The Winning of the West, Volume Two
Theodore Roosevelt

Part 6 out of 7

against it, it would, of necessity, have been abandoned.

Indian Hostilities.

Throughout '81 and '82 the Cumberland settlers were worried beyond
description by a succession of small war parties. In the first of these
years they raised no corn; in the second they made a few crops on fields
they had cleared in 1780. No man's life was safe for an hour, whether he
hunted, looked up strayed stock, went to the spring for water, or tilled
the fields. If two men were together, one always watched while the other
worked, ate, or drank; and they sat down back to back, or, if there were
several, in a ring, facing outwards, like a covey of quail. The Indians
were especially fond of stealing the horses; the whites pursued them in
bands, and occasionally pitched battles were fought, with loss on both
sides, and apparently as often resulting in the favor of one party as of
the other. The most expert Indian fighters naturally became the leaders,
being made colonels and captains of the local militia. The position and
influence of the officers depended largely on their individual prowess;
they were the actual, not titular, leaders of their men. Old Kasper
Mansker, one of the most successful, may be taken as a type of the rest.
He was ultimately made a colonel, and shared in many expeditions; but he
always acted as his own scout, and never would let any of his men ride
ahead or abreast of him, preferring to trust to his own eyes and ears
and knowledge of forest warfare. The hunters, who were especially
exposed to danger, were also the men who inflicted most loss on the
Indians, and though many more of the settlers than of their foes were
slain, yet the tables were often turned on the latter, even by those who
seemed their helpless victims. Thus, once, two lads were watching at a
deer lick, when some Indians came to it; each of the boys chose his man,
fired, and then fled homewards; coming back with some men they found
they had killed two Indians, whose scalps they took.

The eagerness of the Indians to get scalps caused them frequently to
scalp their victims before life was extinct; and, as a result, there
were numerous instances in which the scalped unfortunate, whether man,
woman, or child, was rescued and recovered, living many years. One of
these instances is worth giving in the quaint language of the old
Tennessee historian, Haywood:

"In the spring of the year 1782 a party of Indians fired upon three
persons at French Lick, and broke the arms of John Tucker and Joseph
Hendricks, and shot down David Hood, whom they scalped and stamped, as
he said, and followed the others towards the fort; the people of the
fort came out and repulsed them and saved the wounded men. Supposing the
Indians gone, Hood got up softly, wounded and scalped as he was, and
began to walk towards the fort on the bluff, when, to his mortification,
he saw, standing upon the bank of the creek, a number of Indians, the
same who had wounded him before, making sport of his misfortune and
mistake. They then fell upon him again, and having given him, in several
places, new wounds that were apparently mortal, then left him. He fell
into a brush heap in the mow, and next morning was tracked and found by
his blood, and was placed as a dead man in one of the out-houses, and
was left alone; after some time he recovered, and lived many years."

Many of the settlers were killed, many others left for Kentucky,
Illinois, or Natchez, or returned to their old homes among the
Alleghanies; and in 1782 the inhabitants, who had steadily dwindled in
numbers, became so discouraged that they again mooted the question of
abandoning the Cumberland district in a body. Only Robertson's great
influence prevented this being done; but by word and example he finally
persuaded them to remain. The following spring brought the news of peace
with Great Britain. A large inflow of new settlers began with the new
year, and though the Indian hostilities still continued, the Cumberland
country throve apace, and by the end 1783 the old stations had been
rebuilt and many new ones founded. Some of the settlers began to live
out on their clearings. Rude little corn-mills and "hominy pounders"
were built beside some of the streams. The piles of furs and hides that
had accumulated in the stockades were sent back to the coast country on
pack-horses. After this year there was never any danger that the
settlements would be abandoned.

During the two years of petty but disastrous Indian warfare that
followed the attack on Freelands, the harassed and diminishing settlers
had been so absorbed in the contest with the outside foe that they had
done little towards keeping up their own internal government. When 1783
opened new settlers began to flock in, the Indian hostilities abated,
and commissioners arrived from North Carolina under a strong guard, with
the purpose of settling the claim of the various settlers [Footnote:
Haywood. Six hundred and forty acres were allowed by preemption claim to
each family settled before June 1, 1780; after that date they had to
make proper entries in the courts. The salt-licks were to be held as
public property.] and laying off the bounty lands, promised to the
Continental troops. [Footnote: Isaac Shelby was one of these
commissioners.] It therefore became necessary that the Committee or
Court of Triers should again be convened, to see that justice was done
as between man and man.

Internal Government.

The ten men elected from the different stations met at Nashborough on
January 7th, Robertson being again made chairman, as well as colonel of
the militia, while a proper clerk and sheriff were chosen. Each member
took a solemn oath to do equal justice according to the best of his
skill and ability. A number of suits between the settlers themselves
were disposed of. These related to a variety of subjects. A kettle had
been "detained" from Humphrey Hogan; he brought suit, and it was awarded
him, the defendant "and his mother-in-law" being made to pay the cost of
the suit. A hog case, a horse used in hunting, a piece of cleared
ground, a bed which had not been made according to contract, the
ownership of a canoe, and of a heifer, a "clevis lent and delayed to be
returned"--such were some of the cases on which the judges had to
decide. There were occasional slander suits; for in a small backwoods
community there is always much jealousy and bitter gossip. When suit was
brought for "cattle won at cards," the committee promptly dismissed the
claim as illegal; they evidently had clear ideas as to what was good
public policy. A man making oath that another had threatened his life,
the latter was taken and put under bonds. Another man produced a note of
hand for the payment of two good cows, "against John Sadler"; he "proved
his accompt," and procured an attachment against the estate of "Sd.
Sadler." When possible, the Committee compromised the cases, or advised
the parties to adjust matters between themselves. The sheriff executed
the various decrees, in due form; he arrested the men who refused to pay
heed to the judgments of the court, and when necessary took out of their
"goods and chattles, lands and tenements," the damages awarded, and also
the costs and fees. The government was in the hands of men who were not
only law-abiding themselves but also resolute to see that the law was
respected by others.

The committee took cognizance of all affairs concerning the general
welfare of the community. They ordered roads to be built between the
different stations, appointing overseers who had power to "call out
hands to work on the same." Besides the embodiment of all the full-grown
men as militia,--those of each station under their own captain,
lieutenant, and ensign,--a diminutive force of paid regulars was
organized; that is, six spies were "kept out to discover the motions of
the enemy so long as we shall be able to pay them; each to receive
seventy-five bushels of Indian corn per month." They were under the
direction of Colonel Robertson, who was head of all the branches of the
government. One of the committee's regulations followed an economic
principle of doubtful value. Some enterprising individuals, taking
advantage of the armed escort accompanying the Carolina commissioners,
brought out casks of liquors. The settlers had drunk nothing but water
for many months, and they eagerly purchased the liquor, the merchants
naturally charging all that the traffic would bear. This struck the
committee as a grievance, and they forthwith passed a decree that any
person bringing in liquor "from foreign ports," before selling the same,
must give bond that they would charge no more than one silver dollar, or
its value in merchandise, per quart.

Some of the settlers would not enter the association, preferring a
condition of absolute freedom from law. The committee, however, after
waiting a proper time, forced these men in by simply serving notice,
that thereafter they would be treated as beyond the pale of the law, not
entitled to its protection, but amenable to its penalties. A petition
was sent to the North Carolina Legislature, asking that the protection
of government should be extended to the Cumberland people, and showing
that the latter were loyal and orderly, prompt to suppress sedition and
lawlessness, faithful to the United States, and hostile to its enemies.
[Footnote: This whole account is taken from Putnam, who has rendered
such inestimable service by preserving these records.] To show their
good feeling the committee made every member of the community, who had
not already done so, take the oath of abjuration and fidelity.

Affairs with Outside Powers.

Until full governmental protection could be secured the commonwealth was
forced to act as a little sovereign state, bent on keeping the peace,
and yet on protecting itself against aggression from the surrounding
powers, both red and white. It was forced to restrain its own citizens,
and to enter into quasi-diplomatic relations with its neighbors. Thus
early this year fifteen men, under one Colbert, left the settlements and
went down the river in boats, ostensibly to trade with the Indians, but
really to plunder the Spaniards on the Mississippi. They were joined by
some Chickasaws, and at first met with some success in their piratical
attacks, not only on the Spanish trading-boats, but on those of the
French Creoles, and even the Americans, as well. Finally they were
repulsed in an attempt against the Spaniards at Ozark; some were killed,
and the rest scattered. [Footnote: Calendar Va. State Papers, III., pp.
469, 527.] Immediately upon learning of these deeds, the Committee of
Triers passed stringent resolutions forbidding all persons trading with
the Indians until granted a license by the committee, and until they had
furnished ample security for their good behavior. The committee also
wrote a letter to the Spanish governor at New Orleans, disclaiming all
responsibility for the piratical misdeeds of Colbert and his gang, and
announcing the measures they had taken to prevent any repetition of the
same in the future. They laid aside the sum of twenty pounds to pay the
expenses of the messengers who carried this letter to the Virginian
"agent" at the Illinois, whence it was forwarded to the Spanish
Governor. [Footnote: Putnam, pp. 185, 189, 191.]

One of the most difficult questions with which the committee had to deal
was that of holding a treaty with the Indians. Commissioners came out
from Virginia and North Carolina especially to hold such a treaty
[Footnote: Donelson, who was one of the men who became discouraged and
went to Kentucky, was the Virginian commissioner. Martin was the
commissioner from North Carolina. He is sometimes spoken of as if he
likewise represented Virginia.]; but the settlers declined to allow it
until they had themselves decided on its advisability. They feared to
bring so many savages together, lest they might commit some outrage, or
be themselves subjected to such at the hands of one of the many wronged
and reckless whites; and they knew that the Indians would expect many
presents, while there was very little indeed to give them. Finally, the
committee decided to put the question of treaty or no treaty to the vote
of the freemen in the several stations; and by a rather narrow majority
it was decided in the affirmative. The committee then made arrangements
for holding the treaty in June, some four miles from Nashborough; and
strictly prohibited the selling of liquor to the savages. At the
appointed time many chiefs and warriors of the Chickasaws, Cherokees,
and even Creeks appeared. There were various sports, such as ball-games
and footraces; and the treaty was brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
[Footnote: Putnam, 196.] It did not put a complete stop to the Indian
outrages, but it greatly diminished them. The Chickasaws thereafter
remained friendly; but, as usual, the Cherokee and Creek chiefs who
chose to attend were unable to bind those of their fellows who did not.
The whole treaty was, in fact, on both sides, of a merely preliminary
nature. The boundaries it arranged were not considered final until
confirmed by the treaty of Hopewell a couple of years later.

Robertson meanwhile was delegated by the unanimous vote of the settlers
to go to the Assembly of North Carolina, and there petition for the
establishment of a regular land office at Nashborough, and in other ways
advance the interests of the settlers. He was completely successful in
his mission. The Cumberland settlements were included in a new county,
called Davidson [Footnote: In honor of General Wm. Davidson, a very
gallant and patriotic soldier of North Carolina during the Revolutionary
war. The county government was established in October, 1783.]; and an
Inferior Court of Pleas and Common Sessions, vested by the act with
extraordinary powers, was established at Nashborough. The four justices
of the new court had all been Triers of the old committee, and the
scheme of government was practically not very greatly changed, although
now resting on an indisputably legal basis. The Cumberland settlers had
for years acted as an independent, law-abiding, and orderly
commonwealth, and the Court of Triers had shown great firmness and
wisdom. It spoke well for the people that they had been able to
establish such a government, in which the majority ruled, while the
rights of each individual were secured. Robertson deserves the chief
credit as both civil and military leader. The committee of which he was
a member, had seen that justice was done between man and man, had
provided for defense against the outside foe, and had striven to prevent
any wrongs being done to neutral or allied powers. When they became
magistrates of a county of North Carolina they continued to act on the
lines they had already marked out. The increase of population had
brought an increase of wealth. The settlers were still frontiersmen,
clad in buckskin or homespun, with rawhide moccasins, living in
log-cabins, and sleeping under bearskins on beds made of buffalo hides;
but as soon as they ventured to live on their clearings the ground was
better tilled, corn became abundant, and cattle and hogs increased as
the game diminished. Nashborough began to look more like an ordinary
little border town. [Footnote: The justices built a court-house and jail
of hewed logs, the former eighteen feet square, with a lean-to or shed
of twelve feet on one side. The contracts for building were let out at
vendue to the lowest bidder.]

Correspondence with the Spaniards.

During this year Robertson carried on some correspondence with the
Spanish governor at New Orleans, Don Estevan Miro. This was the
beginning of intercourse between the western settlers and the Spanish
officers, an intercourse which was absolutely necessary, though it
afterwards led to many intrigues and complications. Robertson was
obliged to write to Miro not only to disclaim responsibility for the
piratical deeds of men like Colbert, but also to protest against the
conduct of certain of the Spanish agents among the Creeks and
Chickamaugas. No sooner had hostilities ceased with the British than the
Spaniards began to incite the savages to take up once more the hatchet
they had just dropped, [Footnote: Calendar of Va. State Papers, III.,
584, 608, etc.] for Spain already recognized in the restless borderers
possible and formidable foes.

Miro in answering Robertson assured him that the Spaniards were very
friendly to the western settlers, and denied that the Spanish agents
were stirring up trouble. He also told him that the harassed Cherokees,
weary of ceaseless warfare, had asked permission to settle west of the
Mississippi--although they did not carry out their intention. He ended
by pressing Robertson and his friends to come down and settle in Spanish
territory, guaranteeing them good treatment. [Footnote: Robertson MSS.
As the letter is important I give it in full in the Appendix.]

In spite of Miro's fair words the Spanish agents continued to intrigue
against the Americans, and especially against the Cumberland people. Yet
there was no open break. The Spanish governor was felt to be powerful
for both good and evil, and at least a possible friend of the settlers.
To many of their leaders he showed much favor, and the people as a whole
were well impressed by him; and as a compliment to him they ultimately,
when the Cumberland counties were separated from those lying to the
eastward, united the former under the name of Mero [Footnote: So spelt;
but apparently his true name was Miro.] District.



When the first Continental Congress began its sittings the only
frontiersmen west of the mountains, and beyond the limits of continuous
settlement within the old Thirteen Colonies, [Footnote: This
qualification is put in because there were already a few families on the
Monongahela, the head of the Kanawha, and the upper Holston; but they
were in close touch with the people behind them.] were the two or three
hundred citizens of the little Watauga commonwealth. When peace was
declared with Great Britain the backwoodsmen had spread westward, in
groups, almost to the Mississippi, and they had increased in number to
some twenty-five thousand souls, [Footnote: These figures are simply
estimates; but they are based on careful study and comparison, and
though they must be some hundreds, and maybe some thousands, out of the
way, are quite near enough for practical purposes.] of whom a few
hundred dwelt in the bend of the Cumberland, while the rest were about
equally divided between Kentucky and Holston.

The Winning of the West.

This great westward movement of armed settlers was essentially one of
conquest, no less than of colonization. Thronging in with their wives
and children, their cattle, and their few household goods, they won and
held the land in the teeth of fierce resistance, both from the Indian
claimants of the soil and from the representatives of a mighty and
arrogant European power. The chain of events by which the winning was
achieved is perfect; had any link therein snapped it is likely that the
final result would have been failure. The wide wanderings of Boon and
his fellow hunters made the country known and awakened in the minds of
the frontiersmen a keen desire to possess it. The building of the
Watauga commonwealth by Robertson and Sevier gave a base of operations,
and furnished a model for similar communities to follow. Lord Dunmore's
war made the actual settlement possible, for it cowed the northern
Indians, and restrained them from seriously molesting Kentucky during
its first and most feeble years. Henderson and Boon made their great
treaty with the Cherokees in 1775, and then established a permanent
colony far beyond all previous settlements, entering into final
possession of the new country. The victory over the Cherokees in 1776
made safe the line of communication along the Wilderness road, and
secured the chance for further expansion. Clark's campaigns gained the
Illinois, or northwestern regions. The growth of Kentucky then became
very rapid; and in its turn this, and the steady progress of the Watauga
settlements, rendered possible Robertson's successful effort to plant a
new community still farther west, on the Cumberland.

The Wars of the Backwoodsmen

The backwoodsmen pressed in on the line of least resistance, first
taking possession of the debatable hunting-grounds lying between the
Algonquins of the north and the Appalachian confederacies of the south.
Then they began to encroach on the actual tribal territories. Every step
was accompanied by stubborn and bloody fighting with the Indians. The
forest tribes were exceedingly formidable opponents; it is not too much
to say that they formed a far more serious obstacle to the American
advance than would have been offered by an equal number of the best
European troops. Their victories over Braddock, Grant, and St. Clair,
gained in each case with a smaller force, conclusively proved their
superiority, on their own ground, over the best regulars, disciplined
and commanded in the ordinary manner. Almost all of the victories, even
of the backwoodsmen, were won against inferior numbers of Indians.
[Footnote: That the contrary impression prevails is due to the boastful
vanity which the backwoodsmen often shared with the Indians, and to the
gross ignorance of the average writer concerning these border wars. Many
of the accounts in the popular histories are sheer inventions. Thus, in
the "Chronicles of Border Warfare," by Alex. S. Withers (Clarksburg,
Va., 1831, p. 301), there is an absolutely fictitious account of a feat
of the Kentucky Colonel Scott, who is alleged to have avenged St.
Clair's defeat by falling on the victorious Indians while they were
drunk, and killing two hundred of them. This story has not even a
foundation in fact; there was not so much as a skirmish of the sort
described. As Mann Butler--a most painstaking and truthful
writer--points out, it is made up out of the whole cloth, thirty years
after the event; it is a mere invention to soothe the mortified pride of
the whites. Gross exaggeration of the Indian numbers and losses prevails
even to this day. Mr. Edmund Kirke, for instance, usually makes the
absolute or relative numbers of the Indians from five to twenty-five
times as great as they really were. Still, it is hard to blame backwoods
writers for such slips in the face of the worse misdeeds of the average
historian of the Greek and Roman wars with barbarians.] The red men were
fickle of temper, and large bodies could not be kept together for a long
campaign, nor, indeed, for more than one special stroke; the only piece
of strategy any of their chiefs showed was Cornstalk's march past
Dunmore to attack Lewis; but their tactics and discipline in the battle
itself were admirably adapted to the very peculiar conditions of forest
warfare. Writers who speak of them as undisciplined, or as any but most
redoubtable antagonists, fall into an absurd error. An old Indian
fighter, who, at the close of the last century, wrote, from experience,
a good book on the subject, summed up the case very justly when he said:
"I apprehend that the Indian discipline is as well calculated to answer
the purpose in the woods of America as the British discipline is in
Flanders; and British discipline in the woods is the way to have men
slaughtered, with scarcely any chance of defending themselves."
[Footnote: Col. Jas. Smith, "An Account," etc., Lexington, Ky., 1799.] A
comparison of the two victories gained by the backwoodsmen, at the Great
Kanawha, over the Indians, and at Kings Mountain over Ferguson's British
and tories, brings out clearly the formidable fighting capacity of the
red men. At the Kanawha the Americans outnumbered their foes, at King's
Mountain they were no more than equal; yet in the former battle they
suffered twice the loss they did in the latter, inflicted much less
damage in return, and did not gain nearly so decisive a victory.

Twofold Character of the Revolution.

The Indians were urged on by the British, who furnished them with arms,
ammunition, and provisions, and sometimes also with leaders and with
bands of auxiliary white troops, French, British, and tories. It was
this that gave to the revolutionary contest its twofold character,
making it on the part of the Americans a struggle for independence in
the east, and in the west a war of conquest, or rather a war to
establish, on behalf of all our people, the right of entry into the
fertile and vacant regions beyond the Alleghanies. The grievances of the
backwoodsmen were not the same as the grievances of the men of the
seacoast. The Ohio Valley and the other western lands of the French had
been conquered by the British, not the Americans. Great Britain had
succeeded to the policy as well as the possessions of her predecessor,
and, strange to say, had become almost equally hostile to the colonists
of her own stock. As France had striven for half a century, so England
now in her turn strove, to bar out the settlers of English race from the
country beyond the Alleghanies. The British Crown, Parliament, and
people were a unit in wishing to keep woodland and prairie for the sole
use of their own merchants, as regions tenanted only by Indian hunters
and French trappers and traders. They became the guardians and allies of
all the Indian tribes. On the other hand, the American backwoodsmen were
resolute in their determination to go in and possess the land. The aims
of the two sides thus clashed hopelessly. Under all temporary and
apparent grounds of quarrel lay this deep-rooted jealousy and
incompatibility of interests. Beyond the Alleghanies the Revolution was
fundamentally a struggle between England, bent on restricting the growth
of the English race, and the Americans, triumphantly determined to
acquire the right to conquer the continent.

The West Actually Conquered.

Had not the backwoodsmen been successful in the various phases of the
struggle, we would certainly have been cooped up between the sea and the
mountains. If in 1774 and '76 they had been beaten by the Ohio tribes
and the Cherokees, the border ravaged, and the settlements stopped or
forced back as during what the colonists called Braddock's War,
[Footnote: During this Indian war, covering the period from Braddock's
to Grant's defeats, Smith, a good authority, estimates that the
frontiers were laid waste, and population driven back, over an area
nearly three hundred miles long by thirty broad.] there is every reason
to believe that the Alleghanies would have become our western frontier.
Similarly, if Clark had failed in his efforts to conquer and hold the
Illinois and Vincennes, it is overwhelmingly probable that the Ohio
would have been the boundary between the Americans and the British.
Before the Revolution began, in 1774, the British Parliament had, by the
Quebec Act, declared the country between the Great Lakes and the Ohio to
be part of Canada; and under the provisions of this act the British
officers continued to do as they had already done--that is, to hold
adverse possession of the land, scornfully heedless of the claims of the
different colonies. The country was _de facto_ part of Canada; the
Americans tried to conquer it exactly as they tried to conquer the rest
of Canada; the only difference was that Clark succeeded, whereas Arnold
and Montgomery failed.

But only Definitely Secured by Diplomacy.

Of course the conquest by the backwoodsmen was by no means the sole
cause of our acquisition of the west. The sufferings and victories of
the westerners would have counted for nothing, had it not been for the
success of the American arms in the east, and for the skill of our three
treaty-makers at Paris--Jay, Adams, and Franklin, but above all the two
former, and especially Jay. On the other hand, it was the actual
occupation and holding of the country that gave our diplomats their
vantage-ground. When the treaty was made, in 1782, the commissioners of
the United States represented a people already holding the whole Ohio
Valley, as well as the Illinois. The circumstances of the treaty were
peculiar; but here they need to be touched but briefly, and only so far
as they affected the western boundaries. The United States, acting
together with France and Spain, had just closed a successful war with
England; but when the peace negotiations were begun, they speedily found
that their allies were, if any thing, more anxious than their enemy to
hamper their growth. England, having conceded the grand point of
independence, was disposed to be generous, and not to haggle about
lesser matters. Spain, on the contrary, was quite as hostile to the new
nation as to England. Through her representative, Count Aranda, she
predicted the future enormous expansion of the Federal Republic at the
expense of Florida, Louisiana, and Mexico, unless it was effectually
curbed in its youth. The prophecy has been strikingly fulfilled, and the
event has thoroughly justified Spain's fear; for the major part of the
present territory of the United States was under Spanish dominion at the
close of the Revolutionary war. Spain, therefore, proposed to hem in our
growth by giving us the Alleghanies for our western boundary. [Footnote:
At the north this boundary was to follow the upper Ohio, and end towards
the foot of Lake Erie. See maps at end of volume.] France was the ally
of America; but as between America and Spain, she favored the latter.
Moreover, she wished us to remain weak enough to be dependent upon her
further good graces. The French court, therefore, proposed that the
United States should content themselves with so much of the
trans-Alleghany territory as lay round the head-waters of the Tennessee
and between the Cumberland and Ohio. This area contained the bulk of the
land that was already settled [Footnote: Excluding only so much of
Robertson's settlement as lay south of the Cumberland, and Clark's
conquest.]; and the proposal showed how important the French court
deemed the fact of actual settlement.

Thus the two allies of America were hostile to her interests. The open
foe, England, on the contrary was anxious to conclude a separate treaty,
so that she might herself be in better condition to carry on
negotiations with France and Spain; she cared much less to keep the west
than she did to keep Gibraltar, and an agreement with the United States
about the former left her free to insist on the retention of the latter.
Congress, in a spirit of slavish subserviency, had instructed the
American commissioners to take no steps without the knowledge and advice
of France. Franklin was inclined to obey these instructions; but Jay,
supported by Adams, boldly insisted on disregarding them; and
accordingly a separate treaty was negotiated with England. In settling
the claims to the western territory, much stress was laid on the old
colonial charters; but underneath all the verbiage it was practically
admitted that these charters conferred merely inchoate rights, which
became complete only after conquest and settlement. The States
themselves had already by their actions shown that they admitted this to
be the case. Thus North Carolina, when by the creation of Washington
County--now the State of Tennessee--she rounded out her boundaries,
specified them as running to the Mississippi. As a matter of fact the
royal grant, under which alone she could claim the land in question,
extended to the Pacific; and the only difference between her rights to
the regions east and west of the river was that her people were settling
in one, and could not settle in the other. The same was true of
Kentucky, and of the west generally; if the States could rightfully
claim to run to the Mississippi, they could also rightfully claim to run
to the Pacific. The colonial charters were all very well as furnishing
color of title; but at bottom the American claim rested on the peculiar
kind of colonizing conquest so successfully carried on by the
backwoodsmen. When the English took New Amsterdam they claimed it under
old charters; but they very well knew that their real right was only
that of the strong hand. It was precisely so with the Americans and the
Ohio valley. They produced old charters to support their title; but in
reality it rested on Clark's conquests and above all on the advance of
the backwoods settlements. [Footnote: Mr. R. A. Hinsdale, in his
excellent work on the "Old Northwest" (New York, 1888), seems to me to
lay too much stress on the weight which our charter-claims gave us, and
too little on the right we had acquired by actual possession. The
charter-claims were elaborated with the most wearisome prolixity at the
time; but so were the English claims to New Amsterdam a century earlier.
Conquest gave the true title in each case; the importance of a claim is
often in inverse order to the length at which it is set forth in a
diplomatic document. The west was gained by: (1) the westward movement
of the backwoodsmen during the Revolution; (2) the final success of the
Continental armies in the east; (3) the skill of our diplomats at Paris;
failure on any one of these three points would have lost us the west.

Mr. Hinsdale seems to think that Clark's conquest prevented the Illinois
from being conquered from the British by the Spaniards; but this is very
doubtful. The British at Detroit would have been far more likely to have
conquered the Spaniards at St. Louis; at any rate there is small
probability that they would have been seriously troubled by the latter.
The so-called Spanish conquest of St. Joseph was not a conquest at all,
but an unimportant plundering raid.

The peace negotiations are best discussed in John Jay's chapter thereon,
in the seventh volume of Winsor's "Narrative and Critical History of
North America." Sparks' account is fundamentally wrong on several
points. Bancroft largely follows him, and therefore repeats and shares
his errors.]

This view of the case is amply confirmed by a consideration of what was
actually acquired under the treaty of peace which closed the
Revolutionary struggle. Map-makers down to the present day have almost
invariably misrepresented the territorial limits we gained by this
treaty. They represent our limits in the west in 1783 as being the Great
Lakes, the Mississippi, and the 31st parallel of latitude from the
Mississippi to the Chattahoochee; [Footnote: The map in Mr. Hinsdale's
book may be given as a late instance.] but in reality we did not acquire
these limits until a dozen years later, by the treaties of Jay and
Pinckney. Two points must be kept in mind: first, that during the war
our ally, Spain, had conquered from England that portion of the Gulf
coast known as West Florida; and second, that when the treaty was made
the United States and Great Britain mutually covenanted to do certain
things, some of which were never done. Great Britain agreed to recognize
the lakes as our northern boundary, but, on the alleged ground that we
did not fulfil certain of our promises, she declined to fulfil this
agreement, and the lake posts remained in her hands until the Jay treaty
was ratified. She likewise consented to recognize the 31st parallel as
our southern boundary, but by a secret article it was agreed that if by
the negotiations she recovered West Florida, then the boundary should
run about a hundred miles farther north, ending at the mouth of the
Yazoo. The discovery of this secret article aroused great indignation in
Spain. As a matter of fact, the disputed territory, the land drained by
the Gulf rivers, was not England's to grant, for it had been conquered
and was then held by Spain. Nor was it given up to us until we acquired
it by Pinckney's masterly diplomacy. The treaty represented a mere
promise which in part was not and in part could not be fulfilled. All
that it really did was to guarantee us what we already possessed--that
is, the Ohio valley and the Illinois, which we had settled and conquered
during the years of warfare. Our boundary lines were in reality left
very vague. On the north the basin of the Great Lakes remained British;
on the south the lands draining into the Gulf remained Spanish, or under
Spanish influence. The actual boundaries we acquired can be roughly
stated in the north to have followed the divide between the waters of
the lake and the waters of the Ohio, and in the south to have run across
the heads of the Gulf rivers. Had we remained a loose confederation
these boundaries, would more probably have shrunk than advanced; we did
not overleap them until some years after Washington had become the head
of a real, not merely a titular, nation. The peace of 1783, as far as
our western limits were affected, did nothing more than secure us
undisturbed possession of lands from which it had proved impossible to
oust us. We were in reality given nothing more than we had by our own
prowess gained; the inference is strong that we got what we did get only
because we had won and held it.

The Backwoods Governments.

The first duty of the backwoodsmen who thus conquered the west was to
institute civil government. Their efforts to overcome and beat back the
Indians went hand in hand with their efforts to introduce law and order
in the primitive communities they founded; and exactly as they relied
purely on themselves in withstanding outside foes, so they likewise
built up their social life and their first systems of government with
reference simply to their special needs, and without any outside help or
direction. The whole character of the westward movement, the methods of
warfare, of settlement, and government, were determined by the extreme
and defiant individualism of the backwoodsmen, their inborn independence
and self-reliance, and their intensely democratic spirit. The west was
won and settled by a number of groups of men, all acting independently
of one another, but with a common object, and at about the same time.
There was no one controlling spirit; it was essentially the movement of
a whole free people, not of a single master-mind. There were strong and
able leaders, who showed themselves fearless soldiers and just
law-givers, undaunted by danger, resolute to persevere in the teeth of
disaster; but even these leaders are most deeply interesting because
they stand foremost among a host of others like them. There were
hundreds of hunters and Indian fighters like Mansker, Wetzel, Kenton,
and Brady; there were scores of commonwealth founders like Logan, Todd,
Floyd, and Harrod; there were many adventurous land speculators like
Henderson; there were even plenty of commanders like Shelby and
Campbell. These were all men of mark; some of them exercised a powerful
and honorable influence on the course of events in the west. Above them
rise four greater figures, fit to be called not merely State or local,
but national heroes. Clark, Sevier, Robertson, and Boon are emphatically
American worthies. They were men of might in their day, born to sway the
minds of others, helpful in shaping the destiny of the continent. Yet of
Clark alone can it be said that he did a particular piece of work which
without him would have remained undone. Sevier, Robertson, and Boon only
hastened, and did more perfectly, a work which would have been done by
others had they themselves fallen by the wayside. [Footnote: Sevier's
place would certainly have been taken by some such man as his chief
rival, Tipton. Robertson led his colony to the Cumberland but a few days
before old Mansker led another; and though without Robertson the
settlements would have been temporarily abandoned, they would surely
have been reoccupied. If Henderson had not helped Boon found Kentucky,
then Hart or some other of Henderson's associates would doubtless have
done so; and if Boon had been lacking, his place would probably have
been taken by some such man as Logan. The loss of these men would have
been very serious, but of no one of them can it be said, as of Clark,
that he alone could have done the work he actually did.] Important
though they are for their own sakes, they are still more important as
types of the men who surrounded them.

The individualism of the backwoodsmen, however, was tempered by a sound
common-sense, and capacity for combination. The first hunters might come
alone or in couples, but the actual colonization was done not by
individuals, but by groups of individuals. The settlers brought their
families and belongings either on pack-horses along the forest trails,
or in scows down the streams; they settled in palisaded villages, and
immediately took steps to provide both a civil and military
organization. They were men of facts, not theories; and they showed
their usual hard common-sense in making a government. They did not try
to invent a new system; they simply took that under which they had grown
up, and applied it to their altered conditions. They were most familiar
with the government of the county; and therefore they adopted this for
the framework of their little independent, self-governing commonwealths
of Watauga, Cumberland, and Transylvania. [Footnote: The last of these
was the most pretentious and short-lived and least characteristic of the
three, as Henderson made an abortive effort to graft on it the utterly
foreign idea of a proprietary colony.]

They were also familiar with the representative system; and accordingly
they introduced it into the new communities, the little forted villages
serving as natural units of representation. They were already thoroughly
democratic, in instinct and principle, and as a matter of course they
made the offices elective, and gave full play to the majority. In
organizing the militia they kept the old system of county lieutenants,
making them elective, not appointive; and they organized the men on the
basis of a regiment, the companies representing territorial divisions,
each commanded by its own officers, who were thus chosen by the fighting
men of the fort or forts in their respective districts. Thus each of the
backwoods commonwealths, during its short-lived term of absolute
freedom, reproduced as its governmental system that of the old colonial
county, increasing the powers of the court, and changing the justices
into the elective representatives of an absolute democracy. The civil
head, the chairman of the court or committee, was also usually the
military head, the colonel-commandant. In fact the military side of the
organization rapidly became the most conspicuous, and, at least in
certain crises, the most important. There were always some years of
desperate warfare during which the entire strength of the little
commonwealth was drawn on to resist outside aggression, and during these
years the chief function of government was to provide for the griping
military needs of the community, and the one pressing duty of its chief
was to lead his followers with valor and wisdom in the struggle with the
stranger. [Footnote: My friend, Professor Alexander Johnson, of
Princeton, is inclined to regard these frontier county organizations as
reproductions of a very primitive type of government indeed, deeming
that they were formed primarily for war against outsiders, that their
military organization was the essential feature, the real reason for
their existence. I can hardly accept this view in its entirety; though
fully recognizing the extreme importance of the military side of the
little governments, it seems to me that the preservation of order, and
especially the necessity for regulating the disposition of the land,
were quite as powerful factors in impelling the settlers to act
together. It is important to keep in mind the territorial organization
of the militia companies and regiments; a county and a regiment, a
forted village and a company, were usually coextensive.]

These little communities were extremely independent in feeling, not only
of the Federal Government, but of their parent States, and even of one
another. They had won their positions by their own courage and
hardihood; very few State troops and hardly a Continental soldier had
appeared west of the Alleghanies. They had heartily sympathized with
their several mother colonies when they became the United States, and
had manfully played their part in the Revolutionary war. Moreover they
were united among themselves by ties of good-will and of services
mutually rendered. Kentucky, for instance, had been succored more than
once by troops raised among the Watauga Carolinians or the Holston
Virginians, and in her turn she had sent needed supplies to the
Cumberland. But when the strain of the war was over the separatist
spirit asserted itself very strongly. The groups of western settlements
not only looked on the Union itself very coldly, but they were also more
or less actively hostile to their parent States, and regarded even one
another as foreign communities; [Footnote: See in Gardoqui MSS. the
letters of George Rogers Clark to Gardoqui, March 15, 1788; and of John
Sevier to Gardoqui, September 12, 1788; and in the Robertson MS. the
letter of Robertson to McGillivray, August 3, 1788. It is necessary to
allude to the feeling here; but the separatist and disunion movements
did not gather full force until later, and are properly to be considered
in connection with post-revolutionary events.] they considered the
Confederation as being literally only a lax league of friendship.

Character of the Pioneer Population.

Up to the close of the Revolutionary contest the settlers who were
building homes and States beyond the Alleghanies formed a homogeneous
backwoods population. The wood-choppers, game hunters, and Indian
fighters, who dressed and lived alike, were the typical pioneers. They
were a shifting people. In every settlement the tide ebbed and flowed.
Some of the new-comers would be beaten in the hard struggle for
existence, and would drift back to whence they had come. Of those who
succeeded some would take root in the land, and others would move still
farther into the wilderness. Thus each generation rolled westward,
leaving its children at the point where the wave stopped no less than at
that where it started. The descendants of the victors of King's Mountain
are as likely to be found in the Rockies as in the Alleghanies.

With the close of the war came an enormous increase in the tide of
immigration; and many of the new-comers were of a very different stamp
from their predecessors. The main current flowed towards Kentucky, and
gave an entirely different character to its population. The two typical
figures in Kentucky so far had been Clark and Boon, but after the close
of the Revolution both of them sank into unimportance, whereas the
careers of Sevier and Robertson had only begun. The disappearance of the
two former from active life was partly accidental and partly a resultant
of the forces that assimilated Kentucky so much more rapidly than
Tennessee to the conditions prevailing in the old States. Kentucky was
the best known and the most accessible of the western regions; within
her own borders she was now comparatively safe from serious Indian
invasion, and the tide of immigration naturally flowed thither. So
strong was the current that, within a dozen years, it had completely
swamped the original settlers, and had changed Kentucky from a peculiar
pioneer and backwoods commonwealth into a State differing no more from
Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina than these differed from one

The men who gave the tone to this great flood of new-comers were the
gentry from the sea-coast country, the planters, the young lawyers, the
men of means who had been impoverished by the long-continued and
harassing civil war. Straitened in circumstances, desirous of winning
back wealth and position, they cast longing eyes towards the beautiful
and fertile country beyond the mountains, deeming it a place that
afforded unusual opportunities to the man with capital, no less than to
him whose sole trust was in his own adventurous energy.

Most of the gentle folks in Virginia and the Carolinas, the men who
lived in great roomy houses on their well-stocked and slave-tilled
plantations, had been forced to struggle hard to keep their heads above
water during the Revolution. They loyally supported the government, with
blood and money; and at the same time they endeavored to save some of
their property from the general wreck, and to fittingly educate their
girls, and those of their boys who were too young to be in the army. The
men of this stamp who now prepared to cast in their lot with the new
communities formed an exceptionally valuable class of immigrants; they
contributed the very qualities of which the raw settlements stood most
in need. They had suffered for no fault of their own; fate had gone hard
with them. The fathers had been in the Federal or Provincial congresses;
the older sons had served in the Continental line or in the militia. The
plantations were occasionally overrun by the enemy; and the general
disorder had completed their ruin. Nevertheless, the heads of the
families had striven to send the younger sons to school or college. For
their daughters they did even more; and throughout the contest, even in
its darkest hours, they sent them down to receive the final touches of a
lady-like education at some one of the State capitals not at the moment
in the hands of the enemy--such as Charleston or Philadelphia. There the
young ladies were taught dancing and music, for which, as well as for
their frocks and "pink calamanco shoes," their fathers paid enormous
sums in depreciated Continental currency. [Footnote: Clay MSS. Account
of Robert Morris with Miss Elizabeth Hart, during her residence in
Philadelphia in 1780-81. The account is so curious that I give it in
full in the Appendix.]

Even the close of active hostilities, when the British were driven from
the Southern States, brought at first but a slight betterment of
condition to the straggling people. There was no cash in the land, the
paper currency was nearly worthless, every one was heavily in debt, and
no one was able to collect what was owing to him. There was much mob
violence, and a general relaxation of the bonds of law and order. Even
nature turned hostile; a terrible drought shrunk up all the streams
until they could not turn the grist-mills, while from the same cause the
crops failed almost completely. A hard winter followed, and many cattle
and hogs died; so that the well-to-do were brought to the verge of
bankruptcy and the poor suffered extreme privations, being forced to go
fifty or sixty miles to purchase small quantities of meal and grain at
exorbitant prices. [Footnote: Clay MSS. Letters of Jesse Benton, 1782
and '83. See Appendix.]

This distress at home inclined many people of means and ambition to try
their fortunes in the west: while another and equally powerful motive
was the desire to secure great tracts of virgin lands, for possession or
speculation. Many distinguished soldiers had been rewarded by successive
warrants for unoccupied land, which they entered wherever they chose,
until they could claim thousands upon thousands of acres. [Footnote:
Thus Col. Wm. Christian, for his services in Braddock's and Dunmore's
wars and against the Cherokees, received many warrants; he visited
Kentucky to enter them, 9,000 acres in all. See "Life of Caleb Wallace,"
by Wm. H. Whitsitt, Louisville, 1888.] Sometimes they sold these
warrants to outsiders; but whether they remained in the hands of the
original holders or not, they served as a great stimulus to the westward
movement, and drew many of the representatives of the wealthiest and
most influential families in the parent States to the lands on the
farther side of the mountains.

At the close of the Revolution, however, the men from the sea-coast
region formed but an insignificant portion of the western pioneers. The
country beyond the Alleghanies was first won and settled by the
backwoodsmen themselves, acting under their own leaders, obeying their
own desires, and following their own methods. They were a marked and
peculiar people. The good and evil traits in their character were such
as naturally belonged to a strong, harsh, and homely race, which, with
all its shortcomings, was nevertheless bringing a tremendous work to a
triumphant conclusion. The backwoodsmen were above all things
characteristically American; and it is fitting that the two greatest and
most typical of all Americans should have been respectively a sharer and
an outcome of their work. Washington himself passed the most important
years of his youth heading the westward movement of his people; clad in
the traditional dress of the backwoodsmen, in tasselled hunting-shirt
and fringed leggings, he led them to battle against the French and
Indians, and helped to clear the way for the American advance. The only
other man who in the American roll of honor stands by the side of
Washington, was born when the distinctive work of the pioneers had
ended; and yet he was bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh; for
from the loins of this gaunt frontier folk sprang mighty Abraham


* * * * *


During the early part of this century our more pretentious historians
who really did pay some heed to facts and wrote books that--in addition
to their mortal dulness--were quite accurate, felt it undignified and
beneath them to notice the deeds of mere ignorant Indian fighters. They
had lost all power of doing the best work; for they passed their lives
in a circle of small literary men, who shrank from any departure from
conventional European standards.

On the other hand, the men who wrote history for the mass of our people,
not for the scholars, although they preserved much important matter, had
not been educated up to the point of appreciating the value of evidence,
and accepted undoubted facts and absurd traditions with equal good
faith. Some of them (notably Flint and one or two of Boon's other
biographers) evidently scarcely regarded truthfulness and accuracy of
statement as being even desirable qualities in a history. Others wished
to tell the facts, but lacked all power of discrimination. Certain of
their books had a very wide circulation. In some out-of-the-way places
they formed, with the almanac, the staple of secular literature. But
they did not come under the consideration of trained scholars, so their
errors remained uncorrected; and at this day it is a difficult, and
often an impossible task, to tell which of the statements to accept and
which to reject.

Many of the earliest writers lived when young among the old companions
of the leading pioneers, and long afterwards wrote down from memory the
stories the old men had told them. They were themselves often clergymen,
and were usually utterly inexperienced in wild backwoods life, in spite
of their early surroundings--exactly as to-day any town in the Rocky
Mountains is sure to contain some half-educated men as ignorant of
mountain and plains life, of Indians and wild beasts, as the veriest
lout on an eastern farm. Accordingly they accepted the wildest stories
of frontier warfare with a faith that forcibly reminds one of the
equally simple credulity displayed by the average classical scholar
concerning early Greek and Roman prowess. Many of these primitive
historians give accounts of overwhelming Indian numbers and enormous
Indian losses, that read as if taken from the books that tell of the
Gaulish hosts the Romans conquered, and the Persian hordes the Greeks
repelled; and they are almost as untrustworthy.

Some of the anecdotes they relate are not far removed from the
Chinese-like tale--given, if my memory is correct, in Herodotus--of the
Athenian soldier, who went into action with a small grapnel or anchor
attached by a chain to his waist, that he might tether himself out to
resist the shock of the charging foe. A flagrant example is the story
which describes how the white man sees an Indian very far off making
insulting gestures; how he forthwith loads his rifle with two
bullets--which the narrator evidently thinks will go twice as far and
twice as straight as one,--and, taking careful aim, slays his enemy.
Like other similar anecdotes, this is told of a good many different
frontier heroes; the historian usually showing a delightful lack of
knowledge of what is and what is not possible in hunting, tracking, and
fighting. However, the utter ignorance of even the elementary principles
of rifle-shooting may not have been absolutely confined to the
historians. Any one accustomed to old hunters knows that their theories
concerning their own weapons are often rather startling. A year ago last
fall I was hunting some miles below my ranch (on the Little Missouri) to
lay in the winter stock of meat, and was encamped for a week with an old
hunter. We both had 45-75 Winchester rifles; and I was much amused at
his insisting that his gun "shot level" up to two hundred yards--a
distance at which the ball really drops considerably over a foot. Yet he
killed a good deal of game; so he must either in practice have
disregarded his theories, or else he must have always overestimated the
distances at which he fired.

The old writers of the simpler sort not only delighted in impossible
feats with the rifle, but in equally impossible deeds of strength,
tracking and the like; and they were very fond of attributing all the
wonderful feats of which they had heard to a single favorite hero, not
to speak of composing speeches for him.

It seems--though it ought not to be--necessary to point out to some
recent collectors of backwoods anecdotes, the very obvious truths: that
with the best intentions in the world the average backwoodsman often has
difficulty in describing a confused chain of events exactly as they took
place; that when the events are described after a long lapse of years
many errors are apt to creep in; and that when they are reported from
tradition it is the rarest thing imaginable for the report to be

* * * * *


(The following account of the first negotiations of the Americans with
the Indians near Vincennes is curious as being the report of one of the
Indians; but it was evidently colored to suit his hearer, for as a
matter of fact the Indians of the Wabash were for the time being awed
into quiet, the Piankeshaws sided with the Americans, and none of them
dared rise until the British approached.)

(_Haldimand MSS._, Series B, Vol. 122, p. 219.)

Proceedings of the Rebels at St. Vincennes as related to Lieut Govr.
Hamilton by Neegik an Ottawa War Chief sent forward to gain
intelligence. Camp at Rocher de Bout 14th Octr. 1778--

On the Rebels first arrival at St. Vincennes they took down the English
Flag left there by Lieut. Gen. Abbott, wrapped a large stone in it, and
threw it into the Ouabash, saying to the Indians, thus we mean to treat
your Father--

Having called the Indians together they laid a War Belt colored red, & a
belt colored green before them, telling them that if they delighted in
mischief and had no compassion on their wives & children they might take
up the red one, if on the contrary they were wise & preferred peace, the
green one--

The old Tobacco a chief of the [Piankeshaws] spoke as follows--My
brothers--you speak in a manner not to be understood, I never yet saw,
nor have I heard from my ancestors that it was customary to place good &
bad things in the same dish--You talk to us as if you meant us well, yet
you speak of War & peace in the same minute, thus I treat the speeches
of such men--on which with a violent kick he spurned their belts from

The son of Lagesse, a young Chief of the Pontconattamis of St Joseph
spoke next to them.

My Brothers--'Tis because I have listened to the voice of our old men, &
because I have regard to our women & children that I have not before now
struck my Tomahawk into some of your heads--attend to what I say, I will
only go to see in what condition our wives & children are (meaning I
will first place them in security) & then you may depend on seeing me

The Rebel speaker then said--

You are young men & your youth excuses your ignorances, you would not
else talk as you do--Our design is to march thro' your country, & if we
find any fires in our way, we shall just tread them out as we walk along
& if we meet with any obstacle or barrier we shall remove it with all
ease, but the bystanders must take care lest the splinters should scar
their faces.

We shall then proceed to Detroit where your father is whom we consider
as a Hog put to fatten in a penn, we shall enclose him in his penn, till
he be fat, & then we will throw him into the river--We shall draw a
reinforcement from the Falls on the Ohio & from thence & the Ilinois
send six hundred men to Chicagou--

To this the Indians replied--You that are so brave, what need have you
to be reinforced, go to Detroit, you that can put out our fires & so
easyly remove our barriers.--This we say to you, take care that in
attempting to extinguish our fires you do not burn yourselves, & that in
breaking down our barriers you do not run splinters into your hands. You
may also expect that we shall not suffer a single Frenchman to accompany
you to Detroit.

End of the Conference.

* * * * *


(From Canadian Archives.)

(_Haldimand MSS._, Series B, Vol. 122, p. 351.)


UPPER ST. DUSKI, June 9, 1779.

Dear Sir,

After much running about, some presents to Chiefs, we had collected at
the Mingo Town near 200 Savages chiefly Shawanese--When lo! a runner
arrived with accounts of the Shawanese towns being attacked by a body
from Kentuck, they burnt five houses, killed one Indian & wounded the
Chief badly--lost their own Commander _Heron_ or _Herington_--they
carried off 30 Horses, were pursued by fifty Shawanese, the Shawanese
were beat back with loss of five & six wounded--News flew that all the
Towns were to be attack'd & our little body seperated in an instant past
reassembling--confusion still prevails--much counselling--no
resolves--many are removing--more for peace.

The Delawares make it dangerous travelling. By this opportunity Davison
& Cook return sick--Girty is flying about--McCarty stays with me with
some Ottawas--these unsteady Rogues put me out of all patience,--I will
go with him in a few days, if nothing material occurs--See the Enemy
that I may not be laugh'd at then return.--The Rebels mean I believe to
destroy the Villages & corn now up--the method they bring their little
armies into the field as follows: Every Family on the Borders receive
orders to send according to their strength (one or two men) to the place
of Rendezvous at a time appointed (on pain of fine or imprisonment) with
fifteen or twenty days Provisions, they immediately receive their
ammunition & proceed quickly to action--I am credibly inform'd by
various means, that they can raise in that manner three or four thousand
in a few days for such excursions--I was obliged to Kill four more
Cattle for the Indians at the Mingo Town--they are always Cooking or

I have nothing more to inform you off if anything material occurs, which
I really expect in a day or two, I will inform you by Express.

I am &c




June 12th, UPPER ST. DUSKI.


Couriers after Couriers arrive with accounts of the Rebels advancing to
destroy the Savage Villages now all their corn is planted--

* * * * *


(_State Department MSS._; No. 48, Vol. "Memorials &c Inhabitants of
Illinois, Kaskaskias and Kentucky.")

The Petition and Prayr. of the people of that Part of Contry [sic] now
Claim'd. by the State of Virginia in the Countys of Kaintuckey and
Ilinois Humbly Sheweth--That we the leige Subjects of the United States
Labour under many Greivences on acount of not being formd into a
Seperate State or the Mind and Will of Congress more fully known
respecting us--And we Humbly beg leave to Present to the Honorable
Continental Congress our Humble Petition seting forth the Grievences and
oppressions we labour under and Pray Congress may Consider Such our
greivences and grant us redress.

We your Petitioners being situate in a wide Extencive Uncultivated
Contry and Exposd. on every side to incursions of the Savage Indians
humbly Conceive Ourselves approssed by several acts of the general
assembly of Virginia for granting large Grants for waist and
unapropriated lands on the Western Waters without Reservation for
Cultivating and Settling the same whereby Setling the Contry is
Discouraged and the inhabitants are greatly Exposd. to the Saviges by
whome our wives and Childring are daly Cruily murdered Notwithstanding
our most Humble Petitions Canot Obtain Redress--By an other act we are
Taxd. which in our Present Situation we Conceive to be oppresive and
unjust being Taxd. with money and grain whilst Enrold and in actual Pay
residing in Garrisons. We are Situate from Six Hundred to one Thousand
Miles from our Present Seite of Goverment, Whereby Criminals are
Suffered to Escape with impunity, Great numbers who ware Ocationaly
absent are Deprived of an Opertunity of their Just Rights and
Emprovements and here we are Obliged to Prosecute all Apeals, and
whillst we remain uncertain whether the unbounded Claim of This
Extencive Contry Ought of right to belong to the United States or the
State of Virginia, They have by another late act required of us to Sware
alegince to the State of Virginia in Particular Notwithstanding we have
aredy taken the Oath of alegance to the united States. These are
Greivences too Heavy to be born, and we do Humbly Pray that the
Continental Congress will Take Proper Methods to form us into a Seperate
State or grant us Such Rules and regulations as they in their Wisdoms
shall think most Proper, During the Continuance of the Present War and
your Petitioners shall ever Pray

May 15th, 1780.

(and others to the number of 640).

* * * * *


(_Haldimand MSS._ Series B, Vol. 123, p. 302.)


My Letter of the 22nd & 23rd of July informed you of the reports brought
us of the Enemy's motions at that time which was delivered by the Chiefs
of the standing Stone Village & confirmed by Belts & Strings of Wampum
in so earnest a manner that could not but gain Credit with us. We had
upon this occasion the greatest Body of Indians collected to an
advantageous peice of ground near the Picawee Village that have been
assembled in this Quarter since the commencement of the War & perhaps
may never be in higher spirits to engage the Enemy, when the return of
Scouts from the Ohio informed us that the account we had received was
false; this disappointment notwithstanding all our endeavours to keep
them together occasioned them to disperse in disgust with each other,
the inhabitants of this Country who were the most immediately interested
in keeping in a Body ware the first that broke off & though we advanced
towards the Ohio with upwards of three hundred Hurons & Lake Indians few
of the Delawares, Shawanese or Mingoes followed us. On our arrival at
the Ohio we remain'd still in uncertainty with respect to the Enemys
motions, & it was thought best from hence to send Scouts to the Falls &
that the main Body should advance into the Enemy's Country and endeavour
to lead out a party from some of their Forts by which we might be able
to gain some certain Intelligence accordingly we crossed the Ohio and
arrived the 18th Inst. at one of the Enemys settlements--call'd Bryans
Station, but the Indians discovering their numbers prevented their
coming out and the Lake Indians finding this rush'd up to the Fort and
set several out Houses on fire but at too great a distance to touch the
Fort the Wind blowing the Contrary way. The firing continued this day
during which time a Party of about twenty of the Enemy approached a part
that happened not to be Guarded & about one half of them reached it the
rest being drove back by a few Indians who ware near the place, the next
morning finding it to no purpose to keep up a fire longer upon the Fort
as we were getting men killed, & had already several men wounded which
ware to be carried, the Indians determined to retreat & the 20th reached
the Blue Licks where we encamp'd near an advantageous Hill and expecting
the enemy would pursue determined here to wait for them keeping spies at
the Lick who in the morning of the 21st discovered them & at half past 7
o'clock we engaged them & in a short time totally defeated them, we ware
not much superior to them in Numbers they being about two hundred picked
men from the settlement of Kentucky. Commanded by the Colonels Todd,
Trigg, Boon & Todd, with the Majors Harlin, and McGary most of whom fell
in the action, from the best inquiry I could make upon the spot there
was upwards of one hundred & forty killed & taken with near an hundred
rifles several being thrown into a deep River that ware not recovered.
It was said by the Prisoners that a Colonel Logan was expected to join
them with one hundred men more we waited upon the ground to-day for him,
but seeing there was not much probability of his coming we set off &
crossed the ohio the second day after the action. Captain Caldwell & I
arrived at this place last night with a design of sending some
assistance to those who are bring on the wounded people who are fourteen
in number, we had Ten Indians kill'd with Mr. La Bute of the Indian
Department who by sparing the life of one of the Enemy & endeavouring to
take him Prisoner loss'd his own, to our disappointment we find no
Provisions brought forward to this place or likely hood of any for some
time, and we have entirely subsisted since we left this on what we got
in the Woods, and took from the Enemy. The Prisoners all agree in their
account that there is no talk of an Expedition from that Quarter, nor
indeed are they able without assistance from the Colonies, & that the
Militia of the Country have been employed during the summer in Building
the Fort at the Falls, & what they call a Row Galley which has made one
trip up the River to the Mouth of the big Miamis & occasioned that alarm
that created us so much trouble, she carries one six pounder, six four
pounders & two two pounders & Row's eighty oars, she had at the big Bone
Lick one hundred men but being chiefly draughts from the Militia many of
them left her on different parts of the River. One of the Prisoners
mentions the arrival of Boats lately from Fort Pitt & that Letters has
pass'd between the Commanding officer of that place & Mr. Clark
intimating that preparation is making there for another Expedition into
the Indian Country, we have since our arrival heard something of this
matter and that the particulars has been forwarded to you, a Detachment
of Rangers with a large party of Delawares, & Shawanese are gone that
way who will be able to discover the truth of this matter.

I am this day favoured with yours of the 6th Augt. containing the report
of Isaac Gians concerning the Cruelties of the Indians. It is true they
have made sacrifices to their revenge after the massacre of their women
& children some being known to them to be perpetraters of it, but it was
done in my absence or before I could reach any of the places to
interfere. And I can assure you Sir that there is not a white person
here wanting in their duty to represent to the Indians in the strongest
terms the highest abhorence of such conduct as well as the bad
consequences that may attend it to both them & us being contrary to the
rule of carrying on war by Civilized nations, however it is not
improbable that Gians may have exaggerated matters greatly being
notoriously known for a disaffected person and concerned in sending
Prisoners away with Intelligence to the Enemy at the time Captain Bird
came out as we ware then informed. I flatter myself that I may by this
time have an answer to the Letter I had the honor of writing to the
Commandr. in Chief on leaving Detroit. Mr. Elliot is to be the Bearer of
this who will be able to give you any farther information necessary
respecting matters here.

I am with respect Sir your most obedient & Very Humble Servant



August 28th, 1782.


* * * * *


(_Haldimand MSS._, Series B, Vol. 123, p. 297.)

Extract of a letter from Captain Caldwell, dated at Wakitamiki, August
26, 1782.

"When I last had the pleasure of writing you, I expected to have struck
at Wheeling as I was on my march for that place, but was overtaken by a
Messenger from the Shawnese, who informed me that the Enemy was on their
march for their Country, which obliged me to turn their way, and to my
great mortification found the alarm false & that it was owing to a
Gondals coming up to the mouth of Licking Creek, and landing some men
upon the South side of the Ohio which when the Indians saw supposed it
must be Clark. It would have been a lucky circumstance if they had come
on, as I had eleven hundred Indians on the ground, and three hundred
within a days march of me. When the Report was contradicted They mostly
left us, many of them had left their Towns no way equipped for War, as
they expected as well as myself to fight in a few days, notwithstanding
I was determined to pay the Enemy a visit with as many Indians as would
follow me: accordingly I crossed the Ohio with three hundred Indians &
Rangers, and Marched for Bryants Station on Kentuck, and surrounded the
Fort the 15th in the morning, & tried to draw 'em out by sending up a
small party to try to take a Prisoner and shew themselves, but the
Indians were in too great a hurry and the whole shewed too soon--I then
saw it was in vain to wait any longer and so drew nigh the Fort, burnt 3
Houses which are part of the Fort but the wind being contrary prevented
it having the desired effect. Killed upwards of 300 Hogs, 150 Head of
Cattle, and a number of Sheep, took a number of Horses, pull'd up and
destroy'd their Potatoes, cut down a great deal of their Corn, burn't
their Hemp and did other considerable damage--by the Indians exposing
themselves too much we had 5 Killed & 2 Wounded.

We retreated the 16th and came as far as Biddle's former Station, when
nigh 100 Indians left me, as they went after their things they left at
the Forks of Licking, and I took the Road by the blue Licks as it was
nigher and the ground more advantageous in case the Enemy should pursue
us--got to the Licks on the 17th and encamped.

On the 18th in the morning, one of my party that was watching the Road
came in and told me the Enemy was within a mile of us, upon which I drew
up to fight them--at 1/2 past seven they advanced in three Divisions in
good order, they had spied some of us and it was the very place they
expected to overtake us.--We had but fired one Gun till they gave us a
Volley and stood to it very well for some time,'till we rushed in upon
them, when they broke immediately.--We pursued for about two miles, and
as the enemy was mostly on horseback, it was in vain to follow further.

We killed and took one hundred and Forty six. Amongst the killed is Col.
Todd the Commandr Col. Boon, Lt. Col. Trigg, Major Harlin who commanded
their Infantry, Major Magara and a number more of their officers. Our
loss is Monsr. La Bute killed, he died like a warrior fighting Arm to
Arm, six Indians killed and ten wounded--The Indians behaved extremely
well, and no people could behave better than both Officers & men in
general--The Indians I had with me were the Wyandots and Lake
Indians--The Wyandots furnished me with what provisions I wanted, and
behaved extremely well."

* * * * *


It has been so habitual among American writers to praise all the deeds,
good, bad, and indifferent, of our Revolutionary ancestors, and to
belittle and make light of what we have recently done, that most men
seem not to know that the Union and Confederate troops in the Civil War
fought far more stubbornly and skilfully than did their forefathers at
the time of the Revolution. It is impossible to estimate too highly the
devoted patriotism and statesmanship of the founders of our national
life; and however high we rank Washington, I am confident that we err,
if any thing, in not ranking him high enough, for on the whole the world
has never seen a man deserving to be placed above him; but we certainly
have overestimated the actual fighting qualities of the Revolutionary
troops, and have never laid enough stress on the folly and jealousy with
which the States behaved during the contest. In 1776 the Americans were
still in the gristle; and the feats of arms they then performed do not
bear comparison with what they did in the prime of their lusty youth,
eighty or ninety years later. The Continentals who had been long drilled
by Washington and Greene were most excellent troops; but they never had
a chance to show at their best, because they were always mixed in with a
mass of poor soldiers, either militia or just-enlisted regulars.

The resolute determination of the Americans to win, their trust in the
justice of their cause, their refusal to be cast down by defeat, the
success with which they overran and conquered the west at the very time
they were struggling for life or death in the east, the heroic grandeur
of their great leader--for all this they deserve full credit. But the
militia who formed the bulk of the Revolutionary armies did not
generally fight well. Sometimes, as at Bunker's Hill and King's
Mountain, they did excellently, and they did better, as a rule, than
similar European bodies--than the Spanish and Portuguese peasants in
1807-12, for instance. At that time it was believed that the American
militia could not fight at all; this was a mistake, and the British paid
dearly for making it; but the opposite belief, that militia could be
generally depended upon, led to quite as bad blunders, and the
politicians of the Jeffersonian school who encouraged the idea made us
in our turn pay dearly for our folly in after years, as at Bladensburg
and along the Niagara frontier in 1812. The Revolutionary war proved
that hastily gathered militia, justly angered and strung to high
purpose, could sometimes whip regulars, a feat then deemed impossible;
but it lacked very much of proving that they would usually do this.
Moreover, even the stalwart fighters who followed Clark and Sevier, and
who did most important and valorous service, cannot point to any one
such desperate deed of fierce courage as that of the doomed Texans under
Bowie and Davy Crockett in the Alamo.

A very slight comparison of the losses suffered in the battles of the
Revolution with those suffered in the battles of the Civil War is
sufficient to show the superiority of the soldiers who fought in the
latter (and a comparison of the tactics and other features of the
conflicts will make the fact even clearer). No Revolutionary regiment or
brigade suffered such a loss as befell the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg,
where it lost 215 out of 263 men, 82 per cent.; the 9th Illinois at
Shiloh, where it lost 366 out of 578 men, 63 per cent.; the 1st Maine at
Petersburg, which lost 632 out of 950 men, 67 per cent.; or Caldwell's
brigade of New York, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania troops, which, in
Hancock's attack at Fredericksburg, lost 949 out of 1,947 men, 48 per
cent.; or, turning to the Southern soldiers, such a loss as that of the
1st Texas at Antietam, when 186 out of 226 men fell, 82 per cent.; or of
the 26th North Carolina, which, at Gettysburg, lost 588 out of 820 men,
72 per cent.; or the 8th Tennessee, at Murfreesboro, which lost 306 out
of 444 men, or 68 per cent.; or Garnett's brigade of Virginians, which,
in Pickett's charge, lost 941 men out of 1,427, or 65 per cent.

There were over a hundred regiments, and not a few brigades, in the
Union and Confederate armies, each of which in some one action suffered
losses averaging as heavy as the above. The Revolutionary armies cannot
show such a roll of honor as this. Still, it is hardly fair to judge
them by this comparison, for the Civil War saw the most bloody and
desperate fighting that has occurred of late years. None of the European
contests since the close of the Napoleonic struggles can be compared to
it. Thus the Light Brigade at Balaclava lost only 37 per cent., or 247
men out of 673, while the Guards at Inkermann lost but 45 per cent., or
594 out of 1,331; and the heaviest German losses in the Franco-Prussian
war were but 49 and 46 per cent., occurring respectively to the Third
Westphalian Regiment at Mars-le-Tours, and the Garde-Schutzen battalion
at Metz.

These figures are taken from "Regimental Losses in the American Civil
War," by Col. Wm. F. Fox, Albany, 1881; the loss in each instance
includes few or no prisoners, save in the cases of Garnett's brigade and
of the Third Westphalian Regiment.

* * * * *


(From the _Robertson MSS._, Vol. I., Letter of Don Miro.)

NEW ORLEANS, the 20th April, 1783.


I received yours of 29th January last, & am highly pleased in seeing the
good intentions of the People of that District, & knowing the falsehood
of the report we have heard they are willing to attack their Province.
You ought to make the same account of the news you had that the Indians
have been excited in their Province against you, since I wrote quite the
contrary at different times to Alexander McGillevray to induce him to
make peace, & lastly he answered me that he gave his word to the
Governor of North Carolina that the Creeks would not trouble again those
settlements: notwithstanding after the letter received from you, and
other from Brigadier general Daniel Smith Esqr I will writte to him
engaging him to be not more troublesome to you.

I have not any connection with Cheroquis & Marcuten, but as they go now
& then to Illinois I will give advice to that Commander to induce them
to be quiet: in respect to the former in the month of May of last year
they asked the permission of settling them selves on the west side of
the Mississippi River which is granted & they act accordingly, you
plainly see you are quite free from their incursions.

I will give the Passeport you ask for your son-in-law, & I will be
highly pleased with his coming down to setle in this Province & much
more if you, & your family should come along with him, since I can
assure you that you will find here your welfare, without being either
molested on religious matters or paying any duty & under the
circumstances of finding allwais market for your crops which makes every
one of the planters settled at Natchez or elsewhere to improve every
day, much more so than if they were to purchase the Lands, as they are
granted gratis.

I wish to be usefull to you being with regard sir

Your most obt. hl. servant ESTEVAN MIRO.

(Dupte.) Colonel JAMES ROBERTSON, Esqr.

The duplicity of the Spaniards is well illustrated by the fact that the
Gardoqui MSS. give clear proof that they were assisting the Creeks with
arms and ammunition at the very time Miro was writing these letters. See
the Gardoqui MSS., _passim_, especially Miro's letter of June 28, 1786.


Account of Robert Morris with Miss Betsey Hart, Philadelphia, 1780-81.
From the Clay MSS.

daughter of Col. Thomas Hart. She married Dr. Richard Pendell.]


Aug. 29

To cash paid for a Pair of Shoes for you
L64,2,6 at 60 for 1 L 1,1,4
(Continental, Exchange, Specie)

To a Chest of Sugar delivered Mrs. Brodeau & Porterage
1107,15,0 Do 18,9,3

To two ps Sheeting Delivered Ditto
1116,0,0 at Do 18,12,0

To cash paid Wm. McDugall's Bill for one & a half Quarters Tuition at
223,10,0 at Do 3,12,6

Paid E. Denaugheys Bill for washing Done for you
95,12,6 at Do 1,11,10

Dec. 6

To Ditto for Hannah Estys Bill for making Frocks for you L257,10
Paid D Denaugheys Bill for Washg L125.12.6
383,3,6 at 75 for 1 5,2,2

Dec. 29

To Ditto pair for pair of Pink Calemancoi Shoes for you
78,15,0 at Do 1,1,0


Feb. 3

To Ditto paid B. Victor your music master for one Quarter Tuition of
506,5,0 at 75 for 1 6,15,0

To the following Articles delivered Mrs. Brodeau on your Accot
One firkin of Butter one Box of Candles & a Box of Soap
Amounting p Account to
629,1,2 at Do 8,7,9

To Cash paid Mrs. Brodeau in full of her Accot. to October last
against you
3856,17,6 at Do 51,8,6

Total: L115, 3,5 (Specie)
Allowed for Depreciation 57,13,7

Received Philad. April 7th 1781 the One hundred and Seventy
two Pounds 17/ State Specie being in full the amount of the annexed

for Robt. Morris
L172.17. State Specie


In the Clay MSS. the letters of Jesse Benton to Col. Hart, of December
4, 1782, and March 22, 1783, paint vividly the general distress in the
Carolinas. They are taken up mostly with accounts of bad debts and of
endeavors to proceed against various debtors; they also touch on other

In the first, of December 4,1782, Benton writes: "It seems the powers
above are combined against us this year. Such a Drouth was never known
here [in the upper Carolinas] before; Corn sells from the stack at 4 &
5/ p. Bushel, Wheat 6 & 8/, Rye the same, Oats 3/ 6 &c &c ... I have not
had Water to keep the Grist Mill Fuling Mill and Oyl Mill at Work before
this Week.... Johny Rice has gone to Kentuck with his goods to buy Furs,
but before he went we talked of your debts and he did not like to be
concerned, saying he should gain ill will for no profit; However I will
immediately enforce the Law to recover your Debts ... the Lands which
You had of me would sell as soon as any but this hard year makes many
settlers and few buyers. I have heard nothing more of Major Haywoods
desire of purchasing & all I ever heard upon the subject was from his
son-in-law who now appears very sick of his late purchase of Elegant
Buildings.... Your Brother Capt. Nat Hart, our worthy and respectable
Friend, I doubt is cut off by the Savages at the time and in the manner
as first represented, to wit, that he went out to hunt his horses in the
month of July or August it is supposed the Indians in Ambuscade between
Boonsboro and Knockbuckle, intended to take him Prisonner, but killd his
horse and at the same time broke his Thigh, that the savages finding
their Prisonner with his Thigh broken was under the necessity of puting
him to Death by shooting him through the Heart at so small a Distance as
to Powder burn his Flesh. He was Tomhawkd, scalped & lay two Days before
he was found and buried. This Account has come by difrent hands &
confirmd to Col. Henderson by a Letter from an intimate Friend of his at

This last bit of information is sandwiched in between lamentations over
bad debts, concerning which the writer manifested considerably more
emotion than over the rather startling fate of Captain Hart.

The second letter contains an account of the "trafficking off" of a
wagon and fine pair of Pennsylvania horses, the news that a debt had
been partially liquidated by the payment of sixty pounds' worth of rum
and sugar, which in turn went to pay workmen, and continues: "The common
people are and will be much distressed for want of Bread. I have often
heard talk of Famine, but never thought of seeing any thing so much like
it as the present times in this part of the Country. Three fourths of
the Inhabitants of this country are obliged to purchase their Bread at
50 & 60 miles distance at the common price of 16/ and upwards per
barrel. The winter has been very hard upon the live stock & I am
convinced that abundance of Hogs and Cattle will die this Spring for
want of Food.... Cash is now scarcer here than it ever was before.... I
have been industrious to get the Mills in good repair and have succeeded
well, but have rcd. very little benefit from them yet owing intirely to
the general failure of a Crop. We have done no Merchant work in the
Grist Mill, & she only supplies my Family and workmen with Bread. Rye,
the people are glad to eat. Flaxseed the cattle have chiefly eaten
though I have got as much of that article as made 180 Gallons of Oyl at
4/ per bushel. The Oyl is in great demand; I expect two dollars p.
Gallon for it at Halifax or Edenton, & perhaps a better price. We were
very late in beginning with the Fulling Business; for want of water....
[there are many] Mobbs and commotions among the People."


Abingdon, a typical frontier town, II;
_Adventure_, the, voyage of, II;
Algonquins, the, their location, I;
dwellings and dress;
their relations with the Iroquois and the southern Indians;
tribal relations;
their numbers;
lack of cohesion;
numbers in the field;
their prowess in war;
their mode of war;
their discipline in battle;
their superiority to European troops;
usually the attacking party;
their cruelty
Allaire, Lieut., a New York loyalist, II;
Alleghanies, the, our western border for a century and a half, I;
America, its importance and accessibility, I;
twofold character of warfare in;
Spain's share in the conquest of;
difference between the Spanish-English conquests in;
constant succession of contests in;
her allies hostile to her interests, II;
Americans, a distinct people from the British, I;
western conquest, the great work of the;
their sharpshooters dreaded by the British officers, II;
as soldiers, Appendix;
Appalachian Confederacies, the, I;
their geographical position;
origin of the name;
how divided;
Australia, small difficulty in settling;
Axe, the, its importance in the conquest of the west;
Backwoods levies, the character of;
Backwoodsmen, the, of Kentucky, I;
of the Alleghanies;
little in common with the tide-water inhabitants;
Americans by birth and parentage;
Scotch-Irish, the dominant strain in their blood;
from one people;
their creed, Presbyterian;
their intense Americanism;
their difference from the rest of the world;
their villages;
not a town-building race;
won and kept their lands by force;
their natural weapons;
their forts;
their mode of life;
size of farms;
society, dress, and arms;
their first lesson;
their helpfulness;
sports and quarrels;
home employments;
dangers of life;
as hunters;
warlike character;
their own soldiers;
military organization;
administration of justice;
sharp contrasts of society among;
wickedness of the lawless among;
their summary modes of punishment;
their superstitions;
their religion;
summary of their lives;
desire for revenge;
hasten to join Lewis;
assemble at the great levels of Greenbriar;
march of Lewis' army;
grimness of their character, II;
gather at Bryan's Station;
defeated at the Blue Licks;
fate of the captured;
their increase during the Revolution;
their wars;
governments instituted by them;
their individualism;
character of the pioneer population;
what they had done at the close of the Revolution;
Balme La, his expedition against Detroit, II;
Baubin captures Boon, II;
Bear Grass Creek, ravaged by Indians, II;
Big Bone Lick, remains of mastodon discovered at, I;
Big Foot, a gigantic chief of the Wyandots, II;
fight with Andrew Poe, 134;
killed by Adam Poe;
Big Island of the French Broad, the;
Christian's army reach, I;
Bingaman, his fight in the dark, II;
Bird, Capt. Henry, dissolution of his expedition, II;
his inroad;
his retreat;
loses his cannon;
Blue Licks, visited by Boon, II;
Indians retreat to;
the backwoodsmen reach;
the fight begins;
battle of the;
defeat of the whites;
a wild panic;
the Indians checked;
a crushing disaster;
Boiling Springs, fort built at, I;
Boon, Daniel, his birth, I;
removes to North Carolina and marries;
his passion for hunting and exploration;
his appearance;
his character;
his inscription on a tree;
connection with Henderson;
his claim to distinction;
his success;
goes to Kentucky;
beauty of the country and abundance of game;
attacked by Indians;
capture and escape;
joined by his brother;
lonely sojourn in the wilderness;
joined by other hunters;
"Gulliver's Travels" in camp;
returns to North Carolina;
meets the McAfees' at Powell's Valley;
attempts to settle Kentucky;
attacked by Indians;
his son killed;
pilots in Lord Dunmore's surveyors;
in command of frontier forts;
attacked by Indians;
reaches the Kentucky River;
begins to build Boonsborough;
welcomes Henderson's company;
the fort at Boonsborough;
returns to North Carolina for his family;
his prominence in Kentucky history;
serves as a Kentucky burgess in the Virginia Legislature;
his strange life;
his daughter captured by Indians and rescued;
the historic tree;
original letter of;
wounded in the attack on Boonsborough, II;
captured by Indians;
taken to Old Chillicothe;
adopted into the Shawnee tribe;
escapes from the Indians;
makes a foray into the Indian country;
outwits de Quindre;
thanks Kenton for saving his life;
comes to the rescue of Kenton;
a favorite hero of frontier story;
loses his brother by the Indians;
lieut.-colonel under Todd;
marches to relieve Bryan's Station;
opposed to the attack at Blue Licks;
commands the left wing at battle of Blue Licks;
his successful advance;
surrounded and routed;
last to leave the field;
his son Isaac slain;
Boon, Squire, joins his brother Daniel in Kentucky, I;
Boonsborough, founding of, saves Kentucky, I;
receives Henderson and his party;
completion of the fort;
land office opens at;
store opened by the Transylvania company;
meeting of the Transylvanian Legislature;
attacked by Indians, II;
again besieged;
retreat of the Indians;
school opened at;
Boon's Station, not Boonsborough, II;
Borderers, the, misdeeds of, I;
contempt for Pennsylvanian government;
Border Wars, the, inevitable, I;
begun by the Indians;
struggle for the land, one great cause of;
Bowman, John, advances against Vincennes, II;
attacks Chillicothe;
defeated by the Indians
Brady, Capt. Samuel, a noted Indian fighter, II;
captured and bound to the stake;
whips the Indians;
Brant, Joseph, surprises Loughry, II;
defeats Squire Boon and Floyd
British, the,
incite the southern Indians to war against the Americans, I;
hatred of, inherited by the sons and grandsons of the backwoodsmen;
their intrigues with the Indians;
scalp-buying, II;
begun a war of extermination;
their complicity in the Indian murders;
in the Southern States;
defeated at King's Mountain;
Brodhead, Col., in command at Fort Pitt, II;
burns some Iroquois towns;
prevents the militia from attacking the Moravians;
Bryan's Station, attack on, II;
danger of procuring water;
the settlers rally to the relief of
Buford, Captain, routed by Tarleton, II
Butler, his party attacked by Cherokees, I
Cahokia, converted to the American cause, II;
council at
Caldwell, Capt., a good commander of irregular troops, II;
commands Canadian volunteers;
defeats Crawford at Sandusky;
invades Kentucky;
letter from, Appendix;
California, the winning of, I;
Calk, William, his journal of Henderson's journey, II;
Callahan, Edward, a privileged character, II;
Cameron, the British agent in the Cherokee country, I;
attempt to capture him;
leads his tories and the Cherokees against South Carolina;
organizes expeditions against the frontier, II;
Campbell, Arthur, his character, II;
misses the battle of King's Mountain;
his jealousy;
Campbell, William, his appearance and character, II;
anecdotes of;
raises troops to oppose Cornwallis;
made commander-in-chief;
encourages his men on the eve of battle;
begins the assault at King's Mountain;
rallies his troops;
manifesto to his troops;
death of
Canada, extension westward of the English race in, I;
Canadian archives, II, Appendix;
Carolinas, the, attacked by Indians and tories, I;
Carpenter, a Cherokee chief, I;
signs the treaty of the Sycamore Shoals;
Carter's Valley, ravaged by the Indians, I;
Castleman, his escape from death, I;
Charleston captured by the British, II;
Cherokees, the, in the barbarous rather than savage state, I;
divided into the Otari and the Erati;
their numbers;
and location;
not successful fighters;
their dwellings;
games and amusements;
renegade bands of;
their great war trail;
treaty with Virginia;
negotiations opened with;
the Otaris assemble at the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga;
irritated at the conduct of the frontiersmen;
take up the tomahawk at the bidding of the British;
begin the war on the frontier;
numbers of their warriors;
suddenness of their attack;
fall upon the Watauga settlers;
ravage Carter's Valley;
defeated by the whites at the battle of the Island Flats;
the Watauga fort besieged;
retreat from the Watauga;
ravage the Georgian and Carolinian frontiers;
come down the Catawba;
their furious attacks on South Carolina;
their country invaded;
towns destroyed;
again attacked;
defeat of the Indians;
destruction of the Cherokee settlements;
the warriors gather at the Big Island of the French Broad;
flight of the Indians;
sue for peace;
destruction of Tuskega;
peace declared;
their severe chastisement;
defeated by Sevier, II;
their country overrun;
the country of the Erati ravaged by Sevier;
sue for peace;
attack Nashborough;
Chicago, attempted settlement of, II
Chickamaugas, the, a tribe of freebooters, I;
their fastnesses;
refuse to make peace;
their towns burned;
Chickasaws, the, belonged to the Appalachian Confederacy, I;
the smallest of the Southern nations;
their numbers;
their unity;
their wars and successes;
definite peace concluded with, II;
Chillicothe, attacked by Boon, II;
Chippewas, the, location of, I;
Choctaws, the, an Appalachian tribe, I;
the rudest of the confederacy;
their location;
Christian, Col. William, commands the Fincastle men, I;
refused permission to march with Lewis;
reaches the Great Kanawha after the battle;
gathers the Virginia troops at the Great Island of the Holston;
marches against the Cherokees;
reply to the Cherokees;
destroys the Indian towns;
agrees to terms of peace;
marches homeward;
Chronicle, killed at King's Mountain, II;
Civil war on the border, I;
Clark, George Rogers;
compared to Allen and Marion, I;
relieves a party of hunters in Kentucky;
with Cresap at the outbreak of Lord Dunmore's war;
his character;
accompanies Lord Dunmore;
arrives at Harrodstown;
sent to Virginia as a delegate;
presents petition to Governor and Council;
asks for gunpowder;
transports it in safety to Kentucky;
procures the erection of Kentucky County;
living at Harrodstown, II;
shares in the defence of Kentucky;
skirmishes with the Indians;
matures his plans for the Illinois campaign;
goes to Virginia to raise troops;
incidents of travel;
lays his plans before Patrick Henry;
authorized to raise troops;
organizes the expedition;
difficulty in raising men;
starts down the Ohio;
lands at the mouth of the Kentucky;
reaches the Falls of the Ohio;
joined by Kenton and the Kentuckians;
meets a party of hunters;
the march to Kaskaskia;
surprises the town;
a dramatic picture;
his diplomacy;
his winning stroke;
sends troops to Cahokia;
his difficulties;
prepares for defence;
establishes friendly relations with the Spanish authorities;
dealings with the Indians;
apprehensive of treachery;
puts the Indians in irons;
his seeming carelessness;
offers peace or war to the Indians;
makes peace with the Indians;
his influence over them;
prepares to resist Hamilton;
narrow escape from the Indians;
receives news of Vincennes;
determines to strike the first blow;
equips the first gunboat on the Western waters;
marches against Vincennes;
reaches the drowned lands of the Wabash;
hardships and sufferings of his troops;
encourages his troops;
difficulties of approach to Vincennes;
crosses the Horse Shoe Plain;
exhaustion of the troops;
surprises Vincennes;
attacks the fort;
summons the fort to surrender;
destroys a scouting party;
surrender of the fort;
reproaches Hamilton;
importance of the result of the expedition;
sends Helm to intercept a convoy;
disposes of his prisoners;
receives reinforcements;
pacifies the country;
builds a fort on the Mississippi;
moves to the Falls of the Ohio;
made a brigadier-general;
greatness of his deeds;
hears of Bird's inroads;
his campaign against Piqua;
musters his troops at the mouth of the Licking;
starts up the Ohio;
burns Chillicothe;
surprises the Indians at Piqua;
disperses the Indians;
destroys the town;
disbands his army;
effects of the victory;
his plan to attack Detroit;
why his efforts were baffled;
commandant of State troops;
roused by the battle of the Blue Licks;
his counter-stroke;
destroys the Miami towns;
undertakes to supply the settlements with meat;
Clay MSS., II, Appendix;
Cleavland, Col. Benjamin, commands North Carolina militia, II;
commands left wing at King's Mountain;
Clinch River, settlers of, at war with Shawnees, I;
a feeder of the Tennessee River;
Conolly, Capt. John, his hostilities against Pennsylvania, I;
his rashness;
his open letter;
appalled by the storm he had raisen;
holds councils with Delawares and Iroquois;
defied by the Shawnees;
Cornstalk, a Shawnee chief, I;
first heard of in Pontiac's war;
opposed to the war with the whites;
his strategy;
advances to attack Lewis;
crossing the Ohio;
fails to surprise Lewis' army;
displays the only generalship at the battle of the Great Kanawha;
bids defiance to his foes;
sues for peace;
his eloquence;
his grand death
Cornwallis, Lord, in command at the South, II;
marches through the up-country;
retreats from North Carolina;
Crab Orchard, regarded with affection by travellers, I;
Crawford, Col. William, a fairly good officer, II;
marches against Sandusky;
a valued friend of Washington
Creeks, the, made up of many bands, I;
strongest of the Appalachian tribes;
their numbers;
semi-civilization of;
their cattle and slaves;
mode of life;
dress and adornments;
red and white towns of;
feasts and dances;
looseness of the Creek Confederacy;
the Chief McGillivray;
their hostility to the whites;
scalps, their ideal of glory;
observe a kind of nominal neutrality;
incited by the British to war;
their reply to the Cherokees;
ravage the Georgia frontier;
Creoles, the, of Kaskaskia, II;


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