The Project Gutenberg eBook of Indian Biography; Vol. 2 (of 2)

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Title: Indian Biography; Vol. 2 (of 2)

Author: B. B. Thatcher

Release date: January 29, 2017 [eBook #54072]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Roger Burch with scans from the Internet Archive.



{Transcriber's Note: Quotation marks have been standardized to modern usage. Footnotes have been placed to immediately follow the paragraphs referencing them. Transcriber's notes are in curly braces; square brackets and parentheses indicate original content.}

















Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1831, by J. & J. Harper, in the office of the Clerk of the Southern District of New York.


CHAP. I.—Notices of Indians who submitted to Massachusetts, continued—The Squaw-Sachem of Medford—Her history, family, &c.—Sagamore John and Sagamore James—Their intercourse with the English—Anecdotes of them—Complaints, services, death and character—Chickatabot, Sachem of Neponset—His war with the Squaw-Sachem—Visits Boston several times—Appears in court against Plastowe—Anecdotes of his Government—Indian policy of Massachusetts compared with that of Plymouth—Anecdotes of Chickatabot—His death.

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CHAP. II.—Farther account of Master Weston's settlement, and the movements of the Indians against him—Aspinet, the Nauset, supposed to be engaged in that affair—His tribe and power—Provocations from the English—Magnanimous revenge of the Sachem—His hospitality and kindness—Friendly intercourse with Plymouth—Is visited by Governor Bradford—By Captain Standish—Is suspected of hostility by Plymouth, and pursued by Standish—His death—Career and character of Itanough, the "Courteous Sachem of Cummaquid"—Is suspected and pursued—His death.


CHAP. III.—Summary account of the Five Nations—Their early history—Government—Conquests—Population—Territory—Intercourse with the European Colonies—Their war with the Adirondacks—Adventures of Piskaret—Their negotiations with the French, in 1684—Anecdotes of the Onondaga Chief, Garangula—His speech at the Council, and effects of it—Remarks on his character—History of the Five Nations continued to the time of Adario—His exploits—Their object and results—War between the Confederates and the French—Adventures of Black-Kettle.


CHAP. IV.Five Nations continued—Remarks on their oratory—Circumstances favorable to it—Account of a council of the Confederates at Onondaga, in 1690—Anecdotes of various persons who attended it—Speeches of Sadekanatie and other orators—Adarhahta—The history and character of Decanesora—His speeches at the Albany council of 1694—Style of his eloquence—His personal and political character—Other speeches and negotiations—Anecdotes of Sadekanatie.


CHAP. V.—Account of the Ottawas—Their first Chief-Sachem known to the English, Pontiac—His interview with Major Rogers—Protects that officer and his troops—Saves Detroit from an army of Indians—Hostility of the northern tribes to the English, after the conquest of Canada—Adventures of Henry—Anecdotes of Minavavana—Supposed feelings of Pontiac towards the English—His great project of combination.


CHAP. VI.Pontiac's plan of campaign—He commences active preparations—Council of the Ottawas—Grand Council of the Northern tribes—Dream of the Delaware—Maxims promulgated by Pontiac—Estimate of the number and force or his allies—Commencement of the war—Surprisal of nine English posts—mode of surprisal—Artifice adopted at Michilimackinac, and result—Reduction of Detroit undertaken by Pontiac in person—His interview with the Commandant—His plan discovered, and the surprise prevented—Letter from Detroit.


CHAP. VII.—Siege of Detroit maintained by Pontiac—The Commandant meditates a retreat—The French propose a conference With Pontiac, which takes place—The latter demands the surrender of the fort, which the Commandant refuses—Vigorous renewal of hostilities—Advantages gained by the Indian army—arrival of succor to the English—Battle of Bloody Bridge—Pontiac at length raises the siege—Causes of it—The Indians make peace—His subsequent career until his death—Anecdotes illustrating his influence, energy, magnanimity, integrity and genius—His authority as chieftain—His talents as an orator—His traditionary fame.


CHAP. VIII.—Account of the Delawares—Their ancient great men, including Tamenend—History during the Revolutionary War—Two Parties among them—White-Eyes, leader of one, and Captain Pipe, of the other—Manœuvres, speeches, plots and counter-plots of these men, their parties, and foreigners connected with both—Anecdotes—Death of White-Eyes in 1780—Tribute of respect paid to his memory.


CHAP. IX.—Observations on the character of White-Eyes—Pipe's comment on his death—The latter gains and sustains an ascendancy in the Delaware nation—Glickhican, Netawatwees and Wingemund—Subsequent career of Pipe—Joins the British and fights against the Americans—Grand Indian council at Detroit—Pipe's spirited speech on that occasion—Makes charges against the Missionaries, but fails to prove them—Remarks on his habits, principles and talents.


CHAP. X.—State of several Southern tribes during the last century—The English send deputies to the Cherokees, in 1756—Their lives threatened, and saved by Attakullakulla—Account of that Chieftain and his principles—The party opposed to him headed by Occonostota—War with the Colonies in 1750 and two years following—Anecdotes of both these Chiefs—Saloush, Fifton, and others—Several battles—Peace concluded—Attakullakulla visits Charleston—His subsequent career, and that of Occonostota—Remarks on their character.


CHAP. XI.—The Cayuga Chief, Logan—Some account of his father, Shikellimus—Residence of Logan—His friendship for the whites interrupted by their provocations—His family misfortunes—The Shawanee Silver-Heels—Logan joins in a war of revenge against the "Long-Knives"—Battle of the Kenhawa—Treaty of Peace with Governor Dunmore—Logan's celebrated Speech—His history completed—Buckongahelas, the Delaware head War-Chief—His intercourse with the Christian Indians—Part which he takes in the Revolution—Defeated by Wayne, in 1794—Anecdotes of him—Death and character.


CHAP. XII.—Some account of the Shawanees, the tribe of Tecumseh—Anecdotes illustrative of their character—Early history and lineage of Tecumseh—His first adventures as a warrior—His habits and principles—His brothers Kumshaka and Elskwatawa—The first open movements of the latter, in 1806—He assumes the character of Prophet—His doctrines—His mode of operation upon his countrymen—Other Indian pretenders—Anecdote of a Shawanee Chief, at Fort Wayne—Tanner's account of the ministry of the Elskwatawa's Agents—Concert traced between them—Witchcraft-superstition—Anecdotes of Teteboxti, The Crane, Leather-Lips, and others.


CHAP. XIII.—History of Tecumseh and the Prophet continued—The latter encamps at Tippecanoe—Sends a message to Governor Harrison—Visits him at Vincennes—Increase of his forces—Attention of the General Government aroused—Tecumseh visits the Governor—His speech, and journey southward—Battle of Tippecanoe, November, 1811—Consequences of it—Indian Council at Mississiniway—Council at Malden—Speeches and Anecdotes of The Crane, Walk-in-the-Water, Round-Head, and other Chiefs—Sequel of the history of the two brothers—Final exertions of Tecumseh—His death—Death of the Prophet.


CHAP. XIV.—Remarks on the character of Tecumseh and the Prophet—Their facilities for co-operation—Difficulties the latter had to overcome—His perseverance and ingenuity—Means by which he protected his person—Anecdotes of the Battle of Tippecanoe—Frankness of Tecumseh in disclosing his schemes—Causes of his hostility to the Americans—Trespasses of the whites, and other abuses—Object of the belligerent combination—Anecdotes of Tecumseh's first visit to Vincennes, in 1810—His dignity, independence and courage—His ideas of the British policy—His speech to General Proctor, and remarks on his oratory—His humanity—His genius.


CHAP. XV.Michikinaqwa, or The Little-Turtle—Early history—Engages in a combination of the Indians against the United States—Blue-Jacket—The Turtle defeats two detachments of American troops—Some account of the North-Western war from 1791 to 1795—The Turtle defeated by General Wayne—He becomes unpopular after the peace—Some of the charges against him examined—Anecdotes of his intercourse with distinguished Americans—His letter to General Harrison—His death in 1819—His character.


CHAP. XVI.—The Seneca Chief, Red-Jacket—Circumstances under which he succeeded Corn-Planter in his influence—Anecdotes of the latter—Red-Jacket's earliest oratorical triumph—His speech at the Treaty of Canandaigua—Account of Farmer's-Brother, and Brandt—Red-Jacket's political and religious principles—Speech to Mr. Alexander, in 1811—Speech to Mr. Richardson—Remarks on the causes of his heathenism in the conduct of the whites—His military career—Speech in favor of declaring war against the British, in 1812—Seneca Manifesto—Red-Jacket's interview with Washington—His interview with Lafayette—His Memorial to the New-York Legislature—Speech to a Missionary in 1825—His deposition and restoration in 1827—Visits to the Atlantic cities—Death and funeral obsequies—Anecdotes.



No. I. Genealogy of Uncas. 394
No. II. General Wayne's Correspondence with Major Campbell. 345
No. III. Corn-Planter's letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania. 309
No. IV. Speech of the same at Warren Court-House. 312
No. V. Obituary Notice of Brandt. 314
No. VI. Little-Farmer's letter to the Hon. W. Eustis. 314
No. VII. Crawford's letter to the Governor of Canada. 316



Notices of Indians who submitted to Massachusetts, continued—The Squaw-Sachem of Medford—Her history, family, &c.—Her sons, Sagamore John and Sagamore James—Their intercourse with the English—Anecdotes of them—Complaints, services, death and character—Chickatabot, Sachem of Neponset—His war with the Squaw-Sachem—Visits Boston several times—Appears in court against Plastowe—Anecdotes of his Government—Indian policy of Massachusetts compared with that of Plymouth—Anecdotes of Chickatabot—His death.

Having heretofore had occasion frequently to introduce the names of Indians who subjected themselves, more or less, to the Government of Massachusetts, we propose in this chapter to notice a few of the most prominent of that class, who have not yet been mentioned. [FN]

[FN] See a sketch of Cutchamequin, of Braintee in Chapter XI, Vol. I.

Some years previous to the arrival of the English, the various Massachusetts tribes, properly so called, are believed to have been confederated, like the Pokanokets and others, under the government of one great Sachem, whose name was Nanepashemet, or the New-Moon. His usual residence was in Medford, near Mystic Pond. He was killed in 1619,—by what enemy is unknown. Two years afterwards, a Plymouth party visited this section; and they then discovered the remains of one of Nanepashemet's forts. It was built in a valley. There was a trench about it, breast-high, with a periphery of palisades reaching up more than thirty feet. It was accessible only in one direction, by a narrow bridge. The Sachem's grave had been made under the frame of a house within the enclosure, which was still standing; and another, upon a neighboring hill, marked the spot where he fell in battle. His dwelling-house had been built on a large scaffold, six feet high, also near the summit of a hill. [FN] It is evident that Nanepashemet was a chieftain of very considerable state and power.

[FN] Prince.

His successor, to a certain extent, was his widow, well known in history as the Squaw-Sachem, and otherwise called the Massachusetts Queen. It is probably from the latter circumstance, in part, that some modern historians have described her as inheriting the power of her husband; but this is believed to be incorrect. We find no evidence of it among the old writers; though it appears, on the other hand, that some of the other Massachusetts tribes were at war with hers, when the English first made her acquaintance. It seems highly probable, that these were the enemy—rebels, we should perhaps say—whom Nanepashemet fell in attempting to subdue. His failure and death were sufficient, without the aid of that terrible pestilence which reduced the number of the Massachusetts warriors from three thousand to three hundred, to prevent any attempts on the part of his widow, for recovering or continuing his own ancient dominion.

Still, the Squaw-Sachem governed at least the remnants of one tribe. She also laid claim to territory in various places, and among the rest to what is now Concord, a grant of which place she joined with two or three other Indians in conveying to the original settlers, in 1635. Previous to this date, she had taken a second husband, Wappacowet, the chief priest of her tribe, he being by custom entitled to the hand of his Sachem's widow. The land was paid for in wampum, hatchets, hoes, knives, cotton cloth, and chintz; beside which, Wappacowet, who figured only as an evidence in the case, received a gratuity of a suit of cotton cloth, a hat, a white linen band, shoes, stockings, and a great coat. [FN]

[FN] Depositions on Concord Records.

Several years after the sale of Concord, the Squaw-Sachem visited Boston, for the purpose of subjecting herself to the Massachusetts Government. That object she effected. Whether the priest was included in the submission, or what was the sequel of his history, or even hers, does, not appear.

The Squaw-Sachem, like her husband, the New Moon, has maintained her principal dignity in our early annals, as the parent of Wonohaquaham and Montowampate, better known as Sagamore John and Sagamore James. [FN] The former lived, before the English came, at the old residence of his father, in Medford; subsequently, at Winnesimet, anciently called Rumney Marsh, and situated partly in Chelsea, and partly in Saugus. James, who was Sachem of the Saugus Indians, and had jurisdiction of Lynn and Marble-head, resided on Sagamore hill, near the eastern end of Lynn beach.

[FN] There has been a controversy about the meaning of this title, and the difference between Sagamore, (or Sagamo) and Sachem. We agree with Mr. Lewis (from whose accurate history of Lynn we have borrowed above,) in considering them different pronunciations of the same word.

John was one of the best, as well as earliest friends the settlers of Boston ever had among the natives; and by their descendants his memory should be cherished for that, if for no other reason. On all occasions, he was courteous, kind and frank. Soon after their coming, he engaged with the governor to make compensation for damages done by his subjects, and to fence in his territories, both which he did. During the same year, 1630, he seasonably gave warning to the Charlestown people, of a plot formed against them among some of the neighboring Indians,—an act on the mention of which an old writer pays him the deserved compliment of having "always loved the English."

His attachment was justified by the conduct of his new ally and friends, for though he often brought complaints before the Massachusetts authorities, it was as rarely without effect as it was without cause.

At one time, two of his wigwams were carelessly set on fire by some English fowlers, and destroyed. The chief offender was a servant of Sir Richard Saltonstall, and the Court ordered him to give satisfaction, which he did, being mulcted in seven yards of cloth, valued at fifty shillings sterling. The act of firing one of the buildings, was not very easily proved; but, say the Court, "lest he should think us not sedulous enough to find it out, and so should depart discontentedly from us, we gave both him and his subject satisfaction for them both."

So when he and his brother James, a few weeks afterwards, applied to the Governor for an order, to procure the return of twenty beaver-skins which had been obtained unfairly from them by an Englishman, "the governor entertained them kindly, and gave them his letter, &c." [FN] John must have been permitted to manage his relations with other sachems also, as he pleased; for when Chickatabot fought for Canonicus in 1632, as we shall soon see, he also joined him at the head of thirty men, and the fact is recorded not only without censure, but without comment.

[FN] New-England Chronology, 1631.

James was a more troublesome personage, and was more than once in difficulty with both Indians and English. A party of that formidable eastern people, the Tarratines, attacked him in 1631, slew seven of his men, wounded both him and his brother John, and carried off his wife captive. Hubbard observes, that he had treacherously killed some of the Tarratines before this, "and was therefore the less pitied of the English that were informed thereof:" but the latter nevertheless procured the redemption of his wife. The following extract from Mr. Winthrop's Journal, throws some light, both on the authority which he exercised upon his own subjects, and the liberties he took with the English. The Government, it must be observed, had made a prudent regulation, forbidding the sale of arms to the natives.

"September 4th, 1632.

"One Hopkins of Watertown was convict for selling a piece and pistol, with powder and shot, to James Sagamore, for which he had sentence to be whipped and branded in the cheek."—It was discovered by an Indian, one of James's men, upon promise of concealing him, or otherwise he was sure to be killed. It was probably for some offence of this description that James was once forbidden to enter any English plantation under penalty of ten beaver-skins; a much better dispensation of justice, clearly, than to have sent an armed force, as the good people of Plymouth had been in the habit of doing on such occasions, to punish him in person. [FN]

[FN] Winthrop.

The following is an item in the account of Treasurer Pyncheon, stated to the General Court for 1632, under the head of Payments out of the Common Treasury.

"Paid John Sagamore's brother, the 9th Oct. 1632 for killing a wolf, one coat at £0. 12s. 0."

This account of James indicates that he was much less known among the English than his brother; and as it appears in company of several charges like these,—

"To Jack Straw, one coat, by a note from the Governor, 12s.
To Wamascus' Son, two wolves, two coats, £1. 4s."

It may be fairly inferred that the Sagamore hesitated not to put his dignity, so far as he was known, on a level, in the eyes of the English, with the lowest of his countrymen.

John and James died about the same time, in 1633, of a mortal epidemic then prevalent among the Massachusetts Indians. Hubbard says, that both promised, if they recovered from their sickness, to live with the English and serve their God. The reason why John, at least, had not already taken such a course, may be gathered from some expressions in that curious tract, New England's First Fruits, which we cite the more willingly because it places the character of John in its true light.

"Sagamore John," says the learned author, "Prince of Massaquesetts, was from our very first landing, more courteous, ingenious, and to the English more loving than others of them; he desired to learne and speake our language, and loved to imitate us in our behaviour and apparell, and began to hearken after our God and his ways. . . . And did resolve and promise to leave the Indians and come live with us; but yet, kept down by feare of the scoffin of the Indians, had not power to make good his purpose, &c."

The same writer thus refers to the poor Sagamore's last moments. Being struck with death, we are told, he began fearfully to reproach himself that he had not lived with the English, and known their God. "But now," he added, "I must die. The God of the English is much angry with me, and will destroy me. Ah! I was afraid of the scoffs of these wicked Indians. But my child shall live with the English, to know their God, when I am dead. I'll give him to Mr. Wilson—he much good man, and much love me." Mr. Wilson, (clergyman at Boston,) was accordingly sent for, and when he attended, as he did promptly, the Sagamore "committed his only child to his care, and so died."—In confirmation of this honorable testimony, the author of the Wonder Working Providence may be cited. He observes, that the English clergymen were much moved to see the Indians depart this life without the knowledge of God in Christ, "and therefore were very frequent among them, for all the Noysomness of their Disease, entering their Wigwams, and exhorting them in the name of the Lord." John is said to have given some good hopes, as being always very courteous to them. Then follows the request to Mr. Wilson: "Quoth hee, 'by and by mee Mattamoy, [dead]—may bee my sons live—you take them to teach much to know God.'" [FN]

[FN] Johnson speaks as if there were several sons, and therein is clearly incorrect. Mr. Cotton is much better authority in this case.

Mr. Cotton, himself a preacher also at Boston, at the same period, and probably an eye-witness, furnishes a more particular and interesting account of this scene, with which we shall conclude our notice.

"At our first coming hither John Sagamore was the chiefest Sachim in these parts. He falling sick, our Pastor Mr. Wilson hearing of it (and being of some acquaintance with him) went to visit him, taking one of the deacons of our Church with him, and withall, a little Mithridate and strong water. When he came to his lodging, (which they call a Wigwam) hearing a noyse within, hee looked over the mat of the door, to discerne what it meant, and saw many Indians gathered together, and some Powwaws amongst them, who are their Priests, Physitians, and Witches. They by course spake earnestly to the sick Sagamore, and to his disease, (in a way of charming of it and him) and one to another in a kind of Antiphonies. When they had done, all kept silence, our Pastour went in with the Deacon, and found the man farre spent, his eyes set in his bead, his speech leaving him, his mother (old Squaw-Sachim) sitting weeping at his bed's head. Well (saith our Pastour) our God save Sagamore John, Powwaw Cram (that is, kill) Sagamore John; and thereupon hee fell to prayer with his Deacon, and after prayer forced into the sick man's mouth with a spoon, a little Mithridate dissolved in the strong water; soon after the Sagamore looked up, and three dayes after went abroad on hunting. This providence so farre prevailed with the Sagamore, that he promised to look after the English man's God, to heare their sermons, to weare English apparell, &c. But his neighbor Indians, Sagamores, and Powwaws, hearing of this, threatened to Cram him (that is, to kill him) if he did so degenerate from his Country Gods, and Religion, he thereupon fell off, and took up his Indian course of life again. Whatsoever facility may seeme to offer itself of the conversion of the Indians, it is not so easie a matter for them to hold out, no not in a semblance of profession of the true Religion. Afterwards God struck John Sagamore againe, (and as I remember with the Small Pox) but then when they desired like succour from our Pastour as before, he told them now the Lord was angry with Sagamore John, and it was doubtful hee would not so easily be intreated. The Sagamore blamed himself and justified God, and confessed, he should not have been discouraged by their threats from seeking our God: for those Sagamores and Powwaws who did most terrifie him, hee had seene God sweeping them away by death, before himself, in a short time after. And therefore, when hee saw hee must die (for he died of that sickness) he left his sonne to the education of our Pastour, that he might keep closer to the English, and to their God, than himself had done. But his sonne also died of the same disease soon after." [FN]

[FN] The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared: London, 1648.

Another Sachem carried off by the pestilence was Chickatabot, otherwise called Chickataubut and Chickatalbott; and whose name, under the form of Chickatabak, is appended with those of eight other sachems, to the deed of submission to King James, dated 1622, which has already been mentioned in the life of Massasoit. Some writers call him the Chief Sachem of the Massachusetts. But so Sagamore John, and his mother, if not some others, were vaguely entitled; nor can any thing more be inferred from the expressions, we conceive, than that he was one of the principal chiefs. That conclusion might be drawn also from the fact, that when the English first knew him (in 1621,) he was at war with the Squaw-Sachem of Medford. No doubt he had been subject to her husband, and probably she was now struggling to continue and enforce the dominion. [FN]

[FN] Since writing the above, we have availed ourselves of Mr. Shattuck's researches. He believes that Chickatabot was subject to Massasoit. One of his reasons is the improbability of his contending against his superior Sachem; and another, the circumstance that all his recorded conveyances of land are south of Charles River, which Mr. S. considers the southern boundary of the Massachusetts. With deference to an accurate writer, we shall leave the question without an argument—only reminding the reader that Chickatabot fought for Canonicus in 1632, that being about the time when the latter made sundry attacks on Massasoit—and also that the case of Sassacus and Uncas, (not to refer to Powhatan's history,) is a precedent exactly in point.

The same causes which enabled Chickatabot and other sagamores of his section of the country, to maintain their independence of each other, probably induced them to submit so readily to whatever authority appeared able and willing to protect them. King James, Massachusetts and Plymouth, were the same to him, in this particular, with Massasoit and Canonicus; and he submitted with an equal grace to all or either, as the case might require. No doubt it was the influence of the Pokanoket Sachem that induced him to visit Plymouth for the purpose of Subscribing the submission—which he probably neither knew nor cared any thing about, except in relation to the promised consequences of the act of signing. With the same accommodating disposition, or rather from the same necessity, he turned out with all his men, in 1632—to fight against the same Massasoit, we suppose—the Narragansett Chief, Canonicus, having "sent for him" to that end. [FN] This movement, together with the absence of all comment upon it in history, illustrates sufficiently the sense which, notwithstanding the submissions alluded to, both himself and his English neighbors still entertained of his independence.

[FN] Winthrop.

The Sachem took no advantage of the freedom thus silently allowed him. Nor does the liberality, and even courtesy, with which he was on all other occasions treated by the Massachusetts Government, appear to have had any other than the happiest effect upon him. On the contrary, he judged them as they judged him; and being seldom if ever suspected, was rarely exposed to suspicion by his conduct He esteemed his own dignity at least enough to appreciate their politeness.

Residing near Neponset river, in Dorchester, he made himself familiar with the settlers of Boston very soon after their arrival, and that in a manner which discredits neither of the parties. As early as March, 1631, (the settlement having commenced in the preceding September,) he went into Boston, attended by quite a company of men and women of his tribe, and carrying with him a hogshead of Indian corn as a present for the Governor. When the latter had provided a dinner for his visitors, with the much esteemed accompaniment of "tobacco and beer," the Sachem sent his escort all home, with the exception of one sanop and one squaw, although it rained, and the Governor rather urged that they might be permitted to stay. He, and the other two who remained, tarried until afternoon of the next day but one. As he had before this time accustomed himself to wear English clothes, we are informed that "the Governor set him at his own table, where he behaved himself as soberly as an Englishman." His host gave him at parting, "cheese and pease, and a mug and some other things;" [FN] and no doubt he returned to Neponset exceedingly gratified with the well-timed munificence of his new friend.

[FN] Winthrop.

Accordingly, he made his appearance again within a month, on which occasion he requested Mr. Winthrop to negotiate with some tailor, on his behalf for a suit of English clothes. The Governor civilly gave him to understand, that English Sagamores were not accustomed to truck in this way—but he called his own tailor, and directed him to make the proposed suit. Chickatabot presented his host with two large skins of coat-beaver, so called, paid the proper honours to a dinner prepared for him and his attendants, and took his leave, promising to return for his clothes in three days. This was the 13th of April. On the 15th he came again, and the Governor then arrayed him in the new suit, which had been promptly made ready for his use, and also entertained him at dinner. If the Sachem had behaved soberly on his first visit, he deserves still higher praise for the improvement which is evident in his manners since that time. He would not eat now—savage as he was—at the hospitable board of his Christian host, until the latter had craved the customary blessing which attended his own meals; and, "after meat, he desired him to do the like, and so departed."

Nor did Chickatabot receive only compliments and new clothes from his Boston ally. Substantial justice was rendered to him and his subjects, whenever emergency required; and an Englishman was punished, at least as promptly and severely for a trespass upon him or them, as an Indian would have been expected to be punished for the same offence against the whites. To illustrate by an instance,—in the latter part of 1631, Chickatabot appeared in Court at Boston, and complained of one Josias Plastowe, for stealing a quantity of his corn. Evidence of the charge having been produced, sufficient to convict the offender, the Court gave judgment as follows:

"It is ordered, that Josias Plastowe shall, for stealing four baskets of corn from the Indians, return them eight baskets again, be fined five pounds, and hereafter be called by the name of Josias, and not Mr. as formerly as he used to be; and that William Buckland and Thomas Andrew, [servants] shall be whipped for being accessary to the same offence."

Chickatabot knew how to value this honorable policy of the Government, and was grateful for it. But even earlier than the date of the transaction last referred to, he had himself set the example which that Government, so far as regarded him, did but follow. The following single paragraph, taken from the same authority which records the sentence of Plastowe, is among the evidence to this effect:

"At a Court, John Sagamore and Chickatabot, being told at last Court of some injuries that their men did to our cattle, and giving consent to make satisfaction, &c. now one of their men was complained of for shooting a pig, &c. for which Chickatabot was ordered to pay a small skin of beaver, which he presently paid." So in August of the next year, two of the Sachem's men having been proved guilty of assaulting some of the settlers at Dorchester in their houses, were detained in the bilboes, until Chickatabot could be notified of the fact, and requested to beat them, "which he did." [FN]

[FN] "The most usuall custome amongst them," says Roger Williams, of the Indians, "is for the Sachim either to beate, or whip, or put to death with his owne hand, to which the common sort most quietly submit." Key to the Ind. Languages.

It is obvious to remark, how much more satisfactory this course must have been to him, than the more violent mode of doing themselves justice, would have been, which was pursued by many English authorities on most occasions of a similar description. It was dealing with him, as they wished to be dealt with; which policy, whether under the circumstances required by strict justice or not, was unquestionably best calculated to effect the end proposed in each particular case, as well as to secure the general affection and respect of the Indians. It may be remarked here, without impropriety, that the conduct of the Massachusetts Government towards Chickatabot is no more than a just specimen of the course they usually pursued towards his countrymen. The exceptions are few and far between.

It is specially worthy of notice, that Chickatabot was never called to account for the part which he took in the combination of the Indians against Master Weston's infamous settlement at Weymouth, of which we shall presently have occasion to make further mention. And yet, there was not only some reason for suspecting him, on account of his vicinity to the residence of the chief ringleaders; but it appears clearly, that he was known to be engaged, and that to such an extent, as to be considered by some the instigator and manager of the whole business. Witness, for example, the following extract from a letter written by Governor Dudley to the Countess of Lincoln, in England, and bearing date at Boston, March 12th, 1630:

"There was about the same time, one Mr. Weston, an English merchant, who sent divers men to plant and trade who sate down by the river of Wesaguscus; but these coming not for so good ends as those of Plymouth, sped not so well; for the most of them dying and languishing away, they who survived were rescued by those of Plymouth out of the hands of Chickatalbott, and his Indians, who oppressed those weak English, and intended to have destroyed them," [FN] &c. The writer then goes on to mention a settlement soon after attempted near the same place by one Wollaston, and a company of some thirty men, whose history may be profitably noticed very briefly, for the purpose of comparing the Plymouth with the Massachusetts policy.

[FN] Mass. His. Coll.

One of the Wollaston crew, mentioned by Prince, in 1625, as having been a kind of pettifogger in England, was Thomas Morton. This person became a notable disturber of the peace; cheating the Indians in trade, and spending the profits with his companions in rioting; drinking, as the annalist just cited specifies, "ten pound worth of wine and spirits in the morning," besides setting up a may-pole for the Indian women to drink and dance about, "with worser practices."

But although Thomas changed the name of Wollaston to Merry Mount, [FN] his jollity was not to last forever. Mr. Endecott, of the Massachusetts Company, who landed at Salem in the summer of 1628, visited Master Morton within two months from his arrival, and changing Merry Mount to Mount Dagon, took active measures for correcting that riotous settlement. These were not entirely successful, and even when Morton was at length arrested and sent to England for punishment, he was not only liberated, but sent back again: "upon which," as Prince writes, "he goes to his old nest at Merry Mount." This was in 1629. In the summer of the next year, the Massachusetts colonists came over with Winthrop and Dudley; and as early as September of that season, we find the following order taken upon Master Morton's case by the Court of Assistants:—

[FN] Prince's Annals, 1625.

"Ordered, that Master Thomas Morton of Mount Wollaston shall presently be set in the bilbows, and after sent prisoner to England by the ship called the Gift; that all his goods be seized to defray the charge of his transportation, payments of his debts, and to give satisfaction to the Indians for a canoe he took unjustly from them; and that his house be burnt down to the ground in sight of the Indians, for their satisfaction for many wrongs he has done them."

If this summary course had been taken with Weston and his banditti, there might have been, as we shall see, the saving of the lives of many innocent men. If it could not be taken by the English, who were appealed to, some allowance at least might have been made for those who were finally compelled to assume the administration of justice.

In the case of Chickatabot, though not in all, such allowance was made. It also appears, that no evil consequences arose from this policy, but much the reverse. The sachem was uniformly the more ready to give all the satisfaction in his power, and no doubt partly because it was rather requested of him than required. When the Indians were said to be plotting against the English in 1632, and much apprehension was excited in consequence, "the three next Sagamores were sent for," says Winthrop, "who came presently to the Governor," and this is the last we hear of the matter. Chickatabot must have been one of them, and he explained away the causes of suspicions at once. Pursuing this course, the Massachusetts Government continued upon good terms with him until his death, which was occasioned by the prevalent epidemic, in the latter part of 1633.

His descendants, to the third generation at least, several of whom were persons of note, followed his own peaceful and friendly example. Among the Suffolk records, there is still to be seen, a quitclaim deed from his grandson Josias,—of Boston, the islands in the harbor, &c. "to the proprietated inhabitants of Boston."


Farther account of Master Weston's settlement, and the movements of the Indians against him—Aspinet, the Nauset, supposed to be engaged in that affair—His tribe and power—Provocations from the English—Magnanimous revenge of the Sachem—His hospitality and kindness—Friendly intercourse with Plymouth—Is visited by governor Bradford—By captain Standish—Is suspected of hostility by Plymouth, and pursued by Standish—His death—Career and character of Iranough, the "Courteous Sachem of Cummaquid"—Is suspected and pursued—His death.

Having necessarily, in the course of justice to some individuals heretofore noticed, animadverted on the early Indian policy of Plymouth, we shall devote this chapter to the further consideration of certain facts bearing upon that subject, and especially as connected with the case of Weston. These facts cannot be better set forth, than they are in the lives of two among the most remarkable natives who held intercourse with the Government in question.

One of them was Aspinet, the first open enemy, as the Pokanoket Sachem was the first ally, whom the Plymouth settlement had the fortune to meet with. He ruled over a number of petty tribes, settled in various parts of what is now the county of Barnstable, all of whom are said to have been ultimately subject, or at least subsidiary, to Massasoit. The principal among them were the Nausets, at Namskeket, [FN] within the present limits of Orleans, and round about the cove which separates that town from Eastham. With this tribe Aspinet had his residence.

[FN] A spot chosen with the usual sagacity of the Indians, and which at some period probably subsisted a large population with its immense stores of the sickishuog, or clam. A thousand barrels annually are said to have been taken there in modern times, merely for fish-bait. Mass. His. Coll.

Aspinet, we have observed, was the first open enemy of the colonists; and it will be admitted, that his hostility was not without cause. Of the twenty-four Indians kidnapped by Hunt, in 1614, twenty belonged to Patuxet, (or Plymouth,) and the residue were the subjects of the Nauset chieftain. When the Pilgrims came over, six years after this abominable outrage, it happened, that upon landing in the harbor of Cape Cod, before reaching Plymouth, they sent out a small party in a shallop, to discover a proper place for a settlement. These men went ashore a little north of the Great-Pond, in Eastham, and there they were suddenly attacked by the Nausets. The assailants were repulsed, but the English retreated in great haste.

Unquestionably, these men acted in obedience to the orders of Aspinet, instigated, as he must have been, by the remembrance of Hunt's perfidy. Winslow, in his Relation, gives an affecting incident which occurred subsequently at this place, going to illustrate, very forcibly, the effect of such atrocious conduct on the disposition of the natives. "One thing," he says, "was grievous unto us at this place. There was an old woman, whom we judged to be no less than a hundred years old, which came to see us, because she never saw English; yet could not behold us without breaking forth into great passion, weeping and crying excessively. We demanding the reason of it; they told us she had three sons, who, when Master Hunt was in these parts, went aboard his ship to trade with him, and he carried them captives into Spain, by which means she was deprived of the comfort of her children in her old age!" The English made what explanation they could of the affair, and gave her a few "small trifles, which somewhat appeased her."

The expedition alluded to in this case, which took place in the summer of 1621, was occasioned by the absence of an English boy, who had strayed away from the colony at Plymouth, and was understood to have fallen into Aspinet's hands. The accident gave that sachem an opportunity of gratifying his revenge, which to him might have appeared providential. But he was too intelligent a man to confound the innocent with the guilty; and too noble to avail himself of a misfortune, even for humbling the pride of an enemy. When, therefore, the English party, on this occasion, having landed on his coast, sent Squanto to inform him amicably of the purpose for which they had come,—and with instructions perhaps to appeal to his better feelings,—he threw down his enmity at once with his arms. "After sun-set,"—is the minute but touching description given of this singular scene:—"Aspinet came with a great train, and brought the boy with him, one bearing him through the water. He had not less than an hundred with him, the half whereof came to the shallop-side unarmed with him; the other stood aloof with their bows and arrows. There he delivered up the boy, behung with beads, and made peace with us, we bestowing a knife on him; and likewise on another that first entertained the boy, and brought him thither. So they departed from us." [FN] It was indeed a magnanimous revenge.

[FN] Journal of a Plantation.

After this auspicious interview, a friendly intercourse was maintained for more than a year between the English and the Nausets. Supplies of corn, beans and other provision, were obtained of them to a large amount, at a period when the colonists were reduced almost to famine. The trade was conducted on both sides with justice, and therefore with confidence. Governor Bradford, when he touched at Namskeket, was treated with the highest respect. On one occasion, his shallop being stranded, it was necessary to stack the corn which had been purchased, and to leave it, covered with mats and sedge, in the care of the Indians. The Governor and his party traveled home, fifty miles, on foot. The corn remained as he left it, from November to the following January, and when another shallop touched at Nauset, it was found in perfect safety. All this is attributed to Aspinet; "The Sachim," we are told, "used the Governor very kindly." The Indians were promised a reward for taking future good care of the corn; "which they undertook, and the Sachim promised to make good!" And again, "the Sachim sent men to seek the shallop," and then sent the shallop to Plymouth within three days.

He manifested the same good feeling and good faith at other times. When Standish landed at Nauset, in the winter of 1622-3, an Indian crawled into his shallop about dusk, as it lay in a narrow creek, and carried off some beads, scissors and other small articles. The captain soon discovered the theft, and taking some of his crew with him, he went immediately to Aspinet, made his complaint, and demanded, with some bravadoes, that either the articles or the criminal should be delivered to him forthwith. The Sachem took no offence at his plainness of speech; but not being prepared to give satisfaction on the instant, very composedly offered his visitor the hospitalities of his wigwam till the matter could be settled as it should be. These were rejected, and Standish returned to his "rendezvous" on the shore. The next morning, Aspinet made his appearance. He came marching down to the shore, with considerable pomp and circumstance, attended by an escort of his subjects, probably numerous enough to have overwhelmed the little party of Standish, and never at any former time found wanting in courage. But the object was to do justice, and not to enforce wrong. He approached the captain and saluted him by thrusting out his tongue, "that one might see the root thereof, and therewith licked his hand from the wrist to the finger's end, withal bowing the knee, to imitate the English gesture, being instructed therein formerly by Tisquantum." His men followed the example as well as they were able, but so awkwardly, with all their zeal, as to furnish no little amusement for the civilized spectators of the scene. Aspinet now gave up the stolen articles, observing that he had beaten the thief soundly, and "seeming to be very sorry for the fact, but glad to be reconciled." The interview closed with a liberal provision of excellent bread upon his part, which he had ordered his women to bake and bring in whatever quantities it was wanted.

But notwithstanding all the pains which the chief of the Nausets took to maintain a good understanding with his new neighbors, he was destined to incur their suspicion, and to meet with a miserable ruin under the weight of their hostility. When the English visited Massasoit, in his sickness, early in 1683, that chieftain disclosed to them, by the medium of Hobamock, the particulars of an extensive combination, reported to be formed among the Indian tribes, "against Master Weston's colony at Weymouth," as Winslow expresses it, "and so against us." The Massachusetts Indians were ringleaders in the affair, it was said; but Aspinet, and the sachems of many other settlements, including even Capawack, (Martha's Vineyard) were charged with being privy to it.

Whether they were so or not, need not be discussed, and cannot be decided. It is observable, however, in relation to Aspinet, that the evidence of Massasoit, which was the only evidence in the case, went to show, that "the men of Massachusetts, were the authors of the intended business." This very much confirms our conclusion to the same effect, in the Life of Chickatabot. But, granting all that is charged, it may easily be imagined how much provocation the Indians had received from Weston's notorious banditti, and how much reason they had to make common cause against them in their own self-defence. Winslow himself bears witness, that immediately after Weston's settlement was commenced, "the Indians filled our ears with clamors against them, for stealing their corn, and other abuses;" as also that the Plymouth Government "knew no way to redress these abuses, save reproof."

It seems to have been hardly considered,—-when the English undertook to wage a preventative or precautionary war, as they did, upon all the parties accused by Massasoit,—not only that the good Sachem might be misinformed by rivals or enemies of those parties; and that there might be a fault upon their own side; but also that the Indians might well be disposed to punish the Weymouth ruffians, without necessarily carrying their hostilities any farther. They looked upon Weston's clan as one tribe, and upon the Plymouth people as another; and the conduct of the two settlements respectively had hitherto given good cause for the distinction.

But whatever was the truth or justice of the case, the result is a matter of no uncertainty. Captain Standish proceeded to "try his conclusion," according to the phraseology of the times, much as John Smith would have done in his stead, upon such of the savages as were most suspected. Several were killed, wounded and captured, "and this sudden and unexpected execution," writes our historian, "together with the just judgment of God upon their own guilty consciences, so terrified and amazed the other people who intended to join with the Massachuseuks against us, as in like manner they forsook their houses,—running to and fro like men distracted,—living in the swamps, and other desert places,—and so brought manifold diseases amongst themselves, whereof very many are dead." Among these unfortunate persons was the Sachem of Nauset; and thus miserably perished a man at least deserving the credit of having rendered numerous and generous favors to a people, who had been in the first instance flagrant trespassers upon his dominion, as they were finally the cause of his death.

Iyanough, sometimes entitled the "Courteous Sachem of Cummaquid," ruled over the Indians at that place, which was otherwise called Mattakees, or Mattakiest, and was included in what has since been the eastern part of the township of Barnstable and the western part of Yarmouth.

The kindness of the Sachem and his subjects towards such of the English as first made their acquaintance, amply accounts for the compliment implied in his title. The same party which, as we have seen, went in pursuit of the Plymouth boy, put in at Cummaquid for the first night, and unfortunately anchored in a situation, where at low water they found themselves aground. In the morning they espied savages near the shore, looking for lobsters. Squanto was sent to inform them of the object of the visit of the English, and to assure them of their friendly disposition. Thus addressed, the Indians answered that the boy was very well, but at Nauset; yet, since the English were so near their territory, it was hoped they would take the trouble to come ashore and eat with them. The invitation was accepted by six of the party, who landed as soon as their shallop was afloat, leaving four of the Indians voluntary hostages with the residue of the crew.

They were conducted to the residence of Iyanough; a man described as not exceeding twenty six years of age, but very personable, gentle, courteous, fair-conditioned, and indeed not like a savage, save for his attire. [FN] This entertainment is said to have been answerable to his "parts," and his cheer plentiful and various. The English tarried with him until after dinner, and then reembarked for Nauset; Iyanough and two of his men going with them on board the shallop. The latter returned on foot, when the design of the expedition was accomplished. The English sailed for Plymouth with a head wind, but were obliged to put in again for the shore, where they met with their fellow-passenger, the Sachem. He came out to greet them, with most of his subjects, in company, men, women and children: "and being still willing to gratify us," says the historian, "took a rundlet, and lead our men in the dark a great way for water, but could find none good; yet brought such as there was on his neck with them." In the meantime, the women joined hand in hand, and began to dance and sing upon the stand near the shallop; the men showed all the kindness in their power; and the interview ended with Iyanough himself taking a bracelet from about his neck, and hanging it upon that of the person who acted as the leader of the English. His visitors took their leave of him, and "by God's providence came safely home that night."

[FN] Journal of a Plantation

All that we hear of Iyanough, after this, goes to confirm the estimate which these particulars induce one to form of his character. He supplied the colony with a large quantity of provisions, in a period of great need; and as late as February 1623, when Standish went to Mattakiest on a similar errand, it is admitted that he not only "pretended" his wonted love, but spared a good quantity of corn to confirm the same. [FN] The account given of that meeting closes with the following language. It is the more noticeable as illustrating the temper of Standish in cases of excitement and the kind of evidence against the Indians, by which, through him, the colonists were likely to be satisfied.

[FN] Window's Relation.

"Strangers," writes the historian, "also came to this place, pretending only to see him (Standish,) and his company, whom they never saw before that time, but intending to join with the rest to kill them, as after appeared. But being forced through extremity [of weather] to lodge in their houses, which they much pressed, God possessed the heart of the Captain with just jealousy, giving strait command, that as one part of his company slept, the rest should wake, declaring some things which he understood, whereof he could make no good constructions." We are then informed, that some beads were stolen from him in the night. Upon this, he drew out his men, and stationed them around the wigwam of Iyanough, where many of his people were collected. He threatened to fall upon them forthwith, unless satisfaction should be made; and seated his indignation upon the Sachem with an especial emphasis. Iyanough exerted himself to discover the criminal. An adjustment of the difficulties was at length effected; and then the Indians good humouredly brought in corn enough to fill the shallop. "Finally, this accident so daunted their courage, as they durst not attempt any thing against him; so that through the good means and providence of God they returned in safety."

It is not difficult to be seen that there was more prejudice against Iyanough and his subjects, than proof. Their hospitality only made them suspected. On the other hand, the real hostility which they may or may not have felt towards the scoundrels and thieves who composed Master Weston's settlement at Weymouth, was first taken for granted, and then amplified into a cause of premature retaliation on the part of the people of Plymouth. It was about this very time, that the Indians were making the most urgent complaints against Weston—"how exceedingly," to quote again from the Relation itself, "that company abased themselves by undirect means to get victuals from the Indians;" and how "others by night robbed the Indians' store, for which they had been publickly stocked and whipped, and yet there was little amendment," &c.

If Iyanough had indeed shown himself a little shy of his old acquaintances in the case last alluded to, it were not much to be wondered at; especially considering the violence of the worthy but warm-blooded captain, and also the fact that Plymouth, though duly and distinctly appealed to, had given the Indians no redress. It is somewhere intimated in the ancient journals, that certain Indians,—and testimony of this kind seems to have been received without much suspicions—stated that Iyanough had been solicited to join the Massachusetts against the whites. But this certainly, if true, was no crime. Massasoit himself acknowledged, that he was solicited.

On the whole, not to enlarge on the minutiae of a case, which at best can afford no pleasure to those who feel their own honor involved in the memory of Standish and his Plymouth brethren, we can hardly record the fate of the kind and gentle Iyanough, the Courteous Sachem, on his own soil, in the prime of his days, without a blush and a sigh together for the mistake and the misfortune. Insulted, threatened, pursued, by an enemy whom no restitution could satisfy, and who suspected equally his caresses and fears, he fled in consternation and died in despair.


Summary account of the Five Nations—Their early history—Government—Conquests—Population—Territory—Intercourse with European Colonies—Their war with the Adirondacks—Adventures of Piskaret—Their negotiations with the French, in 1684—Anecdotes of the Onondaga Chief, Garangula—His speech at the Council, and effects of it—Remarks on his character—History of the Five Nations continued to the time of Adario—His exploits—Their object and results—War between the confederates and the French—Adventures of Black-Kettle.

Having concluded our notices of the most eminent Indians of New-England, it now becomes proper, following merely the progress of history, to turn our attention to another section of country, and to a period of time which has not yet furnished us any considerable share of its abundant material. We refer to the Middle States, and particularly to a large portion of the State of New-York, which, with other neighboring territory, was formerly occupied by that famous confederacy commonly called, by the English, the Five Nations. Owing to circumstances not necessary here to be detailed, these tribes—and, as an almost necessary consequence, all the distinguished individuals they produced—came forward in their intercourse with the foreign colonies around them, to fill the prominent station before filled by the Indians of New-England, much as the latter had, in their turn, succeeded the red men of the South.

The Five Nations were the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Cayugas, the Onondagas and the Senecas. The Virginian Indians gave them the name of Massawomekes; the Dutch called them Maquas, or Makakuase; and the French, Iroquois. Their appellation at home was the Mingoes, and sometimes the Aganuschion, or United People. [FN]

[FN] Governor Clinton's Discourse before N. Y. H. Society: 1811.

When the French settled in Canada, in 1603, they found the Iroquois living where Montreal now stands. They were at war with the Adirondacks,—a powerful tribe residing three hundred miles above Trois-Rivieres,—in consequence of the latter having treacherously murdered some of their young men. Previous to this date, their habits had been more agricultural than warlike; but they soon perceived the necessity of adopting a different system. The Adirondacks drove them from their own country, and they retreated to the borders of the lakes, where they have ever since lived. This misfortune it was,—ostensibly at least a misfortune,—which gave the earliest impulse to the subsequent glorious career of these Romans of the West.

Fortunately for them, their sachems were men of a genius and spirit which adversity served only to stimulate and renew. They, finding their country-men discouraged by the discomfiture suffered on the banks of the St. Lawrence, induced them to turn their arms against a less formidable nation, called the Satanas, then dwelling with themselves near the lakes. That people they subdued, and expelled from their territory. Encouraged by success, and strengthened by discipline, they next ventured to defend themselves against the inroads of their old conquerers on the north; and at length the Adirondacks were even driven back, in their turn, as far as the neighborhood of what is now Quebec.

But a new emergency arose. The French made common cause with the nation just named against their enemies, and brought to the contest the important aids of civilized science and art. The Five Nations had now to set wisdom and wariness, as well as courage and discipline, against an alliance so powerful. Their captains came forward again, and taught them the policy of fighting in small parties, and of making amends for inferior force, by surprisal and stratagem. The result was, that the Adirondacks were nearly exterminated, while the Iroquois, proudly exalting themselves on their overthrow, grew rapidly to be the leading tribe of the whole north, and finally of the whole continent.

The efforts necessary to attain that ascendant, may be fairly estimated from the character of the first vanquisher and the first victim. The Adirondacks fought long and desperately. In the end they adopted their adversaries' plan of sending out small parties, and of relying especially on their captains. Five of these men, alone, are said, by their astonishing energy and bravery to have well nigh turned the balance of the war.

One of the number was Piskaret, in his own day the most celebrated chieftain of the north. He and his four comrades solemnly devoted themselves to the purpose of redeeming the sullied glory of the nation, at a period when the prospect of conquest, and perhaps of defence, had already become desperate. They set out for Trois Rivieres in one canoe; each of them being provided with three muskets, which they loaded severally with two bullets, connected by a small chain ten inches in length. In Sorel River, they met with five boats of the Iroquois, each having on board ten men. As the parties rapidly came together, the Adirondacks pretended to give themselves up for lost, and began howling the death-song. This was continued till their enemy was just at hand. They then suddenly ceased singing, and fired simultaneously on the five canoes. The charge was repeated with the arms which lay ready loaded, and the slight birches of the Iroquois were torn asunder, and the frightened occupants tumbled overboard as fast as possible. Piskaret and his comrades, after knocking as many of them on the head as they pleased, reserved the remainder to feed their revenge, which was soon afterwards done by burning them alive in the most cruel tortures.

This exploit, creditable as it might be to the actors in the eyes of their countrymen, served only to sharpen the fierce eagerness for blood which still raged in the bosom of Piskaret. His next enterprise was far more hazardous than the former; and so much more so, indeed, even in prospect, that not a single warrior would bear him company. He set out alone, therefore for the country of the Five Nations, (with which he was well acquainted,) about that period, of the spring when the snow was beginning to melt. Accustomed, as an Indian must be, to all emergencies of traveling as well as warfare, he took the precaution of putting the hinder part of his snow-shoes forward, so that if his footsteps should happen to be observed by his vigilant enemy, it might be supposed he was gone the contrary way. For further security he went along the ridges and high grounds, where the snow was melted, that his track might be lost.

On coming near one of the villages of the Five Nations, he concealed himself until night, and then entered a cabin, while the inmates were fast asleep, murdered the whole family, and carried the scalps to his lurking-place. The next day, the people of the village sought for the murderer, but in vain. He came out again at midnight, and repeated his deed of blood. The third night, a watch was kept in every house, and Piskaret was compelled to exercise more caution. But his purpose was not abandoned. He bundled up the scalps he had already taken to carry home with him as a proof of his victory, and then stole warily from house to house, until he at last discovered an Indian nodding at his post. This man he despatched at a blow, but that blow alarmed the neighborhood, and he was forced immediately to fly for his life. Being, however, the fleetest Indian then alive, he was under no apprehension of danger from the chase. He suffered his pursuers to approach him from time to time, and then suddenly darted away from them, hoping in this manner to discourage as well as escape them. When the evening came on, he hid himself; and his enemies stopped to rest. Feeling no danger from a single enemy, and he a fugitive, they even indulged themselves in sleep. Piskaret, who watched every movement, turned about, knocked every man of them on the head, added their scalps to his bundle, and leisurely resumed his way home.

To return to the Five Nations. The career of victory, which began with the fall of the Adirondacks, was destined to be extended beyond all precedent in the history of the Indian tribes. They exterminated the Eries or Erigas, once living on the south side of the lake of their own name. They nearly destroyed the powerful Anderstez, and the Chouanons or Showanons. They drove back the Hurons and Ottawas among the Sioux of the Upper Mississippi, where they separated themselves into bands, "proclaiming, wherever they went the terror of the Iroquois." [FN-1] The Illinois on the west also were subdued, with the Miamies and the Shawanese. The Nipeneneans of the St Lawrence fled to Hudson's Bay, to avoid their fury. "The borders of the Outaouis," says an historian, "which were long thickly peopled, became almost deserted." [FN-2] The Mohawk was a name of terror to the farthest tribes of New-England; and though but one of that formidable people should appear for a moment on the hills of the Connecticut or Massachusetts, the villages below would be in an uproar of confusion and fear. Finally they conquered the tribe of Virginia, west of the Alleghenies; and warred against the Catawbas, Cherokees, and most of the nations of the South.

[FN-1] Herriot's History of Canada.

[FN-2] Ibid.

The result of this series of conquests, was, that the Five Nations finally became entitled, or at least laid claim to all the territory not sold to the English, from the mouth of Sorel River, on the south side of lakes Erie and Ontario, on both sides of the Ohio, until it falls into the Mississippi; and on the north side of these lakes, the whole tract between the Outawas River and lake Huron. [FN] The historian, Douglas, estimates their territory at about 1200 miles in length, from north to south, and from 700 to 800 miles in breadth.

[FN] Smith's History of New-York.

The most moderate account of their population we have seen, was published by an agent of Virginia, who held a conference at Albany with the chiefs, in 1677. The warriors were then numbered as follows:

Mohawks, 300
Oneidas, 200
Onondagas,  350
Cayugas, 300
Senecas, 1000
Total,   2150

This would make the whole population about 7000. Even so late as the Revolutionary war, the British had in their service, according to the calculation of their own agents:

Mohawks, 300
Oneidas, 150
Onondagas,  300
Cayugas, 230
Senecas, 400

To which must be added 200 Tuscaroras—a tribe expelled from North Carolina in 1712, and received by the five Nations, to constitute a sixth member of the Confederacy. We must also add 220 warriors who adhered to the United States. The whole number actually engaged in the contest would then amount to 1800.

The Five Nations entered into a treaty of peace with the Dutch soon after their settlement in New-York. They treated with the English subsequently on the same terms; and this memorable engagement remained inviolate for more than a century, during all the revolutions and machinations of the French and English governments, on either side. With the former of these people they were often at war.

About the year 1684, the French availed themselves of a peace with the Five Nations to build forts at several important places on the northern waters, and to make many arrangements for extending their dominion and commerce among the numerous tribes of the north and west. Their only opposition came from the Confederates. The Senecas who were the most numerous and the nearest, were particularly troublesome in cutting off supplies of ammunition, sent by the French among their tribes, who hunted for them. At length, M. De la Barre, the Governor of Canada, complained of these injuries to the English, who were known to have great influence over their Indian allies. Meanwhile he took vigorous measures for frightening the Five Nations into friendship. He ordered his vessels on the lakes to be repaired; and collected at Cadaraqui fort all the forces of Canada. But the nature of the soil at this station, where he was detained six weeks in the heat of summer, occasioned sickness and embarrassment in his army, and he found the prospect utterly hopeless of effecting any thing, unless it might be by treaty. He sent messengers, therefore, to some of the Five Nations, to induce a negotiation.

These movements the English Commander at Albany, Colonel Dungan, exerted himself to counteract. The Mohawks and Senecas promised him that they would not go near the French. But the remaining three tribes would not even hear the messages he sent them, except in presence of the priests and other deputies who had already brought an invitation from the French Governor to meet him in Council, at Kaihohage. [FN-1] "Should we not go to him after all this entreaty," said they in answer to the English, "when he is come so far, and so near to us? Certainly. If we do not, we shall deserve no favour. You say we are subjects to the King of England and the Duke of York. We say we are brethren, and take care of ourselves." [FN-2]

[FN-1] On Lake Ontario, and called by the French La-Famine.

[FN-2] Colden's History of the Five Nations.

The event justified this independence. The most distinguished of the confederate chieftains was Garangula, the pride of the Onondaga tribe. He was now advanced in years, but had lost nothing of his energies. Taking thirty warriors with him, he went with La Maine, the French Deputy, to meet the Canadian Governor at Kaihohage. At the end of two days after reaching that place, a Council was held. The French officers formed a semi-circle on one side, which the Indians completed on the other; and the Governor then addressed himself to Garangula.

"The King, my master," he began, "being informed that the Five Nations have often infringed the peace, has ordered me to come hither with a guard, and to send Ohguesse (La Maine) to the Onondagas, to bring the Chief Sachem to my camp." He then went on to require Garangula,—as a condition precedent to the treaty which might be granted him,—to promise, in the name of the Five Nations, that entire reparation should be given the French for the past, and entire security for the future. In case of refusal, they were threatened with war. Again, they were charged with violence committed upon the French traders, and upon Indian nations under French protection; and with having introduced the English to trade in the neighborhood of the lakes. This also was cause of war. Finally, said the Governor, with no very scrupulous regard to truth, upon one point at least, "I shall be extremely grieved if my words do not produce the effect I anticipate from them; for then I shall be obliged to join with the Governor of New-York, who is commanded by his master to assist me, and burn the castles of the Five Nations, and destroy you."

This crafty speech was designed to strike a terror into the Indians; and Garangula was undoubtedly surprised by a style of expression which contrasted so strongly with the smooth and soft words of La Maine and the priests. But fear never entered his bosom; and he had the additional advantage of good information respecting the true state of the French Army. He knew that the Governor's insolence proceeded in fact from his impotence; bravado was his last resort. During the speech, however, he manifested no emotion of any kind, but kept his eyes composedly fixed on the end of his own pipe. But the moment the Governor had ceased, he rose up, walked five or six times about the council-circle, and then returned to his place, where he spoke standing, while La Barre remained in his elbow-chair.

"Yonondio!" he began—addressing the Governor by the title always given to that Canadian officer by the Five Nations—"Yonondio!—I honor you, and the warriors that are with me all likewise honor you. Your interpreter has finished your speech; I now begin mine. My words make haste to reach your ears. Hearken to them.

"Yonondio!—You must have believed when you left Quebec, that the sun had burnt up all the forests, which render our country inaccessible to the French, or that the lakes had so far overflown the banks, that they had surrounded our castles, and that it was impossible for us to get out of them. Yes, surely you must have dreamed so, and the curiosity of seeing so great a wonder, has bought you so far. Now you are undeceived. I and the warriors here present, are come to assure you, that the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and Mohawks are yet alive. I thank you in their name, for bringing back into their country the calumet, which your predecessor received from their hands. It was happy for you, that you left under ground that murdering hatchet, so often dyed in the blood of the French.

"Hear, Yonondio!—I do not sleep. I have my eyes open. The sun, which enlightens me, discovers to me a great captain at the head of a company of soldiers, who speaks as if he were dreaming. He says, that he only came to the lake to smoke on the great calumet with the Onondagas. But Garangula says, that he sees the contrary; that it was to knock them on the head, if sickness had not weakened the arms of the French. I see Yonondio raving in a camp of sick men, whose lives the Great Spirit has saved by inflicting this sickness on them.

"Hear Yonondio!—Our women had taken their clubs, our children and old men had carried their bows and arrows into the heart of your camp, if our warriors had not disarmed them, and kept them back, when your messenger came to our castles. It is done and I have said it.

"Hear, Yonondio!—We plundered none of the French, but those that carried guns, powder and balls to the Twightwies and Chictaghicks, because those arms might have cost us our lives. Herein we follow the example of the Jesuits, who break all the kegs of rum brought to our castles, lest the drunken Indians should knock them on the head. Our warriors have not beaver enough to pay for all the arms they have taken, and our old men are not afraid of the war. This belt preserves my words.

"We carried the English into our lakes, to trade there with the Utawawas and Quatoghies, as the Adirondacks brought the French to our castles, to carry on a trade, which the English say is theirs. We are born free. We neither depend on Yonondio nor Corlear. [FN] We may go where we please, and carry with us whom we please, and buy and sell what we please. If your allies be your slaves, use them as such, command them to receive no other but your people. This belt preserves my words."

[FN] The name they gave the Governor of New-York.

"We knock the Twightwies and Chictaghicks on the head, because they had cut down the trees of peace, which were the limits of our country. They have hunted beaver on our lands. They have acted contrary to the customs of all Indians, for they left none of the beavers alive,—they killed both male and female. They brought the Satanas into their country, to take part with them, after they had concerted ill designs against us. We have done less than either the English or French, that have usurped the lands of so many Indian nations, and chased them from their own country. This belt preserves my words.

"Hear, Yonondio!—What I say is the voice of all the Five Nations. Hear what they answer. Open your ears to what they speak. The Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and Mohawks say, that when they buried the hatchet at Cadarackui, in the presence of your predecessor, in the middle of the fort, they planted the tree of peace in the same place, to be there carefully preserved. That in the place of a retreat for soldiers, that fort might be a rendezvous for merchants; that in place of arms and ammunition of war, beavers and merchandize should only enter there.

"Hear, Yonondio!—Take care for the future that so great a number of soldiers as appear there, do not choke the tree of peace planted in so small a fort. It will be a great loss, if, after it had so easily taken root, you should stop its growth, and prevent its covering your country and ours with its branches. I assure you, in the name of the Five Nations, that our warriors shall dance to the calumet of peace under its leaves. They shall remain quiet on their mats, and shall never dig up the hatchet, till their brother Yonondio, or Corlear, shall either jointly or separately endeavor to attack the country, which the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors. This belt preserves my words, and this other the authority which the Five Nations have given me."

Here the orator paused for a moment, and then addressed himself to Monsieur Le Maine, who stood near him, acting as interpreter. "Take courage, Ohguesse!" said he, "You have spirit—Speak! Explain my words. Forget nothing. Tell all that your brethren and friends say to Yonondio, your Governor, by the mouth of Garangula, who loves you, and desires you to accept of this present of beaver, and take part with me in my feast, to which I invite you. This present of beaver is sent to Yonondio, on the part of the Five Nations."

When this harangue was explained to the Governor, he quietly left the council, and withdrew to his tent, disappointed and much incensed. Garangula, on the other hand, feasted the French officers, and then went home. Nothing more was heard of the treaty; and the French troops, who had been ordered out, soon after made the best of their way to their own habitations.

The genuineness of the speech we have given above, seems to be past dispute. It was recorded on the spot by that enlightened historian, Baron La Hontan, from whom Colden and other subsequent writers have borrowed it. Considering the circumstances under which it was delivered, and especially the surprise practiced by the Governor, it may certainly be regarded as an evidence of astonishing sagacity, spirit, and self-possession. Its proud courtesy, so different from the Frenchman's boisterous parade of idle threats, only adds to the sting of its sarcasm, as the imagery gives weight to the argument. An illustrious statesman and scholar has placed it in the same rank with the celebrated speech of Logan. [FN] But the fame of Garangula must, at all events, rest upon this effort, for history makes no mention of him subsequent to the council of Kaihohage.

[FN] Discourse of Gov. Clinton.

About three years after that transaction, another personage distinguished himself as much as the Onondaga Chief, though in a very different manner. This was Adario, Chief Sachem of the Dinondadies, a tribe generally found among those in the French interest, and opposed both to the Five Nations and the English. The former Government had consequently treated them with favor. But, notwithstanding these circumstances, they had latterly shown a strong disposition to trade with the English—and especially upon one occasion, when the latter, guided by the Five Nations, had opened a commerce on the frontiers of Canada. That affair, as Adario now observed, made them obnoxious to their ancient ally, the French; and he therefore resolved, by some notable exploit, to redeem the character of his nation.

Full of this purpose, he marched from Michilimackinac, at the head of a hundred men; and to act with the greater security, he took Cadaraqui fort in his way, for intelligence. The Commandant there informed him, that the Governor was now in expectation of concluding a peace with the Five Nations, and of receiving a visit from their ambassadors in eight or ten days, at Montreal. He desired him to return home, without attempting any thing which might obstruct so good a design.

But Adario had another project in view. The Commandant's information convinced him of the danger there was that his own nation, in the new arrangement, might be sacrificed to the French interest. Deliberating on the means proper to prevent such a result, he took leave of the officer, but not to return home. Knowing the route by which the Iroquois must necessarily come, he lay wait for them, with his company, at one of the falls of Cadaraqui river. Here he had patiently waited four or five days, when the Deputies made their appearance, guarded by forty young soldiers. These were suddenly set upon by the ambuscade, and all who were not killed were taken prisoners. When the latter were secured, Adario artfully told them, that, having been informed of their approach by the Governor of Canada, he had secured this pass with the almost certain prospect of intercepting them.

The Deputies were of course very much surprised at the Governor's conduct; and they finally expressed themselves with such freedom, as to declare the whole object of their journey. Adario was, in his turn, apparently amazed and enraged. He swore revenge upon the Governor, for having, as he said, made a tool of him, to commit his abominable treachery. Then, looking steadfastly on the prisoners, he said to them, "Go, my brothers!—I untie your hands. I send you home again, though our nations be at war. The French Governor has made me commit so black an action, that I shall never be easy after it, till the Five Nations shall have had full revenge." The Deputies, furnished with ammunition and arms for their journey, and completely satisfied of the truth of Adario's declarations, returned to their own country, after having assured him that he and his nation might make their peace when they pleased.

This master-stroke of policy was seconded by an incident which occurred soon afterwards, and which the same cunning and vigilant spirit profited by to promote his design. In the surprisal of the Deputies, Adario had lost one man, and had filled his place with a Satana prisoner, who had been before adopted into the Five Nations. This man he soon afterwards delivered to the French at Michilimackinac, probably at their request; and they, for the purpose of keeping up the enmity between the Dinondadies and Five Nations, ordered him to be shot. Adario called one of the latter people, who had long been a prisoner, to be an eye-witness of his countryman's death. He then bade him make his escape to his own country, and there to give an account of the ferocious barbarity from which he had been unable to save a captive belonging to himself.

The Five Nations had already been upon the brink of war, in consequence of the representations of the Deputies. Their rage was now beyond all bounds. The Governor, having obtained some information of the state of things, sent messengers to disavow and expose the conduct of Adario; but they would listen to no messages; their souls thirsted for revenge. The war was undertaken immediately, and never was one more disastrous to Canada. Twelve hundred of the Iroquois invaded the province, while the French were still uncertain whether hostilities would commence. In July, 1688, they landed at La Chine, on the south side of the island of Montreal; and, keeping the Governor himself, with his troops, confined within the walls of the town, they sacked all the plantations, and indiscriminately massacred men, women, and children. More than one thousand of the French were killed, and many were carried off captive, who afterwards shared the same fate. The Indian army lost but three men during the whole expedition.

The most distinguished of the Iroquois warriors about this time, was one whom the English called Black-Kettle. Colden speaks of him as a famous hero; but few of his exploits have come down to these, times. It is only known that he commanded large parties of his countrymen, who were exceedingly troublesome to the French. In 1691, he made an irruption into the country round Montreal, at the head of several hundred men. He overran Canada, (say the French annalists,) as a torrent does the low lands, when it overflows its banks, and there is no withstanding it. The troops at the stations received orders to stand upon the defensive; and it was not until the enemy were returning home victorious, after having desolated all Canada, that a force of four hundred soldiers was mustered to pursue them. Black-Kettle is said to have had but half that number with him at this juncture, but he gave battle, and fought desperately. After losing twenty men slain, with some prisoners, he broke through the French ranks and marched off, leaving a considerable number of the enemy wounded and killed.


Five Nations continued. Remarks on their oratory—Circumstances favorable to it—Account of a council of the Confederates at Onondaga, in 1690—Anecdotes of various persons who attended it—Speeches of Sadekanatie and other orators—Adarahta—The history and character of Decanesora—His speeches at the Albany council of 1694—Style of his eloquence—His personal and political character—Other speeches and negotiations—Anecdotes of Sadekanatie.

Enough perhaps has already appeared respecting the Five Nations to justify the observation of an eminent writer, that they were no less celebrated for eloquence than for military skill and political wisdom. [FN-1] The same obvious circumstances prompted them to excellence in all these departments; but in the former, their relations with each other and with other tribes, together with the great influence which their reputation and power attached to the efforts of their orators abroad, gave them peculiar inducements, facilities and almost faculties for success. Among the Confederates, as among the Indians of all the East and South, a high respect was cherished for the warrior's virtues; but eloquence was a certain road to popular favour. Its services were daily required in consultations at home and communications abroad. The council-room was frequented like the Roman forum and the senate-house of the Greeks. Old and young went there together; the one for discipline and distinction, and the other "to observe the passing scenes, and to receive the lessons of wisdom." [FN-2]

[FN-1] Governor Clinton.

[FN-2] Ibid.

The kind of oratory for which Garangula and other public speakers of his Confederacy were distinguished, it cannot be expected of us to analyse with much precision. Indian oratory is generally pointed, direct, undisguised, unpolished; but forcible in expression and delivery, brilliant in flashes of imagery, and naturally animated with graphic touches of humor, pathos, or sententious declaration of high-toned principle,—according in some measure to the occasion, but more immediately to the momentary impulse of the speaker as supported by his prevalent talent. If the orators of the Five Nations differed much from this description, it was in qualities which they owed, independently of genius, to their extraordinary opportunities of practice, and to the interest taken in their efforts by the people who heard, employed and obeyed them.

"The speakers whom I have heard," says Mr. Colden, "had all a great fluency of words, and much more grace in their manner, than any man could expect, among a people entirely ignorant of the liberal arts and sciences." He adds, that he had understood them to be—(not knowing their language himself)—very nice in the turn of their expressions; though it seems but few of them were such masters of the art as never to offend their Indian auditories by an unpolite expression. Their greatest speakers attained to a sort of urbanitas or atticism. [FN]

[FN] History of the Five Nations.

For the purpose of better illustrating some points which are barely alluded to in these observations, as well as to introduce several new characters, not easily appreciated without the context of circumstances in which they appeared, we shall furnish a somewhat detailed account of a General Council of the Confederates holden at Onondaga, in January 1690. The object of it was to take order upon a message sent them from the Count de Frontenac, Governor of Canada, the purport of which will appear in the proceedings. It may be premised, that the Onondaga council-house was commonly preferred on these occasions, on account of the central position occupied by that tribe in regard to the other four. [FN] The English authorities at Albany were formally invited to attend; but they contented themselves with sending their public interpreter, to take note of what passed, together with three Indians instructed in their name to dissuade the Five Nations from entertaining thoughts of peace, or even consenting to a cessation of arms.

[FN] It is impossible to say how much influence this, circumstance might have on the ambition of the Onondaga orators. It will be observed, that the tribe enjoyed rather more than its equal share of rhetorical distinction.

The Council opened on the 22d of the month, eighty sachems being present In the first place Sadekanatie, an Onondaga, rising in his place, addressed himself to one of the English messengers from Albany. He informed him, that four deputies were present from the Canadian Governor, viz.: three Indians who had formerly been carried prisoners to France, and a sachem of the Praying Indians in the French interest who lived near Montreal; and that Governor Frontenac had notified them of his appointment, and of his having brought over with him from France Tawerahet and twelve other Indians formerly carried prisoners to that country. Then taking in his hand the wampum-belt [FN] sent by the Count, and holding it by the middle, he added:—

[FN] The practice of confirming stipulations and making proposals by belts, so commonly adopted among the Indians, cannot be understood in any way better than by observing the various instances mentioned in the text.

"What I have said relates only to one half of the belt. The other half is to let us know that he intends to kindle his fire again at Cadaraqui next spring. He therefore invites his children, and the Onondaga Captain Decanesora, in particular, to treat there with him about the old chain."

Adarahta was Chief Sachem of the Praying Indians, a community principally made up of members of several tribes, including the Five Nations, who had been induced by the French to settle themselves upon their territory, and were serviceable to them in various capacities. "I advise you," said Adarahta, holding three belts in his hand, "to meet the Governor of Canada as he desires. Agree to this if you would live." He then gave a belt of wampum. "Tawerahet," he proceeded, "sends you this other belt, to inform you of the miseries which he and the rest of his countrymen have suffered in captivity; and to advise you to hearken to Yonondio, if you desire to live. This third belt is from Thurensera, Ohguesse, and Ertel, [FN] who say by it to their brethren: 'We have interceded for you with your order, and therefore advise you to meet him at Cadaraqui in the spring. It will be well for you.'"

[FN] Indian names—meaning Day-Dawn, Partridge, and Rose, given to Frenchmen well known to the Five Nations. The policy of sending such messages is sufficiently obvious.

A Mohawk chief, one of those instructed by the Albany magistrates to represent their wishes at the council, now delivered the message they had given him. He had treasured it up word for word. The Interpreter, who had the same message in writing, followed him while he spoke, and found him correct to a syllable.

Cannehoot, a Seneca sachem, next proceeded to give the Council a particular account of a treaty made during the summer previous, between his own tribe and some Wagunha messengers, one of the Canadian nations, on the river Uttawas. The latter had acted on the behalf of seven other tribes; and he wished the other four members of his own Confederacy to ratify what bad been done by the Senecas. The articles proposed by the Wagunhas were as follows:

1. "We are come to join two bodies into one,"—delivering up at the same time two prisoners.

2. "We are come to learn wisdom of the Senecas, and of the other Five Nations, and of your brethren of New-York;"—giving a belt.

3. "We by this belt wipe away the tears from the eyes of your friends, whose relations have been killed in the war. We likewise wipe the paint from your soldier's faces;" [FN]—giving a second belt.

[FN] The Indians universally paint their faces on going to war, to make their appearance more terrific to the enemy. To wipe off the paint, was to make peace.

4. "We throw aside the axe which Yonondio put into our hands by this third belt."

5. "Let the sun, as long as he shall endure, always shine upon us in friendship;"—giving a red marble sun, as large as a plate.

6. "Let the rain of heaven wash away all hatred, that we may again smoke together in peace;"—giving a large pipe of red marble.

7. "Yonondio is drunk—we wash our hands clean from his actions;"—giving a fourth belt.

8. "Now we are clean washed by the water of heaven; neither of us must defile ourselves by hearkening to Yonondio."

9. "We have twelve of your nation prisoners; they shall be brought home in the spring;"—giving a belt to confirm the promise.

10. "We will bring your prisoners home when the strawberries shall be in blossom, at which time we intend to visit Corlear, [the Governor of New-York] and see the place where the wampum is made."

When Cannehoot had done, the Wagunha presents were hung up in the council-house, in sight of the whole assembly. They were afterwards distributed among the several Five-Nations, and their acceptance was a ratification of the treaty. A large belt was also given to the Albany messengers, as their share. A wampum belt sent from Albany, was in the same manner hung up, and afterwards divided. The New-England colonies, called by the Confederates Kinshon, sent the wooden model of a fish, as a token of their adhering to the general covenant. This was handed round among the sachems, and then laid aside to be preserved.

At the end of these ceremonies, Sadekanatie rose again. "Brothers!" he said, "we must stick to our brother Quider, and regard Yonondio as our enemy; he is a cheat." By Quider he meant Peter, referring to Peter Schuyler, Mayor of Albany; a gentleman much esteemed by the five tribes, but whose name, having no labials in their language, they were unable to pronounce.

After some farther proceedings, the English Interpreter was desired to deliver his message from Albany. He told them that a new Governor had arrived in the province, with a large number of fresh troops; that England was at war with France; and that the people of New-England were fitting out an expedition against Canada. He advised them not to treat with the French, but at all events only at Albany. That people, he said, would keep no agreement made anywhere else.

The sachems now held a consultation together for some time, the result of which, was thus declared by a speaker chosen for the purpose, and who is supposed to have been Sadekanatie. The different passages were addressed respectively to the deputies of the parties referred to.

"Brothers! Our fire burns at Albany. We will not send Decanesora to Cadaraqui. We adhere to our old chain with Corlear—We will prosecute the war with Yonondio—We will follow your advice in drawing off our men from Cadaraqui. Brothers! We are glad to hear the news you tell us—but tell us no lies!"

"Brother Kinshon! We hear you design to send soldiers to the eastward against the Indians there. [FN] But we advise you, now so many are united against the French, to fall immediately on them. Strike at the root; when the trunk shall be cut down, the branches will fall of course."

[FN] New-Hampshire and Maine tribes, at war with the Colonies, and known to be instigated and assisted by the French.

"Corlear and Kinshon,—Courage! Courage! In the spring to Quebec! Take that place—You will have your feet on the necks of the French, and all their friends in America."

Another consultation terminated in the adoption of the following answer to be sent to the Canadians.

1. "Yonondio! You have notified your return to us, and that you have brought back thirteen of our people who were carried to France—We are glad of it. You desire us to meet you at Cadaraqui next spring, to treat of the old chain. But, Yonondio! how can we trust you, who have acted deceitfully so often? Witness what was done at Cadaraqui—the usage our messengers met with at Uttawas, and what was done, to the Senecas at the same place." Here a belt was given, indicating a willingness still to treat.

2. "Thurensera, Ohguesse and Ertel! Have you observed friendship with us? If you have not, how came you to advise us to renew friendship with Yonondio?" A belt also was attached to this answer.

3. "Tawerahet! The whole Council is glad to hear of your return with the other twelve. Yonondio!—You must send home Tawerahet and the others this present winter—before spring. We will save all the French we have prisoners till that time."

4. "Yonondio!—You desire to speak with us at Cadaraqui;—Don't you know that your fire there is extinguished? It is extinguished with blood. You must send home the prisoners in the first place."

5. "We let you know that we have made peace with the Wagunhas."

6. "You are not to think that we have laid down the axe, because we return an answer. We intend no such thing. Our Far-fighters shall continue the war till our countrymen return."

7. "When our brother Tawerahet is returned, then we will speak to you of peace."

Such was the result of the great exertions made at this time by the Canadian Government to overawe the Five Nations, and to draw them away from the English alliance. The whole proceeding, though indeed it furnishes no extraordinary specimens of their eloquence, illustrates in the plainest manner the very favorable circumstances under which their orators came forward, and the inducements they had to devote their genius to the council-house, even in preference to war.

Sadekanatie, who acted a prominent part in the Onondaga Council, and was himself of that tribe, appeared to great advantage upon several other occasions. The favorite orator of the Confederates, however, during most of the period in which he flourished, was Decanesora, whose name has already been mentioned. That Sachem was for many years almost invariably employed as the Speaker in their negotiations with both French and English. He was one of the deputies who fell into the hands of Adario; and we have seen that in the message of Count Frontenac to the Onondaga Council, he invited "his children, and Decanesora, the Onondaga Captain, in particular," to treat with him at Cadaraqui. The Confederates, on the other hand, signify their disposition to continue the war by saying, "we will not send Decanesora."

Mr. Colden, who knew this orator well, and heard him speak frequently, gives him credit for a perfect fluency, and for "a graceful elocution that would have pleased in any part of the world." He was tall, and his person well made; and his features are said to have borne a resemblance to the busts of Cicero. It is much to be regretted in his case, as in many others, that but very slight indications of his eloquence are preserved to these times. Such as are preserved, probably do him very imperfect justice. Some of them, however, at least indicate the sagacity, the courtesy, the undaunted courage, and the high-minded sense of honor, which, among the countrymen of Decanesora as among those of Quintillian, were no less recommendations of the orator than they were virtues of the man.

In the winter of 1693-4, after a long series of hostilities between the Confederates and the French,—attended on both sides with alternate suffering and injury, until both were heartily weary of the war,—certain artful proposals, artfully set forth by Jesuit messengers, were at length so well received by all the Confederates excepting the Mohawks, that a council was summoned at Onondaga to act upon them. The English were civilly invited to attend; and although both they and the Mohawks neglected to do so, no measures were adopted in council, except with the understanding that they should not be final without being first submitted to the examination of both those parties. With this view, several sachems were sent to Albany, and of these Decanesora was the principal and the speaker. The account which he gave to Major Schuyler and the Albany magistrates of the negotiation now pending, including its origin, is a fine specimen, as Mr. Colden observes, of his art, not only in smoothing over an affair undertaken against the English interest and advice, but also in introducing and enforcing his own views of the sovereign dignity of the Five Nations.

"Brother Cayenguirago," [FN] he began, "we are come to acquaint you, that our children, the Oneidas, having of themselves sent a messenger to Canada, he has brought back with him a belt of peace from the Governor."

[FN] An Indian appellation, signifying a swift arrow, given to Governor Fletcher in consequence of the prompt succor he had once rendered the Five Nations, in an emergency occasioned by a French invasion. Schuyler is addressed as representing the Governor.

"As soon as Tariha [the messenger] arrived at Canada, he was asked, where the six hundred men were, that were to attack Canada, as they had been informed by Cariokese, a Mohawk Deserter? He assured them there was no such design."

"He was carried to Quebec, where he delivered his belt, with the following proposition. 'Yonondio, if you would have peace go to Albany, and ask it there, for the Five Nations we do nothing without Cayenguirago.' The Governor of Canada was angry at this, and said, he had nothing to do with the Governor of New York; he would treat only with the Five Nations; the peace between the Christians must be made on the other side the great lake! He added, he was sorry to see the Five Nations so far degenerated as to take a sixth nation into their chain, to rule over them. 'If you had desired me to come and treat in any of your castles, I would have done it; but to tell me I must go to Albany, is to desire of me what I can by no means do. You have done very ill, to suffer the people of New York to govern you so far, that you dare do nothing without their consent. I advise you to send two of each nation to me, and let Decanesora be one of them. I have orders from the King my master to grant you peace, if you come in your proper persons to ask it.' The Governor of Canada afterwards said:"

[FN] Colden. {TN: There does not appear to be a reference to this note in the text. It appears at about this point.}

"'Children of the Five Nations, I have compassion for your little children, therefore come speedily and speak of peace to me, otherwise I'll stop my ears for the future; by all means let Decanesora come; for if the Mohawks come alone, I will not hear them; some of all the Five Nations must come. Now, Tariha, return home, and tell the Five Nations, that I will wait for their coming till the trees bud, and the bark can be parted from the trees. I design for France in the spring, and I leave a gentleman to command here, to whom I have given orders to raise soldiers, if you do not come in that time. And then what will become of you? I am truly grieved to see the Five Nations so debauched and deceived by Cayenguirago, who is lately come to New-York, and by Quider. Formerly the chief men of the Five Nations used to converse with me; but this Governor of New York has so deluded you, that you hearken to none but him; but take care of what will follow, if you hearken to none but him.'"

Here the orator took occasion to explain, very shrewdly, why the deputation to which he belonged had been delayed so long, with some other matters of the same kind. He then reported the following resolutions agreed upon by the Council to be sent to the Governor of Canada. They were probably his own composition, the Council having been called, and the whole transaction in a great measure managed by himself.

1. "Yonondio!—You have sent for me often, and as often asked, why I am afraid to come? The great kettle of war that you have hung over the fire is the reason of it." Here Decanesora said he was to lay down a belt, and ask the Governor's consent to the other two which he held in his hand.

2. "We now not only throw down the kettle, and thereby throw the boiling water out of it, but likewise break it to pieces, that it may never be hung up again,—by this second belt."

3. "Hearken Yonondio!—You are sent from the French King, your master. So is Cayenguirago from the Great King and Queen of England. What I am now about to speak to you, is by inspiration from the Great Spirit. You say that you will have nothing to do with our brethren of Cayenguirago. But I must tell you, that we are inseparable. We can have no peace with you so long as you are at war with them;"—which, added Decanesora, is to be confirmed by the third belt.

The noble fidelity to engagements here set forth as a sacred principle, was far from being the result of either fear or mere affection; and this Schuyler himself had the opportunity of testing, before the deputation left Albany.

7. {sic} "The Governor of Canada's words, and the Resolutions of the Five-Nations," said the orator in conclusion, "are now before you. Consult, therefore, what is to be done. If it be necessary for the Brethren to go to our castle, to advise us farther, be not unwilling." Here he laid down a large belt, eleven rows deep, and seven fathoms of wampum. This signified an amicable disposition; but when, on the ensuing day, Major Schuyler replied that he would consent to no treaty with the French, and proposed that the deputation, and Decanesora in particular, should visit him again at the end of seventy days, the rejoinder was, after consultation, that they would visit him. "But as for myself," said the old Sachem, "I cannot dispose of myself without their directions. If they order me, I shall willingly return. We did not expect to hear such positive prohibition of keeping any correspondence with the French. If any mischief happen within the seventy days, let us not blame one another. Consider again what is most for the public good—and let it be spoken before we part."

This was confirmed with a large belt of fourteen deep. Major Schuyler afterwards asked, a second time, whether they would wholly suspend correspondence with the French, for the term last mentioned. "I have no authority," said the orator, "to answer this question. I shall lay the belt down in every one of the castles, and say, that by it all correspondence is desired to stop with the French. I cannot promise that this will be complied with."

The conference did not end here. On the sixth day, Schuyler called the deputation together, for the purpose of making a new and vigorous effort. How much influence his assertions or arguments, alone, might have had, cannot be determined, for a fortunate incident occurred which materially altered the aspect of affairs, being just in season to enable him to carry his point for the time. The stipulation attached to Decanesora's final consent does him high honor. "You have at last shut up the way to Canada," he said; "but we have one thing to ask, after mature deliberation, which we expect will not be refused us." The Major observed, that every thing should be granted which he thought essential to the character or the security of the nation. He then proceeded to request, that an English messenger might be permitted to accompany one to be sent by himself to the Praying Indians in Canada. The objects were first, to inform those Indians of what he had ascertained to be the true character of the Jesuit who had been among the Five Nations; secondly, to notify them of the meeting appointed at Albany, and of the consequent inability of the deputies to visit them at the same time, as had been proposed; and thirdly, to agree upon a continued cessation of arms until they might be able to visit them. Decanesora further desired, that if Schuyler should not send a messenger, he would at all events put these propositions in writing, as a token of his assent to them.

After all, events took place, owing in no small degree, as we shall find, to the English themselves, which determined the chieftains to visit the Canadian Governor in the spring. Some explanation of these events is furnished by the following speech of Sadekanatie. He, with his fellow deputies, visited Governor Fletcher at Albany, in May, (1694,) and in the course of the conference which ensued, delivered his sentiments in the following manly and forcible style:

"Brother Cayenguirago!—Some of our sachems agreed, last winter, that we should keep no correspondence with the French. We confess we have broken that promise. We have received a messenger from Canada. We have sent our deputies to Canada in return, [Decanesora being one.] The belt is not yet arrived by which we are to acknowledge our fault in the matter. The reason of our doing it is truly this,—we are afraid of the enemy."

"When a messenger came last year from Canada to Onondaga, our brother Cayenguirago discharged our meeting in General Council at Onondaga, to consult on that message, and ordered us to hold our General Council here at Albany on that affair. The privilege of meeting in General Council when we please, is a privilege we always have enjoyed; no former Governor, of the name of Corlear, ever obstructed this privilege. We planted a tree of peace in this place with them. Its roots and branches extend as far as Virginia and New-England, and we have reposed with pleasure under its shade. Brother, let us keep to that first tree, and let us be united and unanimous; such prohibition of our assemblies will be of ill consequence, and occasion differences between us.

"We acknowledge, I say, our sending agents to Canada for peace. We were encouraged in doing this by the knowledge we have of the Governor of Canada. He is an old man, and was formerly Governor of that place. He was always esteemed a wise peaceable man, and therefore we trust our message will have a good issue. We did not take it amiss that you sent to the Dewagunhas, nor that Arnout was sent to the Satanas, both of them our enemies; and, for the same reason, our brother Cayenguirago ought not to be displeased with our sending to the French for peace.

"We, Onondagas, acknowledge ourselves to have been the chief promoters of this Message. We have sent in all nine sachems with nine belts. It is true we are now under much uneasiness in having trusted so many sachems in the French hands, being almost half the number we have in our nation, but we were in haste to prevent the designs the French had against our countries and yours, by the great warlike preparations they were making in Canada." [FN]

[FN] Colden.

He concluded with specifying the instructions their deputies had received, and presented a belt in confirmation of all he had said. Colonel Fletcher replied, that he would not discuss any other subject until he was satisfied what reason there was for charging him with having forbidden the Council, and made peace with the Indian tribes, as alleged by the orator. This appears to have been a mistake; and accordingly, on the ensuing day, it was frankly acknowledged to be such, and that in terms which left no occasion to doubt the speaker's sincerity. "We assure you," he said, "we will never separate from you. We still have one head, one blood, one soul, one heart with you." This was said in reference to the alleged prohibition of the Council. "As to the Dewagunhas and Shawanons," added the speaker, "we are confident Cayenguirago will not admit them into his government, till they have made peace with us. That we shall willingly grant. When our enemies are humbled, and beg peace, why should they not have it? Let them come and live with us. It will strengthen our country." [FN] He then proceeded thus:—

[FN] A Roman principle, recognised in the practice as well theory of the Five Nations. Colden says, "they encourage the people of other nations [including captives] to incorporate with them?" Thus, for example, the Sixth Nation was added to the Confederacy in 1712.

"Brother Cayenguirago!—When the Christians first arrived in this country, we received them kindly. When they were but a small people, we entered into a league with them, to guard them from all enemies whatsoever. We were so fond of their society, that we tied the great canoe which brought them, not with a rope made of bark to a tree, but with a strong iron chain fastened to a great mountain. Now, before the Christians arrived, the General Council of the Five Nations was held at Onondaga, where there has been, from the beginning, a continual fire kept burning; it is made of two great logs, whose flame never extinguishes. As soon as the hatchet-makers [their general name for Christians,] arrived, the General Council at Onondaga planted this tree at Albany, whose roots and branches have since spread as far as New-England, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia; and under the shade of this tree all these English colonies have frequently been sheltered."

Here the orator gave seven fathoms of wampum, to renew the chain; and promised, as he declared his expectation of receiving, mutual assistance in case of an attack from any enemy.

"The only reason, to be plain with you," he continued, "of our sending to make peace with the French, is the low condition to which we are reduced, while none of our neighbors send us the least assistance, so that the whole burthen of the war lies on us alone. Our brethren of New-England, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, of their own accord thrust their arms into our chain; but since the war began we have received no assistance from them. We, alone, cannot continue the war against the French, by reason of the recruits they daily receive from the other side the great lake.

"Brother Cayenguirago!—Speak from your heart. Are you resolved to prosecute the war vigorously against the French; and are your neighbors of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New-England, resolved to assist us? If it be so, notwithstanding any treaty hitherto entered into, we will prosecute the war as hotly as ever. But if our neighbors will not assist, we must make peace, and we submit it to your consideration, by giving this great belt fifteen deep.

"Brother Cayenguirago!—I have truly told you the reasons which have induced us to offer peace to the French; we shall likewise, from the bottom of our hearts, inform you of the design we have in this treaty. When the Governor of Canada shall have accepted the nine belts, of which I have just now told you, then we shall have something more to say by two large belts, which lie still hid in our bosom. We shall lay down first one and say, 'we have a brother Cayenguirago, with whose people we have been united in one chain from the beginning. They must be included in this treaty; we cannot see them involved in bloody war, while we sit in easy peace.' If the Governor of Canada answer, that he has made a separate peace with us, and that he cannot make any peace with Cayenguirago, because the war is from over the great lake; then we shall lay down the second great broad belt, and tell the Governor of Canada, 'If you will not include Cayenguirago's people, the treaty will become thereby void, as if it had never been made;' and if he persists, we will absolutely leave him."

While the conference was going on at Albany, Decanesora and his fellow deputies arrived at the castle of the Praying Indians, near the falls above Montreal. Thence they were conducted, by the Superior of the Jesuits, to Quebec. They had their audience of the Governor of Canada with great solemnity, in the presence of all the ecclesiastics and officers of distinction, and of the most considerable Indians then in the place. Every day, while they remained, they were entertained at the Governor's table, or at those of the principal citizens. On the other side, it is said of the veteran Decanesora, that shrewdly accommodating his coat to his company, he made himself still more personable than usual, by the aid of a splendid arrangement which might have done credit to a modern ambassador. He was clothed in scarlet, trimmed with gold; and his reverend locks were covered with a laced beaver-hat, which had been given him by Colonel Fletcher a few months before. Neither ceremony nor decoration, however, nor even good dinners, mitigated the old orator's firmness.

"Father!" [FN] he said to the Governor, after mentioning the objects of the deputation,—"If we do not conclude a peace now, it will be your fault. We have already taken the hatchet out of the River Indians [Hudson's river] whom we incited to the war. But we must tell you, that you are a bad man. You are inconstant. You are not to be trusted. We have had war together a long time. Still, though you occasioned the war, we never hated the house of Ohguesse [the Montreal gentleman.] Let him undertake the toilsome journey to Onondaga. If he will come, he shall be welcome."

[FN] "A term used in mere courtesy, and because the Governor chose to call the Indians his children." So a Sachem explained it to one of the New York Governors, that it "signified nothing."

"Father!"—he continued,—"We are now speaking of peace, and therefore I must speak a word to the Praying Indians, and first to those of Cahnawaga [chiefly Mohawks.] You know our customs and manners. Therefore make Yonondio acquainted with them.—Assist in the good work of peace. As for you," (addressing a party of praying Indians most of whom had once been Onondagas,) "you are worse than the French themselves. You deserted from us, and sided with our enemies to destroy us. Make some amends now by forwarding peace." He then resumed his address to the Governor.

"You have almost eaten us up. Our best men are killed in this bloody war. But we forget what is past. Before this we once threw the hatchet into the river of Kaihohage, [FN] but you fished it up, and treacherously surprised our people at Cadaraqui. After that you sent to us to have our prisoners restored. Then the hatchet was thrown up to the sky, but you kept a string fastened to the helve, and pulled it down, and fell upon our people again. This we revenged to some purpose, by the destruction of your people and houses in the island of Montreal."

[FN] Near Oswego, on Lake Ontario, where the treaty with M. De la Barre was negotiated.

"Now we are come to cover the blood from our sight, which has been shed by both sides during this long war.

"Yonondio!—We have been at war a long time. We now give you a medicine to drive away all ill thoughts from your heart, to purge it and make it clean, and restore it to its former state.

"Yonondio!—We will not permit any settlement at Cadaraqui. You have had your fire, there thrice extinguished. We will not consent to your building that fort; but the passage through the river shall be free and clear. We make the sun clean, and drive away all clouds and darkness, that we may see the light without interruption.

"Yonondio!—We have taken many prisoners from one another, during the war. The prisoners we took have been delivered, according to our custom, to the families that have lost any in the war. They no longer belong to the public. They may give them back if they please. Your people may do the same. We have brought back two prisoners, and restore them to you." [FN]

[FN] Colden.

In the course of his reply to this speech, the Governor observed, that he should not make peace with Cayenguirago. But Decanesora, nobly and fearlessly true to every engagement as to his own honor, promptly declared that he never would agree to a peace for the Confederates, except on condition of a truce for the English. "All the country," said he, "will look upon me as a traitor; I can treat with you no longer." And undoubtedly, anxious as he was to effect the object of his embassy, he would have returned home disappointed, had not the Governor, after a discussion of three days, finally yielded, by agreeing to undertake no enterprise against New York during the summer. Another difficulty arose upon the Governor's insisting on having hostages left with him, which the Sachem would not consent to. The matter was adjusted by the voluntary proposal of two Indians in his company to remain.

After the return of the Deputation to the country of the Five Nations, a conference was held at Albany between a new deputation on their part, and the Governor of New-York. The latter, well knowing how much the neighboring colonies were interested in the result of the French negotiation, invited several of them to send representatives, which they accordingly did. Among those present were the Governor of New-Jersey, and five commissioners from Massachusetts and Connecticut. On the other hand, Decanesora and Sadekanatie both attended in the name of the Five Nations. The former gave an exact account of every thing which passed at Quebec. The latter,—who seems rather to have coveted opportunities of declaring the freest sentiments in the freest manner, which his colleague indeed never declined,—opened the conference with a long speech upon the history of the English and Indian intercourse; how the league had begun, and had been enlarged and strengthened; and finally,—what was the chief aim of his argument,—how other colonies, as he said, had thrust their arms into the chain, but had given little or no assistance against the common enemy. There was some cause for this complaint, and the orator was resolved that he would not be misunderstood when he stated it "Our brother Cayenguirago's arms;" he continued, "and our own are stiff, and tired with holding fast the chain. Our neighbors sit still and smoke at their ease. The fat is melted from our flesh, and fallen on them. They grow fat while we grow lean."

"This chain made us the enemy of the French. If all had held as fast as Cayenguirago, it would have been a terror to them. If we would all heartily join, and take the hatchet in hand, our enemy would soon be destroyed. We should forever after live in peace and ease. Do but your parts, [probably addressing the Commissioners] and thunder itself cannot break the chain."

Thus closely did the orators, who were in other words the statesmen of the Five Nations, investigate the conduct alike of their enemies and their allies, and thus freely and fearlessly did they in all cases express themselves as they felt Characters of every description came under their cognizance. Manœuvres and machinations, political and personal, were brought to bear upon them on all sides. The French emissary plied them at one turn, and the English peddler at the next; and they talked and traded with either or both, as the case might be, with the same indolent imperturbable gravity. Each party went away, perhaps, chuckling over the ease with which he had imposed upon savage simplicity, and flattering himself that their opinion of his honesty was at least adequate to his own opinion of his shrewdness. But the event proved otherwise.

Decanesora once said to Major Schuyler, in reply to the latter's suggestion of fraud on the part of a Jesuit messenger of the French,—"We know that the priest favors his own nation. But it is not in his power to alter our affection to our brethren. We wish you would bury all the misunderstandings you have conceived on his account,—and we likewise wish you gave less credit to the rum-carriers than you do." This was a palpable hit, truly, and a deserved one. And thus, generally, were the Barbarian Orators, after all, upon the safe side. Nothing daunted their spirit. Nothing deceived their sagacity.


Account of the Ottawas—Their first Chief-Sachem known to the English, Pontiac—His interview with Major Rogers—Protects that officer and his troops—Saves Detroit from an army of Indians—Hostility of the northern tribes to the English, after the conquest of Canada—Adventures of Henry—Anecdotes of Minavavana—Supposed feelings of Pontiac towards the English—His great project of combination.

Having arrived regularly, according to the order observed in this work, at the commencement of the eighteenth century, we shall now turn our attention to a section of the continent hitherto mostly unnoticed, but which at that period began to be the theatre of important events, and to be illustrated by at least one character comparable to any in the whole compass of Indian annals. We refer to the vicinity of the Northern Lakes, to the numerous and powerful tribes resident in that region, and particularly to Pontiac.

It has been stated by respectable authority, that this celebrated individual was a member of the tribe of Sacs, or Saukies; but there appears to us no sufficient reason for disputing the almost universal opinion which makes him an Ottawa. That tribe, when the commerce of the early French colonists of Canada first began to extend itself to the Upper Lakes, was found in their vicinity, in connection with two others, the Chippewas and the Pottawatamies. All three are supposed to have been originally a scion of the Algonquin stock,—that being the general name of the nation, which, in Champlain's time, was settled along the north banks of the St. Lawrence, between Quebec and Lake St. Peters. According to their own traditions, preserved to this day, the three tribes (as they afterwards became,) in their flight or emigration, went together from the East, as far as Lake Huron. A separation afterwards took place, the result of which was, that the Ottawas, being most inclined to agriculture, remained near what has since been Michilimackinac, while their companions preferred venturing to still more distant regions of the North and West.

Detroit was founded by the French in July, 1701, and from that time the Ottawas began to give frequent manifestations of a spirit which finally made them, respectively, an ally or an enemy of the first importance to the different civilized parties with whom they held intercourse. Only three years after the French settled in their vicinity, several of their chiefs were induced to visit the English at Albany. The almost inevitable consequence of the interview was, that they returned home with a firm persuasion that the French intended to subdue them. They attempted to fire the town, therefore, in one instance; and about the same time, a war-party, on their return from a successful expedition against the Iroquois,—whom they were bold enough to attack in their own country,—paraded in front of the Detroit fortress, and offered battle. After some hard fighting, they were defeated and driven off.

But the French have always effected more among the Indians in peace than in war, and thus it was with the Ottawas; for, from the date of the skirmish just mentioned, they were almost uniformly among the best friends and even protectors of the colony. "When the French arrived at these falls," said a Chippewa Chief at a Council held but a few years since, "they came and kissed us. They called us children, and we found them fathers. We lived like brethren in the same lodge," &c. [FN] Such was the impression made also upon the Ottawas; and we accordingly find them, in conjunction with the Chippewas, aiding the French on all occasions, until the latter surrendered the jurisdiction of the Canadas to the English. Several hundred of their warriors distinguished themselves at the disastrous defeat of Braddock.

[FN] See a Discourse delivered before the Michigan Historical Society, in 1830, by Mr. Schoolcraft. We also acknowledge our obligations, in preparing our notice of Pontiac, to Governor Cass's Discourse of the year previous, before the same body.

Pontiac was probably at the head of this force. Several years before, he was known as a warrior of high standing and great success; and as early as 1746, he commanded a powerful body of Indians, mostly Ottawas, who gallantly defended the people of Detroit against the formidable attack of a number of combined Northern tribes. But a far more important trial, both of his principles and his talents, was yet to come, in the transfer of power from the French to the English, which took place at the termination of the long war between those nations, ending with the peace of 1761. The stations upon the Lakes were given up in 1760. The first detachment of British troops which ever penetrated into that region, was sent, during this year, for the purpose of taking formal possession. That force was commanded by Major Rogers, and from the "Concise Account of North America," written by him, [FN] we obtain our knowledge of the earliest interview between Pontiac and the English. It is allowed to have the merit of authenticity; and although not so definite as might be desired, it furnishes a variety of characteristic and singular facts.

[FN] Published in London: 1765. We have a "Journal" of the same expedition, from the same pen.

Major Rogers says, that "on the way,"—meaning generally the route from Montreal to Detroit,—he was met by an embassy from Pontiac, consisting of some of his own warriors, together with several chiefs belonging to subordinate tribes. The object was, to inform him that Pontiac, in person, proposed to visit him; that he was then not far distant, coming peaceably; and that he desired the Major to halt his detachment, "till such time as he could see him with his own eyes." The Deputies were also directed to represent their master as the King and Lord of the country which the English had now entered.

The Major drew up his troops as requested, and before long the Ottawa Chieftain made his appearance. He wore, we are told, an air of majesty and princely grandeur. After the first salutation, he sternly demanded of the Englishman his business in his territory, and how he had dared to venture upon it without his permission. Rogers was too prudent and too intelligent to take offence at this style of reception. Nor did he undertake to argue any question of actual or abstract right. He said that he had no design against the Indians, but, on the contrary, wished to remove from their country a nation who had been an obstacle to mutual friendship and commerce between them and the English. He also made known his commission to this effect, and concluded with a present of several belts of wampum. Pontiac received them with the single observation,—"I shall stand in the path you are walking till morning,"—and gave, at the same time, a small string of wampum. This, writes the Major, was as much as to say, "I must not march farther without his leave."

Such, undoubtedly, was the safest construction; and the sequel shows that Pontiac considered it the most civil. On departing for the night, he asked Rogers whether he wanted any thing which his country afforded; if so, his warriors should bring it for him. The reply was discreet as the offer was generous,—that whatever provisions might be brought in, should be well paid for. Probably they were; but the English were at all events supplied, the next morning, with several bags of parched corn and other necessaries. Pontiac himself, at the second meeting, offered the pipe of peace, and he and the English officer smoked it by turns. He declared that he thereby made peace with the Englishman and his troops; and that they should pass through his dominions, not only unmolested by his subjects, but protected by them from all other parties who might incline to be hostile.

These were no idle promises. Pontiac remained in company with his new friend constantly after the first interview, until he arrived at Detroit. He employed one hundred of his warriors to protect and assist a corps of soldiers, in driving a large number of fat cattle which had been sent on for the use of the troops, from Pittsburgh, by the way of Presque Isle. He also despatched messengers to the several Indian towns on the south side and west end of Lake Erie, to inform them that Rogers had his consent to march through the country. Under such auspices, the Major might reasonably have felt himself safe, after reaching his destination. But the chieftain understood his situation better than himself. He kept near him so long as he remained at Detroit; and Rogers acknowledges that he was once at least "the means of preserving the detachment" from the fury of a body of Indians, who had assembled with sinister purposes at the mouth of the Strait.

This incident leads us to remark, that almost all the tribes on the Northern waters who had associated and traded with the French during the term of their jurisdiction,—and but few of them there were who had not,—sincerely lamented the change which had occurred in public affairs. They were very generally prejudiced against the new comers, as they were attached to the old residents. Perhaps the latter, individually, if not otherwise, fomented the spirit of discontent. But, however this might be, there were reasons enough in the ancient relations maintained between the French and the Indians, independently of argument or comment, why such a spirit should manifest itself under the circumstances we have mentioned.

The fact itself is indisputable. It is proved by facts, subsequent and consequent. It is also proved by many, respectable authorities, only one of which will be here referred to, for the sake of illustration.

Mr. Henry, the well known author of "Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, between the years 1760 and 1766," speaks of an affair in point, which happened at the little island of La Cloche, [FN] in Lake Huron, on his voyage, in the spring of 1761, from Montreal to Michilimackinac. He found a large village of Indians at this place, who treated him in the kindest manner, until "discovering that he was an Englishman," they told his men that the Michilimackinac Indians would certainly kill him, and that they might therefore as well anticipate their own share of the pillage. On this principle they demanded a part of his stores, and he deemed it prudent to make no resistance. He observes, afterwards, that his mind was "oppressed" with the repeated warnings he received of sure destruction where he was going. Again,—"the hostility of the Indians was exclusively against the English;" and this circumstance suggested to Henry a prospect of security in assuming a Canadian disguise, which fortunately enabled him to complete his expedition.

[FN] So named by the French, from a rock on the island which, being struck, rings like a bell.

But the difficulty did not cease here. He was now in the neighborhood of Pontiac, and among the tribes subject to his influence. What manner of men they were, and how for the master-spirit may be supposed to, have filled them with the fire of his own soul, will appear from a speech of one of the Chippewa Chiefs, Minavavana, who, with a band of his own tribe, visited the newly arrived trader at his house in Michilimackinac. The courage and the eloquence of this man, blended as they are with the highest degree of savage chivalry, almost make us suspect his identity with the Ottawa Chieftain himself. The name is by no means conclusive against such a conjecture, for it would be an extraordinary fact in Indian History, if so distinguished a man as Pontiac were known only by one appellation, and especially when he associated with a large number of tribes, speaking as many different languages.

Henry describes his hero as a person of remarkable appearance, of commanding stature, and with a singularly fine countenance. He entered the room where the traveler was anxiously awaiting the result of his visit, followed by sixty warriors, dressed and decorated in the most formal and imposing fashion of war. Not a word was spoken as they came in, one by one, seated themselves on the floor at a signal from the Chief, and began composedly smoking their pipes. Minavavana, meanwhile, looking steadfastly at Henry, made various enquiries of his head-boatman, a Canadian. He then coolly observed, that "the English were brave men, and not afraid of death, since they dared to come thus fearlessly among their enemies. A solemn pause now ensued for some time, until the Indians having finished their pipes, the Chieftain took a few wampum-strings in his hand, and commenced the following harangue:

"Englishman!—It is to you that I speak, and I demand your attention!

"Englishman!—You know that the French King is our father. He promised to be such; and we, in return, promised to be his children. This promise we have kept.

"Englishman!—It is you that have made war with this our father. You are his enemy; and how then could you have the boldness to venture among us, his children? You know that his enemies are ours.

"Englishman!—We are informed that our father, the king of France, is old and infirm; and that being fatigued with making war upon your nation, he is fallen asleep. During his sleep, you have taken advantage of him, and possessed yourselves of Canada. But his nap is almost at an end. I think I hear him already stirring, and inquiring for his children the Indians;—and, when he does awake, what must become of you? He will destroy you utterly!

"Englishman!—Although you have conquered the French, you have not yet conquered us! We are not your slaves. These lakes, these woods and mountains, were left to us by our ancestors. They are our inheritance, and we will part with them to none. Your nation supposes that we, like the white people, cannot live without bread, and pork, and beef! But, you ought to know, that He,—the Great Spirit and Master of Life,—has provided food for us, in these broad lakes, and upon these mountains.

"Englishman!—-Our father, the king of France, employed our young men to make war upon your nation. In this warfare, many of them have been killed; and it is our custom to retaliate, until such time as the spirits of the slain are satisfied. Now the spirits of the slain are to be satisfied in either of two ways. The first is by the spilling of the blood of the nation by which they fell; the other, by covering the bodies of the dead, and thus allaying the resentment of their relations. This is done by making presents.

"Englishman!—Your king has never sent us any presents, nor entered into any treaty with us. Wherefore he and we are still at war; and, until he does these things, we must consider that we have no other father, nor friend, among the white men, than the king of France. But, for you, we have taken into consideration, that you have ventured your life among us, in the expectation that we should not molest you. You do not come armed, with an intention to make war. You come in peace, to trade with us, and supply us with necessaries, of which we are much in want. We shall regard you, therefore, as a brother; and you may sleep tranquilly, without fear of the Chippewas. As a token of our friendship, we present you with this pipe, to smoke."

The interview terminated in a manner which reminds us of Pontiac's meeting with Rogers. Minavavana gave the Englishman his hand—his companions followed his example—the pipe went round in due order—and, after being politely entertained, all quietly departed. If this was not the Ottawa himself; he was certainly a kindred spirit; and if the former exercised authority over many such characters,—as he probably did,—it is not difficult to account far the confidence which dictated the design, or for the measure of success which attended the prosecution of one of the mightiest projects ever conceived in the brain of an American savage.

This project was a combination of all the tribes on and about the Northern waters, perhaps partially with an ultimate view to the restoration of the French Government, but directly and distinctly to the complete extirpation of the English.

It has been observed by a writer who has done signal justice to the genius of Pontiac, "that we are nowhere told the causes of disaffection which separated him from the British interest." [FN-1] There is an allusion here to the information furnished by Rogers, who indeed states that Pontiac "often intimated to him that he should be content to reign in his country, in subordination to the king of Great Britain, and was willing to pay him such annual acknowledgment as he was able, in furs, and to call him his Uncle." [FN-2] But, without in the least disparaging the honesty of Rogers, we are inclined to dispute the propriety of what we suppose to have been rather his own inference than the Chieftain's declaration. A disregard to niceties of expression, on the part of both speaker and hearer, was no uncommon thing at interviews of this kind,—one party being always eager, and both frequently ignorant enough, had they even tolerable means of communicating together in language at all.

[FN-1] Discourse of Governor Cass.

[FN-2] Rogers' Accounts, 242; London Edition.

The context confirms this opinion. It appears singular, at first glance, that Pontiac should propose calling the British king his Uncle. An appellation, indeed,—as the Iroquois orators told the English at Albany,—"signified nothing," in itself; and yet, as referring to the term Father, applied by Minavavana and the Northern Indians generally, to his Christian Majesty, it did signify, at least, that Pontiac meant to pay a slighter deference to the British king than to the French. No allegiance was acknowledged to either. As Minavavana said, "the Indians had no Father among the white men"—passing that courtesy for what is was worth—"but the king of France." That, however, did not prevent them from owning and claiming their own woods and mountains. It did not entitle the French king to command the services, instead of "employing" the assistance of their young men. It did not blind them to the fact, that although the English had conquered the French, they had not conquered them. [FN-1] It makes the matter still more dear, in regard to what was the understanding of Pontiac, and what ought to have been that of Rogers, that, according to his own statement, the Chieftain "assured him [on the same occasion when the language last referred to is said to have been uttered.] that he was inclined to live peaceably with the English, while they used him as he deserved, and to encourage their settling in his country, but intimated that if they treated him with neglect, he should shut up the way, and exclude them from it." In short, concludes the same writer, "his whole conversation sufficiently indicated that he was far from considering himself a conquered Prince, and that he expected to be treated with the respect and honor due to a King or Emperor, by all who came into his country or treated with him." [FN-2]


FN-1] Speech of of Minavavana.

[FN-2] Rogers' Account, p. 242.

On the whole, we have seen no evidence, and we know of no reason for presuming, that he was ever any farther attached to "the British interest," or rather any otherwise affected towards the idea of becoming attached, than is indicated by the very independent declaration made as above stated. In regard to the question why he never did become attached to the British interest,—taking that for the correct representation of the fact,—history is silent, as unfortunately it is in regard to most of the remarkable occurrences on the frontiers which accompanied and followed his enterprise. The conjectures of any one man, who has intelligently investigated and reflected upon such history as there is, may be worth as much as those of any other. It seems to be probable, however, that although hostilities might have been prevented by a system of good management on the part of the English, (in which their predecessors could have given them a lesson,) they did not arise from any particular acts of aggression.

Pontiac reasoned as well as felt. He reasoned as Philip had done before him, and as Tecumseh will be found to have done since. He had begun to apprehend danger from this new government and people; danger to his own dominion and to the Indian interest at large; danger from their superiority in arms, their ambition, their eagerness in possessing themselves of every military position on the Northern waters;—and we may add also, their want of that ostensible cordiality towards the Indians, personally, to which the latter had been so much accustomed and attached in the golden days of the French, and which they were apt to regard as a necessary indication of good faith as of good will. In the language of the Chippewa orator, the French had lived in the same lodge with them. They had sent them missionaries; and invited them to councils, and made them presents, and talked and traded with them, and manifested an interest in their affairs, [FN] always suspected by the Indians less, and yet always effecting their own purposes better and farther, than any other people.

[FN] Discourse of Schoolcraft.

The English, on the other hand, if they committed no aggressions,—(the expedition of Rogers was perhaps considered one; but that Pontiac forgave,)—yet manifested but a slight disposition for national courtesy, or for individual intercourse, or for a beneficial commerce of any description. In other words, they "neglected"—to use Pontiac's phrase,—all those circumstances which made the neighborhood of the French agreeable, and which might have made their own at least tolerable. The conduct of the latter never gave rise to suspicion. Theirs never gave rest to it.

Thus, we suppose, the case might present itself to the mind of the Ottawa Chieftain. And while such was the apparent disposition, or indifference to any disposition in particular, of the English towards the Indians,—and such the consequent liability, if not the reasonable prospect on the part of the latter, if the former should occupy Canada,—Pontiac was not likely to forget that they had conquered the French. He saw too that they were rapidly and firmly establishing their new dominion, by movements which, at all events, did not purport to promote the interest of the Indians. And he knew, no doubt,—-certainly he soon ascertained,—that whereas the French of Canada and the Colonies of New-England had hitherto, by their action upon each other, left the third party in a good measure disengaged,—the new comers were themselves from Old England, if not New;—speaking the same language (and that a strange one to the natives;) subject to the same government; and ready at all times to be very conveniently supplied and supported, to an indefinite extent, by those powerful Southern Colonies which had long before destroyed or driven off the Indians from their own borders.

So Pontiac reasoned; and he looked into futurity far enough to foresee that ultimate fatal result to his race, which now was the only time, if indeed there was yet time, to prevent. Immediate occasions of hostility there might be besides; but these must be the subject of mere speculation. Affections which do him honor, predisposed him to believe that the English had done injustice to his old friends the French; and the French might further endeavor to persuade him that they had also done injustice to himself. But, it was certain, "they bad treated him with neglect." And therefore, following his own principle, as well as the impulse of pride, he resolved to "shut up the way." How far he succeeded, and by what means, will be our next subjects of consideration.


Pontiac's plan of campaign—He commences active preparations—Council of the Ottawas—Grand Council of the Northern tribes—Dream of the Delaware—Maxims promulgated by Pontiac—Estimate of the number and force of his allies—Commencement of the war—Surprisal of nine English posts—Mode of surprisal—Artifice adopted at Michilimackinac, and result—Reduction of Detroit undertaken by Pontiac in person—His interview with the commandant—His plan discovered, and the surprise prevented—Letter from Detroit.

The plan of operations adopted by Pontiac, for effecting the extinction of the English power, evinces an extraordinary genius, as well as a courage and energy of the highest order. This was a sudden and contemporaneous attack upon all the British posts on the Lakes—at St. Joseph, Ouiatenon, Green Bay, Michilimackinac, Detroit, the Maumee, and the Sandusky—and also upon the forts at Niagara, Presque Isle, Le Bœuf, Verango and Pittsburg. Most of the fortifications at these places were slight, being rather commercial depots, than military establishments. Still, against the Indians they were strong-holds; and the positions had been so judiciously selected by the French, that to this day they command the great avenues of communication to the world of woods and waters in the remote north and west. It was manifest to Pontiac, familiar as he was with the geography of this vast tract of country, and with the practical, if not technical maxims of war, that the possession or the destruction of these posts,—saying nothing of their garrisons,—would be emphatically "shutting up the way." If the surprise could be simultaneous, so that every English banner which waved upon a line of thousands of miles should be prostrated at the same moment, the garrisons would be unable to exchange assistance, while, on the other hand, the failure of one Indian detachment would have no effect to discourage another. Certainly, some might succeed. Probably, the war might begin and be terminated with the same single blow; and then Pontiac would again be the Lord and King of the broad land of his ancestors.

The measures taken in pursuance of these calculations, were worthy of the magnificent scheme. The chieftain felt confident that success would multiply friends and allies to his cause. But he knew equally well, that friends and allies to his cause were as necessary to obtain success. Some preliminary principles must be set forth, to show what his cause was; and however plausible it might appear in theory, exertions must also be made to give assurance of its feasibility in practice. A belligerent combination of some kind must be formed in the outset; and the more extensive, the better.

Pontiac commenced operations with his own tribe; the Ottawas being, for several reasons, peculiarly under his control, at the same time that their influence over other tribes was hardly inferior to his own influence over themselves. Some of these tribes had fought with them against the English, not many years before; and the connection between them was so apparent in the time of Major Rogers, that he considered them as "formed into a sort of empire." He expressly states, also, that the Emperor, as he supposed Pontiac then to be, was "elected from the eldest tribe—which is the Ottawawas, some of whom inhabit near our fort at Detroit, but are mostly further westward, towards the Mississippi." He might well add, that Pontiac "had the largest empire and greatest authority of any Indian chief that has appeared on the continent since our acquaintance with it." [FN] The truth probably was, that the tribes here described as confederates, were most of them related to each other by descent, more or less remotely. Some were intimately associated. All would be rather disposed to act together in any great project, as they already had done, (and as most of them have since, during the American Revolution, and during the last war with Great Britain.) Still such was and is the nature of Indian government, that it was necessary for Pontiac to obtain the separate concurrence and confidence of each. To gain over the Ottawas first, was not to strengthen his authority, indeed, but it was adding much to his influence.

[FN] Roger's Account, p. 240.

The Ottawas, then, were called together, and the plan was disclosed, explained and enforced, with all the eloquence and cunning which Pontiac could bring to his task. He appealed to the fears, the hopes, the ambition, the cupidity of his hearers—their regard for the common interest of the race, their hatred of the English, and their gratitude and love for the French. We are told by a modern historian, that some of the Ottawas had been disgraced by blows. [FN] Such a suggestion, whether well rounded or not, might probably be made, and would of course have its effect. So would the display of a belt, which the chieftain exhibited, and which he professed to have received from the King of France, urging him to drive the British from the country, and to open the paths for the return of the French.

[FN] Discourse of Governor Cass.

These topics having been skilfully managed, and the Ottawas warmly engaged in the cause, a grand council of the neighbouring tribes was convened at the river Aux Ecorces. Here Pontiac again exerted his talents with distinguished effect. With a profound knowledge of the Indian character, and especially aware of the great power of superstition upon their minds, he related, among other things, a dream, in which the Great Spirit, (the orator said,) had secretly disclosed to a Delaware Indian the conduct he expected his red children to pursue. Minute instructions had been graciously given, suitable to the existing crisis in their fortunes, and remarkably coincident, it will be observed, with the principles and projects of the chieftain himself. They were to abstain from the use of ardent spirits. They were also to abandon the use of all English manufactures, and to resume their bows and arrows, and the skins of the animals for clothing. It is needless to eulogize the sagacity which dictated both these proposals: "and why," the orator concluded, "why, said the Great Spirit indignantly to the Delaware,—do you suffer these dogs in red clothing to enter your country, and take the land I have given you? Drive them from it!—Drive them!—When you are in distress I will help you!" [FN]

[FN] Discourse of Governor Cass.

It is not difficult to imagine the effect which this artful appeal to prejudice and passion might have on the inflammable temperaments of a multitude of credulous and excited savages. The name of Pontiac alone was a host; but the Great Spirit was for them,—it was impossible to fail. A plan of campaign was conceited on the spot, and belts and speeches were sent to secure the co-operation of the Indians along the whole line of the frontier.

Neither the precise number nor power of those who actually joined the combination can now be determined. The Ottawas, the Chippewas, and the Pottawatamies were among the most active. The two former of these had sent six hundred warriors in one body to the defence of Fort Du Quesne. The Ottawas of L'Arbre Croche, alone, mustered two hundred and fifty fighting men. The Miamies were engaged. [FN] So were the Sacs, the Ottagamies (or Foxes,) the Menominies, the Wyandots, the Mississagas, the Shawanees; and, what was still more to the purpose, a large number of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Delawares, and of the Six Nations of New York. The alliance of the two last-named parties,—in itself the result of a master-piece of policy, was necessary to complete that vast system of attack which comprehended all the British positions from Niagara to Green Bay and the Potomac.

[FN] Ibid.

The plan was at length thoroughly matured. The work of extirpation commenced on or about the same day, from north to south, and from east to west. Nine of the British forts were captured. Some of the garrisons were completely surprised, and massacred on the spot; a few individuals, in other cases, escaped. The officer who commanded at Presque Isle, defended himself two days, during which time, the savages are said to have fired his block-house about fifty times, but the soldiers extinguished the flames as often. It was then undermined, and a train was laid for an explosion, when a capitulation was proposed and agreed upon, under which a part of the garrison was carried captive to the north-west. The officer was afterwards given up at Detroit.

A great number of English traders were taken, on their way, from all quarters of the country, to the different forts; and their goods, as well those of the residents at such places, and the stores at the depots themselves, of course became prize to the conquerors. Pittsburgh, with the smaller forts, Ligonier, Bedford, and others in that neighbourhood, were closely beset, but successfully defended, until the arrival of large reinforcements. The savages made amends for these failures by a series of the most horrible devastations in detail, particularly in New York, Pennsylvania, and even in Northern Virginia, which have ever been committed upon the continent.

In case of most, if not all of the nine surprisals first mentioned, quite as much was effected by stratagem as by force, and that apparently by a preconcerted system which indicates the far-seeing superintendence of Pontiac himself. Generally, the commanders were secured in the first instance, by parties admitted within the forts under the pretence of business or friendship. At Maumee, or the Miamies, (as the station among that tribe was commonly designated,) the officer was betrayed by a squaw, who by piteous entreaties persuaded him to go out with her some two hundred yards, to the succor, as she said, of a wounded man who was dying; the Indians waylaid and shot him.

A more subtle policy was adopted at Michilimackinac, and surer means were taken to effect it. That fort, standing on the south side of the strait, between Lakes Huron and Michigan, was one of the most important positions on the frontier. It was the place of deposit, and the point of departure, between the upper and lower countries; the traders always assembling there, on their voyages to and from Montreal. Connected with it, was an area of two acres, enclosed with cedar-wood pickets, and extending on one side so near to the water's edge, that a western wind always drove the waves against the foot of the stockade. There were about thirty houses within the limits, inhabited by about the same number of families. The only ordnance on the bastions were two small brass pieces. The garrison numbered between ninety and one hundred.

The capture of this indispensable station was entrusted to the Chippewas, assisted by the Sacs, and those two tribes in concert adopted the following plan. The King's birth-day having arrived, a game of baggatiway was proposed by the Indians. This is played with a bat and ball; the former being about four feet long, curved, and terminating in a sort of racket. Two posts are placed in the ground, at the distance of half a mile or a mile from each other. Each party has its post, and the game consists in throwing up to the adversary's post the ball which at the beginning is placed in the middle of the course.

The policy of this expedient for surprising the garrison will clearly appear, when it is understood, that the game is necessarily attended with much violence and noise; that, in the ardor of contest the ball, if it cannot be thrown to the goal desired, is struck in any direction by which it can be diverted from that desired by the adversary; that, at such a moment, nothing could be less likely to excite premature alarm among the spectators of the amusement, than that the ball should be tossed over the pickets of the fort; or that having fallen there, it should be instantly followed by all engaged in the game,—struggling and shouting, in the unrestrained pursuit of a rude athletic exercise.

Such was precisely the artifice employed; and to be still more sure of success, the Indians had persuaded as many as they could of the garrison and settlers, to come voluntarily without the pickets, for the purpose of witnessing the game, which was said to be played for a high wager. Not fewer than four hundred were engaged on both sides, and consequently, possession of the fort being once gained, the situation of the English must be desperate indeed. The particulars of the sequel of this horrid transaction, furnished by Henry, are too interesting to be wholly omitted.

The match commenced with great animation, without the fort, Henry, however, did not go to witness it, being engaged in writing letters to his Montreal friends, by a canoe which was just upon the eve of departure. He had been thus occupied something like half an hour, when he suddenly heard a loud Indian war-cry, and a noise of general confusion. Going instantly to his window, he saw a crowd of Indians within the fort, furiously cutting down and scalping every Englishman they found; and he could plainly witness the last struggles of some of his particular acquaintances.

He had, in the room where he was, a fowling-piece loaded with swan-shot. This he immediately seized, and held it for a few minutes, expecting to hear the fort-drum beat to arms. In this dreadful interval, he saw several of his countrymen fall; and more than one struggling between the knees of the savages, who, holding them in this manner, scalped them while yet alive. At length, disappointed in the hope of seeing any resistance made on the part of the garrison, and sensible, of course, that no effort of his single arm could avail against four hundred Indians, he turned his attention to his own safety. Seeing several of the Canadian villagers looking out composedly upon the scene of blood—neither opposing the Indians nor molested by them—he conceived a hope of finding security in one of their houses.

He immediately climbed over a low fence, which was the only separation between the yard-door of his house, and that of his next neighbour, Monsieur Langlade. He entered the house of the latter precipitately, and found the whole family gazing at the horrible spectacle before them. He addressed himself to M. Langlade, and begged that he would put him in some place of safety, until the heat of the affair should be over—an act of charity which might preserve him from the general massacre. Langlade looked for a moment at him while he spoke, and then turned again to the window, shrugging his shoulders, and intimating that he could do nothing for him—"Que voudriez-vous que J'en ferais?"

Henry was now ready to despair; but at this moment, a Pani woman, [FN] a slave of M. Langlade, beckoned to him to follow her. She guided him to a door, which she opened, desiring him to enter, and telling him that it led to the garret, where he must go and conceal himself. He joyfully obeyed her directions; and she, having followed him up to the garret-door, locked it after him, and with great presence of mind took away the key. Scarcely yet lodged in this shelter, such as it was, Henry felt an eager anxiety to know what was passing without. His desire was more than satisfied by his finding an aperture in the loose board wails of the house, which afforded him a full view of the area of the fort. Here he beheld with horror, in shapes the foulest and most terrible, the ferocious triumphs of the savages. The dead were scalped and mangled; the dying were writhing and shrieking under the unsatiated knife and the reeking tomahawk; and from the bodies of some, ripped open, their butchers were drinking the blood scooped up in the hollow of joined hands, and quaffed amid shouts of rage and victory. In a few minutes, which to Henry seemed scarcely one, every victim who could be found being destroyed, there was a general cry of, "all is finished"—and at this moment Henry heard some of the savages enter Langlade's house. He trembled and grew faint with fear.

[FN] Said to belong to an Indian nation of the South—no doubt the same now generally called Pawnees.

As the flooring of his room and the ceiling of the room beneath consisted only of a layer of boards, he noticed every thing that passed; and he heard the Indians inquire, at their entrance, whether there was any Englishman about M. Langlade replied, that "He could not say—-he did not know of any"—as in fact he did not—"they could search for themselves (he added) and would soon be satisfied." The state of Henry's mind may be imagined, when, immediately upon this reply, the Indians were brought to the garret door. Luckily some delay was occasioned—through the management of the Pani woman—perhaps by the absence of the key. Henry had sufficient presence of mind to improve these few moments in looking for a hiding place. This he found in the corner of the garret, among a heap of such birch bark vessels as are used in making maple-sugar; and he had not completely concealed himself when the door opened, and four Indians entered, all armed with tomahawks, and all besmeared with blood from head to foot.

The die appeared to be cast. Henry could scarcely breathe, and he thought that the throbbing of his heart occasioned a noise loud enough to betray him. The Indians walked about the garret in every direction; and one of them approached him so closely that, at a particular moment, had he put forth his hand, he must have touched him. Favored, however, by the dark colour of his clothes, and the want of light in a room which had no window, he still remained unseen. The Indians took several turns about the room—entertaining M. Langlade all the while with a minute account of the proceedings of the day—-and at last returned down stairs.

Such is the traveler's account of the fall of Michilimackinac. The fate of Detroit remains to be told, a more important position than even Michilimackinac. An immense quantity of valuable goods,—one account says, to the amount of five hundred thousand pounds,—was known to be there stored. What was of more moment, its capture would release the French inhabitants of the Strait from their temporary allegiance to the English, and would consequently unite the hitherto separate lines of operation pursued by the Indian tribes above and below. Under these circumstances, its reduction was in person undertaken by Pontiac.

The town is supposed at this period to have been enclosed by a single row of pickets, forming nearly four sides of a square; there being block-houses at the corners and over the gates. An open space intervened between the houses and the pickets, which formed a place of arms and encircled the village. The fortifications did not extend to the river, but a gate opened in the direction of the stream, and not far from it, where, at the date in question, two armed vessels, fortunately for the inhabitants, happened to lie at anchor. The ordnance of the fort consisted of two six-pounders, one three-pounder, and three mortars; all of an indifferent quality. The garrison numbered one hundred and thirty, including officers, besides whom there were in the village something like forty individuals who were habitually engaged in the fur-trade. The inadequate proportion of this force, even to the size of the place, may be inferred from the fact, that the stockade which formed its periphery was more than one thousand feet long.

Such was the situation of Detroit, when the Ottawa chieftain, having completed his arrangements, on the 8th of May presented himself at the gates of the town, with a force of about three hundred Indians, chiefly Ottawas and Chippewas, and requested a council with Major Gladwyn, the Commandant. He expected, under this pretext, to gain admission for himself and a considerable number of attendants, who accordingly were provided with rifles, sawed off so short as to be concealed under their blankets. At a given signal,—which was to be the presentation of a wampum-belt in a particular manner by Pontiac to the Commandant, during the conference,—-the armed Indians were to massacre all the officers; and then, opening the gates, to admit a much larger body of warriors, who should be waiting without, for the completion of the slaughter and the destruction of the fort.

Fortunately, Major Gladwyn obtained a knowledge of the scheme, before an opportunity occurred for its execution. One of the French residents in the vicinity, returning home on the morning of the day last mentioned, is said to have met Pontiac and his party upon Bloody Bridge. This place, which still retains its name, is between one and two miles from the village. The last warrior in the file, being a particular friend of the white man, threw aside his blanket, and significantly exhibited the shortened rifle beneath. Whether his disclosure was communicated to Major Gladwyn, cannot be determined.

Carver states,—and his account is substantially confirmed by tradition, as well as by other authorities,—that an Indian woman betrayed the secret. She had been employed by the Commandant to make him a pair of moccasins out of elk-skin; and having completed them, she brought them into the fort, on the evening of the day when Pontiac made his appearance, and his application for a council. The Major was pleased with them, directed her to convert the residue of the skin into articles of the same description, and having made a generous payment, dismissed her. She went to the outer door, but there stopped, and for some time loitered about as if her errand was still unperformed. A servant asked her what she wanted, but she made no answer.—The Major himself observed her, and ordered her to be called in, when, after some hesitation, she replied to his enquiries, that as he had always treated her kindly, she did not like to take away the elk-skin, which he valued so highly;—she could never bring it back. The Commandants curiosity was of course excited, and he pressed the examination, until the woman at length disclosed every thing which had come to her knowledge.

Her information was not received with implicit credulity, but the Major thought it prudent to employ the night in taking active measures for defence. His arms and ammunition were examined and arranged; and the traders and their dependents, as well as the garrison, were directed to be ready for instant service. A guard kept watch on the ramparts during the night, it being apprehended that the Indians might anticipate the preparations now known to have been made for the next day. Nothing, however, was heard after dark, except the sound of singing and dancing, in the Indian camp, which they always indulge in upon the eve of any great enterprise. The particulars of the council of the next day, we shall furnish on the authority of a writer already cited.

In the morning, Pontiac and his warriors sang their war-song, danced their war-dance, and repaired to the fort. They were admitted without hesitation, and were conducted to the council house, where Major Gladwyn and his officers were prepared to receive them. They perceived at the gate, and as they passed through the streets, an unusual activity and movement among the troops. The garrison was under arms, the guards were doubled, and the officers were armed with swords and pistols. Pontiac enquired of the British commander, what was the cause of this unusual appearance. He was answered, that it was proper to keep the young men to their duty, lest they should become idle and ignorant. The business of the council then commenced, and Pontiac proceeded to address Major Gladwyn. His speech was bold and menacing, and his manner and gesticulations vehement, and they became still more so, as he approached the critical moment. When he was upon the point of presenting the belt to Major Gladwyn, and all was breathless expectation, the drums at the door of the council house, suddenly rolled the charge, the guards leveled their pieces, and the British officers drew their swords from their scabbards. Pontiac was a brave man, constitutionally and habitually. He had fought in many a battle, and often led his warriors to victory. But this unexpected and decisive proof, that his treachery was discovered and prevented, entirely disconcerted him. Tradition says he trembled. At all events, he delivered his belt in the usual manner, and thus failed to give his party the concerted signal of attack. Major Gladwyn immediately approached the chief, and drawing aside his blanket, discovered the shortened rifle, and then, after stating his knowledge of the plan, and reproaching him for his treachery, ordered him from the fort. The Indians immediately retired, and as soon as they had passed the gate, they gave the yell, and fired upon the garrison. They then proceeded to the commons, where was lying an aged English woman with her two sons. These they murdered, and afterwards repaired to Hog Island, where a discharged Serjeant resided with his family, who were all but one immediately massacred. Thus was the war commenced. [FN]

[FN] Discourse of Gov. Cass.

As to leading facts, this account is without doubt correct. Perhaps it is in all the minutiae. We have however seen a somewhat different version, which, as the affair is one of great interest, we shall here annex without comment. It was originally furnished in a letter from a gentleman residing in Detroit at the time of the attack, addressed to a friend in New-York, and dated July 9, 1763. It may be seen in the most respectable papers of that period, and is believed to be unquestionably authentic. As to many circumstances the writer's statement agrees with that just given, although the conference (perhaps another one) is said to nave taken place on the 7th of the month. The sequel is thus:

At the close of the interview, the Indians returned disconcerted, and encamped on the farther side of the river. Pontiac was reproached by some of the young warriors for not having given the signal (the appearance of the garrison having surprised him.) He told them, that he did not suppose they were willing to lose any of their men, as they must have done in that case; if they were, he would still give them an opportunity, whether the garrison should be under arms or not. All were satisfied with this proposition—"in consequence of which,"—proceeds our informant,—"Pondiac, with some others of the chiefs, came the next day, being Sunday, to smoak the Pipe of Peace with the Major, who despised them so much in consequence of their treachery, that he would not go nigh them, but told Captain Campbell [FN] if he had a mind he might speak with them. The Captain went, and smoaked with them, when Pondiac told him he would come the next day and hold a conference with the Major, and to wipe away all cause of suspicion he would bring ail his old and young men, to take him by the hand in a friendly manner."

[FN] The immediate predecessor of Gladwyn in the command of the post.

This certainly looks much like a genuine Indian artifice. The writer then says, that "after repeating several pieces of such stuff, he withdrew with his gang to his camp." The next morning, (Monday, the 9th,) as many as sixty-four canoes were discovered, all or them full of Indians, crossing the river above the fort. A few of them came to the gates and demanded permission for the whole company to be admitted "for a council." The Commandant refused this request, but expressed his willingness that some forty or fifty should come in, that being quite as many as was usual in such cases. The messengers returned to their comrades, who were lying and standing all around the fort, at the distance of two hundred yards. A consultation now took place, and then, we are told, "they all got up and fled off yelping like so many Devils.—They instantly fell upon Mrs. Turnbell, (an English woman to whom Major Gladwyn had given a small Plantation, about a Mile from the Fort,) and murdered and scalped her and her two sons; from thence they went to Hogs Island, about a league up the River from the Fort, and there murdered James Fisher and his wife, also four Soldiers who were with them, and carried off his Children and Servant Maid prisoners; the same evening, being the 9th, had an account, by a Frenchman, of the defeat of Sir Robert Davers and, Capt. Robertson." The sequel of the war, and of the history of Pontiac, will form the subject of our next chapter.


Siege of Detroit maintained by Pontiac—The Commandant meditates a retreat—The French propose a conference with Pontiac, which takes place—The latter demands the surrender of the fort, which the Commandant refuses—Vigorous renewal of hostilities—Advantages gained by the Indian army—Arrival of succor to the English—Battle of Bloody Bridge—Pontiac at length raises the siege,—Causes of it—The Indians make peace—His subsequent career until his death—Anecdotes illustrating his influence, energy, magnanimity, integrity and genius—His authority as chieftain—His talents as an orator—His traditionary fame.

We have now to furnish the details of one of the most singular transactions which has ever distinguished the multifarious warfare of the red men with the whites—the protracted siege of a fortified civilized garrison by an army of savages. We shall still avail ourselves of the diary contained in the letters already cited, and of other information from the same source.

"The 10th, in the Morning, (Tuesday) they attacked the Fort very resolutely. There continued a very hot Fire on both Sides until the Evening, when they ceased firing, having had several killed and wounded. They posted themselves behind the Garden-Fences and Houses in the Suburbs, and some Barns and Out-houses that were on the Side of the Fort next the Woods, to which we immediately set Fire by red-hot Spikes &c. from the Cannon." In this manner, and by occasional sorties, the enemy was dislodged and driven back, until they could only annoy the fort by approaching the summit of the low ridge which overlooked the pickets, and there, at intervals, they continued their fire.

Little damage was done in this way, nor did the Indians at any time undertake a close assault. The Commandant, however, ignorant of their style of warfare, apprehended that movement; and he believed that in such a case,—their numbers being now, according to some estimates, six or seven hundred, and according to others, about twice as many,—the situation of the garrison would be hopeless. Besides, he had but three weeks' provision in the fort, "at a pound of bread and two ounces of pork a man per day." Under these circumstances he immediately commenced preparations for an embarkation on board the two vessels which still lay in the stream, with the intention of retreating to Niagara.

He was dissuaded from this course by the French residents, who positively assured him that the enemy would never think of taking the fort by storm. A truce or treaty was then suggested. Some of the French, (who were the chief medium of communication between the belligerent parties,) mentioned the circumstance to Pontiac; and the latter, it is said, soon after sent in five messengers to the fort, proposing that two of the officers should go out and confer with him at his camp. He also requested, that Major Campbell might be one of them. That gentleman accordingly went, with the permission though not by the command of Major Gladwyn, in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 11th. Campbell took Lieutenant McDougall with him and both were attended by five or six of the French.

Whether the latter had meditated a treachery or not, does not appear. The French residents generally, at all events, cannot be fairly charged with improper conduct between the contending parties during the siege. They were naturally enough suspected and accused, but we have seen nothing proved against them. The two officers were, however, detained by the Indians; and Pontiac, who is generally supposed to have conceived this scheme for obtaining an advantage over the garrison, now sent in terms of capitulation. These were to the effect, that the troops should immediately surrender, "lay down their arms, as their fathers, the French, had been obliged to do—leave the cannon, magazines, and merchants' goods, and the two vessels—and be escorted in batteaux by Indians to Niagara." The Major promptly made answer, that "his commanding officer had not sent him there to deliver up the fort to Indians or anybody else, and he would therefore defend it so long as a single man could stand at his side."

Hostilities now recommenced, and were so vigorously sustained on the part of Pontiac, that for some months, (says the diary,) "the whole Garrison, Officers, Soldiers, Merchants and Servants, were upon the Ramparts every Night, not one having slept in a House, except the sick and wounded in the Hospital."

Three weeks after the commencement of the siege,—on the 30th of May,—the English sentinel on duty announced, that a fleet of boats, supposed to contain a supply of provisions and a reinforcement of troops from Niagara, was coming round "the point," at a place called the Huron Church. The garrison flocked to the bastions, and for a moment at least hope shone upon every countenance. But presently the death-cry of the Indians was heard, and the fate of the detachment was at once known. Their approach having been ascertained, Pontiac had stationed a body of warriors at Point Pelée. Twenty small batteaux, manned by a considerable number of troops, and laden with stores, landed there in the evening. The Indians watched their movements, and fell upon them about day-light. One officer, with thirty men, escaped across the lake; but the others were either killed or captured; and the line of barges ascended the river near the opposite shore, escorted by the Indians on the banks and guarded by detachments in each boat, in full view of the garrison and of the whole French settlement.

The prisoners were compelled to navigate the boats. As the first batteaux arrived opposite to the town, four British soldiers determined to effect their liberation, or to perish in the attempt. They suddenly changed the course of the boat, and by loud cries made known their intention to the crew of the vessel. The Indians in the other boats, and the escort on the bank, fired upon the fugitives, but they were soon driven from their positions by a cannonade from the armed schooner. The guard on board this boat leaped overboard, and one them dragged a soldier with him into the water, where both were drowned. The others escaped to the shore, and the boat reached the vessel, with but one soldier wounded. Lest the other prisoners might escape, they were immediately landed, and marched up the shore, to the lower point of Hog Island, where they crossed the river, and were immediately put to death, with all the horrible accompaniments of savage cruelty.

During the month of June, an attempt to relieve the garrison proved more successful. A vessel which had been sent to Niagara, arrived at the mouth of the river, with about fifty troops on board, and a supply of stores. The Indians generally left the siege, and repaired to Fighting Island, for the purpose of intercepting her. They annoyed the English very much in their canoes, till the latter reached the point of the Island, where, on account of the wind failing, they were compelled to anchor.

The captain had concealed his men in the hold, so that the Indians were not aware of the strength of the crew. Soon after dark, they embarked in their canoes, and proceeded to board the vessel. The men were silently ordered up, and took their stations at the guns. The Indians were suffered to approach close to the vessel, when the captain, by the stroke of a hammer upon the mast, which had been previously concerted, gave the signal for action. An immediate discharge took place, and the Indians precipitately fled, with many killed and wounded. The next morning, the vessel dropped down to the mouth of the river, where she remained six days, waiting for a wind. On the thirteenth, she succeeded in ascending the river, and reaching the fort in safety.

Pontiac felt the necessity of destroying these vessels, and he therefore constructed rafts for that purpose. The barns of some of the inhabitants were demolished, and the materials employed in this work. Pitch and other combustibles were added, and the whole so formed, as to burn with rapidity and intensity. They were of considerable length, and were towed to a proper position, above the vessels, when fire was applied, and they were left to the stream, in the expectation that they would be carried into contact with the vessels, and immediately set fire to them. Twice the attempt was made, without success. The British were aware of the design, and took their measures accordingly. Boats were constructed, and anchored with chains above the vessels, and every precaution was used to ward off the blow. The blazing rafts passed harmlessly by, and other incidents soon occurred to engage the attention of the Indians. [FN]

[FN] Discourse of Gov. Cass.

A week subsequent to this date, we find various letters from Detroit published, in Atlantic papers, of which the following passages are extracts. They will furnish the reader with an idea of the true situation of the garrison at this time, much better than could be derived from any description of our own.

"Detroit, July 6, 1763.

"We have been besieged here two Months, by Six Hundred Indians. We have been upon the Watch Night and Day, from the Commanding Officer to the lowest Soldier, from the 8th of May, and have not had our Cloaths off, nor slept all Night since it began; and shall continue so till we have a Reinforcement up. We then hope soon to give a good Account of the Savages. Their Camp lies about a Mile and a half from the Fort; and that's the nearest they choose to come now. For the first two or three Days we were attacked by three or four Hundred of them, but we gave them so warm a Reception that they don't care for coming to see us, tho' they now and then get behind a House or Garden, and fire at us about three or four Hundred Yards' distance. The Day before Yesterday, we killed a Chief and three others, and wounded some more; yesterday went up with our Sloop, and battered their Cabins in such a Manner that they are glad to keep farther off."

The next letter is under date of the 9th.

"You have long ago heard of our pleasant Situation; but the Storm is blown over. Was it not very agreeable to hear every day, of their cutting, carving, boiling and eating our Companions? To see every Day dead Bodies floating down the River, mangled and disfigured. But Britons, you know, never shrink; we always appeared gay, to spite the Rascals. They boiled and eat Sir Robert Devers; and we are informed by Mr. Pauly, who escaped the other Day from one of the Stations surprised at the breaking out of the War, and commanded by himself, that he had seen an Indian have the Skin of Captain Robertson's Arm for a Tobacco-Pouch!"

"Three Days ago, a Party of us went to demolish a Breast-work they had made. We finished our Work, and were returning Home; but the Fort espying a Party of Indians coming up, as if they intended to fight, we were ordered back, made our Dispositions, and advanced briskly. Our Front was fired upon warmly, and returned the Fire for about five Minutes. In the mean time, Captain Hopkins, with about twenty Men, filed off to the left, and about twenty French volunteers filed off to the Right, and got between them and their Fires. The Villains immediately fled, and we returned, as was prudent, for a Centry whom I had placed, informed me he saw a Body of them coming down from the Woods, and our Party being but about eighty, was not able to cope with their united bands. In short, we beat them handsomely, and yet did not much Hurt to them, for they ran extremely well. We only killed their Leader, and wounded three others. One of them fired at me at the Distance of fifteen or twenty Paces, but I suppose my terrible Visage made him tremble. I think I shot him."

This "leader" was, according to some accounts, an Ottawa Chief; according to others, the son of a Chief. At all events, he was a popular if not an important man; and his death was severely revenged by one of his relatives, in the massacre of Captain Campbell. That gentleman had been detained a prisoner ever since the proposal of a capitulation, together with his friend McDougall. The latter escaped a day or two before the skirmish; but his unfortunate comrade was tomahawked by the infuriated savage. One account says, "they boiled his heart and ate it, and made a pouch of the skin of his arms!" The brutal assassin fled to Saginaw, apprehensive of the vengeance of Pontiac; and it is but justice to the memory of that Chieftain to say, that he was indignant at the atrocious act, and used every possible exertion to apprehend the murderer.

The reinforcement mentioned above as expected, arrived on the 26th of July. It was a detachment of three hundred regular troops. Arrangements were made the same evening, for an attack on the Indian camp. But by some unknown means, Pontiac obtained information of the design; and he not only removed the women and children from his camp, but seasonably stationed two strong parties in ambuscades, where they were protected by pickets and cord-wood, and concealed by the high grass. Three hundred men left the fort, about an hour before day, and marched rapidly up the bank. They were suffered to reach the bridge over Bloody-Run, and to proceed about half way across it, before the slightest movement indicated that the enemy was aware of their approach. Suddenly a volume of musketry was poured in upon the troops; the commander fell at the first discharge, and they were thrown into instant confusion. A retreat was with some difficulty effected by driving the Indians from all their positions at the bayonet's point, but the English lost seventy men killed, and forty wounded.

This was the last important event attending the prosecution of the siege. A modern author observes, that Pontiac relaxed in his efforts, that the Indians soon began to depart for their wintering-grounds, and that the various bands, as they arrived in the spring, professed their desire for peace. Such seems to have been the case at a much earlier date; for we find it stated under date of the 18th of August (1763,) that "the Hurons, who begin to be wearied of the war," had brought in and given up eight prisoners. The writer adds, that "the Hurons and Pouteouatamies, who were partly forced into the war by the menaces of the Ottawas, begin to withdraw." Pontiac had been so confident of success as to have made some arrangements, it is said, for dividing the conquered territory with the French; and several Indians planted fields of corn. But his warriors grew weary of the siege, and his army was at this time reduced to about five hundred.

Where or how he passed the winter, we are not told. But his movements were still watched with anxiety, and the garrison at Detroit, especially, seem not to have thought themselves safe from his operations, from day to day. "We have lately been very busy," says a respectable writer, under date of December 3, 1763,—"in providing Abundance of Wheat, Flour, Indian Corn and Pease, from the Country, in which we have so far succeeded as not to be in Danger of being starved out." It further appears, that detachments of the enemy were still in the neighborhood; "The Approach of Major Wilkins' Party had a very good effect; the Enemy moved farther off. 'Tis said that Pondiac and his tribe have gone to the Mississippi, but we don't believe it." Again,—-"The Wyandots, of Sandusky, are much animated against us; they have been reinforced lately by many villains from all the nations concerned in the war." So late as March 25th, we are told that "about twelve Days ago, several scalping-Parties of the Potewatamies came to the Settlement, &c. We now sleep in our Clothes, expecting an Alarm every Night."

But the reign of terror maintained by the movements of Pontiac was drawing to its close. The power of the civilized party was too much for a combination like his. General Bradstreet, with a force of three thousand men, proceeded to Niagara early in the summer of 1764, on his way to the north-west. Here a grand council was held, at which nearly two thousand Indians attended. One account says there were representatives present from twenty-two different tribes, including eleven of the western,—a fact strikingly indicating the immense train of operations managed by the influence of Pontiac. Many of his best allies had now deserted the chieftain. The traveler, Henry, who was under Bradstreet's command, mentions that he was himself appointed leader of ninety six Chippewas of the Sault de Sainte-Marie, and other savages, under the name of the Indian Battalion;—"Me," he adds, "whose best hope it had very lately been, to live through their forbearance." It ought to be observed, however, in justice to the men who were thus led against their own countrymen and kinsmen, that by the time the army reached Fort Erie, their number was reduced to fourteen by desertion.

On the arrival of the army at Detroit, which they reached without opposition, all the tribes in that region came in and concluded a peace, with the exception of the Delawares and Shawanees. But Pontiac was no more seen. He not only took no part in the pending negotiation, but abandoned the country, and repaired to the Illinois.

We find no authority for the assertion of Carver, that henceforward he laid aside his animosity for the English; and still less, that "to reward this new attachment, Government allowed him a handsome pension." Even this writer admits that his conduct "at length grew suspicious." Rogers, on the other hand, who had good opportunities of knowing the facts, says, that while "some of the Indians left him, and by his consent made a separate peace, he would not be personally concerned in it, saying, that when he made a peace, it should be such a one as would be useful and honorable to himself, and to the King of Great Britain. But he has not as yet proposed his terms." [FN]

[FN] Rogers' Account, p. 244.

This account bears manifest marks of correctness. It agrees with many other illustrations of a magnanimity which might have made Pontiac a fit comrade for the Knights of the middle ages. But confirmations of it may be found elsewhere. It was the common belief of the times, that he had gone among the Illinois, with a view of there holding himself in readiness for whatever might happen to the benefit of the great cause for which he was resolved to live and die; and probably, also, to use active measures as fast and as far as might be advisable. The following passage occurs in an authentic letter from Detroit, dated May 19, 1765.

"Pondiac is now raising the St Joseph Indians, the Miamies, the Mascontins, the Ouiattenons, the Pians and the Illinois, to come to this place the beginning of next month, to make what effect they can against us; for which purpose he has procured a large belt for each nation, and one larger than the rest for a 'hatchet' for the whole. They are to be joined by some of the northern Indians, as is reported. This, they say, is to be an undertaking of their own, as they are not to have any assistance from the French. . . . When Pondiac left the Miamies, he told them to remain quiet till he came back; it should then be 'all war, or all peace.' . . . I make no doubt of their intention to perform what we have heard of, though I don't think it will come to any head. I am likewise well convinced, if Pondiac be made to believe he would be well received at this place, he would desist from any intention he may have; but it will be impossible to convince him of that, while there are such a number of traitorous villains about him. You can't imagine what most infamous lies they tell," &c.

It appears from this testimony, that Pontiac had at this period re-engaged in his plan of combination. It would also appear, that he was instigated by some of the French; for it is believed that only individuals among them were guilty of the practices alleged. Those at Detroit conducted themselves amicably, even during the war; and some of them, we have seen, volunteered to fight against the Indians. Still, where Pontiac now was, there would be the best possible opportunity of exerting a sinister influence over him, there being many Frenchmen among the Illinois, and they not of the most exemplary character in all cases. On the whole, it seems to us probable, that while the last mentioned combination was really "an undertaking of his own," it might have been checked at any moment, and perhaps never would have been commenced, had not Pontiac been renewedly and repeatedly prejudiced against the English interest by the artifice of some of the French, and perhaps some of the Indians. However his principles in regard to that subject might remain unchanged, no abstract inducement, we think, would have urged him to his present measures under the circumstances to which he was now reduced. But, be that as it may, the principles themselves need not be doubted; nor can we forbear admiring the energy of the man in pursuing the exemplification and vindication of them in practice. His exertions grew only the more daring, as his prospects became more desperate.

But his death at length ended at once his disappointments and hopes, together with the fears of his enemies. This event is supposed to have taken place in 1767. He was assassinated, at a council held among the Illinois, by an Indian of the Peoria tribe. Carver says, that "either commissioned by one of the English Governors, or instigated by the love he bore the English nation, the savage attended him as a spy, and being convinced from the speech Pontiac made in the council, that he still retained his former prejudices against those for whom he now professed a friendship, he plunged his knife into his heart, as soon as he had done speaking, and laid him dead on the spot."

As to what is here said of professed friendship, the writer evidently alludes to his own previous assertion, which we have shown to be unfounded, and for which we are still unable to perceive the slightest grounds. Still several of these suppositions, though only to be received as such, are probably true. There is little doubt that Pontiac continued firm in his original principles and purpose; that he expressed himself without disguise; that he endeavored to influence, and did influence, a large number of his countrymen; and that the Peoria savage, whether a personal enemy or a "spy"—or what is most probable, both, (a spy because an enemy,)—did assassinate him with the expectation, to say the least, of doing an acceptable service to some foreign party, and a lucrative one for himself. We need not assert that he was "commissioned by an English Governor." Pontiac was an indefatigable and powerful man, and a dangerous foe to the English. He was in a situation to make enemies among his countrymen, and the English were generally in a situation and disposition to avail themselves of that circumstance.

From the manner of life adopted by the chieftain subsequent to the treaty at Detroit, it might be inferred, perhaps, that he became alienated from the Northern tribes, including his own, who had been his best friends, or that they became alienated from him. We are inclined to believe, on the contrary, that their negotiations took place "by his consent," as has been stated heretofore; and that he removed southward, as well with a view to their good (as regarded the friendship of the English,) as at the same time for the purpose of recommencing his own operations upon a new theatre, and with fresh actors. He would thereby gain new influence, while he would lose little or none of the old.

This supposition is confirmed by the well-authenticated fact that the Ottawas, the Chippewas, and the Pottawatamies—some writers add the Sacs and Foxes—made common cause in the revenge of his death. Following that principle with the customary Indian latitude of application, they made war upon the Peoria tribe. The latter associated with themselves, in defence, the Kaskaskias, the Cahokias, and the Illinois; but to no purpose. The two latter tribes are believed to have been wholly exterminated, and of the former only a few families remain. "The memory of the great Ottawa Chief," says a distinguished historian of that section, "is yet held in reverence among his countrymen; and whatever is the fate which may await them, his name and deeds will live in their traditionary narratives, increasing in interest as they increase in years."

The astonishing influence exerted by this remarkable man so long as he lived, may be inferred from the period of peace which succeeded his death and the punishment of his murderer, still more forcibly than from any circumstances we have noticed. It has been seen, that more than twenty tribes, who had engaged in his combination, appeared at the Niagara Council. His movements are believed to have been felt as far east as among the Micmacks of Nova-Scotia. As far south as Virginia, they were not only perceptible, but formidable in the highest degree. The agitation produced among the inhabitants of a part of our Western territory, within a few months, by Black-Hawk and his associates, scarcely illustrates the similar excitement which, in 1763, prevailed over a much larger portion of the continent A few passages from periodical publications of that date will give a better conception of the truth.

"New York, June 13th, 1763.

"We hear that on Monday last arrived an Express from Pittsburgh, advising that a Party of Indians had murdered Col. Clapham and all his Family." . . .

"Fort Pitt, May 31st.

"There is most melancholy News here. The Indians have broken out in divers Places, and have murdered Col. C. and his Family. An Indian has brought a War belt to Tusquerora, who says Detroit was invested, and St. Dusky cut off. All Levy's goods are stopped at Tusquerora by the Indians; and last Night eight or ten Men were killed at Beaver Creek. We hear of scalping every Hour. Messrs. Cray and Allison's Horses, twenty-five, loaded with Skins, are all taken." . . .

Fort Pitt, June 16th.

"We have destroyed the Upper and Lower Towns, and by Tomorrow Night shall be in a good Posture of Defence. Every Morning, an Hour before Day, the whole Garrison are at their Alarm-posts. Ten Days ago, they killed one Patrick Dunn, and a man of Major Smallman's; also two other men. Capt. Callender's people are all killed, and the goods taken. There is no account of Mr. Welch, &c. Mr. Crawford is made prisoner, and his people all murdered. Our small posts, I am afraid, are gone." . . .

"Fort Bedford, June 8th.

"On Tuesday, one Smith was attacked, and by an Indian without arms, at Beaver Creek, who endeavored to put him under water; but Smith proving too strong for him, put the Indian under water, and brought off a piece of his ear, and left him. . . . We have a numerous militia who are under arms almost continually. Regular piquets, town-guards, fort-guards, centinels, &c. are observed." . . .

"Albany, June 16th.

"You must have heard of the many murders committed on the English, by different tribes of Indians, at different places, which makes many fear the rupture is or will become general among the southern tribes. We have accounts, &c. . . . Lieut. Cuyler, with a party of Green's rangers, consisting of ninety-seven men, set out from Niagara, with provisions for Detroit. On the evening of the 4th, they went on shore to encamp, within fifty miles of Detroit. Cuyler sent his servant to gather greens, and the lad being gone so long, a party was sent for him, who found him scalped; He put his men in the best position for a sudden attack. The Indians fell upon them, and killed and took all but the Lieutenant and thirty of his men, who retreated back to Niagara, leaving near two hundred barrels of provision with the enemy. . . .

"Philadelphia, June 23d.

"By an express just now from Fort Pitt, we learn that the Indians are continually about that place; that out of one hundred and twenty traders but two or three escaped," &c. . . . "It is now out of doubt it is a general insurrection among all the Indians." . . .

"Winchester, (Virginia,) June 22d.

"Last night I reached this place. I have been at Fort Cumberland several days, but fine Indians having killed nine people there, made me think it prudent to remove from those parts, from which I suppose near five hundred families have run away within this week. It was a most melancholy sight to see such numbers of poor people, who had abandoned their settlement in such consternation and hurry, that they had scarcely anything with them but their children." . . .

"Carlisle, July 3d.

"Ligonier was attacked on the 23d, by the Savages, for a day and a night, but they were beat off; this we had from an Indian. We killed one of the Scoundrel's from the Fort, who had trusted himself a little too near." . . .

"Philadelphia, July 27th.

"I returned home last night. . . . There has been a good deal said in the papers, but not more than is strictly true. Shippersburgh and Carlisle are now become our frontiers, none living at their plantations but such as have their houses stockaded. Upwards of two hundred women and children are now living in Fort Loudoun, a spot not more than one hundred feet square. I saw a letter from Col. S. late of the Virginia Regiment, to Col. A. wherein he mentions that Great-Brier and Jackson's River are depopulated—upwards of three hundred persons killed or taken prisoners; that for one hundred miles in breadth and three hundred in length, not one family is to be found in their plantations; by which means there are near twenty thousand people left destitute of their habitations. The seven hundred men voted by the assembly, recruit but very slowly, &c. . . .

"Goshen, N. Y. August 5th.

"Last week the following accident happened in this place. Several men having been out upon the hills hunting for deer, in their return they met with a flock of partridges, at which four guns were discharged, three of them pretty quick after each other. This, being an uncommon accident in the Place, was mistaken by some of the inhabitants of the Wall-Kill for firing of Indians. Immediately alarm-guns were fired and spread over the whole Place, which produced an amazing panic and confusion among the people, near five hundred families. Some for haste cut the harnesses of their horses from their ploughs and carts, and rode off with what they were most concerned to preserve. Others, who had no vessel to cross the river, plunged through, carrying their wives and children on their backs. Some, we have already heard, proceeded as far as New-England, spreading the alarm as they went, and how far they may go is uncertain." . . .

"Bethlehem, (Penn.) Oct 9th.

"I cannot describe the deplorable condition this poor country is in. Most of the inhabitants of Allen's town, and other places, are fled from their habitations. I cannot ascertain the number killed, but think it exceeds twenty. The people at Nazareth, and the other places belonging to the [United] Brethren, have put themselves in the best posture of defence they can; they keep a strong watch every night, and hope, by the blessing of God, if they are attacked, to make a stand."

Nothing can be added, to enforce the impression which these various descriptions must make upon the mind of the reader. They shew that the apprehension excited by the movements of Pontiac, though the Chieftain himself was not yet thoroughly appreciated, exceeded every thing of the kind which has occurred on the continent since the days of King Philip.

It is mainly from his actions, of necessity, that the character of such a man, in such a situation, must be judged. There are, however, some items of personal information respecting him, and these all go to confirm the opinion we have already expressed. His anxiety to learn the English methods or manufacturing cloth, iron and some other articles, was such that he offered Major Rogers a part of his territory, if he would take him to England for that purpose. He also endeavored to inform himself of the tactics and discipline of the English troops. Probably it was in consequence of suggestions made by Rogers at some of the conversations he had with that officer, (and at which the latter allows that "he discovered great strength of judgment, and a thirst after knowledge,") that afterwards, in the course of the war, he appointed an Indian Commissary, and began to issue bills of credit. These, which are said to have been punctually redeemed, are described as having the figure of whatever he wanted in exchange for them, drawn upon them, with the addition of his own stamp in the shape of an otter. The system was set in operation partly for the benefit of the French. They had been subjected, occasionally, to indiscriminate pillage, but Pontiac become satisfied that such a process would soon put an end to itself, besides doing no honor to his cause. The supplies which they subsequently furnished, were regularly levied through the medium of his commissariat department.

The authority Pontiac exercised over the combined tribes, seems to have been little less than that of a complete Dictator. In the Detroit diary, heretofore cited, we are informed that about the commencement of the siege, a Mr. Rutherford "fell into the hands of the savages. One of the garrison afterwards employed a Frenchman to redeem him from his Indian master, and furnished eighty pounds worth of goods for that purpose. The bargain was effected, but the gentleman had been liberated but one day and one night, when Pontiac, whose notice nothing escaped, sent a band of fifty Indians to take him away by force. 'No nation,' he said, 'should have liberty to sell their prisoners till the war was over.'"

As the notice we have given of the fate of Campbell may leave an unfavorable impression in regard to the Chieftain's good faith, it should be observed, that the Indian maxims on the use of artifice in war are universally different from those of most civilized nations. Nor can we expect to know what circumstances might have occurred, subsequent to the visit of Campbell to the Indian camp, which would justify his detention, though contrary to the expectation of all parties. It appears, however, from the Diary, that he was first induced to go out, not by Pontiac, (as we have seen it stated,) but by some of the French, who "told him there was no Risque in going out; they would answer Life for Life, that he should return safe into the Fort."

It is well settled that the detention—whether in pursuance of a scheme of Pontiac, thereby to induce a capitulation, or for other reasons unknown—was by no means intended to result as it unfortunately did. The same writer who states that Pontiac solemnly pledged his word for the Captain's safety, states that the assassin fled to Saginaw, apprehensive of his vengeance; and that he used every exertion to apprehend the murderer, who would no doubt have paid for his temerity with his life. [FN]

[FN] Governor Cass.

No act has ever been ascribed to Pontiac which would lead us to doubt this conclusion. Nothing like sanguinary disposition, or a disposition to tolerate cruelty in others, belonged to his character. We have observed his treatment of Rogers, at a time when he had no doubt resolved upon war, and when he already felt himself to have been ill-treated by the English. That gentleman relates an anecdote of him which occurred during the war, still more honorable to the chieftain. As a compliment, Rogers sent him a bottle of brandy, by the hands of a Frenchman. His Councilors advised him not to taste it; it must be poisoned, said they, and sent with a design to kill him. But Pontiac laughed at their suspicions. "He cannot," he replied, "he cannot take my life, I have saved his!"

In 1765, an English officer, Lieutenant Frazer, with a company of soldiers, went among the Illinois, where was a French station, at which Pontiac then was,—probably with a view of observing the chieftain's movements. He considered it an aggression, and called upon the French Commandant to deliver his visitors into his bands. The Officer attempted to pacify him, in vain. "You," [the French,] said he, "were the first cause of my striking the English. This is your tomahawk which I hold in my hand." He then ordered his Indians, whom by this time he had mustered in large numbers from the neighborhood, to seize upon the English at once. The order was generally obeyed, but Frazer escaped. The Indians threatened to massacre all the rest, unless he should be given up, upon which, he gallantly came forward, and surrendered to Pontiac.

The sequel is worthy of notice. "With the interest of Pontiac," say the papers of the day, "he [Frazer] got himself and his men back again." On the arrival of another Indian chief; with a white woman for a wife, who did all in their power to exasperate the savages, they seized upon the English again, "But Pontiac ordered them to give the men back," and the order was again obeyed. Frazer wished to stay longer, and Pontiac promised to protect him. He however advised him, considering the disposition of the Indians, to leave the country, and he accordingly went down the river in a batteau, and at length made his way to New-Orleans. "He says, Pontiac is a clever fellow, and had it not been for him, he should never have got away alive."

Of the oratory of the Ottawa Chieftain there remain but few and scanty memorials. Like Philip, he has derived his distinction more from actions than words, and that (as also in Philip's case,) without the aid of any very signal renown as a mere warrior. The only speech of his we have met with, was made on the occasion of a conference with the French at Detroit, held upon the 23d of May, 1763, in the hope of inducing them to join him in the reduction of the fort. The style of delivery cannot now be ascertained; but the reasoning is close and ingenious.

"My Brothers!" he said, "I have no doubt but this war is very troublesome to you, and that my warriors, who are continually passing and re-passing through your settlements, frequently kill your cattle, and injure your property. I am sorry for it, and hope you do not think I am pleased with this conduct of my young men. And as a proof of my friendship, recollect the war you had seventeen years ago, [1746] and the part I took in it. The Northern nations combined together, and came to destroy yon. Who defended you? Was it not myself and my young men? The great Chief Mackinac, [the Turtle] said in Council, that he would carry to his native village the head of your chief warrior, and that he would eat his heart and drink his blood. Did I not then join you, and go to his camp and say to him, if he wished to kill the French, he must pass over my body, and the bodies of my young men? Did I not take hold of the tomahawk with you, and aid you in fighting your battles with Mackinac, and driving him home to his country? Why do you think I would turn my arms against you? Am I not the same French Pontiac, who assisted you seventeen years ago? I am a Frenchman, and I wish to die a Frenchman."

After throwing a war-belt into the midst of the council, he concluded in the following strain:

"My Brothers! I begin to grow tired of this bad meat, which is upon our lands. I begin to see that this is not your case, for instead of assisting us in our war with the English, you are actually assisting them. I have already told you, and I now tell you again, that when I undertook this war, it was only your interest I sought, and that I knew what I was about. I yet know what I am about. This year they must all perish. The Master of Life so orders it. His will is known to us, and we must do as he says. And you, my brothers, who know him better than we do, wish to oppose his will! Until now, I have avoided urging you upon this subject, in the hope, that if you could not aid, you would not injure us. I did not wish to ask you to fight with us against the English, and I did not believe you would take part with them. You will say you are not with them. I know it, but your conduct amounts to the same thing. You will tell them all we do and say. You carry our counsels and plans to them. Now take your choice. You must be entirely French, like ourselves, or entirely English. If you are French, take this belt for yourselves and your young men, and join us. If you are English, we declare war against you." . . .

The man who had the ability and the intrepidity to express himself in this manner, hardly needed either the graces of rhetoric or the powers of the warrior, to enforce that mighty influence which, among every people and under all circumstances, is attached, as closely as shadow to substance, to the energies of a mighty mind. Those energies he exerted, and that influence he possessed, probably beyond all precedent in the history of his race. Hence it is that his memory is still cherished among the tribes of the north. History itself, instead of adding to his character in their eyes, has only reduced him to his true proportions in our own. Tradition still looks upon him as it looked upon the Hercules of the Greeks.


Account of the Delawares—Their ancient great men, including Tamenend—History daring the Revolutionary War—Two Parties among them—White-Eyes, leader of one, and Captain Pipe, of the other—Manœuvres, speeches, plots and counter-plots of these men, their parties, and foreigners connected with both—Anecdotes—Death of White-Eyes in 1780—Tribute of respect paid to his memory.

The most formidable antagonist the Five Nations ever had to contend with, were the Delawares, as the English have named them (from Lord de la War) but generally styled by their Indian neighbors, Wapanachi, and by themselves Lenni Lenape, or the Original People. The tradition is, that they and the Five Nations both emigrated from beyond the Mississippi, and, by uniting their forces, drove off or destroyed the primitive residents of the country on this side. Afterwards, the Delawares divided themselves into three tribes, called the Turtle, the Turkey, and the Wolf or Monsey. Their settlements extended from the Hudson to the Potomac; and their descendants finally became so numerous, that nearly forty tribes honored them with the title of Grand-father, which some of them continue to apply at the present day.

The Delawares were the principal inhabitants of Pennsylvania, when William Penn commenced his labors in that region; and the memory of Miquon, their Elder Brother, as they called him, is still cherished in the legends of all that remains of the nation. That remnant exists chiefly on the western banks of the Mississippi, to which ancient starting-place they have been gradually approximating, stage by stage, ever since the arrival of the Europeans on the coast. Their principal intermediate settlements have been in Ohio, on the banks of the Muskingum, and other small rivers, whither a great number of the tribe removed about the year 1760.

The Delawares have never been without their great men, though unfortunately many of them have lived at such periods and such places, as to make it impossible for history to do them justice. It is only within about a century last past, during which they have been rapidly declining in power and diminishing in numbers, that a series of extraordinary events, impelling them into close contact with the whites, as well as with other Indians, has had the effect of bringing forward their extraordinary men.

Among the ancient Delaware worthies, whose career is too imperfectly known to us to be the subject of distinct sketches, we shall mention only the name of the illustrious Tamenend. This individual stands foremost in the list of all the great men of his nation in any age. He was a mighty warrior, an accomplished statesman, and a pure and high-minded patriot. In private life he was still more distinguished for his virtues, than in public for his talents. His countrymen could only account for the perfections they ascribed to him, by supposing him to be favored with the special communications of the Great Spirit. Ages have elapsed since his death, but his memory was so fresh among the Delawares of the last century, that when Colonel Morgan, of New-Jersey, was sent as an agent among them by Congress, during the Revolution, they conferred on him the title of Tamenend, as the greatest mark of respect they could show for the manners and character of that gentleman; and he was known by his Indian appellation ever afterwards.

About this time, the old chieftain had so many admirers among the whites also, that they made him a saint, inserted his name in calendars, and celebrated his festival on the first day of May, yearly. On that day a numerous society of his votaries walked in procession through the streets of Philadelphia, their hats decorated with bucks'-tails, and proceeded to a sylvan rendezvous out of town, which they called the Wigwam, where, after a long talk or speech had been delivered, and the Calumet of friendship passed around, the remainder of the day was spent in high festivity. A dinner was prepared, and Indian dances performed on the green. The custom ceased a few years after the conclusion of peace, and though other "Tammany" associations have since existed, they retain little of the model they were formed upon but the name.

The commencement of the Revolutionary war was among the Delawares, as among their more civilized neighbors, a period of great excitement. Strong efforts were made by the British authorities on the northern frontier, and yet stronger ones by individual refugees and vagabonds in the British interest, to prejudice them against the American people, and to induce them to make common cause with their "Father" over the "Big Water," in correcting the sins of his disobedient children. Congress, on the other hand, contented itself with keeping them, as far and as long as possible, in a state of neutrality. In consequence of these opposite influences, and of old prepossessions entertained by various parties and persons in the nation, a violent struggle ensued,—for war on one side, and for peace on the other—in the course of which were developed some of the most remarkable individual traits and diplomatic manœuvres which we have yet had occasion to notice.

The leader of the peace-party was Koguethagechton, called by the Americans Captain White-Eyes. He was the Head-Chief of the Turtle tribe in Ohio; while Captain Pipe, of the Wolf tribe, living and having his council-fire at the distance of fifteen miles northward from the former, devoted his talents to promoting the plan of a belligerent union with the British. Accidental circumstances,—such as old wrongs, or at least imagined ones, from the Americans, on one side, and old favors on the other,—no doubt had their effect in producing this diversity of feeling; but the ambition and jealousy of Pipe,—whose spirit, otherwise noble, was of that haughty order, that he would not "have served in heaven" when he might "reign" elsewhere in the universe—are believed to have gone farther than any other cause, both to create and keep up dissensions among the Delawares, and disturbances between them and the whites. Pipe, as even the good Heckewelder allows, was certainly a great man, but White-Eyes was still both his superior and his senior, besides having the advantage of a clean cause and a clear conscience.

Pipe, like other politicians, uniformly professed his readiness, from time to time, to join in any measures proper to "save the nation;" but the difficulty as uniformly occurred, that these were precisely the same measures which White-Eyes thought would destroy it. The former, like most of the Wolf tribe, whose temperament he had studied, was warlike, energetic, and restless. He brooded over old resentments,—he panted for revenge,—he longed for the coming of an era which should turn "rogues" out of office, and bring "honest men" in. With these feelings, his ingenuity could not be long without adequate arguments and artifices to operate on the minds of his countrymen. Their most remarkable effect, however, it soon became manifest, was to attach them to himself rather than to any particular principles. They were as ready to fight as men need be; but Pipe was expected to monopolize the thinking and talking.

For the better understanding of the principles of the Peace-party, we shall here introduce the exposition made by White-Eyes and others, of the character of the contest between the English and the Americans. Its effect was to convince the Indians, that they had no concern with either, while their welfare clearly suggested the policy, as well as propriety, of maintaining amicable terms with both.

"Suppose a father," it was said, "had a little son whom he loved and indulged while young, but growing up to be a youth, began to think of having some help from him; and making up a small pack, bade him carry it for him. The boy cheerfully takes this pack, following his father with it. The rather, finding the boy willing and obedient, continues in this way; and as the boy grows stronger, so the father makes the pack in proportion larger—yet as long as the boy is able to carry the pack, he does so without grumbling. At length, however, the boy having arrived at manhood, while the father is making up the pack for him, in comes a person of an evil disposition, and learning who was the carrier of the pack, advises the father to make it heavier, for surely the son is able to carry a large pack. The father, listening rather to the bad adviser, than consulting his own judgment and the feelings of tenderness, follows the advice of the hardhearted adviser, and makes up a heavy load for his son to carry. The son, now grown up, examining the weight of the load he is to carry, addresses the parent in these words: 'Dear father, this pack is too heavy for me to carry, do pray lighten it; I am willing to do what I can, but am unable to carry this load.' The father's heart having by this time become hardened—and the bad adviser calling to him, 'whip him if he disobeys and refuses to carry the pack,' now in a peremptory tone orders his son to take up the pack and carry it off, or he will whip him, and already takes up a stick to beat him. 'So!' says the son, 'am I to be served thus, for not doing what I am unable to do! Well if entreaties avail nothing with you, father—and it is to be decided by blows, whether or not I am able to carry a pack so heavy—-then I have no other choice left me, but that of resisting your unreasonable demand, by my strength; and so, by striking each other, we may see who is the strongest.'"

But this doctrine, however sound, did not prove wholly effectual against the exertions of Pipe, who was continually either making movements, or taking advantage of such as occurred, to disparage the influence of his rival, and, of course, to extend and establish his own. He contradicted whatever was said, and counteracted whatever was done by White-Eyes; until the whole system of intercourse of the Delawares with each other and with other nations, became a labrynth of inconsistencies and counter-plots.

About the commencement of the war, White-Eyes; with some of his tribe, visited the Americans at Pittsburg, where they met in conference with a number of the Seneca tribe, a people particularly attached to the British interest at that time. The object of their visit probably was to ascertain and perhaps influence the politics of the Delawares; and they relied much on the power of the great confederacy to which they belonged. Not only, however, did they fail to overawe White-Eyes, politically or personally; but they could not prevent him from publicly advocating the principles he avowed. So angry were they at a speech he addressed to the meeting at Pittsburg, that they undertook to check him by hinting, in an insolent and sullen manner, that it ill became him to express himself thus independently, whose tribe were but women, and had been made such by the Five Nations—alluding to an old reproach which had often before this been used to humiliate the Delawares.

Frequently it had that effect. But White-Eyes was not of a temper to brook an insult, under any circumstances. With an air of the most haughty disdain, he sat patiently until the Senecas had done, and then rose and replied:

"I know," said he gravely, "I know well, that you consider us a conquered nation—as women—as your inferiors. You have, say you, shortened our legs, and put petticoats on us! You say you have given us a hoe and a corn-pounder, and told us to plant and pound for you—you men—you warriors! But look at me. Am I not full-grown, and have I not a warrior's dress? Aye, I am a man, and these are the arms of a man, [showing his musket]—and all that country, [waving hand proudly in the direction of the Allegheny river] all that country, on the other side of that water, is mine," [FN]

[FN] Speaking, according to common custom, in the name of the nation.

A more courageous address was perhaps never made to any Council of Indians. Indeed, it went so beyond the spirit of his tribe, apprehensive as they were of the indignation of the powerful people he had thus bearded, that, although many were gratified, many others were frightened,—or, perhaps, at Pipe's instigation, pretended to be frightened,—out of the ranks of the Peace-party into those of the War. The Monseys took the lead in that movement, and they even humiliated themselves so much as to send word to the Five Nations that they disapproved of what White-Eyes had said. Pipe, about the same time, left off attending the councils of the Turtle tribe, which he had hitherto done regularly,—probably from a conviction that his intrigues were becoming daily more manifest,—and he also endeavored to circulate an impression that White-Eyes had made secret engagements with the Americans, with the view of aggrandizing himself at the expense of his countrymen.

The latter, meanwhile, was laboring, night and day, to preserve peace among the tribes, by sending embassies, and by other energetic measures. In some places, he succeeded, but in others the manœuvres of his adversary prevailed. A message sent to the Sandusky Wyandots, in 1776, was insolently answered by a hint to the Delawares, "to keep good shoes in readiness for joining the warriors." White-Eyes himself headed a deputation to a settlement of the same people near Detroit. They however refused to receive his peace-belts, except in presence of the British Governor at that station; and he, when they were tendered in his presence, seized them violently, cut them in pieces, threw them at the feet of the Deputies, and then told White-Eyes, that "if he set any value on his head, he must be gone within half an hour."

Such indefatigable efforts were made by the war-party, and by those foreigners who co-operated with them, especially in circulating reports unfavorable to the American character and cause, that White-Eyes was very near being sacrificed to the hot-headed rashness of his own followers. In March, 1778, a number of tones of infamous character, having escaped from Pittsburg, told the Indians, wherever they went, that the Americans were coming upon them from all quarters; and that now was the time, and the only time, for saving themselves, by commencing active hostilities. The Delawares were filled with consternation, and, for a day or two, White-Eyes was unable to stem the torrent of popular feeling. But he recovered his influence as they recovered their composure; and well knowing that his conduct in this affair would be closely watched by his rival, he called a general council of the nation, in which he proposed to delay committing hostilities against the American people for ten days, during which time they might obtain more certain information as to the truth of the assertions of these men. Pipe, considering this a proper time for placing White-Eyes in the back-ground, construed his wise and prudent advice as though he was in the secret, and now proposed to his own council, "to declare every man an enemy to the nation, that should throw an obstacle in the way, that might tend to prevent the taking up arms instantly against the American people."

White-Eyes perceived that the blow was aimed at himself; but he parried it by immediately assembling and addressing his party by themselves; "If you will go out in this war," said he, observing the preparations of some of them, "you shall not go without me. I have taken peace measures, it is true, with the view of saving my tribe from destruction. But if you think me in the wrong, if you give more credit to runaway vagabonds than to your own friends, to a man, to a warrior, to a Delaware,—if you insist upon fighting the Americans,—go! and I will go with you. And I will not go like the bear-hunter, who sets his dogs upon the animal to be beaten about with his paws, while he keeps himself at a safe distance. No! I will lead you on. I will place myself in the front I will fall with the first of you! You can do as you choose, but as for me I will not survive my nation. I will not live to bewail the miserable destruction of a brave people, who deserved, as you do, a better fate."

This spirited harangue had the desired effect. The assembly declared, with all the enthusiasm which a grave Indian council are ever willing to manifest, that they would at least wait the ten days, as he wished. Some added that they would never fight the Americans, but with him for a leader.

But Pipe and his party redoubled their efforts, and before the appointed term had expired, many of the Delawares had shaved their heads in readiness for the war-plume; and White-Eyes, though his request for delay was still attended to, was threatened with a violent death if he should say one word for the American interest. On the ninth day, vigorous preparations were made for sending out war-parties, and no news had yet arrived to abate the excitement.

At this critical juncture it happened that the German missionary, Mr. Heckewelder, with some attendants, had arrived among the Christian Delawares in the neighborhood of Goschocking, the settlement of White-Eyes, from Pittsburg. He became an eye and ear witness of the sequel of the affair, and we shall therefore avail ourselves of his narrative.

"Finding the matter so very pressing, and even not admitting of a day's delay, I consented, that after a few hours' rest and sleep, and furnished with a trusty companion and a fresh horse, I would proceed on, when between three and four o'clock in the morning, the national assistant, John Martin, having called on me for the purpose, we set out, swimming our horses across the Muskingum river, and taking a circuit through the woods in order to avoid the encampment of the war-party, which was close to our path. Arriving by ten o'clock in the forenoon within sight of the town, a few yells were given by a person who had discovered us, intended to notify the inhabitants that a white man was coming, and which immediately drew the whole body of Indians into the streets; but although I saluted them in passing them, not a single person returned the compliment, which, as my conductor observed, was no good omen. Even Captain White-Eyes, and the other chiefs who always had befriended me, now stepped back when I reached out my hand to them, which strange conduct however did not dismay me, as I observed among the crowd some men well known to me as spies of Captain Pipe's, watching the actions of these peace-chiefs, wherefore I was satisfied that the act of refusing me the hand, had been done from policy, and not from any ill will towards my person. Indeed, in looking around, I thought I could read joy in the countenances of many of them, in seeing me among them at so critical a juncture, when they, but a few days before, had been told by those deserters, that nothing short of their total destruction had been resolved upon by the 'long knives' (the Virginians, or new American people.) Yet as no one would reach out his hand to me, I inquired into the cause, when Captain White-Eyes boldly stepping forward, replied; 'that by what had been told them by those men, (McKee and party,) they no longer had a single friend among the American people; if therefore this be so, they must consider every white man who came to them from that side, as an enemy, who only came to them to deceive them, and put them off their guard, for the purpose of giving the enemy an opportunity of taking men by surprise.' I replied, that the imputation was unfounded, and that, were I not their friend, they never would have seen me here. 'Then, (continued Captain White-Eyes,) you will tell us the truth with regard to what I state to you!'—Assuring him of this, he, in a strong tone, asked me: 'Are the American armies all cut to pieces by the English troops? Is General Washington killed? Is there no more a Congress, and have the English hung some of them, and taken the remainder to England, to hang them there? Is the whole country beyond the mountains in the possession of the English; and are the few thousand Americans who have escaped them, now embodying themselves on this side of the mountains, for the purpose of killing all the Indians in this country, even our women and children? Now do not deceive us, but speak the truth' (added he;) 'is this all true, what I have said to you?' I declared before the whole assembly, that not one word of what he had just now told me was true, and holding out to him, as I had done before, the friendly speeches sent by me for them, which he however as yet refused to accept, I thought by the countenances of most of the by-standers, that I could perceive that the moment bid fair for their listening at least to the contents of those speeches, and accidentally catching the eye of the drummer, I called to him to beat the drum for the Assembly to meet for the purpose of hearing what their American Brethren had to say to them! A general smile having taken place, White-Eyes thought the favorable moment arrived to put the question, and having addressed the assembly in these words: 'Shall we, my friends and relatives, listen once more to those who call us their brethren?' Which question, being loudly and as with one voice answered in the affirmative, the drum was beat, and the whole body quickly repairing to the spacious council-house, the speeches, all of which were of the most pacific nature, were read and interpreted to them, when Captain White-Eyes rose, and in an elaborate address to the Assembly, took particular notice of the good disposition of the American people towards the Indians, observing, that they had never as yet, called on them to fight the English, knowing that wars were destructive to nations, and they had from the beginning of the war to the present time, always advised them (the Indians) to remain quiet, and not take up the hatchet against either side. A newspaper, containing the capitulation of General Burgoyne's army, being found enclosed in the packet, Captain White-Eyes once more rose up, and holding this paper unfolded, with both his hands, so that all could have a view of it, said, 'See, my friends and relatives, this document containeth great events, not the song of a bird, but the truth!'—then, stepping up to me, he gave me his hand, saying, 'you are welcome with us, brother;' when every one present followed his example."

Thus White-Eyes again triumphed over his rival; and the chagrin of the latter was the more keen, because, relying on the improved prospects of his party, he had recently committed himself more openly than ever before. But the spies whom he kept constantly at Goschocking, now brought him the doleful news that the predictions of White-Eyes were all verified. That Chieftain himself completed his success by sending runners, immediately after the Council broke up, to the Shawanese towns on the Scioto, where the Tories had already gone for the purpose of trying their game upon that tribe. "Grand-children!" was the laconic message, "ye Shawanese! Some days ago a flock of birds from the East lit at Goschocking, singing a song here which had well nigh proved our ruin. Should these birds, which, on leaving us, took their flight towards Scioto, endeavor to impose their song on you, do not listen to them, for they lie!"

But White-Eyes was not destined to enjoy the result of his labors. In the winter of 1779-80, he visited Pittsburg, for the purpose of consulting with the Indian Agent on the means suitable for preserving peace. He accompanied General McIntosh and his army to Tuscarowas, (where a fort was to be built for the protection of the neutral Indians,) took the small-pox at that place, and soon died.

The event produced a sensation almost unprecedented in the Delaware tribe, and throughout a wide region in their vicinity. The intelligence was sent to various confederate or relative tribes, at the distance of hundreds of miles, and counter deputations of condolence soon came in from all quarters. We shall close this chapter with Mr. Heckewelder's account of the embassy of the Cherokees, which strikingly indicates the reputation acquired by White-Eyes during his life, as well as the great respect subsequently paid to his memory.

The deputation, consisting of fourteen men, of whom two were principal chiefs, were accompanied from their country to Goschocking, by a nephew of the late Captain White-Eyes, who, soon after the commencement of the American revolution, had been despatched thither by the Delaware Chiefs, for the purpose of using his endeavors in keeping that nation at peace. When this deputation had arrived within three miles of Goschocking, and within one of Lichtenau, they made a halt for the purpose of having the customary ceremony performed on them. This was done by one of the councilors from the village, who, by an address and with a string of wampum, drew the thorns and briars out of their legs and feet; healed the sores and bruises they had received by hitting against logs; wiped the dust and sweat off their bodies; and cleansed their eyes and ears, so that they might both see and hear well; and finally anointed all their joints, that their limbs might again become supple. [FN] They were then served with victuals brought from Lichtenau, and they continued there the remainder of that day.

[FN] All which ceremonies are performed figuratively.

On the next morning, two of the councilors from Goschocking, deputed for the purpose, informed the missionary and national assistants at Lichtenau, that, by order of their Chiefs, they were to conduct the Cherokee deputation into their village, from whence they were expected to join in the procession to Goschocking, and there attend the condoling ceremonies; all which being agreed to, these soon brought them on, one leading them in front, and the other bringing up the rear.

Arriving within about two hundred yards of the town, and in sight of it, (all marching Indian file), they fired off their pieces, which compliment was instantly returned by the young men or the town, drawn up for the purpose; then raising a melancholy song, they continued singing, until they had reached the long house, purposely built for their reception; yet not without first having lodged their arms against some trees they had passed, at a small distance from the town. Being seated on benches prepared for the purpose—(the deputies on the opposite side,)—a dead silence prevailed for about half an hour, and all present cast their eyes on the ground. At length one of these Chiefs, named the Crow, rose, and with an air of sorrow, and in a low voice, with his eyes cast up to heaven, spoke to the following effect:

"One morning, after having arisen from my sleep, and according to my custom, I stepped out at the door to see what weather we had. I observed at one place in the horizon a dark cloud projecting above the trees; and looking steadfastly for its movement or disappearance, found myself mistaken, since it neither disappeared nor moved from the spot, as other clouds do. Seeing the same cloud successively every morning, and that always in the same place, I began to think what could be the cause of this singular phenomenon; at length it struck me, that as the cloud was lying in the direction that my grandfather dwelt, something might be the matter with him, which caused him grief. Anxious to satisfy myself, I resolved to goto my grandfather, and see if any thing was the matter with him. I accordingly went, steering a course in the direction I had observed the cloud to be. I arrived at my grandfather's, whom I found quite disconsolate, hanging his head and the tears running down his cheeks! Casting my eyes around in the hopes of discovering the cause of his grief, I observed yonder a dwelling closed up, and from which no smoke [FN-1] appeared to ascend! Looking in another direction, I discovered an elevated spot of fresh earth, [FN-2] on which nothing was seen growing; and here I found the cause of my grandfather's grief. No wonder he is so grieved! No wonder he is weeping and sobbing, with his eyes cast towards the ground!—Even I cannot help weeping with my grandfather, seeing in what a situation he is! I cannot proceed for grief!"

[FN-1] Meaning no person occupying the house.

[FN-2] The grave.

Here, after having seated himself for about twenty minutes, as though deeply afflicted, he again arose, and receiving from the principal chief, who was seated by his side, a large string of wampum, said: "Grandfather! Lift up your head and hear what your grand-children have to say to you! These having discovered the cause of your grief, it shall be done away! See, grandfather! I level the ground on yonder spot of yellow earth, [FN-1] and put leaves and brush thereon to make it invisible! I also sow seeds on that spot, so that both grass and trees may grow thereon!" (Here handing the string to the Delaware Chiefs in succession, and taking up another, he continued:) "Grandfather!—The seed which I had sown has already taken root; nay, the grass has already covered the ground, and the trees are growing!" (Handing this string, likewise to the Delaware Chief, and taking up a third string of wampum, he added:) "Now, my grandfather, the cause of your grief being removed, let me dry up your tears! I wipe them from your eyes! I place your body, which, by the weight of grief and a heavy heart, is leaning to one side, in its proper posture! Your eyes shall be henceforth clear, and your ears open as formerly! The work is now finished!" Handing this string likewise to the Delaware Chief, he now stepped forward to where the Chief and his Councilors were seated, and having first shaken hands with these, he next did the same with all present, the whole embassy following his example. This being done, and all again seated as before, the Delaware Chief, Gelelemend, [FN-2] replied:

[FN-1] The grave.

[FN-2] Commonly called Kill-Buck.

"Grand-children!—You did not come here in vain! You have performed a good work, in which the Great Spirit assisted you! Your Grandfather makes you welcome with him."

The meeting, having continued nearly three hours, then broke up. On the day following, the Chiefs of both nations entered on business relating to their national concerns, and finally made a mutual covenant for the continued maintenance of the party and principles of White-Eyes.

It is honorable to the American Congress that after the decease of their best friend among the Indians, they took measures for the maintenance and education of his son. On the journals of that body, under date of June 20th, 1785, is the following passage:

"Resolved, That Mr. Morgan [Tamenend, probably,] be empowered and requested to continue the care and direction of George White-Eyes for one year, and that the Board of Treasury take order for the payment of the expenses necessary to carry into execution the views of Congress in this respect."

The journal of December, 1775, records an interview of Congress with the father.


Observations on the character of White-Eyes—Pipe's comment on his death—The latter gains and sustains an ascendancy in the Delaware nation—Glickkican, Netawatwees and Wingemund—Subsequent career of Pipe—Joins the British and fights against the Americans—Grand Indian council at Detroit—Pipe's spirited speech on that occasion—Makes charges against the Missionaries, but fails to prove them—Remarks on his habits, principles and talents.

The feet that Captain Pipe and his associates began to gain the ascendancy in the Delaware nation immediately on the death of his great antagonist, and that they afterwards supported it with almost uninterrupted success, is alone sufficient to indicate the influence and character of White-Eyes. Indeed, Pipe himself paid to his memory the compliment of declaring, with a solemn air, that "the Great Spirit had probably put him out of the way, that the nation might be saved." That sagacious personage was well aware that neither Kill-Buck, nor Big-Cat, nor Glickkican, [FN] nor even all together, would adequately occupy the station of the deceased Chieftain.

[FN] "The sight of a gun-barrel," and afterwards baptised by the Moravians, and named Isaac. He was Chief Councilor and Speaker of the old Sachem, Pakanke, who ruled over the Delawares at Kaskaskunk (in Ohio,) and was a man of uncommon military and oratorical talent. After his own christianization, he was a highly efficient advocate and patron of the Christian party. Having thereby, as well as by his spirit and influence, become obnoxious to their enemies during the Revolution, several attempts were made to overawe, bribe and destroy him; but they all failed. At length a considerable party was fitted out, in 1781, for the express purpose of taking him prisoner. They found him at Salem, but doubting whether the old warrior's pacific principles would assure their safety, they dared not enter his hut. He saw some of them before long from a window, and instantly stepped out, and called to them. "Friends!" said he, "by your manœuvres I conclude you are come for me. If so, why do you hesitate;—Obey your orders; I am ready to submit. You seem to fear old Glickkican. Ah! there was a time when I would have scorned to submit to such cowardly slaves. But I am no more Glickkican, I am Isaac, a believer in the true God, and for his sake I will suffer anything, even death." Seeing them still hesitate, he stepped up to them with his hands placed upon his back. "There!" he continued, "you would tie me if you dared—tie me, then, and take me with you—I am ready." They now mustered courage to do as he directed. Soon after, Glickkican was murdered, with a large number of his Christian countrymen, by a banditti of American ruffians who suspected, or pretended to suspect them, of hostile designs. Probably the result was brought about by the machinations of his Indian enemies.

White-Eyes was distinguished as much for his milder virtues as for his courage and energy; and as to his friendly disposition towards the Americans, particularly, on which some imputations were industriously thrown by his enemies, we could desire no better evidence of its sincerity than are still extant In that curious document, the Journal of Frederic Post, [FN] who, as early as 1758, was sent among the Ohio Delawares by the Governor of one of the States, for the purpose of inducing them to renounce the French alliance, is recorded, the "speech" which Post carried back, and the closing paragraphs of which were as follows:—

[FN] In Prond's History of Pennsylvania.

"Brethren, when you have settled this peace and friendship, and finished it well, and you send the great peace-belt to me, I will send it to all the nations of my colour; they will all join to it, and we all will hold it fast.

"Brethren, when all the nations join to this friendship, then the day will begin to shine clear over us. When we hear once more of you, and we join together, then the day will be still, and no wind, or storm, will come over us, to disturb us.

"Now, Brethren, you know our hearts, and what we have to say; be strong, if you do what we have now told you, and in this peace all the nations agree to join. Now, Brethren, let the king of England know what our mind is as soon as possibly you can."

Among the subscribers to this speech appears the name of White-Eyes, under the form of the Indian term Cochguacawkeghton; nor have we met with any proof that he ever from that time wavered for a moment in his attachment to the American interest, as opposed first to the French, and afterwards to the English. Post himself, in 1762, was permitted to build a house on the banks of the Muskingum, where he had a lot of land given him, about a mile distant from the village of White-Eyes; and so, when Heckewelder first visited that country, during the same season, he informs us that, "the War-Chief Koguethagechtan," kindly entertained and supplied him and his party.

About the beginning of the Revolutionary war, when some of the Indians were much exasperated by murders and trespasses which certain civilized ruffians committed on the frontiers, an Ohio trader was met and massacred in the woods by a party of Senecas, who, having in their rage cut up the body and garnished the bushes with the remains, raised the scalp-yell and marched off in triumph. White-Eyes being in the vicinity and hearing the yell, instantly commenced a search for the body, the remnants of which he collected and buried. The party returned on the following day, and observing what had been done, privately opened the grave, and scattered the contents more widely than before. But White-Eyes was this time on the watch for them. He repaired to the spot again the moment they left it, succeeded in finding every part of the mangled body, and then carefully interred it in a grave dug with his own hands, where it was at length suffered to repose unmolested.

It was about the same time when this affair happened, that the Chieftain saved the life of one Duncan, an American peace-messenger, whom he had undertaken to escort through a section of the wilderness. A hostile Shawanee was upon the point of discharging his musket at Duncan from behind a tree, when White-Eyes rushed forward, regardless of his own peril. And compelled the savage to desist. In 1777, Heckewelder had occasion to avail himself of a similar kindness. Rather rashly, as he acknowledges, he that year undertook to traverse the forests from the Muskingum to Pittsburg, wishing to visit his English friends in that quarter. White-Eves resided at a distance of seventeen miles, but hearing of his intended journey, he immediately came to see him, accompanied by another Chief named Wingemund, [FN] and by several of his young men.

[FN] A noted religious impostor.

These, he said, his good friend, the Missionary, should have as an escort. And moreover he must needs go himself: "He could not suffer me to go," says that gentlemen, "while the Sandusky warriors were out on war-excursions, without a proper escort and himself at my side." And it should be observed, that besides the Sandusky savages, there were several other tribes who had already engaged on the British side, and were spreading death and desolation along the whole of the American frontier. The party set out together, and reached their destination in safety. An alarm occurred only on one occasion, when the scouts discovered a suspicious track, and report was made accordingly. White-Eyes, who was riding before his friend, while Wingemund brought up the rear, turned about and asked if he felt afraid? "No!" said the Missionary, "not while you are with me." "You are right," quickly rejoined White-Eyes. "You are right; no man shall harm you, till I am laid prostrate." "Nor even then," added Wingemund, "for they must conquer me also—they must lay us side by side." Mr. Heckewelder certainly did them but justice in believing that both would have redeemed their promises.

The other Moravians, and the Indian Congregation under their charge in Ohio, were still more indebted to the good Chieftain. Loskiel states [FN] that in 1774, the Christian party had become obnoxious to a majority of the Pagan Delaware chiefs, and it was several times proposed to expel them by force. But God brought their counsel to nought, he adds, "and appointed for this purpose the first Captain among the Delawares, called White-Eyes," who kept the chiefs and council in awe, and would not suffer them to injure the Missionaries. Finding his efforts still unavailing, he at length went so far as to separate himself wholly from his opponents, resolved to renounce power, country and kindred for the sake of these just and benevolent men whom he could not bear to see persecuted.

[FN] History of the Missions of the United Brethren, &c. London, 1794.

His firmness met with a deserved success. Even the old Chief Netawatwees, who had opposed him most fiercely, acknowledged the injustice which had been done him; and not only changed his views in regard to the Christians, but published his recantation in presence of the whole council. White-Eyes then again came forward, and repeated a proposal for a national regulation to be made—whereby the Christians should be specially put under the Delaware protection—which had formerly been rejected. It was promptly agreed to, and the act was passed. The old Chieftain expressed great joy on that occasion;—"I am an old man," said he, "and know not how long I may live. I therefore rejoice, that I have been able to make this act. Our children and grand-children will reap the benefit of it,—and now I am ready to die whenever God pleases." [FN]

[FN] He died at Pittsburg in 1776, much lamented by the Delawares and many neighboring nations. "This wise man," says Loskiel, "spared no pains to conciliate the affection of all his neighbors. He sent frequent embassies to his Grand-Children, admonishing them to keep peace, and proved in truth a wise Grandfather to them," Being the Senior Chief of the nation, his opinion was of great weight, and he declared himself warmly in favor of the Christians, and first invited them to settle on the Muskingum. His grandson, nephew, and son and family, also joined them.

Loskiel states, that White-Eyes was in his own heart convinced of the truth of the gospel; that this was evident in all his speeches in behalf of the Christians, during which he was frequently so moved that tears prevented his words; and that he likewise declared with confidence, that no prosperity would attend the Indian affairs, unless they received and believed the saving gospel sent them from God, by means of the Brethren. Not long before his death he took public occasion to repeat the last will and testament of Netawatwees,—"That the Delawares should hear the word of God." He held the bible and some spelling-books in his hand, and addressed the Council in a strain of the most animated and moving eloquence. "My friends!" he concluded, "You have now heard the dying wish of our departed Chief. I will therefore gather together my young men, and their children—I will kneel down before that Great Spirit who created them and me—I will pray unto him, that he may have mercy upon us, and reveal his will unto us,—And as we cannot declare it to those who are yet unborn, we will pray unto the Lord our God, to make it known to our children and our children's children."

Still, White-Eyes regarded Christianity more as a civil than a religious system. He was a man of enlarged political views, and no less a patriot than a statesman. The ends he aimed at were far more his country's than his own. He observed the superiority of the white men to the red; and nearer home, the prosperity and happiness of the Christian Delawares; and he convinced himself thoroughly of the true causes of both. He therefore earnestly desired, that his whole nation might be civilized, to which result he considered Christianity, as he had seen it taught by the good Moravians, the best possible promotive, as undoubtedly it was.

But in this noble solicitude for his countrymen, he forgot himself. Hence even Loskiel, on mentioning his decease, states, with an almost reluctant honesty, that "Captain White-Eyes, who had so often advised other Indians, with great earnestness, to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but had always postponed joining the believers himself on account of being yet entangled in political concerns, was unexpectedly called into eternity;" adding, affectionately, that the "Indian Congregation to whom he had rendered very essential services, was much affected at the news of his death, and could not but hope, that God our Saviour had received his soul in mercy." Mr. Heckewelder sums up the matter by saying—"His ideas were that unless the Indians changed their mode of living, they would in time come to nothing; and to encourage them towards such a change, he told them to take the example of the Christian Indians, who by their industry had every thing they could wish for." In a word, there was more philanthropy and more philosophy in the religion of White-Eyes, than there was piety. Hence his eloquence, his energy, his strong affection for the Missionaries, and his sacrifices and services for them and for his countrymen. He was a good man, we believe, by the force of native conscience, as he was a great man by the force of native sense; and though to have learned Christianity, in addition to loving some of those who professed it, might have made him both better and greater than he was, we cannot but hope, as it is, with the Christian Delawares, "that God our Saviour has received his soul in mercy."

It would give us very sincere pleasure to be able to say as much for the Paganism of Captain Pipe, who, on the contrary, was opposed to the religion of the whites as inveterately as any of the New-England Sachems of the seventeenth century, and apparently for similar reasons. "The Sachems of the country were generally set against us," wrote Mr. Elliot in 1650,[FN-1]—"and counter-work the Lord by keeping off their men from praying to God as much as they can; and the reason of it is this; they plainly see that religion will make a great change among them, and cut them off from their former tyranny, &c." Pipe, too, with all his talent, was obnoxious to some very plain strictures regarding his own morality, and of course had no theoretical partiality for lectures upon that subject. [FN-2] He was inimical to White-Eyes, especially, because the latter supported the cause of reform; and rather than stand second to him, and at the same time surrender his own bad habits, he determined at all hazards to array a party in opposition. It was both a personal and a political movement, the objects being self-defence, in the first place, and in the second, distinction.

[FN-1] The light appearing, &c. London, 1651.

[FN-2] Narrative, p. 286 and passim: "We were obliged to wait for Pipe's becoming sufficiently sober,"—&c.

Such being the character of the scheme, it must still be admitted that he exhibited great energy and great ingenuity in promoting it. Some of his manœuvres have been noticed; and after his rival's decease, his own declarations, particularly, were much more frequent and fearless, and therefore more effectual than they had been before. "Thus," says Heckewelder, "when a young man of his tribe, who had received his education in Virginia, under the influence of Dr. Walker, on his return into the Indian country in 1779, spread unfavorable reports of the Virginian people; representing them as exceeding the Indians in vicious acts—their beating the Negroes so unmercifully, &c. &c. Pipe would mockingly enumerate such vicious and cruel acts, as the benefits of civilization." He could at the same time, with truth, set forth the poverty of the United States, in not having even a blanket, a shirt, or other article of Indian clothing, to give them in exchange for their peltry; whereas, (said he) were it not for the English, we should have to suffer, and perhaps many of us perish for want. Pipe and the Monseys, we are told elsewhere, were those who were most dreaded, and the effect of his operations was such, but one year after the decease of White-Eyes in the midst of his triumphs, that in 1781, the Peace-Chiefs had for their own safety to withdraw themselves from their several nations, and take refuge at Pittsburg.

In regard to the personal habits of Pipe, it may be doing him, as well as several other Indians of some distinction, no more than justice, to allude in extenuation to the well known nature of the temptations to which they have sometimes been exposed, and especially on the frontiers, during war, and the excitement of an attempt by one civilized party to engage their services against another. The peculiar physical circumstances which, together with the character of their education, go to diminish their power of self-control, need not be enlarged on. It is sufficient to say, that it would be a task more easy than gratifying to prove, that their misfortune in this particular has only followed after the fault of their civilized neighbors. "Who are you, my friend?" said a gentleman in Pipe's time to an Indian at Pittsburg, who was not so much intoxicated as not to be ashamed of his situation. "My name is Black-fish," he replied; "At home I am a clever fellow—Here, I am a hog." [FN]

[FN] Mr. Heckewelder's anecdote of the Indian who came into Bethlehem (Penn.) to dispose of his peltry, throws light on a great source of the evil not alluded to in the text, and the effects of which, among the Western tribes to this day are beyond calculation. "Well Thomas," said a trader to him, "I believe you have turned Moravian." "Moravian!" answered the Indian, "what makes you think so?"—"Because," replied the other, "you used to come to us, to sell your skins and peltry, and now you trade them away to the Moravians." "So!" rejoined the Indian, "now I understand you well, and I know what you mean to say. Now hear me.—See, my friend! when I come to this place with my skins and peltry to trade, the people are kind; they give me plenty of good victuals to eat, and pay me in money, or whatever I want, and no one says a word to me about drinking rum—neither do I ask for it! When I come to your place with my peltry, all call to me: 'Come, Thomas! here's rum, drink heartily, drink! it will not hurt yon.' All this is done for the purpose of cheating me. When you have obtained from me all you want, you call me a drunken dog, and kick me out of the room."

But we are not under the disagreeable necessity of apologising for every thing we relate of Captain Pipe. He gave many evidences of a natural honor and humanity, even amid the bloodiest scenes of the Revolution, and contrary to the dictation of those who were qualified, by every thing but feelings, to understand his duty better than himself. Under strong excitement he attached himself to the British interest, and towards the close of the war scalping-parties went out from his settlement. He was also prejudiced against the Christian Indians, and molested them much. But none of these things were done in his cooler moments; and what is more creditable to him, there is good reason to believe that he repented of all. The evidence of this fact appears in a transaction which took place at Detroit in November, 1781, with the particulars of which, as furnished by Loskiel and others, we shall conclude this narrative.

On the occasion referred to, a grand Indian Council was convened at Detroit, at which were present large numbers of various tribes, including Captain Pipe's Wolf warriors, who had just returned from a scalping expedition. Four of the Moravian Missionaries were also there, having been summoned to attend, at the suggestion of Pipe and others, for the purpose of deciding upon several charges alleged against them. The hall was filled with the concourse, the tribes being separately seated all around it, on the right and left hand of the Commandant, while the Delawares, with Pipe and his Councilors at their head, were directly in front. A war-chief of each of the two divisions of Indians, held a stick in his hand, of three or four feet in length, strung with scalps which they had taken in their last foray on the American frontier.

The Council was opened by the Commandant's signifying to Captain Pipe, that he might make his report, when the latter rose from his seat, holding a stick in his left hand:

"Father!"—he began; and here he paused, turned round to the audience with a most sarcastic look, and then proceeded in a lower tone, as addressing them,—"I have said father, though indeed I do not know why I should call him so—I have never known any father but the French—I have considered the English only as brothers. But as this name is imposed upon us, I shall make use of it and say—

"Father"—fixing his eyes again on the Commandant—"Some time ago you put a war-hatchet into my hands, saying, 'take this weapon and try it on the heads of my enemies, the Long-Knives, and let me know afterwards if it was sharp and good.'

"Father!—At the time when you gave me this weapon, I had neither cause nor wish to go to war against a foe who had done me no injury. But you say you are my father—and call me your child—and in obedience to you I received the hatchet. I knew that if I did not obey you, you would withhold from me [FN] the necessaries of life, which I could procure nowhere but here."

[FN] Meaning his tribe.

"Father! You may perhaps think me a fool, for risking my life at your bidding—and that in a cause in which I have no prospect of gaining any thing. For it is your cause, and not mine—you have raised a quarrel among yourselves—and you ought to fight it out—It is your concern to fight the Long-Knives—You should not compel your children, the Indians, to expose themselves to danger for your sake.

"Father!—Many lives have already been lost on your account—The tribes have suffered, and been weakened—Children have lost parents and brothers—Wives have lost husbands—It is not known how many more may perish before your war will be at an end.

"Father!—I have said, you may perhaps think me a fool, for thus thoughtlessly rushing on your enemy! Do not believe this, Father. Think not that I want sense to convince me, that although you now pretend to keep up a perpetual enmity to the Long-Knives, you may, before long, conclude a peace with them.

"Father! You say you love your children, the Indians.—This you have often told them; and indeed it is your interest to say so to them, that you may have them at your service.

"But, Father! Who of us can believe that you can love a people of a different colour from your own, better than those who have a white skin, like yourselves?

"Father! Pay attention to what I am going to say. While you, Father, are setting me [FN] on your enemy, much in the same manner as a hunter sets his dog on the game; while I am in the act of rushing on that enemy of yours, with the bloody destructive weapon you gave me, I may, perchance, happen to look back to the place from whence you started me, and what shall I see? Perhaps, I may see my father shaking hands with the Long-Knives; yes, with those very people he now calls his enemies. I may then see him laugh at my folly for having obeyed his orders; and yet I am now risking my life at his command!—Father! keep what I have said in remembrance."

[FN] Meaning his nation.

"Now, Father! here is what has been done with the hatchet you gave me," [handing the stick with the scalps on it] "I have done with the hatchet what you ordered me to do, and found it sharp. Nevertheless, I did not do all that I might have done. No, I did not. My heart failed within me. I felt compassion for your enemy. Innocence [FN] had no part in your quarrels; therefore I distinguished—I spared. I took some live flesh, [FN-2] which, while I was bringing to you, I spied one of your large canoes, on which I put it for you. In a few days you will receive this flesh, and find that the skin is of the same color with your own."

[FN-1] Meaning women and children.

[FN-2] Prisoners.

"Father! I hope you will not destroy what I have saved. You, Father, have the means of preserving that which would perish with us from want. The warrior is poor, and his cabin is always empty; but your house, Father, is always full."

During the delivery of this harangue, which is said to have produced a great effect on all present, and especially on those who understood the language in which it was spoken, the Orator two or three times advanced so far towards the Commandant, in the heat of his excitement, that one of the officers present thought proper to interfere and request him to move back. The other war-chiefs now made their speeches, and then the Commandant (an honorable and humane man, notwithstanding the Orator's strictures on his Father,)—called upon him to substantiate his charges against the Missionaries. Pipe, who was still standing, was unwilling to make the attempt, but felt embarrassed. He began to shift and shuffle, (says Loskiel,) and bending towards his Councilors, asked them what he should say. They all hung their heads, and were silent. Suddenly, recollecting himself and rising up, he addressed the Commandant "I said before that some such thing might have happened, but now I will tell you the plain truth. The Missionaries are innocent. What they have done, they were compelled to do." [alluding to their having interpreted letters which the Delaware Chief received from Pittsburg, &c] "We were to blame—We forced them to it, when they refused." After some farther conversation the Commandant declared the Missionaries to be acquitted of all the accusations brought against them.

Pipe expressed his satisfaction at the result, and on returning from the council-house, he asked some of the Delaware Chieftains who were present how they liked what he said. He observed, that he knew it was true, and added; "I never wished your teachers any harm, knowing that they love the Indians; but, I have all along been imposed on, and importuned to do what I did by those who do not love them; and now, when these were to speak, they hung their heads, leaving me to extricate myself, after telling our Father things they had dictated and persuaded me to tell him." This declaration has decidedly the air of candor and truth; and the Captain's subsequent conduct was much more in accordance with the spirit of it than it had been before. He did not however distinguish himself particularly after the close of the war, and even the time of his death has not come within our knowledge, although we have reason to believe that he was living, and able to visit the City of Washington, as late as 1817.


State of several Southern tribes during the last century—The English send deputies to the Cherokees, in 1756—Their lives threatened, and saved by Attakullakulla—Account of that Chieftain and his principles—The party opposed to him headed by Occonostota—War with the Colonies in 1759 and two years following—Anecdotes of both these Chiefs—Saloueh, Fiftoe, and others—Several battles—Peace concluded—Attakullakulla visits Charleston—His subsequent Career, and that of Occonostota—Remarks on their character.

Contemporary with the individuals who have just been mentioned, were a number of noted chieftains among the more Southern tribes. Of them we may take this occasion to say, that the Chickasaws generally affected the English interest; and the Creeks, the French;—so that the friendship or the hostility of Great-Mortar, the Standing-Turkey, the Wolf-King, and the other leading men among the latter tribe was nearly neutralized, as regarded the several civilized parties, by the counteraction of the former.

The Cherokees had been friendly to the English ever since the treaty of 1730; but, owing partly to the influence of the Mortar, and partly to the direct exertions of the French, they had now become wavering and divided in sentiment. In 1756, deputies were sent among them, to secure their aid against the French. A council was convened, and was likely to terminate favorably, when tidings suddenly came that a party of Cherokees, who had visited the French on the Ohio, were massacred by some of the Virginians on their return home. The Council was in an uproar, as much as an Indian Council could be,—the gravest political assembly on earth,—at once. Many cried aloud that vengeance should be taken on the persons of the Deputies; and it was not without a great exertion of influence, that they were at length rescued by Attakullakulla, or the Little-Carpenter.

This is the earliest appearance of that renowned Chieftain in history, though he is said to have been already famous both among the Cherokees and the English, especially for his magnanimity, wisdom, and moderation. Nor has there ever been, upon the continent, a more faithful or useful friend to the English cause. We cannot better illustrate his career or his character than by comparing both with those of White-Eyes; and indeed, some of the incidents related of that chief, independently of other circumstances, make it highly probable, that a diplomatic and personal good understanding was constantly maintained between them.

Like White-Eyes, too, Attakullakulla was opposed by a war-party, the chief difference being that it was less formally organized, and that it generally operated in favor of the French. At the head of it was Occonostota, or the Great-Warrior, a man whose extraordinary prowess procured him his title, and whose memory is to this day warmly cherished among his countrymen. Pursuing our comparison, he should remind us of Pipe; but the suggestion does him injustice. He was not only for war, but a warrior—in truth, a "great warrior." He fought, and bled, and led on, where the other appeared only in that capacity of bear-hunter with dogs, which White-Eyes imputed to him. He was sincere to enthusiasm in his principles, and frank and fearless almost to fool-hardiness in professing and pursuing them. He had as much talent as Pipe, and far more virtue.

"Occonostota," says a respectable authority of a date a little subsequent to that just mentioned, "is returned again from the French fort with powder and ball, accompanied with some Frenchmen—how many I cannot learn." And again, soon afterwards,—"Since Occonostota returned from the French with the goods and ammunition, and has had those assurances from the Creeks, he says, 'What nation, or what people am I afraid of? I do not fear all the forces which the great King George can send against me among these mountains.'" [FN] And yet the Great-Warrior was not rash, as we shall soon learn from the sequel.

[FN] We refer to Charleston, (S. C.) papers.

A strong excitement followed the provocation already mentioned; and although the elder part of the nation remained calm, and Attakullakulla and Occonostota were both against instant war, the French emissaries wrought so effectually on the younger warriors, that parties of them took the field, and the English frontiers became the scene of a horrid series of devastation and massacre. The Governor of South Carolina prepared for active hostilities, and the militia of the whole Province were summoned to meet at Congarees.

But no sooner did the Cherokees hear of this movement than they sent thirty-two of their chief men, among whom was the Great-Warrior, to settle all differences at Charleston. A conference ensued, the burthen of which however was assumed by the Governor alone; for when,—after he had made a long speech of accusations, and concluded with saying that the Deputies must follow his troops, or he would not be answerable for their safety,—Occonostota gravely rose to reply, the Governor interrupted him and forbade him to proceed. He was determined that nothing should prevent his military expedition; and at all events "he would hear no talk in vindication of the Orator's countrymen, nor any proposals with regard to peace." [FN]

[FN] Ramsay's History of South Carolina.

The Great-Warrior was indignant, and his companions were still more so than himself. It must be allowed, that the Governor's deportment on this occasion, independently of his treatment of the Deputies out of Council, was in the highest degree insulting. The Warrior felt it the more keenly, because he had been appointed to speak, and had prepared himself. The Cherokees were conscious, too, that the English had originally occasioned the war. The sacred respect attached in their view,—as it is in that of the Indians quite generally even now,—to the dignity of their orators, may be gathered from the well-authenticated anecdote of the Virginian Chieftain who was rashly interrupted in a Conference with the English by one of his own subjects. He split the offender's head with a tomahawk at a single blow, and then calmly proceeded with his speech. [FN]

[FN] Beverly.

The Deputies were detained several days, at the end of which they accompanied the Governor and his troops to Congarees, where were collected fourteen hundred men. Accompanied, we say,—but not freely; they were even made prisoners, to prevent their escaping, (as two had already done,) and a Captain's guard was set over them. No longer, says the historian, could they conceal their resentment; sullen and gloomy countenances showed that they were stung to the heart. To make the matter worse, on reaching Fort Prince-George, on the borders of their own territory, they were all confined in a miserable hut scarcely sufficient to accommodate a tenth part of their number.

But the troops becoming discontented and mutinous, the Governor dared not advance any farther against the enemy. He therefore sent for Attakullakulla, as being "esteemed the wisest man in the nation, and the most steady friend to the English." [FN] The summons was promptly obeyed, and a conference took place on the 17th of December, (1759.) The Governor made a long speech as before, to the effect that the Great King would not suffer his people to be destroyed without satisfaction; that he was determined to have it; and that twenty-four Cherokee murderers, whom he named, must be given up in the outset, for which he would graciously allow the term of twenty-four hours.

[FN] Ramsay.

The Little-Carpenter very calmly replied;—He remembered the treaties alluded to by the Governor, because he had helped to make them. He owned the good conduct of South Carolina, as also alleged, but complained of Virginia, as having caused the present misunderstanding. He could not forbear adding, that the Governor did not treat all the tribes alike, any more than all the whites treated the Cherokees alike; he remembered that, when several Carolinians were killed a few years before by the Choctaws, satisfaction was neither demanded nor given. Finally, he desired the release of some of the Deputies, that they might assist him in endeavoring to procure the performance of the Governor's terms, though he was by no means confident that they either would or could be complied with.

Agreeably to this suggestion, the Governor released the Great-Warrior, together with Fiftoe and Saloueh, the Chief-Men of the towns of Keowee and Estatoe. The latter, on the day ensuing, surrendered two Indians, who were immediately put in irons. But all the Cherokees in the vicinity now fled, through fear of the same fate, and it became impossible to complete the required number. Attakullakulla abruptly commenced his return home in despair; but the moment the Governor ascertained his departure, messengers were sent to induce him to turn back. The good Chief again obeyed the summons. A treaty was negotiated, the result of which was that twenty-six of the deputies were detained "until as many of the murderers should be given up," nominally by their free consent, but in fact by force. One more Indian was surrendered, making three in all, and all three soon after died in confinement at Charleston. The small-pox breaking out in the army about the same time, the troops dispersed in disorder,—the expedition having already cost the province £25,000,—and the Governor returned "in triumph" to his capital.

But the rejoicings on account of the peace were scarcely over, when news arrived that the Cherokees had killed fourteen whites within a mile of Fort George. The Commandant at that station, Captain Coytmore, had become peculiarly odious to the Indians, and the continued imprisonment of the Deputies, above all, incensed them beyond endurance. From this moment, indeed, Occonostota was the fierce enemy of the Province; and he resolved, much as he despised treachery, to avail himself of the first opportunity of revenge. With a strong party, he surrounded Fort George, and kept the garrison confined; but finding that no impression could be made on the works, he resorted to stratagem.

He placed a party of savages in a dark thicket by the river-side, and then sent an Indian woman, whom he knew to be always welcome at the fort, to inform the Commander that he had something of consequence to communicate and would be glad to speak with him near the water. Coytmore imprudently consented, and without any suspicions of danger walked down towards the river, accompanied by Lieutenants Bell and Foster. Occonostota, appearing upon the opposite side, told him he was going to Charleston, to procure a release of the prisoners, and would be glad to have white men accompany him as a safeguard. To cover his dark design he had a bridle in his hand, and added he would go and hunt for a horse. Coytmore replied that he should have a guard, and wished he might find a horse, as the journey was very long. Upon this, the Indian, turning about, swung the bridle thrice round his head as a signal to the savages placed in ambush, who instantly fired on the officers, shot the Captain dead, and wounded his two companions. Orders were riven to put the hostages in irons, to prevent any further danger from them, which, while the soldiers were attempting to execute, the Indians stabbed one and wounded two more of them. The garrison then fell on the unfortunate hostages, and butchered all of them in a manner too shocking to relate.

There were few men in the Cherokee nation that did not lose a friend or relative by this massacre, and therefore with one voice all immediately declared for war. The leaders in every town seized the hatchet; "the spirits of their murdered brothers were hovering around them and calling out for vengeance on, their enemies." Large parties of warriors took the field. Burning with impatience to imbue their hands in the blood of their enemies, they rushed down among innocent and defenceless families on the frontiers of Carolina; and there men, women and children, without distinction, fell a sacrifice to their merciless fury. Such as fled to the woods and escaped the scalping-knife, perished with hunger; and those whom they made prisoners were carried into the wilderness, where they suffered inexpressible hardships. Every day brought fresh accounts of their ravages and murders.

Great alarm prevailed throughout the Province, and corresponding efforts were made for defence. Seven troops of rangers were raised to protect the frontiers. Application was made to Virginia and North Carolina for aid; as also to General Amherst, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in America, who immediately despatched twelve companies to the theatre of hostilities. The various detachments mustered at Congarees in May, 1760, and the campaign began with a rapid invasion of the Cherokee territory. Considerable ravages were speedily made, including the destruction of Estatoe and Keowee, (the latter of which contained two hundred houses,) and the army then marched to relieve Fort George.

And now the war grew fervid. Saloueh and Fiftoe had sworn vengeance over the ashes of their homes, and the soul of the Great-Warrior was hot within him. The invaders were suffered to pursue their hazardous and difficult march, through dark thickets and deep defiles, and over mountains, rivers and swamps, till they came within five miles of Etchoe. Here was a low valley, covered so thick with bushes that the soldiers could scarcely see three yards before them. The army was obliged to pass through it, and that in such a manner as to permit but few of the troops to act together. An officer was ordered to advance, and scour the thicket with a company of rangers. He obeyed, but a sudden discharge from unseen fire-arms laid him dead on the spot, with several of his soldiers. The light-infantry and grenadiers now charged their enemy,—a heavy fire commenced on both sides,—and the woods around rang with the warrior's whoop, the shouts of the soldiery, and the cries of the dying. The action lasted more than an hour,—the English losing about twenty men killed and eighty wounded,—when, the Indians slowly retreated and disappeared, carrying off the bodies of their slain. "Upon viewing the ground," (says our historian,) "all were astonished to see with what judgment they had chosen it. Scarcely could the most experienced officer have fixed upon a spot more advantageous for attacking an enemy." Orders were immediately given for an expeditious retreat.

Thus Occonostota succeeded in the field. But his heart still thirsted for blood, and he found means to gratify his revenge in another quarter. Fort Loudon, (built, like Fort George, on the frontier,) with a garrison of twenty men, was surrounded by the enraged enemy, and reduced to the extremities of famine. Under these circumstances Captain Stuart, a gentleman well known to the Cherokees during a long official and private intercourse with them, obtained leave to go to Choteh, the town of the Great-Warrior,—who was sometimes called "Prince of Choteh." A capitulation was agreed upon with him. The arms of the garrison were surrendered on the faith of it; and they marched out, on their way towards Fort George, under the escort of an Indian detachment headed by the Prince himself. Having gone fifteen miles, they encamped at night near an Indian town. All the escort left them, but still they remained unmolested. At length, about day-break, a guard came running in with intelligence that the woods and bushes around them were full of hideously painted savages, who had already enclosed them. In a moment after, the enemy rushed upon them, and fired, and thirty of their number fell dead. The residue either fled or were captured; and the latter, including Stuart, were pinioned and sent back to Fort Loudon.

And now Attakullakulla came forward. He had taken no part in the war, on either side, but Stuart had been his best friend in former times, and he could not think of seeing him a prisoner and in peril of his life. He hastened to the fort, and purchased him of his Indian master, giving his rifle, clothes, and all he could command as a ransom; and then took him into his own family, and shared with him the provisions which his table afforded.

Occonostota, meanwhile, had formed the design of attacking Fort George, and sent messengers throughout the Cherokee country to collect his warriors for that purpose. At this juncture, a quantity of ammunition was found in Fort Loudon (where the English captives were still confined) which the garrison had buried before leaving it, The discovery had nearly cost Stuart his life, but his protector again rescued him. The Indians, indeed, found occasion for his services. At a great Council held at Choteh, whither he was carried, the warrior told him they had resolved to march against Fort George with a quantity of English cannon, to be managed by men under his (Stuart's) command, and they wished him previously to write letters for them to the Commandant, demanding a surrender. If he refused, they intended to burn his companions, one by one, before his face.

Captain Stuart was now really uneasy in his situation, and he determined from this moment to make his escape or perish in the attempt. He privately communicated his feelings to Attakullakulla, and appealed to his magnanimity. The old Warrior took him by the hand. "Be calm," said he, "be calm, my son; I am your friend—trust me." He went forward, and claimed the Englishman for his prisoner; and then gave out word among his countrymen, that he intended to "go a-hunting" for a few days, and to take his Englishman with him.

They set out together, accompanied by the warrior's wife, his brother, and two others. For provisions they depended on what they might kill by the way. The distance to the frontier settlements was great, and the utmost expedition necessary to prevent any surprise from Indians pursuing them. They traveled nine days and nights through a dreary wilderness, shaping their course for Virginia, by the light and guidance of the heavenly bodies. On the tenth they arrived at the banks of Holstein river; where they fortunately fell in with a party of three thousand men, sent out by Colonel Bird for the relief of such soldiers as might make their escape that way from Fort Loudon.

Here the Chieftain was content to relinquish his charge. He bade his friend farewell, and, as composedly as if the whole transaction were a matter of course, turned back into the wilderness, and retraced his long and wearisome journey.

Such was the issue of the first campaign. The spring of 1761 opened with new efforts on the part of Carolina. A new provincial regiment was raised; fresh reinforcements of regulars arrived from the north; and numbers of the Chickasaw and Catawba Indians were induced to give their assistance—so that, on the 27th of May, an army of two thousand six hundred men mustered at Fort George.

Latinac, a French officer, was at this time among the Cherokees, and he proved an indefatigable instigator to mischief. He persuaded them, that the English would be satisfied with nothing less than to exterminate them, man, woman, and child, from the face of the earth. He gave them arms, too, and urged them to war. At a grand meeting of the nation, he brandished his hatchet, and, striking it furiously into a log of wood, cried out—"Who is the man that will take this up for the King of France? Where is he? Let him come forth!" Saloueh, the young Warrior of Estatoe, instantly leaped forward, laid hold of it, and cried out—"I will take it up. I am for war. The spirits of the slain call upon us; I will avenge them; and who will not? He is no better than a woman that refuses to follow me." Many a fierce look, and many a lifted tomahawk answered the appeal of the Orator, and again did the war-torrent rush down upon the frontiers.

The Great-Warrior too, more a general, and not less a soldier, was again ready for his enemy. They commenced their march into the interior on the 7th of June, and advanced unmolested as far as the well remembered battle-ground of the year previous; but there, the Indian scouts in front observed a large body of Cherokees posted upon a hill on the right flank of the army. Immediately the savages, rushing down, began to fire on the advanced guard, which being supported repulsed them; but they recovered their heights. Colonel Grant ordered a party to march up the hills, and drive the enemy from them. The engagement became general, and was fought on both sides with great bravery. The situation of the troops was in several respects deplorable—fatigued in a tedious march in rainy weather—surrounded with woods so that they could not discern the enemy—galled by the scattering fire of savages who when pressed always fell back, but rallied again and again. No sooner was any advantage gained over them in one quarter than they appeared in another. While the attention of the Commander was occupied in driving the enemy from their lurking-place on the river's side, his rear was attacked, and so vigorous an effort made for the flour and cattle, that he was obliged to order a party back to the relief of the rear-guard. From eight o'clock in the morning until eleven, the savages continued to keep up an irregular and incessant fire, sometimes from one place and sometimes from another, while the woods resounded with hideous war-whoops frequently repeated, but in different directions. At length the Cherokees gave way and were pursued.

Such is the account of this famous engagement given by history. The English lost between fifty and sixty killed and wounded. The loss of the Cherokees was uncertain, as that of an Indian army always is,—they carried off the slain.

And now commenced a scene of devastation scarcely paralleled in the annals of the continent. For thirty days, the English army employed themselves in burning and ravaging the country and settlements of the enemy. "Heaven has blest us," says a letter-writer from the camp, under date of July 10th, "with the greatest success; we have finished our business as completely as the most sanguine of us could have wished. All their towns, fifteen in number, beside many little villages and scattered houses, have been burnt; upwards of fourteen hundred acres of corn, according to a moderate computation, entirely destroyed; and near five thousand Cherokees, men, women and children, driven to the mountains to starve—their only sustenance for some time past being horseflesh." [FN]

[FN] Charleston Paper of 1761.

The result of these measures was decisive. A great part of the Cherokee nation became desirous of procuring peace upon any terms; and the army had no sooner reached Fort George, than a deputation of about twenty chiefs visited the camp. Neither the Great-Warrior nor his staunch aid-de-camp, Saloueh, was among them; but the Man-Killer, came, and the Raven, and Old Cesar of Hywassih, and at the head of all the Little Carpenter himself.

On the 28th of August they waited upon Colonel Grant, who had prepared a bower for their reception. Having seated themselves in grave array, the Little Carpenter was asked, if he had come to sue for peace. He answered in the affirmative. "Have you authority from the whole nation?" demanded the Colonel; to which all the chiefs replied that they would confirm whatever the Carpenter should agree to. The latter then delivered his talk.—

"You live at the water-side," said he, "and are in light. We are in darkness; but hope all will yet be clear. I have been constantly going about doing good, and though I am tired, yet I am come to see what can be done for my people, who are in great distress." Here he produced the strings of wampum he had received from the different towns, denoting their earnest desire of peace, and added,—"As to what has happened, I believe it has been ordered by our Father above. We are of a different color from the white people. They are superior to us. But one God is father of us all, and we hope what is past will be forgotten. God Almighty made all people. There is not a day but some are coming into, and others going out of the world. The Great King told me the path should never be crooked, but open for every one to pass and repass. As we all live in one land, I hope we shall all love as one people."

This account is taken partly from news-papers of the period under consideration. Ramsay only adds, that peace was formally ratified; and that the ancient friendship of the parties being renewed, both expressed their hope that it would last as long as the sun might shine and the rivers run. Some little difficulty appears to have occurred in the adjustment, which should mentioned to the credit of Little-Carpenter. He consented to every requisition excepting that which demanded the surrender of four Cherokees, to be put to death in front of the camp. This he would not promise. The Colonel gave him a day to think of it, but he still refused. Finally, it was thought advisable to refer him to the Governor, and he undertook a journey to Charleston, several hundred miles distant, for the express purpose of procuring a mitigation of the treaty of peace in regard to the single obnoxious provision.

His perseverance and firmness were rewarded as they deserved. "This day," says a Charleston paper of September 23d, "Attakullakulla had his last public audience, when he signed the treaty of peace, and received an authenticated copy under the great seal. . . . He earnestly requested that Captain John Stuart might be made Chief White-Man [Indian Agent] in their nation. He said, 'all the Indians love him; and there would never be any uneasiness if he were there.' This faithful Indian afterwards dined with his Honor the Governor, and tomorrow sets out for his own country. He has received several presents as a mark of the regard this government has for him."

Thus ended the Cherokee war. That its conduct did no discredit to the talents of the Great-Warrior, we need not argue. As to the principles upon which it was fought, we may content ourselves with the comment of an impartial historian. "In the review of the whole," says Ramsay, "there is much to blame, and more to regret. The Cherokees were the first aggressors by taking horses from the Virginians; but by killing them for that offence the balance of injury was on their side. Then treachery begat treachery, and murder produced murder. The lives of those men who came originally as messengers of peace, though afterwards retained as hostages, were barbarously taken away without any fault of theirs, other than their obeying the laws of nature in resisting a military order for putting their persons in irons. A deadly hatred and a desolating war was the consequence."

We do not meet with frequent mention of either of the Chieftains named in this chapter, after the campaign of 1761. They fought against the neighboring tribes occasionally, but with the English they preserved a firm peace of at least fifteen years. The character of the contest between England and the Colonies appears to have confused them, and their embarrassment was not at all relieved by the unsparing efforts made to instigate them to hostilities against the latter. The result was a division of opinion, and a diversity of practice, as in the case of their Northern neighbors. A part of the nation took up arms for the English,—probably the younger warriors;—but the whole were compelled to suffer in consequence. A powerful army from South Carolina invaded their territory, and after a severe struggle, peace was once more enforced at the point of the bayonet.

It is doubtful whether the Great-Warrior was living at this period, for his name does not appear in the history of the conflict or the treaty. Little-Carpenter still survived, but, as usual, took no part in the war. Indeed he must now have been nearly disabled from very active service by his advanced age,—as well as disinclined for better reasons,—for he is believed to have been one of the seven Cherokees who visited England and were introduced to George II, as early as 1730. But this cannot be affirmed with certainty.

We shall close our imperfect sketch of this wise and worthy Chieftain, with the characteristic account of an interview with him, given by Bertram, author of the well-known Southern Travels. It occurred early in the Revolution:—

"Soon after crossing this large branch of the Tanase, [in Upper Georgia,] I observed, descending the heights at a distance, a company of seven Indians, all well mounted on horseback. They came rapidly forward. On their nearer approach I observed a Chief at the head of the caravan, and apprehending him to be the Little Carpenter, Emperor or Grand Chief of the Cherokees, as they came up I turned off from the path to make way, in token of respect. The compliment was accepted, and returned, for his Highness, with a gracious and cheerful smile, came up to me, and clapping his hand on his breast, offered it to me, saying, 'I am Attakullaculla,' and heartily shook hands with me, and asked me 'If I knew it.' I answered, that the Good Spirit who goes before me, spoke to me and said, 'That is the great Attakullaculla,' and added that I was of the tribe of the white men of Pennsylvania, who esteem themselves brothers and friends to the Red Men, but particularly to the Cherokees, and that the name of Attakullaculla was dear to his white brethren. After this compliment, which seemed to be acceptable, he inquired 'if I came lately from Charleston, and if John Stuart was well,' [the agent,] saying that he was going to see him. I replied that I had come lately from Charleston, on a friendly visit to the Cherokees; that I had seen the Superintendent, the Beloved Man, &c. The Great Chief was pleased to answer, that I was welcome in their country, as a friend and brother, and then shaking hands heartily he bade me farewell, and his retinue confirmed it by a united voice of assent."


The Cayuga Chief, Logan—Some account of his father, Shikellimus—Residence of Logan—His friendship for the whites interrupted by their provocations—His family misfortunes—The Shawanee Silver-Heels—Logan joins in a war of revenge against the "Long-Knives"—Battle of the Kenhawa—Treaty of Peace with Governor Dunmore—Logan's celebrated speech—His history completed—Buckongahelas, the Delaware head War-Chief—His intercourse with the Christian Indians—Part which he takes in the Revolution—Defeated by Wayne, in 1794—Anecdotes of him—Death and character.

Few Indians names have been oftener repeated than that of Logan, and yet of scarcely any individual of his race is the history which has reached us less complete. He was a chief of the Six-Nations—a Cayuga—but resided during most of his life in a western settlement, either at Sandusky or upon a branch of the Scioto—there being at the former location, a few years before the Revolution, about three hundred warriors, and about sixty at the latter.

Logan was the second son of Shikellimus; and this is the same person whom Heckewelder describes as "a respectable chief of the Six Nations, who resided at Shamokin (Pennsylvania,) as an agent, to transact business between them and the Government of the State." In 1747, at a time when the Moravian Missionaries were the object of much groundless hatred and accusation, Shikellimus invited some of them to settle at Shamokin, and they did so. When Count Zinzendorff and Conrad Weiser visited that place, several years before, they were very hospitably entertained by the Chief, who came out to meet them (says Loskiel,) with a large fine melon, for which the Count politely gave him his fur cap in exchange; and thus commenced an intimate acquaintance. He was a shrewd and sober man,—not addicted to drinking, like most of his countrymen, because "he never wished to become a fool." Indeed, he built his house on pillars for security against the drunken Indians, and used to ensconce himself within it on all occasions of riot and outrage. He died in 1749, attended in his last moments by the good Moravian Bishop Zeisberger, in whose presence, says Loskiel, "he fell happily asleep in the Lord."

Logan inherited the talents of his father, but not his prosperity. Nor was this altogether his own fault. He took no part except that of peace-making in the French and English war of 1760, and was ever before and afterwards looked upon as emphatically the friend of the white man. But never was kindness rewarded like his.

In the spring of 1774, a robbery and murder occurred in some of the white settlements on the Ohio, which were charged to the Indians, though perhaps not justly, for it is well known that a large number of civilized adventurers were traversing the frontiers at this time, who sometimes disguised themselves as Indians, and who thought little more of killing one of that people than of shooting a buffalo. A party of these men, land-jobbers and others, undertook to punish the outrage in this case, according to their custom, as Mr. Jefferson expresses it, in a summary way. [FN]

[FN] Notes on Virginia.

Colonel Cresap, a man infamous for the many murders he had committed on those much injured people, collected a party, and proceeded down the Kenhawa in quest of vengeance. Unfortunately, a canoe of women and children, with one man only, was seen coming from the opposite shore, unarmed, and not at all suspecting an attack from the whites. Cresap and his party concealed themselves on the bank of the river, and the moment the canoe reached the shore, singled out their objects, and, at one fire, killed every person in it This happened to be the family of Logan. [FN]

[FN] Jefferson.

It was not long after this that another massacre took place, under still more aggravated circumstances, not far from the present site of Wheeling, Virginia,—a considerable party of the Indians being decoyed by the whites, and all murdered, with the exception of a little girl. Among these, too, was both a brother of Logan, and a sister, and the delicate situation of the latter increased a thousand fold both the barbarity of the crime and the race of the survivors of the family.

The vengeance of the Chieftain was indeed provoked beyond endurance; and he accordingly distinguished himself by his daring and bloody exploits in the war which now ensued, between the Virginians on the one side, and a combination mainly of Shawanees, Mingoes and Delawares on the other. The former of these tribes were particularly exasperated by the unprovoked murder of one of their favorite chiefs, Silver-Heels, who had in the kindest manner undertaken to escort several white traders across the woods from the Ohio to Albany, a distance of nearly two hundred miles. [FN]

[FN] Heckewelder's History.

The civilized party prevailed, as usual. A decisive battle was fought upon the 10th of October, of the year last named, on Point Pleasant at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa in West-Virginia, between the Confederates, commanded by Logan, and one thousand Virginian riflemen constituting the left wing of an army led by Governor Dunmore against the Indians of the North-West. This engagement has by some annalists,—who however have rarely given the particulars of it—been called the most obstinate ever contested with the natives, and we therefore annex an official account of it which has fortunately been brought to light within a few years.

"Monday morning, [the 10th,] about half an hour before sun-rise, two of Capt. Russell's company discovered a large party of Indians about a mile from camp; one of which was shot down by the Indians. The other made his escape and brought in the intelligence; two or three minutes after, two of Capt. Shelby's men came in and confirmed the account.

"Col. Andrew Lewis being informed thereof, immediately ordered out Col. Charles Lewis to take the command of one hundred and fifty men, of the Augusta troops; and with him went Capt. Dickinson, Capt. Harrison, Capt. Wilson, Capt. John Lewis of Augusta, and Capt. Lockridge, which made the first division; Col. Fleming was ordered to take command of one hundred and fifty more, consisting of Botetrout, Bedford and Fincastle troops—viz: Capt. Bufort of Bedford, Capt. Love of Botetrout, and Capt. Shelby and Capt. Russell of Fincastle, which made the second division. Col. Charles Lewis's division marched to the right some distance from the Ohio; Col. Fleming, with his division, up the bank of the Ohio, to the left. Col. Lewis's division had not marched quite half a mile from camp, when about sun-rise, an attack was made on the front of his division, in a most vigorous manner, by the united tribes of Indians, Shawanees, Delawares, Mingoes, Iaways, and of several other nations, in number not less than eight hundred, and by many thought to be a thousand. In this heavy attack Col. Lewis received a wound which in a few hours occasioned his death, and several of his men fell on the spot; in fact the Augusta division was forced to give way to the heavy fire of the enemy. In about a minute after the attack on Col. Lewis's division, the enemy engaged the front of Col. Fleming's division, on the Ohio; and in a short time the Colonel received two balls through his left arm, and one through his breast, and after animating the officers and soldiers, in a spirited manner, to the pursuit of victory, retired to camp.

"The loss of the brave Colonels from the field was sensibly felt by the officers in particular; but the Augusta troops being shortly after reinforced from camp by Col. Fields with his company, together with Capt. McDowel, Capt. Mathews and Capt. Stuart, from Augusta, and Capt. Arbuckle and Capt McClenahan, from Botetrout, the enemy, no longer able to maintain their ground, was forced to give way till they were in a line with the troops of Col. Fleming, left in action on the bank of Ohio. In this precipitate retreat Col. Field was killed. Capt. Shelby was then ordered to take the command. During this time, it being now twelve o'clock, the action continued extremely hot. The close underwood, and many steep banks and logs, greatly favored their retreat, and the bravest of their men made the best use of them, whilst others were throwing their dead into the Ohio and carrying off their wounded.

"After twelve o'clock the action, in a small degree, abated; but continued, except at short intervals, sharp enough till after one o'clock. Their long retreat gave them a most advantageous spot of ground, from whence it appeared to the officers so difficult to dislodge them that it was thought most advisable to stand as the line was then formed, which was about a mile and a quarter in length, and had till then sustained a constant and equal weight of the action, from wing to wing. It was till about half an hour of sunset they continued firing on us scattering shots, which we returned to their disadvantage; at length night coming on, they found a safe retreat. They had not the satisfaction of carrying off any of our men's scalps, save one or two stragglers, whom they killed before the engagement. Many of their dead they scalped rather than we should have them; but our troops scalped upwards of twenty of those who were first killed. It is beyond a doubt their loss in number far exceeds ours, which is considerable." [FN]

[FN] Niles's Register, Vol. XII.

The Virginians lost in this action two of their Colonels, four Captains, many subordinate officers, and about fifty privates killed, besides a much larger number wounded. The Governor himself was not engaged in the battle, being at the head of the right wing of the same army, a force of fifteen hundred men, who were at this time on their expedition against the towns of some of the hostile tribes in the North-West.

It was at the treaty ensuing upon this battle that the following speech was delivered,—sufficient to render the name of Logan famous for many a century. It came by the hand of a messenger, sent, (as Mr. Jefferson states,) that the sincerity of the negotiation might not be distrusted on account of the absence of so distinguished a warrior as himself.

"I appeal to any white man to say, if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if he ever came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, 'Logan is the friend of white men.' I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan?—Not one."

Of this powerful address, Mr. Jefferson says, "I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage, superior to the speech of Logan;" and an American statesman and scholar, scarcely less illustrious than the author of this noble eulogium, has expressed his readiness to subscribe to it. [FN] It is of course unnecessary for any humbler authority to enlarge upon its merits. Indeed, they require no exposition; they strike home to the soul.

[FN] Clinton's Historical Discourse: 1811.

The melancholy history of Logan must be dismissed with no relief to its gloomy colors. He was himself a victim to the same ferocious cruelty which had already rendered him a desolate man. [FN] Not long after the treaty a party of whites murdered him, as he was returning from Detroit to his own country. It grieves us to add, that towards the close of his life, misery had made him intemperate. No security and no solace to Logan, was the orator's genius or the warriors glory.

[FN] Drake's Biography.

Campbell, in his Gertrude of Wyoming, has appropriated the affecting sentiment of Logan to an Indian hero of his own, but the sin of the transfer may be excused for its skill.

. . . "He left of all my tribe Nor man nor child, nor thing of living birth; No! not the dog, that watched my household hearth, Escaped, that night of blood, upon our plains! All perished! I alone am left on Earth! To whom nor relative nor blood remains, No!—not a kindred drop that runs in human veins!"

A more noted personage in his own time than even Logan, was the Delaware Buckongahelas, who rose from the station of a private warrior to be, as Heckewelder calls him, the head war-chief of his nation. That writer speaks of meeting him at Tuscaroras as early as 1762: and the Chieftain accordingly reminded him of the fact when, in 1781, he visited the settlement of the Christian Indians in Ohio. His deportment on that occasion was singularly characteristic of the man; for all writers agree in representing him as fearless, frank and magnanimous. It should be premised, that he lived on the Miami, and being rather in the British interest, was disposed to watch quite closely the movements of the peace-party. What he did, however, he did openly, and he never hesitated to explain himself with the same freedom.

One morning, late in the season last named, two Christian Indians of Gnadenhutten having gone out to look in the woods for strayed horses, were met by a chieftain at the head of eighty warriors, who without ceremony made them both captives. "Then," says Heckewelder, "taking a course through the woods, until they had come within a short distance of Gnadenhutten, they rested until nearly break of day, guarding the Brethren, that they might not escape and give information of them. The day approaching, they moved on, and having surrounded the town completely, hailed the inhabitants, to deliver into their hands the chief, Gelelemend, (Kill-Buck) with the other chiefs and councilors; whom they must have either alive or dead." [FN] The party being informed, that not one of those they were in search of, was here at the time, but had all gone to Pittsburg some time past, they then searched every house, stable and cellar; and being finally satisfied that they had been told the truth, they demanded that deputies, consisting of the principal men of the three towns, should be called together, to hear what they had to say to them. The principal men assembled from Salem and Shonbrun; and Buckongahelas, for such they discovered him to be, addressed them as follows:

[FN] Their object was, to take these off to a place where they would have them under their control, and prevent them from governing the nation while the war lasted; it being a custom with the Indians, that as soon as the peace-chief has gave his consent to war measures, his office ceases, and the power is vested in the head captains of the nation, until his services, in making peace are again wanted.

"Friends!—Listen to what I say to you! You see a great and powerful nation divided! You see the father fighting against the son, and the son against the father!—The father has called on his Indian children, to assist him in punishing his children, the Americans, who have become refractory!—I took time to consider what I should do—whether or not I should receive the hatchet of my father, to assist him!—At first I looked upon it as a family quarrel, in which I was not interested—However, at length it appeared to me, that the father was in the right; and his children deserved to be punished a little!—That this must be the case, I concluded from the many cruel acts his off-spring had committed from time to time, on his Indian children; in encroaching on their land, stealing their property, shooting at, and murdering without cause, men, women and children—Yes! even murdering those, who at all times had been friendly to them, and were placed for protection under the roof of their father's house—The father himself standing centry at the door, at the time."

The writer here referred to a number of Pennsylvanian Indians, murdered in a jail, where they were placed for security against the whites. The sentry was the jailer. He continued thus:

"Friends! Often has the father been obliged to settle, and make amends for the wrongs and mischiefs done to us, by his refractory children, yet these do not grow better! No! they remain the same, and will continue to be so, as long as we have any land left us! Look back at the murders committed by the Long-Knives on many of our relations, who lived peaceable neighbors to them on the Ohio! Did they not kill them without the least provocation?—Are they, do you think, better now than they were then?—No, indeed not; and many days are not elapsed since you had a number of these very men at your doors, who panted to kill you, but fortunately were prevented from so doing by the Great Sun, [FN] who, at that time, had been ordained by the Great Spirit to protect you!"

[FN] The name the Indians had given to Col. Daniel Broadhead.

"Friends and relatives!—Now listen to me, and hear what I have to say to you.—I am myself come to bid you rise and go with me to a secure place! Do not, my friends, covet the land you now hold under cultivation. I will conduct you to a country [FN] equally good, where your fields shall yield you abundant crops, and where your cattle shall find sufficient pasture; where there is plenty of game; where your women and children, together with yourselves, will live in peace and safety; where no Long Knife shall ever molest you!—Nay! I will live between you and them, and not even suffer them to frighten you!—There, you can worship your God without fear!—Here, where you are, you cannot do this!—Think on what I have now said to you, and believe, that if you stay where you now are, one day or another the Long-Knives will, in their usual way, speak fine words to you, and at the same time murder you!"

[FN] The Miami country.

To this speech the Brethren replied by civilly declining the proposition of the Orator; and he then offered a new one,—that they should permit all who wished to leave them, to do so. Thus the matter was settled. Buckongahelas then proceeded to another village of the Christian Delawares, Salem, before entering which place he cautioned his warriors to leave their arms behind them, "lest the women and children should be frightened." "And destroy nothing," he added, "which belongs to our friends; no, not even one of their chickens." The conference which ensued with the Salem authorities is thus stated by Mr. Heckewelder, who was present.

"The Christian Indians," said the Chieftain, "were a happy people; and he would never trouble them on account of their not joining in the war.—Indeed, they could not with propriety join in wars, without first renouncing praying, [meaning Christianity].—And every Indian, or body of Indians, had a right to choose for themselves, whom they would serve!—For him, he had hired himself to his father, the king of England, for the purpose of fighting against his refractory children, the Long-Knives; whilst his friends and relations, the Christian Indians, had hired themselves to the Great Spirit, solely for the purpose of performing prayers!" [meaning, attending to religion]—"He added, that both were right in their way, though both employments could not be connected together. And only yesterday they were told, whilst at Gnadenhutten, that God had instructed all Christian people to love their enemies—and even to pray for them!—These words, he said, were written in the large book that contained the words and commandments of God!—Now, how would it appear, were we to compel our friends, who love and pray for their enemies, to fight against them!—compel them to act contrary to what they believe to be right!—force them to do that by which they would incur the displeasure of the Great Spirit, and bring his wrath upon them!—That it would be as wrong in him to compel the Christian Indians to quit praying and turn out to fight and kill people, as it would be in them to compel him to lay fighting aside, and turn to praying only!—He had often heard it stated, that the believing Indians were slaves to their teachers, and what these commanded them to do, they must do, however disagreeable to them!—Now, (said he) how can this be true, when every Indian is a free man, and can go where he pleases!—Can the teacher stop him from going away?—No! he cannot!—well! how can he then be made a slave by the teacher!—When we come here among our friends, we see how much they love their teachers.—This looks Well!—Continue, my friends, (said he to the national assistants) in loving your teachers, and in doing all good things; and when your friends and relations come to see you, satisfy their hunger as you have done to us this day!" [FN]

[FN] Narrative of the Christian Indians.

Having taken leave of all who were in the house, he proceeded to the middle of the street, from whence he addressed the inhabitants of the place and thanked them for their hospitality, assuring them of his regard and good wishes for them, and adding, that "If at any time they should hear it said, that Pachgantschihilas was an enemy to the believing [Christian] Indians; they should consider such words as lies!"

The reasoning of the Chieftain speaks for itself. His predictions in regard to the fate of the Christian Delawares, were but too speedily accomplished. But it was no fault of his; and indeed, in 1783, when Captain Pipe sent word to him not to suffer any of them to leave his territory, he returned answer, with his usual spirit, that he never would prevent them from going to their teachers. "And why did you expect them?" he added. "Did I not tell you beforehand, that if you drove the teachers off, the believing Indians would follow them? But you would not listen to me, and now we lose both! Who, think you, is the cause of all the disasters, which have befallen these people! I say you!—You! who threatened them with destruction! You, who instigated the Wyandots to act the treacherous part they did,—agreeing with them, that, as a recompense for their services, they should be entitled to all the plunder they could lay hold of!"

In Dawson's Memoirs of Harrison, Buckongahelas is mentioned as being present at a council of the chiefs of various tribes, called at Fort Wayne in 1803, for the purpose of ratifying a negotiation for land, already proposed in a former one which met at Vincennes. The Governor carried his point, chiefly by the aid of an influential Miami chief and by being "boldly seconded in every proposition" by the Pottawatamies, who (as Mr. Dawson states,) "were entirely devoted to the Governor." It is not our intention here to discuss at length the character of this transaction, which rather belongs to the general history of the period. How the Delaware Chief and the Shawanees understood it, and how they expressed their sentiments, may be inferred from the following statement of Dawson:—

"When the transaction at the council of Vincennes was mentioned, it called forth all the wrath of the Delawares and the Shawanees. The respected Buckongahelas so far forgot himself that he interrupted the Governor, and declared with vehemence, that nothing that was done at Vincennes was binding upon the Indians; that the land which was there decided to be the property of the United States, belonged to the Delawares; and that he had then with him a chief who had been present at the transfer made by the Piankishaws to the Delawares of all the country between the Ohio and White rivers, more than thirty years before. The Shawanees went still further, and behaved with so much insolence, that the Governor was obliged to tell them that they were undutiful and rebellious children, and that he would withdraw his protection from them until they had learnt to behave themselves with more propriety. These Chiefs immediately left the council house in a body."

Subsequently the Shawanees submitted, though it does not appear that Buckongahelas set them the example; and thus, says the historian, the Governor overcame all opposition, and carried his point.

But he did not gain the good will, or subdue the haughty independence of the War-Chief of the Delawares, who, as long as he lived, was at least consistent with himself in his feelings towards the American people. Nor yet was he in the slightest degree servile in his attachment to the British. He was not their instrument or subject, but their ally; and no longer their ally, than they treated him in a manner suitable to that capacity and to his own character.

He was indeed the most distinguished warrior in the Indian confederacy, and as it was the British interest which had induced the Indians to commence, as well as to continue the war, Buckongahelas relied on their support and protection. This support had been given, so far as relates to provisional arms, and ammunition; and in the celebrated engagement, on the 20th of August, 1794, which resulted in a complete victory by General Wayne over the combined hostile tribes, there were said to be two companies of British militia from Detroit on the side of the Indians. [FN-1] But the gates of Fort Mimms being shut against the retreating and wounded Indians, after the battle, opened the eyes of Buckongahelas, and he determined upon an immediate peace with the United States, and a total abandonment of the British. He assembled his tribe and embarked them in canoes, with the design of proceeding up the river, and sending a flag of truce to Fort Wayne. Upon approaching the British fort, he was requested to land, and he did so. "What have you to say to me?" said he, addressing the officer of the day. It was replied, that the commanding officer wished to speak with him. "Then he may come here," was the reply. "He will not do that," said the officer, "and you will not be suffered to pass the fort if you do not comply." "What shall prevent me?" said the intrepid Chief. "These," said the officer, pointing to the cannon of the fort. "I fear not your cannon," replied the Chief. "After suffering the Americans to defile [FN-2] your spring, without daring to fire on them, you cannot expect to frighten Buckongahelas;" and he ordered the canoes to push off, and passed the fort.

[FN-1] Dawson's Memoirs.

[FN-2] This was spoken metaphorically, to express the contempt and insult with which the garrison had been treated by the Americans, for their treachery towards the Indians who had been their allies.

Never after this would he, like the other chiefs, visit the British, or receive presents from them. "Had the great Buckongahelas lived," says Mr. Dawson, alluding to these circumstances, "he would not have suffered the schemes projected by the Prophet (brother of Tecumseh) to be matured." And the same writer states, that on his death-bed he earnestly advised his tribe to rely on the friendship of the United States, and desert the cause of the British. This was in 1804.

It is said of Buckongahelas, that no Christian knight ever was more scrupulous in performing all his engagements. Indeed he had all the qualifications of a great hero. His perfect Indian independence,—the independence of a noble nature, unperceived to itself, and unaffected to others,—is illustrated by an authentic anecdote which will bear repetition.

In the year 1785, he was present, with many other chiefs of various tribes, at a treaty negotiated by order of Congress at Fort McIntosh on the Ohio river. When the peace-chiefs had addressed the Commissioners of the United States, who were George Rogers Clark, Arthur Lee, and Richard Butler, the two latter of whom he did not deign to notice, approaching General Clark and taking him by the hand, he thus addressed him: "I thank the Great Spirit for having this day brought together two such great warriors as Buckongahelas and General Clark." [FN] The sentiment reminds one of the Little-Carpenter's address to Mr. Bartram:—"I am Attakullakulla;—did you know it?"

[FN] Dawson's Memoirs.


Some account of the Shawanees, the tribe of Tecumseh—Anecdotes illustrative of their character—Early history and lineage of Tecumseh—His first adventures as a warrior—His habits and principles—His brothers Kumshaka and Elskwatawa—The first open movements of the latter, in 1806—He assumes the character of Prophet—His doctrines—His mode of operation upon his countrymen—Other Indian Pretenders—Anecdote of a Shawanee Chief, at Fort Wayne—Tanner's account of the ministry of the Elskwatawa's Agents—Concert traced between them—Witchcraft-superstition—Anecdotes of Teteboxti, The Crane, Leather-Lips, and others.

As the distinguished personage whose history now claims our attention, was a member of the Kishopoke tribe of the Shawanee nation, a brief account of that somewhat celebrated community may not be irrelevant in this connection.

As their name indicates, they came originally from the South, (that being the meaning of the Delaware word Shawaneu;) and the oldest individuals of the Mohican tribe, their elder brother, [FN] told Mr. Heckewelder, they dwelt in the neighborhood of Savannah, in Georgia, and in the Floridas. "They were a restless people," we are further informed, "delighting in wars;" and in these they were so constantly engaged, that their neighbors,—the Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks, Yamassees, and other powerful tribes,—finally formed a league, offensive and defensive, for the express purpose of expelling them from the country. But the Shawanees were too wise to contend with such an enemy, and they adopted the more prudent policy of asking permission to leave their territories peaceably, and migrate northward. This favor being granted them, their main body settled upon the Ohio; some of them as far up as where the French afterwards built Fort Duquesne,—now Pittsburg,—others, about the forks of the Delaware, and a few even upon the site of what is now Philadelphia.

[FN] So called, because their separation from the parent stock was one of the most ancient of which the tradition was distinctly preserved. Following the same principle, the Delawares themselves have uniformly given the title of Uncle to the Wyandots.

Those who remained on the Ohio becoming numerous and powerful, it was not long before they crossed the Allegheny mountains, and fell upon a settlement of the Delawares, on the Juniata,—of which very people, their grandfather, they had solicited peace and protection, through the interposition of the Mohicans, on their first arrival in the country. Murders were committed, plunder was carried off, and a war ensued. As soon as this could be disposed of, they engaged in the French war, which broke out in 1755, against the English. That being terminated in 1763, and the tribe being elated by its increased numbers, and by the strong confederacy now established between themselves and the Delawares, they commenced hostilities against the Cherokees. In the course of this war, the latter occasionally pursued the aggressors into the Delaware territories, and thus that nation was aroused again. The union of forces which ensued, added to the already existing hostility of the Five Nations, proved too much for the Cherokees, and in 1768, they solicited and obtained a peace. Owing chiefly to the influence of the Delawares, the Shawanees were now kept quiet for the unusually long term of six years, when they were involved in a war with the people of Virginia,—then comprising Kentucky,—occasioned by the noted murders committed upon Logan's relations and others, by white people. The burning of some of their villages had scarcely driven them to a sort of truce with mis new enemy, when the war of the Revolution commenced, in which they allied themselves with the English, and continued openly hostile, notwithstanding the peace of 1783, until the famous victory of General Wayne, in 1795.

Their reputation as warriors suffered nothing during all this long series of hostile operations. The first settlers of Kentucky were molested and harassed by them, more than by any other tribe. Boone, who was taken captive by them in 1778, saw four hundred and fifty of their warriors mustered at one place,—still called Chilicothe,—ready for a foray among the white settlements, which soon after ensued. Marshall, in his History of Kentucky, gives the particulars of an expedition against them, the season after this, in which, "many of the best men in the country were privates;" the invaders were defeated and driven off, and nearly two hundred of them pursued with considerable loss, by about thirty of the Shawanees. "Of all the Indians who had been marauding in the country," the same writer observes elsewhere, "the Shawanees had been the most mischievous, as they were the most active." Loskiel represents the tribe in question as "the most savage of the Indian nations."

An incident, showing the disposition which they manifested, even at this period, (1773,) towards their American neighbors, may throw some light upon their character, and upon subsequent events. The celebrated missionary, Zeisberger, visited some of their settlements, during the year last named, in the hope of establishing a mission among them. At one of their villages, he met with the head-chief of the tribe. The latter gave him his hand and addressed him: "This day," said he, "the Great Spirit has ordered that we should see and speak with each other, face to face." He then entered into a long detail of the practices of the white people, describing their manner of deceiving the Indians, and finally affirmed that they were all alike,—all hypocrites and knaves. The Missionary made some reply to these charges, but the Chief was "so exceedingly exasperated against the white people," adds Loskiel, "that brother Zeisberger's exhortation seemed to have little weight with him." He at length gave the Preacher permission to visit the other Shawanee towns, taking care to suggest, as a parting word of comfort, that he must rely upon having his brains beat out very speedily. Thirty years previous to this, when Count Zinzendorff himself went among the Wyoming Shawanees, to convert them, they rewarded that pious pilgrim for his labor of love, by conspiring to murder him; but, by a fortunate accident, he escaped safe from their hands.

On the whole, setting aside for the present the history of this nation for the last thirty years, during which we have suffered most from them, it would seem that a more warlike or more hostile people has scarcely existed upon the continent. Where, rather than here, should we look for the birth and education of Tecumseh, [FN] the modern Philip, and when, rather than at the stormy period of the Revolution? Probably, at the very time when the troops of our Congress (in 1780,) were expelling them westward from the river Scioto, and burning their villages behind them, the young hero, who afterwards kindled the flame of war upon the entire frontier of the States, by the breath of his own single spirit, was learning his first lessons of vengeance amid the ruins of his native land, and in the blood of his countrymen.

[FN] Pronounced by the Indians Tecumthé and sometimes so written.

His native land, we say, for it is tolerably well ascertained that he was born on the banks of the Scioto, near Chilicothe. His father, who was a noted Shawanee warrior, fell at the battle of Kenhawa, while Tecumseh was yet a mere boy. His mother is said by some to have been a Shawanee, and by others a Creek; but he is understood himself to have told a gentleman at Vincennes, in 1810, that she was a Cherokee, who had been taken prisoner in a war between that nation and the Shawanees, and adopted, according to Indian custom, into a family of the latter nation which resided near the Miami of the Lake. This account is confirmed by the circumstance of this woman having migrated into the Cherokee territory in advanced age, and died there. The totem of her tribe is said to have been a turtle, and that of the father's a tiger.

From all the information which can now be gathered respecting the early years of Tecumseh, it appears that he gave striking evidence in his boyhood of the singular spirit which characterized him through life. He was distinguished for a steady adherence to principle, and generally to that of the best kind. He prided himself upon his temperance and his truth, maintaining an uncommon reputation for integrity, and, what is still rarer among his countrymen, never indulging in the excessive use of food or liquor. He would not marry until long after the customary period; and then, as a matter of necessity, in consequence of the solicitations of friends, he connected himself with an elderly female, who was, perhaps, not the handsomest or most agreeable lady in the world, but nevertheless bore him one child, his only offspring. With this exception, he adopted in his matrimonial life, the practices of the sect of Shakers, whose principles, as is well known, were afterwards so strenuously promulgated by his brother, the Prophet, that a certain prime functionary in that denomination gave him the credit of being as good a disciple as himself. [FN] Whether there was an express concert or actual cooperation between the two, at this early period, respecting this or any other project or policy in which they subsequently engaged together, does not appear to be positively ascertained.

[FN] See an authority cited at large in the following pages.

It is not to be supposed, that any remarkable achievements of the young warrior in his first battles, should be preserved on record. Some Shawanees have said that he made his debut in an engagement with the Kentucky troops, which took place on the banks of Mad River; that in the heat of the skirmish he most ungallantly turned right-about-face, and made the best of his way from the field, with all possible diligence,—and that too while one of his brothers stood his ground with the other Indians, and fought till he was wounded and carried off. It must be admitted, this was not so creditable a proceeding as may be conceived; but the extreme youth of the party goes some way to explain, as his subsequent conduct did to excuse it.

But from this time, whatever might be his animal courage, he was never known to shrink. Indeed, previously to the treaty of Greenville, (in 1795) when he was probably about twenty-five years of age, he is said to have signalized himself so much, as to have been reputed one of the boldest of the Indian warriors. No individual was more regularly engaged in those terrible incursions by which the first settlers of Kentucky were so much harassed; and few could boast of having intercepted so many boats on the Ohio river, or plundered so many houses on the civilized shore. He was sometimes pursued, but never overtaken. If the enemy advanced into his own country, he retreated to the banks of the Wabash, until the storm had passed by; and then, just as they were laying aside the sword for the axe and plough-share, swooped down upon them again in their own settlements. It goes to show the disinterested generosity always ascribed to him, that, although the booty collected in the course of these adventures must have been very considerable in quantity and value, he rarely retained any portion of it for his own use. His ruling passion was the love of glory, as that of his followers was the love of gain; and, of course, a compromise could always be effected between them, to the perfect satisfaction of both parties. He was a feudal baron among boors. It remained for subsequent occasions, then little dreamed of to show that his temperament, like his talent, was even better adapted to the management of a large engagement, than to the melée of a small one.

We have now arrived at an epoch in his life, when it is no longer possible to give his own history to much advantage, but by connecting it with that of his celebrated brother, the Prophet already mentioned. The name of this personage was Elskwatawa. [FN] He and Tecumseh, and still another, Kumshaka, were the offspring of the same mother at the same birth. Probably there was an understanding between the three, at an early date, respecting the great plans which the prophet and the orator afterwards carried into execution; but as we hear little or nothing of the subsequent co-operation of Kumshaka, it may be presumed that he did not live,—employment would certainly have been found for him, if he had.

[FN] Meaning, says Mr. Schoolcraft, a fire that is moved from place to place. Elsewhere we find him called Olliwayshila, on good authority. A compromise may be effected, by suggesting that he assumed various names at various periods.

It is said to have been about the year 1804, when the two brothers, who afterwards acted so prominently together, first conceived the project of uniting all the western Indians in a defensive and perhaps belligerent combination against the Americans. The probable inducements in their minds to the adoption of that policy, being rather a matter of speculation than history, will be left for subsequent comment. The course actually taken to effect the proposed object admits of little controversy. Elskwatawa summarily undertook to personate a religious character, and began preaching in the summer of 1804.

He inculcated, in the first place, that a radical reform was necessary in the manners of the red people. This was proved, by enlarging upon the evils which had ensued from the neighborhood of the whites,—the imitation of their dress and manners, the introduction of ardent spirits, diseases, contentions, and wars; by the vast diminution of the means of subsistence, and the narrowed limits of territory to which they were now hemmed in; and by other considerations of the most irritating, as well as plausible kind, the force of which was not at all lessened by occasional comment on particular transactions, and glowing references to the long, peaceful, and happy lives of their forefathers. That point being gained, and a favorable excitement produced, the next thing in order was his own commission from the Great Spirit. This was authenticated by the astonishing miracles he was able to perform, and still more by the great benefits he proposed to confer on his followers.

The budget of reform was then brought forward. There was to be no more fighting between the tribes,—they were brethren. They were to abandon the use of ardent spirits, and to wear skins, as their ancestors had done, instead of blankets. Stealing, quarreling, and other immoral modern habits were denounced. Injunctions of minor importance seem to have been enforced merely with a view to test the pliability of savage superstition, to embarrass the jealous scrutiny of those who opposed or doubted, and to establish a superficial uniformity whereby the true believers should be readily distinguished. The policy of the more prominent tenets cannot be mistaken. Just in proportion to their observance, they must inevitably promote the independence of the Indian nations, first, by diminishing their dependence upon the whites, and, secondly, by increasing their intercourse and harmony with each other.

In addressing himself to such subjects, with such a system, Elskwatawa could hardly fail of success. For some years, indeed, his converts were few; for, great as the influence is which a man of his pretentions exercises over his ignorant countrymen, when his reputation is once fairly acquired, it is by no means so easy an undertaking to establish it in the outset.

The means used by Elskwatawa, or by him and Tecumseh in concert, to effect the object in his own case, are more indicative of the talent of both, than the conception of the policy itself, which was comparatively common-place. A prophet is a familiar character among the Indians, and always has been. "The American impostors," said Charlevoix, "are not behind-hand with any in this point; and as by chance (if we will not allow the devil any share in it,) they sometimes happen to divine or guess pretty right, they acquire by this a great reputation, and are reckoned geníí of the first order." Mr. Tanner, who has recently published a narrative of his thirty years' residence among the Indians, gives incidental accounts of as many as three or four pretenders, who, indeed, judging from the time of their appearance, may fairly be considered as emissaries of Elskwatawa and Tecumseh. The former had an immediate predecessor among the Delawares, a notorious preacher named Wangomend, [FN] who began his career in 1766. This man wholly failed, as did most of the others; and the result is so common in similar cases, that it becomes the more interesting to ascertain how the inspired candidate now under consideration succeeded.

[FN] Or Wingemund; the same man mentioned in the life of White-Eyes, as having protected Mr. Heckewelder on his journey through the woods.

Tecumseh was, of course, his first convert and most devoted disciple, but some of their relatives or particular friends soon followed in his train. The wary intriguant then most wisely commenced operations upon the residue of his own tribe. Previous to any violent promulgation of the doctrines already stated, he gained their attention and flattered their pride, by reviving a favorite tradition which made them the most ancient and respectable people on the globe. The particulars cannot be better understood than from the representation of an old Shawanee Chief; who, in 1803, harangued a council at Fort Wayne upon the subject.

"The Master of Life," said he, very proudly, "who was himself an Indian, made the Shawanees before any others of the human race, and they sprang from his brain." He added, that the Master of Life "gave them all the knowledge which he himself possessed; that he placed them upon the great island; and that all the other red people were descended from the Shawanees:—that after he had made the Shawanees, he made the French and English out of his breast, and the Dutch out of his feet; and for your Long-Knives kind," said he, addressing himself to the Governor, "he made them out of his hands. All these inferior races of men he made white, and placed them beyond the great lake,"—meaning the Atlantic Ocean.

"The Shawanees for many ages continued to be masters of the continent, using the knowledge which they had received from the Great Spirit, in such a manner as to be pleasing to him, and to secure their own happiness. In a great length of time, however, they became corrupt, and the Master of Life told them he would take away from them the knowledge they possessed, and give it to the white people, to be restored when, by a return to good principles, they would deserve it. Many years after that, they saw something white approaching their shores; at first they took it for a great bird, but they soon found it to be a monstrous canoe, filled with the very people who had got the knowledge which belonged to the Shawanees. After these white people landed, they were not content with having the knowledge which belonged to the Shawanees, but they usurped their lands also. They pretended, indeed, to have purchased these lands; but the very goods which they gave for them was more the property of the Indians than the white people, because the knowledge which enabled them to manufacture these goods actually belonged to the Shawanees. But these things will soon have an end. The Master of Life is about to restore to the Shawanees both their knowledge and their rights, and he will trample the Long-Knives under his feet."

This speaker was supposed to be in the British interest, and to have been sent to Fort Wayne for the purpose of preventing a negotiation expected to be there settled. The probability is, that he derived his ideas of Shawanee dignity from the preaching of Elskwatawa. But the latter had more good sense than personally to continue the same strain, after having secured about one hundred followers by the use of it. It was then abandoned, and other inducements and arguments brought forward, of a wider application. Some of the Shawanees grew cool and deserted him, but he still persevered. His brother was indefatigable in his cooperation; other agents and instruments were set to work; and stragglers of various tribes soon flocked to his quarters at Greenville from every direction.

The minutiæ of this proselyting or electioneering system are so well developed in the faithful and simple narrative of Tanner, as to justify extracting his account at length. It cannot fail to give a much clearer idea of the mode of operation, than any exposition whatever in general terms. The locality, it will be observed, is a quite remote one:—

"It was while I was living here at Great Wood River, that news came of a great man among the Shawanees, who had been favored by a revelation of the mind and will of the Great Spirit. I was hunting in the prairie, at a great distance from my lodge, when I saw a stranger approaching; at first I was apprehensive of an enemy, but, as he drew nearer, his dress showed him to be an Ojibbeway [Chippeway;] but when he came up, there was something very strange and peculiar in his manner. He signified to me that I must go home, but gave no explanation of the cause. He refused to look at me, or enter into any kind of conversation. I thought he must be crazy, but nevertheless accompanied him to my lodge. When we had smoked, he remained a long time silent, but at last began to tell me he had come with a message from the prophet of the Shawnees, 'Henceforth,' said he, 'the fire must never be suffered to go out in your lodge. Summer and winter, day and night, in the storm, or when it is calm, you must remember that the life in your body, and the fire in your lodge, are the same, and of the same date. If you suffer your fire to be extinguished, at that moment your life will be at its end. You must not suffer a dog to live. You must never strike either a man, a woman, a child, or a dog. The prophet himself is coming to shake hands with you; but I have come before, that you may know what is the will of the Great Spirit, communicated to us by him, and to inform you that the preservation, of your life, for a single moment, depends on your entire obedience. From this time forward, we are neither to be drunk, to steal, to lie, or to go against our enemies. While we yield an entire obedience to these commands of the Great Spirit, the Sioux, even if they come to our country, will not be able to see us; we shall be protected and made happy.' I listened to all he had to say, but told him, in answer, that I could not believe we should all die, in case our fire went out; in many instances, also, it would be difficult to avoid punishing our children; our dogs were useful in aiding us to hunt and take animals, so that I could not believe the Great Spirit had any wish to take them from us. He continued talking to us until late at night; then he lay down to sleep in my lodge. I happened to wake first in the morning, and perceiving the fire had gone out, I called him to get up, and see how many of us were living, and how many dead. He was prepared for the ridicule I attempted to throw upon his doctrine, and told me that I had not yet shaken hands with the prophet. His visit had been to prepare me for this important event, and to make me aware of the obligations and risks I should incur by entering into the engagement implied in taking in my hand the message of the prophet. I did not rest entirely easy in my unbelief. The Indians, generally, received the doctrine of this man with great humility and fear. Distress and anxiety were visible in every countenance. Many killed their dogs, and endeavored to practice obedience to all the commands of this new preacher, who still remained among us. But, as was usual with me, in any emergency of this kind, I went to the traders, firmly believing, that if the Deity had any communications to make to men, they would be given, in the first instance, to white men. The traders ridiculed and despised the idea of a new revelation of the Divine will, and the thought that it should be given to a poor Shawnee. Thus was I confirmed in my infidelity. Nevertheless, I did not openly avow my unbelief to the Indians, only I refused to kill my dogs, and showed no great degree of anxiety to comply with his other requirements. As long as I remained among the Indians, I made it my business to conform, as far as appeared consistent with my immediate convenience and comfort, with all their customs. Many of their ideas I have adopted; but I always found among them opinions which I could not hold. The Ojibbeway whom I have mentioned, remained some time among the Indians in my neighborhood, and gained the attention of the principal men so effectually, that a time was appointed, and a lodge prepared, for the solemn and public espousing of the doctrines of the prophet. When the people, and I among them, were brought into the long lodge, prepared for this solemnity, we saw something carefully concealed under a blanket, in figure and dimensions bearing some resemblance to the form of a man. This was accompanied by two young men, who, it was understood, attended constantly upon it, made its bed at night, as for a man, and slept near it. But while we remained, no one went near it, or raised the blanket which was spread over its unknown contents. Four strings of mouldy and discolored beans were all the remaining visible insignia of this important mission. After a long harangue, in which the prominent features of the new revelation were stated and urged upon the attention of all, the four strings of beans, which we were told were made of the flesh itself of the prophet, were carried, with much solemnity, to each man in the lodge, and he was expected to take hold of each string at the top, and draw them gently through his hand. This was called shaking hands with the prophet, and was considered as solemnly engaging to obey his injunctions, and accept his mission as from the Supreme. All the Indians who touched the beans, had previously killed their dogs; they gave up their medicine-bags, [a charm,] and showed a disposition to comply with all that should be required of them.

"We had already been for some time assembled in considerable numbers; much agitation and terror had prevailed among us, and now famine began to be felt. The faces of men wore an aspect of unusual gloominess; the active became indolent, and the spirits of the bravest seemed to be subdued. I started to hunt with my dogs, which I had constantly refused to kill, or suffer to be killed. By their assistance, I found and killed a bear. On returning home, I said to some of the Indians, 'Has not the Great Spirit given us our dogs to aid us in procuring what is needful for the support of our life, and can you believe he wishes now to deprive us of their services? The prophet, we are told, has forbid us to suffer our fire to be extinguished in our lodges, and when we travel or hunt, he will not allow us to use a flint and steel, and we are told he requires that no man should give fire to another. Can it please the Great Spirit that we should lie in our hunting-camps without fire; or is it more agreeable to him that we should make fire by rubbing together two sticks, than with a flint and a piece of steel?' But they would not listen to me, and the serious enthusiasm which prevailed among them so far affected me, that I threw away my flint and steel, laid aside my medicine-bag, and, in many particulars, complied with the new doctrines; but I would not kill my dogs. I soon learned to kindle a fire by rubbing some dry cedar, which I was careful always to carry about me; but the discontinuance of the use of flint and steel subjected many of the Indians to much inconvenience and suffering. The influence of the Shawnee prophet was very sensibly and painfully felt by the remotest Ojibbeways of whom I had any knowledge; but it was not the common impression among them, that his doctrines had any tendency to unite them in the accomplishment of any human purpose. For two or three years, drunkenness was much less frequent than formerly; war was less thought of; and the entire aspect of affairs among them was somewhat changed by the influence of one man. But gradually the impression was obliterated; medicine-bags, flints and steels were resumed, dogs were raised, and women and children were beaten as before."

The following passage occurs in a subsequent part of Tanner's volume, referring to a date about two years later than the one just quoted. The writer evidently had but little suspicion of a connection between the second impostor and the first, and we have as little doubt of it. The Prophet renewed his labors in another form, as fast as the former impression, to use Tanner's words, was "obliterated." The unpopular injunctions, only, were omitted in the second edition, while all the substantial ones, it will be observed, were retained:—

"In the spring of the year, after we had assembled at the trading-house at Pembinah, the chiefs built a great lodge, and called all the men together to receive some information concerning the newly revealed will of the Great Spirit. The messenger of this revelation, was Manito-o-geezhik, a man of no great fame, but well known to most of the Ojibbeways of that country. He had disappeared for about one year, and in that time, he pretended to have visited the abode of the Great Spirit, and to have listened to his instructions, though some of the traders informed me, he had only been to St. Louis, on the Mississippi.

"The Little Clam took it upon him to explain the object of the meeting. He then sung and prayed, and proceeded to detail the principal features of the revelation to Manito-o-geezhik. The Indians were no more to go against their enemies; they must no longer steal, defraud, or lie; they must neither be drunk, nor eat their food, nor drink their broth when it was hot. Few of the injunctions of Manito-o-geezhik were troublesome, or difficult of observance, like those of the Shawnee prophet. Many of the maxims and instructions communicated to the Indians, at this time, were of a kind to be permanently and valuably useful to them; and the effect of their influence was manifest for two or three years, in the more orderly conduct, and somewhat amended condition of the Indians."

Disaffection and indifference were not the only obstacles the Prophet and his brother were obliged to surmount. The chiefs of most of the tribes were their resolute opponents. They were jealous or suspicious of the new pretenders, ridiculed and reproached them, and thwarted their exertions in every possible way. What was to be done with these persons? Elskwatawa availed himself of a new department of that unfailing superstition which had hitherto befriended him; and a charge of witchcraft was brought up. His satellites and scouts being engaged in all directions in ascertaining who were, or were likely to be, his friends or his enemies, it was readily determined, at head-quarters, who should be accused. Judge, jury and testimony were also provided with the same ease. He had already taken such means of gaining the implicit confidence of his votaries, that his own suggestions were considered the best possible evidence, and the most infallible decision; and the optics of his followers becoming every day more keen, upon his authority, there was do want of the most suitable convicts.

When the excitement had grown to such a height as to ensure the success of his scheme, he went the length of declaring, that the Great Spirit had directly endowed him with the power of pointing out, not only those who were in full possession of the diabolical art, but those who were impregnated with the least tincture of the diabolical disposition,—let them be old or young, male or female. This convenient arrangement proving perfectly satisfactory, he had only to speak the word,—or, as Heckewelder expresses it, even to nod,—and the pile was prepared for whomsoever he thought proper to devote. The Indians universally have an extreme horror of a wizard or a witch, which no reputation, rank, age, or services, are sufficient to counteract; and of course, resistance or remonstrance on the part even of an accused chieftain, only went to exasperate and hasten the sure destruction which awaited him.

Among the sufferers were several noted Delawares, including the venerable Chief, Teteboxti, whose head had been bleached with more than eighty winters. On being brought to the place of execution, he was told that if he would confess his crime, and give up his medicine-bag, [FN] he would be pardoned. Upon this he "confessed," and said his medicine-bag would be found under a certain stone which he described. The stone was examined, but nothing was found. Other places were named in succession, and search made to as little purpose. It therefore became evident that he only wished to procrastinate. He was bound, and the fire about to be kindled, when a young man, more merciful than the rest, terminated his existence with the tomahawk.

[FN] This was supposed to contain tobacco, bones, and other simple matters necessary to the incantations of the sorcerers; and when they were deprived of them, they were supposed to be incapable of further mischief.

Another of the accused was named Billy Patterson. He had resided many years with the whites, and learned so much of the business of a gun-smith, as to be enabled to repair the guns of the Indians; but neither his usefulness nor his irreproachable life could save him. The same offer was made to him which was made to Teteboxti. He boldly answered that he had nothing to confess,—that he was a Christian, and had no connexion with the devil. "You have," said he, "intimidated one poor old man, but you cannot frighten me; proceed, and you shall see how a Christian and a warrior can die;" and, with a small hymn-book in his hand, he continued to sing and pray till his voice was stifled by the flames.

Another eminent victim was the Wyandot Chief known by the English name of Leather-Lips, whose Indian appellation, Shateyaronrah, appears among the signatures to Wayne's famous treaty of Greenville. He was sixty-three years of age, had sustained a most exemplary moral character, and was particularly attached to the American cause, as opposed to the English. The latter circumstance throws some light upon his fate. But whatever the accusation or the evidence was,—and probably the one constituted the other,—orders were given to an influential chief, [FN-1] of the same nation with the convict, in the Prophet's service, who, with four other Indians, immediately started off in quest of him. He was found at home, and notified of the sentence which had been passed upon him. He entreated, reasoned and promised, but all in vain. The inexorable messengers of death set about digging his grave, by the side of his wigwam. He now dressed himself with his finest war-clothes, and, having refreshed himself with a hasty meal of venison, knelt down on the brink of the grave. His executioner knelt with him, and offered up a prayer to the Great Spirit in his behalf. This was the last ceremony. The Indians withdrew a few paces, and seated themselves around him on the ground, "The old Chief" says the original describer of this horrid scene, [FN-2] "inclined forward, resting his face upon his hand, his hand upon his knees. While thus seated, one of the young Indians came up, and struck him twice with the tomahawk. For some time, he lay senseless on the ground, the only remaining evidence of life being a feint respiration. The Indians all stood around in solemn silence. Finding him to breathe longer than they expected, they called upon the whites (one or two of whom were spectators,) to take notice how hard he died; pronounced him a wizard,—no good,—then struck him again, and terminated his existence. The office of burial was soon performed." We have given these particulars, disagreeable as they are, to illustrate more clearly the astonishing influence of the Prophet, as well as the means by which he obtained it. The executioners in this case were apparently sincere and conscientious men; and one of the party was a brother of the victim.

[FN-1] Tarhe, or The Crane, said to be the oldest Indian at this time in the western country. He lived at Upper Sandusky, about one hundred miles from the mouth of Detroit river, and was principal chief of the Porcupine Wyandots, who resided at that place. More will be seen of him hereafter.

[FN-2] A correspondent cited in the History of the Indian Nations.

It is not to be presumed, that the Prophet was, in all these instances, without the assistance of his brother, though the latter was for the present acting his part chiefly behind the curtain. But Tecumseh seems rather to have favored a different system, if he did not oppose this; and accordingly we find that about the time when most of the Kickapoos joined the Indian Confederation, one of their leading men, a chieftain, opposed to the new-fangled doctrine and policy, was quietly disabled by being reduced to a private capacity. Again, an Indian scout, sent to the Prophet's encampment, in 1810, by an American authority, to gain information of his designs, reported that the same course had been taken among that proverbially warlike tribe, the Winnebagoes; and that one of their old chiefs had told him, with tears in his eyes, that the other village sachems were divested of their power, and that every thing was managed by the warriors. A more audacious proposal, to murder all the principal chiefs of several tribes, was covertly circulated at one time. These were the men, it was said, who had bartered the Indian territory away for a song, and had traitorously connived at the inroads and trespasses of the settlers.

This suggestion bears marks of the energy and courage of Tecumseh, as decidedly as the witchcraft policy does of the cunning and ingenuity of the Prophet. There is an anecdote recorded of the former, which would lead us to the same inference respecting his character.

Two or three years after the bloody transactions just detailed, which happened chiefly in 1807, Tecumseh had a conference, (to be noticed more fully hereafter) with Governor Harrison of Indiana, at Vincennes. On that occasion, being charged with hostile designs against the Americans, he disclaimed them. A Potawatamie, called the Dead Chief, from being deaf, was present, but did not learn what passed until the next day. He then came to the Governor, and asked him why he had not been called upon to confront Tecumseh, in relation to those charges. He said he should have been very willing to assert the truth in the presence of the brothers and their followers. This declaration being made in the presence of several Indians, soon came to the knowledge of Tecumseh, who gave directions to his brother, to have the Potawatamie killed on his return home. A friend of the latter informed him of his danger, but, no way alarmed, the intrepid Chief returned to his family, who were encamped on the bank of the Wabash, opposite Vincennes, and having put on his war-dress, and painted himself in the best style of a warrior, he seized his rifle, his tomahawk, war-club, and scalping-knife, and thus equipped, paddled over in his canoe to the camp of Tecumseh. The Governor's interpreter, Mr. Baron, was at that time in the tent of the latter. As soon as the Potawatamie came near it, he upbraided Tecumseh for having given the order to assassinate him, as cowardly, and unworthy of a warrior; "but here I am now," said he, "come and kill me." Tecumseh made no answer. "You and your men," he added, "can kill the white people's hogs, and call them bears, but you dare not face a warrior." Tecumseh still remaining silent, he heaped upon him every insult that could provoke him to fight. He reproached him with being the slave of the "red-coats," (the British,) and finally applied to him a term of reproach which can never be forgotten by an Indian. During the whole time, Tecumseh seemed not in the least to regard him, but continued to converse with Mr. Baron. Wearied, at length, with his useless efforts to draw out his adversary, he gave the war-whoop of defiance, and paddled on in his canoe. There is reason, adds our authority, to believe that the order of Tecumseh was obeyed. The Dead Chief was no more seen at Vincennes. [FN]

[FN] Dawson's Memoirs of Harrison.


History of Tecumseh and the Prophet continued—The latter encamps at Tippecanoe—-Sends a message to Governor Harrison—Visits him at Vincennes—Increase of his forces—Attention of the General Government aroused—Tecumseh visits the Governor—His speech, and journey southward—Battle of Tippecanoe, November, 1811—Consequences of it—Indian Council at Mississiniway—Council at Malden—Speeches and Anecdotes of the Crane, Walk-in-the-Water, Round-Head, and other Chiefs—Sequel of the history of the two brothers—Final exertions of Tecumseh—His death—The death of the Prophet.

To resume our narrative;—such reports came to the ears of Governor Harrison, during the year 1807, respecting the movements of the Indians, and especially those of the Prophet in pursuit of his victims, that he thought proper to send a "speech" to the Shawanese chiefs, couched in very severe terms. Most of those addressed being absent, the necessity of replying devolved on the Prophet, and he requested the messenger to indite for mm the following address:


"I am very sorry that you listen to the advice of bad birds. You have impeached me with having correspondence with the British; and with calling and sending for the Indians from the most distant parts of the country, 'to listen to a fool that speaks not the words of the Great Spirit, but the words of the devil.' Father! these impeachments I deny, and say they are not true. I never had a word with the British, and I never sent for any Indians. They came here themselves, to listen and hear the words of the Great Spirit.

"Father! I wish you would not listen any more to the voice of bad birds; and you may rest assured that it is the least of our idea to make disturbance, and we will rather try to stop such proceedings than encourage them."

The year 1808 opened with immense numbers of Indians from the lakes crowding round the neighborhood of Fort Wayne. Their attendance on the Prophet, the year previous, had induced them to neglect raising corn, and they now found themselves in a state of starvation. It was considered necessary by the Governor, to supply them with food, lest hunger might drive them to extremities, and to marauding upon the frontier settlers of the United States; and he therefore sent orders to the Agent at Fort Wayne to allow them provisions from the public stores.

In May or June of the season just mentioned, the Prophet selected, for his future and permanent residence, a spot on the upper part of the Wabash, which was called Tippecanoe. He removed thither, and his motley forces moved after him. These now consisted of some thirty or forty Shawanees, with about one hundred Potawatamies, Chippewas, Ottawas and Winnebagoes. The manœuvre met with no little opposition. Some of the Miamies, and Delawares in particular, had been determined to prevent it, and they sent a deputation of chiefs to effect that purpose; but the Prophet would not even see them, and Tecumseh, who encountered them on the way, gave them such a reception as at once altered their disposition to advance any farther in the business.

In July the Prophet sent a pacific message to Governor Harrison, complaining bitterly of the manner in which he had been misrepresented, and proposing to visit the Governor in person. He fulfilled this promise during the next month, and spent a fortnight at Vincennes. Long conferences and conversations ensued, but it could not be ascertained that his politics were particularly British. His denial of his being under any such influence, was strong and apparently candid. He said that his sole object was to reclaim the Indians from the bad habits which they had contracted, and to cause them to live in peace and friendship with all mankind, and that he was particularly appointed to that office by the Great Spirit. He frequently, in presence of the Governor, harangued his followers, and his constant theme was the evils arising from war and from the immoderate use of ardent spirits. His farewell speech exhibits the view of his system which he chose to promulgate at Vincennes.


"It is three years since I first began with that system of religion which I now practice. The white people and some of the Indians were against me; but I had no other intention but to introduce among the Indians those good principles of religion which the white people profess. I was spoken badly of by the white people, who reproached me with misleading the Indians; but I defy them to say that I did anything amiss.

"Father!—I was told that yon intended to hang me. When I heard this, I intended to remember it, and tell my father, when I went to see him, and relate to him the truth.

"I heard, when I settled on the Wabash, that my father, the Governor, had declared that all the land between Vincennes and Fort Wayne was the property of the Seventeen Fires.

"I also heard that you wanted to know, my father, whether I was God or man; and that you said, if I was the former, I should not steal horses. I heard this from Mr. Wells, but I believe it originated with himself.

"The Great Spirit told me to tell the Indians, that he had made them and made the world—that he had placed them on it to do good, and not evil.

"I told all the red-skins that the way they were in was not good, and that they ought to abandon it. I said that we ought to consider ourselves as one man, but to live agreeable to our several customs, the red people after their mode, and the white people after theirs. Particularly that they should not drink whiskey—that it was not made for them, but the white people, who alone know how to use it—that it is the cause of all the mischiefs which the Indians suffer; and that they must always follow the directions of the Great Spirit, and we must listen to him, as it was he that has made us.

"Brothers!—Listen to nothing that is bad. Do not take up the tomahawk, should it be offered by the British, or by the Long-Knives. Do not meddle with any thing that does not belong to you, but mind your own business, and cultivate the ground, that your women and your children may have enough to live on. I now inform you that it is our intention to live in peace with our father and his people forever.

"My father!—I have informed you what we mean to do, and I call the Great Spirit to witness the truth of my declaration. The religion which I have established for the last three years, has been attended to by the different tribes of Indians in this part of the world. Those Indians were once different people; they are now but one; they are all determined to practice what I have communicated to them, that has come immediately from the Great Spirit through me.

"Brother!—I speak to you as a warrior. You are one. But let us lay aside this character, and attend to the care of our children, that they may live in comfort and peace. We desire that you will join us for the preservation of both red and white people. Formerly, when we lived in ignorance, we were foolish; but now, since we listen to the voice of the Great Spirit, we are happy.

"I have listened to what you have said to us. You have promised to assist us. I now request you, in behalf of all the red people, to use your exertions to prevent the sale of liquor to us. We are all well pleased to hear you say that you will endeavor to promote our happiness. We give you every assurance that we will follow the dictates of the Great Spirit.

"We are all well pleased with the attention that you have showed us; also with the good intentions of our father, the President. If you give us a few articles, such as needles, flints, hoes, powder, and other things, we shall be able to take the animals that afford us meat with powder and ball."

After this affair, nothing material occurred till the latter part of April, 1810, when the Governor received information that the Prophet was again exciting the Indians to hostilities against the United States. A trader, of undoubted veracity, who had been for some time at the residence of the impostor, assured him, (the Governor,) that the Prophet had at least a thousand souls under his control—perhaps from three hundred and fifty to four hundred men—principally composed of Kickapoos and Winnebagoes, but with a considerable number of Potawatamies and Shawanees, and a few Chippewas and Ottawas. About the middle of May, rumor magnified this force to six or eight hundred warriors, and the combination was said to extend to all the tribes between Illinois river and Lake Michigan,—the Wyandots, and the Sacs and Foxes being among the number. Still, nothing could be distinctly proved against the Prophet. Governor Harrison sent for the leading member of the Shaker society, who resided about twenty miles from Vincennes, and endeavored to prevail on him to take a speech to the Prophet, who affected to follow the Shaker principles in every thing but the vow of celibacy; and this leader of the Shakers had no hesitation in asserting that the Shawanee was under the same divine inspiration that he himself was, although, for reasons growing out of his situation as a savage, he and his immediate followers were permitted to cohabit with their women.

But this was not the general feeling. Much alarm existed on the frontiers, especially as some lawless acts had been committed by individuals nominally under the Prophet's management. The Governor made active preparations for open hostilities; and the attention of the General Government itself had at length become so much aroused, that an order from the President to make prisoners of both Tecumseh and his brother, was suspended only that a last effort might be more advantageously made for a compromise with the disaffected tribes. Early in 1811, the Indian force mustered at Tippecanoe was larger than Governor Harrison himself could easily collect; and the body-guard of Tecumseh, on the visit which he paid the former at Vincennes, in July of this season, consisted of more than three hundred men.

This meeting took place ostensibly in consequence of a speech which the Governor had sent to the brothers at their encampment on the Wabash, in June. He had taken that occasion to repeat his former complaints of the insults and injuries he supposed to have been offered to American citizens by Indians under their influence; to inform them that he had heard of their recent attempts to hasten hostilities between the Union and various Indian tribes; and, finally, to remind them, in strong terms, of the consequences of persisting in such conduct. "Brothers!"—was one of the expressions in this address,—"I am myself of the Long-Knife fire. As soon as they hear my voice, you will see them pouring forth their swarms of hunting-shirt men, as numerous as the mosquitoes on the shores of the Wabash. Brothers! take care of their stings." Tecumseh promptly replied to this communication, by promising to visit the Governor in precisely eighteen days, for the purpose of "washing away all these bad stories."

Some delay occurred; but upon Saturday, the 27th of July, he made his appearance at Vincennes, with his three hundred followers. As neither the Governor nor the inhabitants generally were desirous of prolonging his entertainment, it was proposed to commence the negotiations on Monday; but this he declined doing, and it was late on Tuesday before he made his appearance at the arbor prepared for the occasion. Nor did he then come, without taking the precaution to ascertain previously, whether the Governor was to be attended by armed men at the council,—if so, he should adopt the same etiquette. Being left to his own option, and given to understand that his example would be imitated, he came with a guard of nearly two hundred men, some armed with bows and arrows, and others with knives, tomahawks and war-clubs. The Governor, on the other hand, was attended by a full troop of dragoons, dismounted, and completely furnished with fire-arms; and he had taken care, on Tecumseh's first arrival, to secure the town, by stationing two foot companies and a detachment of cavalry in the outskirts. He placed himself in front of his dragoons; Tecumseh stood at the head of his tawny band, and the conference commenced with a speech on the part of the Governor. This was briefly replied to; but a heavy rain coming on, matters remained in statu quo, until the next day, when Tecumseh made a long and ingenious harangue, both exposing and justifying his own schemes much more openly than he had ever done before.

Respecting the demand which the Governor had made, that two Pottawatomie murderers should be given up to punishment, who were stated to be resident at Tippecanoe, he in the first place denied that they were there; and then went on very deliberately to show, that he could not deliver them up if they were there. "It was not right," he said, "to punish those people. They ought to be forgiven, as well as those who had recently murdered his people in the Illinois. The whites should follow his own example of forgiveness; he had forgiven the Ottawas and the Osages. Finally, he desired that matters might remain in their present situation, and especially that no settlements should be attempted upon the lands recently purchased of certain tribes, until he should return from a visit among the Southern Indians. Then he would go to Washington, and settle all difficulties with the President; and meanwhile, as the neighboring tribes were wholly under his direction, he would despatch messengers in every quarter to prevent further mischief." He concluded with offering the Governor a quantity of wampum, as a full atonement for the murders before mentioned. The latter made an indignant rejoinder; the meeting was broken up; and Tecumseh, attended by a few followers, soon afterwards commenced his journey down the Wabash for the Southward.

Such was his last appearance previous to the war. The popular excitement had now become greater than ever. Numerous meetings were held, and representations forwarded to the Federal Executive. But before these documents could reach their destination, authority had been given to Governor Harrison to commence offensive operations at discretion, and forces, in addition to those within his territorial jurisdiction, were placed at his disposal. "The Banditti under the Prophet," wrote the Secretary of War, Mr. Eustis, in a communication of July 20th, "are to be attacked and vanquished, provided such a measure shall be rendered absolutely necessary."

It is not our purpose to detail the subsequent measures of Governor Harrison, which terminated in the celebrated battle of Tippecanoe; and much less, to agitate the question heretofore so inveterately contested, respecting the general propriety of the offensive operations he commenced, or his particular system or success in conducting them. The battle took place on the 7th of November, 1811; the Governor having previously sent Indian messengers to demand of the various tribes in the Prophet's encampment, that they should all return to their respective territories; that the stolen horses in their and his possession, should be given up; and that all murderers, then sheltered at Tippecanoe, should be delivered over to justice. The first messengers, about the last of September, had the effect of bringing out a friendly deputation from the Prophet, full of professions of peace. But fresh outrages were committed by his followers about the same time; and, when sundry head-men of the Delaware tribe undertook, in October, to go upon a second mission, they are said to have been abruptly met by a counter deputation from the Prophet, requiring a categorical answer to the question, "whether they would or would not join him against the United States?" The Delawares, nevertheless, went on, and having visited the Prophet's camp, returned to Governor Harrison, now on his march, with the report of their having been ill treated, insulted, and finally dismissed with contemptuous remarks upon themselves and the Governor. Twenty-four Miamies next volunteered to go upon this thankless business. They seem to have been better entertained, for the good reason, that they decided upon raising the tomahawk against their employer. At all events, these serviceable diplomatists spared themselves the pains of returning.

The particulars of the battle are well known. The Governor having entered into the heart of the territory occupied by the Prophet,—but claimed by the United States, as being purchased of those tribes who had the least-disputed claim to it,—he encamped, on the night of the 6th, in the vicinity of the Prophet's force; and a suspension of hostilities was agreed upon between the two parties, until a conference could take place on the ensuing day. Whether, as the Prophet affirmed on this occasion by his messengers, he had sent a pacific proposal to the Governor, which accidentally failed to reach him; or whether he was now actually "desirous of avoiding hostilities if possible," but felt himself compelled to commence them, need not be discussed. His forces, supposed to number from five hundred to eight hundred warriors, made a violent attack on the American army, early on the morning of the 7th; and one of the most desperate struggles ensued, of which we have any record in the history of Indian warfare. The enemy was at length repulsed, leaving thirty-eight warriors dead on the field. The Americans lost about fifty killed, and about twice that number wounded. The Prophet's town was rifled, and the army commenced its return to Vincennes.

Tecumseh, who was absent when the battle took place, returned soon afterwards from the South, and, without doubt, was exceedingly surprised and mortified by the conduct of the Prophet. From this time, while the latter lost much of his influence, the former took a more independent and open part. It cannot be positively decided whether he had previously maintained a special understanding with the British; but his subsequent course admits of little controversy.

He proposed to Governor Harrison, to make the contemplated journey to Washington; but, as the Governor expressed a determination that he could not go in the capacity which he deemed suitable to his standing, the idea was abandoned. Thenceforth, whatever his intentions had been, he determined upon the necessity of fighting; and it naturally followed, whatever had been his disposition towards the British authorities,—theirs towards him was sufficiently plain,—that he should no longer hesitate to avail himself of every fair opportunity of cooperation.

Still, it was necessary to preserve appearances until matters were ready for disclosure; and, of course,—such were the consequences of the recent defeat, and such the disposition of many vacillating or opposing tribes,—there was an extremely difficult part to be acted. Some of the speeches made at a grand council of twelve tribes, held in May, 1812, at Mississiniway, will throw light upon the subject. The Wyandots began—a tribe universally regarded as the head of the great Indian family:

"Younger brothers!"—said the speaker—"You that reside on the Wabash, listen to what we say; and in order that you may distinctly hear and clearly understand our words, we now open your ears and place your hearts in the same position they were placed in by the Great Spirit when he created you.

"Younger brothers!—We are sorry to see your path filled with thorns and briars, and your land covered with blood. Our love for you has caused us to come and clean your paths and wipe the blood off your land, and take the weapons that have spilled this blood from you, and put them where you can never reach them again.

"Younger brothers!—This is done by the united voice of all your elder brothers, that you now see present, who are determined not to be disobeyed. This determination of your elder brothers, to put an entire stop to the effusion of blood, has met with the approbation of our fathers, the British, who have advised all the red people to be quiet and not meddle in quarrels that may take place between the white people."

Tecumseh, who found himself in a small minority on this occasion, replied thus:

"Elder brothers!—We have listened with attention to what you have said to us. We thank the Great Spirit for inclining your hearts to pity us; we now pity ourselves; our hearts are good; they never were bad. Governor Harrison made war on my people in my absence; it was the Great Spirit's will he should do so. We hope it will please Him that the white people may let us live in peace. We will not disturb them; neither have we done it, except when they come to our village with the intention of destroying us. We are happy to state to our brothers present, that the unfortunate transaction that took place between the white people and a few of our young men at our village, has been settled between us and Governor Harrison; and I will further state, that had I been at home, there would have been no blood shed at that time.

"We are sorry to find that the same respect has not been paid to the agreement between us and Governor Harrison, by our brothers, the Potawatamies. However, we are not accountable for the conduct of those over whom we have no control. Let the chiefs of that nation exert themselves, and cause their warriors to behave themselves, as we have done and will continue to do with ours.

"Should the bad acts of our brothers, the Potawatamies, draw on us the ill will of our white brothers—and they should come again and make an unprovoked attack on us at our village—we will die like men—but we will never strike the first blow."

The Potawatamies could not overlook such an attack, and their speaker noticed it in terms which reflected severely on the "pretended Prophet," who was said to have caused all the difficulty among their young men. He added,—"We have no control over these few vagabonds, and consider them not belonging to our nation; and will be thankful to any people that will put them to death, wherever they are found. As they are bad people, and have learnt to be so from the pretended Prophet, and as he has been the cause of setting those people on our white brothers, we hope he will be active in reconciling them. As we all hear him say, his heart is inclined for peace, we hope we may all see this declaration supported by his future conduct, and that all our women and children may lay down to sleep without fear."

Tecumseh then addressed the council once more:

"It is true we have endeavored to give all our brothers good advice; and if they have not listened to it, we are sorry for it. We defy a living creature to say we ever advised any one, directly or indirectly, to make war on our white brothers. It has constantly been our misfortune to have our views misrepresented to our white brethren. This has been done by pretended chiefs of the Potawatamies and others, that have been in the habit of selling land to the white people that did not belong to them."

Here he was called to order by the Delawares. "We have not met," said they, "to listen to such words. The red people have been killing the whites. The just resentment of the latter is raised against the former. Our white brethren are on their feet, with their guns in their hands. There is no time to tell each other, you have done this, and you have done that. If there was, we would tell the Prophet that both red and white people had felt the bad effects of his counsels. Let us all join our hearts and hands together, and proclaim peace through the land of the red people. Let us make our voices be heard and respected, and rely on the justice of our white brethren."

The Miamies and Kickapoos afterwards expressed themselves much to the same effect, and the conference then closed.

The most distinguished chiefs opposed to the two brothers, were the Crane, his Counselor Between-the-Logs, the Pottawatomie Winemack, [FN] and the leader and orator of the Wyandots on the American side of the river Detroit, Walk-in-the-Water. The latter was afterwards forced by circumstances to fight with the British, but at this time he and the Crane were particularly active in persuading various tribes to "sit still" while their two Fathers should fight out the war,—which was their own business,—in their own way. The British at length took measures to counteract their influence. A council was convened at Malden, at which Elliot, the Indian Agent, and the British Commanding Officer were present.

[FN] A war-chief of some distinction. He repeatedly visited Washington after the war, and some characteristic anecdotes—which, however, will hardly bear repetition—are recorded of him. He was always openly friendly to the Americans, and though accused of fighting for the Prophet at Tippecanoe, by no means convicted of that aberration. He died in the summer of 1821.

The former demanded of the Wyandots whether they had advised the other tribes to remain neutral. To this, Walk-in-the-water answered: "We have, and we believe it best for us, and for our brethren. We have no wish to be involved in a war with our father, the Long-Knife, for we know by experience that we have nothing to gain by it, and we beg our father, the British, not to force us to war. We remember, in the former war between our fathers, the British and the Long-Knife, we were both defeated, and we the red men lost our country; and you, our father, the British, made peace with the Long-Knife, without our knowledge, and you gave our country to him. You still said to us, 'my children, you must fight for your country, for the Long-Knife will take it from you.' We did as you advised us, and we were defeated with the loss of our best chiefs and warriors, and of our land. And we still remember your conduct towards us, when we were defeated at the foot of the rapids of the Miami. We sought safety for our wounded in your fort. But what was your conduct? You closed your gates against us, and we had to retreat the best way we could. And then we made peace with the Americans, and have enjoyed peace with them ever since. And now you wish us, your red children, again to take up the hatchet against our father, the Long-Knife. We say again, we do not wish to have any thing to do with the war. Fight your own battles, but let us, your red children, enjoy peace."

Elliot here interrupted the speaker, and said: "That is American talk, and I shall hear no more of it. If you do not stop, I will direct my soldiers to take you and the chiefs, and keep you prisoners, and will consider you as our enemies." Walk-in-the-water then took his seat, to consult the other chiefs; and Round-Head, who had openly espoused the British interest, and who was the chief of the small party of Wyandots living in Canada, immediately rose and said: "Father! listen to your children. You say that the talk just delivered by my friend Walk-in-the-water, is American talk, and that you cannot hear any more of it; and, if persisted in, you will take the chiefs prisoners, and treat them as enemies. Now hear me. I am a chief, and am acknowledged to be such. I speak the sentiments of the chiefs of the tribes, assembled round your council-fire. I now come forward, and take hold of your war-hatchet, and will assist you to fight against the Americans!"

He was followed by Tecumseh and the Prophet, and by two Wyandot chiefs, Worrow and Split-log; but Walk-in-the-water and his associates still declined the invitation. Elliot then made some menacing observations, which induced them to leave the council-house, recross the river to Brownstown, and communicate the result to the Crane, who was there with his attendants. The latter immediately returned home to Sandusky. The Brownstown Wyandots sent a deputation to the American General at Detroit, headed by Walk-in-the-water, to represent their exposed state, and request protection. For some unknown reason it was not granted, and these Indians were a few days afterwards taken into custody by a large British and Indian detachment, attended, if not commanded, by Tecumseh and Round-Head.

The sequel of these proceedings is too characteristic of several of the individuals we have named, to be omitted in a connection which allows and requires so much collateral light.

Some eight or ten months after the forced accession to the British just mentioned, the Crane proposed to General Harrison, who was then encamped with his array at Seneca, that a formal embassy should be sent by the Wyandots, to their brethren in the British camp, and to all the Indians who adhered to the British cause, advising them to consult their true interest and retire to their own country. The proposition was approved by General Harrison, and the Crane was requested to take such measures as appeared most proper to give it effect.

Between-the-logs was appointed the ambassador, and a small escort of eight warriors, commanded by Skootash, the principal war-chief of the nation, was selected to accompany him. Two speeches were sent by the Crane, one to be delivered privately to his own people, and the other publicly to the British Indians.

The Wyandot embassy arrived at Brownstown in safety, and the following morning a general council assembled to hear the message from their uncle. The multitude was prodigious, and Elliot and McKee, the British agents, were present. We have been told that Between-the-logs arose in the midst of this host of enemies, and delivered with unshaken firmness the following speech from the Crane, which had been entrusted to him:

"Brothers!—the red men, who are engaged in fighting for the British king—listen! These words are from me, Tarbe, and they are also the words of the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanees, and Senecas.

"Our American father has raised his war-pole, and collected a large army of his warriors. They will soon march to attack the British. He does not wish to destroy his red children, their wives, and families. He wishes you to separate yourselves from the British, and bury the hatchet you have raised. He will be merciful to you. You can then return to your own lands, and hunt the game, as you formerly did. I request you to consider your situation, and act wisely in this important matter; and not wantonly destroy your own people. Brothers! whoever feels disposed to accept this advice, will come forward and take hold of this belt of wampum, which I have in my hand and offer to you. I hope you will not refuse to accept it in presence of your British father, for you are independent of him. Brothers! we have done, and we hope you will decide wisely."

Not a hand moved to accept the offered pledge of peace. The spell was too potent to be broken by charms like these; but Round-Head arose and addressed the embassy:

"Brothers!—the Wyandots from the Americans—we have heard your talk, and will not listen to it. We will not forsake the standard of our British father, nor lay down the hatchet we have raised. I speak the sentiments of all now present, and I charge you, that you faithfully deliver our talk to the American commander, and tell him it is our wish he would send more men against us; for all that has passed between us I do not call fighting. We are not satisfied with the number of men he sends to contend against us. We want to fight in good earnest."

Elliot then spoke. "My children!—As you now see that my children here are determined not to forsake the cause of their British father, I wish you to carry a message back with you. Tell my wife, your American father, that I want her to cook the provisions for me and my red children, more faithfully than she has done. She has not done her duty. And if she receives this as an insult, and feels disposed to fight, tell her to bring more men than she ever brought before, as our former skirmishes I do not call fighting. If she wishes to fight with me and my children, she must not burrow in the earth like a ground-hog, where she is inaccessible. She must come out and fight fairly."

To this, Between-the-logs replied. "Brothers!—I am directed by my American father to inform you, that if you reject the advice given you, he will march here with a large army, and if he should find any of the red people opposing him in his passage through this country, he will trample them under his feet. You cannot stand before him.

"And now for myself I earnestly intreat you to consider the good talk I have brought, and listen to it. Why would you devote yourselves, your women, and your children, to destruction? Let me tell you, if you should defeat the American army this time, you have not done. Another will come on, and if you defeat that, still another will appear that you cannot withstand; one that will come like the waves of the great water, and overwhelm you, and sweep you from the face of the earth. If you doubt the account I give of the force of the Americans, you can send some of your people in whom you have confidence, to examine their army and navy. They shall be permitted to return in safety. The truth is, your British father tells you lies, and deceives you. He boasts of the few victories he gains, but he never tells you of his defeats, of his armies being slaughtered, and his vessels taken on the big water. He keeps all these things to himself.

"And now, father, let me address a few words to you. Your request shall be granted. I will bear your message to my American father. It is true none of your children appear willing to forsake your standard, and it will be the worse for them. You compare the Americans to ground-hogs, and complain of their mode of fighting. I must confess that a groundhog is a very difficult animal to contend with. He has such sharp teeth, such an inflexible temper, and such an unconquerable spirit, that he is truly a dangerous enemy, especially when he is in his own hole. But, father, let me tell you, you can have your wish. Before many days, you will see the ground-hog floating on yonder lake, paddling his canoe towards your hole; and then, father, you will have an opportunity of attacking your formidable enemy in any way you may think best."

This speech terminated the proceedings of the council. All the Indians, except the Wyandots, dispersed, and they secretly assembled to hear the message sent to them by their own chief.

The Wyandots were directed to quit Skorah [FN-1] immediately. They were said to be liars and deceivers, and that they had always deceived the Indians. And facts, in evidence of this, were quoted. The building of Fort Miami was particularly referred to. It was said to be erected as a refuge for the Indians, but when they were overpowered by Wayne, the gates were shut against them. [FN-2] The comparative strength of General Harrison's army and of the British forces, was concealed from them, and they were in a very dangerous condition.

[FN-1] The British, in the Huron dialect.

[FN-2] The Crane was wounded in this action, and the loss fell heavily upon the Wyandots.

This message was faithfully delivered to the Wyandots, and produced its full effect upon them. They requested Between-the-logs to inform the Crane, that they were in fact prisoners, but that they had taken firm hold of his belt of wampum, and would not fire another gun. They promised, that on the advance of the American army, they would quit the British troops, as soon as it was safe to take that decisive measure. And such in fact was the result. When Proctor left the country, his Wyandot allies abandoned him, a few miles from the mouth of the river Tranche, and retired into the forest. Thence they sent a message to General Harrison, imploring his mercy. [FN]

[FN] We have given our account of the Malden Council on the authority of Governor Cass, whose sources of information may be learned from his able essay on the Late War on the Frontiers. See N. A. Rev. Vol. XXIX.

Tecumseh and Elskwatawa were seen for the last time previous to their joining the British, at Fort Wayne. The former passed that way to the Malden council, and he then explicitly stated to the Commander of the station, that he was going "to receive from the British twelve horse-loads of ammunition for the use of his people at Tippecanoe." The visit of the Prophet, which took place immediately after, is referred to in the following communication from the Commander to an American authority:

"On the 12th [July, 1812,] the Prophet arrived at this place, with nearly one hundred Winnebagoes and Kickapoos, who have ever since been amusing the Indian agent at this place with professions of friendship, and it is now evident that he has completely duped the agent, who had suffered him to take the lead in all his councils with the Indians, giving him ammunition, &c. to support his followers until they can receive a supply from Tecumseh.

"On the 19th instant an express arrived in the Prophet's camp from Tecumseh. In order that it should make the better speed, the express stole a horse from some of the inhabitants of the river Raisin, and rode night and day. The horse gave out within twenty miles of this place. This messenger was directed by Tecumseh to tell the Prophet to unite the Indians immediately, and send their women and children towards the Mississippi, while the warriors should strike a heavy blow at the inhabitants of Vincennes; and he, Tecumseh, if he lived, would join him in the country of the Winnebagoes.

"The Prophet found no difficulty in keeping this information to himself and one or two of his confidential followers, and forming a story to suit the palate of the agent here; and, on the 20th instant, he despatched two confidential Kickapoos to effect the objects Tecumseh had in view. In order that these two Indians might make the better speed, they stole my two riding-horses, and have gone to the westward at the rate of one hundred miles in twenty-four hours, at least. To keep the agent blind to his movements, the prophet went early in the morning yesterday, and told the agent that two of his bad young men were missing, and that he feared they had stole some horses. The agent found no difficulty in swallowing the bait offered him, and applauded the Prophet for his honesty in telling of his bad men, as he called them, stealing my horses.

"To keep up appearances, the Prophet has this morning despatched two men on foot, as he tells the agent, to bring back my horses, &c. He says he and all his party will certainly attend the Commissioner of the United States next month at Piqua.

"This he will do, if he finds he cannot raise the western Indians against the United States; but if he finds the western Indians will join him, you may rely on it, he will strike a heavy blow, as Tecumseh says, against the whites in that quarter. You may rely on the correctness of this statement, as I received information relative to the views of Tecumseh, last night, from a quarter that cannot be doubted. The conduct of the agent towards the Prophet, I have been an eye-witness to."

The most remarkable passage in this graphic narration, refers to the exertions Tecumseh was now making for the promotion of the great cause which lay so near his heart. There was occasion indeed for a mighty effort, to regain the ground which his brother had lost. The battle of Tippecanoe was a premature explosion, and a most unfortunate one for his interests. It intercepted the negotiations for new allies, diminished the moral power of the Prophet, and frightened and forced many, who were or would have been his adherents, into neutrality in some cases, and open hostility in others. The vast scheme of Tecumseh, the object so long of all his solicitude and his labor, was thrown into confusion, on the very brink of success. He was exasperated, humiliated, afflicted. He could have wept, like Philip, when his projects were thwarted in mid career by the rashness of his warriors. But here was the trial of his noblest qualities. He came forward and made every proposition, looking like compromise, which he deemed consistent with his dignity,—perhaps necessary to it,—but in vain. He saw then, plainly, that the battle must be fought, and his soul grew strong. The wrongs and woes of his race, and the power and pride of the white men, passed before him. The mortification of failure and exposure on his own part, the dishonor brought upon his brother's name, the ignominy of submission, the censure and scorn of his savage rivals, the triumph of his civilized enemy, all were daggers in his bosom. Then boiled within him the frenzy of despair. Fear and hope struggled for the mastery. Pride, revenge, ambition, were roused. "Let them come, then"—thought he—"I hear them and see them, in the South and in the East, like the summer leaves rolling and rustling in the breeze. It is well. Shall Tecumseh tremble? Shall they say that he hated the white man, and feared him? No! The mountains and plains which the Great Spirit gave, are behind and around me. I, too, have my warriors, and here,—where we were born and where we will die,—on the Scioto, on the Wabash, on the broad waters of the North, my voice shall be heard."

And it was heard, indeed. At the date of the communication last cited, he had scarcely a hundred followers; and the intentions of the Western Indians, we have seen, were not then ascertained. But from the time of the Malden Council, Tecumseh girded himself to his task, like a strong man for battle. He set his brother and all his emissaries, and at the same time devoted himself, night and day, to the business of recruiting. Repeatedly, before this, he had visited all the tribes on the west banks of the Mississippi, and upon Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan. He now traveled over the route once more. From north to south, and from east to west, he ranged the continent,—threatening, flattering, rousing resentment, alarming superstition, provoking curiosity. No labor fatigued, no disappointment discouraged, no danger alarmed, no emergency surprised him.

The result, with the entire sequel of the history of the two brothers, may be stated in the most general terms. Those who know anything of the history of the last war, need not be informed, that Tecumseh was substantially, as well as nominally, the head and life of the Anglo-Indian Department, and that greater forces were collected by his influence, and embodied under his command, than in any other instance from the first settlement of the country. He brought in six hundred Wabash recruits in one body, early in 1813. In the attack made upon Fort Stephenson, in the summer of the same year, the enemy numbered but five hundred British regulars, for eight hundred Indians, (under Dickson,) while Tecumseh was at the same time stationed on the road to Fort Meigs with a body of two thousand more, for the purpose of cutting off the American reinforcements on that route.

In the decisive battle of the Moravian Towns, he commanded the right wing of the allied army, and was posted in the only part of it which was engaged with the American troops. Here was his last struggle. Disdaining to fly, when all were flying around him but his own nearest followers, he pressed eagerly into the heart of the contest, encouraging the savages by his voice, and plying the tomahawk with a tremendous energy. He appeared to be advancing, it is said, directly upon Colonel Johnson, who was hastening towards him on the other side, at the head of his mounted infantry. Suddenly a wavering was perceived in the Indian ranks; there was no longer a cry of command among them. Tecumseh had fallen, and his bravest men, still surviving, were defeated by the same blow. They fled, leaving thirty-three dead on the field, most of whom were found near Tecumseh.

Upon the question, who had the honor of shooting the great chief,—as all the world admits he was shot,—we shall spend but few words. In the language of another, "there is a possibility that he fell by a pistol-shot from the hand of Colonel Johnson. He was certainly killed in that part of the line where the Colonel was himself wounded;" and this is all that can well be said upon a subject which has occasioned so much controversy. The British Government granted a pension to his widow and family, which probably continues to this day. The Prophet, who survived the war, and was little exposed in it, was supplied in the same manner until his death, which took place a few years since. He is believed to have been older than his brother, who died about forty-five.

The grave, in which Tecumseh's remains were deposited by the Indians after the return of the American army, is still visible near the borders of a willow marsh, on the north line of the battle-ground, with a large fallen oak-tree lying beside. The willow and wild rose are thick around it, but the mound itself is cleared of shrubbery, and is said to owe its good condition to the occasional visits of his countrymen. [FN] Thus repose, in solitude and silence, the ashes of the "Indian Bonaparte." In truth have they

"Left him alone with his glory."

[FN] Western Paper.


Remarks on the character of Tecumseh and the Prophet—Their facilities for cooperation—Difficulties the latter had to overcome—His perseverance and ingenuity—Means by which he protected his person—Anecdotes of the Battle of Tippecanoe—Frankness of Tecumseh in disclosing his schemes—Causes of his hostility to the Americans—Trespasses of the whites, and other abuses—Object of the belligerent combination—Anecdotes of Tecumseh's first visit to Vincennes, in 1810—His dignity, independence and courage—His ideas of the British policy—His speech to General Proctor, and remarks on his oratory—His humanity—His genius.

The reputation of the Prophet has suffered from the complete ultimate failure of his plans. It has suffered the more from the very circumstances, which mark him as an extraordinary man,—his career as a prophet. Tecumseh knew his own talent better than to play a game like this; but he also knew, without doubt, that Elskwatawa was capable of doing more for the advancement of their common object, by acting this coordinate or subordinate part, than by adopting the same course with himself, even had he possessed the same species of ability. Together, they were endowed with a complete system of qualities necessary to accomplish their design; but neither could act alone. Tecumseh was frank, warlike, persuasive in his oratory, popular in his manners, irreproachable in his habits or life. Elskwatawa had more cunning than courage; and a stronger disposition to talk, than to fight, or exert himself in any other way. But he was subtle, fluent, persevering and self-possessed; and this was enough. He became an inspired man, and Tecumseh was his first convert. Others of the tribe might be intrusted with the secret. They had, at all events, a great respect for these men; and being both a proud and warlike people, they received with avidity the well-contrived doctrine of their superiority over other tribes, and entered upon a course of projects likely to produce war,—though of war nothing might yet be seen or said,—with the fury of bloodhounds upon a track.

Hence the murders and robberies which so much alarmed and irritated the frontier settlers, and which we have very little doubt were generally committed by individuals of the Prophet's "banditti," without his authority, and perhaps against his wishes. His young men, especially, like those who brought on Philip's war, were wrought up till the master-spirit himself lost his control over them; and to make the matter worse, most of them were of such a character, in the first instance, that horse-stealing and house-breaking were as easy to them as breathing. Like the refugees of Romulus, they were outcasts, vagabonds and criminals,—in a great degree brought together by the novelty of the preacher's reputation, by curiosity to hear his doctrines, by the fascination of extreme credulity, by restlessness, by resentment against the whites, and by poverty and unpopularity at home.

These things should be taken into consideration, when the success of the Prophet is estimated. His ingenuity was tasked to the utmost, in getting and keeping these people together in the first place. Then it was necessary to instruct them just so far, as to put them in the way of preparing themselves for what might happen, and to make them serviceable in collecting and convincing others, without committing the cause too unreservedly to noisy tongues, and to rash hands. Then complaints were made by American authorities, and these must be pacified. Offers of assistance came in from other quarters, and these must be kept secret. At other times, the banditti were reduced to an extreme scarcity of provisional as might be expected from the numbers collected together, and the kind of life which they led. At first, they were given to understand that corn and pumpkins would be raised for them supernaturally; but the Prophet deemed it easier on the whole to produce these essential articles by other means,—and here was another reason for maintaining a good understanding with his American neighbors. Hence he gave out that he proposed visiting the Governor at Vincennes, with the view of begging provisions,—"for the white people had always encouraged him to preach the word of God to the Indians." This purpose was carried into execution; and on that occasion it was, that the Governor was "completely deceived," by the Prophet's appearance and language. So late as 1811, a quantity of salt was sent up the Wabash for the Prophet's use, together with another quantity intended for the Kickapoos and other Indians. He seems to have balanced some time between necessity and policy before this temptation, but finally adopted the middle course of detaining the entire cargo, and sending a very civil apology to the Governor in payment.

On the whole, we are inclined to put small faith in the popular theory which represents the Prophet as a fool. Possibly he assumed that character on some occasions, knowing the proverbial reverence of the Indians for an idiot. Allowance should be made also for the reaction produced by his failure at Tippecanoe, although his influence was in some degree restored after that event,—the misfortune being sagely attributed by many to the important circumstance of his wife having touched some of his sacred utensils. Nothing but a series of triumphs on the part of the American forces, the death of his brother, and the loss of all his best friends of his own tribe, (for the Kishopokes were reduced to about twenty warriors during the war,) finally destroyed his character as a Prophet. When this was effected, it was human nature to degrade him below the level of a man.

It might have been expected, that a person of his pretensions, with so many rivals and enemies, would be exposed to the hazard of assassination. But here again he was on his guard; for it was always one of his strong positions, that the least violence offered to him or his followers, would be punished by the immediate interposition of the Great Spirit. The religious character, indeed, was sustained to the last. The Delaware messengers already mentioned found his forces at Tippecanoe in the highest state of excitement, owing to his magical rites, his harangues, and the war-dance which he performed with them day and night. Hence the unexampled bravery manifested in the attack upon the American army. They rushed on the very bayonets of our troops; and in some instances, pressing aside the soldier's musket, they brained him with the war-club. The Prophet, meanwhile, is said to have been comfortably seated on an adjacent eminence, singing a war-song. He had assured his followers, that the American bullets would do them no harm; and that, while they should have light, their enemies should be involved in thick darkness. [FN] Soon after the battle commenced, he was told that the Indians were falling. "Fight on! fight on!" cried he, never at a loss, "It will soon be as I predicted;" and he howled his war-song louder than ever.

[FN] He was not so much out of the way in this prediction, as in some others. McAfee observes, that the campfires, so long as they remained burning, were "more serviceable to the Indians than our men."

The character of Tecumseh appears so fully in the course he pursued, as to require but brief comment. While the Prophet resorted without hesitation to all the wiles of Indian cunning and stratagem, for effecting his own purposes, and for thwarting those of his opponents, his course was as manly and dignified as it was prompt. He was certainly under no obligation to disclose his schemes, and yet he appears never to have taken much pains to conceal them. We know that he was suspected, and accused, of having actively engaged in inducing general hostility, as well as instigating particular outrages among the frontier tribes, for several years before much was actually known of him. This may have been the case, and it may not; the evidence amounts to nothing, and the suspicion and accusation alluded to, like the offences themselves, are very easily accounted for upon other and obvious grounds. There is no necessity, then, of going at length into the history of the Western country for the last half century, to point out the real grounds of complaint and the real provocations to hostility, which Tecumseh, or his brother, or any other Indian of information and reflection, might have alleged on the part of the tribes, against the American Government or the American people. This would be justifying what we do not admit. It is sufficient to observe that quite enough had occurred, to furnish plausible pretexts for all that the Chieftain is known to have done or attempted to do.

Governor Harrison stated in his annual message, for 1809, to the Indiana Legislature, that owing to defects in the Federal law, "every person has been allowed to trade with the Indians that pleases; which proves a source of numberless abuses, of mischievous effect both to them and ourselves." Two years before, we find an opinion advanced by the same excellent authority on a similar occasion, that "the utmost efforts to induce them (the Indians) to take up arms would be unavailing, if one only, of the many persons who have committed murders on their people, could be brought to punishment." To illustrate the truth of this remark, we may mention the murder of a Creek Indian at Vincennes, early in 1810, and of course subsequently to the particular transactions alluded to in the message. He was shot by a white man, an Italian trader, upon the pretext that the Indian, who was intoxicated, had shown a disposition to do him some injury. The Governor discharged his duty by causing the Italian to be arrested and tried; but, in the language of our informant, "as in too many other cases, acquittal was the consequence." [FN] We are farther told, that about the same time, two Indians were wounded by a white man, at a few miles distance from Vincennes. The occurrence of circumstances of this nature is said to have been a source of great embarrassment and vexation to Governor Harrison; but in this case, he could only send out,—not a constable for the aggressor, for that course had been sufficiently tried,—-but a surgeon for the wounded men, who both finally recovered.

[FN] Dawson's Narrative.

It cannot be doubted, that the character of these proceedings was well understood, and indignantly resented by all the tribes which obtained knowledge of them,—as most of them did in the course of their own experience. The house of a white man in Ohio was robbed, during this same summer, by a member of the Delaware tribe, so famous for its faithful, and more than faithful adherence to the American cause. According to the stipulations of Wayne's treaty, expressly provided for giving up criminals to the parties respectively injured,—and scrupulously observed up to this date, we should add, on the part of the Indians,—the robber in the present instance was demanded of the Delawares. The answer was, that the nation never would give up another man, until some of the white people were punished, who had murdered members of their tribe; they would however punish him themselves. And they did accordingly put him to death.

But all these were trifling causes of irritation, compared with those which had occurred at various periods, in the treaties and other negotiations, public and private, whereby immense quantities of territory had been obtained of the Indians. It is not intended to insinuate, that the Government was in fault upon any of these occasions. But in the transaction of affairs of this nature, to such an extent, at such a distance, by the instrumentality of agents,—as likely as any other men to be sometimes ignorant, insolent, and avaricious,—offences must needs come. On the other hands, in cases wherein the Government was not even nominally concerned, (whatever the understanding of the vendors might be upon that point) the most flagitious deception had been practised. In still other instances, where the conduct of the purchasers was unobjectionable, there were conflicting claims to territory, which one or more tribes, or portions of tribes, or perhaps individual chiefs, nevertheless undertook to convey. Owing to these and similar causes, the Indians had very generally become extremely suspicious of proposals for the purchase of land.

They perceived, too, independently of any unfair dealing upon either side, that the white population was advancing upon them with the most formidable rapidity. Something must be done, then, in self-defence. Setting aside past impositions, it was absolutely necessary to prevent them for the future; and setting aside all imposition, it was necessary to raise some universal and effectual barrier against inroads of any kind, in any quarter. It is recorded, accordingly, by an historian already cited, that the agitation among the Indians at this time was accounted for by some of them, by saying, that they were endeavoring to effect what had frequently been recommended to them by the United States, viz; a more cordial union among the various tribes. The writer considers this an "attempt at deception;" but yet his facts would seem to outweigh his opinion. War might or might not be anticipated as an ultimate resort, in offence or defence; and "British agitators" might or might not be actually engaged, as certainly they were interested, in producing that result, and preparing the tribes for it. But it appears to us, there can be no reasonable doubt, that an effective and cordial union of the tribes, for the purposes just mentioned, was actually the precise object in view. It certainly was the leading principle in the schemes of Tecumseh.

That principle he never disavowed. He declared it in the most open manner, on every suitable occasion; and with it, the cogent reasoning upon which in his mind it was founded. In July 1810, he conversed very fully upon the subject with a person sent to his brother by the Governor of Indiana, to dissuade him from war and to gain information of his views. He said that the Great Spirit had given this great island,—meaning the American continent,—to his red children; but the whites, who were placed on the other side of the big water, not content with their share, had crossed over—seized upon the coast—driven the Indians from the sea to the lakes—and undertaken to say that this tract belongs to one tribe, this to another, and so on—when the Great Spirit had made it the common property of them all. "They had retreated far enough,—they would go no farther." He at the same time disclaimed having intended to make war, but expressed his opinion that it would not be possible to preserve peace, unless the Indian principle of common property should be recognized, and the progress of the white settlements discontinued. He then proposed going to Vincennes, for the purpose of convincing the Governor that matters had been mis-represented to him.

The visit accordingly took place in August; and he then states most distinctly,—Mr. Dawson's phrase is, "in the broadest manner,"—that his policy had been to establish and extend the principle of common property as a means of necessary self-defence; that the tribes were afraid of being pushed back into the lakes, and were therefore determined to make a stand where they now were. At the formal interview which ensued, Tecumseh, who was attended by a body of followers, manifested so much irritation, that the Governor apprehended an attack upon the spot; the citizens were alarmed; troops were called in; and a scene of great confusion ensued. But although the proud Chieftain apologized for this demonstration of spirit at the next conference, and then appeared perfectly cool, he still persisted in the statements made in the outset. When asked by the Governor, whether it was his intention to prevent the surveying of a certain territory, recently purchased, he answered, "that himself and those who were joined with him were determined that the old boundary should continue."

The Governor afterwards visited him at his camp, for the purpose of sounding him privately. Being asked if his intentions were really what he had openly avowed, he replied that they were. He had no complaint to make against the United States, but their purchasing the Indian land as they did; and he should very much regret the necessity of making war for this single cause. On the contrary, he was, anxious to be upon good terms with them. If the President would give up the late purchase, and agree to make no more in the same manner, he would even become their ally, and would fight with them against the English; if these terms could not be complied with, he should be obliged to fight with the English against them. The Governor assured him that the President should be informed of his views, but also expressed his opinion, that there was no prospect of their being acceded to. "Well!" answered the warrior, "as the Great Chief is to determine the matter, I hope the Great Spirit will put sense enough in his head, to induce him to give up the land. True, he is so far off, that the war will not injure him. He may sit still in his town and drink his wine, while you and I will have to fight it out."

At the last conference which took place previously to the battle of Tippecanoe, it is stated that his designs were more completely developed, than ever before. [FN] And this, it should be observed, was his own voluntary and deliberate disclosure. "The States had set the example," he said, "of forming a union among all the fires,—why should they censure the Indians for following it?" He had now succeeded in combining the Northern tribes, and he was about visiting the South, for the purpose of completing the scheme. But war, if it ensued, would be, no fault of his. He hoped that the Governor would prevent settlements from being made on the new purchase till he returned from his journey in the Spring. He would then visit the President himself at his leisure, and the matter should be settled with him.

[FN] Dawson's Narrative, p. 182.

This speech has been called "an artful evasion, easily seen through." It appears to us, on the contrary, to be a model of manly frankness. The Orator did not expressly state, indeed, that the combination alluded to, anticipated the possibility or probability of war. But this was unnecessary. It was the natural inference in any reasonable mind. It had been frequently so stated and so understood; and repetition could only exasperate. On the whole, Tecumseh seems to have manifested a noble dignity in disavowal and discussion of his policy, equaled only by the profound sagacity in which it originated, and the intelligent energy which conducted it, against every opposition and obstacle, so nearly to its completion. He might be wrong, but it is evident enough he was sincere.

As for British instigation, we need not suggest the distinction between a disposition upon their part, and a counter disposition upon his; or between himself and the motley multitude of fanatical and ferocious vagabonds, who, unfortunately, formed a large part of the Prophet's first congregation, and some of whom were as troublesome to each other and to him, as they were to the white settlers. Outrages were committed, as we have seen, on both sides,—and criminals refused to be given over to justice by both,—the Indians copying, in this respect, the example of the American authorities. But we need not pursue the subject. The best existing evidence with regard to Tecumseh's particular interest in it, seems to be his own, which has been given.

Nor can it be doubted, that he perfectly understood the policy of the English. He told Governor Harrison, when he declared the necessity which might arise of an alliance with them, that he knew they were always urging the Indians to war for their own advantage, and not to benefit his countrymen. "And here," we are told, [FN] "he clapped his hands, and imitated a person hallooing at a dog, to set him fighting with another, thereby insinuating that the British thus endeavored to set the Indians on the Americans." The truth is, he was too proud for a subordinate part. His confederates might do as they chose, but for himself, he would maintain the dignity of a free man, and a warrior. He abandoned his plan of visiting the President, because he could not be received as the head of the deputation. It is said, that, in the last conference at Vincennes, he found himself, at the end of a long and energetic speech, unprovided with a seat. Observing the neglect, Governor Harrison directed a chair to be placed for him, and requested him to accept it. "Your Father," said the interpreter, "requests you to take a chair." "My Father!"—replied the chief,—"The sun is my father, and the earth is my mother; I will repose upon her bosom." And he adjusted himself on the ground in the Indian manner.

[FN] Dawson's Narrative, p 159.

A qualified remark has been made upon his courage; but his uniform conduct during the war, is certainly sufficient to establish this point beyond controversy. The same may be said of the fearlessness shown in his visits to Vincennes; and especially in his exposure of himself on that occasion, though he must have perceived that he was feared, suspected, and even guarded by large bodies of troops, drawn out for that express purpose. It is very illustrative of the apparent diversity in the character of Elskwatawa and his own in this respect, that when the Delawares sent a deputation of chiefs to break up the Prophet's settlement at Tippecanoe, the latter would not deign, as Mr. Dawson expresses it, to give them an interview; but despatched his brother to them, "whose threats or persuasions were sufficient to drive back the chiefs, with strong indications of terror."

When General Proctor began to prepare for retreating from Malden, Tecumseh, having learned his intention, demanded an interview, and, in the name of all the Indians, delivered an animated speech. If the spirit, which it manifests, could have had its intended effect in inducing the General to fight before he retreated, the result must at least have been more glorious, if not more favorable to his cause.

"Father!—Listen to your children! You have them now all before you.

"The war before this, our British father gave the hatchet to his red children, when our old chiefs were alive. They are now dead. In that war our father was thrown flat on his back by the Americans, and our father took them by the hand without our knowledge. We are afraid that our father will do so again at this time.

"Summer before last, when I came forward with my red brethren, and was ready to take up the hatchet in favor of our British father, we were told not to be in a hurry—that he had not yet determined to fight the Americans.

"Listen!—When war was declared, our father stood up and gave us the tomahawk, and told us that he was then ready to strike the Americans—that he wanted our assistance—and that he would certainly get us our lands back, which the Americans had taken from us.

"Listen!—You told us, at that time, to bring forward our families to this place, and we did so. You also promised to take care of them—they should want for nothing, while the men would go and fight the enemy—that we need not trouble ourselves about the enemy's garrison—that we knew nothing about them—and that our father would attend to that part of the business. You also told your red children that you would take good care of your garrison here, which made our hearts glad.

"Listen!—When we were last at the Rapids it is true we gave you little assistance. It is hard to fight people who live like ground-hogs.

"Father, listen!—Our fleet has gone out; we know they have fought; we have heard the great guns; [FN-1] but we know nothing of what has happened to our father with one arm. [FN-2] Our ships have gone one way, and we are much astonished to see our father tying up every thing and preparing to run away the other, without letting his red children know what his intentions are. You always told us to remain here, and take care of our lands; it made our hearts glad to hear that was your wish. Our great father, the king, is the head, and you represent him. You always told us you would never draw your foot off British ground. But now, father, we see you are drawing back, and we are sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our father's conduct to a fat dog, that carries its tail upon its back, but when affrighted, it drops it between its legs and runs off."

[FN-1] Alluding to Perry's Victory.

[FN-2] Commodore Barclay.

"Father, listen!—The Americans have not yet defeated us by land—neither are we sure that they have done so by water—we therefore wish to remain here, and fight our enemy, should they make their appearance. If they defeat us, we will then retreat with our father.

"At the battle of the Rapids, last war, the Americans certainly defeated us; and when we returned to our father's fort, at that place the gates were shut against us. We were afraid that it would now be the case; but instead of that, we now see our British father preparing to march out of his garrison.

"Father!—You have got the arms and ammunition which our great father sent for his red children. If you have an idea of going away, give them to us, and you may go and welcome for us. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and if it be his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them."

This celebrated speech is probably as good a specimen as any on record, of the eloquence of Tecumseh. It was a natural eloquence, characteristic, as all natural eloquence must be, of the qualities of the man. As Charlevoix says of the Canadian savages, it was "such as the Greeks admired in the barbarians,"—strong, stern, sententious, pointed, perfectly undisguised. It abounded with figures and with graphic touches, imprinted by a single effort of memory or imagination, but answering all the purposes of detailed description, without its tediousness or its weakness. The President was "drinking his wine in his town," while Tecumseh and Harrison were fighting it out over the mountains. The Indians were hallooed upon the Americans, like a pack of starved hounds. The British nation was our great Father, and our great Father was laid flat on his back. So the policy of the United States, in extending their settlements, was a mighty water, and the scheme of common property in the tribes, was a dam to resist it. [FN]

[FN] McAfee's History, p. 17.

Tecumseh belonged to a nation "noted," as Mr. Heckewelder describes them, "for much talk," as well as for hard fighting; and he was himself never at a loss for words, though he used them with a chariness which might be imitated without disadvantage by some of our modern orators. It was only when he spoke for the explanation or vindication of that great cause to which his whole heart and mind were devoted, that he indulged himself in any thing beyond the laconic language of necessity. His appearance was always noble—his form symmetrical—his carriage erect and lofty—his motions commanding—but under the excitement of his favorite theme, he became a new being. The artifice of the politician, the diffidence of the stranger, the demure dignity of the warrior, were cast aside like a cloak. His fine countenance lighted up with a fiery and haughty pride. His frame swelled with emotion. Every posture and every gesture had its eloquent meaning. And then language, indeed,—the irrepressible outbreaking of nature,—flowed glowing from the passion-fountains of the soul.

We have drawn the portrait of this eminent chieftain hitherto, only so far as to sketch some of those strongly-marked lineaments by which he was best known to his contemporaries, and by which he will be longest remembered. But there was something more in his character than strong savage talent and savage feeling. Injured and irritated as he often was, and constantly as he kept himself excited by an interest in the fate of his countrymen, and by the agitation of his own schemes, there is no evidence either of coarseness in his manners, or of cruelty in his conduct. For reasons easily to be imagined, he regarded Governor Harrison with less partiality, than most other individual Americans; and hence, the British General is said to have stipulated early in the war, that the Governor, if taken prisoner, should be his captive. But he is understood to have always treated that gentleman with such courtesy, that we apprehend, had this casus-fædris unfortunately occurred, he would have gloried only in conveying him off the battle-field in the manner of the Black-Prince, and in setting before him, with the royal munificence of Massasoit, all the dry pease in his wigwam.

When the Governor proposed to him, on his first visit to Vincennes in 1810, that, in the event of a war, he would as far as possible put a stop to the cruelties which the Indians were accustomed to inflict upon women and children, and others no longer in a situation to resist,—he readily gave his assent to the proposition, and voluntarily pledged himself to adhere to it. There is reason to believe, that he remembered this promise; and that amidst temptations and provocations,—and, many would be inclined to add, examples, from an authority he might have been supposed to respect,—of a most extraordinary nature.

In one of the sorties from Fort Meigs, a hundred or more of the American garrison were taken prisoners, and put into Fort Miami. Here, McAfee and others relate that the British Indians garnished the surrounding rampart, and amused themselves by loading and firing at the crowd within, or at particular individuals. This proceeding is said to have continued nearly two hours, during which time twenty of the unfortunate prisoners were massacred. The chiefs were at the same time holding a council, to determine the fate of the residue. A blood-thirsty mob of cut-throat Pottawatamies were warmly in favor of despatching them all on the spot, while the Wyandots and Miamies opposed that course. The former prevailed; and had already systematically commenced the work of destruction, when Tecumseh, descrying them from the batteries, came down among them, reprimanded the ring-leaders for their dastardly barbarity in murdering defenceless captives in cold blood, and thus saved the lives of a considerable number. That all this was done by express permission of the English commander, and in presence of the English army, as is farther stated, it does not belong to us, in the pursuit of our present subject, either to assert or prove. If there be any truth in the charge, or in a tithe of those of the same character which have been brought against the same party, the sooner the veil of oblivion is dropped over them, the better.

In fine, the character of Tecumseh, in whatever light it be viewed, must be regarded as remarkable in the highest degree. That he proved himself worthy of his rank as a general officer in the army of his Britannic Majesty, or even of his reputation as a great warrior among all the Indians of the North and West, is, indeed, a small title to distinction, Bravery is a savage virtue; and the Shawanees are a brave people,—as too many of the American nation have ascertained by experience. His oratory speaks more for his genius. It was the utterance of a great mind, roused by the strongest motives of which human nature is susceptible, and developing a power and a labor of reason, which commanded the admiration of the civilized, as justly as the confidence and pride of the savage. But other orators, too, have appeared among his countrymen, as eloquent and as eminent as Tecumseh, wherever the same moving causes and occasions could give birth and scope to the same emulous effort. And the mere oratory, in all these cases, was not so much an absolute vindication, as a naked and meagre index of the mighty intellect and noble spirit within. Happily for the fame of Tecumseh, other evidences exist in his favor,—such as were felt as well as heard in his own day,—such as will live on the pages of civilized history, long after barbarous tradition has forgotten them. He will be named with Philip and Pontiac, "the agitators" of the two centuries which preceded his own. The schemes of these men were,—fortunately for the interest which they lived and labored to resist,—alike unsuccessful in their issue; but none the less credit should for that reason be allowed to their motives or their efforts. They were still statesmen, though the communities over which their influence was exerted, were composed of red men instead of white. They were still patriots, though they fought only for wild lands and for wild liberty. Indeed, it is these very circumstances that make these very efforts,—and especially the extraordinary degree of success which attended them,—the more honorable and the more signal; while they clearly show the necessity of their ultimate failure, which existed in the nature of things. They are the best prooff, at once, of genius and of principle.


Michikinaqwa, or the Little Turtle—Early History—Engages in a combination of the Indians against the United States—Blue-Jacket—The Turtle defeats two detachments of American troops—Some account of the North-Western war from 1791 to 1795—The Turtle defeated by General Wayne—He becomes unpopular after the peace—Some or the charges against him examined—Anecdotes of his intercourse with distinguished Americans—His letter to Gen. Harrison—His death in 1812—His character.

In the Life of Buckongahelas, we have alluded to the powerful influence of "one individual," as having enabled Governor Harrison, despite the exertions or that chieftain, to effect the important negotiations concluded at Fort Wayne in 1803. That individual was the Little Turtle, a personage of both talent and celebrity, second in modern times only to those of Tecumseh. Indeed, he may be considered in some respects one of the most remarkable Indians of any age; and although he has been deceased about twenty years, his grave, in the neighborhood of the station just named, is not only still shown, but still visited by Indians from various quarters, who cherish the memory of the old warrior with the deepest veneration.

The vernacular name of the Turtle was Michikinaqwa or Mechecunaqua. He was the son of a Miami chief, but his mother was a Mohegan woman; and as the Indian maxim in relation to descents is generally the same with that of the civil law in relation to slaves—that the condition of the offspring follows the condition of the mother [FN]—the Turtle had no advantage whatever from his father's rank. He however became a chief at an early age, for his extraordinary talents attracted the notice of his countrymen even in boyhood.

[FN] "Partus sequitur ventrem."

His first eminent services were those of a warrior in the ranks of his tribe. It is well known that long after the conclusion of the peace of 1783, the British retained possession of several posts within our ceded limits on the north, which were rallying-points for the Indians hostile to the American cause, and where they were supplied and subsisted to a considerable extent, while they continued to wage that war with us which their civilized ally no longer maintained. Our Government made strenuous exertions to pacify all these tribes. With some they succeeded, and among others with the powerful Creeks, headed at this time by the famous half-breed McGillivray. But the savages of the Wabash and the Miami would consent to no terms. They were not only encouraged by foreign assistance—whether national, or simply individual, we need not in this connection discuss—but they were strong in domestic combination. The Wyandots, the Pottawatamies, the Delawares, the Shawanees, the Chippewas, the Ottawas, not to mention parts of some other tribes, all acted together; and last, but by no means least, the Miamies, resident where Fort Wayne has been since erected, inspired the whole confederacy with the ardor which they themselves had but to imitate in their own fearless chieftains.

These were generally the same parties who had thirty years before been united against the whites under Pontiac; and the causes of their irritation were now mainly the same as they had been then, while both the cordiality and facility of cooperation were increased by confidence and experience derived even from former failures. These causes have been already sufficiently experienced. They arose chiefly from the frontier advances of the white population on the Indian lands—always and almost necessarily attended with provocations never discovered, and of consequence never atoned for, by the proper authorities. National claims were also brought forward, which, so far as founded on the representations of persons interested, were likely enough to be abuses. In fact, here was an exact precedent for the combination of Tippecanoe. The Turtle was politically the first follower of Pontiac, and the latest model of Tecumseh.

The Turtle, we say, but the zealous assistance he received from other chieftains of various tribes, ought not to be overlooked. Buckongahelas commanded the Delawares. Blue-Jacket was at this time the leading man of the Shawanees—a warrior of high reputation, though unfortunately but few particulars of his history have been recorded. The Mississagas, a Canadian tribe on the river Credit, some remnant of which still exists, contributed not a little to the power of the confederacy in the talents of a brave chief, whose very name is not preserved, though his movements among the more northern Indians were felt on the banks of the St. Lawrence, as far down as Montreal itself. [FN]

[FN] A respectable Montreal publication, of 1791, notices one of this person's visits to the tribes in the vicinity of that town;—describing him as "forty-five years old, six feet in height, of a sour and morose aspect, and apparently very crafty and subtle."

On the 13th of September, 1791,—all attempts to conciliate the hostile tribes who were now ravaging the frontiers, having been abandoned,—General Harmer, under the direction of the Federal government, marched against them from Fort Washington (the present site of Cincinnati) with three hundred and twenty regulars, who were soon after joined by a body of militia, making the whole force about fifteen hundred men. Colonel Hardin, at the head of six hundred Kentucky troops, was detached in advance to reconnoiter. As he approached the enemy's villages, they fled. The villages were destroyed, and a light force again detached in the pursuit. These men were met by a small Indian party, led on by the Turtle, who attacked them furiously, and fought them with such effect that of thirty regulars twenty-three were killed, while all the militia of the detachment sought safety in flight.

Notwithstanding this check, the enemy's only remaining town in the section of the country near the battle-ground was laid waste, and their provisions destroyed. General Harmer then returned to Fort Washington, unpursued, but disgraced and deeply chagrined. Under these circumstances he resolved to hazard another action. He halted eight miles from Chilicothe, and late at night detached Colonel Hardin with orders to find the Indians, and fight them. Hardin succeeded in his search about daylight The savages fought with desperation, for they were maddened by the sight of their flaming villages and their uncovered dead, and the war-cry of the Turtle again urged them to the onset. Some of the Americans fled, but a greater number, including fifty regulars and one hundred militia, with several officers of note, fell upon the field of battle, bravely discharging a fruitless and fatal duty. General Harmer claimed the victory,—-with how much propriety may appear from these facts. The Turtle however suffered so severely in the engagement, that he permitted him to march home unmolested.

Harmer's disasters were followed by the most deplorable consequences, for the savages renewed their devastations to such a degree that the situation of the frontiers became truly alarming. Congress directed the organization of a strong military force, and meanwhile two volunteer expeditions from Kentucky, under Generals Wilkinson and Scott were fitted out against the enemy. Considerable damage was done to them on the Miami and Wabash, though without much loss of life on either side.

The campaign of the Federal troops,—mustering about two thousand, besides garrisons in two or three newly erected forts,—commenced late in the summer of 1791. Desertion reduced the number to fourteen hundred, before the commander, General St. Clair, had advanced far into the hostile territory. Continuing his march, however, on the third of November he encamped on a piece of commanding ground, within fifteen miles of the Miami villages. An interval of only seventy paces was left between the two wings of his army. The right was in some degree protected by a creek, and a steep bank; the left, by cavalry and picquets. The militia, about three hundred fresh Kentuckian recruits, were permitted to cross the creek, and draw up in two lines on the first rising ground beyond it, at the distance of a quarter of a mile from the main body, from which they were separated also by a rich sugar-tree "bottom."

The enemy had apparently anticipated a movement of this kind. The chieftains had collected a force of from one thousand to fifteen hundred men, upon the Miami territories; and for several days previous to the halt, numbers of them had been hovering round and evidently watching the movements of the troops. During the night of the 3d, shots were occasionally exchanged between them and the American sentries, and small parties were sent out in different directions to prevent their too near approach.

Meanwhile the Indians were holding a grand council of war. The plan of attack was agreed upon, and the order and rank of the various tribes settled with a precision as punctilious as that of the ancient Greeks. The Wyandots stretched to the west; the Delawares were stationed next to them; the Senecas third, and so on. The Turtle, acting as commander-in-chief, superintended and stimulated the whole, but headed no particular detachment; the arm of the warrior was to do much, but the eye and voice of the chieftain, much more. Nothing happened during the night to alarm the Americans, and indeed the noise and stir of the outskirts in the early part of the evening gradually subsided. All at length was silent, and it might well be supposed, as it probably was, that the enemy had taken advantage of the darkness of the night to make good a precipitate retreat, or that their whole force as yet consisted only of a few scouting and scalping parties. But the mistake was of short duration. The militia were violently attacked between dawn and sunrise of the fourth, by a powerful body of the Indians, who, with a terrific yell, poured in a volume of musketry along the entire length of the two lines. Never was surprise more complete. The ranks of the militia were thrown into confusion at once; and although the battle was hotly contested for three hours at least, no efforts of the officers, or of the regular troops of the main body, proved sufficient to recover the lost ground. The former, indeed, were picked off by the enemy's sharp-shooters so rapidly, that very little could be expected from the aggregate of their exertions.

Besides, the savages generally fought under shelter of the woods. "The Indians were very numerous," we are informed by one who was present, "but we found it out more from their incessant heavy fire, than from what we could otherwise discover of them. They fought under cover, though they would frequently advance very close under the smoke of the cannon; and as soon as it began to clear away, the fire became very fatal." [FN] Emboldened, however, by success, they sometimes charged the Americans tomahawk in hand, drove them back on their lines, kept possession of their tents for some minutes, and though repulsed, continually returned to the contest with redoubled fury.

[FN] New-York and other news-papers of December, 1791.

The Americans were at length compelled to retreat; and this retreat,—as St. Clair himself confessed, in his despatches, "was a precipitate one, in fact a flight." The camp and artillery were abandoned. Most of the militia threw away their arms and accoutrements. All were closely pursued by the savages from half-past nine, when the route commenced, until after sunset, when they gained Fort Jefferson, at a distance of twenty-nine miles. Thirty-eight officers, and five hundred and ninety-three men, were slain or missing; and twenty-one officers and two hundred and forty-two men wounded, many of whom died afterwards; so that no fewer than eight hundred and ninety-four were lost or disabled, out of an army of fourteen hundred. General Butler, second in command, was among the slain.

General St. Clair says he was overpowered by numbers; but as no English historian makes the enemy more numerous than the Americans, some credit should be given to them upon other grounds than the pretext of numerical superiority. Indeed, their attack was conducted with astonishing intrepidity. After a single volley of fire-arms they fought every inch of the field, hand to hand. There is no other instance in the history of the continent, of a slaughter to be compared to this, with the exception of the memorable defeat of Braddock. "Nearly in the space of three hundred and fifty yards,"—said General Scott, who visited the battle-field soon after,—"lay five hundred skull-bones, three hundred of which were buried by my men. From thence five miles on, the woods were strewed with skeletons, muskets," &c. [FN-1] The loss of the Turtle's army was never ascertained upon indisputable authority, but no account makes it at all proportionable to that of St. Clair. The Mississaga chief, mentioned above, who visited Montreal a few months after the action, rated the American loss at several hundreds more than the official bulletin just cited, and that of the Indians at only nine; [FN-2] but some allowance ought probably to be made for extenuation in the latter case, as for exaggeration in the former. An American officer, who encountered a party of thirty Indians near the battle-ground, a day or two after the defeat, (and was detained by them till they were made to believe him a friend to their cause, from Canada,) was informed that the number of killed was fifty-six. These savages were returning home with their share of the plunder. One of them had a hundred and twenty-seven American scalps, strung on a pole, and the rest were laden with various other articles, of different values. They had also three pack-horses, carrying as many kegs of wine and spirits as could be piled on their backs. According to their statement, there were twelve hundred Indians in the battle, the larger proportion of whom were Miamies. [FN-3]

[FN-1] Metcalf's Indian Wars.

[FN-2] Montreal papers.

[FN-3] New-York papers. Most of the statements in the text are corroborated by all the standard histories of the war.

We have alluded to the expedition of General Scott, who made a most successful incursion against the savages a few weeks subsequent to the action of the 4th. A considerable body of them were found by his scouts on the field, still reveling among the spoils of the camp, and diverting themselves in high glee. Scott attacked them abruptly with three detachments, in as many directions, at the same moment. They were completely surprised and routed. At least two hundred were killed on the spot; the remainder fled, and Scott's force returned triumphantly to head-quarters, carrying home seven pieces of St. Clair's cannon.

The effect of this defeat upon the Turtle's mind and upon those of his countrymen generally, was abundantly sufficient to exasperate, without having the slightest tendency either to intimidate or discourage.

"A few days ago,"—says, in the summer of 1792, a letter-writer from Fort Knox, cited in the principal journals of the day,—"several chiefs came in from Opee, a place high upon the Illinois river, and in their speech to Major Hamtranck told him they were frequently invited and threatened by the Miamies, to induce them to go to war with us, that we must keep good heart, for we shall have a great many more to fight this year than last; and that they wished us success, and hoped we should give them a hearty drubbing." Something is suggested about British instigation, and the writer concludes thus. "Indeed every intelligence we have received from the Miami villages, corroborates this, so far as to convince us that there will be twice as many Indians in the field this year as there were last,—so that I think a few of us will be apt to lose our hair."

It will be observed that the Miamies are here regarded as the leading tribe in the hostile combination. So undoubtedly they were, and that alone sufficiently indicates the influence exercised by the Turtle. Hence it was, in no small degree, that the predictions of the Indians at Fort Knox, were but too accurately and speedily fulfilled. During 1792, the depredations of the savages became more furious and ferocious than ever before; and some of the most tragical scenes recorded in history took place on the long line of the frontiers. We shall detail a single well-authenticated instance, to illustrate the exposure of the citizens in what was then perhaps the most populous section of the West.

A dwelling-house in Kentucky was attacked by a party of Indians. The proprietor, Mr. Merrill, was alarmed by the barking of his dog. On going to the door he received the fire of the assailants, which broke his right leg and arm. They attempted to enter the house, but were anticipated in their movement by Mrs. Merrill and her daughter, who closed the door in so effectual a manner as to keep them at bay. They next began to hew a passage through the door, and one of the warriors attempted to enter through the aperture; but the resolute mother seizing an axe, gave him a fatal blow upon the head, and then with the assistance of her daughter, drew his body in. His companions without, not apprized of his fate, but supposing him successful, followed through the same aperture, and four of the number were thus killed before their mistake was discovered. They now retired a few moments, but soon returned, and renewed their exertions to force the house. Despairing of entering by the door, they climbed upon the roof, and made an effort to descend by the chimney. Mr. Merrill directed his little son to empty the contents of a large feather-bed upon the fire, which soon caused so dense and pungent a smoke, as nearly to suffocate those who had made this desperate attempt, and two of them fell into the fire-place. The moment was critical; the mother and daughter could not quit their stations at the door; and the husband, though groaning with his broken leg and arm, rousing every exertion, seized a billet of wood, and with repeated blows despatched the two half-smothered Indians. In the meantime the mother had repelled a fresh assault upon the door, and severely wounded one of the Indians, who attempted simultaneously to enter there, while the others descended the chimney. [FN]

[FN] Metcalf's Indian Wars.

We find no particular evidence that the Turtle was concerned in any of these petty forays, which indeed were certainly attended with no honor, while they inflicted more damage and alarm than any other events of this memorable war. He however commanded a body of Indians who, in November, 1792, made a violent attack on a detachment of Kentucky volunteers, headed by Major Adair, (since Governor) under the walls of Fort St. Clair. The contest was severe and sanguinary. The savages were at length repulsed—with considerable loss, according to some accounts—but Marshall, who is sufficiently careful of the honor of his countrymen, allows that the Major, after a gallant resistance, was compelled to retreat to the fort, (about half a mile) with the loss of six men killed, and the camp-equipage and one hundred and forty pack-horses taken. The Indians lost but two men. The Turtle was also in the action of Fort Recovery, which took place in June, 1794, and in which a large detachment of American troops, under Major McMahon, was defeated.

Repeated efforts were made by the American Government, during these three years, for the conclusion of a treaty of peace. Several of the Senecas, and other New-York Indians were employed as mediators to this end. To some extent they succeeded, or at least were thought to have done so,—it being announced, late in the fall of 1792, that the Miamies had consented to a truce till the next spring; but at the end of that term, if not before, hostilities were renewed with as much vigor as ever. Only a few months previous, three Americans, sent to the enemy with flags and proposals of peace, were murdered in cold blood,—an act for which some palliating provocations were alleged by those who committed it, but which never was deliberately justified by their leaders. [FN]

[FN] "When the news was carried to the town (a Shawanese village) that a white man with a peace-talk had been killed at the camp, it excited a great ferment, and the murderers were much censured," &c.—Marshall's Kentucky. The brave Colonel Hardin, of Kentucky, was one of the messengers.

But the successes of the enemy were drawing to a close. General Wayne had been appointed to the command of the American army, than whom perhaps no man in the country was better qualified to meet the emergencies of an Indian warfare in the woods. The Indians were themselves, indeed, sensible of this fact, and the mere intelligence of his approach probably had its effect on their spirits. They universally called him the Black Snake, from the superior cunning which they ascribed to him; and even allowed him the credit of being a fair match for Buckongahelas, Blue-Jacket, or the Turtle himself.

Wayne prosecuted the decisive campaign of 1794 with a spirit which justified the estimate of his enemy, although, owing to the difficulties of transporting stores and provisions through a wilderness which at that time could not be traversed by wagons, he was unable to commence operations until near midsummer. He had already, in the fall of the previous season, erected Fort Recovery on the site of St. Clair's defeat; and early in August, he raised a fortification at the confluence of the Au-Glaize and Miami, which he named Fort Defiance. His whole force was now nearly two thousand regulars, exclusive of eleven hundred mounted Kentucky militia under General Scott, [FN] Here he had expected to surprise the neighboring villages of the enemy; and the more effectually to ensure the success of his coup-de-main, he had not only advanced thus far by an obscure and very difficult route, but taken pains to clear out two roads from Greenville in that direction, in order to attract and divert the attention of the Indians, while he marched by neither. But his generalship proved of no avail. The Turtle and his comrades kept too vigilant an eye on the foe they were now awaiting, to be easily surprised, even had not their movements been quickened, as they were, by the information of an American deserter.

[FN] There were some friendly Indians, mostly from southern tribes, who fought under Wayne and Scott during the season of 1794; and among the rest about sixty Choctaws, commanded by a brave chief commonly called General Hummingbird, who more recently distinguished himself in the last war against the Creeks, (as the allies of the British.) He died December 23d, 1828, aged seventy-five, at his residence near the Choctaw agency, where he was buried with the honors of war.

On the 12th of the month, the General learned from some of the Indians taken prisoners, that their main body occupied a camp near the British garrison, at the rapids of the Miami. But he now resolved, before approaching them much nearer, to try the effect of one more proposal of peace. He had in his army a man named Miller, who had long been a captive with some of the tribes, and he selected him for the hazardous enterprize.

Miller did not like the scheme. It was his opinion, from what he had observed, that the Indians were unalterably determined on war, and that they would not respect a flag, but probably kill him: in short, he declined being the ambassador. General Wayne, however, could think of no other as well qualified; and being anxious to make the experiment, he assured Miller that he would hold the eight prisoners then in his custody, as pledges for his safety, and that he might take with him any escort he desired. Thus encouraged, the soldier consented to go with the message; and to attend him, he selected from the prisoners, one of the men, and a squaw. With these he left camp at 4 o'clock, P. M. on the 13th; and next morning at daybreak, reached the tents of the hostile chiefs, which were near together, and known by his attendants, without being discovered. He immediately displayed his flag, and proclaimed himself "a messenger." Instantly he was assailed on all sides, with a hideous yell, and a call, to "Kill the runner! Kill the spy!" But he, accosting them in their own language, and forthwith explaining to them his real character, they suspended the blow, and took him into custody. He shewed and explained the General's letter; not omitting the positive assurance, that if they did not send the bearer back to him by the 16th of the month, he would, at sunset of that day, cause every soldier in his camp to be put to death. Miller was closely confined, and a council called by the chiefs. On the 15th, he was liberated, and furnished with an answer to General Wayne, stating, "that if he waited where he was ten days, and then sent Miller for them, they would treat with him; but that if he advanced, they would give him battle." The General's impatience had prevented his waiting the return of his minister. On the 16th, Miller came up with the army on its march, and delivered the answer; to which he added, that "from the manner in which the Indians were dressed and painted, and the constant arrival of parties, it was his opinion, they had determined on war, and only wanted time to muster their whole force." [FN]

[FN] Marshall.

This intelligence of course did not serve to check the eagerness of the General, and he rapidly continued his march down the Miami. On the 18th he reached the rapids. On the 19th he halted to reconnoiter, within a few miles of the enemy's camp, and threw up a temporary work which he called Fort Deposite. Early, in the morning of the 20th he resumed his march in that direction, and about 10 o'clock his spies, a mile in advance, were fired on. The army was halted, and put in order of battle, and then moved forward in three columns. Wayne's legion, occupying the right, had its flank upon the river; one brigade of mounted volunteers, under General Todd, occupied the left; and the other, under General Barbee, the rear. Major Price, with a select battalion, moved in front, to "feel" the enemy, and to give the troops timely notice to form. After penetrating about five miles, he received a tremendous fire from an ambuscade, and fell back upon the main force.

The Indians were advantageously posted in the forest of Presque Isle; having their left secured by the rocky bank of the river, and their front by a kind of breast-work of fallen trees, which rendered it impracticable for cavalry to advance. They were formed in three lines, within supporting distance, and extending nearly two miles into the woods.

Wayne's legion immediately advanced in two columns, with trailed arms, expecting to rouse the enemy from the covert with the bayonet; and when up, to deliver a close fire upon their backs, and press them so hard as not to give them time to reload. He soon saw, from the weight of their fire, and the extent of their lines, that the Indians were in full force, in possession of their favorite ground, and endeavoring to turn his left flank. He instantly ordered General Scott, with his whole force, to make a considerable circuit, with a view to outflank them; but the legionary infantry executed their orders with such promptitude, that only a part of the second column, and of the mounted volunteers, could be brought up to participate in the action. The Indians flying from their concealment, only confused each other by their numbers; and they were driven more than two miles through thick woods, in the course of an hour, until the pursuit terminated under the guns of Fort Maumee. [FN] Great slaughter was made by the legionary cavalry in the pursuit, so many of the savages being cut down with the sabre, that the title of Long-Knives, long before given to the Americans, is said to have come again into general use at this period. General Wayne stated his loss at one hundred and thirty-three killed and wounded. That of the Indians was never ascertained, but was supposed to be much greater.

[FN] Marshall. And see Appendix II.

As many as seven tribes were engaged in this action—the Miamies, the Pottawatamies, Delawares, Shawanees, Chippewas, Ottawas, and some Senecas. During the night preceding the battle, the chiefs of the different nations had assembled in council, and it was proposed by some, to go up and attack General Wayne in his encampment. The proposition was opposed, and the council did not determine to attack him that night; but all acceded to another suggestion, to wait until the next day, and fight the General at Presque Isle. The Turtle alone disapproved of this plan, while Blue-Jacket was warmly in favor of it. The former disliked the idea of fighting Wayne under present circumstances, and was even inclined to make peace. "We have beaten the enemy," said he at the council, "twice, under separate commanders. We cannot expect the same good fortune always to attend us. The Americans are now led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and the day are alike to him; and during all the time that he has been marching upon our villages, notwithstanding the watchfulness of our young men, we have never been able to surprise him. Think well of it. There is something whispers me, it would be prudent to listen to his offers of peace." On this, he was reproached by one of the chiefs with cowardice, and that ended the conference. Stung to the quick by a reproach which he was conscious he never merited, he would have laid the reviler dead at his feet; but his was not the bravery of an assassin. He took his post in the action, determined to do his duty; and the event proved that he had formed no very erroneous estimate of the character of General Wayne. [FN]

[FN] Schoolcraft.

The treaty of Greenville, consequent upon the successful termination of this campaign, or what is frequently denominated Wayne's War, was concluded on the third of August, A. D. 1795. This treaty, the basis of most of our subsequent treaties with the northwestern Indians, was attended by twelve tribes; some of whom, it is believed, had never before entered into treaty with the United States. They ceded an extensive tract of country, south of the lakes, and west of the Ohio; together with certain specific tracts, including the sites of all the northwestern posts, as an indemnification for the expenses of the war. The stipulations of the treaty of Greenville continued unbroken till the battle of Tippecanoe, a period of sixteen years.

Dawson, in his memoirs of General Harrison, (who was educated in General Wayne's family,) has given some interesting reminiscences respecting the conclusion of this peace. He states, that the Turtle took a decided part against the giving up of the large tract of country which General Wayne required on the part of the United States. This circumstance, however, was not unfavorable to the attainment of the object, as it was evident there was a violent jealousy of the Turtle, among most of the Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawatamies, so that they invariably opposed every thing which he advocated. And as they and their friends constituted the majority of the council, the Turtle was always in the minority. The superiority of his mind was conspicuous not only in their company, but in his measures and deportment in the society of white people. The other chiefs were all invited, in their turns, to the General's table, and on these occasions showed themselves still savages, though many of them appeared much at their ease, and disposed of the good things of the General's table with evident satisfaction. The drinking, however, was the most popular part of the entertainment, and indeed, the White Pigeon, a Pottawatamie chief; could not refrain from expressing his gratitude to the Great Spirit for this, as he conceived, the best gift to man. Upon being asked for a toast by General Wayne, he rose and said, "I will give you the Great Spirit, and I am much obliged to him for putting so much sense into that man's head who first made rum."

After the peace was concluded, the Turtle settled upon Eel-River, about twenty miles from Fort Wayne, where the Americans erected for him a comfortable house. He frequently visited the seat of Government both at Philadelphia and Washington. His taste for civilized life being observed, the Indian agents were desired by the Government to furnish him with every reasonable accommodation for his decent subsistence,—supposing that the example might prove beneficial in their exertions to civilize the other Indians.

These indulgences, however, entirely destroyed—for a time, at least—the Turtle's influence among the savages; for some envied his good fortune, and others suspected his honesty. Being perfectly sensible of this, and not a little chagrined by it, we may fairly presume that he made various attempts to recover his popularity. This was probably the secret of his opposition to the interest of the United States on more occasions than one where it was not altogether indispensable. But we certainly need not deny him on that account the credit of real patriotism which he manifested at all times. The truth is, that in some indifferent cases, when he might have yielded to the demands of the American authorities without disgrace, he opposed them chiefly for the sake of retaining or regaining his influence with his countrymen.

Under these circumstances, however, he was of course liable to accusations which he did not deserve,—by the Indians, of being bribed by the Government, and by the Americans, of thwarting their purposes from a puerile regard to the whims rather than the interest of the Indians. As an instance of the latter, we may refer to the Indian Councils of 1802 and 1803, at Vincennes and at Fort Wayne, the result of which was the conveyance of an immense territory to the United States from the Pottawatamies, Piankishaws, Weas, Eel-River Miamies, and some other tribes or parts of tribes.

Mr. Dawson states that the former of these councils had been recommended by the Turtle, but that when the time came, he refused to attend,—-alleging as his reason, that "the jealousy with which the chiefs viewed the footing he stood upon with the United States, would make his presence rather more injurious than serviceable." Now, this would seem to be a sufficient explanation; and yet the historian does not hesitate to say, that the Turtle had just before been visited, bribed and gained over by the British-Indian agent, McKee. This is asserted without qualification, although the same paragraph shows that the testimony in the case was nothing more than the "opinion" of a "Mr. Wells." It is added that, "however that might be"—implying a doubt after all—the Turtle certainly used his influence to prevent the other chiefs from attending the Council. This might be true, but it proves at best, only that he made some farther exertion to clear himself of that suspicion among the Indians which he gave as his reason for not attending the council, and at the same time to obviate the necessity itself of attending.

The result proves the correctness of his judgment. Those who did attend were at first extremely opposed to Governor Harrison's propositions; but after considerable discussion they determined to refer the whole matter—and it was one of no small moment to the Indian interest—to four chiefs of the various tribes represented, or a majority of them, "to finally settle and adjust a treaty" with the Agents of the Government. At the head of the commission was the Turtle himself; and his nephew, Richardville, a member of the same tribe, was another.

Had any other course been taken than this, for which the Turtle is accused of corruption, it is probable that the treaty would never have been authorized, notwithstanding the tribes were deliberately convinced of its policy,—for the presence of the Turtle would have been an argument to counterbalance all others. The historian does the Chieftain better justice in the sequel. A meeting of the Commissioners with the Governor having been appointed for the spring of 1803, to be held at Fort Wayne, the latter, on arriving there, was astonished to find that all who had agreed to attend, were still absent, while the Turtle, who had only been authorized to act in the premises, was on the spot, together with the Pottawatomie Chiefs. It seems they had by this time grown jealous again; audit comes out in evidence, that the Owl, or Long-Beard, had been busily employed in dissuading the Indians from meeting him, and that his representations had been effectual in many cases. The Owl, despite big name, was as subtle as he was wicked, and he found means to detach the Miami nation almost entirely from the interests of the Turtle and Richardville, who were the real chiefs of the tribe. This he effected by asserting that the former had sold to the United States the whole country, and that it would be claimed as it might be wanted. He earnestly advised them not to accept any annuities in future, assuring them that the United States would at a future day claim a large tract of land for every annuity which they might pay to the Indians.

We have before mentioned that when Buckongahelas and other chiefs finally attended at Fort Wayne, and opposed the treaty, it was effected, according to the historian's statement, principally by the influence of the Turtle. It appears to have been on the whole a measure mutually beneficial to the two contracting parties; but the Turtle no doubt thought that an agreement once made should be ratified at all events, whatever the effect might be on his own popularity.

There is probably more justice in the charge brought against him in regard to the treaty concluded with the Piankashaws and Delawares, in 1804,—though perhaps not in the sense intended by the accuser. The Miamies were not consulted in this instance, it appears, nor were the Pottawatamies. They believed themselves entitled to a voice in the matter, and were therefore dissatisfied, and openly expressed their displeasure at the result. It is alleged, however, that "no claim would have been set up by them, had the Turtle been consulted when the treaty was made."

This may be true,—for, setting aside courtesy, he and his countrymen might at least have been prepossessed in favor of the honesty of the transaction, by an appearance of entire frankness on the part of the whites. Not that the treaty was in fact unprincipled; but the manner of concluding it might well appear to the Indians somewhat exclusive. They claimed an interest in the lands conveyed, and a consequent right to be consulted as parties; and they wished that, even if the case admitted of no argument, they might be allowed to hear what was said, and to see what was done. Their anxiety was certainly the more pardonable, inasmuch as the tract thus conveyed included "all that fine country between the Ohio and the Wabash rivers (as high up as the road leading from Vincennes to Louisville,) with a front of three hundred miles on the one and nearly half as much on the other." It further appears, that at a general council of the tribes at Vincennes, in 1805, a treaty was negotiated, which "settled the dispute respecting the purchase made of the Delawares the year before,"—the Miamies and the other claimants being present. There was really a dispute, then—and it was settled—and that formally, by all the parties concerned. It should have been prevented, we conceive, instead of being settled; and in that case, the Turtle might have been spared the charge of "manœuvring" and "intriguing" with the British Agents.

He opposed the designs of Tecumseh and the Prophet, from the time of their first appearance on the political stage, and it was owing to his influence that very little was effected by them among the Miamies, as well as other tribes, for a longtime. Had he lived through the war with England, he would undoubtedly have exerted himself more energetically for the American interest than ever before. The following communication indicates the part he was prepared to take, subsequent to the battle of Tippecanoe. The "witness" probably acted as amanuensis:—

Fort Wayne, 25th January, 1812.

"Governor Harrison:

"My friend—I have been requested by my nation to speak to you, and I obey their request with pleasure, because I believe their situation requires all the aid I can afford them.

"When your speech by Mr. Dubois was received by the Miamies, they answered it, and I made known to you their opinion at that time.

"Your letter to William Wells of the 23d November last, has been explained to the Miamies and Eel-River tribes of Indians.

"My friend—Although neither of these tribes have had any thing to do with the late unfortunate affair which happened on the Wabash, still they all rejoice to hear you say, that if those foolish Indians which were engaged in that action, would return to their several homeland remain quiet, that they would be pardoned, and again received by the President as his children. We believe there is none of them that will be so foolish, as not to accept of this friendly offer; whilst, at the same time, I assure you, that nothing shall be wanting on my part, to prevail on them to accept it.

"All the prophet's followers have left him, (with the exception of two camps of his own tribe.) Tecumseh has just joined him with eight men only. No danger can be apprehended from them at present. Our eyes will be constantly kept on them, and should they attempt to gather strength again, we will do all in our power to prevent it, and at the same time give you immediate information of their intentions.

"We are sorry that the peace and friendship which has so long existed between the red and white people, could not be preserved, without the loss of so many good men as fell on both sides in the late action on the Wabash; but we are satisfied that it will be the means of making that peace which ought to exist between us, more respected, both by the red and the white people.

"We have been lately told, by different Indians from that quarter, that you wished the Indians from this country to visit you: this they will do with pleasure when you give them information of it in writing.

"My friend!—The clouds appear to be rising in a different quarter, which threatens to turn our light into darkness. To prevent this, it may require the united efforts of us all. We hope that none of us will be found to shrink from the storm that threatens to burst upon our nations.

"Your friend, X Mischecanocquah or LITTLE TURTLE.

"For the Miami and Eel-River tribes of Indians.

"Witness, Wm. Turner, Surgeons Mate, U. S. Army. I certify that the above is a true translation.


But the Turtle was destined to take no part in the Conflict. He died at Fort Wayne—probably on a visit to the Commandant—July 14, 1812, of a disorder which the army surgeon announced to be the gout. He endured the pains of his disease, it is stated, with great firmness, and came to his death, on the turf of his open camp, with the characteristic composure of his race. His friend, the Commandant, buried him with the honors of war.

He was said to be sixty-five years of age, by those who had the opportunity of learning the fact from himself. That account would make him forty-five,—the same age with the Mississaga chieftain,—at the date of his great victory over St. Clair; and about thirty at the breaking out of the American Revolution, during which he no doubt laid the foundation of his fame. The Miamies are understood to have given as much trouble during that period as any other tribe on the continent ever did in as few years.

Mr. Schoolcraft, who speaks of the Turtle in very handsome terms, gives him the credit of doing at least as much as any other individual on the continent "to abolish the rites of human sacrifice." The existence, certainly the prevalence, of the custom apparently referred to here, is not, we apprehend, perfectly well authenticated; but that circumstance itself may perhaps be attributed to the successful efforts made in modern times to put an end to the practice. If the language we have quoted is intended to include generally all wanton destruction of life—such as torture of prisoners, for example—there can be little doubt of the justice of the praise, for the Turtle uniformly enjoyed the reputation of being as humane as he was brave.

Nor was this the only case in which he acted the part of a reformer, so much needed among his countrymen. He was the first man to originate an efficient system of measures for the suppression of intemperance among them. And never was a similar system so loudly called for the condition of any people. Their appetite for ardent spirits is stronger than that of the whites—owing in a great measure to their manner of living, and especially to their diet. They have also fewer and feebler inducements to counteract the propensity; and by public opinion and fashion—as expressed in common practice, and in the declarations of the leading men—they are confirmed in the evil quite as much as our citizens are restrained by similar causes. But worse than all, their ignorance, their indolence, and their poverty have made them the prey of legions of civilized scoundrels,—particularly traders in peltry,—who have supposed themselves interested in making them as sordid and stupid as possible, to induce them to hunt in the first instance, and to rob them of their furs in the second.

The Turtle was no less mortified than incensed by these abuses. He saw his countrymen destroyed and destroying each other every day in peace—and no tribe was more besotted than the Eel-River Miamies—and he saw hundreds, of them in war, at one time, surprised and massacred in their cups without resistance, on the very ground still red and wet with his victories. Possibly chagrin was as strong a motive with him as philanthropy. But however that might be, he devoted himself with his usual energy to the correction of the evil. In 1802 or 1803, he went before the legislature of Kentucky, attended by his friend and interpreter, Captain Wells, and made his appeal to them in person. A committee was raised to consider the subject, and we believe a law passed to prevent the sale of whiskey to the Indians, as he desired. He also visited the Legislature of Ohio, and made a highly animated address, but in that case obtained nothing but the honor for his pains. His description of the traders was drawn to the life. "They stripped the poor Indians," he said, "of skins, gun, blanket, every thing,—while his squaw and the children dependent on him lay starving and shivering in his wigwam." [FN]

[FN] Mss. Documents.

From the following passage in the European (London) Magazine of April, 1802, compiled from American papers, we ascertain that the Turtle was also the first to introduce the practice of inoculation for the small pox among the Indians,—a scourge second only to the one just mentioned. "Last winter," we are told, "there was a grand embassy of Indians to the President and Congress at Washington. Little Turtle was the head-warrior. The President had supplied them with ploughs, spinning-wheels, &c. and to crown all he explained to them how the Great Spirit had made a donation to the white men—first to one in England, (Dr. Jenner) and then to one in America, (Dr. Waterhouse, of Boston, [FN])—of a means of preventing the small pox. Such a confidence had the copper-colored king in the words of his 'Father,' that he submitted to be inoculated, together with the rest of the warriors." It further appears that he took a quantity of vaccine matter home with him, which he probably administered in person; and that not long afterwards, fifteen more of his tribe visited the seat of government in pursuit of the same remedy.

[FN] Now of Cambridge.

We shall conclude our notice of this eminent chieftain, with a few anecdotes preserved by Mr. Dawson.

What distinguished him most, says that writer, was his ardent desire to be informed of all that relates to our institutions; and he seemed to possess a mind capable of understanding and valuing the advantages of civilized life, in a degree far superior to any other Indian of his time. "During the frequent visits which he made to the seat of government, he examined every thing he saw with an inquisitive eye, and never failed to embrace every opportunity to acquire information by inquiring of those with whom he could take that liberty."

Upon his return from Philadelphia, in 1797, he visited Governor Harrison, at that time a captain in the army, and commander at Fort Washington. He told the Captain he had seen many things, which he wished to have explained, but said he was afraid of giving offence by asking too many questions. "My friend here," said he, meaning Captain Wells, the interpreter, "being about as ignorant as myself, could give me but little satisfaction." He then desired the Captain to inform him how our government was formed, and what particular powers and duties were exercised by the two houses of Congress, by the President, the Secretaries, &c. Being satisfied on this subject, he told the Captain he had become acquainted with a great warrior while in Philadelphia, in whose fate he was much interested, and whose history he wished to learn. This was no other than the immortal Kosciusko; he had arrived at Philadelphia a short time before, and hearing that a celebrated Indian chief was in the city, he sent for him. They were mutually pleased with each other, and the Turtle's visits were often repeated. When he went to take his final leave of the wounded patriot, the latter presented the Turtle with an elegant pair of pistols, and a splendid robe made of the sea-otter's skin, worth several hundred dollars.

The Turtle now told his host that he wished very much to know in what wars his friend had received those grievous wounds which had rendered him so crippled and infirm. The Captain shewed him upon a map of Europe the situation of Poland, and explained to him the usurpations of its territory by the neighboring powers—the exertions of Kosciusko to free his country from this foreign yoke—his first victories—and his final defeat and captivity. While he was describing the last unsuccessful battle of Kosciusko, the Turtle seemed scarcely able to contain himself. At the conclusion he traversed the room with great agitation, violently flourished the pipe tomahawk with which he had been smoking, and exclaimed, "Let that woman take care of herself"—meaning the Empress Catharine—"this may yet be a dangerous man!"

The Captain explained to the Turtle some anecdotes respecting the Empress and her favorites, one of whom,—the king of Poland,—had at first been by her elevated to the throne, and afterwards driven from it. He was much astonished to find that men, and particularly warriors, would submit to a woman. He said that perhaps if his friend Kosciusko had been a portly, handsome man, he might have better succeeded with her majesty of all the Russias, and might by means of a love-intrigue have obtained that independence for his country, to which his skill and valor in the field had been found unequal.

The Turtle was fond of joking, and was possessed of considerable talent for repartee. In the year 1797, he lodged in a house in Philadelphia, in which was an Irish gentleman of considerable wit, who became much attached to the Indian, and frequently amused himself in drawing out his wit by good-humored jests. The Turtle and this gentlemen were at that time both sitting for their portraits—the former by order of the President of the United States, the picture to be hung up in the war-office—to the celebrated Stewart. The two meeting one morning in the painter's room, the Turtle appeared to be rather more thoughtful than usual. The Irishman rallied him upon it, and affected to construe it into an acknowledgment of his superiority in the jocular contest. "He mistakes," said the Turtle to the interpreter, "I Was just thinking of proposing to this man, to paint us both on one board, and here I would stand face to face with him, and confound him to all eternity."


The Seneca Chief, Red-Jacket—Circumstances under which he succeeded Corn-Planter in his influence—Anecdotes of the latter—Red-Jacket's earliest oratorical triumph—His speech at the Treaty of Canandaigua—Account of Farmer's-Brother, and Brandt—Red-Jacket's political and religious principles—Speech to Mr. Alexander, in 1811—Speech to Mr. Richardson—Remarks on the causes of his heathenism in the conduct of the whites—His military career—Speech in favor of declaring war against the British, in 1812—Seneca Manifesto—Red-Jacket's interview with Washington—His interview with Lafayette—His Memorial to the New-York Legislature—Speech to a Missionary in 1825—His deposition and restoration in 1827—Visits to the Atlantic cities—Death and funeral obsequies—Anecdotes.

The Indian orator of modern times, par excellence, was the New-York Chief, Saguoaha, or the Keeper-Awake, but by the whites commonly called Red-Jacket;—a man who, with whatever propriety he might be entitled "the Last of the Senecas," has at least transiently renewed, in these latter days, the ancient glory of the Mingoes. "Thy name is princely,"—a popular writer has said of him,—

. . . Though no poet's magic Could make Red-Jacket grace an English rhyme, Unless he had a genius for the tragic, And introduced it in a pantomime;

Yet it is music in the language spoken Of thine own land; and on her herald-roll, As nobly fought for, and as proud a token As Coeur-de-Lion's of a warrior's soul. [FN]

[FN] Talisman fox 1830.

This, by the way, is considerably nearer the truth than the statement in a preceding stanza:

. . . Tradition's pages Tell not the planting of thy parent tree; But that the forest tribes have Dent for ages, To thee and to thy sires the subject knee.

Better historical, if not poetical authority informs us, that the Seneca literally "fought" for his rank, if not for his name; and that, like the subject of our last notice, he owed nothing to the advantages of illustrious birth. [FN] We should add, however, that the struggle was in the council-house as well as in the field of battle. "A warrior!"—he once (and probably more than once) had the modesty to say of himself, with a smile of contempt, when some enquiries were made respecting the deeds of blood which are sometimes supposed to constitute the character of an Indian;—"A Warrior! I am an Orator. I was born an Orator!"

[FN] Governor Clinton's Discourse before the New-York Historical Society; 1811.

The predecessor of Red-Jacket, in the respect of the Senecas, and of the Confederacy at large, was a celebrated chief named by the English the Corn-Planter, a personage also well known for his eloquence, and worthy on that account to be distinctly commemorated, were there on record any definite and well authenticated sketches of his efforts. Unfortunately, there are not. The speeches commonly ascribed to him, are believed to have been mostly composed by some of his civilized acquaintances, rather on the principle of those effusions usually attributed to popular candidates for the gallows. Still, there is less reason, we apprehend, for doubting his real genius, than for disputing his nationality. He considered himself a half-breed, [FN] his father being an Indian, according to his own account, and his mother a white woman.

[FN] Appendix, III. and VI.

By a singular combination of circumstances, Red-Jacket was brought forward into public life, and that to great advantage, mainly in consequence of the same incident which destroyed the influence of Corn-Planter. This, indeed, had been rather declining for some time, owing partly to his agency in effecting a large cession of Seneca land to the American Government, at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1784. His loss of popularity, in fine, bitterly chagrined him, and he resolved on a desperate exertion to restore it. With this view, he undertook to practice upon the never-failing superstition of his countrymen, by persuading his brother to announce himself as a Prophet,—of course commissioned by the Great Spirit "to redeem the fallen fortunes of his race,"—that is, his own.

The savages listened to the new pretender with all the veracious credulity which characterises the race. Among the Onondagas, previously the most drunken and profligate of the Six Nations, he acquired such an ascendancy, as to induce them to abandon the use of spirituous liquors entirely, and to observe the common laws of morality and decency in some other respects, wherein they had before been grievously deficient. Indeed, among the Confederates generally, he obtained a supremacy equal to that of the same character obtained by Elskwatawa among the western tribes, not far from the same time. The Oneidas alone rejected him.

Like that notorious impostor, too, he soon availed himself, for evil purposes, of the confidence gained by the preliminary manifestation of good. A cry of "witchcraft" was raised, and a sort of examining committee of conjurers was selected to designate the offenders. And that duty was zealously discharged. The victims were actually sentenced, and would doubtless have been executed, but for the interference of the magistrates of Oneida and the officers of the garrison at Niagara.

But neither the Corn-Planter nor his pious coadjutor was yet discouraged. Nothing but an accident had prevented success, and the failure only made it the more imperatively necessary to try the experiment again. Red-Jacket was publicly denounced. His accusers came forward at a great Indian council held at Buffalo Creek. "At this crisis," says an eminent writer, "he well knew that the future color of his life depended upon the powers of his mind. He spoke in his defence for near three hours. The iron brow of superstition relented under the magic of his eloquence; he declared the Prophet an impostor and a cheat; he prevailed; the Indians divided, and a small majority appeared in his favor. Perhaps the annals of history cannot furnish a more conspicuous instance of the triumph and power of oratory, in a barbarous nation, devoted to superstition, and looking up to the accuser as a delegated minister of the Almighty." [FN]

[FN] Discourse of Governor Clinton.

If this anecdote be true,—and we are not aware of its having been doubted,—the Orator, whatever be said of his genius as such, hardly deserved the precise compliment which is paid him by his eulogist in verse. "Is eloquence," he asks, "a monarch's merit?"

. . . Her spell is thine that reaches The heart, and makes the wisest head its sport, And there's one rare, strange virtue in thy speeches. The secret of their mastery—they are short.

But the Seneca's case, it must be allowed, was one of clear compulsion; and he probably felt, on the occasion in question, very little of the impatience which induced Horne Tooke to say, after a noble friend's plea of eleven hours in his behalf before the Commons, that "he would rather be hanged, another time, than defended."

Such was the Orator's first triumph. It was not, however, his first effort; for many years before the transaction just referred to, as we suppose, when Red-Jacket was probably about thirty years of age,—and at a period when our relations with all the Indians are well known to have been continually wavering,—a treaty was held with the Six Nations on the beautiful acclivity which overlooks the Canandaigua Lake. Some reminiscences of it, bearing a high interest, have reached us, on the authenticity of which we do not hesitate to rely.

"Two days," says our authority, [FN] "had passed away in negotiation with the Indians for a cession of their lands. The contract was supposed to be nearly completed, when Red-Jacket arose. With the grace and dignity of a Roman senator, he drew his blanket around him, and, with a piercing eye, surveyed the multitude. All was hushed. Nothing interposed to break the silence, save the gentle rustling of the tree-tops, under whose shade they were gathered. After a long and solemn, but not unmeaning pause, he commenced his speech in a low voice and a sententious style. Rising gradually with his subject, he depicted the primitive simplicity and happiness of his nation, and the wrongs they had sustained from the usurpations of white men, with such a bold but faithful pencil, that every auditor was soon roused to vengeance, or melted into tears."

[FN] The writer of a communication on "Indian Biography," for the New-York American, about ten years since. We give him credit for his statements of facts, though we cannot concur with him in charging Red-Jacket with "cowardice." He adds, "It was only at the 'Council-fire' he shone pre-eminent. There, indeed, he was great. The belittling simplicity of his name did not seem to detract from the splendors of his eloquence."

"The effect was inexpressible. But ere the emotions of admiration and sympathy had subsided, the white men became alarmed. They were in the heart of an Indian country, surrounded by more than ten times their number, who were inflamed by the remembrance of their injuries, and excited to indignation by the eloquence of a favorite chief. Appalled and terrified, the white men cast a cheerless gaze upon the hordes around them. A nod from the chiefs might be the onset of destruction. At that portentous moment, Farmer's-Brother interposed. He replied not to his brother chief; but, with a sagacity truly aboriginal, he caused a cessation of the council, introduced good cheer, commended the eloquence of Red-Jacket, and, before the meeting had re-assembled, with the aid of other prudent chiefs, he had moderated the fury of his nation to a more salutary review of the question before them."

The council came together again in cooler blood, and the treaty was concluded. The Western District at this day, it is added, "owes no small portion of its power and influence to the councils of a savage, in comparison with whom for genius, heroism, virtue, or any other quality that can adorn the bauble of a diadem, not only George the IV. and Louis le Desire, but the German Emperor and the Czar of Muscovy, alike dwindle into insignificance."

This somewhat warmly expressed compliment,—the extravagance of which in an old friend of the subject, may be excused in its good feeling,—reminds us of the consideration really due to a man distinguished not alone as a competitor with our hero for savage glory.

Except as related to oratory, he was a competitor in the same course. The name of Farmer's-Brother was merely arbitrary. He was a warrior in principle and in practice, and he spurned agriculture and every other civilized art, with the contempt of Red-Jacket himself. In the war between France and England, which resulted in the conquest of Canada, he fought against the latter, and probably under the remote command of the great Ottawa "Emperor" of the north. One of his exploits in the contest is still told to the traveler who passes a noted stream not very far from the ancient Fort Niagara, in the vicinity of which it occurred. The particulars come to us authenticated by one to whom they were furnished by the Farmer himself on the site of the adventure.

There, with a party of Indians, he lay in ambush, patiently awaiting the approach of a guard that accompanied the English teams employed between the falls of Niagara and the garrison, which had there lately surrendered to Sir William Johnston. The place selected for that purpose is now known by the name of the Devil's Hole, and is three and a half miles below the famous cataract upon the American side of the strait. The mind can scarcely conceive a more dismal looking den. A large ravine, occasioned by the falling in of the perpendicular bank, made dark by the spreading branches of the birch and cedar, which had taken root below, and the low murmuring of the rapids in the chasm, added to the solemn thunder of the cataract itself, conspire to render the scene truly awful. The English party were not aware of the dreadful fate that awaited them. Unconscious of danger, the drivers were gaily whistling to their dull ox-teams. Farmer's-Brother and his band, on their arrival at this spot, rushed from the thicket that had concealed them, and commenced a horrid butchery. So unexpected was such an event, and so completely were the English disarmed of their presence of mind, that but a feeble resistance was made. The guard, the teamsters, the oxen and the wagons, were precipitated into the gulf. But two of them escaped; a Mr. Stedman, who lived at Schioper, above the falls, being mounted on a fleet horse, made good his retreat; and one of the soldiers, who was caught on the projecting root of a cedar, which sustained him until assured, by the distant yell of the savages, that they had quited the ground.—It is the rivulet, pouring itself down this precipice, whose name is the only monument that records the massacre. It is said to have been literally colored with the blood of the vanquished.

In the Revolutionary War, Farmer's-Brother evinced his hostility to the Americans upon every occasion that presented itself; and, with the same zeal, he engaged in the late war against his former friends, the English.

Another anecdote of this Chief will show, in more glowing colors, the real savage. A short time before our army crossed the Niagara, Farmer's-Brother chanced to observe an Indian, who had mingled with the Senecas, and whom he instantly recognized as belonging to the Mohawks, a tribe living in Canada, and then employed in the service of the enemy. He went up to him, and addressed him in the Indian tongue—"I know you well—you belong to the Mohawks—you are a spy—here is my rifle—my tomahawk—my scalping-knife. I give you your choice which I shall use, but I am in haste." The young warrior, finding resistance vain, chose to be put to death with a rifle. He was ordered to lie down upon the grass, while, with his left foot upon the breast of the victim, the Chief lodged the contents of his rifle in his head.

With so much of the savage, Farmer's-Brother possessed some noble traits. He was as firm a friend where he promised fidelity, as a bitter enemy to those against whom he contended; and would lose the last drop of blood in his veins sooner than betray the cause he had espoused. He was fond of recounting his exploits, and dwelt with much satisfaction upon the number of scalps he had taken in his skirmishes with the whites. In company with several other chiefs, he once paid a visit to General Washington, who presented him with a silver medal. This he constantly wore suspended from his neck; and so precious did he esteem the gift, that he was often heard to declare he would lose it only with his life.

Soon after the battles of Chippewa and Bridgewater, this veteran warrior paid the debt of nature, aged more than eighty years, at the Seneca village, where, as a mark of respect for his distinguished bravery, the fifth regiment of United States Infantry interred him with military honors. [FN]

[FN] See Village Register, American, and other New-York papers of about 1820.—Also, Appendix. V and VI.

Another elder contemporary of Red-Jacket was the Mohawk chief Brandt, "the accursed Brandt" of Gertrude of Wyoming, whom, however, we think it the less necessary to notice at much length, from his being, like the Corn-Planter, only a half-breed. In the French and English war, he rendered some services to the former. In the Revolution, he was commissioned Colonel in the English army, and distinguished himself in the horrid massacre at Wyoming. His services were rewarded by the present of a fine tract of land on the western shores of Lake Ontario. One of his sons, an intelligent, high-minded man, quite civilized, and much esteemed by his American acquaintances, a few years since laudably undertook the vindication of his father's memory from the often repeated charges of treachery and cruelty, but we apprehend with rather more zeal than success. The father deceased in 1807; the son, only a month or two since.

To return to Red-Jacket After his first oratorical triumph, he rose as rapidly as the Corn-Planter declined in the esteem of his countrymen. The latter withdrew from the rivalry, [FN] but the ambition of his successor was thoroughly aroused. He burned to be, and to be called, the Great Speaker of his nation and his age; to renew that glorious era when the white men trembled at the breath of Garangula; to feel and to make felt.

The monarch mind—the mystery of commanding— The godlike power—the art Napoleon, Of winning, fettering, moulding, wielding, banding The hearts of millions, till they move like one.

[FN] The Prophet died in 1815.

And he succeeded as far perhaps as could be expected in the circumstances of the modern Seneca, as compared with those of the orator who bearded the Canadian lion in his den. More than a century had since elapsed, during which the proud confederacy that had kept all other nations on the continent at bay was reduced to a few lingering, scattered settlements,—surrounded and crowded by civilization,—perhaps besotted in vice,—where the very ground of their ancient council-halls scarcely was sought for. With such discouragements in his way, the young Orator deserves some credit for making the exertions he did, and his countrymen for rewarding them as they were able. They elected him a chief; and then upon all occasions obeyed him in peace, and followed him in war.

Red-Jacket justified their confidence by a strict adherence to principles which on the whole are equally creditable to his heart and head, although either the policy itself, or his singular pertinacity in maintaining it, no doubt made him many adversaries and some enemies, even with his own people. He had early reflected upon and felt deeply the impotent insignificance to which the tribes were reduced;—and he resolved, if he could not restore them to their primitive position, at least to stay the progress of ruin. How should this be done,—was the great question,—by receiving civilization, or by resisting it?

He determined on the latter alternative, and from that hour never in the slightest degree swerved from his resolution to drive away and keep away every innovation on the character, and every intrusion on the territory of the nation. Traders, travelers, teachers, missionaries, speculators in land, were regarded with the same jealousy. In a word, he labored against circumstances whose force had now become inevitable and irresistible, to maintain a system of complete Indian Independence, which few of his countrymen understood, and still fewer were willing to practice.

And this is the trait which distinguishes his character from the majority of those we have heretofore sketched. Some of the most eminent of the number, like Pontiac and Little-Turtle, were anxious to avail themselves of the arts of civilization at least, were it only for purposes of offence and defence against the race whom they borrowed from; and scarcely any were opposed, other than incidentally, to their introduction into Indian use. But Red-Jacket was a Pagan in principle. He advocated as well as acted Paganism on all occasions. He was prouder of his genuine Indianism, if possible, than he was of his oratory. His bitterest foe could not deny him the merit of frankness.

One of his clearest manifestos, in explanation of his system, was delivered as long ago as May, 1811, before a council of the Senecas, held at Buffalo Creek, in the form of a speech to the Rev. Mr. Alexander, a missionary from a Society in the city of New-York, whose commission the address itself sufficiently explains.

"Brother!"—the Orator began, with a complaisance which never, under any excitement, deserted him,-"Brother!—We listened to the talk you delivered us from the Council of Black-Coats, [FN] in New-York. We have fully considered your talk, and the offers you have made us. We now return our answer, which we wish you also to understand. In making up our minds, we have looked back to remember what has been done in our days, and what our fathers have told us was done in old times."

[FN] His usual designation of Clergymen.

"Brother!—Great numbers of Black-Coats have been among the Indians. With sweet voices and smiling faces, they offered to teach them the religion of the white people. Our brethren in the East listened to them. They turned from the religion of their fathers, and took up the religion of the white people. What good has it done? Are they more friendly one to another than we are? No, Brother! They are a divided people;—we are united. They quarrel about religion;—we live in love and friendship. Besides, they drink strong waters. And they have learned how to cheat, and how to practice all the other vices of the white people, without imitating their virtues. Brother!—If you wish us well, keep away; do not disturb us.

"Brother!—We do not worship the Great Spirit as the white people do, but we believe that the forms of worship are indifferent to the Great Spirit. It is the homage of sincere hearts that pleases him, and we worship him in that manner.

"According to your religion, we must believe in a Father and Son, or we shall not be happy hereafter. We have always believed in a Father, and we worship him as our old men taught us. Your book says that the Son was sent on earth by the Father. Did all the people who saw the Son believe him? No! they did not. And if you have read the book, the consequence must be known to you.

"Brother!—You wish us to change our religion for yours. We like our religion, and do not want another. Our friends here, [pointing to Mr. Granger, the Indian Agent, and two other whites, {FN}] do us great good; they counsel us in trouble; they teach us now to be comfortable at all times. Our friends the Quakers do more. They give us ploughs, and teach us how to use them. They tell us we are accountable beings. But they do not tell us we must change our religion.—We are satisfied with what they do, and with what they say."

[FN] An Indian Interpreter, and an Agent of the Society of Friends for improving the condition of the Indians.

"Brother!—For these reasons we cannot receive your offers. We have other things to do, and beg you to make your mind easy, without troubling us, lest our heads should be too much loaded, and by and by burst."

At the same Council, the following reply was made by Red-Jacket, in behalf of his tribe, to the application of a Mr. Richardson, to buy out their right to the reservations lying in the territory commonly called the Holland Purchase.

"Brother!—We opened our ears to the talk you lately delivered to us, at our council-fire. In doing important business it is best not to tell long stories, but to come to it in a few words. We therefore shall not repeat your talk, which is fresh in our minds. We have well considered it, and the advantages and disadvantages of your offers. We request your attention to our answer, which is not from the speaker alone, but from all the Sachems and Chiefs now around our council-fire.

"Brother!—We know that great men, as well as great nations, have different interests and different minds, and do not see the same light—but we hope our answer will be agreeable to you and your employers.

"Brother!—Your application for the purchase of our lands is to our minds very extraordinary. It has been made in a crooked manner. You have not walked in the straight path pointed out by the great Council of your nation. You have no writings from your great Father, the President. In making up our minds we have looked back, and remembered how the Yorkers purchased our lands in former times. They bought them, piece after piece,—for a little money paid to a few men in our nation, and not to all our brethren,—until our planting and hunting-grounds have become very small, and if we sell them, we know not where to spread our blankets.

"Brother!—You tell us your employers have purchased of the Council of Yorkers, a right to buy our lands. We do not understand how this can be. The lands do not belong to the Yorkers; they are ours, and were given to us by the Great Spirit.

"Brother!—We think it strange that you should jump over the lands of our brethren in the East, to come to our council-fire so far off to get our lands. When we sold our lands in the East to the white people, we determined never to sell those we kept, which are as small as we can comfortably live on.

"Brother!—You want us to travel with you and look for new lands. If we should sell our lands and move off into a distant country towards the setting sun, we should be looked upon in the country to which we go, as foreigners and strangers. We should be despised by the red, as well as the white men, and we should soon be surrounded by the white people, who will there also kill our game, and come upon our lands and try to get them from us.

"Brother!—We are determined not to sell our lands, but to continue on them. We like them. They are fruitful, and produce us corn in abundance for the support of our women and children, and grass and herbs for our cattle.

"Brother!—At the treaties held for the purchase of our lands, the white men, with sweet voices and smiling faces, told us they loved us, and that they would not cheat us, but that the king's children on the other side of the lake would cheat us. When we go on the other side of the lake, the king's children tell us your people will cheat us. These things puzzle our heads, and we believe that the Indians must take care of themselves, and not trust either in your people, or in the king's children.

"Brother!—At a late council we requested our agents to tell you that we would not sell our lands, and we think you have not spoken to our agents, or they would have told you so, and we should not have met you at our council-fire at this time.

"Brother!—The white people buy and sell false rights to our lands, and your employers have, you say, paid a great price for their rights. They must have a plenty of money, to spend it in buying false rights to lands belonging to Indians. The loss of it will not hurt them, but our lands are of great value to us, and we wish you to go back with our talk to your employers, and tell them and the Yorkers that they have no right to buy and sell false rights to our lands.

"Brother!—We hope you clearly understand the Ideas we have offered. This is all we have to say."

It is not surprising that Red-Jacket should misunderstand, or not understand at all, the right to buy Indian land, which Richardson said his employers had obtained of the "Council of Yorkers." It was the right of preemption, in plain English—by which better read jurists than the Seneca have been perplexed. He naturally enough mistook the "right" of the State for a right, whereas it amounted to nothing but the privilege of preventing all other parties from acquiring a right. It was a prerogative—as against the whites alone—the legal effect of which was to incapacitate, not the Indians from selling, but themselves from buying.

There certainly can be no mistaking the shrewd independent reflection and plausible reasoning in the address, however much the perversion of such ability and spirit may give occasion for regret. Several of the arguments, too, are clearly founded in reason, as several of the statements are fortified by truth. In regard to the Indians being cheated by the whites, particularly, the only error of Red-Jacket, and that a perfectly obvious one, was in ascribing to the whites at large, and consequently to Christianity, the credit which in fact belonged to a few unprincipled traders and greedy speculators in land, who had indeed carried their manœuvres to an aggravated extent.

There is good reason to believe that Red-Jacket,—whose military career it is time to allude to,—took his earnest lessons in the art of war during the Revolution, in the ranks of those Senecas who so signally distinguished themselves by their ravages on the frontiers of New-York, Pennsylvania, New-Jersey and Virginia. [FN-1] The only reference, however, which he ever himself made to that part of his history, so far as we know, was latterly at Buffalo, when he was introduced to General Lafayette, then on his tour through the country. He Reminded the latter of a Council at Fort Stanwix in 1784, where both were present, and which had been called with the view of negotiating a treaty with some of the Six Nations. "And where," asked Lafayette, "is the Young Warrior who so eloquently opposed the burying of the tomahawk?" "He is before you," answered the chief. "Ah!"—he added with a melancholy air, and stripping off a handkerchief from his bald head,—"Time has made bad work with me. But you, I perceive,"—and here he narrowly reconnoitered the General's wig—"You have hair enough left yet!" [FN-2] At the date of this interview, seven years since, he was at least sixty-five years of age, and therefore must have been about twenty-five at the time of the treaty.

[FN-1] App. No. VII.

[FN-2] Levasseur's "Tour of Lafayette."

A few years subsequent to the negotiation referred to on this occasion, Red-Jacket had an interview with General Washington, who gave him a silver medal, which he wore ever afterwards, and is said to have named him "the Flower of the Forest." But the Senecas were again hostile soon afterwards, and it was only at the expense of an expedition which ravaged their territory far and wide, that this haughty people were at length subdued into any thing like a state of composure. Red-Jacket is believed to have been second to none of his countrymen in his opposition to the American interest down to that period; but a peace was granted upon liberal terms—some complaints of the Indians were adjusted—a system of protection was devised for their benefit—and thenceforth, both they and he were quite friendly in most instances, and faithful to their engagements in all.

As early at least as 1810, Red-Jacket gave information to the Indian Agent of attempts made by Tecumseh, the Prophet and others, to draw his nation into the great western combination; but the war of 1812 had scarcely commenced, when they volunteered their services to their American neighbors. For some time these were rejected, and every exertion was made to induce them to remain neutral. They bore the restraint with an ill-grace, but said nothing. At length, in the summer of 1812, the English unadvisedly took possession of Grand Island, in the Niagara river, a valuable territory of the Senecas. This was too much for the pride of such men as Red-Jacket and Farmers-Brother. A council was called forthwith—the American Agent was summoned to attend—-and the orator rose and addressed him.

"Brother!"—said he, after stating the information received,—"you have told us we had nothing to do with the war between you and the British. But the war has come to our doors. Our property is seized upon by the British and their Indian friends. It is necessary for us, then, to take up this business. We must defend our property; we must drive the enemy from our soil. If we sit still on our lands, and take no means of redress, the British, following the customs of you white people, will hold them by conquest; and you, if you conquer Canada, will claim them, on the same principles, as conquered from the British. Brother!—We wish to go with our warriors, and drive off these bad people, and take possession of those lands."

The effect of this reasonable declaration, and especially of the manner in which it was made, was such as might be expected. A grand council of the Six Nations came together, and a manifesto, of which the following is a literal translation, issued against the British in Canada, and signed by all the grand Councilors of the Confederation.

"We, the Chiefs and Councilors of the Six Nations of Indians, residing in the State of New-York, do hereby proclaim to all the war-chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations, that war is declared on our part against the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada.

"Therefore, we do hereby command and advise all the war-chiefs to call forth immediately the warriors under them, and put them in motion to protect their rights and liberties, which our brethren, the Americans are now defending." [FN]

[FN] Niles's Register, Vol. IV.

No speech of Red-Jacket at this memorable meeting of the tribes is preserved, but from the address of one of the oldest warriors it appears that they expected to raise as many as three thousand fighting-men. But this must be an exaggeration. In 1817, there were supposed to be only seven thousand Indians of all descriptions within the State of New-York, on a liberal estimate, and the usual proportion of warriors would be in that case about two thousand. It is improbable that more than half this number were actually organized for service at any period during the war.—Those who engaged, however, cannot be accused of want of zeal, for although the Declaration was made quite late in 1812, we find a considerable body of them taking a spirited part in an action near Fort George, of which an official account was given by General Boyd, under date of August 13th. The enemy were completely routed, and a number of British Indians captured by our allies.

"Those," adds the General, "who participated in this contest, particularly the Indians, conducted with great bravery and activity. General Porter volunteered in the affair, and Major Chapin evinced his accustomed zeal and courage. The regulars under Major Cummings, as far as they were engaged, conducted well. The principal chiefs who led the warriors this day, were Farmers-Brother, Red-Jacket, Little-Billey, Pollard, Black-Snake, Johnson, Silver-Heels, Captain Halftown, Major Henry O. Ball, (Corn-planter's son,) and Captain Cold, who was wounded. In a council which was held with them yesterday, they covenanted not to scalp or murder; and I am happy to say that they treated the prisoners with humanity, and committed no wanton cruelties on the dead."

Of the chiefs here mentioned, we believe all were Senecas, except Captain Cold. The General repeats, in his next bulletin,—"The bravery and humanity of the Indians were equally conspicuous;" and another authority says,—"They behaved with great gallantry and betrayed no disposition to violate the restrictions which Boyd has imposed." [FN] These restrictions,—it should be observed in justice to Red-Jacket and his brave comrades,—had been previously agreed upon at the Grand Council, and the former probably felt no humiliation in departing in this particular from the usual savagery on which he prided himself. We have met with no authentic charges against him, either of cruelty or cowardice, and it is well known that he took part in a number of sharply contested engagements.

[FN] Niles's Register.

After the conclusion of peace, he resumed, with his accustomed energy, the superintendence of the civil interests of the Senecas. The division of the tribe into parties,—the Christian and Anti-Christian,—was now completely distinct; the former being headed by Little-Billey, Captain Pollard, and other noted chiefs; and the latter by Red-Jacket, with young Corn-planter and several more spirited assistants, whose names are appended to the following memorial to the Governor of New-York. This was the composition of Red-Jacket It had been preceded by a private letter from himself to the Governor, which had probably produced little or no effect.

"To the Chief of the Council-fire at Albany.


"About three years ago, our friends of the great council-fire at Albany, wrote down in their book that the priests of white people should no longer reside on our lands, and told their officers to move them off whenever we complained. This was to us good news, and made our hearts glad. These priests had a long time troubled us, and made us bad friends and bad neighbors. After much difficulty we removed them from our lands; and for a short time have been quiet and our minds easy. But we are now told that the priests have asked liberty to return; and that our friends of the great council-fire are about to blot from their book the law which they made, and leave their poor red brethren once more a prey to hungry priests.

"Brother!—Listen to what we say. These men do us no good. They deceive every body. They deny the Great Spirit, which we, and our fathers before us, have looked upon as our Creator. They disturb us in our worship. They tell our children they must not believe like our fathers and mothers, and tell us many things that we do not understand and cannot believe. They tell us we must be like white people—but they are lazy and won't work, nor do they teach our young men to do so. The habits of our women are worse than they were before these men came amongst us, and our young men drink more whiskey. We are willing to be taught to read, and write, and work, but not by people who have done us so much injury. Brother!—we wish you to lay before the council-fire the wishes of your red brethren. We ask our brothers not to blot out the law which has made us peaceable and happy, and not to force a strange religion upon us. We ask to be let alone, and, like the white people, to worship the Great Spirit as we think it best. We shall then be happy in filling the little space in life which is left us, and shall go down to our fathers in peace." [FN]

[FN] Niles's Register, Vol. XXVIII; 1828.

This unique document was subscribed with the mark of Red-Jacket first, and then followed those of Corn-Planter, Green-Blanket, Big-Kettle, Robert Bob, Twenty-Canoes, senior and junior, Two-Guns, Fish-Hook, Hot-Bread, Bare-Foot, and many other staunch advocates of the same principles. It was presented to the Assembly, but we have not learned that any efficient order was taken upon it. About the same time, Red-Jacket made an earnest appeal to his Quaker neighbors,—a people always beloved by the Indians,—with the same design. He told them that those whites who pretended to instruct and preach to his people, stole their horses and drove off their cattle, while such of the Senecas as they nominally converted from heathenism to Christianity, only disgraced themselves by paltry attempts to cover the profligacy of the one with the hypocrisy of the other.

The Pagans were generally opposed to the cession of land, but foreign influence, united with that of their antagonists at home, sometimes proved too strong for them. At a treaty held with the tribe in 1826, eighty-two thousand acres of fine territory were given up. Red-Jacket opposed the measure in an eloquent appeal to the Indian feelings of his countrymen, but the effort gained him but few votes.

The speech which has perhaps added most to his reputation was a thoroughly Pagan one, delivered not long previous to the affair just mentioned to a council at Buffalo, convened at the request of a missionary from Massachusetts, with the view of introducing and recommending himself to them in his religious capacity. The Missionary made a speech to the Indians, explaining the objects for which he had called them together. It was by no means, he said, to get away their lands or money. There was but one religion, and without that they could not prosper. They had lived all their lives in gross darkness. Finally he wished to hear their objections, if any could be made; and the sooner, the better, inasmuch as some other Indians whom he had visited, had resolved to reply to him in accordance with their decision.

At the close of this address, the Senecas spent several hours in private conference, and then Red-Jacket came forward as speaker.

"Friend and Brother!"—he began—"It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things, and he has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see clearly. Our ears are unstopped that we have been able to hear distinctly the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit, and him only.

"Brother!—This council fire was kindled by you. It was at your request that we came together at this time. We have listened with attention to what you have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives us great joy, for we now consider that we stand upright before you, and can speak what we think. All have heard your voice, and all speak to you as one man. Our minds are agreed.

"Brother!—You say you want an answer to your talk before you leave this place. It is right you should have one, as you are a great distance from home, and we do not wish to detain you. But we will first look back a little, and tell you what our fathers have told us, and what we have heard from the white people.

"Brother!—Listen to what we say. There was a time when our forefathers owned this great island." [FN-1] Their seats extended from the rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had created the buffalo, the deer, and other animals for food. He made the bear and the beaver, and their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them over the country, and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn for bread. All this he had done for his red children because he loved them. If we had any disputes about hunting-grounds, they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood. But an evil day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great waters, and landed on this island. Their numbers were small. They found friends and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men, and come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat. We took pity on them, granted their request, and they sat down amongst us. We gave them corn and meat. They gave us poison [FN-2] in return. The white people had now found our country. Tidings were carried back, and more came amongst us. Yet we did not fear them. We took them to be friends. They called us brothers. We believed them, and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers had greatly increased. They wanted more land. They wanted our country. Our eyes were opened, and our minds became uneasy. Wars took place. Indians were hired to fight against Indians, and many of our people were destroyed. They also brought strong liquors among us. It was strong and powerful, and has slain thousands.

[FN-1] Meaning the Continent—a common belief and expression among the Indians.

[FN-2] Spirituous liquor.

"Brother!—Our seats were once large, and yours were very small. You have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied. You want to force your religion upon us.

"Brother!—Continue to listen. You say that you to sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his mind; and if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well as for you, why has not the Great Spirit given it to us; and not only to us, but why did he not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people.

"Brother!—You say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?

"Brother!—We do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us their children. We worship that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.

"Brother!—The Great Spirit has made us all. But he has made a great difference between his white and red children. He has given us a different complexion and different customs. To you he has given the arts; to these he has not opened our eyes. We know these things to be true. Since he has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that he has given us a different religion, according to our understanding? The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for his children. We are satisfied.

"Brother!—We do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.

"Brother!—You say you have not come to get our land or our money, but to enlighten our minds. I will now tell you that I have been at your meetings and saw you collecting money from the meeting. I cannot tell what this money was intended for, but suppose it was for your minister; and if we should conform to your way of thinking, perhaps you may want some from us.

"Brother!—We are told that you have been preaching to white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while, and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good and makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again what you have said.

"Brother!—You have now heard our answer to your talk, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand, and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you safe to your friends."

The speech being finished, Red-Jacket and several others, intending to suit the action to the word, came forward to exchange a farewell greeting with their visitor. This however he declined, and the Indians quietly withdrew.

The civility of the old orator was in somewhat singular contrast with his obstinacy on many other occasions. A young clergyman once made a strong effort to enlighten him, through the medium of an Indian interpreter named Jack Berry [FN]—for Red-Jacket spoke very little of the English language. The result was discouraging. "Brother!"—said Jack, at length, for the Chief,—"If you white people murdered 'the Saviour,' make it up yourselves. We had nothing to do with it. If he had come among us we should have treated him better." This was gross heathenism, truly, but it was not aggravated by insolence. The Chieftain made a sincere acknowledgment of the clergyman's kindness, and paid him some deserved compliments upon other scores.

[FN] Jack called himself a chief, too, though his importance was owing mainly to his speaking bad English, and to a bustling shrewdness which enabled him to play the factotum to some advantage. Jack made himself first marshal at the funeral of Farmer's-Brother.

During the last war with England, a gallant officer of the American Army, [FN] stationed on the Niagara frontier, shewed some peculiarly gratifying attentions to Red-Jacket. The former being soon afterwards ordered to Governor's Island, the Chief came to bid him farewell. "Brother,"—said he, "I hear you are going to a place called Governor's Island. I hope you will be a Governor yourself. I am told you whites consider children a blessing. I hope you will have one thousand at least. Above all, wherever you go, I hope you will never find whiskey more than two shillings a quart."

[FN] Colonel Snelling. For several of the anecdotes in the text we are under obligations to the author of "Tales of the North-West." He was present at the interview when Berry acted as Interpreter.

The last of these benevolent aspirations was perhaps the highest possible evidence which Red-Jacket could give of his good will, for we are under the mortifying necessity of placing this talented Chieftain in the same class, as relates to his personal habits, with Uncas, Logan, and Pipe. In a word, he gradually became, in his latter days, a confirmed drunkard. Temptation and association proved too strong for him, and the pride of the Confederates made himself but too frequently a laughing-stock for the blackguards of Buffalo.

Unfortunately for his political as well as personal interests, he indulged his weakness to such an extent as not unfrequently to incapacitate him for the discharge of his public duties. This was an advantage which his opponents shrewdly considered, and, in 1827, they took a favorable opportunity to deprive him of his civil rank. The document issued from the Seneca council-house on this singular occasion, under date of September 15th, is too extraordinary to be omitted. The following is a literal translation, made by an intelligent American who was present.

"We, the Chiefs [FN-1] of the Seneca tribe, of the Six Nations, say to you, Yaugoyawathaw, [FN-2] that you have a long time disturbed our councils; that you have procured some white men to assist you in sending a great number of false stories to our father the President of the United States, and induced our people to sign those falsehoods at Tonnawanta as Chiefs of our tribe, when you knew that they were not Chiefs; that you have apposed the improvement of our nation, and made divisions and disturbances among our people; that you have abused and insulted our great father the President; that you have not regarded the rules which make the Great Spirit love us, and which make his red children do good to each other; that you have a bad heart, because, in a time of great distress, when our people were starving, you took and hid the body of a deer you had killed, when your starving brothers should have shared their proportion of it with you; that the last time our father the President was fighting against the king, across the great waters, you divided us, you acted against our father the President and his officers, and advised with those who were no friends; that you have always prevented and discouraged our children from going to school, where they could learn, and abused and lied about our people who were willing to learn, and about those who were offering to instruct them how to worship the Great Spirit in the manner Christians do; that you have always placed yourself before those who would be instructed, and have done all you could to prevent their going to schools; that you have taken goods to your own use, which were received as annuities, and which belonged to orphan children and to old people; that for the last ten years you have often said the communications of our great father to his red children were forgeries, made up at New-York by those who wanted to buy our lands; that you left your wife, because she joined the Christians and worshiped the Great Spirit as they do, knowing that she was a good woman; that we have waited for nearly ten years for you to reform, and do better; but are now discouraged, as you declare you never will receive instruction from those who wish to do us good, as our great father advises, and induce others to hold the same language."

[FN] Several of them were soi-disant functionaries.

[FN] A variation of Saguoaha, which is the orthography adopted by Governor Clinton.

"We might say a great many other things, which make you an enemy to the Great Spirit, and also to your own brothers,—but we have said enough, and now renounce you as a chief, and from this time you are forbid to act as such. All of our nation will hereafter regard you as a private man; and we say to them all, that every one who shall do as you have done, if a chief will, in like manner be disowned, and set back where he started from by his brethren." [FN]

[FN] Buffalo Emporium.

Several of these charges, it is fair to presume, were dictated by party spirit, and those who subscribed the deposition cared but little about proving them, could they but prostrate their great antagonist. The signatures are twenty-six, and most of them are well-known Anti-Pagans; though with Young-King, Pollard, and Little-Billey, who led the subscription, we also find the names of Twenty-Canoes, Doxtateri, Two-Guns, Barefoot, and some other partizans of the fallen orator in his better days.

But Red-Jacket was not yet prepared to submit patiently to his degradation, especially when he knew so well the true motives of those who effected it. Nor was he by any means so much under the control of his bad habits as not to feel occasionally, perhaps generally, both the consciousness of his power and the sting of his shame. "It shall not be said of me,"—thought the old Orator, with the gleam of a fiery soul in his eye,—"It shall not be said that Saguoaha lived in insignificance and died in dishonor. Am I too feeble to revenge myself of my enemies? Am I not as I have been?" In fine, he roused himself to a great effort. Representations were made to the neighboring tribes,—for he knew too well the hopelessness of a movement confined to his own,—and only a month had elapsed since his deposition, when a Grand Council of the chiefs of the Six Nations assembled together at the upper council-house of the Seneca-village reservation.

The document of the Christian party was read, and then Half-Town rose, and, in behalf of the Catteraugus (Seneca) Indians, said there was but one voice in his nation, and that was of general indignation at the contumely cast on so great a man as Red-Jacket. Several other chiefs addressed the council to the same effect. The condemned orator rose slowly, as if grieved and humiliated, but yet with his ancient air of command.

"My Brothers!"—he said, after a solemn pause,—You have this day been correctly informed of an attempt to make me sit down and throw off the authority of a chief, by twenty-six misguided chiefs of my nation. You have heard the statements of my associates in council, and their explanations of the foolish charges brought against me. I have taken the legal and proper way to meet these charges. It is the only way in which I could notice them, charges which I despise, and which nothing would induce me to notice but the concern which many respected Chiefs of my nation feel in the character of their aged comrade. Were it otherwise, I should not be before you. I would fold my arms, and sit quietly under these ridiculous slanders.

"The Christian party have not even proceeded legally, according to our usages, to put me down. Ah! it grieves my heart, when I look around me and see the situation of my people,—in old times united and powerful, now divided and feeble. I feel sorry for my nation. When I am gone to the other world,—when the Great Spirit calls me away,—who among my people can take my place? Many years have I guided the nation."

Here he introduced some artful observations on the origin of the attack made upon him. He then alluded to the course taken by the Christians, as ruinous and disgraceful, especially in their abandonment of the religion of their fathers, and their sacrifices, for paltry considerations, of the lands given them by the Great Spirit. As for the "Black-Coats," Mr. Calhoun had told him at Washington, four years before, that the Indians must treat with them as they thought proper; the Government would not interfere. "I will not consent,"—he concluded, sagaciously identifying his disgrace with his opposition to the Christians,—"I will not consent silently to be trampled under foot. As long as I can raise my voice, I will oppose such measures. As long as I can stand in my moccasins, I will do all that I can for my nation." It is scarcely necessary to add, that the result of the conference was the triumphant restoration of the Orator to his former rank.

Red-Jacket visited the Atlantic cities repeatedly and for the last time, as late as the spring of 1829. He was, oh these occasions, and especially on the latter, the object of no little curiosity and attention. [FN] He enjoyed both, and was particularly careful to demean himself in a manner suited to the dignity of his rank and reputation. His poetical friend does him but justice in thus alluding to his Washington medal, his forest costume, and the fine carriage which the Chieftain still gallantly sustained.

[FN] Of more indeed than he was probably aware. Witness the following advertisement in the Boston papers:—

"Red-Jacket.—This celebrated Indian Chief, who has recently attracted so much attention at New-York and the Southern cities, has arrived in this city, and has accepted an invitation of the Superintendent to visit the New-England Museum, this evening, March 21, in his full Indian costume, attended by Captain Johnson, his interpreter, by whom those who wish it can be introduced and hold conversation with him."

Thy garb—though Austria's bosom-star would frighten That medal pale, as diamonds, the dark mine, And George the Fourth wore, in the dance at Brighton, A more becoming evening dress than thine;

Yet 'tis a brave one, scorning wind and weather, And fitted for thy couch on field and flood, As Rob Roy's tartans for the highland heather, Or forest green for England's Robin Hood.

Is strength a monarch's merit?—like a whaler's— Thou art as tall, as sinewy, and as strong As earth's first kings—the Argo's gallant sailors— Heroes in history, and gods in song.

Those strictly personal attractions which most subserved his forensic success, are not unfairly delineated by the same elegant observer. And this is not the only civilized authority to the same effect, for one of the most distinguished public men of the State in which the Chieftain resided, was wont to say that the latter reminded him strongly of the celebrated orator of Roanoke, in his best estate, and that they two were the only orators of nature he had ever heard or seen. "Who will believe?"—-asks the poet—

. . . that, with a smile whose blessing Would, like the patriarch's, sooth a dying hour With voice as low, as gentle, and caressing, As e'er won maiden's lip in moonlight bower;

With look, like patient Job's, eschewing evil; With motions, graceful as a bird's in air; Thou art, in sober truth, the veriest devil That e'er clenched fingers in a captive's hair!

That in thy veins there springs a poison fountain, Deadlier than that which bathes the Upas tree; And in thy wrath a nursing cat o'mountain Is calm as her babe's sleep, compared with thee?

And underneath that face, like summer's ocean's— Its lip as moveless, and its cheek as clear,— Slumbers a whirlwind of the heart's emotions, Love, hatred, pride, hope, sorrow—all, save fear.

Love—for thy land, as if she were thy daughter; Her pipes in peace, her tomahawk in wars; Hatred—of missionaries and cold water; Pride—in thy rifle-trophies and thy scars;

Hope—that thy wrongs will be by the Great Spirit Remembered and revenged, when thou art gone; Sorrow—that none are left thee to inherit Thy name, thy fame, thy passions, and thy throne.

In the last of these stanzas is an allusion to the melancholy domestic circumstances of the subject of them. He had been the father of thirteen children, during his life-time, and had buried them all.

Red-Jacket is said to have understood English quite well, although he would never converse in it. We have often heard it from a gentleman well acquainted with him, that he once met him hastening out of Buffalo when all the neighboring country was eagerly rushing in to witness the execution of three culprits; and that the Chieftain recognized him, and made him understand by signs, that he was hurrying away from the horrid spectacle which so many thousand had already assembled to enjoy. Levasseur states, that, in his conference with Lafayette, he evidently comprehended every thing uttered in his presence, while he would speak only Indian; and that his former high opinion of the General seemed to be much increased by a few chance-medley Seneca words, which the latter had the good fortune to remember, and the courtesy to repeat. We also have been informed that, many years since, when the notorious Jemima Wilkinson compassed the country in the business of making proselytes to her doctrines, she invited some of the Senecas to a conference. Red-Jacket attended, and listened patiently to the end of a long address. Most of it he probably understood, but instead of replying to the argument in detail, he laid the axe at the root of her authority. Having risen very gravely, and spoken a few words in Seneca, he observed his adversary to enquire what he was talking about? "Ha!"—he exclaimed, with an arch look,—"She inspired,—she Jesus Christ,—and not know Indian?" The solidity of her pretensions was at once decided in the minds of at least the heathen part of her audience.

At the date of his last-mentioned visit to the Atlantic cities, the Chieftain was more than seventy years of age, and though then habitually temperate, excess had already hastened the work of time. He died in January, 1830, at the Seneca village, near Buffalo, where his funeral took place on the 21st of the month. It was attended by all parties of his own tribe, and by many Americans, drawn together by a curiosity to witness the obsequies. His body was removed from his cabin into the mission-house, where religious services were performed. In these the Pagans took but little interest. Wrapped in profound and solemn thought, they however patiently awaited their termination. Some of them then arose, and successively addressed their countrymen in their own language. They recounted the exploits and the virtues of him whose remains they were now about to bear to his last home. They remembered his own prophetic appeal—"Who shall take my place among my people?" They thought of the ancient glory of their nation, and they looked around them on its miserable remnant. The impression was irresistible. Tears trickled down the cheeks of the grave comrades of the dead.

Well might they weep! He that lay before them was indeed the "Last of the Senecas." The strong warrior's arm was mouldering into dust, and the eye of the orator was cold and motionless forever.


NO. I.

Uncas.—The author is indebted to the Committee of the Historical Society of Massachusetts for an opportunity to examine a valuable document recently forwarded to them by Mr. Williams, of Lebanon, Connecticut, and originally, we believe, a part of the Trumbull collection.

According to this account, which purports to have been "made by Uncas" himself, that Chieftain was wholly of the royal blood of the Pequots. Tatobam was another name for Sassacus, and Uncas married the daughter of that Sachem (from whom he afterwards revolted,) about ten years before the Pequot War. The Pequots and "Moheags," as they are here called, jointly agreed to this match in a grand Indian Council, for the purpose of keeping their land entire. "Upon this his right to the Pequot Country was good and unquestionable." . . . "Quinebauge [New-Haven] Indians and Nipmugs [in Worcester County, Massachusetts] not allowed to marry in the Royal Blood—agreed to keep the Royal blood within the Realm of ye Mohegan and Pequots."

In this genealogy, which is regularly derived, as accurately as possible, from remote ancestors on both sides, Uncas himself is styled the Sachem of Mohegan, and Mohegan is said to have been the Sepulchre or Burial-Place of both the Pequot and Mohegan Sachems.

The father of Tatobam was the Sachem Wopegwosit. The father of Uncas was Oweneco; his father, Wopequand, a Pequot Sachem. His mother and grandmother were both named Mukkunump; and the latter was daughter of Weroum, a great Narragansett Sachem, and of a Squaw of the royal Pequot Blood named Kiskhechoowatmakunck. One of his great-grandfathers, Nuckquuntdowaus, was Chief-Sachem of the Pequots; and one of his great-grandmothers, Au-comp-pa-hang-sug-ga-muck, (as nearly as we are able to decipher it,) was "a Great Queen, and lived at Moheage."

The son of Uncas, (mentioned in the text,) was Oweneco. Several of his other descendants who inherited the Sachemdom were named Ben Uncas,—one of them Major Ben. The last of the Sachems (also mentioned in the text,) was Isaiah,—a grandson of Oweneco or Oneco. (He was a pupil in Dr. Wheelock's Charity School,—"a fat fellow, of dull intellectual parts."—Mass. His. Coll.)

The document before us gives an account of the cession of the Pequot Country from Uncas by deed, dated Sept. 28, 1740. The following remarkable passage ought not to be omitted, as it adds new confirmation to the estimate of the Sachem's character which the author has given in the text.

"Afterwards sufficient planting ground was provided for him, being friendly to the English, though only to serve his own purposes."


Correspondence between General Wayne and Major Campbell.


Miamis River, Aug. 21, 1794.


An army of the United States of America, said to be under your command, having taken post on the banks of the Miamis, for upwards of the last twenty-four hours, almost within the reach of the guns of this fort, being a post belonging to His Majesty the King of Great Britain, occupied by His Majesty's troops, and which I have the honor to command, it becomes me to inform myself, as speedily as possible, in what light I am to view your making such near approaches to this garrison.

I have no hesitation on my part to say that I know of no war existing between Great Britain and America.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CAMPBELL, Major 24th Reg't commanding a British post on the banks of the Miamis.

To Major General Wayne, &c. &c.


Camp on the Banks of the Miamis, }
21st August, 1794. }


I have received your letter of this date, requiring from me the motives which have moved the army under my command to the position they at present occupy, far within the acknowledged jurisdiction of the United States of America.

Without questioning the authority, or the propriety, sir, of your interrogatory, I think I may, without breach of decorum, observe to you, that were you intitled to an answer, the most full and satisfactory one was announced to you from the muzzles of my small arms yesterday morning in the action against hordes of savages in the vicinity of your post, which terminated gloriously to the American arms. But had it continued until the Indians, &c. were driven under the influence of the post and guns you mention, they would not have much impeded the progress of the victorious army under my command; as no such post was established at the commencement of the present war between the Indians and the United States.

I have the honor to be, sir, &c.

(Signed) ANTHONY WAYNE, Major General and Commander in Chief of the Federal army.

To Major Wm. Campbell, &c.


Fort Miamis, Aug. 22, 1791.


Although your letter of yesterday's date fully authorizes me to any act of hostility against the army of the United States of America in this neighborhood under your command, yet, still anxious to prevent that dreadful decision, which perhaps is not intended to be appealed to by either of our countries, I have forborne for these two days past to resent those insults which you have offered to the British flag flying at this fort, by approaching it within pistol-shot of my works, not only singly, but in numbers, with arms in their hands.

Neither is it my wish to wage war with individuals. But should you after this continue to approach my post in the threatening manner you are at this moment doing, my indispensable duty to my King and Country, and the honor of my profession, will oblige me to have recourse to those measures which thousands of either nation may hereafter have cause to regret, and which I solemnly appeal to God I have used my utmost endeavors to arrest.

I have the honor to be, sir, &c. (Signed) WM. CAMPBELL.

To Major General Wayne, &c.

[No other notice was taken of this letter than what is expressed in the following letter. The fort and works were however reconnoitered in every direction, at some points possibly within pistol-shot. It was found to be a regular, strong work, the front covered by a wide river, with four guns mounted in that face. The rear, which was the most susceptible of approach, had two regular bastions furnished with eight pieces of artillery, the whole surrounded with a wide deep ditch. From the bottom of the ditch to the top of the parapet was about twenty feet perpendicular. The works were also surrounded by an abbatis, and furnished with a strong garrison.]



In your letter of the 21st inst. you declare, "I have no hesitation on my part to say that I know of no war, existing between Great Britain and America."

I, on my part, declare the same; and the only cause I have to entertain a contrary idea at present is, the hostile act you are now in commission of,—that is, recently taking post far within the well known and acknowledged limits of the United States, and erecting a fortification in the heart of the settlements of the Indian tribes now at war with the United States.

This, sir, appears to be an act of the highest aggression, and destructive to the peace and interest of the Union. Hence, it becomes my duty to desire, and I do hereby desire and demand, in the name of the President of the United States, that you immediately desist from any further act of hostility or aggression, by forbearing to fortify, and by withdrawing the troops, artillery, and stores under your orders and direction, forthwith, and removing to the nearest post occupied by His Britannic Majesty's troops at the peace of 1783—and which you will be permitted to do unmolested by the troops under my command.

I am, with very great respect, &c. (Signed) ANTHONY WAYNE.

To Major Wm. Campbell, &c.


Fort Miamis, 22d Aug. 1794.


I have this moment the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date. In answer to which I have only to say, that being placed here in the command of a British post, and acting in, a military capacity only, I cannot enter into any discussion either on the right or impropriety of my occupying my present position. Those are matters that I conceive will be best left to the ambassadors of our different nations.

Having said this much, permit me to inform you, that I certainly will not abandon this post at the summons of any power whatever, until I receive orders from those I have the honor to serve under, or the fortune of war should oblige me.

I must still adhere, sir, to the purport of my letter this morning, to desire that your army, or individuals belonging to it, will not approach within reach of my cannon without expecting the consequences attending it.

Although I have said in the former part or my letter, that my situation here is totally military, yet let me add, sir, that I am much deceived if His Majesty the King of Great Britain had not a post on this river at and prior to the period you mention.

I have the honor to be, &c.

(Signed) WM. CAMPBELL. Major of the 24th Regiment, commanding at Fort Miamis.

To Major General Wayne, &c

[The only notice taken of this letter was in immediately setting fire to and destroying every thing within view of the fort, and even under the muzzles of the guns.]

Boston Chronicle, October 13, 1774.


Corn-Planter's Letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania, dated "Allegheny river, 2d mo. 2d, 1822," and probably written by his interpreter. From Buchanan's Sketches.

"I feel it my duty to send a speech to the governor of Pennsylvania at this time, and inform him the place where I was from—which was Conewaugus, on the Genesee river.

"When I was a child, I played with the butterfly, the grasshopper and the frogs. As I grew up, I began to pay some attention and play with the Indian boys in the neighborhood, and they took notice of my skin being a different color from theirs, and spoke about it. I enquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that my father was a residenter in Albany. I eat still my victuals out of a bark dish—I grew up to be a young man, and married me a wife, but I had no kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and found he was a white man, and spoke the English language. He gave me victuals while I was at his house, but when I started to return home, he gave me no provision to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun, neither did he tell me that the United States were about to rebel against the government of England.

"I will now tell you, brothers, who are in session of the legislature of Pennsylvania, that the Great Spirit has made known to me that I have been wicked; and the cause thereof was the revolutionary war in America. The cause of Indians having been led into sin, at that time, was that many of them were in the practice of drinking and getting intoxicated. Great Britain requested us to join with them in the conflict against the Americans, and promised the Indians land and liquor. I, myself, was opposed to joining in the conflict, as I had nothing to do with the difficulty that existed between the two parties. I have now informed you how it happened that the Indians took a part in the Revolution, and will relate to you some circumstances that occurred after the close of the war. Gen. Putnam, who was then at Philadelphia, told me there was to be a council at fort Stanwix, and the Indians requested me to attend on behalf of the Six Nations, which I did, and there met with three commissioners, who had been appointed to hold the council. They told me they would inform me of the cause of the revolution, which I requested them to do minutely. They then said that it had originated on account of the heavy taxes that had been imposed upon them by the British government, which had been for fifty years increasing upon them; that the Americans had grown weary thereof, and refused to pay, which affronted the king. There had likewise a difficulty taken place about some tea, which they wished me not to use, as it had been one of the causes that many people had lost their lives. And the British government now being affronted, the war commenced, and the cannons began to roar in our country. General Putnam then told me at the council at fort Stanwix, that by the late war the Americans had gained two objects: they had established themselves an independent nation, and had obtained some land from Great Britain to live upon, the division line of which ran through the lakes. I then spoke, and said that I wanted some land for the Indians to live on, and General Putnam said that it should be granted, and I should have land in the state of New York, for the Indians. Gen. Putnam then encouraged me to use my endeavors to pacify the Indians generally; and as he considered it an arduous task to perform, wished to know what I wanted to pay therefor? I replied to him, that I would use my endeavors to do as he had requested with the Indians, and for pay thereof, I would take land. I told him not to pay me money or dry goods, but land. And for having attended thereto I received the tract of land on which I now live, which was presented to me by governor Mifflin. I told general Putnam, that I wished the Indians to have the exclusive privilege of the deer and wild game, which he assented to.

"The treaty that was made at the aforementioned council has been broken by some of the white people, which I how intend acquainting the governor with. Some white people are not willing that Indians should hunt any more, whilst others are satisfied therewith; and those white people who reside near our reservation, tell us that the woods are theirs, and they have obtained them from the governor. The treaty has been also broken by the white people using their endeavors to destroy all the wolves, which was not spoken about in the council at fort Stanwix, by General Putnam, but has originated lately.

"It has been broken, again, which is of recent origin. White people wish to get credit from Indians, and do not pay them honestly, according to their agreement.

"In another respect it has also been broken by white people, who reside near my dwelling; for when I plant melons and vines in my field, they take them as their own. It has been broken again by white people using their endeavors to obtain our pine trees from us. We have very few pine trees on our land, in the state of New York; and white people and Indians often get into dispute respecting them. There is also a great quantity of whiskey brought near our reservation by white people, and the Indians obtain it and become drunken.

"Another circumstance has taken place which is very trying to me, and I wish the interference of the Governor. The white people who live at Warren, called upon me sometime ago, to pay taxes for my land, which I objected to, as I had never been called upon for that purpose before; and having refused to pay, the white people became irritated, called upon me frequently, and at length brought four guns with them and seized our cattle. I still refused to pay, and was not willing to let the cattle go. Afler a long dispute, they returned home and I understood the militia was ordered out to enforce the collection of the tax. I went to Warren, and, to avert the impending difficulty, was obliged give my note for the tax, the amount of which was forty-three dollars and seventy-nine cents. It is my desire that the governor will exempt me from paying taxes for my land to white people; and also cause that the money I am now obliged to pay, may be refunded to me, as I am very poor. The governor is the person who attends to the situation of the people, and I wish him to send a person to Allegheny, that I may inform him of the particulars of our situation, and he be authorised to instruct the white people in what manner to conduct themselves towards the Indians.

"The governor has told us that when any difficulties arose between the Indians and white people, he would attend to having them removed. We are now in a trying situation, and I wish the governor to send a person, authorised to attend thereto, the fore part of the next summer, about the time that grass has grown big enough for pasture.

"The governor formerly requested me to pay attention to the Indians, and take care of them. We are now arrived at a situation that I believe Indians cannot exist, unless the governor should comply with my request, and send a person authorised to treat between us and the white people, the approaching summer. I have now no more to speak."


Corn-Planter's Speech at the Court-House at Warren, (N. Y.) June 4th, 1822, after an explanation, by two state Commissioners, of a law exonerating him from the payment of certain taxes. From the Venango Herald.

"Brothers!—Yesterday was appointed for us all to meet here. The talk which the Governor sent us pleased us very much. I think that the Great Spirit is very much pleased that the white people have been induced so to assist the Indians as they have done, and that he is pleased also to see the great men of this State and of the United States so friendly to us. We are much pleased with what has been done.

"The Great Spirit first made the world and next the flying animals, and found all things good and prosperous. He is immortal and everlasting. After finishing the flying animals, he came down on earth and there stood. Then he made different kinds of trees, and weeds of all sorts, and people of every kind. He made the spring and other seasons, and the weather suitable for planting. These he did make. But stills, to make whiskey to be given to Indians, he did not make. The Great Spirit bids me tell the white people not to give Indians this kind of liquor. When the Great Spirit had made the earth and its animals, he went into the great lakes, where he breathed as easily as any where else, and then made all the different kinds of fish. The Great Spirit looked back on all that he had made. The different kinds he made to be separate, and not to mix with and disturb each other. But the white people have broken his command by mixing their color with the Indians. The Indians have done better by not doing so.—The Great Spirit wishes that all wars and fightings should cease.

"He next told us that there were three things for people to attend to. First, we ought to take care of our wives and children. Secondly, the white people ought to attend to their farms and cattle. Thirdly, the Great Spirit has given the bears and deers to the Indians. He is the cause of all things that exist, and it is very wicked to go against his will. The Great Spirit wishes me to inform the people that they should quit drinking intoxicating drink, as being the cause of diseases and death. He told us not to sell any more of our lands, for he never sold lands to any one. Some of us now keep the seventh day; but I wish to quit it, for the Great Spirit made it for others, but not for the Indians, who ought every day to attend to their business. He has ordered me to quit drinking any intoxicating drink, and not to lust after women but my own, and informed me that by doing so I should live the longer. He made known to me that it is very wicked to tell lies. Let no one suppose this I have said now is not true.

"I have now to thank the Governor for what he has done. I have informed him what the Great Spirit has ordered me to cease from, and I wish the Governor to inform others of what I have communicated. This all I have at present to say."

NO. V.

Mr. Brandt, whose death has been recently announced, was the son of the celebrated Indian chief of that name, and distinguished himself as a lieutenant in our service during the late war. Some years ago he visited England, and under the patronage of the Duke of Northumberland, was introduced to the Duke of Wellington, Lord Teignmouth, and other influential personages, and from his peculiar urbanity of manners and highly cultivated acquirements, speedily became known and esteemed. His exertions, upon that occasion, in vindicating the humanity of his father's character from the unjust aspersions cast upon it by the author of "Gertrude of Wyoming," were acknowledged by the accomplished poet, and the next edition of that work rectified the error Mr. Campbell had acknowledged. As a gentleman of strict honor and morality, Mr. Brandt has left but few equals; and as head-chief and superintendent of the Six Nations, his loss will be seriously felt by the numerous tribes to whose civilization and moral improvement he had devoted his time and talents.—Kingston, U. C. Chronicle.


Letter of Farmer's-Brother, and others, to the Hon. W. Eustis, Secretary of War. Niles' Register, Vol. II.

"Brother!—The sachems and chief warriors of the Seneca nation of Indians, understanding you are the person appointed by the great council of your nation to manage and conduct the affairs of the several nations of Indians with whom you are at peace and on terms of friendship, come at this time, as children to a father, to lay before you the trouble which we have on our minds.

"Brother!—We do not think best to multiply words. We will therefore tell you what our complaint is.

"Brother!—Listen to what we say. Some years since we held a treaty at Big-tree, near the Genesee river. This treaty was called by our great father, the President of the United States. He sent an agent, Colonel Wadsworth, to attend this treaty, for the purpose of advising us in the business, and seeing that we had justice done us. At this treaty we sold to Robert Morris the greatest part of our country. The sum he gave us was one hundred thousand dollars.

"Brother!—The Commissioner who was appointed on your part, advised us to place this money in the hands of our great father, the President of the United States. He told us our father loved his red children, and would take care of our money, and plant it in a field where it would bear seed forever, as long as trees grow or waters run. Our money has heretofore been of great service to us. It has helped us to support our old people, and our women and children. But we are told the field where our money was planted is become barren.

"Brother!—We do not understand your way of doing business. This thing is heavy on our minds. We mean to hold our white brethren of the United States by the hand. But this weight lies heavy. We hope you will remove it.

"Brother!—We have heard of the bad conduct of our brothers towards the setting sun. We are sorry for what they have done. But you must not blame us. We have had no hand in this bad business. They have had bad people among them. It is your enemies have done this.

"We have persuaded our agent to take this talk to your great council. He knows our situations, and will speak our minds.

"Farmer's-Brother, his mark X   Wheel-Barrow, his mark X
Little Billy do X   Jack Berry do X
Young King do X   Twenty Canoes do X
Pollard do X   Big Kettle do X
Chief Warrior do X   Half-Town do X
Two Guns do X   Keyandeande do X
John Sky do X   Captain Cold do X
Parrot-Nose do X   Esq. Blinkey do X
John Pierce do X   Captain Johnson do X
Strong do X  

"N. B. The foregoing speech was delivered in Council by Farmer's-Brother, at Buffalo Creek, December 19, 1811, and subscribed in my presence, by the Chiefs whose names are annexed.



Extracted from the American Remembrancer (an impartial and authentic collection of facts, published in London during the Revolutionary War) for the year 1782, vol. 14, p. 185.

Boston, March 12.

Extract of a letter from Captain Gerrish, of the
New-England Militia, dated Albany, March 7.

"The peltry taken in the expedition, will, you see, amount to a good deal of money. The possession of this booty at first gave us pleasure; but we were struck with horror to find among the packages, eight large ones containing scalps of our unfortunate country folks, taken in the three last years by the Seneca Indians from the inhabitants of the frontiers of New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and sent by them as a present to Colonel Haldimand, Governor of Canada, in order to be by him transmitted to England. They were accompanied by the following curious letter to that gentleman.

"Tioga, January 3d, 1787.

"May it please your Excellency,

"At the request of the Seneca Chiefs, I herewith send to your Excellency, under the care of James Hoyd, eight packages of scalps, cured, dried, hooped, and painted with all the triumphal marks, of which the following is the invoice and explanation.

"No. 1. Containing forty-three scalps of Congress soldiers, killed in different skirmishes. These are stretched on black hoops, four inch diameter—the inside of the skin painted red with a small black spot, to note their being killed with bullets. Also, sixty-two of farmers killed in their houses; the hoops painted red—the skin painted brown and marked with a hoe—a black circle all round, to denote their being surprised in the night—and a black hatchet in the middle, signifying their being killed with that weapon.

"No. 2. Containing ninety-eight of farmers, killed in their houses, hoops red—figure of a hoe, to mark their profession—great white circle and sun, to shew they were surprised in the day-time—a little red foot, to shew they stood upon their defence, and died fighting for their lives and families.

"No. 3. Containing ninety-seven of farmers. Hoops green, to shew they were killed in the fields—a large white circle with a little round mark on it for the sun, to show it was in the day time—black bullet-mark on some, a hatchet on others.

"No. 4. Containing one hundred and two of farmers, mixture of several of the marks above, only eighteen marked with a little yellow flame, to denote their being of prisoners burnt alive, after being scalped—their nails pulled out by the roots, and other torments. One of these latter supposed to be of an American clergyman, his band being fixed to the hoop of his scalp. Most of the farmers appear, by the hair, to have been young or middle-aged men, there being but sixty-seven very grey heads among them all, which makes the service more essential.

"No. 5. Containing eighty-eight scalps of women, hair long, braided in the Indian fashion, to shew they were mothers—hoops blue—skin yellow ground, with little red tadpoles, to represent, by way of triumph, the tears of grief occasioned to their relations—a black scalping-knife or hatchet at the bottom, to mark their being killed by those instruments. Seventeen others, hair very grey—black hoops—plain brown color—no marks but the short club or casse-tete, to show they were knocked down dead, or had their brains beat out.

"No. 6. Containing one hundred and ninety-three boy's scalps, of various ages. Small green hoops—whitish ground on the skin, with red tears in the middle and black marks—knife, hatchet or club, as their death happened.

"No. 7. Containing two hundred and eleven girl's scalps, big and little—small yellow hoops, white ground—tears, hatchet, club, scalping-knife, &c.

"No. 8. This package is a mixture of all the varieties above mentioned, to the number of one hundred and twenty-two, with a box of birch bark containing twenty-nine little infants' scalps, of various sizes—small white hoops, white ground—no tears, and only a little black knife in the middle, to shew they were ripped out of their mothers' bellies.

"With these packs the chiefs send to your excellency the following speech, delivered by Conicogatchie in council, interpreted by the elder Moore, the trader, and taken down by me in writing.

"Father!—We send you herewith many scalps, that you may see we are not idle friends.

"A blue belt.

"Father!—We wish you to send these scalps over the water to the great king, that he may regard them and be refreshed, and that he may see our faithfulness in destroying his enemies, and be convinced that his presents have not been made to an ungrateful people.

"A blue and white belt with red tassels.

"Father!—-Attend to what I am now going to say. It is a matter of much weight. The great King's enemies are many, and they grow fast in number. They were formerly like young panthers. They could neither bite nor scratch. We could play with them safely. We feared nothing they could do to us. But now their bodies have become as big as the elk, and strong as the buffalo. They have also great and sharp claws. They have driven us out of our country for taking part in your quarrel. We expect the great King will give us another country, that our children may live after us, and be his friends and children as we are. Say this for us to our great King. To enforce it, give this belt.

"A great white belt with blue tassels.

"Father!—We have only to say further, that your traders exact more than ever for their goods; and our hunting is lessened by the war, so that we have fewer skins to give for them. This ruins us. Think of some remedy. We are poor, and you have plenty of every thing. We know you will send us powder and guns, and knives and hatchets. But we also want shirts and blankets.

"A little white belt.

"I do not doubt but that your Excellency will think it proper to give some further encouragement to these honest people. The high prices they complain of are the necessary effect of the war. Whatever presents may be sent for them through my hands, shall be distributed with prudence and fidelity.

"I have the honor of being your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,