xt75mk654d22 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt75mk654d22/data/mets.xml Clark, George Rogers, 1752-1818. 1920  books b929733348c5472009 English Lakeside Press, R. R. Donnelley & sons company : Chicago, Ill. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Clark s Expedition to the Illinois, 1778-1779. Vincennes (Ind.) --History --Revolution, 1775-1783. The conquest of the Illinois. text The conquest of the Illinois. 1920 2009 true xt75mk654d22 section xt75mk654d22 
  
  
  
  
  
  
T h e C onquest of T h e I llinois

  
  
  
  
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The C onquest of The I llinois
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T h e Conquest of The I llinois
B Y G E O R G E R OGERS C L A R K E DITED B Y

MILO

MILTON
Editor of

QUAIFE

The State Historical

Society of

Wisconsin

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Illustrations

The Lakeside Press c h cjgo
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R. R . D O N N E L L E Y

& SONS

COMPANY

CHRISTMAS, M C M X X

  
  
p ulrtti^erg' p reface
H E p ublishers of T h e Lakeside Classics h ave h eld t hemselves f ree t o t ake a ny m aterial that c omes t o hand, which p romises to be interesting and w o r t h while, r egardless o f its chronological relation to previous volumes, and this y ear t hey t urn b ack f rom the early y ears o f the Nineteenth C e n tury to the stirring period of the R e v o l u t i o n . M o s t of us think of the R e v o l u t i o n as being f ought o nly i n the Colonies stretched along the A t l a n t i c S eaboard. Y e t out i n w hat i s now I llinois a nd Indiana, a frontiersman by the name o f G eorge R o g e r s C l a r k carried on a campaign f or A m e r i c a n supremacy that for enterprise, d aring and determination, is equal to any in our h istory. T o his foresight and s uccess i s due t he f act t hat the g reat c ountry l y i n g w est o f P ittsburgh, north of the O h i o and stretching to t he M i s s i s s i p p i , was s aved f or the Colonies, and d id n ot f all t o the lot of C a n a d a under the T r e a t y of P a r i s . C l a r k ' s M e m o i r was written i n illiterate style a nd with the spelling and punctuation of the f rontiersman, and, in its original f o r m , m akes d ifficult r eading for any but the historical s cholar. W e are, therefore, indebted to M r . v

  
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preface

M i l o M . Quaife not only for his continuing to a ct as editor, but also, for his appreciation of t he necessity of transcribing the M e m o i r and f or accomplishing it so successfully. T h e publishers feel that they are especially f ortunate in being able to put this heroic, in r eadable form, into the hands of their friends a nd patrons, and do so with their annual message o f Christmas G o o d - W i l l . THE
C HRISTMAS 1 920.

PUBLISHERS.

  
H istorical I n t r o d u c t i o n

  
  
TOtorical

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B y f ar the most b rilliant f igure i n the R e v olution i n the W e s t was George Rogers C l a r k , w hose conquest of the Illinois country was the f actor chiefly responsible for g i v i n g the O l d N orthwest to the new-born A m e r i c a n nation i n t he treaty of 1783. T o orient C l a r k ' s conquest i n its historical setting, and to give some a ccount of his narrative of i t , w h i c h forms the s ubject-matter of the present volume, is the p urpose of this i n t r o d u c t i o n . T h e region between the O h i o R i v e r and the G reat L a k e s , the Alleghenies and the M i s s i s sippi, w h i c h later b ecame k n o w n as the O l d N orthwest, is the territory involved i n our s tory. T h e beginning of the R e v o l u t i o n found t he B r i t i s h , o f course, i n possession of all of i t . T h e v antage p oints f r o m which they directed i ts affairs were, i n general, the old F r e n c h p osts, now occupied for the most part by B r i t ish g arrisons. A m o n g t hese m ay be named D e t r o i t , M a c k i n a c , Vincennes, K a s k a s k i a , and C a h o k i a . B y far the most important center o f B r i t i s h i nfluence i n the N o r t h w e s t was D e troit, t he headquarters of the posts and the k ey to the control of the fur trade and the I n dian t ribes of this region. H e r e was a F r e n c h a nd m ixed-blood settlement numbering upwards o f 2 000 s ouls and mustering over 300 men

  
ijHgtorical i ntroduction
c apable of bearing arms. T h e fort was defended by a palisade of pickets and contained at the beginning of 1776 a garrison of 120 m en. T o complete the tale of D e t r o i t ' s m i l i tary resources, there floated in the river opposite the fort a tiny navy manned by some thirty " seamen and s e r v a n t s . " D etroit a side, the only other considerable c enters of white population in the Northwest w ere O uiatanon and Vincennes on the W a b a s h a nd t he strip of settlements stretched along t he east b ank of the M i s s i s s i p p i f rom the mouth o f t he M issouri t o the mouth of the O h i o , on w hat later came to be k n o w n as the " A m e r i c a n B o t t o m . " O uiatanon had, at the outbreak of t he Revolution, about a dozen F r e n c h families. V incennes had a population of perhaps 500 s ouls. T h e Illinois settlements of the A m e r i c a n B ottom i n 1778 contained about 1000 whites a nd as many n egroes a nd Indians. T h e chief t own was K a s k a s k i a w i t h 500 white inhabitants a nd a bout the same number of negroes. N e x t i n i mportance was C a h o k i a with a white population o f about three hundred. A t M a c k i n a c a nd G reen Bay, possibly also at S t . Joseph, P eoria, a nd Prairie du C h i e n , w ere s ettled a f ew F r e n c h families. F o r the rest, the country w hich n ow t eems w i t h a population as enlightened and prosperous as any on the f ace o f the e arth was but a splendid wilderness. S carcely second to the whites i n importance, at least from the military point of view, was

  
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t he Indian population of this region. T h e s everal tribes could muster, according to the usual e stimates, about 8 000 w a r r i o r s . T hese w ere t he jury, so to s peak, t o which the contending w hite leaders made their appeals, and on w hose a ctive aid or passive sympathy they relied as t he makeweight to turn the s cale i n their favor. M ost n umerous of the tribes was the C h i p p e w a ; b ut our present concern lies rather with certain o f the smaller tribes. A r o u n d the south e nd of L a k e M i c h i g a n , w i t h their principal s eat o n the S t . Joseph R i v e r , w ere t he P o t a watomi, numbering s ome 4 00 w a r r i o r s . T o the s outh and southeastward of this tribe, in m o d ern Indiana and O h i o , w ere t he M i a m i , S h a w nee, and others, who w ere t o continue the war i n t he W e s t d u r i n g long and bloody y ears a fter t he withdrawal of Great B r i t a i n f rom the contest. A t M i l w a u k e e had c ongregated a n ondescript band composed of the off-scourings of s everal tribes, who, to the scandal of the B r i t i s h o fficers, usually maintained friendly relations w ith t he A m e r i c a n s . In Illinois and W i s c o n sin w ere t he Sauk and Foxes, the W i n n e b a g o , a nd other tribes. T h e advancing w ave o f E n g l i s h settlement p ouring into the upper O h i o V a l l e y had precipitated, two d ecades e arlier, the F r e n c h and I ndian W a r . A s yet this tidal w ave o f c i v i lization h ad not crossed the O h i o , although it h ad spread out along its eastern valley as far s outh as T ennessee. T h e most important post xi

  
l ^igtorical 3'ntrotmction
a long this extensive frontier was F o r t P i t t at t he forks of the O h i o . It was the center, t herefore, from w h i c h radiated the A m e r i c a n e fforts to control the Northwestern tribes, just a s at a later date, it afforded the p r i n c i p a l g ateway t hrough which the tide of settlement p oured into this region. T h e Americans at first strove to s ecure t he n eutrality of the Indians i n the impending conflict. B ut t he red man could not stand i dly b y w hile a war was waging for the possession of h is country, and the B r i t i s h m ore wisely d i rected their efforts to securing his active support. T h i s policy was shortly copied by the A m e r i c a n s , and soon the perplexed natives w ere b eing plied w i t h r i v a l s olicitations for a lliance. T h e B r i t i s h u rged them to assail the o utlying s ettlements of the A m e r i c a n frontier, c ounselling humanity to the vanquished but l argely nullifying this counsel by offering rewards for all scalps brought i n . LieutenantGovernor H a m i l t o n a t D e t r o i t was especially z ealous i n urging the Indians on to this work o f devastation. T h e A m e r i c a n s offered rewards for prisoners, but none for scalps. T w o c ourses o f action w ere o pen to the A m e r icans i n view of this situation. T h e y might e ndeavor to punish the hostile Indians by l aunching r etaliatory m easures a gainst t h e m ; o r t hey might by capturing D e t r o i t , f r o m w hence i ssued alike the supplies for the marauders and the zeal which instigated them to x ii

  
t heir b loody task, destroy the opposition at its f ountain-head. T h e latter course was urged b y C o l o n e l M o r g a n , the Indian a gent f or the M i d d l e D epartment and a man of m u c h experience among the Indians of the N o r t h w e s t . T h e reasons advanced by h i m i n support of the p olicy he advocated were unheeded. Seeing t his, a nd believing a general Indian war was a bout to be precipitated, he resigned his office. T h e control of the W e s t e r n Department passed i nto l ess competent hands and the western f rontier s eemed about to be overrun by the B r i t i s h a nd Indians when a diversion of m u c h i mportance occurred. T h e advent of George R ogers C l a r k i n the Illinois country compelled t he B r i t i s h at D e t r o i t to t u r n their attention to t he defense of the N o r t h w e s t , and shortly of D e t r o i t i tself, against the bold invader. C l a r k w as a native of V i r g i n i a w ho, like W a s h i n g t o n , f itted himself for a surveyor and b egan his active career i n the upper O h i o c o u n t r y . I n 1776 he had cast in his lot w i t h t he y o u n g settlements of K e n t u c k y , and a l though not yet twenty-five years of age, i n the c risis o f their fortune he put himself f o r w a r d as their leader. T h e K e n t u c k y settlements w ere nominally a part of V i r g i n i a b ut i n fact t hey were too remote f r o m the mother country t o receive m u c h protection f r o m that source. I t was congenial, too, to the spirit of the f r o n tiersman t o depend upon himself, and C l a r k , w ho had come to the conclusion that the only x iii

  
i ^ t o r i c a l ^ ntroouction
m eans of obtaining s afety f or K e n t u c k y was t o carry the war into the e nemy's c ountry, was o ne of those who favored action independently o f a uthorization from V i r g i n i a . O ther c ounsels prevailed, however. The p rotection o f the parent colony was sought and as a result the V i r g i n i a A s s e m b l y declared the e xtension of its authority over the region and i n D ecember, 1776, created the county of K e n tucky. T h e next summer C l a r k learned from s pies whom he had sent into the I llinois c ountry t hat the F r e n c h settlers w ere l u k e w a r m i n t heir a llegiance to Great B r i t a i n a nd that only a f ew of them w ere p articipating i n the raids a gainst the A m e r i c a n s , w h i c h , fomented from D etroit, m ade t hese s ettlements their startingpoint a nd b ase o f operations. F i r e d b y t hese r eports w i t h the purpose to conquer the I l l i nois s ettlements, he proceeded the same summer t o V i r g i n i a . T h e r e he l aid h is project b efore G o v e r n o r H e n r y and received that official's a uthorization to raise and equip a force o f t roops for the w o r k . A r m e d w i t h this and a s canty supply of money and ammunition he r eturned t o K e n t u c k y and launched the enterprise. T here is no need here to t ell t he story of C l a r k ' s i nvasion of the I llinois i n the months o f 1778 and 1779, for C l a r k ' s own narrative of h is m omentous campaign is spread before the r eader in the p ages t hat follow. Suffice it to s ay, therefore, that the m o r n i n g of F e b r u a r y x iv

  
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2 5, 1 779, witnessed the climax of the campaign i n t he surrender to C l a r k at Vincennes of L i e u t e n a n t - G o v e r n o r H a m i l t o n a nd his entire g arrison. T h e r e w i t h the A m e r i c a n hold on t he Illinois country was assured, for the time b eing at least. Permanent control of the N o r t h w e s t , and p eace f or the troubled frontier, c ould be won only b y the capture of D e t r o i t , a nd t his was at all times the ultimate goal of C l a r k ' s e ndeavors. B u t he was too w eak t o m ove upon D e t r o i t at once after the capture of V i n c e n n e s ; while w a i t i n g for reinforcements he applied himself vigorously to the w o r k of g overning the newly-won territory, establishing s atisfactory relations w i t h the Indians and p reparing t he way for the greater exploit w h i c h he was destined never to p e r f o r m . Obstacle a fter obstacle arose to postpone or prevent the f ulfillment o f his design. T h e B r i t i s h a gain r esumed the offensive and the season of 1780 w itnessed a comprehensive attack upon the A m e r i c a n a nd Spanish positions i n the W e s t . A l arge force of traders and Indians w h i c h d escended the M i s s i s s i p p i a nd f ell u p o n S t . L o u i s w as repulsed and forced to b eat a h asty r etreat. A n o t h e r B r i t i s h - I n d i a n army under C a p t a i n B i r d m ade a d escent u pon the K e n tucky settlements, destroying R u d d l e ' s and M a r t i n ' s s tations and c a r r y i n g off to D e t r o i t u pwards of one hundred captives. T h e magic o f C l a r k ' s name s eems t o h ave b een a potent i nfluence i n causing the w i t h d r a w a l f r o m S t . xv

  
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L o u i s . H e retaliated upon the invaders with v igor, sending a force of 350 men under C o l o nel M o n t g o m e r y to r avage t he villages of the S auk and Foxes on R o c k R i v e r , who had been a ctive allies of the B r i t i s h . H i m s e l f hastening b ack to K e n t u c k y upon the n ews o f the B r i t i s h a ttack i n that quarter, C l a r k organized a force o f 1000 men for the punishment of the S h a w nee, who had participated in the recent invasion of K e n t u c k y . F r o m the mouth of L i c k i n g R i v e r , o pposite the present city of C i n c i n n a t i , t he army proceeded to the Indian towns of O l d C hillicothe and P i q u a and burned the one, w hich h ad been abandoned, and stormed and b urned the other. A l t h o u g h the issue of the c ampaign was not decisive, the punishment accorded the Indians sufficed to free the K e n tucky settlements f r o m further molestation by t hem for the remainder of the year 1780. F o r t he year 1781 plans w ere c onceived on a l arge scale by C l a r k , G o v e r n o r Jefferson of V i r g i n i a , a nd General W a s h i n g t o n for the reduction o f Detroit, but the settlers of western P ennsylvania and V i r g i n i a largely refused to r espond to the call for troops; discord developed, too, between C l a r k a n d C o l o n e l Brodhead, t he A m e r i c a n commander at Pittsburgh, and t he settlers of K e n t u c k y w ere e ither unequal o r u nwilling to undertake the task to which C l a r k e agerly invited them. S o the matter d ragged on and the Revolution finally came to i ts close with the B r i t i s h s till i n control at D e xvi

  
iSHgtorical ^ ntrooucticm
t roit, w hence they s till c ontinued to exert an e ffective control over most of the tribes of the Northwest. N o t u ntil a d ozen y ears m ore of b loodshed along the O h i o frontier, c o n c l u d i n g w i t h t he most serious Indian war i n w h i c h the A m e r i c a n n ation has e ver e ngaged, w as the g r i p o f Great B r i t a i n r elaxed, and p eace r estored to the long-troubled frontier. The a rmy of M a d A n t h o n y W a y n e t r i u m p h a n t l y c oncluded the contest for the control of the N o r t h w e s t w h i c h C l a r k almost twenty y ears e arlier had so b r i l l i a n t l y begun. W i t h t his hasty resume of the military situation i n the W e s t we may turn to a consideration o f C l a r k ' s story of his invasion of the I l l i n o i s . I n t he autumn of 1779 C l a r k prepared, i n the f o r m o f a letter to his friend, George M a s o n of V i r g i n i a , a s omewhat lengthy sketch of his I llinois c ampaign. W i t h t he p assage o f y ears t he whereabouts of this letter b ecame l ost to k nowledge and when, i n the summer of 1789, a t the instance of James M a d i s o n , C l a r k was u rged to write out the story of his western c ampaigns for the benefit of posterity, he s ought i n vain to f ind t he document. Nevertheless i n response to m u c h u r g i n g C l a r k set a bout c o m p o s i n g a new narrative of the period, t he resultant product being the famous memoir r eproduced i n the following p ages. The o riginal d ocument is a manuscript of 128 p ages, a t least 100 of w h i c h w ere w ritten d u r i n g the y ears 1 789 and 1790. F o r half a century, x vii

  
p   toncaI 3'ntroouction
b eginning with M a n n B u t l e r ' s History of Kentucky, p ublished i n 1834, historians generally r egarded and utilized the Memoir a s a trustworthy narrative of events, while such novelists as W i n s t o n C h u r c h i l l i n The Crossing a nd M aurice T h o m p s o n i n Alice of Old Vincennes d rew heavily upon it for the substance of their v olumes. Theodore Roosevelt, however, i n h is Winning of the West v igorously questioned t he value hitherto accorded to C l a r k ' s narrative. H e supposed it to h ave b een w r i t t e n " t h i r t y o r forty y e a r s " after the e vents d escribed, a nd " b y an old man who had squandered his e nergies a nd sunk into deserved o b s c u r i t y . " O n the painful period of C l a r k ' s l ater years, here alluded to, there is no present n ecessity for entering. It is sufficient for our p resent purpose to note that the strictures of R oosevelt induced Professor James, the scholarly e ditor of C l a r k ' s Papers i n the Illinois Historical Collections, t o undertake a careful e xamination o f the entire subject. H i s study e stablished the fact, already noted, that the Memoir w as chiefly written i n 1789 and 1790, w hen C l a r k was s till i n f ull p ossession of his m ental a nd physical powers; and led to the c onclusion t hat the Memoir, f ar f r o m being " t h e reminiscences of an old m a n who strove f or t he dramatic i n his presentation of f a c t s , " i s t o be regarded as a generally trustworthy a nd h ighly valuable historical narrative of the e vents w i t h which it deals. x viii

  
  
  tflitorical ^ ntro&ucUon

r egarded and utilized the Memoir a s a trustworthy narrative of events, while such novelists as W i n s t o n C h u r c h i l l i n The Crossing a nd M a u r i c e T h o m p s o n in Alice of Old Vincennes d rew heavily upon it for the substance of their v olumes. Theodore Roosevelt, however, i n h is Winning of the West v igorously questioned t he value hitherto accorded to C l a r k ' s n a r r a tive. H e supposed it to have been w r i t t e n " t h i r t y o r forty v e a r s " after the e vents d escftrJetf! \Wc\ * > Bf J ftaWfib mft' Sq&rncTered hi9"'enwgiwr tmh *svi\k">'mt(  -> d eserved obscunlyi"* (^"frie ^ftfin ptfridtr^f'Clark's l ater years, here alluded to, there is no present n ecessity for entering. It is sufficient f o r o u r s trictures o f R oosevelt induced Professor James, the s c h o l arly e ditor of C l a r k ' s Papers i n the Illinois Historical Collections, t o undertake a careful e xamination of the entire subject. H i s study e stablished the fact, already noted, that the Memoir w as chiefly written i n 1789 a n d 1790, w hen C l a r k was s till i n f ull p ossession of his m ental and physical powers; and led to the c onclusion t hat the Memoir, f ar f r o m being " t h e reminiscences of an old m a n who strove f or t he dramatic i n his presentation of f a c t s , " i s t o be regarded as a generally t r u s t w o r t h y
M 3 s

  
  
  
W i t h o ur faith i n the narrative thus reestablished, i t remains for those who have a fondness f or our western history to enjoy i t . U nfortunately, f r o m the viewpoint of the a verage m an, as contrasted w i t h the professional s cholar, C l a r k ' s mastery of the pen by n o means equalled his facility i n the use of the s word. H i s education, viewed i n the light of p resent-day standards, was necessarily defective. E v e n the trained scholar at times finds h is e fforts to determine C l a r k ' s meaning b affled, and it is probably s afe t o say that, p rofessional scholars aside, very few persons h ave ever had the interest or perserverance to r ead the Memoir t hrough. F o r such a d o c u ment to remain comparatively u n k n o w n to the g reat m ass of people in whose behalf C l a r k l abored, i s a g reat p i t y . A c c o r d i n g l y the e ffort has been made to give it an increased m easure of publicity by r e p r i n t i n g i n The Lakeside Classics. T h i s determined upon, i t s eemed clear that instead of r e p r i n t i n g the Memoir l iterally the editor should undertake to turn it into clear and grammatical E n g l i s h . S u c h a reprint w i l l n ot interest the p rofessional scholar, of course, but for h i m t here is already ample accommodation i n the George Rogers Clark Papers p ublished by the I llinois H i s t o r i c a l S ociety, and W . H . E n g lish's Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio. I f the present rendering a wakens in the constituency of The Lakeside x ix

  
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Classics a r enewed appreciation of the toils by w hich our country was won, and therewith an i ncreased s ense o f its value to us, the present p ossessors, t he h opes a like of publisher and e ditor w i l l h ave b een realized.
M I L O M . QUAIFE.

Madison, Wisconsin.

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T h e C onquest of The I llinois

  
  
C onquest of C ^ e 9IUtnot0
N f ulfilling m y e ngagement t o y o u w i t h r espect t o the w a r i n K e n t u c k y I must c o m mence w i t h t he first settlement of that d istrict, w h i c h had been but p a r t i a l l y e x p l o r e d p r i o r t o the year 1773, w h e n a considerable n umber o f surveyors a n d private adventurers p assed t h r o u g h i t . T h e first settlement was that o f H a r r o d s b u r g , u n d e r t a k e n by C o l o n e l J . H a r r o d i n the s p r i n g of 1774. Before much p rogress had been made, however, the settlers
1

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S IR :

J a m e s H a r r o d w as a n ative a nd r esident o f P e n n sylvania w ho in M a r c h , 1 774, a dvertised that h e w o u l d l ead a p arty t o t ake u p l ands i n K e n t u c k y , w h i c h h e h ad v i s i t e d t he p r e c e d i n g year. A b o u t t h i r t y m e n a ssembled a t h i s c a l l a nd t his party h e p i l o t e d d o w n t he O h i o t o the m outh o f the K e n t u c k y and u p t hat s tream a nd the L i c k i n g t o the s ite o f H a r r o d s b u r g . T h e w ar b etween t he A m e r i c a n settlers c o m m o n l y k n o w n as L o r d D u n m o r e ' s W a r o f 1774 was a bout t o b reak o ut, and b efore l a u n c h i n g i t two h a r d y w o o d s men, D a n i e l B o o n e a n d M i c h a e l S t o n e r , w ere s ent o ut as r unners t o K e n t u c k y t o w a r n t he s urveyors a nd o ther white m e n i n t hat region o f the i m p e n d i n g c onflict. A t t heir w a r n i n g t he i nfant settlement o f H a r r o d s b u r g w as abandoned, and t he s ettlers r e t u r n ed t o the o lder H o l s t o n settlement. T h e y ear f o l l o w i n g H a r r o d r eturned t o K e n t u c k y , re-established H a r r o d s b u r g , a nd m ade t he p lace h i s h ome u ntil h i s d eath i n 1793. 3

  
Conquest of
w ere c ompelled to abandon the country on a ccount of the war w i t h the S hawnee. They m arched through the wilderness and joined C olonel L e w i s ' a r m y , b ut at the close of the w ar they returned and resumed possession of t heir t own i n the spring of 1775. I n the meanwhile Colonel H e n d e r s o n a nd company had p urchased the K e n t u c k y country f r o m the C h e r okee a nd made an establishment and opened a l and office at Boonesborough, but w i t h t hese c ircumstances you are well acquainted. I t was at this period that I first entertained t he thought of concerning myself about the i nterest of this country. T h e proprietors at f irst t ook g reat p ains to w i n the favor of the s ettlers, but too soon for their own self-interest t hey b egan t o raise the prices on their lands, w hich g ave r ise to much complaint. A few g entlemen made s ome e ffort to persuade the p eople to pay no attention to them. I saw c learly that the proprietors w ere w o r k i n g their o wn r u i n , t hat their g reatest s ecurity lay i n
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G e n e r a l A n d r e w L e w i s , commander i n the notable b attle of P o i n t Pleasant, where the Great K a n a w h a R i v e r e mpties into the O h i o , O c t o b e r 1 0,1774. L e w i s l o n g p layed a prominent role on the P e n n s y l v a n i a a nd V i r g i n i a f rontiers. I n 1775 his appointment was u rged by W a s h i n g t o n as commander-in-chief of the C ontinental a r m y .
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C o l o n e l R i c h a r d H e n d e r s o n was a prominent c i t i zen of N o r t h C a r o l i n a who, like H a r r o d , c onceived a p roject of settlement in K e n t u c k y . H e o r g a n i z e d t he T r a n s y l v a n i a C o m p a n y , purchased a v ast q uantity
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m aking i t to the interest of the settlers to support t heir c l a i m , a nd that their conduct w o u l d s hortly e xasperate t he people and afford the o pportunity t o overthrow t h e m . I l eft the country i n the f all o f 1775 and r eturned t he f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g . W h i l e i n V i r ginia d iverse opinions w ere h eld respecting Henderson's claim. M a n y thought it good, w hile o thers doubted whether V i r g i n i a c o u l d w i t h p ropriety advance any pretensions to the c ountry. T h i s was what I wanted to k n o w . I i mmediately formed the plan of assembling t he settlers and persuading them to e lect d elegates t o proceed to V i r g i n i a a nd treat w i t h t hat s tate c oncerning the K e n t u c k y c o u n t r y ; i f s uitable conditions w ere s ecured we w o u l d d eclare ourselves citizens of that state; if not, w e would establish an independent government a nd b y g i v i n g a way a l arge part of the lands, a nd m a k i n g other disposition of the remainder,
o f g oods, and i n v i t e d the C h e r o k e e , who c l a i m e d the t ract w h i c h H e n d e r s o n p r o p o s e d to settle, to h o l d a t reaty w i t h h i m o n the W a t a u g a R i v e r in M a r c h , 1775. S o m e twelve h u n d r e d natives a s s e m b l e d , and o n M a r c h 17 the treaty was c o n s u m m a t e d . The T r a n s y l v a n i a C o m p a n y thereupon settled B o o n e s b o r o u g h , o pened a land office, and h e l d one legislative s ession in K e n t u c k y . T h e i r c l a i m was disputed, h o w ever, a nd i n 1778 the V i r g i n i a l egislature granted the c ompany 2 00,000 a cres o f l a n d o n G r e e n R i v e r b y w ay of payment for the e xpense i n c u r r e d in settling K e n t u c k y . H e n d e r s o n went out w i t h the first g r o u p o f s ettlers, and his j o u r n a l is now preserved i n the D r a p e r c o l l e c t i o n at M a d i s o n , W i s c o n s i n . 5

  
Cfjc <  onquc  t of
w e could not only gain a large number of i n habitants but i n large measure protect them. T o carry this project into e ffect I a ppointed a g eneral meeting of the settlers at H a r r o d s b u r g J une 6, 1776, giving out that something w ould be proposed to them w h i c h much concerned their interest. M y reason for w i t h holding i nformation as to what I wished to be d one was i n part to prevent the settlers from d ividing i nto parties on the subject, i n part to i nsure a m ore general attendance, as every one w ould w ish to know what was to be clone. U nfortunately, i t was late i n the evening of the d ay appointed before I could get to the place. T h e people had been i n some confusion, but h ad at length concluded that the design was s imply t o send d elegates t o V i r g i n i a w i t h a p etition p raying the A s s e m b l y to accept them as such and to establish a county government, e tc. T h e polls were opened before my a r r i v a l , a nd t he settlers had entered into the election w ith s uch spirit and carried matters so far that I c ould not get them to alter the plan of delegates w ith petitions to that of deputies under t he authority of the people. I n short, I did n ot make much effort to b r i n g this about. J ohn G abriel Jones and myself were elected as d elegates, the papers were prepared, and i n a f ew days we set out for W i l l i a m s b u r g . We h oped to arrive before the A s s e m b l y should a djourn, f or there was g reat a pprehension that t he Indians, stirred up by the B r i t i s h , w o u l d 6

  
s hortly make an attack upon K e n t u c k y , and no t ime ought to be lost in putting it in a s tate o f d efence. A p p r e h e n d i n g no immediate danger on the W ilderness R o a d , M r . J ones and I set out w i t h out w a i t i n g for other company. W e soon had c ause t o repent our rashness, however, for on t he second day we discovered alarming signs o f Indians. O n the t hird d ay M r . Jones' horse g ave o ut. W i t h o ur few belongings on my h orse, and i n so h illy a c ountry, it was impossible for two to ride at a time. T h e w eather w as very r a i n y . O u r f eet w ere w et continuously for three or four d ays a nd nights, a nd, n ot daring to make a fire to dry them, we b oth got what the hunters c all " s c a l d f e e t , " a m ost shocking complaint. I n this situation w e traveled on, in g reater t orment than I h ave e ver b efore o r since experienced, hoping to get r elief at the station i n P o w e l l ' s V a l l e y , ten or t welve m iles from C u m b e r l a n d G a p . G r e a t l y to our disappointment, we found the p lace totally abandoned and partly burned d o w n . M y c ompanion, being but little used to such
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B efore the c o n c l u s i o n of his treaty with the C h e r o kee at W a t a u g a in the s p r i n g of 1775, H e n d e r s o n s ent D a n i e l B o o n e w i t h a c o m p a n y of w o o d s m e n to o pen a r o a d to the K e n t u c k y R i v e r , a distance of s ome t wo h u n d r e d m i l e s . T h i s was the o r i g i n of the f amous W i l d e r n e s s R o a d , over w h i c h thousands of e migrants later poured into the W e s t . Its interesting h i s t o r y is t o l d by A r c h e r B . H u l b e r t i n Boone's Wilderness Road ( C l e v e l a n d , 1903).
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   f)e Conquest of
h ardship, b ecame greatly discouraged at this b low t o our hopes. I encouraged him by representing the certainty of the settlers being at M a r t i n ' s fort, about eight miles ahead, as I s upposed the whole had embodied there. A l though the danger was m u c h greater than we h ad a pprehended, we were now fully apprised o f i t, and if we could make out to walk through t he woods, both of us r i d i n g w here there was l evel ground, we could reach the place without a ny g reat r isk. T h i s we attempted, but i n v a i n ; w e were obliged to keep to the road, for the o ne on foot could not endure the torture of w alking t hrough the thick woods. Hearing I ndian g uns frequently, we had hopes they w ere hunters from the station to w h i c h we were b ound, b ut to our surprise we found on arrival t hat the fort had been abandoned for some time. T here were a few human tracks w h i c h we knew t o be Indian, as also the guns we had heard. O u r s ituation now appeared deplorable. T h e n earest inhabitants we knew were sixty miles a way,