ately sent messengers with a speech to the various nations and tribes, setting forth his reasons for the change, urging their coming, and guaranteeing them an unmolested attendance and a safe departure, whether a treaty should be concluded or not.
The Indians, who acted for the most part under the council and advice of the celebrated Mohawk war-chief, Joseph Brant [Thayendanegea), held it, however, improper to change the location of the conference once determinated, and prepared themselves for peace or war. They urged that the marauding Indians at " Duncan's Falls," who committed the attack on the sentries at the store-house, were none of the parties to the treaty, but were mere straggling renegades; and furthermore, that they had delivered into the hands of the whites all of the marauders, who were then prisoners at Fort Harmar. They furthermore assured them that the whites should have nothing to fear at the falls, but on the contrary, that they themselves could not feel easy, and consequently were hostile to holding a council to adjust peace measures under the guns of Harmar and Campus Martius.
Young John Brant, son of Thayendanegea, came down the Tuscarawas and Muskingum trail with two hundred warriors, camping at " Duncan's Falls," from where they informed Governor St. Clair by runners that they desired the treaty preliminaries to be fixed there. The governor suspected a plot to get him to the falls and abduct him; yet nothing had transpired that would warrant any suspicion of that import. He sent Brant's runners back with word that he would soon answrer by a ranger.
The governor then selected for this important mission an expert and trustworthy person, Hamilton Kerr, a comrade of the celebrated Lewis Wetzel, the Indian hunter of the Ohio valley. He was perfectly reliable, comparatively shrewd, and possessed of a quick eye for observation of all such matters as might be useful information for the governor. Kerr accordingly left Fort Harmar on the road to " Duncan's Falls," to reconnoiter and to deliver St. Clair's letter.