xt7hmg7frb3c https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7hmg7frb3c/data/mets.xml Flint, Timothy, 1780-1840. 1833  books b92e81f6218332009 English E. H. Flint : Cincinnati, Ohio Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Indians of North America --Wars --1750-1815. Black Hawk War, 1832. Mississippi River Valley --History. Indian wars of the West; containing biographical sketches of those pioneers who headed the western settlers in repelling the attacks of the savages, together with a view of the character, manners, monuments, and antiquities of the western Indians. text Indian wars of the West; containing biographical sketches of those pioneers who headed the western settlers in repelling the attacks of the savages, together with a view of the character, manners, monuments, and antiquities of the western Indians. 1833 2009 true xt7hmg7frb3c section xt7hmg7frb3c 
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who headed the "western settlers in repelling the







Westward the Star of Empire hold's its way.

CINCINNATI: published   by e. h. flint. 1833. 


physical view op the west.

The country, of whose first settlers we propose to give sketches, is now called in common parlance the West, and the Mississippi valley, indicating its position in regard to the elder and more populous country on the shores of the Atlantic. It is the largest, most singular, and most fertile valley on the globe. A profile, or physical section of the vast plain between the Alleghanies and Rocky mountains, places this fact in an impressive point of view.

A line round the edge of the immense basin, commencing at the northern sources of the head waters of the lakes, round the Alleghanies, the gulf of Florida, the mountains that separate the waters of the Rio del Norte from those of the Mississippi, and the central ridges of the Rocky mountains dividing between the waters of the Missouri, the gulf of California, and the Oregon, and thence around the head sources of the_Mississippi, to its commencement north of the lakes, would be at least five thousand miles in extent.

This vast surface is watered by the longest rivers on the globe. The Missouri, Mississippi,. Arkansas, Red River, Ohio, Tennessee, Wabash, Platte,.Kansas, Yellow Stone, Illinois, Osage, and many other of the western rivers, are as different in character from those of the old world, as this valley is more extensive and magnificent than any other. In comparison to their width they have far longer courses, and furnish a navigation less impeded by falls and rapids..  These rivers may be considered im- 


mense natural canals winding through this vast valley in every direction, at once irrigating, fertilizing, and connecting its remotest points by navigable water communications. Three of these streams, to wit: the Missouri, the Mississippi, and Arkansas present a continued steam boat navigation of more than two thousand miles in length. Three more, to wit: Red River, the Ohio, and Tennessee have more than a thousand miles. Of those which are actually ascended by steam boats from three to six hundred miles, the number would be too tedious to enumerate.

Each of these streams is a kind of Nile to the region it irrigates, having a wide alluvial valley along its course, bounded on either shore by bluffs of a peculiar character, generally faced with precipitous limestone walls from two to four hundred feet high. It is but a few years since steam boats have first begun to be seen mounting with the power of the imprisoned elements between these hoary and ancient parapets of the streams, scaring the waterfowls from their domain, and the wild beasts from their shores. The discoveries, the peculiar journals and incidents of these long and recent voyages, are too new and voluminous, and we are yet too little acquainted with the new position in which they have piaced us, to possess at present all their intrinsic interest. They will constitute the burden of the history and song of the coming generations.

The peculiar configuration, climate, physical character, fertility, and modes of communication of this wide region, circumstances all having a peculiar bearing upjn the character of its inhabitants, have not failed to form a language, and mode of thinking, and manners peculiar to the west, presenting to the eye of a curious observer sufficiently amusing differences between the people of the Atlantic country and the Mississippi valley. The long jorneys of the inhabitants in steam boats, and by other water conveyances, create the necessity of new phrases, modes of speech, and even habits of thinking and feeling. Among the results may be fairlv reckoned greater enterprise, and a readier habit of breaking the ties of home, less pain in. dojng.it, and in general the hardier and more reck-



less habits of soldiers, travellers, and hunters. Time and circumstances have yet to determine, whether these habits will form, on the whole,-a better and more amiable nationality, than that of the Atlantic people.

They, whose business is on the blue waters of the ocean, are apt to view the fresh water voyagers of the western rivers with a sort of contempt. Yet there is no doubt, that the habitudes of the dwellers on these rivers, accustoming them from their earliest years to manage water-crafts both by the oar and wind, and to consider the waters as furnishing their customary motjes of travel and conveyance, qualify them, when borne down their forests to the sea, to become sailors at once. Fearlessness, frankness, fluency in conversation, a touch, perhaps, of roughness, smacking of the union of the hunter, soldier, sailor, and merchant, addictedness to gards and profanity form the prominent traits of the present voyagers on the western rivers.

The fertility of the greater portion of this valley is as surprising as its extent. Apparently of more recent formation than the remainder of the continent, it seems less marked with the curse of sterility. Immense portions arc alluvial. Other portions far from rivers, or the present courses of waters, show as if they were the deposit of immense drained lakes, or a vast region of former submersion. Even the pine districts, which are extensive in the south and southwest of the valley, and towards the sources of the Mississippi, are not sterile, like the same tracts in the Atlantic country. They are generally covered in the summer with a luxuriant growth of grass, herbage and flowers, and bring moderate crops of corn, wheat, sweet potatoes, and garden vegetables without manuring. This natural fertility seems to be owing to the deep loam stratum of the vegetable soil, and its containing uncornmon proportions of limestone, triturated, and perfectly mixed with it. Whatever be the cause, ever}"    *$aveller has remarked, in proportion as he begins-to de-sc&kI any of the ridges that form the outline of this valley, Sat the soil shows a proportionate increase of fertility. It is not pretended, that there are not here, as else 1* 

where, extensive regions consigned to sterility; but only that the proportion of fertile soil, compared with other countries, is unusually great.

The climate, -though every where subject to frequent changes and the extremes of heat and cold, is generally a mild and temperate one. presenting an atmosphere with a fair proportion of cloudless days, and a sky intensely blue and transparent. In winter it no where has the same a-mountof snow, as in the corresponding Atlantic latitudes. Another feature of diversity from the Atlantic country is seen in the vast western prairies. Probably two-thirds of the whole surface of this valley arc of this character. The term was furnished by the French, the first settlers of the country, and imports the same as the English word meadow. This term to an American ear generally denotes a low and wet grass enclosure. Nothing is farther from the true import of the term prairie, as applied to the grass plains of the west. The savannas of Florida and some of the interior prairies, are wet and marshy; but the infinitely larger proportion is high and dry. Indeed, their destitution of water is in general their greatest inconvenienge. They spread extents too uniformly level to admit of springs, and areas too open to evaporation and the direct operation of the sun's rays, to retain moisture. It has been generally asserted, that not far from the shores of the upper Missouri, Kansas, Platte, Yellow Stone, Arkansas, and Red Rivers, the prairies become a sterile and moving sand. More recent discoveries tend to discredit these assertions." The prairies the most remote from rivers are generally found yielding in the season a rank growth of grass, plants, and flowers. When American population shall press upon the means of subsistence, the vast level grass plains with coal beds and salt springs beneath, will be dotted with houses of brick and hedges of thorn, and will be the land of shepherds and cultivators. To encourage this hope,, a fact equally new, beautiful, and unquestionable has been settled by experience, that the innocent labors of the cultivator call down the blessing of the sky upon the earth. Between the husbandman, the earth, and the atmosphere there seems a sort of compatibility and contract, that the 


one shall till, and the others grant moisture and increase. Oppression and disease have no sooner banished man from the plains of Babylon, Persia, and Palestine, than the ground parches, the trees disappear, the beasts, and even the birds depart into exile, and the country, abandoned to sterility, becomes a moving sand. In reverse of this order, when the thousands of square leagues of dry grass plains west of the Mississippi, shall become the resorts of husbandmen, the granges, the hedges, the young orchards, the mulberry groves, forming a new alliance with the sky, will generate showers, arrest the clouds, and pour innumerable rivulets over all these green wastes.

In regard to the products of the west, without entering into details foreign to our plan, we remark four distinct species of cultivation, predominating in as many parallel belts , as we descend from the northern extremity oi the valley towards the south. The first is a zone with products similar to the northern Atlantic states; and commencing at the sources of the Mississippi, and terminating at Prairie du CJiien, it corresponds to the climate between Montreal and Boston. The Indian corn of the northern states, Irish potatoes, rye, wheat, and cultivated grasses are raised in perfection. The winter has an average duration of five months.

The second belt, commencing at Prairie du Chien, and terminating at latitude 36 deg., produces the gourd-seed corn, rye, wheat, apples, pears, peaches, and sweet potatoes. The average winter is four months. The next belt, reaching from 36 to 31 deg., is the region of cotton. From 30 deg. to the gulf of Mexico is the belt of the sugar cane, the orange and fig tree, and the corresponding productions. Sugar and cotton from these districts already constitute a prodigious item in the products of the American soil ;* and when this valley is peopled and cultivated, as one dav it will be, imagination can hardly limit the extent, to which these articles will be produced.

The progress of the population of this country is without any example or parallel in the records of oilier colonies in ancient or modern times; not excepting even the annals of the advancement of the Atlantic country..  We can 

remember, when all this country, except the ancient French colonies in it, was an unknown and an unpeopled wilderness. The first settlers encountered incredible hardships and dangers. But only open before Americans a fertile soil, and a mild climate, and their native enterprise, fostered by the stimulant effect of freedom and mild laws, will overcome every impediment. Sickness, solitude, mountains, the war-hoop, the merciless tomahawk) wolves, panthers, and bears, dear and distant homes, forsaken forever, will come over their waking thoughts, and-revisit their dreams in vain, to prevent the young, florid, and unpor-tioned pair from scaling remote mountains, descending long rivers, and finally selecting their spot in the forests, and consecrating their solitary cabin with the dear and sacred name of home.

The following synoptical view will show in a few words, the astonishing advance of this population. In 1790 the population of this valley, exclusive of the country west of the Mississippi and of Florida, which were not then within our territorial limits, was estimated by enunieration, at little more than one hundred thousand. In 1800 it was something short of three hundred and eighty thousand. In 1810 it was short of one million. In 1820, including the population west of the Mississippi, rating the population of Florida at twenty thousand, and that of the parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania included in this valley at three hundred thousand, and it will give the population of. 1820 at two millions five hundred thousand. The present population may be rated at four millions. It will be perceived, that this is an increase, in more than a duplicate ratio in ten years.

Some considerable allowance must be made, of course, for the flood of immigration, which can not reasonably be expected to set this way for the future, as strongly as it has for the past. Ohio, with the largest and most dense population of any of the western slates, has nearly doubled her number of inhabitants, between the census of 1820 and 1830. During that interval, her gain by immigration has hardly equalled her loss by emigration; and of course, :s simply that of natural increase.   In the rapidity of this 

increase, we believe, this state not only exceeds any other in the west, but in the world. It is the good natured jest of all, who travel through the western states, that however productive in other harvests, they are still more so in an unequalled crop of flaxen-headed children, the nobler growth our realms supply? We have a million more inhabitants than the thirteen good old United States, when, ^ at the commencement of the revolutionary war, they threw ^down the gauntlet in the face of the parent country, then the most powerful empire on the globe.

Notwithstanding the impression, so generally entertained in the Atlantic country, that this valley is universally unhealthy, and notwithstanding the necessary admission, that fever and ague is prevalent to a great and annoying degree, the stubborn facts above stated, demonstrate, beyond all possibility of denial, that no country is more propitious to increase by natural population. Wherever the I means of easy, free, and ample subsistence are provided, it is in the nature and order of human things, that population should increase rapidly'. In such a country, though some parts of it should prove sickly, perseverance will ultimately triumph overeventhis impediment, the most formidable of all. In that fertile region, for its insalubrious districts are almost invariably those of the highest fertility, immigrants will arrive, become sickly and discouraged; and perhaps, return with an evil report of the country. In the productive and sickly sections of the south, allured by its rich products, and its exemption from winter, adventurers will successively arrive, fix themselves, become sickly, and it may be, die. Others, lusting for gain, and with that recklessness to the future, for wise ends awarded us by Providence, and undismayed by the fate of those who have preceded them, will replace them. By culture, draining, the feeding of cattle, and the opening the country to the fever-banishing breeze, the atmosphere is found gradually to meliorate. The inhabitants, taught by experience and suffering, come by degrees to learn the climate, the diseases, and preventives, and a race will finally stand, which will possess the adaptation to the country, which results from acclimation; and even these sections are found 


in time, to have a degree of natural increase of population with the rest. Such has proved to be the steady advance of things in the sickliest points of the south. The rapidity of our increase in numbers multiplies the difficulties of subsistence and stimulates, and sharpens the swarming faculties and propensities in the parent hive, and will cause, that in due lapse of time and progress of things, every fertile quarter section in this valley will support its family.

Another pleasant circumstance appended to this view is, that almost the entire population of the valley are cultivators of the soil. The inhabitants of crowded towns and villages, the numerous artizans and laborers in manufactories, can neither be, as a mass, so healthy, so virtuous or happy, as free cultivators of the soil. The man whose daily range of prospect is dusty streets, or smoky and dead brick walls, and whose views become limited by habit to the enclosure of these walls; who depends for his subsistence on the daily supplies of the market, and whose motives to action are elicited by constant and hourly struggle and competition with his fellows, will have the advantage in some points over the secluded tenant of a cabin or a farm house. But still, taking every thing into the calculation, we would choose to be the owner of a half section of land, and daily contemplate nature, as we tilled the soil, aided in that primitive and noble occupation by our own vigorous children. The dweller in towns and villages may have more of the air and tone of society, and his daughters may keep nearer to the changes of the fashions. But we have little doubt, that, in striking the balance of enjoyment, the latter will be found to be the happier man, and more likely to have a numerous arid healthy family. The people of the west, with very small deductions, are cultivators of the soil. All, that are neither idle, nor unable to labor, have a rural abundance of the articles, which the soil can furnish, far beyond the needs of the country; and it is one of our most prevalent complaints, that this abundance is far beyond the chances of profitable sale.

The extent, to which the commerce of the country has been carried, may be inferred from the fact, that the annual exports from New Orleans average from twelve to fif- 


teen millions of dollars. Among the items in 1831, was one hundred and fifty-seven thousand three hundred and twenty-eight barrels of flour, from fifty to eighty thousand hogsheads of sugar, twelve million pounds of lead, and two million dollars worth of pork, beside the staples of cotton and tobacco. The whole amount of steam boat tonnage exceeds fifty thousand tons. Three hundred and eighty steam boats have been built or run; and more than two hundred are now actually running upon the western rivers.

New Orleans, the chief city of the western country, contains over fifty thousand inhabitants, and more commercial business is transacted in it than in any other of the size in America. Cincinnati, the next largest town, contains over thirty thousand inhabitants; and few towns in the United States surpass it in beauty. Pittsburgh, a town of immense manufacturing business and resources, contains with its suburbs twenty-two thousand four hundred and thirty-three inhabitants. Louisville, a large commercial town of Kentucky, contains upwards of ten thousand inhabitants. St, Louis, Nashville, Lexington, and Zanesville, are large and growing towns; and hundreds of villages are rapidly advancing to the same rank. Towers, churches, manufactories, seminaries, and institutions are springing up on every side.

Before we proceed to present sketches of the adventurous spirit's, who preceded in the discovery and settlement of this vast valley, we give in a compressed and tabular view, some of its most interesting physical, moral, and political features.

It contains four-fifths of the area of the-United States. The Missouri exceeds three thousand miles in length. The Mississippi has a course of two thousand eight hundred; the Arkansas of two thousand five hundred; Red River of one thousand eight hundred; the Ohio of one thousand five hundred; White River of one thousand two hundred; and Tennessee of the same extent    some of the rivers of the Missouri, as the Platte and Yellow Stone, have courses of equal length.

Proceeding on a less ratio of increase, than that which 


has marked the progress of western population from the commencement of its settlement, in the year 1850 this valley will contain ten millions of inhabitants, or more than half the population of the whole United States. Of course, the balance of physical power will be west of the Alleghany mountains. Another interesting circumstance may be mentioned. So far as physical configuration and relative position may be supposed capable of influencing the physical and moral destinies of a country,.there is no one of the same extent on the earth, every part of which is so intimately connected with every other part by physical relations and mutual necessities, as the eastern and western, the northern and southern divisions of this great valley. Of course, sectional feeling will be less likely to arise, as a cause of jealousy, severance, and disunion between the several members of the western confederacy. Enlightened nationality is a great political advantage, which this region, in the natural order of things, ought to possess in an uncommon degree. No country has the natural means of such easy and rapid interchange between its remotest extremities, and the inhabitahts have every inducement to become a social people.

There were supposed to be in 1832 four thousand five hundred churches of the different denominations of Christians, thirty colleges and larger seminaries, with a rapidly increasing number of primary and common schools. The militia in 1832 was about four hundred and thirty thousand.

When we take into view the extent of this valley, the uncounted millions of acres of fertile lands, yet to be redeemed from the wilderness, when we measure the probable increase by the astonishing actual ratio of the past, a measure of increase unparallelled in the annals of colonization, we can not but contemplate this vast, fair, and fertile valley, in the centre of our great continent, with an elevated moral interest. While the broad and calculating reach of a nticipation extends to the generations to come, and imagines what will be the influence of this new empire upon the history of the future, we should be lost to ourselves, and the common sentiments of human 

nature, if ive did not turn with a keen and enquiring spirit ' to ask, who and what were the discoverers and pioneers of this country, who laid the foundations of its present improvements and future prospects?

In the days of ancient fable, discoverers and founders were reputed after their death to be demi-gods. Temples were reared to them; and their achievements were inscribed upon monumental marble and brass. More enlightened, not we would hope at the expense of grateful sensibility, we will place the great names of the founders of our '   . empire before our children. We will cause their eyes to glisten byvthe recital of their deeds of daring, their spirit of self sacrifice, their heroic conflicts, and their lonely toils. In contemplating the intrepidity, heroism, disinterestedness^ and capability of endurance of our forefathers, we present a new and more elevated standard of imitation to their posterity, born in times and under circumstances tending to foster effeminacy and'selfishness. It can never be useless to contemplate these images of stern self control, of sublime vigor and perseverance. In seeing what men have been, and may be, we find the best incitements to arrest the downward tendency to indolence, self indulgence, and pusillanimity. We shall attempt, with these intentions, to pass the chief of these mighty and master spirits in review in the following chapters.


discovery and conq.uest of florida, and settlement

on tiie jussissirn.

A sketch of these events, though almost an episode in the annals of western history, from the little influence that Florida has exerted upon the western country, is due to a general and chronological view of the subject. Florida was the first part of this valley known to the inhabitants of Eu-2 


rope. This country had been discovered and occupied by the Spaniards nearly forty years, before any definite knowledge of the Mississippi, as the' mighty river of the western interior, had been obtained.

Cuba, as the most fertile and conspicuous of the West Indies, or Antilles, was among the earliest Spanish settlements. Havana early became the most important city in this western archipelago, the central point of its communications, the depot of its products, and the arsenal whence were fitted out its expeditions for discovery and conquest.

So near are the keys of Florida to Havana, that the naval communications of that great mart could not be kept up without making the discovery of the Floridas, as an incidental event of course. It is probable, that Sebastian Cabot, the English navigator, saw the shores of this country, in a few years after the discovery of the continent by Columbus. But the effective discovery must be conceded to the Spanish navigator, Juan Ponce de Leon, in 1512; that is about twenty years after the discovery of America. The Spanish chronicles relate, that he undertook this voyage in consequence of a popular tradition, which prevailed at Cuba, that somewhere in the interior of Florida, there was a precious spring fountain, whose waters had the property of imparting rejuvenescence, and afterwards perpetuating perennial youth. Having^ plundered the empire of Montezuma and the Incas of immense masses of gold, it would have been an admirable appendage to the acquisition of these greedy adventurers, to have lived in immortal youth in the possession of their ill gotten gains.

He fitted out a small squadron from Cuba, and steered across the gulf to the continent, in search of this fountain of perpetual youth. He discovered land on Easter day, and gave it the name of Florida, from the Spanish name of that festival, pasquadc fores, the festival of flowers; or, according to Herera, from the appearance of the country, which at the time of the discovery, was covered with abundant flowers. If this were the origin of the name Florida, or the flowering country, the catalpa and magnolia, the wild pink shrubberies, fringing the shores of the streams, and the white blossoms of the cornus Florida would indeed give 


reason that it should be so called, the aspect of the country in early spring being that of a boundless waste of flowers of the most brilliant colors and fragrant odors.

The adventurer debarked his expedition. He wandered into the interior, and found plenty of fish and game, but no fountain of rejuvenescence. On the contrary, he soon met bands of fierce and determined savages, very different from the docile, timid, and efliminate Indians of Cuba. He was glad to escape these conflicts by a rapid retreat to the shore, whence he debarked for the islands.

Grijalva, Vasques, Garay, Altyon, and Narvaes fitted out successive expeditions for discovery, chiefly in search of mines, between 1518 and 1528. These expeditions present little of interest, except the cupidity and perfidy of the Spanish in their attempt to carry off the natives, as slaves, and the fierce retaliations of the natives. The expeditions all ended in ineffectual explorations, defeats, storms, wrecks, and disappointment. .

The attempt of Ferdinand dc Soto, governor of Cuba, was a more sustained enterprise, contemplating no less than tlie conquest and colonization of Florida. He sailed from Havana with a powerful armament of nine ships, manned with a thousand men, and carrying two hundred and fifty horses, and various kinds of live stock, indicating a purpose to establish a colony. This formidable array was headed by a leader, who, unlike most of the Spanish adventurers, sought glory, rather than gold. In a constant succession of skirmishes with the natives, he penetrated the interior, as far as the country of the Chickasaws, returning on his steps from that region to the Mississippi, being probably the first European who ever saw it above the mouth. He crossed it near the point where Red River enters. It is likely, that he had very little idea either of the extent or magnitude of either of those rivers. On the latter he encamped, sickened, and died. He had rendered himself so much an object of hatred and terror to the Indians, that, either to conceal the knowledge of his