Chronicles of Border Warfare
by Alexander Scott Withers
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Transcriber's Note

This is a 1971 reprint edition of the 1895 edition of "Chronicles of Border Warfare." The modern title page and verso have been relocated to the end of the text.

The 1895 edition includes and expands on the original 1831 edition. Throughout this text, the pagination of the original edition is indicated by brackets, such as [54].

Capitalization standards for the time (i.e. "fort Morgan," "mrs. Pindall," "Ohio river") have been preserved.

Variable hyphenation has been preserved.

Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

Author's punctuation style has been preserved.

Typographical problems have been corrected as listed in the Transcriber's Note at the end of the text.

Passages in italics are indicated by underscores.




History of the Settlement by the Whites, of North-Western Virginia, and of the Indian Wars and Massacres in that section of the State





A New Edition



Secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society, editor of "Wisconsin Historical Collections," and author of "The Colonies, 1492-1750," "Historic Waterways," "Story of Wisconsin," etc.

With the addition of a Memoir of the Author, and several Illustrative Notes.



Author of "King's Mountain and Its Heroes," "Autograph Collections of the Signers," etc.


Copyright, 1895


All rights reserved


Portrait of the Author Frontispiece.


Editor's Preface v

Memoir of the Author, by Lyman C. Draper viii

Original Title-page (photographic fac-simile) xiii

Original Copyright Notice xiv

Original Advertisement xv

Original Table of Contents (with pagination revised) xvii

Author's Text (with editorial notes) 1

Index, by the Editor 431


It is sixty-four years since the original edition of Withers's Chronicles of Border Warfare was given to the public. The author was a faithful recorder of local tradition. Among his neighbors were sons and grandsons of the earlier border heroes, and not a few actual participants in the later wars. He had access, however, to few contemporary documents. He does not appear to have searched for them, for there existed among the pioneer historians of the West a respect for tradition as the prime source of information, which does not now obtain; to-day, we desire first to see the documents of a period, and care little for reminiscence, save when it fills a gap in or illumines the formal record. The weakness of the traditional method is well exemplified in Withers's work. His treatment of many of the larger events on the border may now be regarded as little else than a thread on which to hang annotations; but in most of the local happenings which are here recorded he will always, doubtless, remain a leading authority—for his informants possessed full knowledge of what occurred within their own horizon, although having distorted notions regarding affairs beyond it.

The Chronicles had been about seven years upon the market, when a New York youth, inspired by the pages of Doddridge, Flint, and Withers, with a fervid love for border history, entered upon the task of collecting documents and traditions with which to correct and amplify the lurid story which these authors had outlined. In the prosecution of this undertaking, Lyman C. Draper became so absorbed with the passion of collecting that he found little opportunity for literary effort, and in time his early facility in this direction became dulled. He was the most successful of collectors of materials for Western history, and as such did a work which must earn for him the lasting gratitude of American historical students; but unfortunately he did little more than collect and investigate, and the idea which to the last strongly possessed him, of writing a series of biographies of trans-Alleghany pioneers, was never realized. He died August 26, 1891, having accomplished wondrous deeds for the Wisconsin Historical Society, of which he was practically the founder, and for thirty-three years the main stay; in the broader domain of historical scholarship, however, he had failed to reach his goal. His great collection of manuscripts and notes, he willed to his Society, which has had them carefully classified and conveniently bound—a lasting treasure for historians of the West and Southwest, for the important frontier period between about 1740 and 1816.

Dr. Draper had exhibited much ability as an editor, in the first ten volumes of the Wisconsin Historical Collections. In 1890, the Robert Clarke Company engaged him, as the best living authority on the details of Western border history, to prepare and edit a new edition of Withers. He set about the task with interest, and was engaged in the active preparation of "copy" during his last months on earth; indeed, his note upon page 123 of this edition is thought to have been his final literary work. He had at that time prepared notes for about one-fourth of the book, and had written his "Memoir of the Author."

The matter here rested until the autumn of 1894, when the publishers requested the present writer to take up the work where his revered friend had left it, and see the edition through the press. He has done this with some reluctance, conscious that he approached the task with a less intimate knowledge of the subject than his predecessor; nevertheless he was unwilling that Dr. Draper's notes on the early pages should be lost, and has deemed it a labor of love to complete the undertaking upon which the last thoughts of the latter fondly dwelt.

In the preparation of his own notes, the editor has had the great advantage of free access to the Draper Manuscripts; without their help, it would have been impossible to throw further light on many of the episodes treated by the author. The text of Withers has been preserved intact, save that where errors have obviously been typographical, and not intended by the author, the editor has corrected them—perhaps in a dozen instances only, for the original proof-reading appears to have been rather carefully done. The pagination of the original edition has in this been indicated by brackets, as [54]. In the original, the publisher's "Advertisement" and the "Table of Contents" were bound in at the end of the work,—see collation in Field's Indian Bibliography,—but evidently this was a make-shift of rustic binders in a hurry to get out the long-delayed edition, and the editor has taken the liberty to transfer them to their proper place; also, while preserving typographical peculiarities therein, to change the pagination in the "Contents" to accord with the present edition. In order clearly to indicate the authorship of notes, those by Withers himself are unsigned; those by Dr. Draper are signed "L. C. D."; and those by the present writer, "R. G. T."


Madison, Wis., February, 1895.



In 1831, an interesting volume appeared from the press of Joseph Israel, of Clarksburg, in North Western Virginia, prepared by Alexander Scott Withers, on the border wars of the West. It was well received at the time of its publication, when works on that subject were few, and read with avidity by the surviving remnant of the participators in the times and events so graphically described, and by their worthy descendants.

Historians and antiquarians also received it cordially, universally according it high praise. Mann Butler, the faithful historian of Kentucky, declared that it was "a work to which the public was deeply indebted," composed, as it was, with "so much care and interest." The late Samuel G. Drake, the especial historian of the Red Man, pronounced it "a work written with candor and judgment." The late Thomas W. Field, the discriminating writer on Indian Bibliography, says: "Of this scarce book, very few copies are complete or in good condition. Having been issued in a remote corner of North-Western Virginia, and designed principally for a local circulation, almost every copy was read by a country fireside until scarcely legible. Most of the copies lack the table of contents. The author took much pains to be authentic, and his chronicles are considered by Western antiquarians, to form the best collection of frontier life and Indian warfare, that has been printed."

Of such a work, now difficult to procure at any price, a new edition is presented to the public. In 1845, the writer of this notice visited the Virginia Valley, collecting materials on the same general subject, going over much the same field of investigation, and quite naturally, at that early period, identifying very large the sources of Mr. Withers's information, thus making it possible to reproduce his work with new lights and explanations, such as generally give pleasure and interest to the intelligent reader of border history.[1]

In 1829, a local antiquary, of Covington, a beautiful little village nestling in a high mountain valley near the head of James River, in Alleghany County, Virginia, gathered from the aged pioneers still lingering on the shores of time, the story of the primitive settlement and border wars of the Virginia Valley. Hugh Paul Taylor, for such was his name, was the precursor, in all that region, of the school of historic gleaners, and published in the nearest village paper, The Fincastle Mirror, some twenty miles away, a series of articles, over the signature of "Son of Cornstalk," extending over a period of some forty stirring years, from about 1740 to the close of the Revolutionary War. These articles formed at least the chief authority for several of the earlier chapters of Mr. Withers's work. Mr. Taylor had scarcely molded his materials into shape, and put them into print, when he was called hence at an early age, without having an opportunity to revise and publish the results of his labors under more favorable auspices.

Soon after Mr. Taylor's publication, Judge Edwin S. Duncan, of Peel Tree, in then Harrison, now Barbour County, West Virginia, a gentleman of education, and well fitted for such a work, residing in the heart of a region rife with the story of Indian wars and hair-breadth escapes, made a collection of materials, probably including Mr. Taylor's sketches, with a view to a similar work; but his professional pursuits and judicial services interposed to preclude the faithful prosecution of the work, so he turned over to Mr. Withers his historic gatherings, with such suggestions, especially upon the Indian race, as by his studies and reflections he was enabled to offer.

Other local gleaners in the field of Western history, particularly Noah Zane, of Wheeling, John Hacker, of the Hacker's Creek settlement, and others, freely furnished their notes and statements for the work. Mr. Withers, under these favorable circumstances, became quite well equipped with materials regarding especially the first settlement and Indian wars of the region now comprising West Virginia; and, to a considerable extent, the region of Staunton and farther southwest, of the French and Indian War period, together with Dunmore's War, and the several campaigns from the western borders of Virginia and Pennsylvania into the Ohio region, during the Revolutionary War.

Alexander Scott Withers, for his good services in the field of Western history, well deserves to have his name and memory perpetuated as a public benefactor. Descending, on his father's side, from English ancestry, he was the fourth child of nine, in the family of Enoch K. and Jennet Chinn Withers, who resided at a fine Virginia homestead, called Green Meadows, half a dozen miles from Warrenton, Fauquier county, Virginia, where the subject of this sketch was born on the 12th of October, 1792—on the third centennial anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. His mother was the daughter of Thomas Chinn and Jennet Scott—the latter a native of Scotland, and a first cousin of Sir Walter Scott.

Passing his early years in home and private schools, he became from childhood a lover of books and knowledge. He read Virgil at the early age of ten; and, in due time, entered Washington College, and thence entered the law department of the venerable institution of William and Mary, where Jefferson, Monroe, Wythe, and other Virginia notables, received their education.

Procuring a license to practice, he was admitted to the bar in Warrenton, where for two or three years he practiced his profession. His father dying in 1813, he abandoned his law practice, which he did not like, because he could not overcome his diffidence in public speaking; and, for quite a period, he had the management of his mother's plantation.

In August, 1815, he was united in marriage with Miss Melinda Fisher, a most estimable lady, a few months his junior; and about 1827, having a growing family, he looked to the Great West for his future home and field of labor, and moved to West Virginia, first locating temporarily in Bridgeport, in Harrison County, and subsequently settling near Clarksburg in the same county, where he devoted much time in collecting materials for and writing his Chronicles of Border Warfare.

The publisher, Joseph Israel, who took a deep interest in the work, as his "Advertisement" of it suggests, must have realized ample recompense for the work, as he had subscribers for the full edition issued; yet, from some cause, he failed pecuniarily, and Mr. Withers got nothing whatever for his diligence and labor in producing it, save two or three copies of the work itself. He used to say, that had he published the volume himself, he would have made it much more complete, and better in every way; for he was hampered, limited, and hurried—often correcting proof of the early, while writing the later chapters. Mr. Israel, the publisher, died several years ago.

After this worthy but unremunerative labor, Mr. Withers turned his attention to Missouri for a suitable home for his old age. He was disappointed in his visit to that new state, as the richer portions of the country, where he would have located, were more or less unhealthy. So he returned to West Virginia, and settled near Weston, a fine, healthful region of hills and valleys, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, in which he always took a deep interest. He also served several years as a magistrate, the only public position he ever filled.

The death of his wife in September, 1853, broke sadly into his domestic enjoyments; his family were now scattered, and his home was henceforward made with his eldest daughter, Mrs. Jennet S. Tavenner, and her husband, Thomas Tavenner, who in 1861 removed to a home adjoining Parkersburg, in West Virginia. Here our author lived a retired, studious life, until his death, which occurred, after a few days' illness, January 23, 1865, in the seventy-third year of his age.

Mr. Withers had no talent for the acquisition of wealth; but he met with marked success in acquiring knowledge. He was an admirer of ancient literature, and to his last days read the Greek classics in the original. A rare scholar, a lover of books, his tastes were eminently domestic; he was, from his nature, much secluded from the busy world around him. Nearly six feet high, rather portly and dignified, as is shown by his portrait, taken when he was about sixty years of age—he was kind and obliging to all, and emphatically a true Virginia gentleman of the old school. His sympathies during the War of Secession, were strongly in favor of the Union cause, the happy termination of which he did not live to witness. His son, Henry W. Withers, served with credit during the war in the Union service in the Twelfth Virginia Regiment.

Mr. Withers was blessed with two sons and three daughters—one of the sons has passed away; the other, Major Henry W. Withers, resides in Troy, Gilmer county, West Virginia; Mrs. Tavenner still lives at Parkersburg; Mrs. Mary T. Owen, at Galveston, Texas, and Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Thornhill, in New Orleans.

——- [1] The venerable Mark L. Spotts, an intelligent and long-time resident of Lewisburg, West Virginia, writes, in December, 1890: "I had an old and particular friend, Mr. Thomas Matthews, of this place, who, many years ago, conceived the idea of preparing and publishing a revised edition of Withers's Border Warfare, and no doubt had collected many facts looking to such a publication; but the old man's health gave way, he died, and his widow moved away, and what became of his notes, I can not say—perhaps destroyed."—L. C. D.



















Be it remembered, That on the twenty-sixth day of January, in the Fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, JOSEPH ISRAEL, of the said District, hath deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, To wit:

"Chronicles of Border Warfare, or a history of the settlement, by the whites, of North-Western Virginia: and of the Indian wars and massacres, in that section of the State; with reflections, anecdotes, &c.—By ALEXANDER S. WITHERS, 1831," in conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving and Etching historical and other prints."


Clerk of the Western District of Virginia.


The "Chronicles of Border Warfare" are now completed and presented to the public. Circumstances, over which the publisher had no control, have operated to delay their appearance beyond the anticipated period; and an apprehension that such might be the case, induced him, when issuing proposals for their publication, not positively to name a time at which the work would be completed and ready for delivery.

This delay, although unavoidable, has been the source of regret to the publisher, and has added considerably to the expenditure otherwise necessarily made, in attempting to rescue from oblivion the many interesting incidents, now, for the first time recorded. To preserve them from falling into the gulph of forgetfulness, was the chief motive which the publisher had in view; and should the profits of the work be sufficient to defray the expenses, actually incurred in its preparation and completion, he will be abundantly satisfied. That he will be thus far remunerated, is not for an instant doubted,—the subscription papers having attached to them, as many names as there are copies published.

In regard to the manner of its execution, it does not perhaps become him to speak. He was attentive to his duties, and watched narrowly the press; and if typographical errors are to be found, it must be attributed to the great difficulty of preventing them, even when the author is at hand to correct each proof sheet. They are however, certainly few, and such as would be likely to escape observation.



INTRODUCTION.—General view of the discovery of North America, by England, France and Spain. 1 to 11. Aborigines of America—Their origin. 12-27. Their persons and character—Indian antiquities. 28-43.

CHAPTER 1. Of the country west of Blue ridge, difficulties attending its first settlement; Indians in neighborhood—their tribes and numbers. Various parties explore the Valley; their adventures. Benjamin Burden receives a grant of land; settles 100 families, their general character, West of Blue ridge divided into two counties; its present population, &c. Discovery of Greenbrier, explored by Martin and Seal; by the Lewis's, Greenbrier Company, settlement of Muddy Creek and Big Levels, of New river and Holstein; of Gallipolis by French. 44-62.

CHAP. 2nd. North Western Virginia, divisions and population, Importance of Ohio river to the French, and the English; Ohio Company; English traders made prisoners by French, attempt to establish fort frustrated, French erect Fort du Quesne; War; Braddock's defeat; Andrew Lewis, character and services; Grant's defeat, capture of Fort du Quesne and erection of Fort Pitt: Tygart and Files settle on East Fork of Monongahela, File's family killed by Indians, Dunkards visit the country, settle on Cheat, their fate; settlement under Decker on the Monongahela, destroyed by Indians, pursuit by Gibson, origin of Long knives. 63-80.

CHAP. 3rd. Expedition to the mouth of Big Sandy, ordered back by governor, their extreme sufferings: Dreadful catastrophe at Levit's Fort, Shawnees visit James river settlements, their depredations and defeat, fortunate escape of Hannah Dennis, destruction at Muddy creek and Big Levels, Mrs. Clendennin, Indians visit Jackson and Catawba rivers, discovered, pursued, overtaken and dispersed, Mrs. Gunn. 81-99.

CHAP. 4th. Indians commit depredations in Pennsylvania, burn three prisoners, excesses of Paxton Boys, Black Boys of great service to frontier, engagement at Turtle creek, Traders attempt to supply Indians, affair at Sidelong hill, Fort Bedford taken by Blackboys, Capt. James Smith, his character and services. 100-116.

CHAP. 5th. Deserters from Fort Pitt visit head of Monongahela, The Pringles, Settlements of Buckhannon, of Hacker's creek, Monongahela and other places, Of Wheeling by Zane's, Their Character, Character of Wm. Lowther, Objects and character of the first settlers generally. 117-133.

CHAP. 6th. War of 1774, Inquiry into its cause, Boone and others visit Kentucky, Emigrants attacked by Indians, Surveyors begin operations there, Affair at Captina, and opposite Yellow creek, Excesses of Indians, Preparations for [ii] war, Expedition against Wappatomica, Incursion of Logan and others, Of Indians on West Fork. 134-158.

CHAP. 7th. Indians come on Big Kenhawa, Lewis and Jacob Whitsel taken prisoners, Their adventurous conduct, Plan of Dunmore's campaign, Battle at Point Pleasant, Dunmore enters Indian country and makes peace, Reflections on the motives of Dunmore's conduct. 159-186.

CHAP. 8th. General view of the relative situation of Great Britain and the colonies, British emissaries and American Tories stimulate the Savages to war, Progress of settlements in Kentucky, Character of Harrod, Boone and Logan, Attack on Harrod's fort, on Boone's and on Logan's, Bowman arrives to its relief, Cornstock visits Point Pleasant, Projected campaign against the Indians abortive, Cornstock's son visits him, Gilmore killed, Murder of Cornstock, Of Ellinipsico and others, Character of Cornstock. 187-214.

CHAP. 9. General alarm on the frontier, Savages commit depredations, Intelligence of contemplated invasion, Condition of Wheeling, Indians seen near it, Two parties under captain Mason and captain Ogal decoyed within the Indian lines and cut to pieces, Girty demands the surrender of Wheeling, Col. Zane's reply, Indians attacks the fort and retire, Arrival of col. Swearingen with a reinforcement, of captain Foreman, Ambuscade at Grave creek narrows, conspiracy of Tories discovered and defeated, Petro and White taken prisoners, Irruption into Tygarts Valley, Murder at Conoly's and at Stewarts. 215-235.

CHAP. 10. Measures of defence, Fort M'Intosh erected, exposed situation, commencement of hostilities, Attack on Harbert's blockhouse, Murder at Morgan's on Cheat, Of Lowther and Hughes, Indians appear before Fort at the point, Decoy Lieut. Moore into an ambuscade, a larger army visits Fort, stratagem to draw out the garrison, Prudence and precaution of capt. M'Kee. Fort closely besieged, Siege raised, Heroic adventure of Prior and Hammond to save Greenbrier, Attack on Donnelly's Fort, Dick Pointer, Affair at West's Fort, Successful artifice of Hustead, Affair at Cobern's fort, at Strader's, Murder of Stephen Washburn, captivity, &c. of James, Projected invasion of Indian country, Col. Clarke takes Kaskaskias and other towns, Fort Lawrens erected by Gen. M'Intosh and garrisoned. 236-256.

CHAP. 11. Gov. Hamilton marches to St. Vincent—critical situation of col. Clarke, his daring expedition against Hamilton, condition of Fort Lawren's, Successful stratagem of Indians there, Gen. M'Intosh arrives with an army, Fort evacuated, Transactions in Kentucky, captivity of Boone, his escape and expedition against Paint creek town, Indian [iii] army under Du Quesne appear before Boone's fort, politic conduct of Boone, Fort assaulted, Assailants repulsed, Expedition against Chilicothe towns under Bowman, Its failure, Kentucky increases rapidly in population. 257-274.

CHAP. 12. Hacker's creek settlement breaks up, Alarm of Indians near Pricket's fort, Stephen and Sarah Morgan sent to farm, Dream and anxiety of their father, His fearful encounter with two Indians, Kills both, Heroism of Mrs. Bozarth, Murders on Snow creek, captivity of Leonard Schoolcraft, Indians surprize Martin's fort, destruction there, Irruptions into Tygart's valley, Indians attack the house of Samuel Cottrail, Murder of John Schoolcraft's family, Projected campaign of British and Indians, Indians again in Tygart's Valley, mischief there, West's fort invested, Hazardous adventure of Jesse Hughs to obtain assistance, Skirmish between whites and savages, coolness and intrepidity of Jerry Curl, Austin Schoolcraft killed and his niece taken prisoner, Murder of Owens and Judkins, of Sims, Small Pox terrifies Indians, Transactions in Greenbrier, Murder of Baker and others, last outrage in that country. 275-293

CHAP. 13. Operations of combined army of British and Indians, Surrender of Ruddle's Station, Outrages of savages there, Col. Byrd enabled to restrain them, Martin's station surrenders, Byrd returns to the Indian towns, Escape of Hinkstone, Invasion of North Western Virginia, Plan of campaign, Indians discovered near Wheeling, Take prisoners, Alarmed for their own safety, kill their prisoners and retire, Expedition under Col. Broadhead, against the Munsies, against Coshocton, excesses of the whites there, Expedition under Gen. Clarke against Chilicothe and Piqua, Battle at Piqua, Indian depredations in Virginia, murder of capt. Thomas and family, of Schoolcraft, Manear, and others, Destruction of Leading creek settlement, aggressors overtaken by a party under Col. Lowther, Affair of Indian creek, murder of Mrs. Furrenash, Williamson's first expedition against Moravian Indians, Prisoners taken sent to Fort Pitt, Set at liberty, Their settlements broken up by Wyandotts. 294-317.

CHAP. 14. The murder of Monteur and his family, others taken prisoners, Second expedition of Williamson against Moravians, its success and the savage conduct of the whites, Expedition under Crawford, his defeat—Is taken prisoner and burned; captivity and escape of Doctor Knight, of Slover; Death of Mills—Signal achievement of Lewis Whitsel. 318-339.

CHAP. 15. Murder of White, Dorman and wife taken prisoners; Inhabitants on Buckhannon evacuate the fort, attacked by Indians on their way to the Valley; Whites visiting [iv] Buckhannon settlement discovered and watched by Indians—conduct of George Jackson to obtain aid, Stalnaker killed, Indians cross Alleghany—miss Gregg killed by Dorman, murder of mrs. Pindall, of Charles Washburn, of Arnold and Richards—Daring conduct of Elias Hughes—murder of Corbly's family—Grand council of Indians at Chillicothe, Its determinations; Indian army enters Kentucky; Affair at Bryants station; Battle of Blue Licks—Expedition under Gen. Clarke, Attack on Wheeling, Attempt to demolish the fort with a wooden cannon, Signal exploit of Elizabeth Zane, Noble conduct of Francis Duke, Indians withdraw, Attack on Rives [Rice's] Fort, Encounter of Poe with two Indians. 340-364.

CHAP. 16. Peace with G. Britain, War continued by Indians—Operations in N. W. Virginia—murder of Daniel Radcliff, Attack on Cunninghams upon Bingamon, murders there; murders in Tazewell, of Davison, of Moore, mrs. Moore and seven children taken prisoners, their fate—murder of Ice, &c. Levi Morgan encounters two Indians, Indians steal horses on West Fork, pursued and punished by col. Lowther—murder of the Wests on Hacker's creek, Remarkable recovery of J. Hacker's daughter—murder of the Johnsons on Ten-mile creek, At Macks, Artifice of John Sims. 365-383.

CHAP. 17. Rapid increase of population of Kentucky, operations there—Preparations of the general Government to carry on the war in the Indian country, Settlement of Marietta, Of Cincinatti, Fort Washington erected, Settlement of Duck creek, Big Bottom and Wolf creeks—Harmar's campaign, murder of whites on Big Bottom, murder of John Bush—Affair at Hansucker's on Dunkard—murder of Carpenter and others and escape of Jesse Hughes—campaign under Gen. St. Clair—Attack at Merrill's, Heroic conduct of mrs. Merrill, Signal success of expedition under Gen. Scott. 384-407.

CHAP. 18. Indians visit Hacker's creek—murder of the Waggoners and captivity of others—murder of Neal and Triplet, major Truman and col. Hardin killed, Greater preparations made by General Government, John and Henry Johnson, Attack on the hunting camp of Isaac Zane, Noble conduct of Zane—Treatment of Indian prisoners, Fort Recovery erected, Escape of Joseph Cox—murder of miss Runyan and attack on Carder's, Indians kill and make prisoners the Cozads, Affair at Joseph Kanaan's, Progress of army under Gen. Wayne, Indians attack and defeat detachment under M'Mahon, battle of Au Glaize and victory of General Wayne, Affair at Bozarth's on Buckhannon—Treaty of Greenville. 408-430.



It is highly probable that the continent of America was known to the Ancient Carthaginians, and that it was the great island Atalantis, of which mention is made by Plato, who represents it as larger than Asia and Africa. The Carthaginians were a maritime people, and it is known that they extended their discoveries beyond the narrow sphere which had hitherto limited the enterprise of the mariner. And although Plato represents Atalantis as having been swallowed by an earthquake, and all knowledge of the new continent, if any such ever existed, was entirely lost, still it is by no means improbable, that it had been visited by some of the inhabitants of the old world, prior to its discovery by Columbus in 1492. The manner of this discovery is well known, as is also the fact that Americo Vespucci, a Florentine, under the authority of Emmanuel king of Portugal, in sailing as far as Brazil discovered the main land and gave name to America.

These discoveries gave additional excitement to the adventurous spirit which distinguished those times, and the flattering reports made of the country which they had visited, inspired the different nations of Europe, with the desire of reaping the rich harvest, which the enlightened and enterprising mind of Columbus, had unfolded to their view. Accordingly, as early as March 1496, (less than two years after the discovery by Columbus) a commission was granted by Henry VII king of England, to John Cabot and his three sons, empowering them to sail under the English banner in quest of new discoveries, and in the event of their success to take possession, in the name of the king of England, of the countries thus discovered and not inhabited by Christian people.

The expedition contemplated in this commission was never carried into effect. But in May 1498 Cabot with his son Sebastian, embarked on a voyage to attain the desired object, and succeeded in his design so far as to effect a discovery of [4] North America, and although he sailed along the coast from Labrador to Virginia, yet it does not now appear that he made any attempt either at settlement or conquest.

This is said to have been the first discovery ever made of that portion of our continent which extends from the Gulph of Mexico to the North pole; and to this discovery the English trace their title to that part of it, subsequently reduced into possession by them.[1]

As many of the evils endured by the inhabitants of the western part of Virginia, resulted from a contest between England and France, as to the validity of their respective claims to portions of the newly discovered country, it may not be amiss to take a general view of the discoveries and settlements effected by each of those powers.

After the expedition of Cabot, no attempt on the part of England, to acquire territory in America, seems to have been made until the year 1558. In this year letters patent were issued by Queen Elizabeth, empowering Sir Humphrey Gilbert to "discover and take possession of such remote, heathen, and barbarous lands, as were not actually possessed by any christian prince or people." Two expeditions, conducted by this gentleman terminated unfavorably. Nothing was done by him towards the accomplishment of the objects in view, more than the taking possession of the island of New Foundland in the name of the English Queen.

In 1584 a similar patent was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, under whose auspices was discovered the country south of Virginia. In April of that year he dispatched two vessels under the command of Amidas and Barlow, for the purpose of visiting, and obtaining such a knowledge of the country which he proposed to colonize, as would facilitate the attainment of his object. In their voyage they approached the North American continent towards the Gulph of Florida, and sailing northwardly touched at an island situate on the inlet into Pamlico sound, in the state of North Carolina. To this island they gave the name of Wocoken, and proceeding from thence reached Roanoke near the mouth of Albemarle sound. After having remained here some weeks, and obtained from the natives the best information which they could impart concerning the country, Amidas and Barlow returned to England.

In the succeeding year Sir Walter had fitted out a squadron of seven ships, the command of which he gave to Sir Richard [5] Grenville. On board of this squadron were passengers, arms, ammunition and provisions for a settlement. He touched at the islands of Wocoken and Roanoke, which had been visited by Amidas and Barlow, and leaving a colony of one hundred and eight persons in the island of Roanoke, he returned to England. These colonists, after having remained about twelve months and explored the adjacent country, became so discouraged and exhausted by fatigue and famine, that they abandoned the country. Sir Richard Grenville returning shortly afterwards to America, and not being able to find them, and at a loss to conjecture their fate, left in the island another small party of settlers and again set sail for England.

The flattering description which was given of the country, by those who had visited it, so pleased Queen Elizabeth, that she gave to it the name of Virginia, as a memorial that it had been discovered in the reign of a Virgin Queen.

Other inefficient attempts were afterwards made to colonize North America during the reign of Elizabeth, but it was not 'till the year 1607, that a colony was permanently planted there. In December of the preceding year a small vessel and two barks, under the command of captain Newport, and having on board one hundred and five men, destined to remain, left England. In April they were driven by a storm into Chesapeak bay, and after a fruitless attempt to land at Cape Henry, sailed up the Powhatan (since called James) River, and on the 13th of May 1607, debarked on the north side of the river at a place to which they gave the name of Jamestown. From this period the country continued in the occupancy of the whites, and remained subject to the crown of Great Britain until the war of the revolution.

A new charter which was issued in 1609 grants to "the treasurer and company of the adventurers, of the city of London for the first colony of Virginia, in absolute property the lands extending from Point Comfort along the sea coast two hundred miles to the northward, and from the same point, along the sea coast two hundred miles to the southward, and up into the land throughout from sea to sea, west and north-west; and also all islands lying within one hundred miles of the coast of both seas of the precinct aforesaid." Conflicting charters, granted to other corporations, afterwards narrowed her limits; that she has been since reduced to her present comparatively small extent of territory, is attributable exclusively [6] to the almost suicidal liberality of Virginia herself.

On the part of France, voyages for the discovery and colonization of North America were nearly contemporaneous with those made by England for like objects. As early as the year 1540, a commission was issued by Francis 1st for the establishment of Canada.[2] In 1608, a French fleet, under the command of Admiral Champlaine, arrived in the St. Lawrence and founded the city of Quebec. So successful were her attempts to colonize that province, that, notwithstanding its proximity to the English colonies, and the fact that a Spanish sailor had previously entered the St. Lawrence and established a port at the mouth of Grand river—neither of those powers seriously contested the right of France to its possession.—Yet it was frequently the theatre of war; and as early as 1629 was subdued by England. By the treaty of St. Germains in 1632 it was restored to France, as was also the then province of Acadie, now known as Nova Scotia. There is no doubt but that this latter province was, by priority of settlement, the property of France, but its principal town having been repeatedly reduced to possession by the English, it was ceded to them by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

To the country bordering the Mississippi river, and its tributary streams, a claim was made by England, France and Spain. The claim of England (based on the discovery by the Cabots of the eastern shore of the United States,) included all the country between the parallels of latitude within which the Atlantic shore was explored, extending westwardly to the Pacific ocean—a zone athwart the continent between the thirtieth and forty-eighth degrees of North latitude.

From the facility with which the French gained the good will and friendly alliance of the Natives in Canada, by intermarrying with, and assimilating themselves to the habits and inclinations of, these children of the forest, an intimacy arose which induced the Indians to impart freely to the French their knowledge of the interior country. Among other things information was communicated to them, of the fact that farther on there was a river of great size and immense length, which pursued a course opposite to that of the St. Lawrence, and emptied itself into an unknown sea. It was conjectured that it must necessarily flow either into the Gulph of Mexico, or the South Sea; and in 1673 Marquette and Joliet, French missionaries, together with five other men, commenced a journey [7] from Quebec to ascertain the fact and examine the country bordering its shores.

From lake Michigan they proceeded up the Fox river nearly to its source; thence to Ouisconsin; down it to the Mississippi, in which river they sailed as far as to about the thirty-third degree of north latitude. From this point they returned through the Illinois country to Canada.

At the period of this discovery M. de La Salle, a Frenchman of enterprise, courage and talents but without fortune, was commandant of fort Frontignac. Pleased with the description given by Marquette and Joliet, of the country which they had visited, he formed the determination of examining it himself, and for this purpose left Canada in the close of the summer of 1679, in company with father Louis Hennepin and some others.[3] On the Illinois he erected fort Crevecoeur, where he remained during the winter, and instructing father Hennepin, in his absence to ascend the Mississippi to its sources, returned to Canada. M. de La Salle subsequently visited this country, and establishing the villages of Cahokia and Kaskaskia, left them under the command of M. de Tonti, and going back to Canada, proceeded from thence to France to procure the co-operation of the Ministry in effecting a settlement of the valley of the Mississippi. He succeeded in impressing on the minds of the French Ministry, the great benefits which would result from its colonization, and was the first to suggest the propriety of connecting the settlements on the Mississippi with those in Canada by a cordon of forts; a measure which was subsequently attempted to be carried into effect.

With the aid afforded him by the government of France, he was enabled to prepare an expedition to accomplish his object, and sailing in 1684 for the mouth of the Mississippi, steered too far westward and landed in the province of Texas, and on the banks of the river Guadaloupe. Every exertion which a brave and prudent man could make to effect the security of his little colony, and conduct them to the settlement in Illinois, was fruitlessly made by him. In reward for all his toil and care he was basely assassinated; the remnant of the party whom he was conducting through the wilderness, finally reached the Arkansas, where was a settlement of French emigrants from Canada. The colonists left by him at the bay of St. Bernard were mostly murdered by the natives, the remainder were carried away by the Spaniards in 1689.

[8] Other attempts made by the French to colonize the Mississippi near the Gulph of Mexico, were for some time unavailing. In an expedition for that purpose, conducted by M. Ibberville, a suit of armor on which was inscribed Ferdinand de Soto, was found in the possession of some Indians. In the year 1717 the spot, on which New Orleans now stands, was selected as the centre of the settlements, then first made in Louisiana, and the country continued in the possession of France until 1763. By the treaty of Paris in that year, she ceded to Great Britain, together with Canada her possessions east of the Mississippi, excepting only the island of New Orleans—this and her territory on the west bank of that river were transferred to Spain.

The title of Spain to the valley of the Mississippi, if made to depend on priority of discovery, would perhaps, to say the least, be as good as that of either of the other powers. Ferdinand de Soto, governor of Cuba, was most probably the first white man who saw that majestic stream.

The Spaniards had early visited and given name to Florida. In 1528 Pamphilo de Narvaez obtained a grant of it, and fitting out an armament, proceeded with four or five hundred men to explore and settle the country. He marched to the Indian village of Appalachas, when he was attacked and defeated by the natives. The most of those who escaped death from the hands of the savages, perished in a storm, by which they were overtaken on their voyage home. Narvaez himself perished in the wreck, and was succeeded in his attempt at colonization by de Soto.

Ferdinand de Soto, then governor of Cuba, was a man of chivalrous and enterprising spirit, and of cool, deliberate courage. In his expedition to Florida, although attacked by the Indians, immediately on his landing, yet, rather seeking than shunning danger, he penetrated the interior, and crossing the Mississippi, sickened and died on Red river. So frequent and signal had been the victories which he had obtained over the Indians, that his name alone had become an object of terror to them; and his followers, at once to preserve his remains from violation, and prevent the natives from acquiring a knowledge of his death, enclosed his body in a hollow tree, sunk it in the Red river and returned to Florida.

Thus, it is said, were different parts of this continent discovered; and by virtue of the settlements thus effected, by [9] those three great powers of Europe, the greater portion of it was claimed as belonging to them respectively, in utter disregard of the rights of the Aborigines. And while the historian records the colonization of America as an event tending to meliorate the condition of Europe, and as having extended the blessings of civil and religious liberty, humanity must drop the tear of regret, that it has likewise forced the natives of the new, and the inhabitants of a portion of the old world, to drink so deeply from the cup of bitterness.

The cruelties which have been exercised on the Aborigines of America, the wrong and outrage heaped on them from the days of Montezuma and Guatimozin, to the present period, while they excite sympathy for their sufferings, should extenuate, if not justify the bloody deeds, which revenge prompted the untutored savages to commit. Driven as they were from the lands of which they were the rightful proprietors—Yielding to encroachment after encroachment 'till forced to apprehend their utter annihilation—Witnessing the destruction of their villages, the prostration of their towns and the sacking of cities adorned with splendid magnificence, who can feel surprised at any attempt which they might make to rid the country of its invaders. Who, but must applaud the spirit which prompted them, when they beheld their prince a captive, the blood of their nobles staining the earth with its crimson dye, and the Gods of their adoration scoffed and derided, to aim at the destruction of their oppressors.—When Mexico, "with her tiara of proud towers," became the theatre in which foreigners were to revel in rapine and in murder, who can be astonished that the valley of Otumba resounded with the cry of "Victory or Death?" And yet, resistance on their part, served but as a pretext for a war of extermination; waged too, with a ferocity, from the recollection of which the human mind involuntarily revolts, and with a success which has forever blotted from the book of national existence, once powerful and happy tribes.

But they did not suffer alone. As if to fill the cup of oppression to the brim, another portion of the human family were reduced to abject bondage, and made the unwilling cultivators of those lands, of which the Indians had been dispossessed. Soon after the settlement of North America was commenced, the negroes of Africa became an article of commerce, and from subsequent importations and natural [10] increase have become so numerous as to excite the liveliest apprehensions in the bosom of every friend to this country. Heretofore they have had considerable influence on the affairs of our government; and recently the diversity of interest, occasioned in Virginia, by the possession of large numbers of them in the country east of the blue ridge of mountains, seemed for a while to threaten the integrity of the state.—Happily this is now passing away, but how far they may effect the future destines of America, the most prophetic ken cannot foresee. Yet, although the philanthropist must weep over their unfortunate situation, and the patriot shudder in anticipation of a calamity which it may defy human wisdom to avert; still it would be unfair to charge the existence of slavery among us to the policy of the United States, or to brand their present owners as the instruments of an evil which they cannot remove. And while others boast that they are free from this dark spot, let them remember, that but for them our national escutcheon might have been as pure and unsullied as their own.[4]

We are indebted to the Dutch for their introduction into Virginia, and to the ships of other than slave holding communities, for their subsequent unhallowed transportation to our shores. Yet those who were mainly instrumental in forging the chains of bondage, have since rendered the condition of the negro slave more intolerable by fomenting discontent among them, and by "scattering fire brands and torches," which are often not to be extinguished but in blood.

Notwithstanding those two great evils which have resulted from the discovery and colonization of America, yet to these the world is indebted for the enjoyment of many and great blessings. They enlarged the theatre of agricultural enterprise, and thus added to the facilities of procuring the necessaries of life. They encouraged the industry of Europeans, by a dependence on them for almost every species of manufacture, and thus added considerably to their population, wealth and happiness; while the extensive tracts of fertile land, covering the face of this country and inviting to its bosom the enterprising [11] foreigner, has removed a far off any apprehension of the ill effects arising from a too dense population.

In a moral and political point of view much good has likewise resulted from the settlement of America. Religion, freed from the fetters which enthralled her in Europe, has shed her benign influence on every portion of our country. Divorced from an adulterous alliance with state, she has here stalked forth in the simplicity of her founder; and with "healing on her wings, spread the glad tidings of salvation to all men." It is true that religious intolerance and blind bigotry, for some time clouded our horizon, but they were soon dissipated; and when the sun arose which ushered in the dawn of our national existence scarce a speck could be seen to dim its lustre. Here too was reared the standard of civil liberty, and an example set, which may teach to the nations of the old world, that as people are really the source of power, government should be confided to them. Already have the beneficial effects of this example been manifested, and the present condition of Europe clearly shows, that the lamp of liberty, which was lighted here, has burned with a brilliancy so steady as to have reflected its light across the Atlantic. Whether it will be there permitted to shine, is somewhat problematical. But should a "holy alliance of legitimates" extinguish it, it will be but for a season. Kings, Emperors and Priests cannot succeed much longer in staying the march of freedom. The people are sensibly alive to the oppression of their rulers—they have groaned beneath the burden 'till it has become too intolerable to be borne; and they are now speaking in a voice which will make tyrants tremble on their throne.

——- [1] The author errs somewhat in his review of the voyages of the Cabots. In 1497, John set out to reach Asia by way of the north-west, and sighted Cape Breton, for which the generous king gave him L10 and blessed him with "great honours." In 1498, Sebastian's voyage was intended to supplement his father's; his exploration of the coast extended down to the vicinity of Chesapeake Bay.—R. G. T.

[2] This refers to the explorations of Jacques Cartier. But as early as 1534 Cartier sailed up the estuary of the St. Lawrence "until land could be seen on either side;" the following year he ascended the river as far as the La Chine rapids, and wintered upon the island mountain there which he named Mont Real. It was in 1541 that he made his third voyage, and built a fort at Quebec. The author's reference, a few lines below, to a "Spanish sailor" in the St. Lawrence, is the result of confusion over Cartier's first voyages; Cortereal was at Newfoundland for the Portuguese in 1500; and Gomez for Spain in 1525.—R. G. T.

[3] The author wrote at too early a date to have the benefit of Parkman's researches. La Salle had probably discovered the Ohio River four years before the voyage of Joliet and Marquette.—R. G. T.

[4] It is said, that Georgia, at an early period of her colonial existence, endeavored by legislative enactment to prevent the importation of slaves into her territory, but that the King of England invariably negatived those laws, and ultimately Oglethorpe was dismissed from office, for persevering in the endeavor to accomplish so desirable an object. It is an historical fact that slaves were not permitted to be taken into Georgia, for some time after a colony was established there.



When America was first visited by Europeans, it was found that its inhabitants were altogether ignorant of the country from which their ancestors had migrated, and of the period at which they had been transplanted to the new world. And although there were among them traditions seeming to cast a light upon these subjects, yet when thoroughly investigated, they tended rather to bewilder than lead to any certain conclusion. The origin of the natives has ever since been a matter of curious speculation with the learned; conjecture has succeeded conjecture, hypothesis has yielded to hypothesis, as wave recedes before wave, still it remains involved in a labyrinth of inexplicable difficulties, from which the most ingenious mind will perhaps never be able to free it.

In this respect the situation of the aborigines of America does not differ from that of the inhabitants of other portions of the globe. An impenetrable cloud hangs over the early history of other nations, and defies the researches of the learned in any attempt to trace them to their origin. The attempt has nevertheless been repeatedly made; and philosophers, arguing from a real or supposed conformity of one people to another, have vainly imagined that they had attained to certainty on these subjects. And while one has in this manner, undertaken to prove China to have been an Egyptian colony, another, pursuing the same course of reasoning, has, by way of ridicule, shewn how easily a learned man of Tobolski or Pekin might as satisfactorily prove France to have been a Trojan, a Greek or even an Arabian colony; thus making manifest the utter futility of endeavoring to arrive at certainty in this way.[1]

[13] Nor is this to be at all wondered at, when we reflect on the barbarous state of those nations in their infancy, the imperfection of traditionary accounts of what had transpired centuries before, and in many instances the entire absence of a written language, by which, either to perpetuate events, or enable the philosopher by analogy of language to ascertain their affinity with other nations. Conjectural then as must be every disquisition as to the manner in which this continent was first peopled, still however, as many men eminent for learning and piety have devoted much labor and time to the investigation of the subject, it may afford satisfaction to the curious to see some of those speculations recorded. Discordant as they are in many respects, there is nevertheless one fact as to the truth of which they are nearly all agreed; Mr. Jefferson is perhaps the only one, of those who have written on the subject, who seems to discredit the assertion that America was peopled by emigrants from the old world. How well the conjecture, that the eastern inhabitants of Asia were descendants of the Indians of America can be supported by any knowledge which is possessed of the different languages spoken by the Aborigines, will be for others to determine. "Neque confirmare argumentis, neque refellere, in animo est; ex ingenio suo, quisque demat vel addat fidem."

Among those who have given to the world their opinions on the origin of the natives of America, is Father Jos. Acosta, a Jesuit who was for some time engaged as a missionary among them. From the fact that no ancient author has made mention of the [14] compass, he discredits the supposition that the first inhabitants of this country found their way here by sea. His conclusion is that they must have found a passage by the North of Asia and Europe which he supposes to join each other; or by those regions which lie southward of the straits of Magellan.

Gregorio Garcia, who was likewise a missionary among the Mexicans and Peruvians, from the traditions of those nations, and from the variety of characters, customs, languages and religion, observable in the new world, has formed the opinion that it was peopled by several different nations.

John de Laet, a Flemish writer, maintains that America received its first inhabitants from Scythia or Tartary, and soon after the dispersion of Noah's grand-sons. The resemblance of the northern Indians, in feature, complexion and manner of living, to the Scythians, Tartars, and Samojedes, being greater than to any other nations.

Emanuel de Moraez, in his history of Brazil, says that this continent was wholly peopled by the Carthaginians and Israelites. In confirmation of this opinion, he mentions the discoveries which the Carthaginians are known to have made beyond the coast of Africa. The progress of these discoveries being stopped by the Senate of Carthage, those who happened to be in the newly discovered countries, cut off from all communication with their countrymen, and being destitute of many of the necessaries of life, easily fell into a state of barbarism.

George de Huron, a Dutch writer on this subject, considering the short space of time which elapsed between the creation of the world and the deluge, maintains that America could not have been peopled before the flood. He likewise supposes that its first inhabitants were located in the north; and that the primitive colonies extended themselves over the whole extent of the continent, by means of the Isthmus of Panama. It is his opinion that the first founders of these Indian colonies were Scythians; that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians subsequently got to America across the Atlantic, and the Chinese across the Pacific ocean, and that other nations might have landed there by one of these means, or been thrown on the coast by tempest: since through the whole extent of the continent, both in its northern and southern parts there are evident marks of a mixture of the northern nations with those who have come from other places.

[15] He also supposes that another migration of the Phoenicians took place during a three years voyage made by the Tyrian fleet in the service of king Solomon. He asserts, on the authority of Josephus, that the port at which this embarkation was made, lay in the Mediterranean. The fleet, he adds, went in quest of Elephants' teeth and Peacocks, to the western coast of Africa, which is Tarshish, then for gold to Ophir, which is Haite or the Island of Hispaniola. In the latter opinion he is supported by Columbus, who, when he discovered that Island, thought he could trace the furnaces in which the gold had been refined.

Monsieur Charlevoix, who travelled through North America, is of opinion that it received its first inhabitants from Tartary and Hyrcania. In support of this impression he says that some of the animals which are to be found here, must have come from those countries: a fact which would go to prove that the two hemispheres join to the northward of Asia. And in order to strengthen this conjecture, he relates the following story, which he says was told to him by Father Grollon, a French Jesuit, as matter of fact.

Father Grollon said, that after having labored some time in the missions of New France, he passed over to China. One day as he was travelling in Tartary he met a Huron woman whom he had known in Canada. He asked her by what adventure she had been carried into a country so very remote from her own; she replied that having been taken in war, she was conducted from nation to nation, until she reached the place where she then was.

Monsieur Charlevoix narrates another circumstance of a similar kind. He says that he had been assured, another Jesuit had met with a Floridian woman in China. She also had been made captive by certain Indians, who gave her to those of a more distant country, and by these again she was given to those of another nation, 'till having been successively passed from country to country, and after having travelled through regions extremely cold, she at length found herself in Tartary. Here she had married a Tartar, who had attended the conquerors in China, and with whom she then was.

Arguing from these facts and from the similarity of several kinds of wild beasts which are found in America, with those of Hyrcania and Tartary, he arrives at what he deems, a [16] rational conclusion, that more than one nation in America had Scythian or Tartarian extraction.

Charlevoix possessed a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with the character and habits of the American Indians. His theory however has been controverted by some, possessing equal advantages of observation. Mr. Adair, an intelligent gentleman who resided among the nations during the space of forty years, and who became well acquainted with their manners, customs, religion, traditions and language, has given to them a very different origin. But perfect soever as may have been his knowledge of their manners, customs, religion and traditions, yet it must be admitted that any inquiry into these, with a view to discover their origin, would most probably prove fallacious. A knowledge of the primitive language, alone can cast much light on the subject. Whether this knowledge can ever be attained, is, to say the least, very questionable—Being an unwritten language, and subject to change for so many centuries, it can scarcely be supposed now to bear much, if any affinity, to what it was in its purity.

Mr. Adair says, that from the most exact observation he could make during the long time which he traded among the Indians, he was forced to believe them lineally descended from the Israelites, either when they were a maritime power, or soon after the general captivity; most probably the latter.

He thinks that had the nine tribes and a half, which were carried off by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, and which settled in Media, remained there long, they would, by intermarrying with the nations of that country, from a natural fickleness and proneness to idolatry, and from the force of example, have adopted and bowed before the Gods of the Medes and Assyrians; and have carried them along with them. But he affirms that there is not the least trace of this idolatry to be discovered among the Indians: and hence he argues that those of the ten tribes who were the forefathers of the natives, soon advanced eastward from Assyria and reached their settlements in the new continent, before the destruction of the first Temple.

In support of the position that the American Indians are thus descended, Mr. Adair adduces among others the following arguments:

1st, Their division into tribes.

"As each nation has its particular symbol, so each tribe has [17] the badge from which it is denominated. The Sachem is a necessary party in conveyances and treaties, to which he affixes the mark of his tribe. If we go from nation to nation among them, we shall not find one, who does not distinguish himself by his respective family. The genealogical names which they assume, are derived either from the names of those animals whereof the cherubim is said in revelation to be compounded; or from such creatures as are most similar to them. The Indians bear no religious respect to the animals from which they derive their names; on the contrary they kill them whenever an opportunity serves.

"When we consider that these savages have been upwards of twenty centuries without the aid of letters to carry down their traditions, it can not be reasonably expected, that they should still retain the identical names of their primogenial tribes: their main customs corresponding with those of the Israelites, sufficiently clear the subject. Moreover they call some of their tribes by the names of the cherubinical figures, which were carried on the four principal standards of Israel."

2nd, Their worship of Jehovah.

"By a strict, permanent, divine precept, the Hebrew nation was ordered to worship at Jerusalem, Jehovah the true and living God, who by the Indians is styled 'Yohewah.' The seventy-two interpreters have translated this word so as to signify, Sir, Lord, Master, applying to mere earthly potentates, without the least signification or relation to that great and awful name, which describes the divine presence."

3rd, Their notions of a theocracy.

"Agreeably to the theocracy or divine government of Israel, the Indians think the deity to be the immediate head of the state. All the nations of Indians have a great deal of religious pride, and an inexpressible contempt for the white people. In their war orations they used to call us the accursed people, but flatter themselves with the name of the beloved people, because their supposed ancestors were, as they affirm, under the immediate government of the Deity, who was present with them in a peculiar manner, and directed them by Prophets, while the rest of the world were aliens to the covenant.[2] When the old Archimagus, or any of their Magi, is [18] persuading the people at their religious solemnities, to a strict observance of the old beloved or divine speech, he always calls them the beloved or holy people, agreeably to the Hebrew epithet, Ammi, (my people) during the theocracy of Israel. It is this opinion, that God has chosen them out of the rest of mankind, as his peculiar people, which inspires the white Jew, and the red American, with that steady hatred against all the world except themselves, and renders them hated and despised by all."

5th, Their language and dialects.

"The Indian language and dialects appear to have the very idiom and genius of the Hebrew. Their words and sentences are expressive, concise, emphatical, sonorous and bold; and often both the letters and signification are synonymous with the Hebrew language." Of these Mr. Adair cites a number of examples.

6th, Their manner of counting time.

"The Indians count time after the manner of the Hebrews. They divide the year into spring, summer, autumn and winter. They number their year from any of these four periods, for they have no name for a year; and they subdivide these and count the year by lunar months, like the Israelites who counted time by moons, as their name sufficiently testifies.

"The number and regular periods of the religious feasts among the Indians, is a good historical proof that they counted time by and observed a weekly Sabbath, long after their arrival in America. They began the year at the appearance of the first new moon of the vernal equinox, according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses. 'Till the seventy years captivity [19] commenced, the Israelites had only numeral names for their months, except Abib and Ethanim; the former signifying a green ear of corn, the latter robust or valiant; by the first name the Indians as an explicative, term their passover, which the trading people call the green corn dance."

7th, Their prophets or high priests.

"In conformity to, or after the manner of the Jews, the Indians have their prophets, high priests, and others of a religious order. As the Jews have a Sanctum Sanctorum, so have all the Indian nations. There they deposit their consecrated vessels—none of the laity daring to approach that sacred place. The Indian tradition says, that their forefathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine spirit by which they foretold future events; and that this was transmitted to their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred laws annexed to it.[3] [20] Ishtoallo is the name of all their priestly order and their pontifical office descends by inheritance to the eldest. There are traces of agreement, though chiefly lost, in their pontifical dress. Before the Indian Archimagus officiates in making the supposed holy fire for the yearly atonement of sin, the Sagan clothes him with a white ephod, which is a waistcoat without sleeves. In resemblance of the Urim and Thummim the American Archimagus wears a breastplate made of a white conch-shell, with two holes bored in the middle of it, through which he puts the ends of an otter-skin strap; and fastens a buck-horn white button to the outside of each; as if in imitation of the precious stones of the Urim."

In remarking upon this statement of Mr. Adair, Faber, a learned divine of the church of England, has said, that Ishtoallo (the name according to Adair of the Indian priests) is most probably a corruption of Ish-da-Eloah, a man of God, (the term used by the Shunemitish woman in speaking of Elisha;) and that Sagan is the very name by which the Hebrews called the deputy of the High Priest, who supplied his office and who performed the functions of it in the absence of the high priest, or when any accident had disabled him from officiating in person.

8th, Their festivals, fasts and religious rites.

"The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious worship,[21] are more after the Mosaic institution, than of Pagan imitation. This could not be the fact if a majority of the old nations were of heathenish descent. They are utter strangers to all the gestures practiced by Pagans in their religious rites. They have likewise an appellative, which with them is the mysterious, essential name of God; the tetragrammaton, which they never use in common speech. They are very particular of the time and place, when and where they mention it, and this is always done in a very solemn manner. It is known that the Jews had so great and sacred regard for the four lettered, divine name, as scarcely ever to mention it, except when the High Priest went into the sanctuary for the expiation of sins."

Mr. Adair likewise says that the American Indians, like the Hebrews, have an ark in which are kept various holy vessels, and which is never suffered to rest on the bare ground. "On hilly ground, where stones are plenty, they always place it on them, but on level land it is made to rest on short legs. They have also a faith, in the power and holiness of their ark, as strong as the Israelites had in theirs. It is too sacred and dangerous to be touched by any one, except the chieftain and his waiter. The leader virtually acts the part of a priest of war protempore, in imitation of the Israelites fighting under the divine military banner."

Among their other religious rites the Indians, according to Adair, cut out the sinewy part of the thigh; in commemoration, as he says, of the Angel wrestling with Jacob.

12th, Their abstinence from unclean things.

"Eagles of every kind are esteemed by the Indians to be unclean food; as also ravens, crows, bats, buzzards and every species of owl. They believe that swallowing gnats, flies and the like, always breed sickness. To this that divine sarcasm alludes 'swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat.'" Their purifications for their Priests, and for having touched a dead body or other unclean thing, according to Mr. Adair, are quite Levitical. He acknowledges however, that they have no traces of circumcision; but he supposes that they lost this rite in their wanderings, as it ceased among the Hebrews, during the forty years in the wilderness.

15th, Their cities of refuge.

"The Israelites had cities of refuge for those who killed persons unawares. According to the same particular divine [22] law of mercy, each of the Indian nations has a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect a man-slayer, or the unfortunate captive, if they can but once enter into it. In almost every nation they have peaceable towns, called ancient holy, or white towns. These seem to have been towns of refuge; for it is not in the memory of man, that ever human blood was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere."

16th, Their purifications and ceremonies preparatory.

"Before the Indians go to war they have many preparatory ceremonies of purification and fasting like what is recorded of the Israelites."

21st, Their raising seed to a deceased brother.

"The surviving brother, by the Mosaic law, was to raise seed to a deceased brother, who left a widow childless. The Indian custom looks the very same way; but in this as in their law of blood, the eldest brother can redeem."

With these and many arguments of a like kind, has Mr. Adair endeavored to support the conjecture, that the American Indians are lineally descended from the Israelites; and gravely asks of those who may dissent from his opinion of their origin and descent, to inform him how they came here, and by what means they formed the long chain of rites and customs so similar to those of the Hebrews, and dissimilar to the rites and customs of the pagan world.

Major Carver, a provincial officer who sojourned some time with the Indians and visited twelve different nations of them, instead of observing the great similarity, mentioned by Adair as existing between the natives and Hebrews, thought he could trace features of resemblance between them and the Chinese and Tartars; and has undertaken to shew how they might have got here. He says,

"Although it is not ascertained certainly, that the continents of Asia and America join each other, yet it is proven that the sea which is supposed to divide them, is full of islands the distance from which to either continent, is comparatively trifling. From these islands a communication with the main land could be more readily effected than from any other point." "It is very evident that the manners and customs of the American Indians, resemble that of the Tartars; and I have no doubt that in some future era, it will be reduced to a certainty that in some of the wars between the Chinese and Tartars, a part [23] of the inhabitants of the northern provinces were driven from their country and took refuge in some of these islands, and from thence found their way to America. At different periods each nation might prove victorious, and the conquered by turns fly before the conquerors; and hence might arise the similitude of the Indians to all these people, and that animosity which exists among so many of their tribes."

After remarking on the similarity which exists between the Chinese and Indians, in the singular custom of shaving or plucking out the hair leaving only a small spot on the crown of the head; and the resemblance in sound and signification which many of the Chinese and Indian words bear to each other, he proceeds, "After the most critical inquiry and mature deliberation, I am of opinion that America received its first inhabitants from the northeast, by way of the islands mentioned as lying between Asia and America. This might have been effected at different times and from different parts: from Tartary, China, Japan or Kamschatka, the inhabitants of these countries resembling each other, in color, feature and shape."

Other writers on this subject, coinciding in opinion with Carver, mention a tradition which the Indians in Canada have, that foreign merchants clothed in silk formerly visited them in great ships: these are supposed to have been Chinese, the ruins of Chinese ships having been found on the American coast. The names of many of the American kings, are said to be Tartar; and Tartarax, who reigned formerly in Quivira, means the Tartar. Manew, the founder of the Peruvian empire, most probably came from the Manchew Tartars. Montezuma, the title of the emperors of Mexico, is of Japanese extraction; for according to some authors it is likewise the appellation of the Japanese Monarch. The plant Ginseng, since found in America, where the natives termed it Garentoguen, a word of the same import in their language, with Ginseng in the Tartar, both meaning THE THIGHS OF A MAN.

Dr. Robertson is decidedly of opinion, that the different tribes of American Indians, excepting the Esquimaux, are of Asiatic extraction. He refers to a tradition among the Mexicans of the migration of their ancestors from a remote country, situated to the north-west of Mexico, and says they point out their various stations as they advanced into the interior provinces, which is precisely the route they must have held, if they had been emigrants from Asia.

Mr. Jefferson, in his notes on Virginia, says, that the passage from Europe to America was always practicable, even to the imperfect [24] navigation of the ancient times; and that, from recent discoveries, it is proven, that if Asia and America be separated at all it is only by a narrow streight. "Judging from the resemblance between the Indians of America and the eastern inhabitants of Asia, we should say that the former are descendants of the latter, or the latter of the former, except indeed the Esquimaux, who, from the same circumstance of resemblance, and from identity of language, must be derived from the Greenlanders. A knowledge of their several languages would be the most certain evidence of their derivation which could be produced. In fact it is the best proof of the affinity of nations, which ever can be referred to."

After regretting that so many of the Indian tribes have been suffered to perish, without our having collected and preserved the general rudiments of their language, he proceeds,

"Imperfect as is our knowledge of the tongues spoken in America, it suffices to discover the following remarkable fact. Arranging them under the radical ones to which they may be palpably traced, and doing the same by those of the red men of Asia, there will be found probably twenty in America, for one in Asia, of those radical languages; so called because if ever they were the same, they have lost all resemblance to one another. A separation into dialects may be the work of a few ages only, but for two dialects to recede from one another, 'till they have lost all vestiges of their common origin, must require an immense course of time; perhaps not less than many people give to the age of the earth. A greater number of those radical changes of language having taken place among the red men of America proves them of greater antiquity than those of Asia."

Indian traditions say, that "in ancient days the Great Island appeared upon the big waters, the earth brought forth trees, herbs and fruits: that there were in the world a good and a bad spirit, the good spirit formed creeks and rivers on the great island, and created numerous species of animals to inhabit the forests, and fishes of all kinds to inhabit the water. He also made two beings to whom he gave living souls and named them Ea-gwe-howe, (real people). Subsequently some of the people became giants and committed outrages upon the others. After many years a body of Ea-gwe-howe people encamped on the bank of a majestic stream, which they named, Kanawaga (St. Lawrence.) After a long time a number of foreign people sailed from a part unknown, but unfortunately the winds drove them off and they ultimately landed on the southern part of the great island and many of the crew perished. Those who survived, selected a place for residence, erected fortifications, became a numerous people and extended their settlements."[4]

Thus various and discordant are the conjectures respecting the manner in which this continent was first peopled. Although some [25] of them appear more rational and others, yet are they at best but hypothetical disquisitions on a subject which will not now admit of certainty. All agree that America was inhabited long anterior to its discovery by Columbus, and by a race of human beings, who, however numerous they once were, are fast hastening to extinction; some centuries hence and they will be no more known. The few memorials, which the ravages of time have suffered to remain of them, in those portions of the country from which they have been long expelled; have destruction dealt them by the ruthless hand of man. History may transmit to after ages, the fact that they once were, and give their "local habitation and their name." These will probably be received as the tales of fiction, and posterity be at as much loss to determine, whether they ever had an existence, as we now are to say from whence they sprang.

"I have stood upon Achilles' tomb And heard Troy doubted. Time will doubt of Rome."

——- [1] "If a learned man of Tobolski or Pekin were to read some of our books, be might in this way demonstrate, that the French are descended from the Trojans. The most ancient writings, he might say, and those in most esteem in France, are romances: these were written in a pure language, derived from the ancient Romans, who were famous for never advancing a falsehood. Now upwards of twenty of these authentic books, affirm that Francis, the founder of the monarchy of the Franks, was son to Hector. The name of Hector has ever since been preserved by this nation; and even in the present century one of the greatest generals was called Hector de Villars.

"The neighboring nations (he would continue,) are so unanimous in acknowledging this truth, that Ariosto, one of the most learned of the Italians, owns in his Orlando, that Charlemagne's knights fought for Hector's helmet. Lastly, there is one proof which admits of no reply; namely, that the ancient Franks to perpetuate the memory of the Trojans, their ancestors, built a new city called Troye, in the province of Champagne; and these modern Trojans have always retained so strong an aversion to their enemies, the Greeks, that there is not at present four persons in the whole province of Champagne, who will learn their language; nay, they would never admit any Jesuits among them; probably because they had heard it said, that some of that body used formerly to explain Homer in their public schools."

Proceeding in this manner, M. de Voltaire shows how easily this hypothesis might be overturned; and while one might thus demonstrate that the Parisians are descended from the Greeks, other profound antiquarians might in like manner prove them to be of Egyptian, or even of Arabian extraction; and although the learned world might much puzzle themselves to decide the question, yet would it remain undecided and in uncertainty.—Preface to the Life of Peter the Great.

[2] In a small work entitled "Ancient History of the Six Nations," written by David Cusick, an educated Indian of the Tuscarora village, frequent mention is made of the actual presence among them, of Tarenyawagua, or Holder of the Heavens, who guided and directed them when present, and left rules for their government, during his absence. Several miracles performed by him are particularly mentioned. It likewise speaks of the occasional visits of Angels or 'agents of the Superior power' as they are called by Cusick; and tells of a visitor who came among the Tuscaroras long anterior to the discovery of America by Columbus. "He appeared to be a very old man, taught them many things, and informed them that the people beyond the great water had killed their Maker, but that he rose again. The old man died among them and they buried him—soon after some person went to the grave and found that he had risen; he was never heard of afterwards."

[3] In confirmation of this tradition among the Indians, the following somewhat singular circumstance related by Mr. Carver, may with propriety be adduced:

While at Grand Portage, from the number of those who were there and the fact that the traders did not arrive as soon as was expected, there was a great scarcity of provisions, and much consequent anxiety as to the period of their arrival. One day, Mr. Carver says, that while expressing their wishes for the event, and looking anxiously to ascertain if they could be seen on the Lake, the chief Priest of the Kilistines told them that he would endeavor in a conference with the Great Spirit, to learn at what time the traders would arrive: and the following evening was fixed upon for the spiritual conference.

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