HotFreeBooks.com
Chronicles of Border Warfare
by Alexander Scott Withers
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

When every preparation had been made, the king conducted Mr. Carver to a spacious tent, the covering of which was so drawn up as to render visible to those without, every thing which passed within. Mr. Carver being seated beside the king within the tent, observed in the centre a place of an oblong shape, composed of stakes stuck at intervals in the ground, forming something like a coffin, and large enough to contain the body of a man. The sticks were far enough from each other to admit a distinct view by the spectators, of what ever passed within them; while the tent was perfectly illuminated.

When the Priest entered, a large Elk-skin being spread on the ground, he divested himself of all his clothing, except that around his middle, and laying down on the skin enveloped himself (save only his head) in it. The skin was then bound round with about forty yards of cord, and in that situation he was placed within the ballustrade of sticks.

In a few seconds he was heard to mutter, but his voice, gradually assuming a higher tone, was at length extended to its utmost pitch, and sometimes praying, he worked himself into such an agitation as to produce a foaming at the mouth. To this succeeded a speechless state of exhaustion, of short duration; when suddenly springing on his feet, and shaking off the skin, as easily as if the bands with which it had been lashed around him, were burned asunder, he addressed the company in a firm and audible voice: "My Brothers, said he, the Great Spirit has deigned to hold a talk with his servant. He has not indeed told me when the traders will be here; but tomorrow when the sun reaches the highest point in the heavens, a canoe will arrive, the people in that canoe will inform us when the traders will arrive."

Mr. Carver adds that on the next day at noon a canoe was descried on the lake at the distance of about three miles,—completely verifying the prediction of the High Priest, in point of time. From the people on board this canoe they learned that the traders would be at the portage on the second day thereafter, at which time they actually did arrive.

[4] Indian traditions by Cusick.



INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER III.

The aborigines of America, although divided into many different tribes, inhabiting various climates, and without a community of language, are yet assimilated to each other in stature and complexion, more strikingly than are the inhabitants of the different countries of Europe. The manners and customs of one nation, are very much the manners and customs of all; and although there be peculiarities observable among all, yet are they fewer and less manifest than those which mark the nations of the old world, and distinguish them so palpably from each other. A traveller might have traversed the country, when occupied exclusively by the natives, without remarking among them, the diversity which exists in Europe; or being impressed with the contrast which a visit across the Pyrennes would exhibit, between the affability and vivacity of a Frenchman at a theatre or in the Elysian fields, and the hauteur and reserve of a Spaniard at their bloody circus, when "bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute."

[26] Nor is there much in savage life, calculated to inspire the mind of civilized man, with pleasurable sensations. Many of the virtues practised by them, proceed rather from necessity or ignorance than from any ethical principle existing among them. The calm composure with which they meet death and their stoical indifference to bodily pain, are perhaps more attributable to recklessness of life and physical insensibility,[1] than to fortitude or magnanimity; consequently they do not much heighten the zest of reflection, in contemplating their character. The christian and the philanthropist, with the benevolent design of improving their morals and meliorating their condition, may profitably study every peculiarity and trait of character observable among them; it will facilitate their object and enable them the more readily to reclaim them from a life of heathenish barbarity, and to extend to them the high boons of civilization and christianity.

It has been observed that the different tribes of natives of North America, resemble each other very much in stature and complexion, in manners and customs; a general description of these will therefor be sufficient.

The stature of an Indian, is generally that of the medial stature of the Anglo Americans; the Osages are said to form an exception to this rule, being somewhat taller. They are almost universally straight and well proportioned; their limbs are clean, but less muscular than those of the whites, and their whole appearance strongly indicative of effeminacy. In walking, they invariable place one foot directly before the other—the toes never verging from a right line with the heel. When traveling in companies, their manner of marching is so peculiar as to have given rise to the expression, "Indian file;" and while proceeding in this way, each carefully places his foot in the vestige of the foremost of the party, so as to leave the impression of the footsteps of but one. They have likewise in their gait and carriage something so entirely different from the gait and carriage of the whites, as to enable a person to pronounce on one at a considerable distance. The hair of an Indian is also strikingly different from that of the whites. It is always black and straight, hangs loose and looks as if it were [27] oiled. There is a considerable resemblance in appearance, between it and the glossy black mane of a thoroughbred horse; though its texture is finer.

In the squaws there exist, the same delicacy of proportion, the same effeminacy of person, the same slenderness of hand and foot, which characterise the female of refined society; in despite too of the fact, that every laborious duty and every species of drudgery, are imposed on them from childhood. Their faces are broad, and between the eyes they are exceedingly wide; their cheek bones are high and the eyes black in both sexes—the noses of the women inclining generally to the flat nose of the African; while those of the men are more frequently aquiline than otherwise.

Instances of decrepitude and deformity, are rarely known to exist among them: this is probably owing to the manner in which they are tended and nursed in infancy. It is not necessary that the mother should, as has been supposed, be guilty of the unnatural crime of murdering her decrepid or deformed offspring—the hardships they encounter are too great to be endured by infants not possessed of natural vigor, and they sink beneath them.

Their countenances are for the most inflexible, stern and immovable. The passions which agitate or distract the mind, never alter its expression, nor do the highest ecstacies of which their nature is susceptible, ever relax its rigidity. With the same imperturbability of feature, they encounter death from the hand of an enemy, and receive the greetings of a friend.

In their intercourse with others, they seem alike insensible to emotions of pleasure and of pain; and rarely give vent to feelings of either. The most ludicrous scenes scarcely ever cause them to laugh, or the most interesting recitals draw from them more than their peculiar monosyllabic expression of admiration.

In conversation they are modest and unassuming; indeed taciturnity is as much a distinguishing trait of Indian character, as it ever was of the Roman. In their councils and public meetings, they never manifest an impatience to be heard, or a restlessness under observations, either grating to personal feeling or opposite to their individual ideas of propriety: on the contrary they are still, silent and attentive; and each is heard with the respect due to his years, his wisdom, his experience, or the fame which his exploits may have acquired him. [28] A loud and garrulous Indian is received by the others with contempt, and a cowardly disposition invariably attributed to him—

"Bold at the council board, But in the field he shuns the sword,"

is as much and truly an apothegm with them as with us.

Their taciturnity and irrisibility however, are confined to their sober hours. When indulging their insatiate thirst for spirit, they are boisterous and rude, and by their obstreperous laughter, their demoniacal shrieks and turbulent vociferations, produce an appalling discord, such as might well be expected to proceed from a company of infernal spirits at their fiendish revels; and exhibit a striking contrast to the low, monotonous tones used by them at other times.

There can be no doubt that the Indians are the most lazy, indolent race of human beings. No attempt which has ever been made to convert them into slaves, has availed much. The rigid discipline of a Spanish master, has failed to overcome that inertness, from which an Indian is roused only by war and the chase—Engaged in these, he exhibits as much activity and perseverance, as could be displayed by any one; and to gratify his fondness for them, will encounter toils and privations, from which others would shrink. His very form indicates at once, an aptitude for that species of exercise which war and hunting call into action, and an unfitness for the laborious drudgery of husbandry and many of the mechanic arts. Could they have been converted into profitable slaves, it is more than probable we should never have been told, that "the hand of providence was visible in the surprising instances of mortality among the Indians, to make room for the whites."

In their moral character many things appear of a nature, either so monstrous as to shock humanity, or so absurd as to excite derision; yet they have some redeeming qualities which must elicit commendation. And while we view with satisfaction those bright spots, shining more brilliantly from the gloom which surrounds them, their want of learning and the absence of every opportunity for refinement, should plead in extenuation of their failings and their vices. Some of the most flagrant of these, if not encouraged, have at least been sanctioned by the whites. In the war between the New England colonies and the Narragansetts, it was the misfortune of the brave Philip, after having witnessed the destruction of the [29] greater part of his nation, to be himself slain by a Mohican. After his head had been taken off, Oneco, chief of the Mohicans, then in alliance with the colonists, claimed that he had a right to feast himself on the body of his fallen adversary. The whites did not object to this, but composedly looked on Oneco, broiling and eating the flesh of Philip—and yet cannibalism was one of their most savage traits of character.

This was a general, if not an universal custom among the Indians, when America became known to the whites. Whether it has yet entirely ceased is really to be doubted: some of those who have been long intimate with them, affirm that it has not; though it is far from being prevalent.

The Indians are now said to be irritable; but when Europeans first settled among them, they were not more irascible than their new neighbors. In their anger however, they differ very much from the whites. They are not talkative and boisterous as these are, but silent, sullen and revengeful. If an injury be done them, they never forget, they never forgive it. Nothing can be more implacable than their resentment—no time can allay it—no change of circumstances unfix its purpose. Revenge is to them as exhilarating, as the cool draught from the fountain, to the parched and fevered lips of a dying man.

When taking vengeance of an enemy, there is no cruelty which can be exercised, no species of torture, which their ingenuity can devise, too severe to be inflicted. To those who have excited a spirit of resentment in the bosom of an Indian, the tomahawk and scalping knife are instruments of mercy. Death by the faggot—by splinters of the most combustible wood, stuck in the flesh and fired—maiming and disemboweling, tortures on which the soul sickens but to reflect, are frequently practiced. To an enemy of their own color, they are perhaps more cruel and severe, than to the whites. In requiting upon him, every refinement of torture is put in requisition, to draw forth a sigh or a groan, or cause him to betray some symptom of human sensibility. This they never effect. An Indian neither shrinks from a knife, nor winces at the stake; on the contrary he seems to exult in his agony, and will mock his tormentors for the leniency and mildness of their torture.[2]

[30] Drinking and gambling are vices, to which the Indians, as well as the whites, are much addicted. Such is their fondness for spirit of any kind that they are rarely known to be sober, when they have it in their power to be otherwise. Neither a sense of honor or of shame has been able to overcome their propensity for its use; and when drunk, the ties of race, of friendship and of kindred are too weak, to bind their ferocious tempers.

In gambling they manifest the same anxiety, which we see displayed at the card table of the whites. The great difference seems to be, that we depend too frequently on sleight and dexterity; whereas while they are shaking their gourd neck of half whited plumbstones, they only use certain tricks of conjuration, which in their simplicity they believe will ensure them success. To this method of attaining an object, they have frequent recourse. Superstition is the concomitant of ignorance. The most enlightened, are rarely altogether exempt from its influence—with the uninformed it is a master passion, swaying and directing the mind in all its operations.

In their domestic economy, Indians are, in some respects, like the rude of all countries. They manifest but little respect for the female; imposing on her not only the duties of the hut, but also the more laborious operations of husbandry; and observing towards them the hauteur and distance of superior beings.

There are few things, indeed, which mark with equal precision, the state of civilization existing in any community, as the rank assigned in it to females. In the rude and barbarous stages of society, they are invariably regarded as inferior beings, [31] instruments of sensual gratification, and unworthy the attention and respect of men. As mankind advance to refinement, females gradually attain an elevation of rank, and acquire an influence in society, which smoothes the asperities of life and produces the highest polish, of which human nature is susceptible.

Among the Indians there is, however rude they may be in other respects, a great respect always paid to female chastity. Instances in which it has been violated by them, if to be found at all, are extremely few. However much the passion of revenge may stimulate to acts of cruelty, the propensities of nature never lead them to infringe the virtue of women in their power.

The general character of the Indians, was more estimable, when they first became known to Europeans, than it is at present. This has been ascribed to the introduction of ardent spirits among them—other causes however, have conspired to produce the result.

The cupidity of those who were engaged in commerce with the natives, too frequently prompted them to take every advantage, for self aggrandizement, which they could obtain over the Indians. In the lucrative traffic carried on with them, the influence of honesty was not predominant—the real value of the commodity procured, was never allowed; while upon every article given in exchange, extortion alone affixed the price. These examples could not fail to have a deteriorating effect upon their untutored minds; and we find them accordingly losing their former regard for truth, honesty and fidelity; and becoming instead deceitful, dishonest and treacherous. Many of their ancient virtues however, are still practised by them.

The rights of hospitality are accorded to those who go among them, with a liberality and sincerity which would reflect credit on civilized man. And although it has been justly said that they rarely forgive an enemy, yet is it equally true that they never forsake their friends; to them they are always kind, generous and beneficent.

After the ceremony of introduction is over,[3] a captive enemy, [32] who is adopted by them, is also treated with the utmost humanity and attention. An Indian cheerfully divides his last morsel with an adopted son or brother; and will readily risk life in his defence. Such indeed, is the kindness which captives thus situated invariably receive, that they frequently regret the hour of their redemption, and refuse to leave their red brethren, to return and mingle with the whites.

As members of a community, they are at all times willing to devote their every faculty, for the good of the whole. The honor and welfare of their respective tribes, are primary considerations with them. To promote these, they cheerfully encounter every privation, endure every hardship, and face every danger. Their patriotism is of the most pure and disinterested character; and of those who have made us feel so sensibly, the horrors of savage warfare, many were actuated by motives which would reflect honor on the citizens of any country. The unfortunate Tecumseh was a remarkable example of the most ardent and patriotic devotion to his country.

Possessed of an acute and discerning mind, he witnessed the extending influence of the whites, with painful solicitude. Listening with melancholy rapture, to the traditionary accounts of the former greatness of his nation, and viewing in anticipation the exile or extinction of his race, his noble soul became fired with the hope that he might retrieve the fallen fortune of his country, and restore it to its pristine dignity and grandeur. His attachment to his tribe impelled him to exertion and every nerve was strained in its cause.

Determined if possible to achieve the independence of his nation, and to rid her of those whom he considered her oppressors, he formed the scheme of uniting in hostility against the United States, all the tribes dwelling east of the Mississippi river. In the prosecution of this purpose, he travelled from Mackinaw to Georgia,[4] and with wonderful adroitness practised on the different feelings of his red brethren. Assuming at times the character of a prophet, he wrought powerfully on their credulity and superstition.—Again, depending on the force of oratory, the witchery of his eloquence drew many [33] to his standard. But all was in vain—His plans were entirely frustrated. He had brought none of his auxiliaries into the field; and was totally unprepared for hostilities, when his brother, the celebrated Shawanese prophet, by a premature attack on the army under Gen. Harrison, at an inauspicious moment, precipitated him into a war with the United States.

Foiled by this means, Tecumseh joined the standard of Great Britain in the war of 1812; and as a Brigadier General in her army, lost his life, bravely supporting the cause which he had espoused. He deserved a better fate; and but for prejudice which is so apt to dim the eye and distort the object, Tecumseh would, most probably, be deemed a martyr for his country, and associated in the mind with the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae.

To contemplate the Indian character, in a religious point of view, is less gratifying than to consider it in regard to the lesser morals. At the period of the settlement of Western Virginia, excepting the Moravians, and a few others who had been induced by the zeal and exertions of Roman catholic missionaries to wear the cross, the Indians north west of the Ohio river, were truly heathens. They believed indeed in a First Cause, and worshiped the Good Spirit; but they were ignorant of the great truths of Christianity, and their devotions were but superstitious acts of blind reverence. In this situation they remain generally at the present day, notwithstanding the many laudable endeavors which have been made to christianize them.

Perhaps there was never a tribe in America, but believed in the existence of a Deity; yet were their ideas of the nature and attributes of God, not only obscure, but preposterous and absurd. They believe also in the existence of many inferior deities, whom they suppose to be employed as assistants in managing the affairs of the world, and in inspecting the actions of men. Eagles and Owls are thought by some to have been placed here as observers of the actions of men; and accordingly, when an eagle is seen to soar about them by day, or an owl to perch near them at night, they immediately offer sacrifice, that a good report may be made of them to the Great Spirit.

They are likewise believers in the immortality of the soul; and have such an idea of a future state of existence, as accords with their character and condition here. Strangers to [34] intellectual pleasures, they suppose that their happiness hereafter will consist of mere sensual gratifications; and that when they die, they will be translated to a delightful region, where the flowers never fade, nor the leaves fall from the trees; where the forests abound in game, and the lakes in fish, and where they expect to remain forever, enjoying all the pleasures which delighted them here.[5]

In consequence of this belief, when an Indian dies, and is buried, they place in the grave with him, his bow and arrows and such weapons as they use in war, that he may be enabled to procure game and overcome an enemy. And it has been said, that they grieve more for the death of an infant unable to provide for itself in the world of spirits, than for one who had attained manhood and was capable of taking care of himself. An interesting instance of this is given by Major Carver, and furnishes at once, affecting evidence of their incongruous creed and of their parental tenderness. Maj. Carver says:

"Whilst I remained with them, a couple whose tent was near to mine, lost a son about four years old. The parents were so inconsolable for its loss, and so much affected by its death, that they pursued the usual testimonies of grief with such uncommon vigor, as through the weight of sorrow and loss of blood, to occasion the death of the father. The mother, who had been hitherto absorbed in grief, no sooner beheld her husband expire, than she dried up her tears, and appeared cheerful and resigned.

"As I knew not how to account for so extraordinary a transition, I took an opportunity to ask her the reason of it. She replied, that as the child was so young when it died, and unable to support itself in the country of spirits, both she and her husband had been apprehensive that its situation would be far from pleasant; but no sooner did she behold its father depart for the same place, and who not only loved the child with the tenderest affection, but was a good hunter and [35] able to provide plentifully for its support, than she ceased to mourn. She added that she saw no reason to continue her tears, as the child was now happy under the protection of a fond father; and that she had only one wish remaining to be gratified, and that was a wish to be herself with them."[6]

In relation to the Indian antiquities so frequently met with in America, much doubt still exists. When and for what purpose many of those vast mounds of earth, so common in the western country, were heaped up, is matter of uncertainty. Mr. Jefferson has pronounced them to be repositories of the dead; and many of them certainly were designed for that purpose; perhaps all with which he had become acquainted previous to the writing of his notes of Virginia. Mr. Jefferson did not deem them worthy the name of monuments. Since the country has been better explored, many have been discovered justly entitled to that appellation, some of which seem to have been constructed for purposes other than inhumation.[7] These are frequently met with in the valley of the Mississippi, and are said to extend into Mexico. The most celebrated works of this class, are believed to be those at Circleville in Ohio, which have so frequently been described, and are justly considered memorials of the labor and perseverance of those by whom they were erected.

There is a tradition among the Indians of the north, which if true would furnish a very rational solution to the question, "for what purpose were they constructed?" According to this tradition about "two thousand two hundred years, before Columbus discovered America, the northern nations appointed a prince, and immediately after, repaired to the south and visited the GOLDEN CITY, the capital of a vast empire. After a time the emperor of the south built many forts throughout his dominions, and extending them northwardly almost penetrated the lake Erie. This produced much excitement. The people of the north, afraid that they would be deprived of the country on the south side of the great lakes, determined to defend it against the infringement of any foreign people; long and bloody wars ensued which lasted about one hundred years. The people of the north, being more skillful in the use of bows and arrows, and capable of enduring hardships which proved fatal to those of the south, gained the conquest; and all the towns and forts, which had been erected by their enemy, were totally destroyed and left in a heap of ruins."[8]

The most considerable of those tumuli or sepulchral mounds, which are found in Virginia, is that on the bottoms of Grave creek, near its entrance into the Ohio, about twelve miles below Wheeling, and is the only large one in this section of the country. Its diameter at the base, is said to be one hundred yards, its perpendicular height about eighty feet, and the diameter at its summit, forty-five feet. Trees, of all sizes and of various kinds, are growing on its sides; and fallen [36] and decayed timber, is interspersed among them; a single white oak rises out of a concavity in the centre of its summit.[9]

Near to Cahokia there is a group (of about two hundred) of these mounds, of various dimensions.[10] The largest of these is said to have a base of eight hundred yards circumference, and an altitude of ninety feet. These and the one mentioned as being on Grave creek and many smaller ones in various parts of the country, were no doubt places of inhumation.[11]—Many have been opened, and found to contain human bones promiscuously thrown together. Mr. Jefferson supposed the one examined by him, (the diameter of whose base was only forty feet and height twelve) to contain the bones of perhaps a thousand human beings, of each sex and of every age. Others have been examined, in which were the skeletons of men of much greater stature, than that of any of the Indians in America, at the time of its discovery, or of those with whom we have since become acquainted.

It is a well known fact, that since the whites became settled in the country, the Indians were in the habit of collecting the bones of their dead and of depositing them in one general cemetery; but the earth and stone used by them, were taken from the adjacent land. This was not invariably the case, with those ancient heaps of earth found in the west. In regard to many of them, this singular circumstance is said to be a fact, that the earth, of which they are composed, is of an altogether different nature, from that around them; and must, in some instances, have been carried a considerable distance. The tellurine structures at Circleville are of this sort; and the material of which they were constructed, is said to be distinctly different, from the earth any where near to them.

The immensity of the size of these and many others, would induce the supposition that they could not have been raised by a race of people as indolent as the Indians have been, ever since a knowledge was had of them. Works, the construction of which would now require the concentrated exertions of at least one thousand men, aided by the mechanical inventions of later days, for several months, could hardly have been erected by persons, so subject to lassitude under labor as they are: unless indeed their population was infinitely greater than we now conceive it to have been. Admitting however, this density of population to have existed, other circumstances would corroborate the belief, that the country once had other inhabitants, than the progenitors of those who have been called, the aborigines of America: one of these circumstances is the uncommon size of many of the skeletons found in the smaller mounds upon the hills.

If the fact be, as it is represented, that the larger skeletons are invariably found on elevated situations, remote from the larger water courses, it would tend to show that there was a diversity of habit, and admitting their cotemporaneous existence, perhaps no alliance or intercourse between those, whose remains they are, and the persons by whom those large mounds and fortifications were erected, [37] these being found only on plains in the contiguity of large streams or inland lakes; and containing only the bones of individuals of ordinary stature.

Another and stronger evidence that America was occupied by others than the ancestors of the present Indians, is to be found in those antiquities, which demonstrate that iron was once known here, and converted to some of the uses ordinarily made of it.

In graduating a street in Cincinnati, there was found, twenty-five feet below the surface of the earth, a small horse shoe, in which were several nails. It is said to present the appearance of such erosion as would result from the oxidation of some centuries. It was smaller than would be required for a common mule.[12]

Many are the instances of pieces of timber found, various depths below the surface of the earth, with the marks of the axe palpably visible on them.[13] A sword too, said to have been enclosed in the wood of the roots of a tree not less than five hundred years old, is preserved in Ohio as a curiosity. Many other instances might, if necessary, be adduced to prove, that implements of iron were in use in this country, prior to its occupation by the whites. Now if a people once have the use of that metal, it is far from probable that it will ever after be lost to them: the essential purposes to which it may be applied, would preserve it to them. The Indians however, 'till taught by the Europeans, had no knowledge of it.

Many of the antiquities discovered in other parts of the country, show that the arts once flourished to an extent beyond what they have ever been known to do among the Indians. The body found in the saltpetre cave of Kentucky, was wrapped in blankets made of linen and interwoven with feathers of the wild turkey, tastefully arranged. It was much smaller than persons of equal age at the present day, and had yellowish hair. In Tennessee many walls of faced stone, and even walled wells have been found in so many places, at such depths and under such circumstances, as to preclude the idea of their having been made by the whites since the discovery by Columbus.

[38] In this state too, have been found burying grounds, in which the skeletons seem all to have been those of pigmies: the graves, in which the bodies had been deposited, were seldom three feet in length; yet the teeth in the skulls prove that they were the bodies of persons of mature age.

Upon the whole there cannot be much doubt, that America was once inhabited by a people, not otherwise allied to the Indians of the present day, than that they were descendants of him, from whom has sprung the whole human family.

——- [1] It is said that the nerves of an Indian do not shrink as much, nor shew the same tendency to spasm, under the knife of the surgeon, as the nerves of a white man in a similar situation.

[2] A Narraganset, made prisoner by Maj. Talcott in 1679, begged to be delivered to the Mohicans that he might be put to death in their own way. The New Englanders complying with his request, preparations were made for the tragical event. "The Mohicans, formed a circle, and admitting within it as many of the whites as chose to witness their proceedings, placed the prisoner in the centre. One of the Mohicans, who had lost a son in the late engagement, with a knife cut off the PRISONER'S EARS! then his NOSE! and then the FINGERS off each hand! after the lapse of a few moments, his EYES WERE DUG OUT, AND THEIR SOCKETS FILLED WITH HOT EMBERS!! All this time the prisoner instead of bewailing his fate, seemed to surpass his tormentors in expressions of joy. At length when exhausted with loss of blood and unable to stand, his executioner closed the tragic scene by beating out his brains with a tomahawk."—Indian Wars, by Trumbull.

[3] Indians consider the running of the gauntlet, as but the ceremony of an introduction; and say that it is "like the shake hands and howde do, of the whites."

[4] While performing this tour, Tecumseh carried a RED STICK, the acceptance of which was considered a joining of his party—Hence those Indians who were hostile to the United States, were denominated RED STICKS.

[5] Pope has very finely expressed the leading articles of religion among the Indians in the following lines.

Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; His soul proud science never taught to stray Far as the Solar Walk or Milky Way; Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, Behind the cloud-topt hill an humbler heav'n; Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd, Some happier island in the wat'ry waste; Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. To BE, contents his natural desire, He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire: But thinks admitted to that equal sky, His faithful dog shall bear him company.

[6] The author's summary of Indian character is for the most part excellent, and in accord with more recent conclusions. See Chap. I. of The Colonies, in "Epochs of American History" (Longmans, 1892.)—R. G. T.

[7] Gen. George Rogers Clark, an early and careful observer, scouted the idea advanced by Noah Webster, in Carey's American Museum, in 1789, that these extraordinary Western military defenses were the work of De Soto. "As for his being the author of these fortifications," says Clark, "it is quite out of the question; they are more numerous than he had men, and many of them would have required fifty thousand men for their occupancy."—L. C. D.

[8] Indian traditions, by Cusick.

[9] This description, written by Withers in 1831, still holds good in the main. The mound, which proves to have been a burial tumulus, is now surrounded by the little city of Moundsville, W. Va., and is kept inclosed by the owner as one of the sights of the place. The writer visited it in May, 1894.—R. G. T.

[10] George Rogers Clark, who was repeatedly at Cahokia during the period 1778-80, says: "We easily and evidently traced the town for upwards of five miles in the beautiful plain below the present town of Kahokia. There could be no deception here, because the remains of ancient works were thick—the whole were mounds, etc." Clark's MS. statement; Schoolcraft's Indian Tribes, IV., p. 135.—L. C. D.

[11] This mound was used, at least in part, for burial purposes. Nearly fifty years ago, when the writer of this note explored this remarkable artificial elevation of eighty feet in height, he found in the excavation numerous beads of shell or bone, or both, ornaments of the dead buried there.—L. C. D.

[12] This proves nothing. A silver medal of John Quincy Adams's administration, evidently presented to some Indian chief was, in 1894, found in Wisconsin, twelve feet below the surface. Iron and silver tools and ornaments, evidently made in Paris for the Indian trade, have been found in Ohio and Wisconsin mounds. It is now sufficiently demonstrated that the mound-builders were the ancestors of the aborigines found in the country by the first white settlers, and that the mounds are of various ages, ranging perhaps from three hundred to a thousand years. Various Reports of the Bureau of Ethnology go into the matter with convincing detail.—R. G. T.

[13] Jacob Wolf, in digging a well on Hacker's creek, found a piece of timber which had been evidently cut off at one end, twelve or thirteen feet in the ground—marks of the axe were plainly distinguishable on it.



[39] CHRONICLES OF BORDER WARFARE.

CHAPTER I

At the time when Virginia became known to the whites, it was occupied by many different tribes of Indians, attached to different nations. That portion of the state lying north west of the Blue ridge, and extending to the lakes was possessed by the Massawomees. These were a powerful confederacy, rarely in amity with the tribes east of that range of mountains; but generally harrassing them by frequent hostile irruptions into their country. Of their subsequent history, nothing is now known. They are supposed by some to have been the ancestors of the Six Nations. It is however more probable, that they afterwards became incorporated with these, as did several other tribes of Indians, who used a language so essentially different from that spoken by the Six Nations, as to render the intervention of interpreters necessary between them.

As settlements were extended from the sea shore, the Massawomees gradually retired; and when the white population reached the Blue ridge of mountains, the valley between it and the Alleghany, was entirely uninhabited. This delightful region of country was then only used as a hunting ground, and as a highway for belligerant parties of different nations, in their military expeditions against each other. In consequence of the almost continued hostilities between the northern and southern Indians, these expeditions were very frequent, and tended somewhat to retard the settlement of the valley, and render a residence in it, for some time, insecure and unpleasant. Between the Alleghany mountains and the Ohio river, within the present limits of Virginia, there were some villages interspersed, inhabited by small numbers of Indians; the most [40] of whom retired north west of that river, as the tide of emigration rolled towards it. Some however remained in the interior, after settlements began to be made in their vicinity.

North of the present boundary of Virginia, and particularly near the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, and in the circumjacent country the Indians were more numerous, and their villages larger. In 1753, when Gen. Washington visited the French posts on the Ohio, the spot which had been selected by the Ohio company, as the site for a fort, was occupied by Shingess, king of the Delawares; and other parts of the proximate country, were inhabited by Mingoes and Shawanees.[1] When the French were forced to abandon the position, which they had taken at the forks of Ohio, the greater part of the adjacent tribes removed farther west. So that when improvements were begun to be made in the wilderness of North Western Virginia, it had been almost entirely deserted by the natives; and excepting a few straggling hunters and warriors, who occasionally traversed it in quest of game, or of human beings on whom to wreak their vengeance, almost its only tenants were beasts of the forest.

In the country north west of the Ohio river, there were many warlike tribes of Indians, strongly imbued with feelings of rancorous hostility to the neighboring colonists. Among the more powerful of these were the Delawares, who resided on branches of Beaver Creek, Cayahoga, and Muskingum; and whose towns contained about six hundred inhabitants—The Shawanees, who to the number of 300, dwelt upon the Scioto and Muskingum—The Chippewas, near Mackinaw, of 400—Cohunnewagos, of 300, and who inhabited near Sandusky—The Wyandots, whose villages were near fort St. Joseph, and embraced a population of 250—The Twightees, near fort Miami, with a like population—The Miamis, on the river Miami, near the fort of that name, reckoning 300 persons—The Pottowatomies of 300, and the Ottawas of 550, in their villages near to forts St. Joseph and Detroit,[2] and of 250, in the towns near Mackinaw. Besides these, there were in the same district of country, others of less note, yet equally inimical to the whites; and who contributed much to the annoyance [41] of the first settlers on the Ohio, and its tributaries.

There were likewise the Munsies, dwelling on the north branch of the Susquehanna, and on the Allegheny river—The Senecas, on the waters of the Susquehanna, Ontario and the heads of the Allegheny—The Cayugas, on Cayuga lake, and the Sapoonies, who resided in the neighborhood of the Munsies. In these tribes was an aggregate population of 1,380 souls, and they likewise aided in committing depredations on our frontiers.

Those who ventured to explore and occupy the south western portion of Virginia, found also in its vicinity some powerful and warlike tribes. The Cherokees possessed what was then, the western part of North Carolina and numbered 2,500—The Chicasaws, residing south of the Cherokees, had a population of 750—and the Catawbas, on the Catawba river in South Carolina with only 150 persons. These latter were remarkably adventurous, enterprising and courageous; and notwithstanding their remote situation, and the paucity of their numbers, frequently traversed the valley of Virginia, and even penetrated the country on the north branch of the Susquehanna, and between the Ohio river and lake Erie, to wage war upon the Delawares. Their success in many of these expeditions, is preserved in the traditions of the Delawares, who continue to regard them as having used in these wars, a degree of cunning and stratagem, to which other tribes have never approached.[3]

Such were the numbers and positions of many of the proximate Indians about the time settlements were begun to be [42] made on the Monongahela river and its branches. Anterior to this period, adventurers had explored, and established themselves, in various parts of the valley between the Blue ridge and the Alleghany mountain. That section of it, which was included within the limits of the Northern-Neck, was the first to become occupied by the whites. The facilities afforded by the proprietor for obtaining land within his grant, the greater salubrity of climate and fertility of soil near to the Blue ridge, caused the tide of emigration to flow rapidly towards the upper country, and roll even to the base of that mountain. Settlements were soon after extended westwardly across the Shenandoah, and early in the eighteenth century Winchester became a trading post, with sparse improvements in its vicinity.

About this time Thomas Morlin, a pedlar trading from Williamsburg to Winchester, resolved, in conjunction with John Salling a weaver also from Williamsburg, to prosecute an examination of the country, beyond the limits which had hitherto bounded the exploratory excursions of other adventurers. With this view, they travelled up the valley of the Shenandoah, and crossing James river and some of its branches, proceeded as far as the Roanoke, when Salling was taken captive by a party of Cherokees. Morlin was fortunate enough to elude their pursuit, and effect a safe retreat to Winchester.

Upon the return of the party by whom Salling had been captivated, he was taken to Tennessee where he remained for some years. When on a hunting expedition to the Salt licks of Kentucky, in company with some Cherokees to kill buffalo, they were surprised by a party of Illinois Indians, with whom the Cherokees were then at war, and by them Salling was again taken prisoner. He was then carried to Kaskaskia, when he was adopted into the family of a squaw whose son had been killed in the wars.

While with this nation of Indians, Salling frequently accompanied parties of them on hunting excursions, a considerable distance to the south. On several occasions he went with them below the mouth of the Arkansas, and once to the Gulph of Mexico. In one of those expeditions they met with a party of Spaniards, exploring the country and who needed an interpreter. For this purpose they purchased Salling of his Indian mother for three strands of beads and a Calumet. Salling attended them to the post at Crevecoeur; from which [43] place he was conveyed to fort Frontignac: here he was redeemed by the Governor of Canada, who sent him to the Dutch settlement in New York, whence he made his way home after an absence of six years.[4]

The emigration from Great Britain to Virginia was then very great, and at the period of Salling's return to Williamsburg, there were then many adventurers, who had but recently arrived from Scotland and the north of England. Among these adventurers were John Lewis[5] and John Mackey. Salling's return excited a considerable and very general interest, and drew around him many, particularly of those who had but lately come to America, and to whom the narrative of one, who had been nearly six years a captive among the Indians, was highly gratifying. Lewis and Mackey listened attentively to the description given of the country in the valley, and pleased with its beauty and fertility as represented by Salling, they prevailed on him to accompany them on a visit to examine it more minutely, and if found correspondent with his description to select in it situations for their future residence.

Lewis made choice of, and improved, a spot a few miles below Staunton, on a creek which bears his name—Mackey on the middle branch of the Shenandoah near Buffalo-gap; and Salling in the forks of James river, below the Natural Bridge, where some of his descendants still reside. Thus was effected the first white settlement ever made on the James river, west of the Blue ridge.[6]

In the year 1736, Lewis, being in Williamsburg, met with Benjamin Burden (who had then just come to the country as agent of Lord Fairfax, proprietor of the Northern Neck,) and on whom he prevailed to accompany him home. Burden remained at Lewis's the greater part of the summer, and on his return to Williamsburg, took with him a buffalo calf, which while hunting with Samuel[7] and Andrew Lewis (elder sons of John) they had caught and afterwards tamed. He presented this calf to Gov. Gooch, who thereupon entered on his journal, [44] an order, authorizing Burden to locate conditionally, any quantity of land not exceeding 500,000 acres on any of the waters of the Shenandoah, or of James river west of the Blue ridge. The conditions of this grant were, that he should interfere with no previous grants—that he should settle 100 families, in ten years, within its limits; and should have 1000 acres adjoining each cabin which he should cause to be built, with liberty to purchase any greater quantity adjoining, at the rate of fifty pounds per thousand acres. In order to effect a compliance with one of these conditions, Burden visited Great Britain in 1737; and on his return to Virginia brought with him upwards of one hundred families of adventurers, to settle on his grant.[8] Amongst these adventurers were, John Patton, son-in-law to Benjamin Burden, who settled on Catawba, above Pattonsburg[9]—Ephraim McDowell, who settled at Phoebe's falls—John, the son of Ephraim,[10] who settled at Fairfield, where Col. James McDowell now lives—Hugh Telford, who settled at the Falling spring, in the forks of James river—Paul Whitley, who settled on Cedar creek, where the Red Mill now is—Archibald Alexander, who settled on the North river, opposite Lexington—Andrew Moore, who settled adjoining Alexander—Sampson Archer, who settled at Gilmore's spring, east of the Bridge tavern, and Capt. John Matthews, who married Betsy Archer, (the daughter of Sampson) settled where Major Matthews lives, below the Natural bridge.

Among others who came to Virginia at this time, was an Irish girl named Polly Mulhollin. On her arrival she was hired to James Bell to pay her passage; and with whom she remained during the period her servitude was to continue. At its expiration she attired herself in the habit of a man; and with hunting shirt and mocassons, went into Burden's grant, for the purpose of making improvements and acquiring a title to land. Here she erected thirty cabins, by virtue of which she held one hundred acres adjoining each. When Benjamin Burden the younger, came on to make deeds to those who held cabin rights, he was astonished to see so many in the name of Mulhollin. Investigation led to a discovery of the mystery, to the great mirth of the other claimants. She resumed her christian name and feminine dress, and many of [45] her respectable descendants still reside within the limits of Burden's grant.[11]

When in 1752 Robert Dinwiddie came over as governor of Virginia, he was accompanied by many adventurers; among whom was John Stuart,[12] an intimate friend of Dinwiddie, who had married the widow of John Paul (son of Hugh, bishop of Nottingham.) John Paul, a partizan of the house of Stuart, had perished in the siege of Dalrymple castle in 1745, leaving three children—John, who became a Roman catholic priest and died on the eastern shore of Maryland—Audley, who was for ten years an officer in the British colonial forces,—and Polly, who married Geo. Matthews, afterwards governor of Georgia. Mrs. Paul (formerly Jane Lynn, of the Lynns of Loch-Lynn, a sister to the wife of John Lewis) had issue, by Stuart, John, since known as Col. Stuart of Greenbrier, and Betsy, who became the wife of Col. Richard Woods of Albemarle.

The greater part of those, who thus ventured "on the untried being" of a wilderness life, were Scottish presbyterian dissenters; a class of religionists, of all others perhaps, the most remarkable for rigid morality. They brought with them, their religious principles, and sectional prepossessions; and acting upon those principles acquired for their infant colony a moral and devotional character rarely possessed by similar establishments. While these sectional prepossessions, imbibed by their descendants, gave to their religious persuasions, an ascendency in that section of country, which it still retains.

They were also men of industry and enterprise. Hunting, which too frequently occupies the time, of those who make the forest their dwelling place, and abstracts the attention from more important pursuits, was to them a recreation—not the business of life. To improve their condition, by converting the woods into fertile plains, and the wilderness into productive meadows, was their chief object. In the attainment of this, they were eminently successful. Their individual circumstances became prosperous, and the country flourishing.

The habits and manners of the primeval inhabitants of any country, generally give to it a distinctive character, which marks it through after ages. Notwithstanding the influx of strangers, bringing with them prejudices and prepossessions, at variance with those of the community in which they come; [46] yet such is the influence of example, and such the facility with which the mind imbibes the feelings and sentiments of those with whom it associates, that former habits are gradually lost and those which prevail in society, imperceptibly adopted by its new members.

In like manner, the moral and religious habits of those who accompanied Burden to Virginia, were impressed on the country which they settled, and entailed on it that high character for industry, morality and piety, which it still possesses, in an eminent degree.

At the time of the establishment of this settlement, all that part of Virginia lying west of the Blue ridge mountains, was included in the county of Orange. At the fall session, of the colonial legislature, in 1738, the counties of Frederick and Augusta were formed out of Orange—The country included within the boundaries of the Potomac river, on the north, the Blue ridge, on the east, and a line, to be run from the head spring of Hedgman, to the head spring of Potomac, on the south and west, to be the county of Frederick; the remainder of the state west of the Blue ridge, to the utmost limits of Virginia to constitute Augusta. Within its limits were included, not only a considerable portion of Virginia as she now is, but an extent of territory out of which has been already carved four states, possessing great natural advantages, and the extreme fertility of whose soil, will enable them to support perhaps a more dense population, than any other portion of North America of equal dimensions. As the settlements were extended, subdivisions were made, 'till what was once Augusta county south east of the Ohio river, has been chequered on the map of Virginia, into thirty-three counties with an aggregate population of 289,362.[13]

[48] About the year 1749 there was in the county of Frederick, a man subject to lunacy, and who, when laboring under the influence of this disease, would ramble a considerable distance into the neighboring wilderness. In one of these wanderings he came on some of the waters of Greenbrier river. Surprised to see them flowing in a westwardly direction, on his return to Winchester he made known the fact, and that the country abounded very much with different kinds of Game. In consequence of this information two men, recently from New England, visited the country and took up their residence on the Greenbrier river.

Having erected a cabin and being engaged in making some other improvements, an altercation arose, which caused Stephen Suel,[14] one of them, to forsake the cabin and abide for some time in a hollow tree not far from the improvement, which was still occupied by his old companion. They were thus situated in 1751, when John Lewis, of Augusta and his son Andrew were exploring the country; to whom Suel made known the cause of their living apart, and the great pleasure which he experienced now in their morning salutations, when issuing from their respective habitations; whereas when they slept under the same roof, none of those kindly greetings passed between them. Suel however did not long remain in the vicinity of Martin, the other of the two adventurers; he moved forty miles west of his first improvement, and soon after fell a prey to Indian ferocity. Martin is said to have returned to the settlements.

There was no other attempt made by the whites, to improve the Greenbrier country for several years. Lewis and his son thoroughly examined it; and when permission was given to the Greenbrier company (of which John Lewis was a member) to locate 100,000 acres, on the waters of this river, they became agents to make the surveys and locations. The war between France and England in 1754 checked their proceedings; and when they, on the restoration of peace, would have resumed them, they were interdicted by a royal proclamation, issued in 1761, commanding all those who had made settlements on the western waters to remove from them; and those who were engaged in making surveys to desist. Sound policy requiring, that a good understanding should be maintained with the Indians (who claimed the country) to prevent a further cooperation on their part with France.[15]

Previous to the issuing of this proclamation, some families had moved to Greenbrier and made two settlements—the one on Muddy creek, the other in the Big-Levels. These, disregarding the command of his royal majesty and rather regardless of their own safety, remained until they were destroyed by the Indians, in 1763.[16] From this time 'till 1769 Greenbrier was altogether uninhabited. Capt. John Stuart and a few other young men, then began to settle and improve the country; and although attempts were subsequently made by the Indians to exterminate them, yet they ever after continued in possession of it.

[49] In the year 1756 settlements were also made on New river and on Holstein.[17] Among the daring adventurers who effected them, were Evan Shelby, William Campbell, William Preston and Daniel Boone, all of whom became distinguished characters in subsequent history. Thomas Walden,[18] who was afterwards killed on Clinch river and from whom the mountain dividing Clinch and Powel rivers derived its name, was likewise one of them. The lands taken up by them, were held as "corn rights" each acquiring a title to an hundred acres of the adjoining land, for every acre planted in corn.

Nearly cotemporaneous with these establishments, was that at Galliopolis, on the north western bank of the Ohio, and below Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa. This was made by a party of French Jesuits, by whom the Indians were incited to make incursions, and commit the most enormous barbarities on the then frontiers.[19] This place and the mouth of Great Sandy were the chief points of rendezvous for the Ohio Indians. From the former of these places they would ascend the Kenhawa and Greenbrier rivers, and from thence crossing the mountains enter into Augusta; or after having ascended the Kenhawa, go up the New river, from which they would pass over to the James and Roanoke. From the mouth of Great Sandy they would ascend that river, and by the way of Bluestone fall over on the Roanoke and New river. From those two points, expeditions were frequently made by the Indians, which brought desolation and death into the infant settlements of the south west, and retarded their growth very much. In the spring of 1757 nearly the whole Roanoke settlement was destroyed by a party of Shawanees, who had thus made their way to it.

That portion of the valley of Virginia in which establishments were thus begun to be made, was at that time one continued forest; overspreading a limestone soil of great fertility; and intersected by rivers affording extensive bottoms of the most productive alluvial land. Indeed few rivers of equal size, are bordered with as wide and fertile levels of this formation of earth, as those which water that section of country: the Roanoke particularly affords large bodies of it, capable of producing in great abundance hemp, tobacco and the different kinds of grain usually grown. In the country generally, every species of vegetable, to which the climate was congenial, grew with great luxuriancy; while the calcareous nature of the soil, adapted it finely to the production of that kind of grain, to which European emigrants were mostly used.

The natural advantages of the country were highly improved by the persevering industry of its inhabitants. Its forests, felled by untiring labor, were quickly reduced to profitable cultivation, and the weeds which spontaneously sprang from the earth, were soon succeeded by the various grasses calculated to furnish the most nutritious food, for the lowing herds with which their farmers were early stocked; these yielded a present profit, and laid the sure foundation [50] of future wealth. Some of the most extensive and successful graziers of Virginia, now inhabit that country; and reap the rich reward of their management and industry, in the improved and more contiguous market of Richmond.

In the infancy of these establishments, their only market was at Williamsburg. Thither the early settlers packed their butter and poultry, and received in exchange salt, iron, and some of the luxuries of life; their beef and other stock was taken to the same place. In the process of time, as the country east of the Blue ridge became more improved, other markets were opened to them; and the facilities of communication were gradually increased. Their successors have already derived great advantage from those improvements; and the present generation will not only witness their farther extension, but most probably see the country first tenanted by Lewis and his cotemporaries, a great thoroughfare for the produce of several of the western states—a link of communication between the Chesapeak bay and the Gulph of Mexico.

——- [1] King Shingiss was a famous village chief, "a terror to the frontier settlements of Pennsylvania." A brother, and later the successor of King Beaver, his camp was at the mouth of Beaver Creek, which empties into the Ohio twenty-six miles below "the forks" (site of Pittsburg). Christopher Gist visited him November 24, 1750. In 1759, when Fort Pitt was built, Shingiss moved up Beaver Creek to Kuskuskis on the Mahoning, and finally to the Muskingum. The land about the mouth of Beaver Creek is called "Shingis Old Town" in the Ft. Stanwix treaty, 1784.—R. G. T.

[2] The numbers here set down and those given below, are as they were ascertained by Capt. Hutchins, who visited the most of the tribes for purpose of learning their population in 1768.

[3] A tradition among the Delawares says that formerly the Catawbas came near one of their hunting camps and remaining in ambush at night sent two or three of their party round the camp with Buffalo hoofs fixed to their feet, to make artificial buffalo tracks and thus decoy the hunters from their camp. In the morning the Delawares, discovering the tracks and supposing them to have been made by buffaloes, followed them some time; when suddenly the Catawbas rose from their covert, fired at and killed several of the hunters; the others fled, collected a party and went in pursuit of the Catawbas. These had brought with them, rattle snake poison corked up in a piece of cane stalk; into which they dipped small reed splinters, which they set up along their path. The Delawares in pursuit were much injured by those poisoned splinters, and commenced retreating to their camp. The Catawbas discovering this, turned upon their pursuers, and killed and scalped many of them.

[4] John Peter Salling, sometimes spoken of as Peter Adam Salling, was, if not of German birth, of German descent. With his brother Henry, he early settled in the forks of James River and North Branch, in the southern part of what is now Rockbridge county, Va. The details of his early explorations in the West are involved in doubt, but that he had such adventures there seems no good reason to doubt. It will be noticed that Withers omits the date; some writers have placed it at about 1724, but the probable time was 1738-40. His descendants told Draper (about 1850) that the family tradition was, that Salling and a son were employed by the governor of Virginia to explore the country to the southwest; and when near the present Salem, Roanoke county, they were captured by Cherokees and carried to the Ohio River—one account says by way of the Tennessee, another by the New (Great Kanawha), their boat being made of buffalo skins. They appear by this tradition to have escaped, and in descending the Mississippi to have fallen into the hands of Spaniards. The son died, and the father was sent in a vessel bound for Spain, there to be tried as a British spy; but the Spaniard being captured by an English vessel, our hero was landed at Charleston, whence he reached his frontier home after an absence of over three years. This story differs in many details from the one in Kercheval's History of the Valley of Virginia, and also that in Withers's text, above. Salling kept a journal which was extant in 1745, for in the Wisconsin Historical Society's library is a diary kept by Capt. John Buchanan, who notes that in that year he spent two days in copying a part of it. In Du Pratz' History of Louisiana (London, 1774), Salling and one John Howard are said to have made this trip in 1742, and the authority is said to be a Report of the Government of Virginia. But Salling must have returned home by 1742, for his name is in the roll of Capt. John McDowell's militia company, and he was probably in the fight with the Indians (Dec. 14) that year, in which McDowell lost his life. In 1746, we found Salling himself a militia captain in the Rockbridge district of Augusta county. In September, 1747, he was cited to appear at court martial for not turning out to muster—and this is the last record we have of him. Descendants, named Sallee, now live in Kentucky and Tennessee.—R. G. T.

[5] John Lewis, the father of Gen. Andrew Lewis, was probably of Welsh descent, and born in 1678 in County Donegal, Ireland. About 1716 he married Margaret Lynn, of the famous Lynns of Loch Lynn, Scotland. In a dispute over his tenancy (1729), he killed a man of high station,—some say, his Catholic landlord,—and fled to Portugal, whence in 1731, after strange adventures, he emigrated to America, and was joined there by his family. Fearing to live near a sea-port he established himself on the frontier, in the Valley of Virginia, two miles east of the present site of Staunton. His house was of stone, built for defense, and in 1754 it successfully stood an Indian siege. Lewis was colonel of the Augusta county militia as early as 1743, presiding justice in 1745, and high sheriff in 1748. In 1751, then 73 years of age, he assisted his son Andrew, then agent of the Loyal Company, to explore and survey the latter's grant on Greenbrier River. It was because the old man became entangled in the thicket of greenbriers, that he gave this name to the stream. He died at his old fort homestead, February 1, 1762, aged 84 years. Some accounts state that he was a Presbyterian; he was, however, an Episcopalian.—R. G. T.

[6] Lewis soon afterwards obtained leave from Governor Gooch to locate 100,000 acres of land in separate parcels on the waters of the Shenandoah and James rivers; and when he would go out in search of good land to locate, Mackey would accompany him to hunt buffalo. The former amassed a large estate, while the latter lived and died in comparative poverty.

[7] As Col. John Lewis had no son Samuel, probably Thomas Lewis, the elder brother of Andrew, though near-sighted, may have engaged in buffalo hunting.—L. C. D.

[8] Of the origin of Benjamin Borden, Sr. (the name was mispronounced Burden, on the frontier), little is known. He was probably from New Jersey, and early became a fur trader on the Virginia frontier; later he was in Lord Fairfax's employ as a land agent. As such, he visited Governor Gooch and obtained from him several valuable tracts—one of them (October 3, 1734), Borden Manor, on Sprout run, Frederick county; another, 100,000 acres at the head of the James, on condition of locating thereon a hundred families. At the end of two years he had erected 92 cabins with as many families, and a patent was granted him November 8, 1739, for 92,100 acres. He died in 1742, before further development of his enterprise. His son Benjamin succeeded to his vast estate, but died of small-pox in 1753. In 1744, he married the widow of John McDowell, mentioned on the next page, who had been killed in the Indian fight of December 14, 1742.—R. G. T.

[9] The daughter of John Patton subsequently became the wife of Col. W. Preston, and the mother of James Patton Preston, late a governor of Virginia.

———

Comment by L. C. D.—This note of Mr. Withers, derived from Taylor's sketches (mentioned below), is erroneous both as to Patton and Preston. Col. Patton's first name was not John, but James, as both the records and his own autograph sufficiently attest. Neither did John Preston, nor his son Col. Wm. Preston, marry Col. Patton's daughter, but John Preston married his sister. Miss Elizabeth Patton, while crossing the Shannon in a boat, met the handsome John Preston, then a young ship carpenter, and an attachment grew out of their accidental meeting. But as Miss Patton belonged to the upper class of society, there was a wide gulf between their conditions, and a runaway match was the only way out of the difficulty. Gov. James Patton Preston was named after his grand-uncle. James Patton was born in County Londonderry, Ireland, in 1692. For many years he was a prosperous navigator, and crossed the Atlantic twenty-five times with "redemptioners" for Virginia; he was also an officer in the royal navy in the wars with the Netherlands. Having obtained a grant of 120,000 acres above the Blue Ridge, he himself settled in Virginia in 1735. A man of wealth, enterprise and influence, he was a justice, sheriff, Indian treaty commissioner, and finally county lieutenant of Augusta. In 1755, he was killed by Indians while conveying ammunition to the borderers.

[10] Capt. John McDowell was of Scotch descent, and born in Ulster, Ireland, but in early manhood came to America, settling first in Pennsylvania, and then the Virginia Valley (autumn of 1737). He at once became one of Benjamin Borden's surveyors, and for five years made surveys on Borden's Manor. Becoming a captain in the Augusta militia, he was ordered to go out against a party of Northern Indians who, on the war-path against the Catawbas, had taken in the Virginia Valley on their way, and annoyed and plundered the white settlers. The savages were overtaken on the North Branch of James River, some fifteen miles from McDowell's place, and an engagement ensued (Dec. 14, 1742), in which McDowell and seven others lost their lives. The Indians escaped with small losses. This was the first battle between whites and Indians, in the Virginia Valley.—R. G. T.

[11] This incident is well authenticated. See the deposition of Mrs. Mary Greenlee, preserved in the famous Borden land suit, among the court records of Augusta county, Va. Mrs. Greenlee was the sister of Capt. John McDowell, and among the very earliest settlers of that part of Augusta, now Rockbridge county. Mrs Greenlee's deposition is published in full in Peyton's History of Augusta County, Va. (Staunton, Va., 1882), pp. 69-74.—L. C. D.

[12] The late Charles A. Stuart, of Greenbrier, son of Col. John Stuart, after the appearance of Hugh Paul Taylor's sketches over the signature of "Son of Cornstalk," published in the Staunton Spectator of August 21, 1829, over the signature of "Son of Blue Jacket," a brief criticism, in the nature of some corrections regarding his own family, to this effect: That Mrs. Jane Paul was no relative of Mrs. Margaret Lewis, wife of Col. John Lewis; that her first husband, Mr. Paul—not John, but probably Hugh Paul—was apparently from the north of Ireland—their son Audley Paul was born before the migration of the family to Pennsylvania; Mr. Paul, Sr., it is said, became the pastor of the Presbyterian congregation of Chester, in that province; but as Chester was a Quaker settlement, it is more likely that he located in some Presbyterian community in that region, and there must have died. Mrs. Paul, for her second husband, married Col. David Stuart, also from Ireland, by whom she had John Stuart and two daughters. Mrs. Stuart's grandchild, Charles A. Stuart, resided many years in Augusta, representing that county in the State senate, subsequently removed back to Greenbrier county, where he died about 1850, at the age of about sixty-five years. He was a man of sterling qualities.—L. C. D.

[13] The following table exhibits a list of the several counties west of the Blue ridge—the counties from which each was taken—when established—their area in square miles—population in 1830, and amount of taxation for the same year.

Counties. From what When Area. Population. Taxation. taken. formed.

Augusta, Orange, 1738 948 19,925 6,734 Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt and Monroe, 1822 521 2,816 526 Bath, Augusta, Botetourt and Greenbrier, 1791 795 4,068 865 [47] Brooke, Ohio, 1797 202 7,040 1,136 Berkeley, Frederick, 1772 308 10,528 3,356 Botetourt, Augusta, 1770 1057 16,354 3,809 Cabell, Kanawha, 1809 1033 5,884 629 Frederick, Orange, 1738 745 26,045 9,396 Greenbrier, Botet't & Montg'ry, 1778 1409 9,059 1,716 Giles, Montgomery, Monroe and Tazewell, 1806 935 5,300 541 Grayson, Wythe, 1793 927 7,675 537 Harrison, Monongalia, 1784 1095 14,713 1,669 Hampshire, Augusta & Fred'k, 1754 989 11,279 2,402 Hardy, Hampshire, 1786 1156 5,700 2,633 Jefferson, Berkeley, 1801 225 12,927 4,721 Kanawha, Greenb'r & M'tg'ry, 1789 2090 9,334 1,453 Lewis, Harrison, 1816 1754 6,241 630 Logan, Giles, Kanawha, Cabell & Tazewell, 1824 2930 3,680 245 Lee, Russell, 1793 512 9,461 789 Monongalia, District of W. A'g'ta, 1776 721 14,056 1,492 Monroe, Greenbrier, 1799 614 7,798 1,158 Morgan, Berkeley and Hampshire, 1820 271 2,702 546 Montgomery, Fincastle, 1777 1089 12,306 1,666 Mason, Kanawha, 1804 904 6,534 915 Nicholas, Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph, 1818 1431 3,338 373 Ohio, District of W. A'g'ta, 1776 375 15,590 1,968 Preston, Monongalia, 1818 601 5,144 441 Pendleton, Augusta, Hardy and Rockingham, 1788 999 6,271 1,120 Pocahontas, Bath, Pendleton and Randolph, 1821 794 2,542 405 Randolph, Harrison, 1787 2061 5,000 644 Russell, Washington, 1786 1370 6,717 739 Rockingham, Augusta, 1778 833 20,663 5,056 Rockbridge, Augusta & Botetourt, 1778 680 14,244 3,276 Scott, Lee, Russell and Washington, 1814 624 5,712 503 Shenandoah, Frederick, 1772 767 19,750 4,922 Tyler, Ohio, 1814 855 4,308 757 Tazewell, Russell & Wythe, 1799 1305 5,573 727 Washington, Fincastle, 1777 1754 15,614 2,918 Wythe, Montgomery, 1790 1998 12,163 2,178 Wood, Harrison, 1799 1223 6,418 1,257

Total, 378,293 76,848

[14] Little and Big Sewell mountains, dividing Fayette and Greenbrier counties, seem to perpetuate the name and memory of this early and adventurous pioneer. Col. John Stuart states, that Sewell's final settlement was forty miles west of his primitive one, and on a creek bearing his name originating in Sewell mountain, and flowing into Gauley. Col. Preston, in his Register, gives September, 1756, as the date of Stephen Sewell's death by the Indians, and Jackson's River as the locality.

Mrs. Anne Royall, in Sketches of the History, Life and Manners of the United States, (New Haven, 1826), p. 60, who visited the Greenbrier country in 1824, gives the name of Carver as Sewell's companion. "These two men," says Mrs. Royall, "lived in a cave for several years, but at length they disagreed on the score of religion, and occupied different camps. They took care, however, not to stay far from each other, their camps being in sight. Sewell used to relate that he and his friend used to sit up all night without sleep, with their guns cocked, ready to fire at each other. 'And what could that be for?' 'Why, because we couldn't agree.' 'Only two of you, and could you not agree—what did you quarrel about?' 'Why, about re-la-gin.' One of them, it seems, was a Presbyterian, and the other an Episcopalian."—L. C. D.

[15] An error as to date. King George's proclamation was dated Oct. 7, 1763. For full text, see Wisconsin Historical Collections, XI., pp. 46 et seq.—R. G. T.

[16] Thomas King, one of the ablest of the Iroquois chiefs, related an incident at an Indian conference held at Easton, Pa., Oct. 18, 1758, which may explain why the Indians evinced so much hostility against the Greenbrier settlements. "About three years ago," said Chief King, "eight Seneca warriors were returning from war, with seven prisoners and scalps with them; and, at a place called Greenbrier, they met with a party of soldiers, not less than one hundred and fifty, who kindly invited them to come to a certain store, saying they would supply them with provisions. Accordingly they travelled two days with them, in a friendly manner, and when they came to the house, they took their arms from the Senecas. The head men cried out, 'here is death; defend yourselves as well as you can,' which they did, and two of them were killed on the spot, and one, a young boy, was taken prisoner. This gave great offense; and the more so, as it was upon the warrior's road, and we were in perfect peace with our brethren. It provoked us to such a degree that we could not get over it. He wished the boy returned, if alive; and told his name, Squissatego." See Hazard's Penna. Register, V., p. 373; and Penna. Records, VIII., pp. 197-98.—L. C. D.

[17] There were settlers on both New and Holston rivers prior to 1756—Vause, Stalnacker and others on New River; and Stephen Holston, at least, on the river bearing his name, which was known as such anterior to April, 1748, when Dr. Walker, in his Journal of 1750, refers to it by that designation. But William Campbell did not settle on Holston until 1767; Wm. Preston settled in 1769; Evan Shelby and family in 1771; and, while Daniel Boone passed through that country as early, it is believed, as 1760, he never "settled" there.

A further notice of Stephen Holston, or Holstein, seems fitting in this connection. He was of an adventurous turn, and prior to 1748 had, during a hunt, discovered the river named after him. It was after this discovery that he settled on the Little Saluda, near Saluda Old Town, in South Carolina, where, in the summer of 1753, a party of Cherokees returning from a visit to Gov. Glen, at Charleston, behaved so rudely to Mrs. Holston, in her husband's absence, as to frighten her and her domestics away, fleeing several miles to the nearest settlement, when the house was robbed of utensils and corn, and two valuable horses were also taken. Holston and some of his neighbors settled on Holston's River, in what subsequently became Botetourt county: soon after this, they constructed canoes, and passed down the Holston into the Tennessee River, through the Muscle Shoals, and down the Ohio and Mississippi as far as Natchez. Returning from this notable adventure, his name became fixed to the noble stream which he discovered, and upon which he made the primitive settlement. His location on Holston was at the head spring of the Middle Fork; his log cabin was on the hill side some thirty rods from the spring. In 1774, one Davis occupied the place, and related that Holston had left several years before that date. On the breaking out of the Indian war in 1754, he seems to have retired with his family to Culpeper county, which was then not exempt from Indian forays; and Holston, about 1757, was captured by the Indians. But in due time he returned to the Holston country, served in the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, on Christian's campaign against the Cherokees in 1776, and was reported in service in 1776 or 1777. As we hear no more of him, he probably did not long survive after this period.—L. C. D.

[18] The first name of Walden was not Thomas—Elisha Walden was his proper name. He was a son-in-law of William Blevins, and both Walden and Blevins lived, in 1774, at the "Round-About" on Smith's River, two miles east of what is now Martinsville, Henry county, Virginia. He was then about forty years of age, nearly six feet in height, a rough frontiersman, and a noted hunter. He and several others, in 1761, penetrated into Powell's Valley, naming Walden's Mountain and Walden's Creek, and proceeded on through Cumberland Gap to Cumberland River, and a few miles beyond to the Laurel Mountain, where meeting a party of Indians, they returned. In subsequent years, Walden settled on Holston, about eighteen miles above Knoxville, where he was residing in 1796; a few years later, he removed to Powell's Valley, but soon after migrated to Missouri, where he lived hunting up to extreme old age. Save what is related from Haywood's Hist. of Tennessee about the trip of 1761, this information was communicated to the writer in 1849, by Maj. John Redd, of Henry county, Va., who personally knew the old hunter very well.—L. C. D.

[19] A curious misconception, this. Some of the founders of Marietta acquired in 1788 a large tract west and north of their own, and as a private speculation organized the Scioto Company. Joel Barlow, the poet, was sent to Paris to negotiate the sale of the lands. To the "Society of the Scioto," formed by him there, he sold three million acres, and France was deluged with rose-colored immigration pamphlets written by Barlow. In February, 1790, six hundred Frenchmen—chiefly professional men and small artisans from the large towns, with not an agriculturist among them—arrived in Alexandria, Va., en route for the Scioto. They found that the Society, not having paid for its lands, had forfeited its rights, and deeds granted to the intending settlers were void. Five hundred finally went west, and founded Gallipolis. Poor, not knowing how to work the soil, and simple folk with no notions of independence, they suffered from famine, Indians, and yellow fever. They finally repurchased their lands, and upon the cessation of the border war gained some strength; but Gallipolis was never more than a weakling until Americans and Germans came in and put it on its feet.—R. G. T.



[51] CHAPTER II.

The tract of country usually denominated North Western Virginia, includes the counties of Brook, Ohio, Tyler, Wood, Lewis, Randolph, Preston, Harrison and Monongalia, covering an area of 8,887 square miles, and having a population, according to the census of 1830, of 78,510 souls. These counties, with a portion of Pennsylvania then deemed to be within the limits of Virginia, constituted the district of West Augusta; and was the last grand division of the state, to become occupied by the whites. This was perhaps owing to natural causes, as well as to the more immediate proximity of hostile Indians.

The general surface of this district of country is very broken, its hills, though rich, are yet steep and precipitous, and the various streams which flow along their bases, afford but few bottoms; and these of too narrow and contracted dimensions to have attracted the adventurer, when more invited portions of the country, were alike open to his enterprise.—The Alleghany ridge of mountains, over which the eastern emigrant had to pass, presented too, no inconsiderable barrier to its earlier location; while the cold, bleak, inhospitable region, extending from the North Branch to the Cheat and Valley rivers, seemed to threaten an entire seclusion from the eastern settlements, and to render it an isolated spot, not easily connected with any other section of the state.

The first attempt on the part of the English to occupy the country contiguous to the Ohio river, was made in consequence of the measures adopted by the French to possess themselves of it. France had early become acquainted with the country, so far as to perceive the facility with which her possessions in the north, might, by means of a free communication down the valley of the Mississippi, be connected with those in the south. To preserve this communication uninterrupted, to acquire influence over the neighboring Indians and to prevent the occupancy and settlement by England of the country west [52] of the Alleghany mountains, the French were early induced to establish trading posts among the Indians on the Ohio, and to obtain and preserve possession of the country by the erection of a chain of forts to extend from Canada to Louisiana.[1]

To counteract those operations of the French, to possess herself of the country, to which she deemed her title to be good, and to enjoy the lucrative traffic which was then to be carried on with the Indians, England gave to an association of gentlemen in Great Britain and Virginia, (under the title of the Ohio Company,) liberty to locate and hold in their own right, 600,000 acres of land within the country then claimed by both England and France. In pursuance of this grant, steps were directly taken to effect those objects, by establishing trading houses among the Indians near the Ohio, and by engaging persons to make such a survey of the country, as would enable the grantees to effect a location of the quantity allowed them, out of the most valuable lands. The company endeavored to complete their survey with all possible secrecy, and by inducing the Indians to believe their object to be purely commercial, to allay any apprehensions, which might otherwise arise, of an attempt to gain possession of the country.

The attempt to accomplish their purpose of territorial aggrandizement, with secrecy, was fruitless and unavailing.—The Pennsylvania traders, fearful that they would lose the profitable commerce carried on with the Indians, excited their jealousy by acquainting them with the real motive of the company; while the French actually seized, and made prisoners, of their traders, and opened and secured, by detachments of troops stationed at convenient situations, a communication from Presq' Isle to the Ohio river.

The Ohio company sent a party of men to erect a stockade fort at the confluence of the Monongahela and Alleghany rivers, which had been recommended by General Washington as a suitable position for the erection of fortifications.[2] This party of men was accompanied by a detachment of militia, which had been ordered out by the governor; but before they could effect their object, they were driven off by the French, [53] who immediately took possession of the place, and erected thereon Fort du Quesne. These transactions were immediately succeeded by the war, usually called Braddock's war, which put an end to the contemplated settlement, and the events of which are, for the most part, matter of general history. It may not however be amiss to relate some incidents connected with this war, which though of minor importance, may yet be interesting to some; and which have escaped the pen of the historian.

In Braddock's army there were two regiments of volunteer militia from Virginia.[3] One of these was commanded by Col. Russel of Fairfax; the other by Col. Fry, and was from Shenandoah and James rivers. In this latter regiment there was a company from Culpepper, commanded by Capt. Grant, (afterwards known as a considerable land holder in Kentucky) and of which John Field (who was killed in the battle at Point Pleasant) was a lieutenant. There was likewise in this regiment, a company of riflemen, from Augusta, commanded by Capt. Samuel Lewis, (the eldest son of John Lewis, who, with Mackey and Salling, had been foremost in settling that country) who was afterwards known as Col. Samuel Lewis of Rockingham.[4] In this company was also contained the five brothers of Capt. Lewis. Andrew, afterwards Gen. Lewis of Botetourt—Charles, afterwards Col. Lewis, who was likewise killed at Point Pleasant—William, John and Thomas. Among their compatriots in arms, were the five sons of Capt. John Matthews, (who had accompanied Burden to Virginia) Elihu Barkley, John McDowell,[5] Paul Whitly, James Bell, Patrick Lockard, and a number of others of the first settlers of Augusta, Rockbridge and Rockingham.

From the time the army crossed the Alleghany mountain, its movements were constantly watched by Indian spies, from Fort du Quesne; and as it approached nearer the point of destination, runners were regularly despatched, to acquaint the garrison with its progress, and manner of marching.—When intelligence was received that Braddock still moved in close order, the Indians laid the plan for surprising him, and carried it into most effectual execution with but little assistance from the French.[6]

[54] At the place where the English crossed the Monongahela river, there are about two acres of bottom land, bounded by the river on the east, and by a ledge of high cliffs on the west. Through these cliffs there is a considerable ravine, formed by the flowing of a small rivulet—On the summit, a wide prospect opens to the west, of a country whose base is level, but surface uneven. On this summit lay the French and Indians concealed by the prairie grass and timber, and from this situation, in almost perfect security, they fired down upon Braddock's men. The only exposure of the French and Indians, resulted from the circumstance of their having to raise their heads to peep over the verge of the cliff, in order to shoot with more deadly precision. In consequence, all of them who were killed in the early part of the action, were shot through the head.[7]

The companies, commanded by Capt. Grant and Lewis,[8] were the first to cross the river. As fast as they landed they formed, and proceeding up the ravine, arrived at the plain on the head of the rivulet, without having discovered the concealed enemy which they had just passed. So soon as the rear of Braddock's army had crossed the river, the enemy raised a heart rending yell, and poured down a constant and most deadly fire. Before General Braddock received his wound, he gave orders for the whole line to countermarch and form a phalanx on the bottom, so as to cover their retreat across the river. When the main column was wheeled, Grant's and Lewis' companies had proceeded so far in advance, that a large body of the enemy rushed down from both sides of the ravine, and intercepted them. A most deadly contest ensued. Those who intercepted Grant and Lewis, could not pass down the defile, as the main body of Braddock's army was there, and it would have been rushing into the midst of it, to inevitable destruction—the sides of the ravine were too steep and rocky to admit of a retreat up them, and their only hope of escape lay in cutting down those two companies and passing [55] out at the head of the ravine. A dreadful slaughter was the consequence. Opposed in close fight, and with no prospect of security, but by joining the main army in the bottom, the companies of Grant and Lewis literally cut their way through to the mouth of the ravine. Many of Lewis's men were killed and wounded, and not more than half of Grant's lived to reach the river bank. Almost the only loss the enemy sustained was in this conflict.

The unfortunate result of the campaign of 1755, gave to the French a complete ascendency over the Indians on the Ohio. In consequence of this there was a general distress on the frontier settlements of Virginia. The incursions of the Indians became more frequent and were extended so far, that apprehensions existed of an irruption into the country east of the Blue ridge.[9] This state of things continued until the capture of Fort du Quesne in 1758, by Gen. Forbes.

In the regiment commanded by Washington in the army of 1758, Andrew Lewis was a Major. With this gentleman, Gen. Washington had become acquainted during the campaign of 1754, and had formed of him, as a military man, the highest expectations; his conduct at the defeat of Major Grant, realized those expectations, and acquired for him a reputation for prudence and courage which he sustained unimpaired, during a long life of public service.[10]

Gen. Lewis was in person upwards of six feet high, finely proportioned, of uncommon strength and great activity. His countenance was stern and rather forbidding—his deportment distant and reserved; this rendered his person more awful than engaging. When he was at Fort Stanwich in 1768, as one of the commissioners from the colony of Virginia, to treat, in conjunction with commissioners from the eastern colonies, with the Six Nations, the Governor of New York remarked "that the earth seemed to tremble under his tread."

When the war of the revolution commenced, and General [56] Washington was commissioned commander in chief, he is said to have expressed a wish, that the appointment had been given to Gen. Lewis. Be this as it may, it is certain that he accepted the commission of Brigadier General at the solicitation of Washington; and when, from wounded pride[11] and a shattered constitution, he was induced to express an intention of resigning, Gen. Washington wrote him, entreating that he would not do so, and assuring him that justice should be done, as regarded his rank. Gen. Lewis, however, had become much reduced by disease, and did not think himself able, longer to endure the hardships of a soldier's life—he resigned his commission in 1780, and died in the county of Bedford, on the way to his home in Botetourt on Roanoke river.

When Major Grant, (who had been sent with a detachment for the purpose of reconnoitering the country about Fort du Quesne,) arrived in view of it, he resolved on attempting its reduction. Major Lewis remonstrated with him, on the propriety of that course, and endeavored to dissuade him from the attempt. Grant deemed it practicable to surprise the garrison and effect an easy conquest, and was unwilling that the provincial troops should divide with his Highland regulars the glory of the achievment—he therefore ordered Major Lewis two miles into the rear, with that part of the Virginia regiment then under his command.

Soon after the action had commenced, Lewis discovered by the retreating fire, that Grant was in an unpleasant situation, and leaving Capt. Bullet with fifty men to guard the baggage, hastened to his relief. On arriving at the battle ground, and finding Grant and his detachment surrounded by the Indians, who had passed his rear under covert of the banks of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, Major Lewis commenced a brisk fire and made so vigorous an attack on the Indians as to open a passage through which Grant and some few of his men effected an escape. Lewis and his brave provincials became enclosed within the Indian lines and suffered dreadfully. Out of eight officers five were killed, a sixth wounded and a seventh taken prisoner. Capt. Bullet, [57] who defended the baggage with great bravery and contributed much to save the remnant of the detachment, was the only officer who escaped unhurt.[12] Out of one hundred and sixty-six men, sixty-two were killed on the spot and two were wounded.

Major Lewis was himself made prisoner; and although stripped by the Indians of every article of his clothing, and reduced to perfect nudity, he was protected from bodily injury by a French officer, who took him to his tent and supplied him with clothes. Grant who had wandered all night with five or six of his men, came in, on the morning after the engagement, and surrendered himself a prisoner of war.

While Grant and Lewis were prisoners, the former addressed a letter to Gen. Forbes giving a detailed account of the engagement and attributing the defeat to the ill conduct of the latter. This letter, (being inspected by the French who knew the falsehood of the charge it contained) was handed to Maj. Lewis. Exasperated at this charge, Lewis waited on Major Grant and in the interview between them, after having bestowed on him some abusive epithets, challenged him to the field. Grant declined to accept the invitation; and Lewis, after spitting in his face in the presence of several of the French officers, left him to reflect on his baseness.

After this defeat a council was held by the Indians to determine on the course proper for them to pursue. The most of them had come from about Detroit at the instance of the French commandant there, to fortify Fort du Quesne against an attack by Forbes—the hunting season had arrived and many of them were anxious to return to their town. The question which attracted their attention most seriously was, whether Gen. Forbes would then retreat or advance. As Grant had been most signally defeated, many supposed that the main arm would retire into winter quarters, as Dunbar had, after the battle on the Monongahela. The French expressed a different opinion, and endeavored to prevail on the Indians to remain and witness the result. This however they refused to do, and the greater part of them left du Quesne. Upon this the commandant of the fort, in order to learn the course which Gen. Forbes would pursue, and to impress upon the English, an idea that the French were in return preparing to attack them, ordered the remainder of the Indians, a number of Canadians and some French regulars to reconnoitre the route [58] along which Gen. Forbes would be most likely to march his army, to watch their motions and harrass them as much as possible; determining if they could not thus force him to abandon the idea of attacking Du Quesne during that campaign, they would evacuate the fort and retire into Canada.

When Major Grant with his men had been ordered on to Du Quesne, the main army had been left at Raystown, where it continued for some time; an advance was however posted at fort Ligonier. Between this vanguard and the detachment from Du Quesne there was a partial engagement, which resulted in the loss of some of the Maryland troops. Fort Ligonier was then closely watched by the French and Indians, and several of the sentinels were killed, before the point from which the fires were directed, was discovered; it was at length ascertained that parties of the enemy would creep under the bank of the Loyal Hanna till they could obtain a position from which to do execution. Some soldiers were then stationed to guard this point, who succeeded in killing two Indians, and in wounding and making prisoner of one Frenchman. From him the English obtained information that the greater part of the Indians had left Du Quesne, and that the fort was defenceless: the army then moved forward and taking possession of its ruins established thereon Fort Pitt.[13] The country around began immediately to be settled, and several other forts were erected to protect emigrants, and to keep the Indians in awe.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13     Next Part
Home - Random Browse