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874 > Page 874 of Annals of the West : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories, from the discovery of the Mississippi valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six.

874 OFFICIAL REPORT OF CAPTAIN HEALD. 1812. shot from under her; and after passing the agonizing scenes described, went with the family of Mr. Kinzie to Detroit. The soldiers, with their wives and children, were dispersed among the different villages of the Pottawattamies, upon the Illinois, Wabash, Rock River, and Milwaukee. The largest proportion were taken to Detroit and ransomed the following spring. Some, however, remained in captivity another year, and experienced more kindness than was expected from an enemy so merciless. This event is given more in detail than many others, partly because the locality is Chicago, where some individuals are still living who passed through these terrible scenes; and partly to correct a common notion prevailing amongst many humane and philanthropic persons, that Indian hostilities always " commence by the first aggressions of the whites," and that if the Indians are treated kindly, they will " ever " be just and kind in return. As a general rule this is true, but the narrative above related affords one instance of a glaring exception. The aborigines of this country were always rude savages; subsisting chiefly by fishing and hunting, and from the earliest traditionary notice, were engaged in petty exterminating wars with each other. Delight in war and thirst for human blood is their " ruling passion." The liberal distribution of goods and provisions, and the promise of more ample rewards at Fort Wayne, by Captain Heald, could not allay this passion. They gave their solemn pledge for the protection of the party on their route to Fort Wayne, and sent out runners to rally their friends to the massacre the same day. Captain Heald, after escaping many dangers, wrote the following dispatch from Pittsburgh, Pa., on the 23d of October : " On the 9th of August, I received orders from General Hull to evacuate the post, and proceed with my command to Detroit, leaving it at my discretion to dispose of the public property as I thought proper. The neighboring Indians got the information as early as I did, and came from all quarters to receive the goods in the factory store, which they understood were to be given to them. "On the 13th, Captain Wells, of Fort Wayne, arrived with about thirty Miamies, for the purpose of escorting us in, by the request of General Hull. On the 14th, I delivered to the Indians all the goods in the factory store, and a considerable quantity of provisions, which we could not take away with us. " The surplus arms and ammunition I thought proper to destroy, ' fearing they would make bad use of them, if put in their possession.