirmishes were but the prelude to a far more
serious attack. In July the British captains Caldwell and McKee came
down from Detroit with a party of rangers, and gathered together a great
army of over a thousand Indians [Footnote: Haldimand MSS. Letter from
Capt. Caldwell, August 26, 1782; and letter of Captain McKee, August 28,
1782. These two letters are very important, as they give for the first
time the British and Indian accounts of the battle of the Blue Licks; I
print them in the Appendix.]--the largest body of either red men or
white that was ever mustered west of the Alleghanies during the
Revolution. They meant to strike at Wheeling; but while on their march
thither were suddenly alarmed by the rumor that Clark intended to attack
the Shawnee towns. [Footnote: This rumor was caused by Clark's gunboat,
which, as will be hereafter mentioned, had been sent up to the mouth of
the Licking; some Shawnees saw it, and thought Clark was preparing for
an inroad.] They at once countermarched, but on reaching the threatened
towns found that the alarm had been groundless. Most of the savages,
with characteristic fickleness of temper, then declined to go farther;
but a body of somewhat over three hundred Hurons and Lake Indians
remained. With these, and their Detroit rangers, Caldwell and McKee
crossed the Ohio and marched into Kentucky, to attack the small forts of
Fayette County.

Fayette lay between the Kentucky and the Ohio rivers, and was then the
least populous and most exposed of the three counties into which the
growing young commonwealth was divided. In 1782 it contained but five of
the small stockaded towns in which all the early settlers were obliged
to gather. The best defended and most central was Lexington, round which
were grouped the other four--Bryan's (which was the largest), McGee's,
McConnell's, and Boon's. Boon's Station, sometimes called Boon's new
station, where the tranquil, resolute old pioneer at that time dwelt,
must not be confounded with his former fort of Boonsborough, from which
it was several miles distant, north of the Kentucky. Since the
destruction of Martin's and Ruddle's stations on the Licking, Bryan's on
the south bank of the Elkhorn was left as the northernmost outpost of
the settlers. Its stout, loopholed palisades enclosed some forty cabins,
there were strong block-houses at the corners, and it was garrisoned by
fifty good riflemen.

These five stations were held by backwoodsmen of the usual Kentucky
stamp, from the up-country of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North
Carolina. Generations of frontier life had made them with their fellows
the most distinctive and typical Americans on the continent, utterly
different from their old-world kinsfolk. Yet they still showed strong
traces of the covenanting spirit, which they drew from the
Irish-Presbyterian, the master strain in their mixed blood. For years
they had not seen the inside of a church; nevertheless, mingled with men
who were loose of tongue and life, there still remained many
Sabbath-keepers and Bible-readers, who studied their catechisms on
Sundays, and disliked almost equally profane language and debauchery.
[Footnote: McAfee MSS.]

Patterson and Reynolds.

An incident that occurred at this time illustrates well their feelings.
In June a fourth of the active militia of the county was ordered on
duty, to scout and patrol the country. Accordingly forty men turned out
under Captain Robert Patterson. They were given ammunition, as well as
two pack-horses, by the Commissary Department. Every man was entitled to
pay for the time he was out. Whether he would ever get it was
problematical; at the best it was certain to be given him in worthless
paper-money. Their hunters kept them supplied with game, and each man
carried a small quantity of parched corn.

The company was ordered to the mouth of the Kentucky to meet the armed
row-boat, sent by Clark from the Falls. On the way Patterson was much
annoyed by a "very profane, swearing man" from Bryan's Station, named
Aaron Reynolds. Reynolds was a good-hearted, active young fellow, with a
biting tongue, not only given to many oaths, but likewise skilled in the
rough, coarse banter so popular with the backwoodsmen. After having
borne with him four days Patterson made up his mind that he would have
to reprove him, and, if no amendment took place, send him home. He
waited until, at a halt, Reynolds got a crowd round him, and began to
entertain them "with oaths and wicked expressions," whereupon he
promptly stepped in "and observed to him that he was a very wicked and
profane man," and that both the company as well as he, the Captain,
would thank him to desist. On the next day, however, Reynolds began to
swear again; this time Patterson not only reproved him severely, but
also tried the effect of judicious gentleness, promising to give him a
quart of spirits on reaching the boat if he immediately "quit his
profanity and swearing." Four days afterwards they reached the boat, and
Aaron Reynolds demanded the quart of spirits. Patterson suggested a
doubt as to whether he had kept his promise, whereupon he appealed to
the company, then on parade, and they pronounced in his favor, saying
that they had not heard him swear since he was reproved. Patterson, who
himself records the incident, concludes with the remark: "The spirits
were drank." [Footnote: Patterson's paper, given by Col. John Mason
Brown, in his excellent pamphlet on the "Battle of the Blue Licks"
(Franklin, Ky., 1882). I cannot forbear again commenting on the really
admirable historic work now being done by Messrs. Brown, Durrett, Speed,
and the other members of the Louisville "Filson Club."] Evidently the
company, who had so impartially acted as judges between their
fellow-soldier and their superior officer, viewed with the same
equanimity the zeal of the latter and the mixed system of command,
entreaty, and reward by which he carried his point. As will be seen, the
event had a striking sequel at the battle of the Blue Licks.

Throughout June and July the gunboat patrolled the Ohio, going up to the
Licking. Parties of backwoods riflemen, embodied as militia, likewise
patrolled the woods, always keeping their scouts and spies well spread
out, and exercising the greatest care to avoid being surprised. They
greatly hampered the Indian war bands, but now and then the latter
slipped by and fell on the people they protected. Early in August such a
band committed some ravages south of the Kentucky, beating back with
loss a few militia who followed it. Some of the Fayette men were about
setting forth to try and cut off its retreat, when the sudden and
unlooked-for approach of Caldwell and McKee's great war party obliged
them to bend all their energies to their own defence.

The blow fell on Bryan's Station. The rangers and warriors moved down
through the forest with the utmost speed and stealth, hoping to take
this, the northernmost of the stockades, by surprise. If they had
succeeded, Lexington and the three smaller stations north of the
Kentucky would probably likewise have fallen.

The Attack on Bryan's Station.

The attack was made early on the morning of the 16th of August. Some of
the settlers were in the corn-fields, and the rest inside the palisade
of standing logs; they were preparing to follow the band of marauders
who had gone south of the Kentucky. A few outlying Indian spies were
discovered, owing to their eagerness; and the whites being put on their
guard, the attempt to carry the fort by the first rush was, of course,
foiled. Like so many other stations--but unlike Lexington,--Bryan's had
no spring within its walls; and as soon as there was reason to dread an
attack, it became a matter of vital importance to lay in a supply of
water. It was feared that to send the men to the spring would arouse
suspicion in the minds of the hiding savages; and, accordingly, the
women went down with their pails and buckets as usual. The younger girls
showed some nervousness, but the old housewives marshalled them as
coolly as possible, talking and laughing together, and by their
unconcern completely deceived the few Indians who were lurking near
by--for the main body had not yet come up. [Footnote: Caldwell's letter
says that a small party of Indians was sent ahead first; the watering
incident apparently took place immediately on this small party being
discovered.] This advance guard of the savages feared that, if they
attacked the women, all chance of surprising the fort would be lost; and
so the water-carriers were suffered to go back unharmed. [Footnote: This
account rests on tradition; it is recorded by McClung, a most
untrustworthy writer; his account of the battle of the Blue Licks is
wrong from beginning to end. But a number of gentlemen in Kentucky have
informed me that old pioneers whom they knew in their youth had told
them that they had themselves seen the incident, and that, as written
down, it was substantially true. So with Reynold's speech to Girty. Of
course, his exact words, as given by McClung, are incorrect; but Mr. L.
C. Draper informs me that, in his youth, he knew several old men who had
been in Bryan's Station, and had themselves heard the speech. If it were
not for this I should reject it, for the British accounts do not even
mention that Girty was along, and do not hint at the incident. It was
probably an unauthorized ruse of Girty's. The account of the decoy party
of Indians is partially confirmed by the British letters. Both Marshall
and McClung get this siege and battle very much twisted in their
narratives; they make so many mistakes that it is difficult to know what
portion of their accounts to accept. Nevertheless it would be a great
mistake to neglect all, even of McClung's statements. Thus Boon and Levi
Todd in their reports make no mention of McGarry's conduct; and it might
be supposed to be a traditional myth, but McClung's account is
unexpectedly corroborated by Arthur Campbell's letter, hereafter to be
quoted, which was written at the time.

Marshall is the authority for Netherland's feat at the ford. Boon's
description in the Filson narrative differs on several points from his
earlier official letter, one or two grave errors being made; it is one
of the incidents which shows how cautiously the Filson sketch must be
used, though it is usually accepted as unquestionable authority.] Hardly
were they within the fort, however, when some of the Indians found that
they had been discovered, and the attack began so quickly that one or
two of the men who had lingered in the corn-fields were killed, or else
were cut off and fled to Lexington, while, at the same time,
swift-footed runners were sent out to carry the alarm to the different
stockades, and summon their riflemen to the rescue.

At first but a few Indians appeared, on the side of the Lexington road;
they whooped and danced defiance to the fort, evidently inviting an
attack. Their purpose was to lure the defenders into sallying out after
them, when their main body was to rush at the stockade from the other
side. But they did not succeed in deceiving the veteran Indian fighters
who manned the heavy gates of the fort, stood behind the loopholed
walls, or scanned the country round about from the high block-houses at
the corners. A dozen active young men were sent out on the Lexington
road to carry on a mock skirmish with the decoy party, while the rest of
the defenders gathered behind the wall on the opposite side. As soon as
a noisy but harmless skirmish had been begun by the sallying party, the
main body of warriors burst out of the woods and rushed towards the
western gate. A single volley from the loopholes drove them back, while
the sallying party returned at a run and entered the Lexington gate
unharmed, laughing at the success of their counter-stratagem.

The Indians surrounded the fort, each crawling up as close as he could
find shelter behind some stump, tree, or fence. An irregular fire began,
the whites, who were better covered, having slightly the advantage, but
neither side suffering much. This lasted for several hours, until early
in the afternoon a party from Lexington suddenly appeared and tried to
force its way into the fort.

The runners who slipped out of the fort at the first alarm went straight
to Lexington. There they found that the men had just started out to cut
off the retreat of the marauding savages who were ravaging south of the
Kentucky. Following their trail they speedily overtook the troops, and
told of the attack on Bryan's. Instantly forty men under Major Levi Todd
countermarched to the rescue. Being ignorant of the strength of the
Indians they did not wait for the others, but pushed boldly forward,
seventeen being mounted and the others on foot. [Footnote: Va. State
Papers, III., p. 300. McClung's and Collins' accounts of this incident
are pure romance.]

The road from Lexington to Bryan's for the last few hundred yards led
beside a field of growing corn taller than a man. Some of the Indians
were lying in this field when they were surprised by the sudden
appearance of the rescuers, and promptly fired on them. Levi Todd and
the horsemen, who were marching in advance, struck spurs into their
steeds, and galloping hard through the dust and smoke reached the fort
in safety. The footmen were quickly forced to retreat towards Lexington;
but the Indians were too surprised by the unlooked-for approach to
follow, and they escaped with the loss of one man killed and three
wounded. [Footnote: _Do._]

That night the Indians tried to burn the fort, shooting flaming arrows
onto the roofs of the cabins and rushing up to the wooden wall with
lighted torches. But they were beaten off at each attempt. When day
broke they realized that it was hopeless to make any further effort,
though they still kept up a desultory fire on the fort's defenders; they
had killed most of the cattle and pigs, and some of the horses, and had
driven away the rest.

Girty, who was among the assailants, as a last shift, tried to get the
garrison to surrender, assuring them that the Indians were hourly
expecting reinforcements, including the artillery brought against
Ruddle's and Martin's stations two years previously; and that if forced
to batter down the walls no quarter would be given to any one. Among the
fort's defenders was young Aaron Reynolds, the man whose profanity had
formerly roused Captain Patterson's ire; and he now undertook to be
spokesman for the rest. Springing up into sight he answered Girty in the
tone of rough banter so dear to the backwoodsmen, telling the renegade
that he knew him well, and despised him, that the men in the fort feared
neither cannon nor reinforcements, and if need be, could drive Girty's
tawny followers back from the walls with switches; and he ended by
assuring him that the whites, too, were expecting help, for the country
was roused, and if the renegade and his followers dared to linger where
they were for another twenty-four hours, their scalps would surely be
sun-dried on the roofs of the cabins.

The Indians knew well that the riflemen were mustering at all the
neighboring forts; and, as soon as their effort to treat failed, they
withdrew during the forenoon of the 17th. [Footnote: There are four
contemporary official reports of this battle: two American, those of
Boon and Levi Todd; and two British, those of McKee and Caldwell. All
four agree that the fort was attacked on one day, the siege abandoned on
the next, pursuit made on the third, and the battle fought on the
fourth. Boon and Todd make the siege begin on August 16th, and the
battle take place on the 19th; Caldwell makes the dates the 15th and
18th; McKee makes them the 18th and 21st. I therefore take Boon's and
Todd's dates.

McClung and Marshall make the siege last three or four days instead of
less than two.

All the accounts of the battle of the Blue Licks, so far, have been very
inaccurate, because the British reports have never been even known to
exist, and the reports of the American commanders, printed in the
Virginia State papers, have but recently seen the light. Mr. Whitsitt,
in his recent excellent "Life of Judge Wallace," uses the latter, but
makes the great mistake of incorporating into his narrative some of the
most glaring errors of McClung and Marshall.] They were angry and sullen
at their discomfiture. Five of their number had been killed and several
wounded. Of the fort's defenders four had been killed and three wounded.
Among the children within its walls during the siege there was one, the
youngest, a Kentucky-born baby, named Richard Johnson; over thirty years
later he led the Kentucky mounted riflemen at the victory of the Thames,
when they killed not only the great Indian chief Tecumseh, but also, it
is said, the implacable renegade Simon Girty himself, then in extreme
old age.

Battle Of the Blue Licks.

All this time the runners sent out from Bryan's had been speeding
through the woods, summoning help from each of the little walled towns.
The Fayette troops quickly gathered. As soon as Boon heard the news he
marched at the head of the men of his station, among them his youngest
son Israel, destined shortly to be slain before his eyes. The men from
Lexington, McConnell's, and McGee's, rallied under John Todd, who was
County Lieutenant, and, by virtue of his commission in the Virginia
line, the ranking officer of Kentucky, second only to Clark. Troops also
came from south of the Kentucky River; Lieutenant-Colonel Trigg and
Majors McGarry and Harlan led the men from Harrodsburg, who were soonest
ready to march, and likewise brought the news that Logan, their County
Lieutenant, was raising the whole force of Lincoln in hot haste, and
would follow in a couple of days.

These bands of rescuers reached Bryan's Station on the afternoon of the
day the Indians had left. The men thus gathered were the very pick of
the Kentucky pioneers; sinewy veterans of border strife, skilled hunters
and woodsmen, long wonted to every kind of hardship and danger. They
were men of the most dauntless courage, but unruly and impatient of all
control. Only a few of the cooler heads were willing to look before they
leaped; and even their chosen and trusted leaders were forced to advise
and exhort rather than to command them. All were eager for battle and
vengeance, and were excited and elated by the repulse that had just been
inflicted on the savages; and they feared to wait for Logan lest the foe
should escape. Next morning they rode out in pursuit, one hundred and
eighty-two strong, all on horseback, and all carrying long rifles. There
was but one sword among them, which Todd had borrowed from Boon--a rough
weapon, with short steel blade and buckhorn hilt. As with most frontier
levies, the officers were in large proportion; for, owing to the system
of armed settlement and half-military organization, each wooden fort,
each little group of hunters or hard-fighting backwoods farmers, was
forced to have its own captain, lieutenant, ensign, and sergeant.
[Footnote: For the American side of the battle of Blue Licks I take the
contemporary reports of Boon, Levi Todd, and Logan, Va. State Papers,
Vol. III., pp. 276, 280, 300, 333. Boon and Todd both are explicit that
there were one hundred and eighty-two riflemen, all on horseback, and
substantially agree as to the loss of the frontiersmen. Later reports
underestimate both the numbers and loss of the whites. Boon's Narrative,
written two years after the event, from memory, conflicts in one or two
particulars with his earlier report. Patterson, writing long afterwards,
and from memory, falls into gross errors, both as to the number of
troops and as to some of them being on foot; his account must be relied
on chiefly for his own adventures. Most of the historians of Kentucky
give the affair very incorrectly. Butler follows Marshall; but from the
Clark papers he got the right number of men engaged. Marshall gives a
few valuable facts; but he is all wrong on certain important points. For
instance, he says Todd hurried into action for fear Logan would
supersede him in the command; but in reality Todd ranked Logan.
McClung's ornate narrative, that usually followed, hangs on the very
slenderest thread of truth; it is mainly sheer fiction. Prolix, tedious
Collins follows the plan he usually does when his rancorous prejudices
do not influence him, and presents half a dozen utterly inconsistent
accounts, with no effort whatever to reconcile them. He was an
industrious collector of information, and gathered an enormous quantity,
some of it very useful; he recorded with the like complacency authentic
incidents of the highest importance and palpable fabrications or
irrelevant trivialities; and it never entered his head to sift evidence
or to exercise a little critical power and judgment.]

The Indians, in their unhurried retreat, followed the great buffalo
trace that led to the Blue Licks, a broad road, beaten out through the
forest by the passing and repassing of the mighty herds through
countless generations. They camped on the farther side of the river;
some of the savages had left, but there were still nearly three hundred
men in all--Hurons and lake Indians, with the small party of rangers.
[Footnote: Caldwell says that he had at first "three hundred Indians and
Rangers," but that before the battle "nigh 100 Indians left." McKee says
that there were at first "upwards of three hundred Hurons and Lake
Indians," besides the rangers and a very few Mingos, Delawares, and
Shawnees. Later he says of the battle: "We were not much superior to
them in numbers, they being about two hundred."

Levi Todd put the number of the Indians at three hundred, which was
pretty near the truth; Boon thought it four hundred; later writers
exaggerate wildly, putting it even at one thousand.]

The backwoods horsemen rode swiftly on the trail of their foes, and
before evening came to where they had camped the night before. A careful
examination of the camp-fires convinced the leaders that they were
heavily outnumbered; nevertheless they continued the pursuit, and
overtook the savages early the following morning, the 19th of August.

As they reached the Blue Licks, they saw a few Indians retreating up a
rocky ridge that led from the north bank of the river. The backwoodsmen
halted on the south bank, and a short council was held. All turned
naturally to Boon, the most experienced Indian fighter present, in whose
cool courage and tranquil self-possession all confided. The wary old
pioneer strongly urged that no attack be made at the moment, but that
they should await the troops coming up under Logan. The Indians were
certainly much superior in numbers to the whites; they were aware that
they were being followed by a small force, and from the confident,
leisurely way in which they had managed their retreat, were undoubtedly
anxious to be overtaken and attacked. The hurried pursuit had been quite
proper in the first place, for if the Indians had fled rapidly they
would surely have broken up into different bands, which could have been
attacked on even terms, while delay would have permitted them to go off
unscathed. But, as it was, the attack would be very dangerous; while the
delay of waiting for Logan would be a small matter, for the Indians
could still be overtaken after he had arrived.

Well would it have been for the frontiersmen had they followed Boon's
advice. [Footnote: Va. State Papers, III., 337. Col. Campbell's letter
of Oct. 3, 1782. The letter is interesting as showing by contemporary
authority that Boon's advice and McGarry's misbehavior are not mere
matters of tradition. It is possible that there was some jealousy
between the troops from Lincoln and those from Fayette; the latter had
suffered much from the Indians, and were less rash in consequence; while
many of the Lincoln men were hot for instant battle.] Todd and Trigg
both agreed with him, and so did many of the cooler riflemen--among
others a man named Netherland, whose caution caused the young hotheads
to jeer at him as a coward. But the decision was not suffered to rest
with the three colonels who nominally commanded. Doubtless the council
was hasty and tumultuous, being held by the officers in the open,
closely pressed upon, and surrounded by a throng of eager, unruly
soldiers, who did not hesitate to offer advice or express
dissatisfaction. Many of the more headlong and impatient among the bold
spirits looking on desired instant action; and these found a sudden
leader in Major Hugh McGarry. He was a man utterly unsuited to command
of any kind; and his retention in office after repeated acts of violence
and insubordination shows the inherent weakness of the frontier militia
system. He not only chafed at control, but he absolutely refused to
submit to it; and his courage was of a kind better fitted to lead him
into a fight than to make him bear himself well after it was begun. He
wished no delay, and was greatly angered at the decision of the council;
nor did he hesitate to at once appeal therefrom. Turning to the crowd of
backwoodsmen he suddenly raised the thrilling war-cry, and spurred his
horse into the stream, waving his hat over his head and calling on all
who were not cowards to follow him. The effect was electrical. In an
instant all the hunter-soldiers plunged in after him with a shout, and
splashed across the ford of the shallow river in huddled confusion.

Boon and Todd had nothing to do but follow. On the other side they got
the men into order, and led them on, the only thing that was possible
under the circumstances. These two leaders acted excellently throughout;
and they now did their best to bring the men with honor through the
disaster into which they had been plunged by their own headstrong folly.

As the Indians were immediately ahead, the array of battle was at once
formed. The troops spread out into a single line. The right was led by
Trigg, the centre by Colonel-Commandant Todd in person, with McGarry
under him, and an advance guard of twenty-five men under Harlan in
front; while the left was under Boon. The ground was equally favorable
to both parties, the timber being open and good. [Footnote: Levi Todd's
letter, Aug. 26, 1782.] But the Indians had the advantage in numbers,
and were able to outflank the whites.

In a minute the spies brought word that the enemy were close in front.
[Footnote: It is absolutely erroneous to paint the battle as in any way
a surprise. Boon says: "We discovered the enemy lying in wait for us; on
this discovery we formed our columns into a single line, and marched up
in their front." There was no ambush, except that of course the Indians,
as usual, sheltered themselves behind trees or in the long grass. From
what Boon and Levi Todd say, it is evident that the firing began on both
sides at the same time. Caldwell says the Indians fired one gun
whereupon the Kentuckians fired a volley.] The Kentuckians galloped up
at speed to within sixty yards of their foes, leaped from their horses,
and instantly gave and received a heavy fire. [Footnote: Levi Todd's
letter.] Boon was the first to open the combat; and under his command
the left wing pushed the Indians opposite them back for a hundred yards.
The old hunter of course led in person; his men stoutly backed him up,
and their resolute bearing and skilful marksmanship gave to the whites
in this part of the line a momentary victory.

But on the right of the Kentucky advance, affairs went badly from the
start. The Indians were thrown out so as to completely surround Triggs'
wing. Almost as soon as the firing became heavy in front, crowds of
painted warriors rose from some hollows of long grass that lay on
Trigg's right and poured in a close and deadly volley. Rushing forward,
they took his men in rear and flank, and rolled them up on the centre,
killing Trigg himself. Harlan's advance guard was cut down almost to a
man, their commander being among the slain. The centre was then assailed
from both sides by overwhelming numbers. Todd did all he could by voice
and example to keep his men firm, and cover Boon's successful advance,
but in vain. Riding to and fro on his white horse, he was shot through
the body, and mortally wounded. He leaped on his horse again, but his
strength failed him; the blood gushed from his mouth; he leaned forward,
and fell heavily from the saddle. Some say that his horse carried him to
the river, and that he fell into its current. With his death the centre
gave way; and of course Boon and the men of the left wing, thrust in
advance, were surrounded on three sides. A wild rout followed, every one
pushing in headlong haste for the ford. "He that could remount a horse
was well off; he that could not, had no time for delay," wrote Levi
Todd. The actual fighting had only occupied five minutes. [Footnote:
Levi Todd's letter.]

In a mad and panic race the Kentuckians reached the ford, which was
fortunately but a few hundred yards from the battle-field, the Indians
being mixed in with them. Among the first to cross was Netherland, whose
cautious advice had been laughed at before the battle. No sooner had he
reached the south bank, than he reined up his horse and leaped off,
calling on his comrades to stop and cover the flight of the others; and
most of them obeyed him. The ford was choked with a struggling mass of
horsemen and footmen, fleeing whites and following Indians. Netherland
and his companions opened a brisk fire upon the latter, forcing them to
withdraw for a moment and let the remainder of the fugitives cross in
safety. Then the flight began again. The check that had been given the
Indians allowed the whites time to recover heart and breath. Retreating
in groups or singly through the forest, with their weapons reloaded,
their speed of foot and woodcraft enabled such as had crossed the river
to escape without further serious loss.

Boon was among the last to leave the field. His son Israel was slain,
and he himself was cut off from the river; but turning abruptly to one
side, he broke through the ranks of the pursuers, outran them, swam the
river, and returned unharmed to Bryan's Station.

Among the men in the battle were Capt. Robert Patterson and young Aaron
Reynolds. When the retreat began Patterson could not get a horse. He was
suffering from some old and unhealed wounds received in a former Indian
fight, and he speedily became exhausted. As he was on the point of
sinking, Reynolds suddenly rode up beside him, jumped off his horse, and
without asking Patterson whether he would accept, bade him mount the
horse and flee. Patterson did so, and was the last man over the ford. He
escaped unhurt, though the Indians were running alongside and firing at
him. Meanwhile Reynolds, who possessed extraordinary activity, reached
the river in safety and swam across. He then sat down to take off his
buckskin trowsers, which, being soaked through, hampered him much; and
two Indians suddenly pounced on and captured him. He was disarmed and
left in charge of one. Watching his chance, he knocked the savage down,
and running off into the woods escaped with safety. When Patterson
thanked him for saving his life, and asked him why he had done it, he
answered, that ever since Patterson had reproved him for swearing, he
had felt a strong and continued attachment for him. The effect of the
reproof, combined with his narrow escape, changed him completely, and he
became a devout member of the Baptist Church. Patterson, to show the
gratitude he felt, gave him a horse and saddle, and a hundred acres of
prime land, the first he had ever owned.

The loss of the defeated Kentuckians had been very great. Seventy were
killed outright, including Colonel Todd and Lieutenant-Colonel Trigg,
the first and third in command. Seven were captured, and twelve of those
who escaped were badly wounded. [Footnote: Those are the figures of
Boon's official report, and must be nearly accurate. The later accounts
give all sorts of numbers.] The victors lost one of the Detroit rangers
(a Frenchman), and six Indians killed and ten Indians wounded.
[Footnote: Caldwell's letter. But there are some slight discrepancies
between the letters of McKee and Caldwell. Caldwell makes the loss at
Bryan's Station and the Blue Licks together twelve killed and twelve
wounded; McKee says eleven killed and fourteen wounded. Both exaggerate
the American loss, but not as much as the Americans exaggerated that of
the Indians, Boon in his narrative giving the wildest of all the
estimates.] Almost their whole loss was caused by the successful advance
of Boon's troops, save what was due to Netherland when he rallied the
flying backwoodsmen at the ford.

Of the seven white captives four were put to death with torture; three
eventually rejoined their people. One of them owed his being spared to a
singular and amusing feat of strength and daring. When forced to run the
gauntlet he, by his activity, actually succeeded in reaching the
council-house unharmed; when almost to it, he turned, seized a powerful
Indian and hurled him violently to the ground, and then, thrusting his
head between the legs of another pursuer, he tossed him clean over his
back, after which he sprang on a log, leaped up and knocked his heels
together, crowed in the fashion of backwoods victors, and rallied the
Indians as a pack of cowards. One of the old chiefs immediately adopted
him into the tribe as his son.

All the little forted villages north of the Kentucky, and those lying
near its southern bank, were plunged into woe and mourning by the
defeat. [Footnote: Arthur Campbell, in the letter already quoted,
comments with intense bitterness on the defeat, which, he says, was due
largely to McGarry's "vain and seditious expressions." He adds that Todd
and Trigg had capacity but no experience, and Boon experience but no
capacity, while Logan was "a dull and narrow body," and Clark "a sot, if
nothing worse." Campbell was a Holston Virginian, an able but very
jealous man, who disliked the Kentucky leaders, and indeed had no love
for Kentucky itself; he had strenuously opposed its first erection as a
separate county.] In every stockade, in almost every cabin, there was
weeping for husband or father, son, brother, or lover. The best and
bravest blood in the land had been shed like water. There was no one who
had not lost some close and dear friend, and the heads of all the people
were bowed and their hearts sore stricken.

The bodies of the dead lay where they had fallen, on the hill-slope, and
in the shallow river; torn by wolf, vulture, and raven, or eaten by
fishes. In a day or two Logan came up with four hundred men from south
of the Kentucky, tall Simon Kenton marching at the head of the troops,
as captain of a company. [Footnote: McBride's "Pioneer Biography," I.,
210] They buried the bodies of the slain on the battle-field, in long
trenches, and heaped over them stones and logs. Meanwhile the victorious
Indians, glutted with vengeance, recrossed the Ohio and vanished into
the northern forests.

The Indian ravages continued throughout the early fall months; all the
outlying cabins were destroyed, the settlers were harried from the
clearings, and a station on Salt River was taken by surprise,
thirty-seven people being captured. Stunned by the crushing disaster at
the Blue Licks, and utterly disheartened and cast down by the continued
ravages, many of the settlers threatened to leave the country. The
county officers sent long petitions to the Virginia Legislature,
complaining that the troops posted at the Falls were of no assistance in
checking the raids of the Indians, and asserting that the operations
carried on by order of the Executive for the past eighteen months had
been a detriment rather than a help. The utmost confusion and
discouragement prevailed everywhere. [Footnote: Va. State Papers, III.,
pp. 301, 331. Letter of William Christian, September 28th. Petition of
Boon, Todd, Netherland, etc., September 11th. In Morehead's "address" is
a letter from Nathaniel Hart. He was himself as a boy, witness of what
he describes. His father, who had been Henderson's partner and bore the
same name as himself, was from North Carolina. He founded in Kentucky a
station known as White Oak Springs; and was slain by the savages during
this year. The letter runs: "It is impossible at this day to make a just
impression of the sufferings of the pioneers about the period spoken of.
The White Oak Springs fort in 1782, with perhaps one hundred souls in it
was reduced in August to three fighting white men--and I can say with
truth that for two or three weeks my mother's family never unclothed
themselves to sleep, nor were all of them within that time at their
meals together, nor was any household business attempted. Food was
prepared and placed where those who chose could eat. It was the period
when Bryant's station was beseiged, and for many days before and after
that gloomy event we were in constant expectation of being made
prisoners. We made application to Col. Logan for a guard and obtained
one, but not until the danger was measureably over. It then consisted of
two men only. Col. Logan did every thing in his power, as County
Lieutenant, to sustain the different forts--but it was not a very easy
matter to order a married man from a fort where his family was to defend
some other when his own was in imminent danger.

"I went with my mother in January, 1783, to Logan's station to prove my
father's will. He had fallen in the preceding July. Twenty armed men
were of the party. Twenty-three widows were in attendance upon the court
to obtain letters of administration on the estates of their husbands who
had been killed during the past year."

The letter also mentions that most of the original settlers of the fort
were from Pennsylvania, "orderly respectable people and the men good
soldiers. But they were unaccustomed to Indian warfare, and the
consequence was that of some ten or twelve men all were killed but two
or three." This incident illustrates the folly of the hope, at one time
entertained, that the Continental troops, by settling in the west on
lands granted them, would prove a good barrier against the Indians; the
best Continentals in Washington's army would have been almost as
helpless as British grenadiers in the woods.]

Clark's Counter-Stroke.

At last the news of repeated disaster roused Clark into his old-time
energy. He sent out runners through the settlements, summoning all the
able-bodied men to make ready for a blow at the Indians. The pioneers
turned with eager relief towards the man who had so often led them to
success. They answered his call with quick enthusiasm; beeves,
pack-horses, and supplies were offered in abundance, and every man who
could shoot and ride marched to the appointed meeting-places. The men
from the eastern stations gathered at Bryan's, under Logan; those from
the western, at the Falls, under Floyd. The two divisions met at the
mouth of the Licking, where Clark took supreme command. On the 4th of
November, he left the banks of the Ohio and struck off northward through
the forest, at the head of one thousand and fifty mounted riflemen. On
the 10th he attacked the Miami towns. His approach was discovered just
in time to prevent a surprise. The Indians hurriedly fled to the woods,
those first discovered raising the alarm-cry, which could be heard an
incredible distance, and thus warning their fellows. In consequence no
fight followed, though there was sharp skirmishing between the advance
guard and the hindermost Indians. Ten scalps were taken and seven
prisoners, besides two whites being recaptured. Of Clark's men, one was
killed and one wounded. The flight of the Indians was too hasty to
permit them to save any of their belongings. All the cabins were burned,
together with an immense quantity of corn and provisions--a severe loss
at the opening of winter. McKee, the Detroit partisan, attempted to come
to the rescue with what Indians he could gather, but was met and his
force promptly scattered. [Footnote: Haldimand MSS. Letter of Alex.
McKee, November 15, 1782. He makes no attempt to hide the severity of
the blow; his letter shows a curious contrast in tone to the one he
wrote after the Blue Licks. He states that the victory has opened the
road to Detroit to the Americans.] Logan led a detachment to the head of
the Miami, and burned the stores of the British traders. The loss to the
savages at the beginning of cold weather was very great; they were
utterly cast down and panic-stricken at such a proof of the power of the
whites, coming as it did so soon after the battle of the Blue Licks. The
expedition returned in triumph, and the Kentuckians completely regained
their self-confidence; and though for ten years longer Kentucky suffered
from the inroads of small parties of savages, it was never again
threatened by a serious invasion. [Footnote: Va. State Papers, p. 381.
Clark's letter of November 27, 1782.]

Wonderful Growth of Kentucky.

At the beginning of 1783, when the news of peace was spread abroad,
immigration began to flow to Kentucky down the Ohio, and over the
Wilderness road, in a flood of which the volume dwarfed all former
streams into rivulets. Indian hostilities continued at intervals
throughout this year, [Footnote: _Do_., p. 522. Letter of Benjamin
Logan, August 11, 1783.] but they were not of a serious nature. Most of
the tribes concluded at least a nominal peace, and liberated over two
hundred white prisoners, though they retained nearly as many more.
[Footnote: _Pennsylvania Packet_, No. 1,079, August 12, 1783.]
Nevertheless in the spring one man of note fell victim to the savages,
for John Floyd was waylaid and slain as he was riding out with his
brother. Thus within the space of eight months, two of the three county
lieutenants had been killed, in battle or ambush.

The inrush of new settlers was enormous, [Footnote: McAfee MSS.] and
Kentucky fairly entered on its second stage of growth. The days of the
first game hunters and Indian fighters were over. By this year the herds
of the buffalo, of which the flesh and hides had been so important to
the earlier pioneers, were nearly exterminated; though bands still
lingered in the remote recesses of the mountains, and they were
plentiful in Illinois. The land claims began to clash, and interminable
litigation followed. This rendered very important the improvement in the
judiciary system which was begun in March by the erection of the three
counties into the "District of Kentucky," with a court of common law and
chancery jurisdiction coextensive with its limits. The name of Kentucky,
which had been dropped when the original county was divided into three,
was thus permanently revived. The first court sat at Harrodsburg, but as
there was no building where it could properly be held, it adjourned to
the Dutch Reformed Meeting-house six miles off. The first grand jury
empanelled presented nine persons for selling liquor without license,
eight for adultery and fornication, and the clerk of Lincoln County for
not keeping a table of fees; besides several for smaller offences.
[Footnote: Marshall, I., 159.] A log court-house and a log jail were
immediately built.

Manufactories of salt were started at the licks, where it was sold at
from three to five silver dollars a bushel. [Footnote: McAfee MSS.] This
was not only used by the settlers for themselves, but for their stock,
which ranged freely in the woods; to provide for the latter a tree was
chopped down and the salt placed in notches or small troughs cut in the
trunk, making it what was called a lick-log. Large grist-mills were
erected at some of the stations; wheat crops were raised; and small
distilleries were built. The gigantic system of river commerce of the
Mississippi had been begun the preceding year by one Jacob Yoder, who
loaded a flat-boat at the Old Redstone Fort, on the Monongahela, and
drifted down to New Orleans, where he sold his goods, and returned to
the Falls of the Ohio by a roundabout course leading through Havana,
Philadelphia, and Pittsburg. Several regular schools were started. There
were already meeting-houses of the Baptist and Dutch Reformed
congregations, the preachers spending the week-days in clearing and
tilling the fields, splitting rails, and raising hogs; in 1783 a
permanent Presbyterian minister arrived, and a log church was speedily
built for him. The sport-loving Kentuckians this year laid out a race
track at Shallowford Station. It was a straight quarter of a mile
course, within two hundred yards of the stockade; at its farther end was
a canebrake, wherein an Indian once lay hid and shot a rider, who was
pulling up his horse at the close of a race. There was still but one
ferry, that over the Kentucky River at Boonsborough; the price of
ferriage was three shillings for either man or horse. The surveying was
still chiefly done by hunters, and much of it was in consequence very
loose indeed. [Footnote: McAfee MSS. Marshall, Collins, Brown's

The first retail store Kentucky had seen since Henderson's, at
Boonsborough, was closed in 1775, was established this year at the
Falls; the goods were brought in wagons from Philadelphia to Pittsburg,
and thence down the Ohio in flat-boats. The game had been all killed off
in the immediate neighborhood of the town at the Falls, and Clark
undertook to supply the inhabitants with meat, as a commercial
speculation. Accordingly he made a contract with John Saunders, the
hunter who had guided him on his march to the Illinois towns; the latter
had presumably forgiven his chief for having threatened him with death
when he lost the way. Clark was to furnish Saunders with three men, a
packhorse, salt, and ammunition; while Saunders agreed to do his best
and be "assiduously industrious" in hunting. Buffalo beef, bear's meat,
deer hams, and bear oil were the commodities most sought after. The meat
was to be properly cured and salted in camp, and sent from time to time
to the Falls, where Clark was to dispose of it in market, a third of the


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