xt7000000442 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7000000442/data/mets.xml Slocum, Charles Elihu, 1841-1915. 1910  books b92977sl532009 English Putnam : New York Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Indians of North America --Northwest, Old. Northwest, Old --History. Ohio River Valley --History. United States --History --War of 1812 --Campaigns. The Ohio country between the years 1783 and 1815, including military operations that twice saved to the United States the country west of the Alleghany mountains after the revolutionary war. text The Ohio country between the years 1783 and 1815, including military operations that twice saved to the United States the country west of the Alleghany mountains after the revolutionary war. 1910 2009 true xt7000000442 section xt7000000442 
T he Ohio Country
Between the Years 1783 and 1815
Military Operations that Twice Saved to the United States the Country West of the Alleghany Mountains after the Revolutionary War

By Charles Elihu Slocum, n.D., Ph.D., L L.D.
M e m b e r of L o c a l , O h i o S t a t e , a n d A m e r i c a n H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n s

D r. Slocum, as a member of numerous historical societies, has pursued extensive researches along historical lines. His present investigation includes an account of the military events that on two occasions during the years immediately following the Revolutionary War saved to the United States the territory lying west of the Alleghany Mountains. It is an account of the treachery of the British, who, in direct violation of the treaty they had signed, refused to evacuate the forts they held in the territory with which the treatise concerns itself, and incited the savages, by gifts of rum and weapons, to perpetrate the bloodiest atrocities upon the comparatively defenceless settlers of the region.

The Ohio Country
Between the Years 1783 and 1815
I ncluding Military Operations Alleghany that Twice Saved to the

U n i t e d S tates t he C o u n t r y W e s t o f the Mountains after t he Revolutionary W a r


C harles E lihu S locum
M.D., Ph.D., L L . D . M ember o f L ocal, Ohio State, and A merican Historical Associations

T he W ar o f 1775   1783 between the U nited Colonies and G reat B ritain, was R evolutionary; T h e W ar o f 1 812-1814 between the U nited States and Great B ritain, was the W a r of Independence

G . P . Putnam's Sons
New Zbe York and London preae fmicfeerbocfter 1 910


U be     f t n i C R e v b o c f t c r p ress, IRew U?och












PREFACE H P H E e arly and most trying times in the history of t he O l d Northwestern Territory, and of i ts g reat n eighbor, the Southwestern Territory, d ivided o nly i n a physical sense b y the Ohio River, i s a s ubject that should ever be of interest, and of v alue to everyone, of every land, especially as a s tudy i n patriotic endurance. T he story presents people strong i n brain and i n b rawn, descendants of Anglo-Saxon and of C eltic s tocks, the ancestors of most of whom had been several generations i n America, having o riginally s ettled here one hundred and fifty years before; a people who loved their new homes i n the forest country as well as the homes of their nativity i n the Colonies along the Atlantic shore, now s eparated from their early habitat by several hundred m iles, and by mountains hard to traverse. T his i solated people were often made to feel t hat they and their new country were forgotten b y the legislators and others in authority in the



regions whence they came; and during many years t heir struggles were not alone for subsistence, but for the protection of themselves and their c hildren f rom prowling Savages, w ho were seeking t heir scalps and lives, or to drive them from their a dopted c ountry. I n p reparing this book the writer has had in m ind the general reader who wants a direct account of the subject about which he desires to read, w ith enough of detail for supplementation, w hen such detail is obtainable. S uch readers have generally noticed that h istories of the U nited States, even the largest ones, w hen m entioning this extensive and invaluable region at all, give a very scant account of the dangers which would have attended its loss to the A merican U nion, o r of the m ilitary o perations t hat twice, at least, saved it to, and maintained i t i n, the U nion. I n w riting i t is easier, for several reasons, to generalize than to focus one's attention on the d etail t hat shows the animating p rinciple, o r want of p rinciple, t hat influenced the lives, thoughts, acts, and accomplishments of the people. This statement may explain how it is that many write so much and yet impart so l ittle of practical i nformation.



T he character of the sufferings of Americans, before the Revolutionary War and for thirty y ears after, i n this trans-Allegheny region particularly, e xacts s trong language e ven in its mildest p ortrayal. T he tragic story here written has, however, a v ery pleasant conclusion for Americans. A t its b eginning, naught but dark clouds of selfishness a nd s avagery h ung low in the horizon, frequently b ursting o ut into storms that caused g reat suffering and disaster, and that would h ave o verfatigued and driven from the country, never to r eturn, t he survivors, had they possessed less s trong and self-reliant characters. D isagreements among the Eastern Colonies, and l ater among the S tates i nto which these C olonies were t ransformed, occasionally foreboded evil to t he union of the Ohio Country with the East and, a t times, even foreboded disruption of the U nion a mong the S tates t hemselves. H owever, the War of 1812-1814 came, and ended, as a blessing to both the East and the W est, in that it consolidated, and cemented, t he S tates a nd Territories into a nation with not o nly v aluable experiences, but with heightened a nd r eciprocated regard for one another i n component parts, and with stilled i nto the

v iii


greater forbearance, improved ideals and powers among all. T rue civilization receives i mpetus from the lessons of the past. h orrible deeds. T he habitual use of intoxicating beverages w as a strong factor in much of the s avagery r ecorded i n the following pages, as well as being the cause of the inefficiency of several Americans i n authority d uring this time, of the older military commanders particularly. B y reading, and keeping in m ind, a n authentic account of the trials and sufferings of the early settlers in gaining and maintaining liberty from oppression and savagery, people are more likely t o appreciate liberty gained in this way, and to r emain more intent upon its preservation.

History should be truthfully

a nd f ully written, even though its pages r ecord


T he Settling of the B r i t i s h and French in America     T h e i r Inebriation of the Aborigines'   -Made t hem S avages I ndeed   Habitual Contention for A scendancy   Success of the B r i t i s h with the S avages, a nd against the F r e n c h     U s e of S avages a gainst Colonists during Revolutionary W a r by the B r i t i s h the s ame a s against the F rench i n Previous Years. CHAPTER II

B R I T I S H D I R E C T N O N - O B S E R V A N C E OF T R E A T Y OF P A R I S , AND T H E N S I G N T H E T R E A T Y T he First Years Following the Revolutionary W a r     T h e First Northwestern Boundary L i n e     T h e A borigines W i l l i n g t o be Friends of the United S tates   Causes of their Alliance with the B r i t i s h     T h e B r i t i s h Continue to H o l d M i l i t a r y P osts in Opposition to T r e a t y     L a r g e Amount of American Property Purloined by the B ritish. CHAPTER III

D E V E L O P M E N T OF T H E W E S T C H E C K E D B Y BRITISH I N F L U E N C E S . . A borigine Claims to L a n d Based on Conquest, w hich Claims the S avages a nd the B r i t i s h w ere ix


N ot W illing t o A ccede t o the United S tates, t heir Conqueror   Treaties with Aborigines    R eservations   Cession to United S tates of W estern Claims by States   Civil Organizations     Surveys for Settlements   Ohio L a n d Companies   Fort Finney Built   Continued Control of Aborigines by British   Expeditions a gainst Savage M arauders   Desire i n the West for Independence f rom the United States   Unauthorized Retaliations on Spaniards Allayed. C H A P T E R IV



WORK . .


THE .42

A ctivities of the British a gainst t he United S tates   Their M ain F ort in American Territory S trengthened   Benedict Arnold with t h e m     O rganization of the Territory Northwest of the O hio River   Increase in Population   Other C ivil O rganizations   More Systematic Efforts to Check British Influence with American A borigines   Forts Built   Reports of the extensive Savage W ork Done by the Aborigines    C annibalism. CHAPTER V

F URTHER C ULMINATION O F T H E I N E F F I C I E N T M ANAGEMENT OF A F F A I R S . . . S tatement of the Conditions by Jurist from Personal Observations   Necessity for Relieving t he Long-continued and S evere S ufferings    K entucky Territory Organized   Other C i v i l O rganizations   General Harmar's Expedition against H ostile Savages a t Head of Maumee R i v e r     H i s A r m y Twice D efeated b y t h e m     T heir Celebration of Victory at Detroit with

t heir British A l l i e s     P a n i c along F r o n t i e r     T h e W eak, Inefficient American Conduct of Affairs R eviewed. CHAPTER VI O V E R W H E L M I N G S UCCESS OF T H E E N E M Y . M ore T roops Gathered for Defence   Messenger S ent to the Senecas f or P eace A g e n t s     B r i t i s h O pposition   Expedition against Hostile S avages S uccessful   Army Gathered for Decisive B low t o the Marauding Savages   Commanded b y General, and Governor, St. Clair, it Meets O verwhelming Defeat   Women w i t h the A r m y . CHAPTER VII FURTHER NEFARIOUS W O R K CULMINATING . G reat Efforts of B ritish A llies   Distress of Frontier S ettlements   British Fear Loss of F u r T r a d e     A dvance of C i v i l J urisdiction   General Wayne C hosen to Lead Another A r m y against the H ostiles   Further Treaties w i t h the Aborigines     Secret E fforts to Learn Status of the B r i t i s h     L argest Council of S avages f or B r i t i s h Confede r a t i o n     K e n t u c k y A d m i t t e d as a State   Forts B u i l t b y Americans   Commissioners Appointed t o Attend the Great C o u n c i l     T h e i r Object D efeated by the British   Specific C harges of F raud a nd Force b y B r i t i s h Presented to the B ritish M inister. CHAPTER VIII RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE MARCHES G R E A T O PPOSITION . . . O N AGAINST . .





A dvance of General Wayne's A r m y     O p p o s e d b y the E n e m y     B u i l d s Forts Greenville and


R ecovery   Cause of B ritish A ggressiveness y et M ore A pparent   Other Enemies of the United S tates   Separation of the Ohio Country from the United States a gain Suggested   British B uild T wo Additional Forts within United States T erritory   Protests of the United S tates of N o A v a i l     B r i t i s h and their S avage A llies A ttack Fort Recovery and A r e Repulsed    F urther A ccount of Great Britain's Guiding H and. CHAPTER IX


A HYDRA . . .

OF C O N . 108

F urther A dvance of Wayne's A r m y     A Most M omentous Campaign   Builds Forts Adams a nd D efiance   The Enemy Flees   Wayne's Last O verture for P eace   The A r m y Nears the E nemy   Builds F ort Deposit, and Advances t o Complete Victory   Buildings and Crops of B ritish a nd their Allies Destroyed   Wayne's E mphatic L etters to the Commandant of F o r t M iami   The C asualties   Army Returns and S trengthens Fort Defiance   The R e d S avages     B r i t i s h S trengthen their Forts i n United States T erritory. CHAPTER X T H E T AMING OF T H E B R O K E N S AVAGE S P I R I T . W ayne Marches his A r m y to the Site of the M i a m i V illages   There Builds Fort Wayne   Receives a nd M akes Valuable Friends of Deserters from the British   Disaffection of Kentucky V o l u n teers   They are Sent Home   Savage Scouts A ctive at Fort Defiance   Wayne's Suggestion of General Council with Aborigines Meets Favor. 121




D iscipline i n the A r m y     W a y n e ' s Diplomacy in W inning t he S avages t o P e a c e     H i s Agents i n t he W o r k     E x c h a n g e of Prisoners   The Treaty o f Greenville, August 3, 1795   Number of T ribes i n the Agreement. CHAPTER XII T H E " WEST G A I N S P OSSESSION OF P A R T OF ITS R IGHTS . . . . . . . 144 T reaty w i t h Spain Favorable to the W e s t     A b a n donment of F o r t s     B r i t i s h again Endeavor to S educe t he Aborigines of the United S tates    T he J a y Treaty Favorable to the W e s t     B r i t i s h S urrender American F o r t s     D e a t h of General W a y n e     W a y n e County Organized   More F rench a nd Spanish Plots   Separation of the W est from the East again Suggested   British T hreaten Spanish Possessions i n the South. CHAPTER XIII 156

A D V A N C E M E N T OF C I V I L G O V E R N M E N T , A N D E X TENSION O F T H E W E S T . . . . M ississippi T erritory Organized   General Washington a gain at the Head of the Federal A r m y     Spanish Surrender their Forts i n United S tates T e r r i t o r y     F i r s t Legislature of Northwestern Territory Convenes   Indiana Territory O rganized   Public Lands   Connecticut Cedes h er Claims to the United States   Religious M issionaries     P opulation     Continued B ritish U surpations   Evidences of the R i s i n g Power of the United States   Treaty w i t h F r a n c e    


L ouisiana T erritory Purchased   Development of Communication   Military Posts   Ohio A d mitted as a S tate   The A borigines   Additional T reaties with them   Fort Industry B u i l t     M ichigan T erritory Organized   Aaron Burr's L ast Scheme. CHAPTER XIV

C ONSPIRACY OF T H E B RITISH, T E C U M S E H , A N D T HE P ROPHET . . . . . . 167 F urther T reaties with, and Payments to, the A borigines   The B ritish C ontinue Meddlesome     Reservations   United S tates S ettlers b y the L ower Maumee R i v e r     L a n d for Highways T reated for   Illinois Territory Organized    A nother British-Savage Trouble G a t h e r i n g     T rading P osts for the Aborigines E s t a b l i s h e d     R eports of Gathering Trouble from United States M ilitary P osts   The B ritish C ontinue to T rade Intoxicating Liquors to American Aborigines in Opposition to Law. CHAPTER X V R ESULTS OF F U R T H E R G OVERNMENT . . R EMISSNESS OF T H E . . . . 180

R egarding Trading Posts or Agencies   -Conspiracy of the B ritish a nd Tecumseh D eepens    R eports from M ilitary P osts   Battle of Tippecanoe   Continued Organization and Depredations by the A llied E nemies of the U n i t e d S tates   Missouri T erritory Organized   More C annibalism b y the Savages. CHAPTER XVI S AD B EGINNING OF T H E W A R FOR I N D E P E N DENCE . . . . T ardy Action of Congress   Declaration of W a r against G reat B r i t a i n     T h i s W a r of 1812 the 194

R eal W a r for Independence   The A r m y of the N orthwest the F i r s t i n the F i e l d     F o r t s M c Arthur, N ecessity, Findlay, and M i a m i B u i l t     S ad Inefficiency of General H u l l     H e O rders t he Abandonment of Fort Dearborn   Massacre a nd C annibalism by B ritish A l l i e s     H u l l S urrenders F o r t at Detroit without Effort for D efence     B r a v e and Patriotic W o r k b y Captain Brush. CHAPTER ENEMY . .' . . XVII . .

S LOW P ROGRESS I N P R E P A R I N G TO M E E T T H E E fforts to Repair H u l l ' s L oss   General Harrison A ppointed C ommander-in-Chief   Siege of F o r t W ayne Relieved   General Winchester A p pointed t o Succeed Harrison without Cause. CHAPTER XVIII

E X T R E M E S U F F E R I N G S O F K E N T U C K Y S OLDIERS G eneral Winchester Assumes Command of the A r m y     H a r r i s o n D irects Clearing of Roads and B uilding of Forts Barbee, Jennings, and A m a n d a     Winchester Marches A r m y from F o r t Wayne t o Defiance   British Force Checked on their W a y to F o r t W a y n e     H a r r i s o n Reappointed C hief i n Command of Northwestern A r m y     V isits W inchester at Defiance and S ettles D iscord   Plans F o r t Winchester, which Was B u i l t a t Defiance   Extreme Sufferings of Winchester's L eft W i n g of the A r m y     B a t t l e of Mississinewa River. CHAPTER X I X T H E S ECOND G R E A T D I S A S T E R OF T H E W A R OF

A dvance of General Winchester's A r m y from Defiance   Safe A r r i v a l a t Presque Isle below

R oche de Bout   There Builds Fort Deposit    U nwise Advance of A r m y to the Raisin   Defeat a nd M assacre   Harrison Gathers a New A r m y a nd T akes C ommand   Fort Deposit A b a n doned   Fort Winchester again the Frontier P ost   Fort M eigs Built   Efforts to Strike the E nemy Unavailing. CHAPTER X X A T HIRD G REAT D ISASTER I N T H E F I R S T Y E A R OF T H E W A R . . . . . . T he Northwestern A r m y Neglected by the General G overnment   General Harrison not Distracted b y Unwise Advisers   Investment and Siege of F ort M eigs   Reinforcements for the Fort Disobey Orders   They Are Surrounded and Captured     Further Massacre and Cannibalism by B ritish A llies   The E nemy Raises Siege a nd Retreats. CHAPTER X X I S ECOND G REAT E F F O R T O F T H E E N E M Y UNA244 VAILING . . . . . . . T he B ritish G ather More S avage A l l i e s     M o r e P reparations by Americans for Advancing u pon the Enemy   Celebration of Fourth of J u l y b y Soldiers in the Forest   The E n e m y Becoming M ore A c t i v e     F o r t Seneca B u i l t to Retain F riendship of Aged Aborigines   Second Investment of Fort Meigs by Increased Force   Scheme for its Capture Unavailing   Second Retreat of E nemy from Fort Meigs. CHAPTER A NOTHER S IGNAL R E P U L S E XXII OF T H E A L L I E D 256 233

ENEMY . . . . . . . B ritish S urround and Attack Fort Stephenson    T hey are B rilliantly R epulsed by Captain Croghan   They again Retreat to Fort Maiden.



T H E E N T I R E F O R C E OF T H E B R I T I S H O N L A K E E R I E CAPTURED . . . . . R enewed Efforts for Squadron of A r m e d V essels S uccessful   Oliver H . Perry Builder and Commander   His D ifficulties   He Sails for the Enemy   Communicates w i t h Harrison   Meets and C aptures A l l of the B ritish S quadron   Perry's D espatches a fter t he B a t t l e     T h e K i l l e d a nd W ounded   Description of Squadrons.




T H E A M E R I C A N S S E E K T H E B R I T I S H AT F O R T MALDEN . . . . . . . 275 D efinite P reparations for the Invasion of C a n a d a     O bservance of the D a y of Fasting and P r a y e r     A S ham Battle   Enthusiastic Enlisting in K e n tucky for the Invasion   Aged Aborigine Warriors J oin t he R a n k s     T h e Crossing of Lake E r i e     A r r i v a l a t Fort M a i d e n     F o u n d Deserted and F ired b y the Enemy.

CHAPTER X X V T H E B R I T I S H P U R S U E D A N D C A P T U R E D AT T H E THAMES . . . . . . . 284 P ursuit of the B r i t i s h t hrough Canada   Detroit R ecovered by Americans, who Hasten to Complete V ictory at the Thames   Aborigines Desert t heir A llies and Flock to the Americans   General Cass A ppointed M ilitary a nd C i v i l G overnor of Michigan T e r r i t o r y     N a m e of Detroit's F o r t C hanged to that of S h e l b y     K e n t u c k y Troops R eturn H ome by W a y of the R aisin.



T H E O HIO COUNTRY F R E E F ROM T H E S A V A G E ALLIANCE . . . . . . 292 P roctor's Request and Harrison's R e p l y     H a r r i s o n Goes t o Reinforce A r m y of the Centre   Period of Quiet in the Ohio Country   General Harrison R esigns   Renewed Efforts for D efence a nd A d vance   Scarcity of Food and M o n e y     F u r t h e r N eglect by Eastern Authorities   Expeditions t hrough Canada   Unfortunate Expedition to t he North. CHAPTER S UCCESS OF T H E W A R . . XXVII INDEPENDENCE . . . 303



T he Treaty of Ghent Closing the W a r of 1812-14     F u r t h e r Confirmation of American Claim of N otorious Methods by the B ritish. INDEX

T he Ohio Country
Between the Years 1783 and 1815




INTRODUCTION T he Settling of the B ritish a nd French i n A m e r i c a     T h e i r I nebriation of the Aborigines   Made them S avages I n deed   Habitual Contention for Ascendancy   Success of t he B ritish w ith the S avages, a nd against the F r e n c h     U se of S avages a gainst Colonists during Revolutionary W a r by the B ritish t he S ame as against the French in P revious Years.

C R E N C H M E N , e arly in the s eventeenth cen*    tury, were t he first Europeans to explore the The course of their A merican country about the Great Lakes and the upper M ississippi R iver. t ravel at first, and for many y ears after, was up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, t hence u p the O ttawa River to Mattawa, t hence a long the outlet and through the Lakes Talon and Trout, thence b y portage t o Lake Nipissing, through it

The Ohio Country
a nd d own its outlet the French River into Georgian B ay, and thence southward and westward. T he B ritish r anged along the Atlantic coast

south of the St. Lawrence Gulf.

They did not

abandon their quarrels with the French on leaving E ngland; i n fact they added to the old, a new grievance against the French because of the latter's settlement in the new country which the B ritish c laimed by "the A tlantic shore line. D uring the one hundred and fifty y ears f ollowing the coming of the French, quarrels and wars raged i n A merica and elsewhere between these t wo peoples. Here the French had the a dvantage f or several generations, owing to their early explorations, t heir maps, and their early free association with a nd amiable treatment of the Aborigines. Their first, a nd p rincipal, a ssociation was with the A l gonquins and the H uron ( Wyandot) tribe, both of w hom were often at war with the Iroquois of New Y ork. The latter controlled the country south of the course of the French, and southward from L ake E rie a nd thence westward even to the
T he term B ritish i s here used to designate the combined force of English, I rish, S cotch, and other Europeans who, at different times, acted with them.

right of


though this discovery was only a part of the

M ississippi R iver. n orthward.


For a l ong time this condition

h ad m uch t o do w ith keeping t he F rench t o the T he skins of f ur-bearing animals were t he p rincipal g ain derived by the French, first t he coureurs des bois p articularly; a nd t hey gratified i n a ddition t heir love of a dventure and of free life among t he Aborigines, which life t he r oaming French sought later t o m ake free also from t he t axes of t he Church and t he g overnment. Instead of endeavoring t o e levate t he Aborigines t o t heir degree of civilization, many of t hem descended t o the l evel of the A borigines. A s for the A borigines, t he F renchmen's brandy was t o t hem a r evelation. A t first merely a pleasing a nd exhilarating beverage, t his soon became a necessity i n i ncreasing quantity; a d rink which, w ith t hem as w ith countless multitudes before a nd since, civilized according t o t heir times a nd associations, w as i n t heir more sober moments considered the bane of t heir lives. I t was a d rink w hich h eld them i n a bject s lavery a nd was obtained a t any c ost; f or its use had d eveloped i n t hem a t hirst f or it t hat outvalued and overbalanced every other consideration. T he F renchmen i n t rading h ad also given them knives o f steel t o replace t he c lumsy, flint k nives of n ative

The Ohio Countryworkmanship; also metal tomahawks, and, later, flint-lock muskets; with which weapons, t o the French themselves. when elated with the brandy, they felt more than equal These weapons, w i t h the brandy, made them Savages i ndeed; the fiercest and most dangerous known to history. T he B ritish, also, became s trong competitors of the French; the government for the t axes a nd the traders for their profits i n the fur trade among the Aborigines. A t first they dealt w i t h the A l gonquins of New England and the Iroquois of New Y ork. Then the Algonquins and the H uron (Wyandot) tribe of the West were i nvited, by agents, who distributed among them strong drink a nd gaudy presents, to visit the chief executive i n N ew York. Nothing pleased the Aborigine chiefs more, while resting from war, than to journey hundreds of miles for such a visit, as they were sure of being fed to satiety, and fully loaded w i t h presents for the return; and the new bidder, therefore, was given the preference i n their estimation, for there was always a prospect of better terms w ith h im than those received from the former dealer. The impassive manners and "heavier d r i n k s " of the Englishmen did not, i n the estimation of the Aborigines, displace the more affable French-

B ritish general government


m en with their brandy u ntil, b y degrees, t he showed i ts p ower a nd its attractions, b y i ts armies, b y t he new products of its l ooms, and b y the l arger number and t he improved versatility of its t raders t he larger tribes. A merica. D uring a ll these m any generations of i ntrigue a nd w ar b etween t he B ritish a nd F rench, t he A borigines and their descendants ( all of w hom w ill c ontinue t o be here designated Aborigines o r Savages, t he term " I n d i a n " being an ancient misnomer that should n ot be p erpetuated) were t u tored i n i ntrigue a nd s avagery; a nd t hey were a pt pupils i n e verything seen a mong their tutors t hat was worse than that t o w hich they had been a ddicted. F or a n u ntold number of g enerations the S avages h ad been reared t o w ar w i t h other tribes, and i t was i nculcated i n t hem that their highest ambition s hould be to i nflict t he greatest i njury possible upon e very i ndividual and tribe they might t hink w orth exploiting f or any cause, o r for no cause. T he i ntoxicating beverages a nd m odern weapons r eceived from their new t utors made t hem good allies i n the eyes of these t utors. T he among N ot u ntil t he y ear 1760 d i d

t he B ritish succeed t he F rench government i n


The Ohio Country

B ritish a nd the French vied with each other in b idding i ntoxicating beverages, weapons, and other things desired by them, each for the purpose of w inning t he trade and the warrior support of the Savages against the other. The French sent missionaries and traders among the Iroquois; but with great effort the B ritish succeeded in retaining most of the trade of these " S i x N ations" and their good w ill. H a d the F rench succeeded in their efforts with this strong confederacy, the f inal r esult of their contention w ith the B ritish w ould have been delayed, if not altogether different. I n the year 1747, the B ritish succeeded in causing a conspiracy of Chief Nicholas and the Hurons (Wyandots) against the French; but the latter soon regained the friendship of this strong tribe. Scalps of both B ritish a nd French, taken by the Savages, were purchased by both respectively; a most inhuman bidding for the lives of each other t hat reacted disastrously upon both. For a time the Savages c ould get scalps either way they r oamed; and at times neither purchaser could feel sure he was not buying scalps taken from his own c ountrymen. The Savages, themselves as low in the scale of h umanity as it seemed possible to descend, were



often cloyed, wearied t o s atiety, b y t he unceasing i ntrigue a nd b loodshed between t he E uropeans, w hich h ad been going o n i n A merica for fully five generations. B ut t he B ritish h ave ever been noted f or t heir persistency as w ell as f or their aggressiveness, and t he f inal v ictory over t he F rench i n A merica w as t heirs in t he y ear 1760, i n which year t he F rench forts a t D etroit a nd elsewhere were peacefully surrendered t o t hem. T he troubles of the B ritish w i t h t he w estern t ribes of Savages, h owever, did n ot e nd w i t h t he a cquisition of the f ort a t D etroit, and the fort a t t he head of the M aumee R i v e r ; which forts h ad been t he centres of m any merry entertainments of t he Savages, a nd had witnessed t he e quipping of w ar parties b y the F rench against t he B ritish. T he Savages h ad not yet w itnessed enough of t he power a nd resources of the B ritish t o f ully u nderstand w hy t hey should n ot c ontinue w i t h t he French, o r set up war a gainst t he B ritish themselves. T hen came t he C onspiracy of P ontiac, w i t h w hich the B ritish h ad t o d eal a t a g reat expense of life a nd m oney. M uch d iplomacy w as needed also before they were a t a ll comfortable i n the hope of securing the Savages as a llies i n war, which had


The Ohio Country

been their policy from the first. A t different times later, they had a great fear that there would be a federation of all the largest northern and southern     tribes against them. As late as February 18, 1771, S ir W illiam J ohnson, their greatest A borigine agent, wrote to the B ritish S ecretary of State i n p art as follows: " It is really a matter of the most serious nature, for if a verry small part of those people have been capable of reducing us to such straits as we were in a few years since, what may we not expect from such a formidable alliance as we are threatened with, when at the same time i t is known that we are not at this time more capable of defiance, if so much, as at the former period. This is in some measure the consequence of their becoming better acquainted with their own strength and united capacity to preserve their importance & check our advances into their country." W ith the allaying of this fear, came a new opposition t o the B ritish g overnment in America, f rom the B ritish colonists themselves; and, as the opposition t o the impositions on the colonists increased, the London and local governments felt more and more the desire, and apparent necessity, for greater efforts to ally the Savages f irmly t o t hem, a nd against the colonists. Surely a strong a nd even savage a lliance was being formed to compel subjection of the colonists, and to yet



f urther i mpoverish those w ho had a lready been i mpoverished b eyond a reasonable l imit b y the m other country i n her w ars t o o vercome t he F rench. A t t his late d ay, at least, t he B ritish g overnment should have recognized the f ull w orth of the character of the P ilgrims and Puritans; t he v alue of t he conscience that drove them into the distant wilderness one h undred a nd f ifty years before, w hich conscience, with renewed and renewing love of freedom, had been transmitted t o t heir descendants through t he generations, a nd had been i m parted t o t housands of G reat Britain's hardy, good citizens who, during these m any years, h ad followed t heir countrymen into this n ew c ountry. I t has been many times shown that t he B ritish government h ad s eldom, i f ever, taken thought of s uch sentiment, and proper action regarding i t . Those i n a uthority during this period of t ime, a nd l ater, for forty years a t least, were not actuated b y humanitarian motives, b ut by a selfish desire t o compel those of t he blood of their own countrymen   who had been born and reared in the atmosphere of s elf-sustaining, i f not f ull, f reedom   to absolute obedience t o f orce, wholly of the consequences t o the c olonists. regardless Could a ny even

government have been more thoughtless,


The Ohio Country
in the treatment of its subjects?


C ould a ny self-respecting people longer consent t o live under such a government ? T hese wer