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961 > Page 961 of The romance and tragedy of pioneer life. A popular account of the heroes and adventurers who, by their valor and war-craft, beat back the savages from the borders of civilization and gave the American forests to the plow and the sickle ..

WAYNE'S SCOUTS. 961 for his expedition. Still, flushed with their success achieved over General Harmar, they continued to devastate the settlements on the borders of the territory from one end to the other, carrying murder and pillage everywhere, even to the very walls of the strongly garrisoned Fort Washington. St. Clair used every endeavor to entreat them to a peaceful disposition. He urged them to take part in a council at Cincinnati, so that the troubles daily augmenting more and more might be adjusted in a peaceable manner. The settlers, however, believing that the meek and timid policy of the government was the very cause of the threatening situation, became highly indignant at these treaties and parleys. "While the governor is holding peace conferences," they said, " the savages are destroying our homes and our fields, stealing or killing our animals, and murdering our wives and children." These complaints on the part of the whites were not far from the truth. "On the evening of the 2d [Januaiy, 1791]," writes Bufus Putnam to the President," between sunset and daylight, the Indians surprised a new settlement of our people at a place on the Muskingum called the Big Bottom, nearly forty miles up the river, in which disaster eleven men, one woman, and two children were killed; three men are missing, and four others ma'de their escape. Thus, sir, the war, which was partially waged before the campaign of last year, is, in all probability, become general." Nor were the hardy pioneer women any less severe in their criticism of the fatal policy pursued by the authorities. It was chiefly they that threatened to storm Fort Washington when the celebrated ranger Lewis Wetzel was a prisoner therein. And when Wetzel was released upon a habeas corpus, they escorted him in procession to Columbia, where the ladies arranged a banquet and ball in honor of the liberation of the great hunter, " who had killed more Indians than any other man." Thus, at the time when these peace councils were held, the white settlers used all their influence to compel the authorities to a strong policy and to a war of extermination. Women 54