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Title: Stories Of Ohio
Author: Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories Of Ohio" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


By William Dean Howells

Copyright, 1897, by American Book Company.


In the following stories, drawn from the annals of Ohio, I have tried to
possess the reader with a knowledge, in outline at least, of the history
of the State from the earliest times. I cannot suppose that I have done
this with unfailing accuracy in respect to fact, but with regard to the
truth, I am quite sure of my purpose at all times to impart it.

The books which have been of most use to me in writing this are the
histories of Francis Parkman; the various publications of Messrs. Robert
Clarke and Co. in the "Ohio Valley Series"; McClung's "Sketches of
Western Adventure"; "Ohio" (in the American Commonwealths Series) by Ruf
us King; "History and Civil Government of Ohio," by B. A. Hinsdale and
Mary Hinsdale; "Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley,"
by W. H. Venable; Theodore Roosevelt's "Winning of the West"; Whitelaw
Reid's "Ohio in the War"; and above all others, the delightful and
inexhaustible volumes of Henry Howe's "Historical Collections of Ohio."

W. D. H.


     I.      The Ice Folk and the Earth Folk

     II.     Ohio as a Part of France

     III.    Ohio becomes English

     IV.     The Forty Years' War for the West

     V.      The Captivity of James Smith

     VI.     The Captivity of Boone and Kenton

     VII.    The Renegades

     VIII.   The Wickedest Deed in our History

     IX.     The Torture of Colonel Crawford

     X.      The Escape of Knight and Slover

     XI.     The Indian Wars and St. Clair's Defeat

     XII.    The Indian Wars and Wayne's Victory

     XIII.   Indian Fighters

     XIV.    Later Captivities

     XV.     Indian Heroes and Sages

     XVI.    Life in the Backwoods

     XVII.   The First Great Settlements

     XVIII.  The State of Ohio in the War of 1812

     XIX.    A Foolish Man, a Philosopher, and a Fanatic

     XX.     Ways Out

     XXI.    The Fight with Slavery

     XXII.   The Civil War in Ohio

     XXIII.  Famous Ohio Soldiers

     XXIV.   Ohio Statesmen

     XXV.    Other Notable Ohioans

     XXVI.   Incidents and Characteristics



The first Ohio stories are part of the common story of the wonderful Ice
Age, when a frozen deluge pushed down from the north, and covered a vast
part of the earth's surface with slowly moving glaciers. The traces that
this age left in Ohio are much the same as it left elsewhere, and the
signs that there were people here ten thousand years ago, when the
glaciers began to melt and the land became fit to live in again, are
such as have been found in the glacier drift in many other countries.
Even before the ice came creeping southwestwardly from the region of
Niagara, and passed over two thirds of our state, from Lake Erie to the
Ohio River there were people here of a race older than the hills, as the
hills now are; for the glaciers ground away the hills as they once were,
and made new ones, with new valleys between them, and new channels for
the streams to run where there had never been water courses before.
These earliest Ohioans must have been the same as the Ohioans of the
Ice Age, and when they had fled southward before the glaciers, they must
have followed the retreat of the melting ice back into Ohio again. No
one knows how long they dwelt here along its edges in a climate like
that of Greenland, where the glaciers are now to be seen as they once
were in the region of Cincinnati. But it is believed that these Ice
Folk, as we may call them, were of the race which still roams the Arctic
snows. They seem to have lived as the Eskimos of our day live: they were
hunters and fishers, and in the gravelly banks of the new rivers, which
the glaciers upheaved, the Ice Folk dropped the axes of chipped stone
which are now found there. They left nothing else behind them; but
similar tools or weapons are found in the glacier-built river banks
of Europe, and so it is thought that the race of the earliest Ohio men
lived pretty much all over the world in the Ice Age.

[Illustration: Stone Axes 017L]

One of the learned writers[*] who is surest of them and has told us
most about them, holds that they were for their time and place as worthy
ancestors as any people could have; and we could well believe this
because the Ohio man has, in all ages, been one of the foremost men.

     * Professor G. F. Wright.

Our Ice Folk were sturdy, valiant, and cunning enough to cope with the
fierce brute life and the terrible climate of their day, but all they
have left to prove it is the same kind of stone axes that have been
found in the drift of the glaciers, along the water courses in Northern
France and Southern England.

Our Ice Folk must have dressed like their far-descended children, the
Eskimos, in furs and skins, and like them they must have lived upon fish
and the flesh of wild beasts. The least terrible of these beasts would
have been the white bear; the mammoth and mastodon were among the
animals the Ice Folk hunted for game, and slew without bows or arrows,
for there was no wood to make these of. The only weapon the Ice Folk had
was the stone ax which they may have struck into their huge prey when
they came upon it sleeping or followed in the chase till it dropped with
fatigue. Such an ax was dug up out of the glacial terrace, as the bank
of this drift is called, in the valley of the Tuscarawas, in 1889,
perhaps ten thousand years after it was left there. It was wrought from
a piece of black flint, four inches long and two inches wide; at the
larger end it was nearly as thick as it was wide, and it was chipped
to a sharp edge all round. Within the present year another of the
Ice Folk's axes has been found near New London, twenty-two feet under
ground, in the same kind of glacial drift as the first. But it seems to
have been made of a different kind of stone, and to have been so deeply
rotted by the long ages it had been buried that when its outer substance
was scratched away, hardly anything of the hard green rock was left.

After the glaciers were gone, the Ohio climate was still very cold, and
vast lakes stretched over the state, freezing in the long winters,
and thawing in the short summers. One of these spread upward from the
neighborhood of Akron to the east and west of where Cleveland stands;
but by far the largest flooded nearly all that part of Ohio which
the glaciers failed to cover, from beyond where Pittsburg is to where
Cincinnati is. At the last point a mighty ice dam formed every winter
till as the climate grew warmer and the ice thawed more and more, the
waters burst the dam, and poured their tide down the Ohio River to
the Mississippi, while those of the northern lake rushed through the
Cuyahoga to Lake Erie, and both lakes disappeared forever. For the next
four or five thousand years the early Ohio men kept very quiet; but we
need not suppose for that reason that there were none. Our Ice Folk, who
dropped their stone axes in the river banks, may have passed away with
the Ice Age, or they may have remained in Ohio, and begun slowly to take
on some faint likeness of civilization. There is nothing to prove that
they went, and there is nothing to prove that they staid; but Ohio must
always have been a pleasant place to live in after the great thaw, and
it seems reasonable to think that the Ice Folk lingered, in part at
least, and changed with the changing climate, and became at last the
people who left the signs of their presence in almost every part of the

Those were the Mound Builders, whose works are said to be two or three
thousand years old, though we cannot be very sure of that. There are
some who think that the mounds are only a few hundred years old, and
that their builders were the race of red men whom the white men found
here. One may think very much as one likes, and I like to think that the
Mound Builders were a very ancient people, who vanished many ages before
the Indians came here. They could not have been savages, for the region
where they dwelt could not have fed savages enough to heap up the
multitude of their mounds. Each wild man needs fifty thousand acres to
live upon, as the wild man lives by hunting and fishing; in the whole
Ohio country, the earliest white adventurers found only two or three
thousand Indians at the most; and the people who built those forts and
temples and tombs, and shaped from the earth the mighty images of their
strange bird-gods and reptile-gods, could have lived only by tilling
the soil. Their mounds are found everywhere in the west between the
Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi River, but they are found mostly
in Ohio, where their farms and gardens once bordered the Muskingum, the
Scioto, the two Miamis, and our other large streams, which they probably
used as highways to the rivers of the southwest.

Their forts were earthworks, but they were skillfully planned, with a
knowledge which no savage race has shown. They were real strongholds,
and they are so large that some of them inclose hundreds of acres within
walls of earth which still rise ten and twelve feet from the ground.
They are on a far grander scale than the supposed temples or religious
works; and there are more of them than of all the other ruins, except
the small detached mounds, which are almost numberless.

These, from the charred bones found among the ashes in them, are known
to be tombs, and they were probably the sepulchers of the common people,
whose bodies were burned. The large mounds are heaped above walled
chambers, and in these were platforms, supposed to have been altars, and
whole skeletons, supposed to be the skeletons of priests buried there.
The priests are supposed to have been the chiefs of the people, and
to have ruled them through their superstitions; but there is nothing to
prove this, for their laws were never put in written words or any other
sign of speech. In some of the mounds little figures of burnt clay have
been found, which may be idols, and pieces of ancient pottery, which may
be fragments of sacred vessels, and small plates of copper, with marks
or scratches on them, which may be letters. Some antiquarians have tried
to read these letters, if they are letters, and to make sense out
of them, but no seeker after true Ohio stories can trust their

The Mound Builders used very little stone and showed no knowledge of
masonry. But they built so massively out of the earth, that their works
have lasted to this day in many places, just as they left them, except
for the heavy growth of trees, which the first settlers found covering
them, and which were sometimes seven or eight hundred years old. At
Marietta, these works when the white people came were quite perfect and
inclosed fifty acres on the bank of the Muskingum, overlooking the Ohio.
They were in great variety of design. The largest mound was included in
the grounds of the present cemetery, and so has been saved, but the
plow of the New England emigrant soon passed over the foundations of
the Mound Builders' temples. At Circleville the shape of their
fortifications gave its name to the town, which has long since hid them
from sight. One of them was almost perfectly round, and the other nearly
square. The round fort was about seventy feet in diameter, and was
formed of two walls twenty feet high, with a deep ditch between; the
other fort was fifty-five rods square, and it had no ditch; seven
gateways opened into it at the side and corners, and it was joined to
the round fort by an eighth. It is forever to be regretted that these
precious ancient works should have been destroyed to make place for the
present town; but within a few years one of the most marvelous of the
Mound Builders' works, the great Serpent Mound near Loudon, in Adams
County, has been preserved to after time by the friends of science, and
put in the keeping of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University.

[Illustration: Serpent Mound 019L]

The state of Ohio has passed a law protecting the land around it as a
park, and there is now reason to hope that the mound will last as long
as the rocky bluff on which the serpent lies coiled. This huge idol is
more than twelve hundred feet long, and is the most wonderful symbol
in the world of the serpent worship, which was everywhere the earliest
religion of our race.

The largest military ruin is the famous Fort Ancient in Warren County,
where, on a terrace above the Little Miami River, five miles of wall,
which can still be easily traced, shut in a hundred acres. In Highland
County, about seventeen miles southeast of Hillsborough, another great
fortress embraces thirty-five acres oh the crest of a hill overlooking
Brush Creek. Itswalls are some twenty-five feet wide at the base, and
rise from &ix to ten feet above the ground. Within their circuit are
two ponds which could supply water in time of siege, and in the valley,
which the hill commands, are the ruins of the Mound Builders' village,
whose people could take refuge in the fort on the hilltop and hold it
against any approaching force.

For the rest, the works of the Mound Builders, except such as were too
large to be destroyed by the farmer, have disappeared almost as wholly
as the Mound Builders themselves. Their mole-like race threw up their
ridges and banks and larger and lesser heaps, and then ceased from the
face of the earth, as utterly as if they had burrowed into its heart.
They may have fled before the ancestors of the savages whom our
ancestors found here; they may have passed down peacefully into Mexico
and built the cities which the Spaniards destroyed there. Or, they
may have come up out of Mexico, and lost the higher arts of their
civilization in our northern woods, warring with the wild tribes who
were here before them. In either case, it is imaginable that the Mound
Builders were of the same race as the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians,
and it is probable that they were akin to the Zufiis of our own day. The
snake dances of the Zufiis are a relic of the old serpent worship; and
the fear and hate which the Zufiis bear the red savages of the plains
may be another heritage from the kindred race which once peopled our
Ohio valleys.


If the people of Ohio were Eskimos in the ages before history began,
and then thousands of years after, but still thousands of years ago were
Aztecs, there is no doubt that when history first knew of them they were
Frenchmen. The whole Great West, in fact, was once as much a province
of France as Canada; for the dominions of Louis XV. were supposed to
stretch from Quebec to New Orleans, and from the Alleghanies to the
Mississippi. The land was really held by savages who had never heard of
this king; but that was all the same to the French. They had discovered
the Great Lakes, they had discovered the Mississippi, they had
discovered the Ohio; and they built forts at Detroit, at Kaskaskia, and
at Pittsburg, as well as at Niagara; they planted a colony at the mouth
of our mightiest river, and opened a highway to France through the
Gulf of Mexico, as well as through the Gulf of St. Lawrence; and they
proclaimed their king sovereign over all.

In Ohio they had a post on the Maumee, and everywhere they had
settlements at each of the forts, where there was always a chapel and a
priest for the conversion of the Indians. With the French, the sword and
the cross went together, but very few of the savages knew that they
were either conquered or converted. From time to time they knew that
companies of picturesque strangers visited their towns, and promised
them the favor of the French king if they would have nothing to do with
the traders from the English colonies on the Atlantic, and threatened
them with his displeasure if they refused. When these brilliant
strangers staid among them, and built a fort and a chapel, and laid out
farms, then the savages willingly partook of the great king's bounty,
and clustered around the French post in their wigwams and settled down
to the enjoyment of his brandy, his tobacco, his ammunition, and his
religion. When the strangers went away, almost as soon as they had
promised and threatened, then the savages went back to business with the
English traders.

The company of Frenchmen who visited our Miami Indians at their town of
Pickawillany, on the head waters of the Miami River in 1749, was of this
last sort. It was commanded by the Chevalier Céloron de Bienville, and
it counted some two hundred Canadians and French troops, officered by
French gentlemen, and attended by one of those brave priests who led or
followed wherever the French flag was carried in the wilderness. Céloron
was sent by the governor of Canada to lay claim to the Ohio valley for
his king, and he did this by very simple means. He nailed plates of
tin to certain trees, and he buried plates of lead at the mouths of the
larger streams. The leaden plates no one ever saw for a hundred years,
till some boys going to bathe found them here and there in the wave-worn
banks; but if the Indians could have read anything, or if the English
traders could have read French, they might have learned at once from
the tin plates that the king of France owned the "Ohio River and all the
waters that fell into it, and all the lands on both sides." As it was,
however, it is hard to see how anybody was the wiser for them, or could
know that the king had upheld his right to the Ohio country by battle
and by treaty and would always defend it.

In fact, neither the battles nor the treaties between the French and
English in Europe had really settled the question of their claim to the
West in America, and both sides began to urge it in a time of peace
by every kind of secret and open violence. As for the Miamis and their
allies among the neighboring tribes, they believed that God had created
them on the very spot where Céloron found them living, and when he asked
them to leave their capital at Pickawillany, and go to live near the
French post on the Maumee, they answered him that they would do so when
it was more convenient. He bade them banish the English traders, but
they merely hid them, while he was with them, and as soon as he was
gone, they had them out of hiding, and began to traffic with them. They
never found it more convenient to leave their town, until a few years
later, when a force of Canadians and Christian Indians came down from
the post on the Maumee, and destroyed Pickawillany.

Céloron came into the Ohio country through the western part of New York.
He launched his canoes on the head waters of the Beautiful River, as the
French called the Ohio, and drifted down its current till he reached the
mouth of the Great Miami. He worked up this shallow and uncertain stream
into Shelby County, where he had his friendly but fruitless meeting with
the chief of the Miamis. After that he kept on northward to the Maumee,
and then embarked on Lake Erie, and so got back to Canada. It could not
be honestly said that he had done much to make good his king's claim
to the country with his plates of tin and lead. He had flattered and
threatened the Indians at several places; and the Indians had promised,
over the cups of brandy and pipes of tobacco which he supplied them, to
be good subjects to Louis XV., who was such a very bad king that he did
not deserve even such subjects as they meant to be. They seem not to
have taken Céloron's warnings very seriously, though he told them that
the English traders would ruin them, and that they were preparing the
way for the English settlers, who would soon swarm into their country,
and drive them out.

The Indians did not believe Céloron, and yet he told them the truth. The
English traders were often men of low character, thoroughly dishonest in
their dealings, and the English settlers were only waiting for the end
of the struggle with the French to come and take the Indians' lands
from them. If the French soldiers and the French priests had won in
that struggle, Ohio and the whole West might now be something like the
Province of Quebec as it was then. The Indians would have been converted
to the Catholic faith, and they would still be found in almost as great
numbers as ever throughout the vast region where hardly one of their
blood remains.

But this was not to be. The French built their forts with a keen eye
for the strongest points in the wilderness, and the priests planted the
cross even beyond the forts. But all around and between the forts and
the missions, the traders from our colonies, which afterwards became our
states, stole into the country claimed for the king of France. At that
time, there was peace between the king of France and the king of England
in Europe, and they pretended that there was peace between their nations
in America. They were very civil to each other through their ministers
and ambassadors, over there, but their governors and captains here never
ceased to fight and trick for the ownership of the West. From their
forts, built to curb the English settlers, the French set the savages on
to harass the frontier of our colonies, which their war parties wasted
with theft and fire and murder. Our colonies made a poor defense,
because they were suspicious of one another. New England was suspicious
of New York, New York of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania of Virginia, and
the mother country was suspicious of them all. She was willing that the
French should hold Canada, and keep the colonies from joining together
in a revolt against her, when she could easily have taken that province
and freed them from the inroads of the Canadian Indians. The colonies
would not unite against the common enemy, for fear one would have more
advantage than another from their union; but their traders went out
singly, through the West, and trading companies began to be formed in
Pennsylvania and Virginia. While Céloron was in Ohio claiming the whole
land for the king of France, the king of England was granting a great
part of the same to a company of Virginians, with the right to settle
it and fortify it The Virginia Company sent its agents to visit the
Miamis at Pickawillany a year later, and bound them to the English by
gifts of brandy, tobacco, beads, gay cloths, and powder.

The allied tribes, who had their capital at Pickawillany, numbered some
two thousand in all. The Miamis themselves are said to have been of the
same family as the great Iroquois nation of the East, who had beaten
their rivals of the Algonquin nation, and forced them to bear the name
of women. But many of the Ohio Indians were Delawares, who were of the
Algonquin family; they were by no means patient of the name of women,
and they and their friends now took the side of the French against the
English. When at last the West, together with the whole of Canada,
fell to the English and there presently began to be trouble between the
American colonists and the English king, all the Indians, both Iroquois
and Algonquins took part against the Americans. A little victory for
either side, however, with gifts of brandy and tobacco, would turn their
savage hearts toward the victors; and one must not be too confident in
saying that the Indians were always for the French against the English,
or always for the English against the Americans.

[Illustration: Pichawillany, Chief town of the Miamis 030]

In fact, one must speak mostly of the Indians in words that have a
double sense. The old explorers, missionaries, soldiers, and traders
all talk of nations, towns, villages, kings, half-kings, queens, and
princes, but these words present false images to our minds. Calling the
chief town of the Miamis at Pickawillany their capital gives the notion
of some such capital as Columbus or Washington; but if we imagine the
chief town of the Miamis as it really was, we see some hundreds of
wigwams in straggling clusters along the banks of the river, in the
shadow of the ancient woods, or in the sunshine of the beautiful
meadows, as the earliest white visitors to Ohio called the small
prairies which they came upon in the heart of the forests. We see a
large council house of bark, as nearly in the midst of the scattered
huts as may be, where the Miamis hold their solemn debates, receive
embassies from other tribes, welcome their warriors home from their
forays, and celebrate their feasts and dances. We see fields bordering
the village, where the squaws plant their corn and beans, and the maple
groves where they make their sugar. Among the men and boys we see the
busy idleness of children, all day long, except when the grown-up
children go out upon a hunt, or take the warpath. Sometimes we see an
English trader coming with his merchandise and presents, or a captive
brought in to be tortured and burnt, or adopted into the tribe.

The tribes in the Ohio country were far abler than those that the
English first met to the eastward, and they were fiercer than the
fiercest which the Americans have at last brought under control in the
plains of the Far West. Pitiless as Sioux and Apache and Comanche have
shown themselves in their encounters with the whites in our day, they
were surpassed in ferocity by the Shawnees, the Wyandots, and the Miamis
whom the backwoodsmen met in a thousand fights, a century or a century
and a half ago. The Ohio Indians were unspeakably vicious, treacherous,
and filthy, but they were as brave as they were vile, and they were
as sagacious as they were false. They produced men whom we must call
orators, statesmen, and generals, even when tested by the high standards
of civilization. They excelled us in the art of war as it was adapted
to the woods, and they despised the stupid and wasteful courage of the
disciplined English soldier. Till the white men studied war from them
they were always beaten in their fights with the red men, and it was
hardly the fault of the Indians if the pioneers learned from them to be
savages: to kill women and children as well as armed men, to tomahawk
and scalp the wounded, to butcher helpless prisoners. But this befell,
and it is this which makes many of the stories of Ohio so bloody. We
must know their hideous facts fully if we would know them truly, or if
we would realize the life that once passed in the shadows of our woods.

The region that we now call Ohio was wonderfully varied and pleasant.
The many rivers that watered it cleared their space to the sky where
they ran, and here and there the meadows or prairies smiled to the sun
in grass and flowers. But everywhere else there was the gloom of forests
unbroken since the Mound Builders left the land. The long levels that
bordered the great lake at the north, the noble hills that followed the
course of the Beautiful River, the gently varied surfaces of the center,
and the southwest, the swamps and morasses of the northwest, were nearly
everywhere densely wooded. Our land was a woodland, and its life, when
it first became known to the white man, was the stealthy and cruel life
of the forest. Where the busy Mound Builders once swarmed, scanty
tribes of savages lurked in the leafy twilight, hunting and fishing, and
warring upon one another. They came and went upon their errands of death
and rapine by trails unseen to other eyes, till the keen traders of
Pennsylvania and Virginia began to find their way over them to their
villages, and to traffic with the savages for the furs which formed
their sole wealth.

All is dim and vague in any picture of the time and place that we
can bring before us. There are the fathomless forests, broken by the
prairies and rivers; there are the Indian towns widely scattered along
the larger streams throughout the whole region; there are the French
posts on the northern border, with each a priest and a file of soldiers,
and a few Canadian farmers and traders. Under the cover of peace between
the French king and the English king, there is a constant grapple
between the French soldiers and the English settlers for the possession
of the wilds which shall one day be the most magnificent empire under
the sun; there are the war parties of Indians falling stealthily upon
the English borders to the eastward; there is the steady pressure of the
backwoodsman westward, in spite of every hardship and danger, in
spite of treaties, in spite of rights and promises. These are the main
features of the picture whose details the imagination strives to supply,
with a teasing sense of the obscurity resting upon the whole. It is all
much farther off than ancient Rome, much stranger than Greece; but it is
the beginning of a mighty history, which it rests with the children
of this day, and their children after them, to make the happiest and
noblest chapter in the history of the world. It is a part of that
greater history, and I should like my young readers to remember that
the Ohio stories which I hope to tell them are important chiefly because
they are human stories, and record incidents in the life of the whole
race. They cannot be taken from this without losing their finest


Neither the French nor the English had any right to the Ohio country
which they both claimed. If it belonged to any people of right, it
belonged to the savages, who held it in their way before the whites
came, and who now had to choose which nation should call itself their
master. They chose the French, and they chose wisely for themselves as
savages; for, as I have said, if the French had prevailed in the war
that was coming, the Indians could have kept their forests and lived
their forest life as before. The French would have been satisfied in
the West as they had been in the North, with their forts and trading
stations, and the Indians could have hunted, and fished, and trapped, as
they had always done. In fact, the French people would often have become
like them. They understood the Indians and liked them; sometimes they
mated with them, and their children grew up as wild as their mothers.
The religion that the French priests taught the Indians, pleased while
it awed them, and it scarcely changed their native customs.

Wherever the English came, the Indians' woods were wasted, and the
Indians were driven out of the land.

The English tried neither to save their souls nor to win their hearts;
they both hated and despised the savages, and ruthlessly destroyed them.
Now, when the smoldering strife between the French and English in
the West burst into an open flame of war between the two nations, the
Western tribes took the side of those whom reason and instinct taught
them to know as their best friends.

But ten years after Céloron visited Ohio, Wolfe captured Quebec, and
France gave up to England not only the whole of Canada, but the whole of
the vast region between the lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, and kept for
herself only the Province of Louisiana. The Indians were left to
their fate, and they made what terms they could with the English. They
promised peace, but they broke their promises, and constantly harassed
the outlying English settlements. At one time they joined together under
the great chief Pontiac, and tried to win back the West for themselves.
The French forts had been ceded to Great Britain and garrisoned with
British troops, and the allied Indians now took all of these but Detroit
and Fort Pitt. In the end they failed, and then they made peace again,
but still they kept up their forays along the English borders. They
stole horses and cattle, they burned houses and barns, they killed men,
women, and children, or carried them off into captivity. In the Ohio
country alone their captives counted hundreds, though the right number
could never be known, for they could easily be kept out of the way when
the tribes were summoned to give them up.

It was the same story in the West that it had been in the East, and the
North, and the South, wherever the savages fell upon the lonely farms or
the scattered hamlets of the frontiers, and it was not ended until our
own day, when the Indians were at last shut up in reservations.

[Illustration: Indians carry off the women 036R]

It was their custom to carry off the women and children. If the
children were hindered the march of their mothers, or if they cried and
endangered or annoyed their captors, they were torn a hawked, or their
brains were dashed out against the trees. But if they were well grown,
and strong enough to keep up with the rest, they were hurried sometimes
hundreds of miles into the wilderness. There the fate of all prisoners
was decided in solemn council of the tribe. If any men had been taken,
especially such as had made a hard fight for their freedom and had given
proof of their courage, they were commonly tortured to death by fire in
celebration of the victory won over them; though it sometimes happened
that young men who had caught the fancy or affection of the Indians were
adopted by the fathers of sons lately lost in battle. The older women
became the slaves and drudges of the squaws and the boys and girls were
parted from their mothers and scattered among the savage families. The
boys grew up hunters and trappers, like the Indian boys, and the girls
grew up like the Indian girls, and did the hard work which the warriors
always left to the women. The captives became as fond of their wild,
free life as the savages themselves, and they found wives and husbands
among the youths and maidens of their tribe. If they were given up to
their own people, as might happen in the brief intervals of peace, they
pined for the wilderness, which called to their homesick hearts, and
sometimes they stole back to it. They seem rarely to have been held for
ransom, as the captives of the Indians of the Western plains were in our
time. It was a tie of real love that bound them and their savage friends
together, and it was sometimes stronger than the tie of blood. But this
made their fate all the crueler to their kindred; for whether they lived
or whether they died, they were lost to the fathers and mothers, and
brothers and sisters whom they had been torn from; and it was little
consolation to these that they had found human mercy and tenderness in
the breasts of savages who in all else were like ravening beasts. It
was rather an agony added to what they had already suffered to know that
somewhere in the trackless forests to the westward there was growing up
a child who must forget them. The time came when something must be done
to end all this and to put a stop to the Indian attacks on the frontiers
of Pennsylvania and Virginia. The jealous colonies united with the
jealous mother country, and a little army of British regulars and
American recruits was sent into Ohio under the lead of Colonel Henry
Bouquet to force the savages to give up their captives.

This officer, who commanded the king's troops at Philadelphia, was a
young Swiss who had fought in the great wars of Europe, in the service
of the king of Piedmont and of the Dutch republic, before he was given a
commission by the king of Great Britain. He had distinguished himself
by his bravery, his skill, and his good sense. He seems to have been the
first European commander to disuse the rules of European warfare, and
to take a lesson from our pioneers in fighting the Indians, and the year
before he set out for the Ohio country, he had beaten the tribes in a
battle that taught them to respect him. They found that they had no such
wrong-headed leader as Braddock to deal with; and that they could not
hope to ambush Bouquet's troops, and shoot them down like cattle in a
pen; and the news of his coming spread awe among them.

He gathered his forces together at Fort Pitt, after many delays. At one
time a full third of his colonial recruits deserted him, but he waited
till he had made up their number again, and then he started at the head
of fifteen hundred men, on the 3d of October, 1764. A body of Virginians
went first in three scouting parties, one on the right and one on the
left, to beat up the woods for lurking enemies, and one in the middle
with a guide, to lead the way. Then came the pioneers with their axes,
and two companies of light infantry followed, to clear the way for the
main body of the troops. A column of British regulars, two deep, marched
in the center with a file of regulars on their right, and a file of
Pennsylvanian recruits on their left.

Two platoons of regulars came after these; then came a battalion of
Pennsylvanians in single file on the right and left, and between them
the convoy, with the ammunition and tools first, then the officers'
baggage and tents, then the sheep and oxen in separate droves for the
subsistence of the army, then the pack horses with other provisions.
A party of light horsemen followed, and last of all another body of
Virginians brought up the rear. The men marched in silence, six feet
from one another, ready, if any part of the force halted, to face
outward, and prepare to meet an attack.

The Indians hung upon Bouquet's march in large numbers at first, but
when they saw the perfect order and discipline of his army, and the
knowledge of their own tactics which he showed in disposing his men,
they fell away, and he kept his course unmolested, so that in two weeks
he reached a point in the Ohio country which he could now reach in two
hours, if he took rail from Pittsburg direct. But the wonder is for
what he did then, and not for what he could do now. His two weeks' march
through the wilderness was a victory such as had never been achieved
before, and it moved the imagination of the Indians more than if he had
fought them the whole way.

His quiet firmness in establishing his force in the heart of their
country, where they had gathered the strength of their tribes from all
the outlying regions, must have affected them still more. At the first
halt he made on the Muskingum, they sent some of their chiefs to parley
with him, but he gave them short and stern answers, bidding them be
ready to bring in their captives from every tribe and family; and again
took up his march along the river till he reached the point where the
Tuscarawas and Waldhonding meet to form the Muskingum. There his axmen
cleared a space in the forest, and his troops built a town, rather than
pitched a camp. They put up four redoubts, one at each corner of the
town, and fortified it with a strong stockade. Within this they built a
council house, where the Indians could come and make speeches to
their hearts' content, and deliver up their captives. Three separate
buildings, one for the captives from each of the colonies, with the
officers' quarters, the soldiers' cabins, the kitchens, and the ovens,
were inclosed within the fort, and the whole was kept in a neatness and
order such as the savages had never seen, with military severity.

The tribes soon began to bring in their prisoners, each chief giving up
the captives of his tribe with long harangues, and many gifts of wampum,
as pledges of good faith, and promises of a peace never to be broken.
They said they had not merely buried the hatchet now, where it might
sometime be dug up, but they had thrown it into the sky to the Great
Spirit, who would never give it back again. They wished Bouquet to
notice that they no longer called the English brothers, as they commonly
did when they were friendly, but they called them fathers, and they
meant to be their children and to do their bidding like children. They
made him a great number of flattering speeches, and he gravely listened
to their compliments, but as to the reasons they gave for breaking their
promises in the past he dealt very frankly with them. He reminded them
of their treacheries, and cruelties of all kinds, and of their failure
to restore their captives after they had pledged themselves to do so,
and he said, "This army shall not leave your country till you have fully
complied with every condition that is to precede my treaty with you....
I give you twelve days from this date to deliver into my hands all
the prisoners in your possession, without any exception; Englishmen,
Frenchmen, women and children, whether adopted into your tribes, married
or living amongst you under any pretense whatsoever, together with
all negroes. And you are to furnish the said prisoners with clothing,
provisions, and horses, to carry them to Fort Pitt.... You shall then
know on what terms you may obtain the peace you sue for."

[Illustration: Indians delivering up captives 041]

These words are said to have quite broken the spirit of the savages,
already overawed by the presence of such an army as they had never seen
in their country before. One of the great chiefs of the Delawares said:
"With this string of wampum we wipe the tears from your eyes, we deliver
you these prisoners... we gather and bury with this belt all the bones
of the people that have been killed during this unhappy war, which
the Evil Spirit occasioned among us. We cover the bones that have been
buried, that they may never more be remembered. We again cover their
place with leaves that it may no more be seen. As we have been long
astray, and the path between you and us stopped, we extend this belt
that it may be again cleared.... While you hold it fast by one end, and
we by the other, we shall always be able to discover anything that may
disturb our friendship."

Bouquet answered that he had heard them with pleasure, and that in
receiving these last prisoners from them he joined with them in burying
the bones of those who had fallen in the war, so that the place might no
more be known. "The peace you ask for, you shall now have," he said, but
he told them that it was his business to make war, and the business of
others to make peace, and he instructed them how and with whom they were
to treat. He took hostages from them, and he dealt with the other tribes
on the same terms as they brought in their captives. On the 18th of
November, he broke up his camp and marched back to Fort Pitt, with more
than two hundred men, women, and children whom he had delivered from
captivity among the savages.

It is believed that six hundred others were never given up. The captives
were not always glad to go back to their old homes, and the Indians had
sometimes to use force in bringing them to the camp where their friends
and kindred who had come with Bouquet's army were waiting to receive
them. Many had been taken from their homes when they were so young that
they could not remember them, and they had learned to love the Indians,
who had brought them up like their own children, and treated them as
lovingly as the fathers and mothers from whom they had been stolen. In
the charm of the savage life these children of white parents had really
become savages; and certain of the young girls had grown up and married
Indian husbands to whom they were tenderly attached. The scenes of
parting between all these were very touching on both sides, and it is
told of one Indian who had married a Virginian girl that he followed
her back to the frontier at the risk of his life from her people. The
Indians gave up the captives often so dear to them, with tears and
lamentations, while on the other hand their kindred waited to receive
them in an anguish of hope and fear. As the captives came into the
camp, parents sought among them for the little ones they had lost, and
husbands for the wives who had been snatched from their desolated homes.
Brothers and sisters met after a parting so long that one or other had
forgotten the language they once spoke in common. The Indians still hung
about the camp, and came every day to visit their former prisoners and
bring them gifts. When the army took up its march some of them asked
leave to follow it back to Fort Pitt, and on the way they supplied their
adopted children and brothers with game, and sought in every way to show
their love for them.

Bouquet reached Pittsburg in ten days, without the loss of a single life
at the hands of the savages, and with all his men in excellent health.
Each day of his march he had pitched his camp among scenes of sylvan
loveliness, on the banks of the pleasant streams that watered the
fertile levels and the wild meadows, or wound through the rich valleys
between the low hills. It would have been wonderful if his Pennsylvanian
and Virginian recruits had not looked upon the land with covetous eyes:
even the fathers and husbands and brothers who had come seeking their
kindred among the Indians, had seen it with a longing to plant their
homes in it. Its charms had been revealed to great numbers of the people
who had known of it only from the traders before, and the savage was
doomed from that time to lose it; for it already belonged to the king of
England, and it rested with the English colonists to come and take it;
or so, at least, they thought.


The French king gave up the West to the English king in 1763, but, as we
have seen, the Indians had no part in the bargain. They only knew that
they were handed over by those who had been their friends to those who
had been their enemies, and they did not consent. They had made war
upon the English colonists before, and now, in spite of the failure of
Pontiac, and in spite of Bouquet's march into the Ohio country,
they kept up their warfare for forty years, with a truce when it was
convenient, and a treaty of peace when it was convenient, but with a
steadfast purpose to drive the English settlers out, and to hold the
wilderness for themselves. It was not until long after their power was
broken by the American arms in 1794 that their struggle ended in the
region which ten years later became the state of Ohio.

There was misunderstanding on both sides. The Indians naturally supposed
that their own country belonged to them, and the colonists supposed
that their eastern and western borders were the two oceans. These were
commonly the boundaries which the English king had given them; and when
he had not been quite clear about it in his grants of territory which he
had never even imagined, they did not allow him to deal less splendidly
with them than such a prince ought. He had, as we know, given the Ohio
Company of Virginia a large tract of the best land beyond the Ohio
even while the French still claimed the West, and he had encouraged the
Virginians to believe they had a right to settle it and to fortify it.
But after the capture of Quebec, when the West, as well as Canada,
fell into the power of Great Britain, the English king, or rather his
ministers, began to change their minds about letting the colonists take
up lands in the Back Country, as they called it. The jealousy between
the colonies grew less, but the jealousy between them and Great Britain
grew greater; there were outbreaks here and there against her rule, and
there was discontent nearly everywhere. The colonists were disappointed
and embittered that the West should be treated as a part of Canada, by
the mother country, when it ought to have been shared among the English
provinces. The British government tried to hinder the settlement of
the whites on the Indians' lands; and though it could not keep them off
altogether, it did enough to make the savages feel that it was their
friend against its own subjects. In 1774, Parliament passed a law which
declared the whole West, between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and
below the Great Lakes, a part of the Province of Quebec. This was felt
by our colonies to be so great an injury that it was charged against
Great Britain in the Declaration of Independence, as one of the causes
for separation. It was in fact an act hostile to a people of the British
race, language, and religion, and it was meant not so much to help
the savages, as to hurt the colonists, though it did really help the
savages. When the Revolutionary War broke out a year or two later, the
British government did not scruple to make use of the cruel hatred of
the Indians against its rebellious subjects.

[Illustration: Indian war parties joining the English 047]

It set on the war parties that harried the American border, and when the
blood-stained braves came back with their plunder, their captives, and
the scalps of the men, women, and children they had murdered, they were
welcomed at the British forts as friends and allies. In certain cases,
to be sure, British officers did what they could to soften the hard fate
of the prisoners, but the British government was guilty, nevertheless,
of the barbarous deeds done by the Indians. Its agents furnished them
with arms and ammunition, and its ministers upheld them in the same
atrocities against the American rebels as the French in their time had
urged and tempted them to commit against the settlers when they were
English subjects.

At the end of the Revolutionary War, the Indians were as slow to lay
down their arms as they had been after the French War. In each case they
fought the victors, as far as they could get at them in the persons
of the hapless backwoodsmen and their wives and children. These
backwoodsmen did not change greatly, in their way of life, during that
long Indian war of forty years. They were of the hardy English, Welsh,
and Scotch-Irish stock which a generation or two in the wilderness had
toughened and strengthened. They had not yet ciphered it out that one
red hunter and trapper must waste the fifty thousand acres which
would support the families of a hundred white farmers in comfort and
prosperity; but they knew that to the westward there was a region, vast
and rich beyond anything words could say, and they longed to possess
it, with a hunger that was sometimes a pitiless greed, and always a
resistless desire. Yet it was not until the French gave up this region
that they could even venture lawlessly into it, and it was not until it
fell from Great Britain to the new power of the United States that the
borderers began openly to press into the backwoods, singly as hunters
and trappers, in families as neighborhoods as the founders of villages
and towns. The pioneers felt that they were going to take their own
wherever they found it, from the savages who could not and would not use
it, and they were right, for the land truly belongs to him who will use
it. The savages felt that the pioneers were coming to take their own
from them, for in their way they were using the land; and they were
right, too. All that is left for us to ask at this late day is which
could use the land best and most; and there can hardly be any doubt of
the answer.

[Illustration: Pioneers 049L]

To understand the situation clearly, the reader must keep in mind
certain dates. Céloron de Bienville visited the Miamis in 1749, and
the French kept the Ohio Indians on the warpath against the English
settlements to the eastward until 1763, when they gave up the West to
Great Britain. Then, until 1775, the savages alone fought the settlers
as the subjects of the English king. The Revolutionary War broke out,
and the Indians became the allies of the British. Then, in 1783, their
country was given up to the United States, and they still fought their
old enemies, who had not changed their nature by changing their name to
Americans. In 1794, the great battle of Fallen Timbers was fought on the
banks of the Maumee, and the long struggle was ended.

It had grown more and more fierce and cruel as time passed, and only
three years before General Wayne won his lasting victory, General St.
Clair had suffered his terrible defeat by the Indians. Through this
defeat, the power of the whites in the West was shaken as it had never
been before; the savages were filled with pride and hope by the greatest
triumph they had achieved over their enemies; and all the settlements in
the Northwestern Territory were endangered.

Perhaps I had better say seemed endangered. The Indians were really less
to be feared than at any time before. They were weaker, and the whites
were stronger. They were striving against destiny; and though their fate
was sealed with the blood of their enemies, their fate was sealed. All
the chances that had favored them had favored them in vain, and neither
their wily courage nor their pitiless despair availed them against the
people who outnumbered them, as the stems of the harvest field outnumber
the trees of the forest.


The stories of captivity among the Ohio Indians during the war that
ended in 1794 would of themselves fill a much larger book than this is
meant to be. Most of them were never set down, but some of them were
very thrillingly told, and others very touchingly, either by the
captives themselves, or by such of their friends as were better able to
write them out. One, at least, is charming, and the narrative of
Colonel James Smith deserves a chapter by itself, not only because it is
charming, but because it shows the Indians in a truer and kindlier light
than they were often able to show themselves.

Smith was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, which in 1737 was the
frontier of the white settlement, and he was taken prisoner in 1755, by
a small party of Delawares, near Bedford, while he was helping to cut a
road for the passage of General Braddock's ill-fated expedition against
the French. The Indians hurried from the English border, and forced him
to run with them nearly the whole way to Fort Duquesne, which afterwards
became Fort Pitt, and is now Pittsburg. A large body of savages was
encamped outside the post, and there Smith expected to be burned to
death with the tortures he afterwards saw inflicted upon many other
prisoners; but he was only made to run the gantlet. Two lines of Indians
were drawn up, with sticks in their hands, and Smith dashed at the top
of his speed between their ranks. He was cruelly beaten, and before he
reached the goal he fell senseless. When he came to himself he was in
the hands of a French surgeon. He was well cared for, and he lived in
hopes of rescue by Braddock's army, which was marching against Fort
Duquesne in greater force than had ever been sent into the wilderness.
But while he was still so broken and bruised as to be scarcely able to
walk, the Indians came in with plunder and prisoners from the scene of
their bloody victory over the British troops.

A little later, Smith's captors claimed him from the French, and carried
him to an Indian town on the Muskingum. The day after their arrival a
number of the Indians came to him, and one of them began to pull out his
hair, dipping his fingers in ashes to get a better hold, and plucking it
away hair by hair till it was all gone except a lock on the crown. This
they plaited with strings of beadwork and silver brooches, and then they
bored his ears and nose and put rings in them. They painted his face
and body in different colors, hung a band of wampum about his neck, and
fitted his arm with bracelets of silver. An old chief led him into
the street of the village, and gave the alarm halloo, when all the
Delawares, Caughnewagas, and Mohicans of the place came running, and
formed round the chief, who held Smith by the hand, and made them a long
speech. He then gave Smith over to three young squaws, who pulled him
into the river waist-deep, and made signs to him that he should plunge
his head into the water. But Smith's head was full of the tortures of
the prisoners whom he had seen burnt at Fort Duquesne; he believed
all these ceremonies were the preparations for his death, and he would
neither duck.

He struggled with them, amidst the shouts and laughter of the Indians on
the shore, until one of them managed to say in English, "No hurt you,"
when he suffered them to plunge him under the water and rub at him as
long as they chose.

[Illustration: Indian baptism of James Smith 053]

By this means they washed away his white blood, and he was adopted into
the tribe in place of a great chief who had lately died. He seems never
to have known why this honor was done him; but he was then a lusty young
fellow of eighteen who might well have taken the fancy of some of his
captors; and he probably fell into their hands at a moment which their
superstition rendered fortunate for him.

When the squaws had done with him, he was taken up into the council
house of the village, where he was dressed in a new ruffled shirt,
leggins trimmed with ribbons and wrought with beads, and moccasins
embroidered with porcupine quills. His face was painted afresh, and his
scalp lock tied up with red feathers; he was given a pipe and tobacco
pouch and seated upon a bear skin, while one of the chiefs addressed him
in the presence of the assembled warriors. "My son," so the speech was
interpreted to Smith, "you are now flesh of our flesh and bone of our
bone. You are taken into the Caughnewaga nation, and initiated into a
warlike tribe; you are adopted into a great family... in the room and
place of a great man. After what has passed this day, you are now one
of us by an old strong law and custom. My son, you have now nothing to
fear; we are now under the same obligations to love, support, and defend
you, that we are to love and defend one another; therefore you are to
consider yourself as one of our people."

A grand feast of boiled venison and green corn followed, and Smith took
part in it on the same terms as all the rest of his tribe and family. In
due time he found out that no word the chief had addressed him was
idly spoken, and he began to live the life of the savages like one of
themselves, under the affectionate care and constant instruction of his
brethren. He was given a gun, at first, and sent to hunt turkeys, but he
came upon the trace of buffalo, and was lured on by the hope of larger
game, and so lost his way. The Indians found him again easily enough,
but as a punishment for his rashness his gun was taken from him, and for
two years he was allowed to carry only a bow and arrows. Once when the
hunters had killed a bear and he went out with a party to bring in the
meat, Smith complained of the weight of his load; the Indians laughed at
him, and to shame him they gave part of his burden to a young squaw
who already had as much as he to carry. At another time, he went to the
fields with some other young men to watch the squaws hoeing corn; one of
these challenged him to take her hoe, and he did so, and hoed for some
time with the women. They were delighted and praised his skill, but when
he came back to the village, the old chiefs rebuked him, telling him
that he was adopted in the place of a great man, and it was unworthy of
him to hoe corn like a squaw.

Smith owns that he never gave them a chance to chide him a second time
for such unseemly behavior. After that he left all the hard work to the
squaws like a true Indian, and guarded his dignity as a hunter. He was
never trusted, or at least he was never asked, to take part in any of
the forays against the white frontier, when from time to time parties
were sent to the Pennsylvania borders to take scalps and steal horses.
It was a sorrowful thing for him when his savage brethren set forth on
these errands of theft and murder among his kindred by race, and it was
long before he could make the least show of returning their affection.

It was not until they gave him back some books which they had brought
him from other prisoners, but had then taken from him for some caprice,
that he says he felt his heart warm towards them. They pretended that
the books had been lost, but declared that they were glad they had been
found, for they knew that he was grieved at the loss of them. "Though
they had been exceedingly kind to me," he says, "I still as before
detested them, on account of the barbarity I beheld after Braddock's
defeat. Neither had I ever before pretended kindness, or expressed
myself in a friendly manner; but now I began to excuse the Indians on
account of their want of information."

The family which Smith had been taken into did not stay long in the
Muskingum country, but began the wandering life of the hunters and
trappers, working northward mostly, and visiting the shores and waters
of Lake Erie. It was all very pleasant and full of a wild charm while
the fine weather lasted, especially for the men, who had nothing to do
but to bring in the game and fish for the squaws to cook and care for.
The squaws made the sugar in the spring; they felled the trees and
fashioned from the barks the troughs to catch the maple sap, which they
boiled down into sugar; they planted and tended the fields of corn and
beans; they did everything that was like work, indoors and out, and
the men did nothing that was not like play or war. While their plenty
lasted, it was for all; when the dearth came, every one shared it.
But in this free, sylvan life there was the grace of an unstinted
hospitality. The stranger was pressed to make the lodge of his host his
home, and he was given the best of his store. One day when his Indian
brother came in from the hunt, Smith told him that a passing Wyandot had
visited their camp, and he had given him roast venison. "And I suppose
you gave him also sugar and bear's oil to eat with his venison?" Smith
confessed that as the sugar and bear's oil were in the canoe, he did not
go for them. His brother told him he had behaved just like a Dutchman,
and he asked, "Do you not know that when strangers come to our camp we
are to give them the best we have?" Smith owned that he had been wrong,
and then his brother excused him because he was so young; but he bade
him learn to behave like a warrior, and do great things, and never be
caught in any such mean actions again.

The Indians were as prompt to praise and reward what they thought fine
in him, as to rebuke what they deemed unworthy; and the second winter
that they spent in Northern Ohio, they gave him a gun again for the
courage and endurance he twice showed when he had lost his way from
camp. Once when he was caught in a heavy storm of snow; he passed the
night in the hollow of a tree, which he made snug by blocking it up with
brush and pieces of wood, and by chopping the rotten inside of the trunk
with his hatchet until he had a soft, warm bed. Another time, when he
was looking at his beaver traps he was overtaken by the dark, and kept
himself from freezing by dancing and shouting till daylight. His Indian
friends honored him for his wise behavior, and as they had now beaver
skins enough, they carried them to the French post at Detroit, where
they bought a gun for him. They bought for themselves a keg of brandy,
and they paid Smith the compliment, when he refused to drink, of making
him one of the guards set over the drinkers to keep them from killing
one another. He helped bring them safely through their debauch, but
nothing could prevent their spending all they had got for their beaver
skins in more and more brandy. Then they went back sick and sorry to the
woods again.

The family Smith was taken into was honored for its uncommon virtue and
wisdom. His two brothers, Tontileaugo and Tecaughretanego were men of
great sense, with good heads and good hearts. They treated Smith with
the greatest love and patience, and took him to task with affectionate
mildness when he transgressed the laws of taste or feeling. The Indians
all despised the white settlers, whom they thought stupid and cowardly,
and they expected to drive them beyond the sea. They despised them for
their impiety, and Tecaughretanego once said to Smith, "As you have
lived with the white people, you have not had the same advantage of
knowing that the Great Being above feeds his people and gives them their
meat in due season, as we Indians have, who are wonderfully supplied,
and that so frequently that it is evidently the hand of the Great
Owaneeyo that doeth this; whereas the white people have commonly large
flocks of tame cattle, that they can kill when they please, and also
their barns and cribs filled with grain, and therefore have not the same
opportunity of seeing and knowing that they are supported by the ruler
of Heaven and Earth."

At this time the Indians were suffering from the famine that their waste
and improvidence had brought upon them; and perhaps Smith might have
said something on the white man's side. But he had nothing to say when
rebuked for smiling at Tecaughretanego's sacrifice of the last leaf of
his tobacco to the Great Spirit "Brother, I have something to say to
you, and I hope you will not be offended when I tell you of your faults.
You know that when you were reading your books, I would not let the boys
or any one disturb you; but now when I was praying I saw you laughing.
I do not think you look upon praying as a foolish thing; I believe you
pray yourself. But perhaps you think my mode or manner of prayer
foolish; if so, you ought in a friendly manner to instruct me, and not
make sport of sacred things."

[Illustration: An Indian Prayer 059L]

The prayer which Tecaughretanego thought ought to have escaped Smith's
derision was one which he made after he began to get well from a long
sickness; and it was certainly very quaint; but if the Father of all
listens most kindly to those children of his who come to him simply
and humbly, he could not have been displeased with this old Indian's

"Oh, Great Being, I thank thee that I have obtained the use of my legs
again, that I am now able to walk about and kill turkeys without feeling
exquisite pain and misery: I know that thou art a hearer and a helper,
and therefore I will call upon thee. _Oh, ho, ho, ho!_ grant that my
ankles and knees may be right well, and that I may be able not only to
walk, but to run and to jump as I did last fall. _Oh, ho, ho, ho!_
grant that on this voyage we may frequently kill bears, as they may be
crossing the Scioto and Sandusky. _Oh, ho, ho, ho!_ grant that we may
kill plenty of turkeys along the banks, to stew with our bear meat. _Oh,
ho, ho, ho!_ grant that rain may come to raise the Olentangy about two
or three feet, that we may cross in safety down to the Scioto, without
danger of our canoe being wrecked on the rocks. And now, oh, Great
Being, thou knowest how matters stand--thou knowest that I am a great
lover of tobacco, and that though I know not when I may get any more,
I now make a present of the last I have unto thee, as a free burnt
offering. Therefore I request that thou wilt hear and grant these
requests, and I thy servant will return thee thanks, and love thee for
thy gifts."

Smith tells us that a few days after Tecaughretanego made his prayer and
offered up his tobacco, rain came and raised the Olentangy high enough
to let them pass safely into the Scioto. He does not say whether he
thought this was the effect of the old Indian's piety, but he always
speaks reverently of Tecaughretanego's religion. He is careful to
impress the reader again and again with the importance of the Indian
family he had been taken into, and with the wisdom as well as the
goodness of Tecaughretanego, who held some such place among the Ottawas,
he says, as Socrates held among the Athenians. He was against the
Indians' taking part in the war between the French and English; he
believed they ought to leave these to fight out their own quarrels;
and in all the affairs of his people, he favored justice, truth, and
honesty. The Indians, indeed, never stole from one another, but they
thought it quite right to rob even their French allies; and it will help
us to a real understanding of their principles, if we remember that the
good and wise Tecaughretanego is never shown as rebuking the cruelty
and treachery of the war parties in their attacks on the English
settlements. The Indian's virtues are always for his own tribe; outside
of it, all the crimes are virtues, and it is right to lie, to cheat,
to steal, to kill; as it was with our own ancestors when they lived as

Smith was always treated like one of themselves by his Indian brothers,
and he had a deep affection for them. Once, in a time of famine, when
Tecaughretanego lay helpless in his cabin, suffering patiently with
the rheumatism which crippled him, Smith hunted two whole days without
killing any game, and then came home faint with hunger and fatigue.
Tecaughretanego bade his little son bring him a broth which the boy had
made with some wildcat bones left by the buzzards near the camp, and
when Smith had eaten he rebuked him for his despair, and charged him
never again to doubt that God would care for him, because God always
cared for those children of his who trusted in him, as the Indians did,
while the white men trusted in themselves. The next day Smith went out
again, but the noise made by the snow crust breaking under his feet
frightened the deer he saw, and he could not get a shot at them.
Suddenly, he felt that he could bear his captivity no longer, and he
resolved to try and make his way back to Pennsylvania. The Indians might
kill him, long before he could reach home; but if he staid, he must die
of hunger. He hurried ten or twelve miles eastward, when he came upon
fresh buffalo tracks, and soon caught sight of the buffalo. He shot one
of them, but he could not stop to cook the meat, and he ate it almost
raw. Then the thought of the old man and little child whom he had left
starving in the cabin behind him became too much for him. He remembered
what Tecaughretanego had said of God's care for those who trusted in
him; and he packed up all the meat he could carry, and went back to the
camp. The boy ate ravenously of the half-raw meat, as Smith had done,
but the old man waited patiently till it was well boiled. "Let it be
done enough," he said, when Smith wished to take off the kettle too
soon; and when they had all satisfied their hunger, he made Smith
a speech upon the duty of receiving the bounty of Owaneeyo with
thankfulness. After this, Smith seems to have had no farther thoughts
of running away, and he made no attempt to escape until he had been four
years in captivity. He was then at Caughnewaga, the old Indian village
which the traveler may still see from his steamboat on the St. Lawrence
River near Montreal. He had come to this place with Tecaughretanego and
his little son in an elm-bark canoe, all the way from Detroit; and now,
hearing that a French ship was at Montreal with English prisoners of
war, he stole away from the Indians and got on board with the rest. The
prisoners were shortly afterwards exchanged, and Smith got home to his
friends early in 1760. They had never known whether he had been killed
or captured, and they were overjoyed to see him, though they found him
quite like an Indian in his walk and bearing.

He married, and settled down on a farm, but he was soon in arms against
the Indians. He served as a lieutenant in Bouquet's expedition, and
became a colonel of the Revolutionary army. After the war he took his
family to Kentucky, where he lived until he died in 1812. The Indians
left him unmolested in his reading or writing while he was among
them, and he had kept a journal, which he wrote out in the delightful
narrative of his captivity, first published in 1799. He modestly says in
his preface that the chief use he hopes for it is from his observations
on Indian warfare; but these have long ceased to be of practical value,
while his pictures of Indian life and his studies of Indian character
have a charm that will always last.


Colonel Smith was not the first whose captivity was passed in the
Ohio country, but there is no record of any earlier captivity, though
hundreds of captives were given up to Bouquet by the Indians. In spite
of the treaties and promises on both sides, the fighting went on, and
the wilderness was soon again the prison of the white people whom the
savages had torn from their homes. The Ohio tribes harassed the outlying
settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia, whose borders widened westward
with every year; but they were above all incensed against the pioneers
of Kentucky. Ohio was their home; there they had their camps and towns;
there they held their councils and festivals; there they buried their
dead and guarded their graves. But Kentucky was the pleasance of all the
nations, the hunting ground kept free by common consent, and left to the
herds of deer, elk, and buffalo, which ranged the woods and savannas,
and increased for the common use. When the white men discovered this
hunter's paradise, and began to come back with their families and waste
the game and fell the trees and plow the wild meadows, no wonder the
Indians were furious, and made Kentucky the Dark and Bloody Ground for
the enemies of their whole race, which they had already made it for one
another in the conflicts between the hunting parties of rival tribes.
It maddened them to find the cabins and the forts of the settlers in the
sacred region where no red man dare pitch his wigwam; and they made a
fierce and pitiless effort to drive out the invaders.

Among these was the famous Daniel Boone. He had heard of the glories of
the land from a hunter who wandered into Kentucky by chance and
returned to North Carolina to tell of it among his neighbors. Two years
afterwards, in 1769, when a man of forty, Boone came to see for himself
the things that he knew by hearsay, and he found that the half had not
been told. But among other surprises in store for him was falling into
the clutches of an Indian hunting party which ambushed him and the
friend who was with him. They both escaped, and soon afterwards Boone's
brother and a neighbor, who had followed him from North Carolina,
chanced upon their camp. Boone's friend was before long shot and
scalped by the Indians; the brother's neighbor was lost in the woods and
devoured by the wolves. Then the brother went home for ammunition, and
Boone was left a whole year alone in the wilderness. The charm of its
life was so great for him that after two years more he returned to North
Carolina, sold his farm, and came to Kentucky with his family. Other
families joined them, and the little settlement founded in the woods
where he had ranged solitary with no friend but his rifle and with foes
everywhere, was called Boonesborough.

The Revolutionary War broke out, and the Ohio Indians, who had hitherto
fought the pioneers as Englishmen, now fought them as Americans with
fresh fury, under the encouragement of the British commandant at
Detroit. In January, of 1778, Boone took thirty of his men, and went to
make salt at the Blue Licks, where, shortly after, while he was hunting
in the woods, he found himself in the midst of two hundred Indian
warriors, who were on their way to attack Boonesborough. He was then
fifty years old, and the young Indians soon overtook him when he tried
to escape by running, and made him their prisoner. His captors treated
him kindly, as their custom was with prisoners, until they decided
what should be done with them, and at the Licks his whole party gave
themselves up on promise of the same treatment. This was glory enough
for the present; the Indians, as they always did when they had won a
victory, went home to celebrate it, and left Boonesborough unmolested.

They took all their prisoners to the town of Old Chillicothe, on the
banks of the Little Miami in Greene County. What became of his men
we are not told; none of them kept a journal, as Smith did, but it is
certain that Boone was adopted into an Indian family as Smith was. The
Indians, in fact, all became fond of him, perhaps because he was so much
like themselves in temperament and behavior, for he was a grave, silent
man, very cold and wary, with a sort of savage calm. He was well versed
in their character, and knew how to play upon their vanity. One of the
few things he seems to have told of his captivity was that when they
asked him to take part in their shooting matches he beat them just often
enough to show them his wonderful skill with the rifle, and then allowed
them the pleasure of beating such a splendid shot as he had proved
himself. But probably he had other engaging qualities, or so it appeared
when the Indians took him with them to Detroit. The British commandant
offered them a ransom of a hundred pounds for him, while several other
Englishmen, who liked and pitied him, pressed him to take money and
other favors from them. Boone stoically refused because he could never
hope to make any return to them, and his red brethren refused because
they loved Boone too well to part with him at any price, and they took
him back to Old Chillicothe with them.

[Illustration: Daniel Boone shooting with the Indians 067]

He never betrayed the anxiety for his wife and children that constantly
tormented him, for fear of rousing the suspicions of the Indians; but
when he reached Old Chillicothe, and found a large party painted and
ready to take the warpath in a new attack upon Boones-borough, he could
bear it no longer. He showed no sign of his misery, however; he joined
the Indians in all their sports as before, but he was always watching
for some chance to escape, and one morning in the middle of June he
stole away from his captors. He made his way a hundred and sixty miles
through the woods, and on the ninth day entered Boonesborough, faint
with the fast which he had broken but once in his long flight, to find
that he had been given up for dead and his family had gone back to North

Boone spent the rest of his days fighting wild men and hunting wild
beasts in Kentucky, until both were well-nigh gone and the tamer life
of civilization pressed closer about him. Then he set out for Missouri,
where he found himself again in the wilderness, and dwelt there in his
beloved solitude till he died. Nothing ever moved him so much as the
memoir which a young man wrote down for him and had printed. He was fond
of having it read to him (for he could not read any more than he could
write), and he would cry out in delight over it, "All true; not a lie
in it!" But it is recorded that he once allowed himself to be so far
excited by the heroic behavior of a friend who had saved his life in
an Indian fight, at the risk of his own, as to say, "You behaved like a
man, that time."

This friend was Simon Kenton, or rather Simon Butler, one of the
greatest of all the Indian hunters of Kentucky and Ohio. He had changed
his name to escape pursuit from his old home in Virginia, when he fled
leaving one of his neighbors, as he supposed, dead on the ground after
a fight, and he kept the name he had taken through the rest of his life.
He wandered about on the frontier and in the wilderness beyond it
for several years, fighting the savages single handed or with a few
comrades, and at times serving as scout or spy in the expeditions of the
English against them. When the Revolution began, he sided of course with
his own people, and he stood two sieges by the Indians in Boonesborough.
It was here that Boone found him in 1778 when he escaped from Old
Chillicothe, and they promptly made a foray together into the Ohio
country, against an Indian town on Paint Creek. They fell in with a war
party on the way, and after some fighting, Boone went back, but Kenton
kept on with another friend, and did not return till they had stolen
some Indian horses. As soon as they reached Boonesborough the commandant
sent them into Ohio again to reconnoiter a town on the Little Miami
which he wished to attack, and here once more Kenton was tempted by the
chance to steal horses. He could not bear to leave any, and he and his
men started homeward through the woods with the whole herd. When they
came to the Ohio, it was so rough that Kenton was nearly drowned in
trying to cross the river. He got back to the northern shore, where they
all waited for the wind to go down, and the waves to fall, and where
the Indians found them the second morning. His comrades were killed and
Kenton was taken prisoner by the Indians whose horses they had stolen.
The Indians were always stealing white men's horses, but they seemed to
think it was very much more wicked and shameful for white men to steal
Indians' horses. They fell upon Kenton and beat him over the head with
their ramrods and mocked him with cries of, "Steal Indians' hoss, hey!"
But this was only the beginning of his sufferings. They fastened him
for the night by stretching him on the ground with one stick across
his breast and another down his middle, and tying his hands and feet to
these with thongs of buffalo skin: stakes were driven into the earth,
and his pinioned arms and legs were bound to them, while a halter, which
was passed round his neck and then round a sapling near by, kept him
from moving his head. All the while they were making sure in this
way that he should not escape, the Indians were cuffing his ears, and
reviling him for a "Tief! A hoss steal! A rascal!" In the morning they
mounted him on an unbroken colt, with his hands tied behind him and his
legs tied under the horse, and drove it into the briers and underbrush,
where his face and hands were torn by the brambles, until the colt
quieted down of itself, and followed in line with the other horses. The
third day, as they drew near the town of Old Chillicothe, where Boone
had been held captive, they were met by the chief Blackfish, who said
sternly to Kenton in English, "You have been stealing horses." "Yes,
sir." "Did Captain Boone tell you to steal our horses?" "No, sir, I did
it on my own accord." Blackfish then lashed him over the naked back with
a hickory switch till the blood ran, and with blows and taunts from all
sides Kenton was marched forward to the village.

The Indians could not wait for his arrival. They came out, men, women,
and children, to meet him, with whoops and yells, and when they had made
his captors fasten him to a stake, they fell upon him, and tore off all
that was left of his clothes, and amused themselves till midnight by
dancing and screaming round him, and beating him with rods and their
open hands. In the morning he was ordered to run the gantlet, through
two rows of Indians of all ages and sexes, armed with knives, clubs,
switches, and hoe handles, and ready to cut, strike, and stab at him as
he dashed by them on his way to the council house, a quarter of a mile
from the point of starting. But Kenton was too wary to take the risks
before him. He suddenly started aside from the lines; he turned and
doubled in his course, and managed to reach the council house unhurt
except for the blows of two Indians who threw themselves between him and
its door. Here a council was held at once, and he was sentenced to be
burnt at the stake, but the sentence was ordered to be carried out at
the town of Wapatimika on Mad River. A white renegade among the Indians
told him of his fate with a curse, and Kenton resolved that rather than
meet it he would die in the attempt to escape. On the way to Wapatimika
he gave his guard the slip and dashed into the woods; and he had left
his pursuers far behind, when he ran into the midst of another party
of Indians, who seized him and drove him forward to the town. A second
council was now held, and after Kenton had run the gantlet a second time
and been severely hurt, the warriors once more gathered in the council
house, and sitting on the ground in a circle voted his death by striking
the earth with a war club, or by passing it to the next if inclined to
mercy. He was brought before them, as he supposed, to be told when he
was to die, but a blanket was thrown upon the ground for him to sit upon
in the middle of the circle, and Simon Girty, the great renegade, who
was cruder to the whites than the Indians themselves, began harshly to
question him about the number of men in Kentucky. A few words passed,
and then Girty asked, "What is your name?" "Simon Butler," said Kenton,
and Girty jumped from his seat and threw his arms around Kenton's
neck. They had been scouts together in the English service, before the
Revolution began, and had been very warm friends, and now Girty set
himself to save Kenton's life. He pleaded so strongly in his favor that
the council at last voted to spare him, at least for the time being.

[Illustration: Kenton and Girty 072]

Three weeks of happiness for Kenton followed in the society of his old
friend, who clothed him at his own cost from the stores of an English
trader in the town, and took him to live with him; and it is said that
if the Indians had continued to treat him kindly, Kenton might perhaps
have cast his lot with them, for he could not hope to go back to his own
people, with the crime of murder, as he supposed, hanging over him, and
he had no close ties binding him to the whites elsewhere. But at the
end of these days of respite, a war party came back from the Virginian
border, where they had been defeated, and the life of the first white
man who fell into their power must pay, by the Indian law, for the life
of the warrior they had lost. The leaders of this party found Kenton
walking in the woods with Girty, and met him with scowls of hate,
refusing his hand when he offered it. The rage of the savages against
him broke out afresh. One of them caught an ax from his squaw who was
chopping wood, and as Kenton passed him on his way into the village,
dealt him a blow that cut deep into his shoulder. For a third time a
council was held, and for a third time Kenton was doomed to die by fire.
Nothing that Girty could say availed, and he was left to tell his friend
that he must die.

Kenton's sentence was to be now carried out at Sandusky, and with five
Indian guards he set out for that point. On their way they stopped at a
town on the waters of the Scioto, where the captive found himself in
the presence of a chief of noble and kindly face, who said to him, in
excellent English, "Well, young man, these young men seem very mad at
you." Kenton had to own that they were so, indeed, and then the Indian
said, "Well, don't be discouraged. I am a great chief. You are to go to
Sandusky; they speak of burning you there, but I will send two runners
tomorrow to speak good for you."

This was the noble chief Logan, whose beautiful speech ought to be known
to every American boy and girl, and who, in spite of all he had suffered
from them, was still the friend of the white men. He kept his word
to Kenton, though he seemed to fail, as Girty had failed, to have his
sentence set aside, and Kenton was taken on to Sandusky. But here, the
day before that set for him to die, a British Indian agent, a merciful
man whose name, Drewyer, we ought to remember, made the Indians give him
up, that the commandant at Detroit might find out from him the state
of the American forces in Kentucky. He had to promise the savages that
Kenton should afterwards be returned to them; but though Kenton could
not or would not tell him what he wished to know, Drewyer assured him
that he would never abandon any white prisoner to their cruelty.

At Detroit Kenton was kindly treated by the English, and beyond having
to report himself daily to the officer who had charge of him, there was
nothing to make him feel that he was a prisoner. But he grew restive in
his captivity, and after he had borne seven months of it, and got well
of all his wounds and bruises, he plotted with two young Kentuckians,
who had been taken with Boone at the Blue Licks, to attempt his escape
with them. They bought guns from some drunken Indians, and hid them
in the woods. Then in the month of June, 1778, they started southward
through the wilderness, and after thirty days reached Louisville in
safety. Kenton continued to fight the Indians in all the wars, large
and little, till they were beaten by General Wayne in 1794. Eight years
later he came to live in Ohio, settling near Urbana, but removing later
to Zanesfield, on the site of the Indian town Wapatimika, where he was
once to have been burned, and where he died peaceably in 1836, when he
was eighty-one years old. He is described as a tall, handsome man, of
an erect figure and carriage, a fair complexion, and a most attractive
countenance. "He had," his biographer tells us, "a soft, tremulous
voice, very pleasing to the hearer, and laughing gray eyes that appeared
to fascinate the beholder," except in his rare moments of anger, when
their fiery glance would curdle the blood of those who had roused his
wrath. He was above all the heroes of Ohio history, both in his virtues
and his vices, the type of the Indian fighter. He was ready to kill or
to take the chances of being killed, but he had no more hate apparently
for the wild men than for the wild beasts he hunted.


Simon Girty, who tried so hard to save Kenton's life at Wapatimika, was
the most notorious of those white renegades who abounded in the Ohio
country during the Indian wars. The life of the border was often such
as to make men desperate and cruel, and the life of the wilderness had
a fascination which their fierce natures could hardly resist. Kenton
himself, as we have seen, might perhaps have willingly remained with the
Indians if they had wished him to be one of them, though he was at heart
too kindly and loyal ever to have become the enemy of his own people,
and if he had been adopted into an Indian family he would probably have
been such an Indian as Smith was. But in the sort of backwoodsman he
had been there was such stuff as renegades were made of. Like him these
desperadoes had mostly fled from the settlements after some violent
deed, and could not have gone back to their homes there if they would.
Yet they were not much worse than the traders who came and went among
the Indians in times of peace, and supplied them with the weapons and
the ammunition they might use at any moment against the settlers.

Indeed, wherever the two races touched they seemed to get all of each
other's vices, and very few of each other's virtues; and it is doubtful
if the law breakers who escaped from the borders to the woods were more
ferocious than many whom they left behind. Neither side showed mercy;
their warfare was to the death; the white men tomahawked and scalped
the wounded as the red men did, and if the settlers were not always
so pitiless to their prisoners or to the wives and children of their
warriors, they were guilty of many acts of murderous treachery and
murderous fury. One of the best and truest friends they ever had, the
great Mingo chief Logan, who was at last the means of Kenton's escape
from the stake, bore witness to these facts in his famous speech; for in
spite of his friendship for the whites, he had suffered the worst
that they could do to the worst of their foes. When such white men as
butchered Logan's kindred sided with the Indians, they only changed
their cause; their savage natures remained unchanged; but very few of
these, even, seem to have been so far trusted in their fear and hate for
their own people as to be taken by the Indians in their forays against
the whites.

The great Miami chief Little Turtle, who outgeneralled the Americans at
the defeat of St. Clair, used to tell with humorous relish how he once
trusted a white man adopted into his tribe. This white man was very
eager to go with him on a raid into Kentucky, and when they were
stealing upon the cabin they were going to attack, nothing could
restrain his desire to be foremost. When they got within a few yards, he
suddenly dashed forward with a yell of "Indians, Indians!" and left his
red brethren to get out of the range of the settlers' rifles as fast as
they could.

But Simon Girty led many of the savage attacks, and showed himself the
relentless enemy of the American cause at every chance, though more than
once he used his power with the Indians to save prisoners from torture
and death. He was born in Pennsylvania, and he was captured with his
brothers, George and James, during Braddock's campaign. They were all
taken to Ohio, where George was adopted by the Delawares, James by the
Shawnees, and Simon by the Senecas. George died a drunken savage; James
became the terror of the Kentucky border, and infamous throughout the
West by his cruelty to the women among the Indians' captives; he seems
to have been without one touch of pity for the fate of any of their
prisoners, and his cruelties were often charged upon Simon, who had
enough of his own to answer for. Yet he seems to have been the best as
well as the ablest of the three brothers whose name is the blackest in
Ohio history. Many of the stories about him are evidently mere romance,
and they often conflict. As he was captured when very young, he never
learned to read or write; and it is said that he was persuaded by worse
and wiser men to take sides with the British in the Revolution. But
we need not believe that he was so ignorant or so simple as this in
accounting for his preference of his red brethren and their cause.
In fact, several letters attributed to him exist, though he may have
dictated these, and may not have known how to write after all.

It is certain that he was a man of great note and power among the
Indians, and one of their most trusted captains. He led the attack on
Wheeling in 1777, where he demanded the surrender of the fort to the
English king, whose officer he boasted himself. In 1782 he attacked
Bryan's Station in Kentucky with a strong force of Indians, but met with
such a gallant resistance that he attempted to bring the garrison
to terms by telling them who he was and threatening them with the
reënforcements and the cannon which he said he expected hourly. He
promised that all their lives should be spared if they yielded, but
while he waited with the white flag in his hand on the stump where he
stood to harangue them, a young man answered him from the fort: "You
need not be so particular to tell us your name; we know your name and
you, too. I've had a villainous untrustworthy cur dog this long while
named Simon Girty, in compliment to you, he's so like you, just as ugly
and just as wicked. As to the cannon, let them come on; the country's
aroused, and the scalps of your red cutthroats, and your own too, will
be drying in our cabins in twenty-four hours; and if, by chance, you or
your allies do get into the fort, we've a big store of rods laid in to
scourge you out again."

[Illustration: Simon Girty 079L]

The Indians retreated, but Girty glutted his revenge for the failure and
the insult in many a fight afterwards with the Americans and in many a
scene of torture and death. The Kentuckians now followed his force to
the Blue Licks, where the Indians ambushed them and beat them back with
fearful slaughter.

Girty remained with the savages and took part in the war which they
carried on against our people long after our peace with the British. He
was at the terrible defeat of St. Clair in 1791, and he had been present
at the burning of Colonel Crawford in 1782. By some he is said to have
tried to beg and to buy their prisoner off from the Wyandots, and by
others to have taken part in mocking his agonies, if not in torturing
him. It seems certain that he lived to be a very old man, and it is
probable that he died fighting the Americans in our second war with
Great Britain.

But the twilight of the forest rests upon most of the details of his
history and the traits of his character. The truth about him seems to
be that he had really become a savage, and it would not be strange if he
felt all the ferocity of a savage, together with the rare and capricious
emotions of pity and generosity which are apt to visit the savage heart.
There have always been good Indians and bad Indians, and Simon Girty was
simply a bad Indian.


The Indians despised the white men for what they thought their stupidity
in warfare, when they stood up in the open to be shot at, as the
soldiers who were sent against them mostly did, instead of taking
to trees and hiding in tall grass and hollows of the ground, as the
backwoodsmen learned to do. Smith tells us that when Tecaughretanego
heard how Colonel Grant, in the second campaign against Fort Duquesne,
outwitted the French and Indians by night and stole possession of a hill
overlooking the post, he praised his craft as that of a true warrior;
but as to his letting his pipers play at daybreak, and give the enemy
notice of his presence, so that the Indians could take to trees and
shoot his Highlanders down with no danger to themselves, he could only
suppose that Colonel Grant had got drunk over night.

The savages respected the whites when they showed cunning, and they did
not hate them the more for not showing mercy in fight; but we have seen
how fiercely they resented the crime of horse stealing in Kenton's case,
though they were always stealing horses themselves from the settlers;
and any deed of treachery against themselves they were eager and prompt
to punish, though they were always doing such deeds against their
enemies. Still, it is doubtful whether with all their malignity they
were ever guilty of anything so abominable as the massacre of the
Christian Indians at Gnadenhutten, by the Americans; and if there is
record of any wickeder act in the history not only of Ohio, but of the
whole United States, I do not know of it. The Spaniards may have outdone
it in some of their dealings with the Indians, but I cannot call to mind
any act of theirs that seems so black, so wholly without justice and
without reason. It is no wonder that it embittered the hostilities
between the red men and the white men and made the war, which outlasted
our Revolution ten years, more and more unmerciful to the very end.

The missionaries of the Moravian Church were more successful than any
others in converting the Indians, perhaps because they asked the most of
them. They made them give up all the vices which the Indians knew were
vices, and all the vices that the Indians thought were virtues when
practiced outside of their tribe. They forbade them to lie, to steal, to
kill; they taught them to wash themselves, to put on clothes, to work,
and to earn their bread. Upon these hard terms they had congregations
and villages in several parts of Connecticut, New York, and
Pennsylvania, which flourished for a time against the malice of the
disorderly and lawless settlers around them, but which had yielded
to the persecutions of white men and red men alike when, in 1771, the
chiefs of the Delawares sent messages to the Moravians and invited
them to come out and live among them in Ohio. The Lenni-lenape, as the
Delawares called themselves, had left the East, where they were subject
to the Iroquois, and they now had their chief towns on the Muskingum.
Near the place where the Tuscarawas and Walhonding meet to form the
Muskingum they offered lands to the Moravians, and in 1772 the Christian
Indians left their last village in Western Pennsylvania and settled
there at three points which they called Schönbrun, the Beautiful Spring,
Lichtenau, Field of Light, and Gnadenhutten, the Tents of Grace.

It was in the very heart of the Western wilderness, but the land was
rich and the savages friendly, and in a few years the teachers and their
followers had founded a fairer and happier home than they had known
before, and had begun to spread their light around them. The Indians
came from far and near to see their fields and orchards and gardens,
with the houses in the midst of them, built of squared logs and set on
streets branching to the four quarters from the chapel, which was the
peaceful citadel of each little town. It must have seemed a stately
edifice to their savage eyes, with its shingled roof, and its belfry,
where, ten years before any white man had settled beyond the Ohio,
the bell called the Christian Indians to prayer. No doubt the creature
comforts of the Christians had their charm, too, for the hungry pagans.
They were not used elsewhere to the hospitality that could set before
them such repasts as one of the missionaries tells us were spread for
the guest at Gnadenhutten. A table furnished with "good bread, meat,
butter, cheese, milk, tea and coffee, and chocolate," and such fruits and
vegetables as the season afforded could hardly have been less wonderful
in the Indian's eyes than red men with their hair cut, and without paint
or feathers, at work in the fields like squaws.

Their heathen neighbors began to come into the Moravians' peaceful
fold, and the three villages grew and flourished till the war broke out
between the colonies and Great Britain. Then the troubles and sorrows
of the Moravians, white and red, began again. They were too weak to keep
the savage war parties from passing through their towns, and they dared
not refuse them rest and food. The warriors began to come with the first
leaves of spring, and they came and went till the first snows of autumn
made their trail too plain for them to escape pursuit from the border.
The Moravians did what they could to ransom their captives and to save
them from torture when the warriors returned after their raids, but all
their goodness did not avail them against the suspicion of the settlers.
The backwoodsmen looked on them as the spies and allies of the
savages, and the savages on their side believed them in league with the

The Delawares had promised the Moravian teachers that if they settled
among them, the Delaware nation would take no part in the war, and the
most of 'them kept their promise. But some of the young men broke it,
and the nation would not forbid the Wyandots from passing through
their country to and from the Virginia frontier. It was true that the
Moravians held thousands of Delaware warriors neutral, and that our
American officers knew their great power for good among the Indians;
but the backwoodsmen hated them as bitterly as they hated the Wyandots.
Their war parties passed through the Christian villages, too, when they
went and came on their forays beyond the Ohio, and at one time their
leaders could hardly keep them from destroying a Moravian town, even
while they were enjoying its hospitality.

This situation could not last. In August, 1781, a chief of the Hurons,
called the Half King, came with a large body of Indians flying the
English flag and accompanied by an English officer, to urge the
Christians to remove to Sandusky, where they were told they could be
safe from the Virginians. They refused, and then the Half King shot
their cattle, plundered their fields and houses, and imprisoned their
teachers, and at last forced them away. When the winter came on, the
exiles began to suffer from cold and hunger, and many of their children
died. To keep themselves and their little ones from starving, parties
stole back from Sandusky throughout the winter to gather the corn left
standing in the fields beside the Muskingum.

In March a larger party than usual returned to the deserted villages
with a number of women and children, all unarmed, except for the guns
that the men carried to shoot game. But in February the savages had
fallen upon a lonely cabin and butchered all its inmates with more than
common cruelty, and the whole border was ablaze with fury against the
redskins, whether they called themselves Christians or not. A hundred
and sixty backwoodsmen gathered at Mingo Bottom under the lead of
Colonel David Williamson, who had once disgraced himself among them by
preventing them from killing some Moravian prisoners, and who now seems
to have been willing to atone for his humanity. They marched swiftly to
the Muskingum, where they stole upon the Indians in the cornfields, and
seized their guns. They told them at first that they were going to take
them to Fort Pitt, and at the vote held to decide whether they should
burn their prisoners alive or simply tomahawk and scalp them, there
was really some question of their transfer to Pittsburg. This plan was
favored by the leaders, and it is believed that if Colonel Williamson
could have had his way, it would have been carried out. But there is no
proof of this, and the rest, who were by no means the worst men of the
border, but some of the best, voted by a large majority to kill their

They gave them the night to prepare for death. One poor woman fell on
her knees before Williamson and begged for her life, but the most of
them seem to have submitted without a word. They spent the night in
prayer and singing, and when their butchers sent at daybreak to know if
they were ready, they answered that they had received the assurance of
God's peace. Then the murderers parted the women and children from the
men and shut them up in another cabin, and the two cabins they fitly
called the slaughterhouses. One of them found a cooper's mallet in the
cooper's shop, where the men were left, and saying: "How exactly this
will answer for the business," he made his way through the kneeling
ranks to one of the most fervent of the converts, and struck him down.

While the Indians still prayed and sang, he killed twelve more of them,
and then passed the mallet to another butcher with the words: "My arm
fails me. Go on in the same way. I think I have done pretty well." Among
the women and children the slaughter began with a very old and pious
widow, and soon the sound of the singing and the praying was silenced in

The victims were scalped as they fell, and when the bloody work was
done, the cabins were set on fire and the bodies burned in the burning
buildings. Two boys who had been scalped with the rest feigned death,
and when the murderers had left them they tried to escape. One stuck
fast in the window and was burned, but the other got safely away and
lived to tell the awful tale.

[Illustration: Massacre of the Christian Indians by the Whites 087]

The backwoodsmen themselves seem not to have been ashamed of their work,
though it is said that Williamson could never be got to speak of it. The
event was so horrible that it killed the Moravians' hopes of usefulness
among the Ohio Indians. The teachers settled with the remnant of
their converts in Canada, but the Christian Indians always longed for
Gnadenhutten, where they had lived so happily, and where ninety-six
of their brethren had suffered so innocently. Before the close of the
century Congress confirmed the Delawares' grant of the Muskingum lands
to them, and they came back. But they could not survive the crime
committed against them. The white settlers pressed close about them; the
War of 1812 enkindled all the old hate against their race. Their laws
were trampled upon and their own people were seen drunk in the streets.

Some of the Christians had fallen back into heathen savagery. One of
these, who was found in a war party, painted and armed like the rest for
a foray against the whites, said to a Christian brother: "I cannot but
have bad thoughts of our teachers. I think it was their fault that so
many of our countrymen were murdered in Gnadenhutten. They betrayed
us.... Tell me now, is this the truth or not?" He had lost his children
and all his kindred in that fearful carnage, and yet he could not
believe his own accusations against the Moravians. He added mournfully:
"I have now a wicked and malicious heart, and therefore my thoughts are
evil. As I look outwardly, so is my heart within. What would it avail,
if I were outwardly to appear as a believer, and my heart were full of


The slaughter of the Christian Indians at Gnadenhutten took place
in March, 1782, and in May ol the same year, four hundred and fifty
horsemen from the American border met at Mingo Bottom, where the
murderers had rendezvoused, and set out from that point to massacre
the Moravian converts who had taken refuge among the Wyandots on the
Sandusky. They expected, of course, to fight the warlike Indians, but
they openly avowed their purpose of killing all Indians, Christian or
heathen, and women and children, as well as warriors. We must therefore
call them murderers, but we must remember that they had been hardened
against mercy by the atrocities of the savages, and we must make
allowance for men who had seen their wives and little ones tomahawked
and scalped or carried off into captivity, their homes burnt, and their
fields wasted. The life of the frontier at a time when all life was so
much ruder than now was as fierce, if not as cruel, among the white men
as among the red men.

The murderers at Mingo Bottom voted whether Colonel David Williamson or
Colonel William Crawford should lead them, and their choice fell upon
Crawford. He seems to have been a man of kinder heart than his fellows,
and he unwillingly took command of the turbulent and disorderly band,
which promptly set out on its march through the wilderness towards the
Sandusky country. They had hoped to surprise the Indians, but spies
had watched their movements from the first, and when they reached the
Moravian villages on the Sandusky River, they found them deserted. They
decided then to go on toward Upper Sandusky, and if they could not reach
that town in a day's march, to beat a quick retreat. The next day they
started, but at two o'clock in the afternoon they were attacked by large
numbers of Indians hidden in the tall grass of the prairies, and they
fought a running battle till nightfall. Then both sides kindled large
fires along their lines, and fell back from them to prevent a surprise.

In the morning the Americans began their retreat, and the Indians
renewed their attack with great fury in the afternoon, on all sides
except the northeast, where the invaders were hemmed in by swamps. There
seems to have been no cause for their retreat, except the danger of an
overwhelming onset by the savages, which must have been foreseen
from the start. But the army, as it was called, was wholly without
discipline; during the night not even a sentry had been posted; and now
their fear became a panic, their retreat became a rout. They made their
way as best they could through the marshes, where the horses stuck fast,
and had to be abandoned, and the men themselves sometimes sank to their
necks in the soft ooze. Instead of keeping together, as Crawford advised
but had no power to compel, the force broke up into small parties, which
the Indians destroyed or captured. Many perished in the swamps; some
were followed as far as the Ohio River. The only one of the small
parties which escaped was that of forty men under Colonel Williamson,
the leader of the Gnadenhiitten massacre, who enjoyed the happier
fortune denied to Colonel Crawford.

This ill-fated officer was tormented after the retreat began by his fear
for the safety of his son, his son-in-law, and his nephews, and he left
his place at the head of the main body and let the army file past him
while he called and searched for the missing men. He did not try to
overtake it till it was too late to spur his wearied horse forward. He
fell in with Dr. John Knight, who accompanied the expedition as surgeon,
and who now generously remained with Crawford. They pushed on together
with two others through the woods, guided by the north star, but on the
second day after the army had left them behind, a party of Indians fell
upon them and made them prisoners.

Their captors killed their two companions, Captain Biggs and Lieutenant
Ashley, the following day, but Crawford and Knight were taken to an
Indian camp at a little distance, and then to the old Wyandot town of
Sandusky, where preparations were made for burning Crawford. He seems to
have had great hopes that Simon Girty, who was then at Sandusky, would
somehow manage to save him, and it is said that the renegade really
offered three hundred dollars for Crawford's life, knowing that he would
be many times repaid by Crawford's friends. But the chief whom Girty
tried to bribe answered, "Do you take me for a squaw?" and threatened,
if Girty said more, to burn him along with Crawford. This is the story
told in Girty's favor; other stories represent him as indifferent if not
cruel to Crawford throughout. In any case, it ended in Crawford's return
to the Indian camp, eight miles from the Indian town, where he suffered

The chiefs who had been put in charge of him were two Delawares of great
note, Captain Pipe and Captain Wingenund. They were chosen his guards
because the Christian Indians were of their nation, and the Delawares,
more than any other nation, were held to have been injured and insulted
by their massacre. It was Captain Pipe who refused Girty's offer, if
Girty ever made it, and it was Captain Pipe who urged the death of the
prisoners, while treating them with mock politeness. Nine others were
brought back from the town with Knight and Crawford, and Captain Pipe
now painted all their faces black, the sign of doom. While he was
painting Knight's face, he told him that he should be taken to see
his friends at the Shawnee village, and he told Crawford that his head
should be shaved, meaning that he should be made an Indian and adopted
into the tribe. But when they came to the place where Crawford was to
suffer, Captain Pipe threw off the mask of kindness; he made a speech to
the forty warriors and seventy squaws and papooses met to torture him,
and used all his eloquence to inflame their hate.

The other Delaware chief, Captain Wingenund, had gone into his cabin,
that he might not see Crawford's death. They knew each other, and more
than once Crawford had been good to Wingenund. The captive now sent for
the chief, and Wingenund came unwillingly to speak with him, for he was
already tied to the stake, and his friend knew that he could not save
him. The chief acknowledged the kindness that they had once felt for
each other, but he said that Crawford had put it out of his power to
give him help.

[Illustration: Execution of Crawford 093]

"How so, Captain Wingenund?" asked Crawford.

"By joining yourself to that execrable man, Williamson; the man who but
the other day murdered such a number of Moravian Indians, knowing them
to be friends; knowing that he ran no risk in murdering a people who
would not fight, and whose only business was praying."

In vain, Crawford declared that he would never have suffered the
massacre if he had been present. Wingenund was willing to believe
this, but he reminded him that the men whom he had led to Sandusky had
declared that they came to murder the remaining Moravians. No one, he
said, would now dare to speak a word for him; the king of England, if he
came with all his treasure, could not save him from the vengeance which
the Indians were going to take upon him for the slaughter of their
innocent brethren.

"Then my fate is fixed," said Crawford.

Wingenund turned away weeping, and could never afterwards speak of the
scene without deep feeling.

Crawford had already undergone the first of his punishment. The savages
stripped him naked and made him sit down on the ground before the fire
kindled to burn him, and beat him with their fists and with sticks
till they had heated their rage. Then they tied his wrists together
and fastened the rope that bound them to a post strongly planted in the
ground with leash enough to let him walk round it once or twice, five or
six yards away from the fire. Girty was present, and Crawford asked if
the Indians meant to burn him; the renegade briefly answered, "Yes."
Then Captain Pipe spoke, and Wingenund saw his friend for the last time.
After this chief left Crawford, the Indians broke into a loud yell and
began the work of torture which ended only with his death.

At one point he besought Simon Girty to put an end to his sufferings;
but Girty would not, or dared not.

Then Crawford began to pray, imploring God to have mercy upon him, and
bore his torment for an hour and a half longer with manly courage. It is
not known how long his torture lasted; Knight was now taken away, and no
friend remained to witness Crawford's agony to the end.

I have thought it well to recount his story, for without it we could not
fully realize what the white people of that day underwent in their long
struggle with the Ohio Indians. Cruelty so fiendish could never have
a cause, but it cannot be denied that the torture of Crawford was the
effect of the butchery of the Christian Indians. That awful deed was an
act of even greater wickedness, for it was the act of men who were not
savage by birth or race or creed. It was against the white man's law,
while the torture of Crawford was by the red man's law. It is because
of their laws that the white men have overcome and the red men have gone
under in the order of mercy, for whenever we sin against that order,
contrary to our law, or according to our law, we weaken ourselves, and
if we continue in our sin, we doom ourselves in the end to perish.


When the Indians made a raid on the settlements, they abandoned even
victory if they had once had enough fighting; as when they had a feast
they glutted themselves, and then wasted what they had not eaten. They
seemed now to have had such a surfeit of cruelty in the torture of
Crawford that they took little trouble to secure Knight for a future
holiday. They promised themselves that he should be burnt, too, at the
town of the Shawnees, but in their satiety they left him unbound in the
charge of a young Indian who was to take him there from Sandusky. It is
true that Knight was very weak, and that they may have thought he was
unable to escape, though even in this case they would probably have sent
him under a stronger guard at another time, when they were not gorged
with blood.

His Indian guard was armed and was mounted on a pony, while Knight went
on foot; but Knight had made up his mind that he would escape at any
risk rather than be burned like Crawford. His face had again been
painted black; and he had Simon Girty's word, given him before Crawford
was put to death, that he was to be burned at Old Chillicothe. But he
pretended not to know what the Indians were going to do with him there,
and he easily deceived his guard, who seems to have been a good-natured,
simple fellow. Knight asked him if they were going to live together like
brothers in the same wig-wam, and the Indian answered they were, and
they went in very friendly talk. At night-fall when they camped, Knight
let his guard bind him, but he spent the hours till daybreak trying
secretly to free himself. At dawn the Indian rose and unbound his
captive. Then he rekindled the fire, at the same time fighting the gnats
that swarmed upon his naked body. He willingly consented that Knight
should make a smoke to drive them from his back, and Knight took a heavy
stick from the fire as if to do this; but when he got behind the Indian
he struck him on the head with all his strength. The Indian fell forward
into the fire, but quickly gathered himself up and ran off howling.
Knight wanted to shoot him as he ran; in his eagerness to cock the rifle
he broke the lock, and the Indian escaped. He got safely to the Shawnee
town, where he described the fight in terms that transformed the little
doctor into a furious giant, whom no amount of stabbing had any effect

[Illustration: Knight escapes 097L]

The other Indians, who seem to have understood this cowardly boaster,
received his story with shouts of laughter. But Knight was very glad
to make off with his gun and ammunition, and leave them to settle the
affair among themselves. When he came to the prairies he hid himself in
the grass and waited till dark before venturing to cross them, and
by daybreak he was in the woods again. He could kill nothing with his
broken gun, and he lived for twenty-one days on wild gooseberries, with
two young blackbirds and a tortoise, which he ate raw. He reached the
Ohio River on the twenty-second day, and crossed in safety to Fort

The tragic adventures of the Indian captives must often have been
relieved by comic incidents like those of Knight's escape from his
guard; but there is very little record of anything except sorrow and
suffering, danger and death. Certainly in the captivity of John Slover,
another of Crawford's ill-starred and ill-willed crew of marauders,
there were few gleams of happier chance to distinguish it from most
histories of the sort. He had been captured by the Indians when a boy
of eight years, and carried from his home in Virginia to their town of
Sandusky, where he was adopted into their nation, and where he lived
quite happily till his twentieth year, when he was given up to his own

He fought through two years of the Revolutionary War, and he was
thoroughly fitted to act as a guide for Crawford.

After the battle, or rather the disorderly rout, he was one of those who
was mired in the swamps. He left his horse there, and with a few others
tried to make his way to Detroit. Twice the party escaped capture by
hiding in the grass, as the Indians passed near them, but on the third
morning they were ambushed; two were killed, one ran away, and the
remaining three gave themselves up on the promise of good treatment.
They were taken to Wapatimika, where Simon Kenton was to have been
burned, and they soon proved how far the promises of the savages were to
be trusted.

The Indians knew Slover at once, and they bitterly reproached him with
having come to betray his friends. At the council held to try him,
James Girty urged them to put him to death for his treason. But Slover
strongly defended himself, reminding the Indians that they had freely
given him up, and had no longer any claim upon him. His words had such
weight that the council put off its decision. In the meantime he was
left with an old squaw, who hid him under a bear skin, and scolded off
the messengers who came to bring him before a grand council of Shawnee,
Delaware, Wyandot, Chippewa, and Mingo warriors. But shortly after,
Girty came with forty braves and seized him. Slover was now stripped,
and with his hands tied and his face painted black, he was taken to a
village five miles off, where he was beaten as usual by the people,
and then driven a little farther to another village, where he found
everything made ready to burn him, as Crawford had been burned. He was
tied to the stake, and the fire was lighted; an orator began to kindle
the anger of the savages; but at the last moment a heavy shower of rain
burst over the roofless council house where they had gathered to torture
their captive, put out the fire, and drove them to a sheltered part of
the lodge, where they consoled themselves as best they could by beating
him till midnight, and promising him that he should be burned the next
day. He was then carried to the blockhouse and left bound with two
guards, who entertained themselves, but did not amuse Slover, by talking
over his probable behavior under the torture that awaited him. They fell
asleep, worn out, about daybreak, when Slover made a desperate effort to
free himself, and to his own astonishment, succeeded. He stepped across
his snoring guards out into the open air. No one was astir in the
village, and he ran to hide himself in a cornfield, where he nearly fell
over a sleeping squaw and her papooses. On the other side of the field
he found some horses, and making a halter of the buffalo thong that had
bound him, and that still hung upon his arm, he leaped upon one of them
and dashed through the woods. By ten o'clock in the forenoon he had
reached the Scioto fifty miles away.

He allowed his horse to breathe here; then he remounted, crossed the
river, and galloped half as far again. At three o'clock his horse gave
out, and Slover left him and ran forward afoot, spurred on by the yells
of the pursuers close behind him. The moon came up, and knowing that his
trail could be easily followed by her light, he ran till daybreak. The
next night he reached the Muskingum, naked, torn by briers, and covered
with the mosquitoes which swarmed upon his bleeding body. A few wild
raspberries enabled him to break his fast for the first time, but the
next day he feasted upon two crawfish. When he came to the Ohio, just
across from Wheeling, and called to a man whom he saw on the island
there, to bring his canoe and take him over, it is not strange that the
man should have hesitated at the sight of the figure on the Ohio shore.
Not till Slover had given him the names of many men in Crawford's army,
as well as his own name, did the man come to his rescue and ferry him
over to the fort, where he was safe at last.


The Indians and the renegades at Sandusky would not believe their
prisoners when Crawford's men told them that Cornwallis and his army had
surrendered to Washington; but the Revolutionary War had now really come
to an end. The next year Great Britain acknowledged the independence
of the United States, and gave up the whole West to them, as France
had given it up to her before. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,
Pennsylvania, and Virginia claimed each the country lying westward
of them, but the other states denied this claim. The West was finally
declared the property of the whole Union, and in 1784 the first
ordinance was passed by Congress for its government. It was not until
1787 that the great ordinance was passed which gave the future empire
of the world to the West on terms of freedom to all men: "There shall
be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory
otherwise than in the punishment of crime."

This made the West free forever, but no law of Congress could make it
safe without the consent of the savage nations which had again changed
masters by the treaty of foreign powers. The war between England and
America was over, but the war between white men and red men raged
more fiercely after our peace with Great Britain than before. The
backwoodsmen took this peace for a sign that they might now cross the
river from New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to settle in the Ohio
country; and they were soon there by hundreds. It is true that the
United States had made treaties with the United Tribes for certain
tracts beyond the Ohio River, but the Indians declared that they had
been tricked into these treaties. It is true that Congress meant to deal
fairly by them so far as to drive the hard bargains with them for their
lands which the white men had always driven with the Indians; but the
backwoodsmen waited for nothing, and the old story of surprises and
slaughters, of captivities and tortures, went on, with the difference
that the war parties now need not cross the Ohio to take scalps and
prisoners, and the vengeance of the pioneers had not so far to follow
them in their return to the woods.

The first white settlers in Ohio were largely the kind of half-savages
who had butchered the Christians at Gnadenhiitten. They built their
cabins and cleared their fields on lands so shamelessly stolen that in
1785 a force of United States troops was sent to drive them out of their
holdings. They seemed to go, but in reality they staid, and wherever the
backwoodsman planted his foot west of the Ohio, he never turned his face
eastward again.

He was unlawfully there, but from the Indian's point of view he was no
more unrightfully there than the settlers who came a few years later to
take up farms under the land companies authorized by Congress. If any
other proof were wanting that these companies possessed themselves of
land which the Indians believed they had never sold, it would appear in
the fact that the first thing the settlers did was to build a stockade,
or high bullet-proof fence of logs with a strong blockhouse for a kind
of citadel, where they might gather for safety in case of attacks from
any of the wild natives of the woods about them.

The invaders were from New England, from New Jersey, from Pennsylvania,
and from Virginia, and with their coming, nearly all in the same year,
there began that mingling of the American strains which has since made
Ohio the most American state in the Union, first in war and first in
peace; which has given the nation such soldiers as Grant, Sherman,
Sheridan, McPherson; such presidents as Grant, Hayes, Garfield,
Harrison, McKinley; such statesmen and jurists as Ewing, Cor-win, Wade,
Chase, Giddings, Sherman, Waite. We have to own, in truth and honesty,
that the newcomers might be unlawfully and unrightfully in the great
territory which was destined to be the great state, but it is consoling
to realize that they were not unreasonably there. It was not reasonable
that the land should be left to savages who must each keep fifty
thousand acres of it wild for his needs as a hunter. The earth is for
those who will use it, and not for those who will waste it, and the
Indians who would not suffer themselves to be tamed could not help
wasting the land.

If the whites made any mistake, it was in allowing any man to own more
land than he could use; but this is a mistake which prevails in our own
day as it prevailed in the days of the pioneers, and they were not to
blame for being no wiser at the end of the eighteenth century than
we are at the end of the nineteenth. The states consenting to the
organization of the Northwest Territory meant that their citizens who
had fought for the independence of the nation in the Revolutionary War
should first of all have their choice of its lands, and so we find Ohio
divided up into the Virginia Military District, the Connecticut Western
Reserve, and the Bounty Lands of Pennsylvania. But large grants were
made to land companies, and the innumerable acres were juggled out of
the hands of the people into the hands of the speculators, as the public
lands have been ever since, until now there are no public lands left
worth having.

The Ohio Indians knew nothing of all this, or as little as they have
ever known of the fate of their ancient homes on the frontier which we
have pressed further and further westward. They held in their stubborn
way that the line between them and the whites was still the Ohio River,
as it had been for fifty years; and they made war upon the invaders
wherever they found them. At times they gathered force for a great
battle, and in the first two of these battles they were the victors,
but in the third they were beaten and their strength and spirits were
broken. In 1790 General Harmar destroyed the towns of the Miamis on the
Wabash; but they ambushed his retreat and punished his fifteen hundred
men so severely that he was forced back to the Ohio. In 1791 General
Arthur St. Clair led an army against the Indians in the Maumee country,
and was attacked and routed with greater havoc than the savages had ever
yet made of the whites, except perhaps in Braddock's defeat. In 1792
General Anthony Wayne set about gathering another army for the Indian
campaign. He moved into the enemy's country slowly, building forts in
Darke County and Mercer (where St. Clair was routed) as he advanced. In
1794, at the meeting of the Auglaize and Maumee, twenty miles from the
last post, which he named Fort Defiance, he finally met the tribes in
great force, and defeated them so thoroughly that for sixteen years they
never afterwards made head against the Americans.

At this day we can hardly imagine the dismay that the rout of St. Clair
and the slaughter of his men spread through the Ohio country. He was
a gallant officer, the governor of the Northwest Territory, and the
trusted friend of Washington. It is true that his army was largely the
refuse of the Eastern States, picked up in the streets of the larger
towns and lured into the wilderness with the promise of three dollars a
month; that these men were badly fed, badly clothed, and badly drilled;
and that they were led by a general whose strength and spirits were
impaired by sickness. But with them was a large body of Kentuckians and
other backwoodsmen, skilled in Indian warfare, and eager for the red
foes with whom they had long arrears of mutual injury to bring up; and
the hopes of the settlers rested securely upon these. The Indians were
led by Little Turtle, one of their greatest war chiefs, and at the point
where General Wayne two years later built one of his forts, and called
it Recovery, they surprised St. Clair's troops.

[Illustration: The defeat of St. Clair 107]

It was an easy slaughter. St. Clair was suffering so much with gout that
he could not move from his horse when he was helped to the saddle, and
was wholly unfit to fight. Yet he went undauntedly through the battle;
horse after horse was shot under him, and his clothes were pierced with
nine of the bullets which the Indians rained upon his men from every
tree of the forest. The backwoodsmen had hardly a chance to practice the
Indians' arts against them before the rout began. The cannon which St.
Clair had brought into the wilderness with immense waste of time and
toil, proved useless under the fire that galled the artillerymen. The
weak, undisciplined, and bewildered army was hemmed in on every side,
and the men were shot down as they huddled together or tried to straggle
away, till half their number was left upon the field. Of course none of
the wounded were spared. The Americans were tomahawked and scalped where
they fell; one of the savages told afterwards that he plied his hatchet
until he could hardly lift his arm. All the Ohio tribes shared in the
glory of this greatest victory of their race,--Delawares, Shawnees,
Wyandots, Ottawas, Chippeways, and Pottawottomies. There had been plenty
of game that year; they were all in the vigor and force which St.
Clair's ill-fated army lacked; and they lustily took their fill of

Many stories of the battle were told by those who escaped. Major Jacob
Fowler, of Kentucky, an old hunter, who went with the army as surveyor,
carried his trusty rifle, but he had run short of bullets, the morning
of the fight, which began at daybreak. He was going for a ladle to melt
more lead, when he met a Kentucky rifleman driven in by the savages, and
begged some balls of him. The man had been shot through the wrist, and
he told Fowler to help himself from his pouch. Fowler was pouring out
a double handful, when the man said, "Stop; you had better count them."
Fowler could not help laughing, though it was hardly the time for
gayety. "If we get through this scrape, my dear fellow," said he, "I
will return you twice as many." But they never met again, and Fowler
could only suppose that his cautious friend was soon tomahawked and
scalped with the other wounded. Fowler took to a tree, and shot Indians
till his gunlock got out of order. Then he picked up a rifle which had
been thrown away, and which he found his bullets would fit, and renewed
the fight. It was a very cold November morning, and his fingers became
so stiff that he could not hold the bullets, which he had to keep in his
mouth, and feed into his rifle from it. At one time he was behind a very
small tree, and two Indians fired on him at such close range that he
felt the smoke of their guns and gave himself up for dead. But both had
missed him, and he got away from the battlefield unhurt.

Another Kentuckian, a young ranger named William Kennan, was one of
the first riflemen driven back by the overwhelming force of Indians. He
tried to hide in the tall grass, but found that his only hope was in
his heels. The savages endeavored to cut him off, but he distanced all
except one, who followed him only three yards away. Kennan expected him
every moment his tomahawk at him, and he felt in his belt for his own.
It had slipped from its place, and he found himself wholly unarmed, just
as he came to a tree which the wind had blown down, and which spread
before him a mass of roots and earth eight or nine feet high. He
gathered all his strength, bounded into the air, and cleared it, while a
yell of wonder rose from the baffled Indians behind him. A little later
he came upon General Madison of Kentucky sitting on a log, so spent with
the day's work and loss of blood from a wound, that he could no longer
walk, and waiting for the Indians to come up and kill him. Kennan ran
back and caught a horse which he had seen grazing, put Madison on it,
and walked by his side till they were out of danger. The friendship thus
begun lasted through their lives.

[Illustration: The escape of Kennan 109]

This is one of the few softer lights in the picture whose darker
features we must not fail to look upon. One of the grimmest of them
was the war chief of the Missasagos, Little Turtle, who planned the
surprise, against the advice of all the other chiefs, and who merits
the fame of the awful day. To the Americans who saw him then, he was a
sullen and gloomy giant, who fought with his men throughout the battle,
arrayed in the conspicuous splendor of a great war, chief, with silver
ornaments dangling from his nose and ears. Hardly less terrible than the
figure of this magnificent butcher is that of the Chickasaw warrior who
accompanied the American army, to glut the hate of his nation for the
Northern tribesmen. When the fight began, he said he would not stand for
the Shawnees to shoot him down like a wild pigeon, and he left the ranks
and took to a fallen log, where he fired with unfailing aim. But he
could not be kept from leaving it to scalp the other Indians as he shot
them, and his own turn to be shot and scalped came at last.

The battle ground was covered with a thick slush from the new-fallen
snow, and this made the retreat more exhausting. A poor mother, perhaps
one of the soldiers' or pioneers' wives, staggered along with a baby
in her arms till she fell with it. The ranger McDowell then carried it
awhile for her. When he gave it back, she threw it away in the snow, to
save her own life, and the Indians found it, and took it to Sandusky,
where they brought it up as their own.

Two years after, when a detachment of Wayne's army camped upon the scene
of the carnage, they had to scrape away the heaps of bones and carry
them out of their tents before they could make their beds, and they
buried six hundred skulls on the field. Such is war, and we cannot look
too closely on its hideous face, which is often so alluringly painted
that we forget it is the face of a pitiless demon.


The Indians who had been so well generaled and had fought so ably,
failed as usual to follow up their victory by moving on the American
settlements in force. They kept on harassing the pioneers in small war
parties, but gave the country time to send an army, thoroughly equipped
and thoroughly disciplined, against them. They made a second attack on
the Americans on the old battle ground where General Wayne had built
his Fort Recovery, but they were beaten off with severe loss, though in
their attack they had the aid of many white Canadians and even of some
British officers, or at least of men wearing the uniform of British

By the treaty of 1783 Great Britain agreed to give us the whole West
below a certain line, but when the time came for the surrender, she
refused to yield the forts south of this line. With the bad faith
of wanton power she kept her posts at Oswego, Niagara, Detroit, and
Mackinaw, because we were weak and she was strong; and from these points
her agents abetted the savages in their war upon the American frontiers.
Just before the battle of Fallen Timbers, where Wayne won his victory,
the Lieutenant Governor of Canada marched a force of Canadian militia
and British regulars into the Ohio country, and built a fort on the
Maumee, near the battle ground, which he held until 1796, when Great
Britain at last gave up all the places she had unrightfully kept. The
Indians expected this fort to open its gates to them, when they fled
before Wayne's men, and were astonished and indignant at the behavior of
then-British friends in denying them refuge. This was not from want of
ill will toward the Americans, who taunted them as they passed, and
whom the garrison wished to fire upon for approaching the post in
force. Sharp letters passed between the American general and the British
commandant, but it ended in nothing worse, and our jealous army,
which remained in the neighborhood laying waste the Indian fields and
villages, could not perceive that the British gave any aid or comfort to
the savages.

The battle of Fallen Timbers was fought on the 20th of August, 1794, on
the banks of the Maumee, near a rising ground called Presque Isle, about
two miles south of the present Maumee City, and four miles from the
British Fort Miami. The place was called Fallen Timbers because it was
covered with trees blown down long before in a tornado. These formed a
natural stronghold for the savages, but Wayne had every other advantage,
especially in numbers; he had almost twice as many men, well drilled,
armed, and clothed, while the miserable and disorderly army of St. Clair
had fallen a prey to a far greater force of Indians.

On the morning of the battle, Wayne sent a flag of truce to the united
tribes, offering peace, but he did not wait for its return. He met his
envoy coming back with an evasive answer, and he pushed on to Fallen
Timbers without stopping. As soon as he reached the battlefield, he
ordered his infantry to beat up the covert of the enemy, who were hidden
among the logs, brush, and grass, with the bayonet, and as they rose to
deliver their fire. His order was carried out so thoroughly and promptly
that this charge of nine hundred men began and ended the fight. Two
thousand; Indians, Canadian militia and volunteers fled before them, and
the rout was complete.

[Illustration: St. Clair's Defeat 114]

The affair was so quickly over that there was no time for the incidents
of heroism and suffering which heightened the tragedy of St. Clair's
defeat. At the beginning of the action, General William Henry Harrison,
afterwards President of the United States, but then one of Wayne's aids,
said to him, "General Wayne, I'm afraid you will get into the battle
yourself, and forget to give us the necessary field orders." "Perhaps I
may," said Wayne, "and if I do, recollect the standing order for the day
is, Charge the rascals with the bayonets!" Wayne had got his nickname
of Mad Anthony in the Revolution from his habit of swearing furiously
in battle, and now he called the Indians something more than simply
rascals. We have seen how his men carried out the spirit of his
instructions, and it is told of one of them who got astray from the rest
that he met an Indian alone and gave him the bayonet. At the same time
the Indian gave the American the tomahawk, and they were found dead
together, one with the blade in his breast, the other with the hatchet
in his skull.

A runaway negro who had followed the Kentucky horsemen to the battle,
saw three Indians swimming the river from the shore where the cavalry
were posted, and shot one of them. The other two tried to swim on with
the body. The negro fired again with deadly aim, and the only Indian
left was now in water so shallow that he was dragging the bodies to land
when once more the negro fired and killed his man. Then he ran up to
look at the dead men and found them so like one another that he knew
they must be brothers.

A strange and romantic incident of the campaign, before the battle,
occurred while three American scouts, Wells, McClellan, and Miller, were
ranging the woods to bring in some Indians for Wayne to question. They
came upon a party of three Indians; Wells shot one, and Miller another,
while McClellan, who was very swift of foot, ran down the third. Pursuer
and pursued both stuck in the oozy bottom of a stream, and when Wells
and Miller came up, they were threatening each other with knife and
tomahawk. Miller had been taken captive when a child with one of
his brothers; he had escaped, but this brother had remained with the
savages, and somehow Miller felt that the Indian confronting Mc-Clellan
was his brother. They seized him and washed off his paint; he was white;
he was Miller's brother. They persuaded him, with much trouble at first,
to join Wayne's army, and he fought through the rest of the war on the
American side.

[Illustration: A White Indian 116]

At another time as Wells and a party of his scouts came to the banks of
a stream, they saw on the opposite shore a family of savages who began
to cross the river towards them in a canoe. The scouts, taking them for
Indians, were about to fire on them when Wells suddenly called out that
the first who fired should have a bullet through his own head. He had
recognized the Indians, and he said that when he was a captive in their
tribe, this family had fed and clothed him, and nursed him in sickness,
and treated him as tenderly as one of themselves. The backwoodsmen
joined Wells in talk with his friends, urging them to do what they could
for peace among their people, and left them to paddle away in their
canoe unharmed.

Wells had been the adoptive son of Little Turtle, who led the Indians at
St. Clair's defeat, and he had fought on the side of the savages in that
battle. But after it was over he foresaw that the war must end in favor
of the white men, and he decided to abandon his wild brethren. He spoke
first with Little Turtle as they were walking in the woods together and
warned him in words that a real Indian might have used. "When the sun
reaches the meridian, I leave you for the whites; and whenever you meet
me in battle you must try to kill me, as I shall try to kill you."

But the real Indians had not Wells's forecast, and they continued the
war till they were beaten by Wayne, in whose army Little Turtle might
have found his adoptive son. Little Turtle was himself one of the last
chiefs to yield, but he came in with the rest at Greenville, and one
year after the battle of Fallen Timbers signed the treaty by which
ninety chiefs and the deputies of twelve tribes gave up the Ohio River
as the Indian border, and ceded half the Ohio lands to the United

Little Turtle, or Moshokonoghua, as he was called in the tongue of his
nation, the Miamis, lived for thirty years after signing the treaty, and
then died of gout at Fort Wayne. He traveled through the Eastern States
in the first years of the peace, and gave people there a different
impression from that received by those who knew him before the defeat of
St. Clair, and saw him leading the victors in that battle. He struck all
who met him as a man of intelligence and wit; he got the habit of high
living and bore himself like the gentlemen whose company he loved to
frequent. At Philadelphia the famous Polish exile and patriot Kosciusko
gave him his pistols and bade him shoot dead with them any man who
attempted to rob him of his country.

His business in the East was to interest people in the civilization
of his tribe, but he had no purpose of living among the whites. In
Philadelphia, he said, "When I walk through the streets I see every
person in his shop employed about something: one makes shoes, another
pots, a third sells cloth. I say to myself, which of these things can
you do? Not one. I can make a bow or an arrow, catch fish, kill game,
and go to war; but none of these things is of any use here. To learn
what is done here would require a long time. Old age comes on. I should
be a useless piece of furniture, useless to my nation, useless to
myself. I must go back to my own country."

This was what he did, and as long as he lived he was steadfast for
peace, for he remembered that it would be foolish for the Indians to
fight the Americans, and Little Turtle was not a fool. Even before the
battle of the Fallen Timbers, he urged his people to treat with Wayne
rather than fight. "We have beaten the enemy twice under separate
commanders," he said, referring to Har-mar and St. Clair. "The Americans
are now led by a chief who never stops; the night and the day are alike
to him. And during all the time that he has been marching upon your
villages, notwithstanding the watchfulness of our young men, we have
never been able to surprise him. Think well of it. There is something
which whispers to me that it will be prudent to listen to his offers of


In the long war with the Indians, the great battles were nearly all
fought within the region that afterwards became our state, and the
smaller battles went on there pretty constantly. The first force on
the scale of an army sent against the Ohio tribes was that of Colonel
Bouquet in 1766; but, as we have seen, the chief object of this was
to treat for the return of their white captives. In 1774 Lord Dunmore
marched with three thousand Virginians to destroy the Indian towns on
the Scioto in Pickaway County. He cannot be said to have led his men,
who believed in neither his courage nor his good faith, and who thought
that he was more anxious to treat with the savages for the advantage
of England in the Revolutionary War, which he knew was coming, than to
attack their capital. This was that Old Chillicothe, which has been so
often mentioned before, and here Dunmore made peace with the Indians,
instead of punishing them, as the backwoodsmen expected. The feeling
among them was so bitter that one of them fired through Dunmore's tent
where he sat with two chiefs, hoping to kill all three. He missed, but
he easily escaped among his comrades, who looked upon Dunmore as an
enemy of their country and a traitor to their cause.

Their spirit, both lawless and fearless, was the spirit of that race of
Indian Fighters, as they were called, which grew up on the border in
the war ending with Wayne's victory. It led them into countless acts of
daring and into many acts of cruelty, and the story of their adventures
is too bloody to be fully told. But unless something of it is told we
cannot have a true notion of what the life of our backwoodsmen was.
We have seen what they could do when they were at their worst in the
Gnadenhutten massacre; but we cannot understand them unless we realize
that they not only held all life cheap, but held the life of an Indian
no dearer than that of a wolf.

Belmont County was the scene of two exploits of Lewis Wetzel, perhaps
the most famous of these Indian fighters. One day he went home with a
young man whom he met while hunting, and they found the cabin burnt and
the whole family murdered except a girl who had lived with them, and
whom the young man was in love with. They started on the trail of
the Indians who had done the cruel deed, and came up with them after
nightfall sleeping round their camp-fire. The girl was awake, crying
and lamenting, and Wetzel had great ado to keep her lover from firing at
once upon the Indians. But he made him wait for daylight, so that they
could be sure of their aim; and then at the first light of dawn, they
each chose his mark and fired. Each killed his Indian, but two others
escaped into the woods, while the lover rushed, knife in hand, to free
the girl. Wetzel made after the Indians, firing into the air to draw
them out of their concealment. Then he turned, loading as he ran, and
wheeled about and shot the Indian nearest him. He fled again, dodging
from tree to tree till his gun was reloaded, when he shot the last
Indian left. He took their scalps, and got home with the girl and her
lover unhurt.

In 1782, together with one of Crawford's men, he fell in with a party
of forty Indians about two miles from St. Clairsville. Both sides
fired; Wetzel killed one of the Indians, but his friend was wounded and
promptly scalped, while four of the Indians followed Wetzel. He turned,
shot the foremost, and ran on, loading his rifle. The next was so close
upon him that when Wetzel turned again, the Indian caught the muzzle
of his gun. After a fearful struggle Wetzel got it against the Indian's
breast, pulled the trigger, and killed him. The remaining two followed
him a mile farther, and then Wetzel shot one of them as he was crossing
a piece of open ground. The last left of the Indians stopped with a
yell, and Wetzel heard him say as he turned back, "No catch that man;
gun always loaded."

Wetzel had fought Indians nearly all his life. When he was a boy of
fourteen they attacked his father's cabin in Virginia, and Wetzel
was wounded before he was taken prisoner, with a younger brother, and
carried into the Ohio wilderness. One night the Indians forgot to tie
their captives, and the two boys escaped. Lewis returned to the camp,
after they had stolen away, for a pair of moccasins, and again for his
father's rifle, which the Indians had carried off. They followed the
boys, but the young Wetzels got safely back to the Ohio, and crossed the
river on a raft which they made of logs.

[Illustration: Wetzel, Indian Fighter 122]

In 1786 the settlers of Wheeling, who had been troubled by Indians,
offered a purse of a hundred dollars to the man who should first bring
in a scalp. A party crossed the Ohio, but after some days turned back,
leaving Wetzel alone in the woods, where he roamed about looking for
Indians. The second morning he came upon one sleeping, and drove his
knife through his heart. Then he went home with his scalp, and got the

One of the tricks of the savages was to imitate the cry, or call, of the
wild turkey and then to shoot the hunter who came looking for the bird.
Wetzel was one day in the woods when this call came to his ear from the
mouth of a cave, a place where several whites had been found scalped.
He watched till the feathered tuft of an Indiana head appeared from
the cave. The call of the wild turkey sounded, and at the same time the
sharp crack of Wetzel's rifle noted the Indian's death.

It was Wetzel's habit in the autumn to go on a long hunt into the Ohio
country. Once he went as far as the Muskingum, some ninety miles from
Wheeling, when he came on a camp of four Indians. He crept upon them
with no weapon but his knife, which he drove through the skulls of two
as they lay asleep. The two others struggled to their feet stupefied;
Wetzel killed one of them, but the fourth escaped in the shadow of the
woods. When Wetzel returned and was asked what his luck in hunting had
been, he said, "Not much; I treed four Indians, but one got away."

These were acts of war, but they were very like mere murders, and one
of Wetzel's exploits could hardly be called anything but murder. General
Har-mar in 1779 had invited the Indians to come and make peace with him
in the fort near where Marietta now stands. Wetzel and another Indian
fighter lay in wait for the envoys who passed from the tribes to the
general, and in pure wantonness, shot one. He then took refuge with his
friends at Mingo Bottom, where the officer sent by Harmar to arrest
him, dared not even attempt it. Wetzel was the hero and darling of the
border, where the notion of punishing a man for shooting an Indian was
laughed at. But after a while he was taken, and lodged, heavily ironed,
in the fort. He sent for the general and asked him to give him up, with
a tomahawk, to a large band of armed Indians present, and let him fight
for his life with them. Of course Harmar could not do this, but Wetzel
won upon him so far that the general had his fetters removed, leaving
only the manacles on his wrists, and allowed him to walk about outside
the fort. He made a sudden dash for the woods; the guards fired upon
him, but Wetzel got safely away; and at a distant point he reached the
Ohio. He could not swim, with his hands in irons, but by good luck he
saw a friend on the Virginia shore, who came in answer to his signs and
set him over in his canoe. Later the soldiers found him in a tavern
at Marysville, and arrested him again. He was taken to the fort at
Cincinnati, where Harmar was now in command, but he was released by a
judge of the court just in time to save the fort from an attack by
the backwoodsmen, who were furious that Wetzel should be so persecuted
simply for killing an Indian.

One of the stories told of Wetzel's skill in Indian warfare relates to
an adventure he had after his escape from hanging by the soldiers. He
was coming home at the end of a hunt in the Ohio woods when he saw an
Indian lifting up his gun to fire. Each sprang behind a tree, and each
waited patiently for the other to expose himself. At last Wetzel put his
bearskin cap on his ramrod, and pushed it a little beyond the edge of
his shelter. The Indian took it for his enemy's head and fired. Before
he could load again Wetzel was upon him, and his end had come.

It is not easy for us at this day to understand how a man so
blood-stained as this should be by no means the worst man of the border.
Wetzel is said to have been even exemplary in his life apart from his
Indian killing, which, indeed, was accounted no wrong, but rather a
virtue by his savage white friends. In person he might well take their
rude fancy. He was tall, full-chested, and broad-shouldered; his dark
face was deeply pitted with smallpox; his hair, which he was very proud
of, fell to his knees when loose; his black eyes, when he was roused,
shone with dangerous fire. He was silent and shy with strangers, but the
life of any party of comrades. It is not certainly known how or where he
died. Some say that he went South, and ended his stormy life quietly at
Natchez; others that he went West, and remained a woodsman to the last,
hunting wild beasts and killing wild men.

[Illustration: Bearskin Cap on a Ramrod 125]

Lewis Wetzel had two brothers only less famous than himself in the
backwoods warfare, and more than once Indian fighting seems to have run
in families. Adam Poe and Andrew Poe were brothers whose names have
come down in the story of deadly combats with the savages. They are most
renowned for their heroic struggle with a party of seven Wyandots near
the mouth of Little Yellow Creek, in 1782. The Wyandots, led by a great
warrior named Big Foot, had fallen suddenly on a settlement just below
Fort Pitt, killed one old man in his cabin, and begun their retreat with
what booty they could gather. Eight borderers, the two Poes among them,
followed in hot haste across the river into the Ohio country, where the
next morning Andrew Poe came suddenly on Big Foot and a small warrior
talking together by their raft at the water's edge. They stood with
their guns cocked, and Poe aimed at Big Foot; but his piece missed fire.
The Indians turned at the click of the lock, and Poe, who was too close
to them for any chance of escape, leaped upon them both and threw them
to the ground together. The little warrior freed himself, and got his
tomahawk from the raft to brain Poe, whom he left in deadly clutch with
Big Foot. Twice he struck, but Poe managed each time, by twisting and
dodging, to keep his head away from the hatchet, and as the warrior
struck the third time, Poe, though badly hurt on the arm by one of
his blows, wrenched himself free from Big Foot, caught up one of the
Indians' guns, and shot the little warrior through the breast. Then
Big Foot seized him again, and they floundered together into the water,
where each tried to drown the other. Poe held Big Foot under the water
so long that he thought he must be dead, but the moment he loosed his
hold upon his scalp lock, the Wyandot renewed the fight. They presently
found themselves in water beyond their depths, and let go to swim for
their lives. The Indian reached the shore first, and got hold of one of
the guns to shoot Poe, but luckily for Poe it was the gun he had fired
in killing the little warrior.

Adam had heard the shot, and he now came hurrying up. His gun was empty,
too, and it was a question Whether he or Big Foot should load first: he
shot the Indian as he was lifting his gun to fire. But Big Foot was
not killed, and Andrew shouted to Adam not to mind him, but to keep the
Indian from rolling himself into the water. Big Foot was too quick for
them: he got into the current, which whirled him away, and so saved his
scalp in death. About the same time another of the party who came up
took Andrew Poe for an Indian and shot him in the shoulder. Poe got
well of his wounds and lived for many years, proud of his fight with Big
Foot, who was a generous foe, and had often befriended white captives
among his tribe.

It is told of Adam Poe that five Indians, all rather drunk, once came to
his cabin, and tried to force the door open. He sent his wife with the
children out into the cornfield behind the house, remarking, "There is a
fight and fun ahead," but when he saw the state the Indians were in, he
did not fire at them. He fell upon them with his fists, knocked them all
down, and then threw them one after another over the fence, and the fun
was ended.

One of the hunters detailed from Wayne's command to supply the officers
with game while the army lay at Greenville in 1793 was the Indian
fighter, Josiah Hunt, who died a peaceful Methodist many years
afterwards. When he passed a winter in the woods he had to build a fire
to keep from freezing, and yet guard against letting the slightest gleam
of light be seen by a prowling foe. So he dug a hole six or seven inches
deep with his tomahawk, filled it with the soft lining of dead oak bark,
and with his flint started a fire. He left two holes at the edges to
breathe the flame; then covered the pit with earth, spread brush over
it, and seated himself on the heap, with his blanket drawn over his
head, and dozed through the night. The Indians had a great honor and
admiration for him, and when they came to make peace at Greenville,
after Fallen Timbers, they all wanted to see Captain Hunt. "Great man,
Captain Hunt," they said. "Great warrior--good hunting man-Indian no can
kill," and they told him they had tried to find out the secret of his
fire, and catch him off his guard so that they could get his scalp,
which they felt would have been the highest distinction they could have
achieved, next to getting General Wayne's scalp. He was indeed both
hunted and hunter. He never fired at a deer without first putting a
bullet in his mouth to reload for an Indian, who might be about to fire
on him. When he skinned a deer, he planted his back against a tree, and
stood his rifle by his side; from time to time he stopped and
listened for the slightest noise that hinted danger. His life had its
disappointments as well as its perils. Once he saw three Indians whom he
might easily have killed at one shot if he could have got them in range,
but they persisted in walking Indian file. If he fired and killed only
one, the other two would have killed him; so he was obliged to let them
all go. Captain Hunt was a quiet, modest man, very frank and sincere,
and seems never to have boasted of his exploits; we have no means of
knowing whether he was glad or sorry that those Indians got away in
safety. Probably he was not very glad; for though the fighters on both
sides could admire, they could never spare one another.

The Indian fighters were commoner in the southern and eastern parts of
Ohio than in the north, but there was at least one whose chief exploit
had the north for its scene. Captain Samuel Brady, in 1780, gathered a
number of his neighbors and pursued a retreating war party of Indians
from the Ohio as far as the Cuyahoga, near Ravenna. Here he found that
the savages far outnumbered his force, and he decided that it would be
better for him to retreat in his turn, and he bade each of his men look
out for himself. He discovered that the Indians were pressing him hard
with the purpose of taking him alive and glutting many an old grudge
against him by torture. But he knew his ground, for he had often hunted
there with them in friendlier days, and he saw a chance for his life at
a point where another man would have despaired. This was where the river
narrowed to a gorge twenty feet wide, with walls of precipitous rock. As
he neared this chasm in his flight, Brady gathered himself for the
leap and cleared it. He caught at some low bushes where he alighted and
pulled himself up the steep, while the Indians stood stupefied. They had
now no hope of taking him alive, and they all fired upon him. One bullet
wounded him badly in the hip, but he managed to swim a pond which he
came to, and to hide himself behind a log near the shore. When the
Indians came up and saw the blood on its surface, they decided that he
was drowned, and gave up the chase. Some of them stood on the very log
that hid him while they talked over his probable fate, and then they
left him to make his long way home unmolested.

Duncan McArthur, an early governor of Ohio, though not an Indian fighter
like these others, was in many fights with the Indians. In the summer of
1794 he was hunting deer in the hills near the mouth of the Scioto, when
two Indians fully armed came in sight. McArthur was waiting for the deer
behind a screen or blind near the salt lick which they frequented, and
he took aim at one of the Indians and shot him. The other did not stir
till McArthur broke from his covert and ran. He plunged heedlessly into
the top of a fallen tree, and before he could disentangle himself, he
heard the crack of the Indian's rifle, and the bullet hissed close
to his ear. He freed himself and ran, followed now by several other
Indians, but he managed to distance them all and reached the Ohio River
in safety.

It was war to the death between the red and white borderers. Neither
spared the other, except in some rare mood of caprice or pity. A life
granted on either side meant perhaps many lives lost, and the foes vied
with one another in being the first to shed the blood which seems, as
you read their savage annals, to stain every acre of the beautiful Ohio


The Indians seem to have kept on carrying the whites into captivity,
to the very end of the war, which closed with the Greenville treaty
of 1795. As they had always done, they adopted some of them into their
tribes and devoted others to torture. Nothing more clearly shows how
little they realized that their power was coming to an end, and that
they could no longer live their old life, or follow their immemorial

The first captive in Ohio, of whom there is any record, was Mary Harris;
she had been stolen from her home in New England when a child, by the
French Indians, and was found at White Woman Creek in Coshocton County,
about the year 1750. When the last captive was taken is not certainly
known, but two white boys were captured so late as 1791, and one of
these was adopted by the Delawares in Auglaize County. His name was
Brickell, and he was carried off from the neighborhood of Pittsburg when
nine years old. He wrote a narrative of his life among the Indians, and
gave an account of his parting with them which is very touching. After
the first exchange of prisoners Brickell was left because there was
no Indian among the whites to exchange for him, but later his adoptive
father went with him to Fort Defiance, and gave him up. Brickell had
hunted with the rest of the children, and shared in all their sports and
pleasures, and they now clung about him crying, when their father told
them he must go with him to the fort. They asked him if he was going to
leave them, and he could only answer that he did not know. At the
fort, his Indian father, Whingy Pooshies, bade him stand up before the
officers, and then spoke to him.

"My son, these are men the same color as yourself, and some of your kin
may be here, or they may be a great way off. You have lived a long time
with us. I call on you to say if I have not been a father to you, if I
have not used you as a father would a son."

"You have used me as well as a father could use a son," said Brickell.

"I am glad you say so," Whingy Pooshies returned. "You have lived long
with me; you have hunted for me; but your treaty says you must be free.
If you choose to go with the people of your own color, I have no right
to say a word; if you choose to stay with me, your people have no right
to speak. Now reflect on it, and take your choice, and tell us as soon
as you make up your mind."

Brickell says that he thought of the children he had left crying, and of
all the Indians whom he loved; but he remembered his own people at last,
and he answered, "I will go with my kin."

Then Whingy Pooshies said, "I have reared you; I have taught you to
hunt; you are a good hunter; you are better to me than my own sons. I am
now getting old and I cannot hunt. I thought you would be a support to
my old age. I leaned on you as on a staff. Now it is broken; you are
going to leave me; and I have no right to say a word, but I am ruined."

[Illustration: Brickell leaves his Indian Father 133]

He sank into his seat, weeping, and Brickell wept too; then they parted
and never saw each other again.

One of the later captivities was that of Israel Donolson, who has told
the story himself. The night before he was captured, he says that he
dreamed of Indians, and took it as a sign of coming trouble; but in
the morning, the 22d of April, 1791, he went prospecting for land with
another young surveyor, named Lytte, and a friend named Tittle. They
worked together along the Ohio River in Adams County till they came
to one of the ancient works of the Mound Builders. The surveyors were
joking Tittle, and telling him what a fine place that would be for him
to build his house, when they saw a party of Frenchmen in two canoes.
The Frenchmen turned out to be Indians, who landed and instantly gave
chase to the white men. Donolson tripped and fell, and three warriors
were quickly upon him. He offered no resistance; they helped him up,
and had leisure to secure him in full sight of the blockhouse on the
Kentucky shore, where they could all see men moving about, but Donolson
could not call to them for help. His captors pushed off with him
northward. The next morning it rained, and one of the Indians took
Donolson's hat; he complained to a large warrior, who gave him a blanket
cap, and helped him through the swollen streams. When they killed a
bear, and wanted to make their captive carry the meat, he flung it down;
and then his big friend carried it for him.

One day an Indian, while they were resting, built a little fence of
sticks, and planted some grains of corn inside of it, saying, "Squaw!"
as a hint to Donolson that he should be put to work with the women. When
they got to the Shawnee camp, they dressed his hair in Indian fashion,
and put a tin jewel in his nose, and upon the whole they treated him
kindly enough. But almost every day he saw war parties setting off
for Kentucky, or coming back with scalps and horses, and he was always
watching for a chance to escape. One night he encamped with two guards
who had bound him as usual with a rope of bark. He gnawed at it all
night long, and just at daybreak he freed himself. After his first dash
he stopped to put on his moccasins, and knew that he was missed, by the
terrific yells that the Indians were giving. He ran on, and to hide his
trail kept as much as he could on fallen trees. At ten o'clock he hid
between two logs and slept till dark; then he started again, and passed
that night in a hollow tree. The day following he came to the Miami
River, and tried to drift down its current on a raft which he made of
logs tied together with bark, but he was soon forced to the shore again.
He broke his long fast on two eggs he found in a wild turkey's nest;
they proved to have each two yolks, and he made them last for two days.
In the woods he caught a horse and tried to ride it with a bark halter;
but the halter rubbed a sore on its lip, and the horse threw him, and
hurt him so badly that he lay insensible for a time; then he rose up
and pressed on, but very slowly, for his feet were full of thorns. The
twelfth day after his capture he heard the sound of an ax, and found
himself in the neighborhood of Fort Washington, or Cincinnati.

In 1793, the year before Wayne's victory, Andrew Ellison was taken
by the Indians in a clearing near his cabin in Adams County, and was
hurried off before his family knew that anything had happened. They
roused the neighborhood, and the Indians were hotly pursued, but they
got away with their prisoner, and made swiftly off to Upper Sandusky,
where they forced him to run the gantlet. He was a heavy man, not fleet
of foot, and he was terribly beaten; but he got through alive, and at
Detroit a British officer ransomed him for a hundred dollars. By that
time prisoners must have been getting cheap: it was perhaps more and
more difficult to hold them.

Two boys, John Johnson, thirteen years old, and Henry Johnson, eleven,
were captured in 1788 near their home at Beach Bottom in Monroe County.
They were cracking nuts in the woods, and when the Indians came upon
them the boys thought that they were two of their neighbors. They were
seized and hurried away, one Indian going before and one following the
boys, who told them their father treated them badly, and tried to make
their captors believe they were glad to be leaving home. The Indians
spent the day in a vain attempt to steal horses, and stopped to pass
the night only four miles from the place where they had taken the boys.
After supper they lay down with the prisoners between them, and when
they supposed the boys were asleep one of the Indians went and stretched
himself on the other side of the fire. Presently he began snoring, and
John rose, cocked one of the guns, and left it with Henry aimed at this
Indian's head, while he took his station with a tomahawk held over the
head of the other. Henry fired and John struck at the same time; neither
Indian was killed at once, but both were too badly hurt to prevent the
boys' escape, and the brothers found their way to the settlement by
daybreak. The neighbors who returned to their camp with them found the
body of the Indian who had been tomahawked, but the other had vanished.
Years afterwards a skeleton with a gun was discovered in the woods,
where he must have crept after he was shot.

In the autumn of 1792 Samuel Davis and William Campbell set out from
Massie's Station, now Manchester, to trap beaver on the Big Sandy. One
night as they lay asleep beside their camp fire they were roused by a
voice saying in broken English, "Come, come; get up, get up!" and they
woke to find themselves in the clutches of a large party of Indians
returning from a raid into Virginia. The Indians bound their captives
and started, driving before them a herd of stolen horses. They crossed
the Ohio country, and pushed on toward Sandusky, for they were Shawnees.
At night they tied each prisoner with buffalo thongs and made these fast
to the waist of two Indians, who lay down one on either side of him, and
quieted him with blows if he became restive. At daylight the captives
were untied, but they were warned that they would be instantly killed
if they attempted to escape. Davis was in dread of being burned at
Sandusky, and as the Indians, encumbered with their booty, made only
ten or twelve miles a day, the terror had full time to grow upon him. At
last one morning just before dawn he woke one of the Indians beside
him and asked to be untied; he was answered with a blow of the savage's
fist. He waited a moment, and then woke the other guard, who lifted his
head, and seeing some of his people building a fire, released Davis.

It was still too dark for any of them to get a good shot at him if he
made a dash from their midst, and Davis decided to try for life and
liberty. He knocked a large warrior before him into the fire, bounded
over him, burst through the group around him, and before they could
seize their rifles, which were all stacked together, he had vanished in
the shadows of the forest. They followed him, whooping and yelling, but
none could draw a bead on him, and not a shot was fired. One Indian
was so near that Davis fancied he felt his grasp at times, but he fell
behind, and Davis kept on. When he had distanced them all, he stopped
to tear up his waistcoat, and wrap his feet, naked and bleeding from the
sharp stones which had cut them in his wild flight, and then hurried
on toward the Ohio. Three days without food or fire, in the cold of the
early winter, passed before he reached the river, eight or ten miles
below the mouth of the Scioto. He then saw a large boat coming down the
stream, but his troubles did not end with this joyful sight. One of
the dreadful facts of the dreadful time was the frequent deception of
boatmen by Indians and renegades who pretended to be escaping prisoners,
and who lured them to their destruction by piteous appeals for help. The
boatmen now refused to land for Davis; they told him they had heard
too many stories like his, and they kept on down the stream, while he
followed wearily along the shore. At last he entreated them to row in
a little nearer, so that he could swim out to them. They consented to
this, and he plunged into the icy water, and was taken on board just as
his strength was spent.

In 1782, John Alder, then a child of eight years, was captured in Wythe
County, Virginia, by a party of Min-goes, who at the same time wounded
and killed his brother. They already had two prisoners, Mrs. Martin, the
wife of a neighbor, and her little one four or five years old: it proved
troublesome, on their rapid march across the Ohio country to their
village on Mad River, and they tomahawked and scalped it. The next
morning little Alder was somewhat slow in rising from his breakfast
when bidden, and on the ground he saw the shadow of an arm with a lifted
tomahawk. He glanced upward and found an Indian standing over him,
who presently began to feel of Alder's thick black hair. He afterwards
confessed that he had been about to kill him, but when he met his
pleasant smile he could not strike, and then he thought that a boy with
hair of that color would make a good Indian, and so spared him.

At the Mingo village Alder was made to run the gantlet between lines of
children armed with switches, but he was not much hurt, and he was now
taken into the tribe. He was given to a Mingo family, and the mother
washed him and dressed him in the Indian costume. They were kind to
him, but for a month he was very homesick, and used to go every day to a
large walnut tree near the town and cry for the friends and home he had
lost. After he had learned the Mingo language he began in time to be
more contented. He had no complaint to make of any of the family, except
one sister, who despised him as a prisoner, and treated him like a
slave. Another sister and her husband were his special friends, and he
relates that when he used to sit up with the Indians round their camp
fire, listening to their stories, he would sometimes drowse; then this
gentle sister and her husband would take him up in their arms and carry
him to bed, and he would hear them saying, "Poor fellow! We have sat up
too long for him, and he has fallen asleep on the cold ground."

About a year after he was adopted, Alder met that poor mother, whose
little one the Indians had cruelly murdered before her eyes. "When she
saw me, she came smiling, and asked if it was me. I told her it was. She
asked me how I had been. I told her I had been very unwell, for I had
had fever and ague for a long time. So she took me off to a log, and
there we sat down; and she combed my head, and asked a great many
questions about how I lived, and if I didn't want to see my mother and
little brothers. I told her I should be glad to see them, but never
expected to see them again. We took many a cry together, and when we
parted, took our last and final farewell, for I never saw her again."

Alder always remained delicate, and could not thrive on the Indians'
fare of meat and hominy, with no bread or salt; of sugar and honey there
was plenty; but he missed the things he was used to at home. When he
grew older he was given a gun, and sent hunting, and whenever he came
back with game the Indians praised his skill and promised him he should
be a great hunter some day. He continued with them until the peace of
1795, which followed Wayne's victory, and even then he stayed for a time
in the region where he had dwelt so long. He had married a squaw,
and had become a complete Indian, so that the first settlers in his
neighborhood had to teach him to speak English. But he did not live
happily with his Indian wife; they agreed to part, and then Alder
thought of going back to his own people. He reached the house of one of
his brothers in the neighborhood of his old home, one Sunday afternoon,
and found several of his brothers and sisters there, and his mother with
them. They could scarcely be persuaded that it was their son and brother
come back to them, and he had to tell them of some things that no one
else could know before they would believe him. His old, white-haired
mother whom he remembered in her youth with a "head as black as a crow,"
was the first to take him in her arms, and she said, as she wept over
him, "How you have grown! I dreamed that you had come to see me, but
you was a little _ornary_-looking fellow, and I would not own you for my
son; but now I find I was mistaken, that it is entirely the reverse, and
I am proud to own you for my son."

[Illustration: Alder returns to his Family 141]

In 1792, Moses Hewit was taken near Neil's Station, on the Little
Kanawha, by three Indians, who at once pushed off with him towards
Sandusky. They used him very kindly, and shared fully with him the wild
honey which they found in the bee trees, and invited him to take part in
their foot races and other sports. He found that he could outrun two of
them, and he resolved to try for his liberty, though he kept a cheerful
outside with them, and seemed contented with his lot. One day they left
him tied hand and foot and fastened to two small trees while they went
on a hunt, but he contrived to free himself, and made his escape with
their whole stock of provisions, two small pieces of venison. He struck
out for the settlements on the Muskingum, and the first night his
captors passed so near him in pursuit that he might have touched them
in the darkness. Nine days later he came in sight of a station on the
Muskingum, so spent with hunger and fatigue that he could not halloo to
the garrison. He had nothing on his wasted and bleeding body, which was
all torn by briers and brushwood, except a cloth about his loins, and
he was afraid of being mistaken and shot for an Indian. He waited till
nightfall and then crept to the station, where his presence was unknown
till a young man of his acquaintance caught sight of his face in the
firelight, and called out, "Here is 'Hewit!"

Captain Charles Builderback and his wife were surprised by a party of
Indians while they were looking for cattle in the Ohio country, near
Wheeling, in 1789. Mrs. Builderback hid herself, but the Indians had
captured her husband, and now they forced him to call out to her. She
hesitated to answer, thinking of the children they had left at home in
the cabin which she could see across the river, and knowing how useless
it would be to give herself up. But he called again, saying that if she
surrendered, it might save his life. Then she showed herself, and
was seized and hurried away by one band of savages, while her husband
remained with the others. A few days later these came up and showed her
his scalp: he was one of the assassins of the Gnadenhiitten Indians,
and he was doomed as soon as they knew his name. She was taken to their
towns on the Great Miami, where she lived nine months, drudging with the
squaws and suffering from the rude and filthy life of the savages, but
not ill-treated. Then the commandant at Cincinnati ransomed her and sent
her home to her two orphan children.

So lately as 1812 two little girls were stolen from their fathers'
houses in Preble County by the Indians. They could not be traced, but
twenty-five years later, one of them, named Parker, was found living
with her savage husband in Indiana. She refused then to go home with her
father, saying coldly that she should be ridiculed there for her Indian


The Ohio Indians were of almost as mixed origin as the white people
of Ohio, and if they had qualities beyond those of any other group of
American savages, it was from much the same causes which have given the
Ohioans of our day distinction as citizens. They made the Ohio country
their home by a series of chances, and they defended it against the
French, the English, and Americans in turn, because it had bounds which
seemed to form the natural frontier between them and the Europeans.

It is now believed that before the coming of our race there was a
balance of power between those two great North American nations, the
Iroquois and the Algonquins, and that our wars and intrigues destroyed
this balance, which was never restored, and put an end to all hope of
advance in the native race. Whether this is true or not, it is certain
that the hostilities between the tribes raged down to our day, and
that these seem to have continued if not begun through one family, the
Algonquins, siding with the French, and the other family, the Iroquois,
siding with the English. The Algonquins were most powerful in New
England and Canada, and the Iroquois in New York. Their struggle ended
in the overthrow of the Algonquins in the regions bordering on the
English colonies, where, as has been told, a great branch of that
people who called themselves the Lenni-lenape, and whom we called the
Delawares, dwelt in a sort of vassalage to the Iroquois.

In Ohio, however, these families, so long broken elsewhere by their
feuds, united in a common fear and hate of the white men. Many of the
Ohio Indians were Delawares, but the Miamis were Iroquois, while the
Wyandots again were Hurons, one of the finest and ablest of the Iroquois
nation. They ceased to make war upon each other, and in their union the
strongest traits of both were blended. Their character appears at its'
best, I think, in Tecaughretanego, the adoptive brother of James Smith,
and in the great Mingo chief, Logan.

Of Tecaughretanego, his unselfishness, his piety, his common sense, his
wisdom, we already know something from Smith's narrative, which I wish
every boy and girl might read; and of Logan's noble spirit we have had
a glimpse in the story of Kenton's captivity. He was the son of
Shikellimy, a Cayuga chief who lived at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, and who
named him after James Logan, the Secretary of the Province. Shikellimy
was a convert of the Moravian preachers, and it is thought that Logan
himself was baptized in the Christian faith. He spent the greater
portion of his early life in Pennsylvania, and he took no part in the
war between the French and English, except to do what he could for
peace. When he came to Ohio, he dwelt for a time at Mingo Bottom in
Jefferson County, the rendezvous of the assassins who marched against
Gnadenhiitten under Williamson, and of the assassins who were beaten
back from Sandusky under Crawford. Here, as before, Logan was the friend
of the white man, and it was not till the murder of his father, brother,
and sister, cried to him for vengeance, that he made war upon them.

His kindred were of a small party of Indians whom some Virginians lured
across the Ohio near the mouth of Yellow Creek in 1774. On the Virginia
side the murderers made three of the Indians drunk and tomahawked them,
and when they had tricked the others into discharging their guns at
a mark, and so had them defenseless, they ruthlessly shot them down.
Logan's sister, who was the only woman in the party, tried to escape,
but a bullet cut short her flight, and she died praying her murderers to
have mercy on the babe she held in her arms. They spared it, and he
who tells the cruel tale saw it the next day in his own mother's arms
smiling up into her face, while she fed and fondled it.

The news came to Logan while he was speaking at a council of the
Indians, and urging them to make peace with the whites. He instantly
changed his plea; he lifted up his hatchet, and yowed never to lay it
down till he had avenged himself tenfold. He kept his word, and that
summer thirty scalps and prisoners bore witness to his fury.

But it was a short-lived impulse of a nature essentially so good that it
could not long keep the memory of even such an injury. In this very war,
or this out-Durst of the long Indian war, Logan showed himself as before
the friend of the white men. He had pity on many of the captives he
made, and when he could he tried to move other captors to pity. Major
William Robinson, who was one of Logan's prisoners, tells how he was
surprised, together with two friends, by a party of Indians who fired on
them. Robinson ran with a savage in hot chase behind him, who called
to him in English, "Stop; I won't hurt you." "Yes, you will," Robinson
retorted. "No, I won't," the Indian insisted; "but if you don't stop,
I'll shoot you." Robinson fell over a log, and the Indian seized him.
It was Logan, who told him not to be frightened for he should be adopted
into his own tribe when they reached his village. There he was made to
run the gantlet, but Logan instructed him how to manage so that he
got through without harm. Robinson was then tied to the stake and the
Indians prepared to burn him. It was the summer after the murder of
Logan's kindred, and they had already whipped one Virginian to death
merely because his brother was present at the massacre. They could not
forgive, but Logan rose before the council and pleaded with all his
eloquence for Robinson's life. Three times the captive was untied
from the stake, and three times tied to it again before Logan's words
prevailed. At last the great chief was allowed to lay the belt of wampum
on the prisoner for a sign that he was adopted. Then he gave him in
charge to a young Indian, saying, "This is your cousin; you are to go
home with him, and he will take care of you."

But still the sense of his wrong, and the hunger for revenge, gnawed at
Logan's heart, and one day he came to Robinson with a piece of paper
and bade him write a letter for him. He said he meant to leave it in
the cabin of a white man which he was going, to attack, and it was
afterwards found there tied to a war club. He made Robinson write
it several times before he thought the words strong enough. It was
addressed to the man whom Logan thought guilty of the death of his
kindred, but who was afterwards known to have been not even present at
their murder.

     "Captain Cresap: What did you kill my people on
     Yellow Creek for? The white people killed my kin at
     Conestoga, a great while ago, and I thought nothing
     of that. But you killed my kin again on Yellow Creek,
     and took my cousin prisoner. Then I thought I must
     kill, too. I have been three times to war since then;
     but the Indians are not angry; only myself.

     "July 21, 1774.

     "Captain John Logan."

Both the matter and the language of this letter are so like those of
Logan's famous speech, that it is clear he must often have thought his
wrongs over in the same terms, brooding upon them with an aching
heart, but not with hate so much as grief. The speech was made at the
Chillicothe town where Lord Dunmore treated with the Ohio tribes for
peace in the August after Logan had written his letter, but it was not
spoken in the council. Logan held aloof from the council, and Dunmore
sent to his cabin for him. It is said by some that his messenger was
the great renegade Simon Girty, who had not yet turned against his own
people, and was then, with his friend Simon Kenton, a scout in Dunmore's
service. Others say that the messenger was a young man named Gibson, but
whoever he was, Logan met him at the door, and coming out into the woods
sat down under a tree which was long known as Logan's Elm. Here, with a
burst of tears, he told the story of his wrongs in language which cannot
be forgotten as long as men have hearts to thrill for others' sorrows.

[Illustration: Logan's Elm 149]

"I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin and
I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked and I gave him
not clothing. During the course of the last long and bloody war Logan
remained in his tent an advocate of peace. Nay, such was my love for the
whites that those of my own country pointed at me as they passed, and
said, 'Logan is the friend of the white man.' I had even thought to
live with you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the
last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, cut off all the relatives of
Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop
of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for
revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my
vengeance. For my country I rejoice at the beams of peace. Yet do not
harbor the thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear.
He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for
Logan? Not one."

This speech, or rather this message, which Logan sent to Lord Dunmore,
has come down to us in two forms, one which Dunmore's officers wrote out
from the report of the message, and one which Thomas Jefferson framed
upon it. They do not differ greatly, and I have given Jefferson's
version here, because it best expresses the noble mind of a noble man,
a savage, indeed, but far less savage than many of the white men of that
day or any day. A pioneer of Western Pennsylvania, William Brown, who
afterwards became a judge of the Mifflin County courts, calls him "the
best specimen of humanity he ever met with, _white_ or _red_," He first
saw him in the woods, while stooping to drink at a spring. The figure of
a tall Indian showed itself to him in the water, and he sprang for
his rifle, but the Indian knocked the priming out of his own gun, and
offered his hand. It was Logan, and he guided Brown to the hunting camp
of another white man, with whom he afterwards visited Logan's camp.
There they all shot at a mark for a dollar each round, and Logan lost.
A deerskin was worth a dollar, and Logan offered five skins for his five
failures. Brown's friend refused them, saying they were his guests
and had shot with him merely for a trial of skill. Logan answered with
dignity, "Me try to make you shoot your best; me gentlemen, and me take
your dollar if me beat," and he would not allow the victor even to give
him a horn of powder in return.

A lovely story was told by the daughter of Judge Brown concerning Logan,
who was one day at her father's camp when her mother happened to regret
that she had no shoes for her little one then just beginning to walk.
Logan said nothing, but shortly after he came and asked the mother to
let the child spend the day with him at his camp. The mother trembled,
but she knew the delicacy of Logan, and she would not wound him by
showing fear of him. He took the child away, and the long hours passed
till nightfall. Then she saw the great chief coming with his tiny
guest through the woods, and the next moment the child bounded into the
mother's arms, proud and glad to show her feet in the moccasins which
Logan had made for her.

In his old age Logan wandered from place to place, broken by the
misfortunes of his people, and homeless in his own land. He fell a prey
to drink, the enemy of all his race, and he was at last murdered near
Detroit, where, as the story goes, he was sitting by his camp fire, with
his blanket over his head, and lost in gloomy thought, when an Indian
whom he had offended stole upon him and sank his tomahawk in Logan's

Of all the Indians he seems to me the grandest because he was the
kindest. Tecaughretanego was wise and good. He had a thoughtful mind and
a serene spirit; he could be just and loving to the white man whom he
had taken for his brother, but he had not so noble an ideal of conduct
as Logan. This chief grasped the notion of friendship with all the
whites; he was more than a tribesman; he imagined what it was to be
a citizen. Among the Ohio men of the past there is no nature more
beautiful, no memory worthier than his. He was a savage, and his thirst
for vengeance, or rather the smoldering thought of his wrongs, lowered
him for a time to the level of the white and red men about him. Yet he
was framed for gentleness, and he surpassed another great Ohio Indian
as much in breadth of character, as he surpassed Tecaughretanego in an
ideal of conduct.

Tecumseh, the famous war chief of the Shawnees, was born at the
ancient town of Piqua on Mad River, not far from the present city of
Springfield, in Clark County. His name means Shooting Star, and he was
indeed the meteoric light of his people while he lived. He was of a high
Indian, family of the Turtle Tribe, and his father had come with his
clan to Ohio from their home in Florida, about the middle of the last
century. Tecumseh was born, as nearly as can be reckoned, in the year
1768, and from his earliest childhood he showed the passion for war
which ruled him through life. He led his playmates in their mimic
fights, and at seventeen he went on his first war party against the
Kentuckians. The Indians attacked some boats on the Ohio River, and
killed all the boatmen but one, whom they brought back and burned at the
stake. Tecumseh was present, and though he said nothing, the sight of
the torture filled him with such horror, that he used his power with the
Indians to put a stop forever to the burning of prisoners. He was such
a hater of our race that, as he once confessed, the mere presence of a
white man made the flesh of his face creep; but he hated cruelty more,
and in the bloody events which he spent all his power in bringing about,
he could always be trusted to keep the captives from torture, and to
save the lives of women and children.

In spite of his hatred of white men, it is said that he was once in
love with a white woman, the daughter of a settler in Greene County.
He offered her fifty silver brooches if she would marry him; but she
refused, saying that she did not wish to be a wild woman and drudge like
a squaw; and she would not be tempted even when he promised her that she
should not work, but should be a great squaw.

[Illustration: Tecumseh 154]

He was not always terrible, even with white men, and it is told of him
that once meeting in a settler's cabin a stranger who showed alarm at
sight of him, Tecumseh went up and amiably shook him, saying, "Big
baby, Big baby." But he could be fierce and arrogant when he chose, and
he delighted to make the Americans bend to him. At one of their parleys,
General Harrison asked him to sit on his veranda with him. Tecumseh
haughtily refused, and forced the general to come out and meet him under
the trees, on the breast of the earth, who was, he said, the Indian's

He was in every fight with the Americans before Wayne's victory, but he
was not made a chief until the year following that battle. Then, though
he seemed resigned to the fate of his people, he became the leader in
their discontent, and in the parts of Ohio and Indiana where he lived he
kept it alive. In this he had the help of his brother Elkskuatawa,
the Prophet, who pretended to have dreams and revelations favorable to
Tecumseh's designs. In 1806, while they were at Greenville, the Prophet
somehow learned that there was to be an eclipse of the sun; he foretold
the coming miracle, and excited the savages through their superstitions
so dangerously that Governor Harrison urged them to banish the Prophet.
They made evasive answers, and kept the Prophet with them, while
Tecumseh amused the governor with meetings and parleys, and went and
came upon his errands among the Southern tribes stirring them up to join
the Northern nations in a revolt against the Americans. He used all his
eloquence and reason in trying to form this union of the red men, and
when these would not avail, he did not scruple to employ the arts of
his brother. In exhorting one of the Southern tribes he rebuked their
coldness, and told them that when he reached Detroit, he would stamp
his foot, and they should feel the earth tremble as a sign of his divine
authority for his work. About the time it would have taken him to reach
Detroit, the great earthquake of 1810 shook the Seminoles with terror of
the man whose arguments they had rejected.

In fact, Tecumseh and the Prophet constantly played into each other's
hands, but in one of Tecumseh's absences the Prophet made the mistake of
attacking General Harrison at Tippecanoe, and the savages were severely
beaten. The Prophet had also made the mistake of promising them a
victory, and after the defeat he lost his power over them.

This was in 1811, but the next year the war between the United States
and Great Britain broke out, and then Tecumseh seized his chance for
renewing the war against the Americans. He served so faithfully against
them that the king made him brigadier general, and Tecumseh tried to
fight according to the laws of civilized warfare. At the attack on
Fort Meigs in Wood County, he stopped, at the risk of his own life, the
massacre of the American prisoners, and he bade the British commandant,
who declared that the Indians could not be controlled, go and put on
petticoats. An American who saw him at this time says, "This
celebrated chief was a noble, dignified personage. His face was finely
proportioned, his nose inclined to be aquiline, and his eye displayed
none of that savage and ferocious triumph common to the other Indians on
that occasion."

Tecumseh with his Indians witnessed the battle of Lake Erie at
Put-in-Bay, where Perry defeated the English fleet, and he was not
deceived by the pretense of General Proctor that the Americans were
beaten and the English ships were merely putting in there for repairs.
Proctor was then preparing to retreat into Canada from Detroit, and
Tecumseh demanded to be heard in the name of the Indians. He had some
very bitter words to say: "The war before this our British father gave
the hatchet to his red children.... In that war our father was thrown
upon his back by the Americans, and our father took them by the hand
without our knowledge, and we are afraid our father will do so again at
this time.... Our ships have gone away, and we are much astonished to
see our father tying up everything and preparing to run away.... We
are sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must
compare our father's conduct to a fat dog that carries his tail on his
back, and when affrighted drops it between his legs and runs off.

"Father, you have got the arms and ammunition which our great father
sent for his children. If you have an idea of going away, give them to
us, and you may go and welcome. Our lives are in the hands of the Great
Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and if it be his will, we
wish to leave our bones upon them."

But the British retreated, and the Indians had to follow them into
Canada. There in the battle of the Thames the Americans defeated them
and their savage allies with great slaughter, and Tecumseh, whose
war-cry had been heard above the tumult of the onset, was among the
slain. He is supposed to have been killed by a pistol shot fired by
Colonel Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky, and it is said that the body
of this generous enemy did not escape barbarous usage at the hands
of Johnson's men, who literally flayed it and bore portions of their
ghastly trophy home with them in triumph.

Tecumseh played at a later day the part which Pontiac attempted at the
end of the old French War. He tried to unite the Indians in a general
uprising against the Americans as Pontiac had united them against
the English. He used the same arts, and he showed himself shrewd and
skillful in paltering with our leaders till he was ready to strike
his blow against them, for he managed to remain in the Ohio country
unmolested while he was getting ready to drive the Americans out of it.
When the war with Great Britain began, he might very well have believed
that his hopes were about to be fulfilled; but he seems, though a brave
warrior, never to have shown such generalship as that of Little Turtle
at St. Clair's defeat. He was a great orator, of such a fiery eloquence
that the interpreters often declared it impossible for them to give the
full sense of his words; but none of his many recorded speeches have
the pathos of Logan's. He was, on the savage lines, a statesman and a
patriot, but unlike the wiser and gentler Logan he never could rise to
the wisdom of living in peace with the whites. He was always an Indian;
even at his best he was a savage, just as the backwoodsman was a savage
at his worst. Yet his memory remains honored in tradition beyond that of
any other Ohio Indian, and his name was given to one of the most heroic
Ohio Americans, William Tecumseh Sherman. Such as he was, and such as
Logan was, it must be owned that they seem now of a far nobler mold than
any white men in early Ohio history.

The Prophet outlived his brother many years, and died dishonored, and
stripped of all the great power he had once wielded. At one time he
wrought so strongly upon the Indians through their superstition of
witchcraft, that they put many to death at his accusal. One of the
victims was the Wyandot chief Leatherlips, whom six Wyandot warriors
came from Tippecanoe to try where he lived near the site of Columbus.
They found him guilty and sentenced him to death, of course upon no
evidence. A white man who wished to save him asked what he had done, and
was answered, "Very bad Indian; make good Indian sick; make horse sick;
make die; very bad chief." When he heard his sentence, Leatherlips ate a
hearty dinner, dressed himself in his finest clothes, painted his face,
and at the hour fixed for his death walked from his lodge to his grave,
chanting his death song while he went. Then as he knelt in prayer beside
the shallow pit, one of the six Wyandots tomahawked him.

The persecutions for witchcraft under the Prophet continued until at
last a young warrior, whose sister was accused in the council, had the
courage to rise and lead her out of the house. He came back and said to
the council, pointing at the Prophet, "The Devil has come amongst us,
and we are killing each other." This bold good sense brought the Indians
to a pause in a frenzy which has raged among every people in times past.

[Illustration: Tomahawk 159]


Amidst all this tomahawking and scalping, this shooting and stabbing,
this shedding of blood and of tears, this heartbreak of captivity,
this torture, this peril by day and by night, the flower of home was
springing up wherever the ax let the sun into the woods. It would be a
great pity if the stories of cruelty and suffering which seem, while we
read them, to form the whole history of the Ohio country, should be left
without the relief of facts quite as true as these sad tales. Life was
hard in those days, but it was sweet too, and it was often gay and glad.
In times of constant danger, and even while the merciless savages were
beleaguering the lonely clusters of cabins, there was frolicking among
the young people in the forts, and the old people looked on at their
joys in sympathy as well as wonder. The savages themselves had their
harmless pleasures, and their wild life was so free that those who once
knew it did not willingly forsake it. They were not bad-hearted so much
as wrong-headed, and they were mostly what they were, because they knew
no better. More than once we read how the lurking hunter heard them
joking and laughing when off their guard in the wood; and in their
towns, on the Miamis or the Muskingum or the Sandusky, they had their
own games, and feasts, and merrymakings. Much that was beautiful and
kindly and noble was possible to them, but they belonged to the past,
and the white men belonged to the future; and the war between the two
races had to be. Our race had outgrown the order which theirs clung to
helplessly as well as willfully, and it was fated that we must found our
homes upon their graves.

These homes were at first of the rude and simple sort, which a thousand
narratives and legends have made familiar, and which every Ohio boy and
girl has heard of. It would not be easy to say where or when the first
log cabin was built, but it is safe to say that it was somewhere in the
English colonies of North America, and it is certain that it became the
type of the settler's house throughout the whole middle west. It may be
called the American house, the Western house, the Ohio house. Hardly any
other house was built for a hundred years by the men who were clearing
the land for the stately mansions of our day. As long as the primeval
forests stood, the log cabin remained the woodsman's home; and not fifty
years ago, I saw log cabins newly built in one of the richest and most
prosperous regions of Ohio. They were, to be sure, log cabins of a finer
pattern than the first settler reared. They were of logs handsomely
shaped with the broadax; the joints between the logs were plastered with
mortar; the chimney at the end was of stone; the roof was shingled, the
windows were of glass, and the door was solid and well hung. They were
such cabins as the Christian Indians dwelt in at Gnadenhutten, and such
as were the homes of the well-to-do settlers in all the older parts of
the West. But throughout that region there were many log cabins,
mostly sunk to the uses of stables and corn cribs, of the kind that the
borderers built in the times of the Indian War, from 1750 to 1800.
They were framed of the round logs, untouched by the ax except for the
notches at the ends where they were fitted into one another; the chimney
was of small sticks stuck together with mud, and was as frail as a barn
swallow's nest; the walls were stuffed with moss, plastered with clay;
the floor was of rough boards called puncheons, riven from the block
with a heavy knife; the roof was of clapboards split from logs and laid
loosely on the rafters, and held in place with logs fastened athwart

[Illustration: Ohio Cabin 162]

There is a delightful account of such a log cabin by John S. Williams,
whose father settled in the woods of Belmont County in 1800. "Our
cabin," he says, "had been raised, covered, part of the cracks chinked,
and part of the floor laid, when we moved in on Christmas day. There
had not been a stick cut except in building the cabin, which was so high
from the ground that a bear, wolf, panther, or any animal less in
size than a cow could enter without even a squeeze.... The green ash
puncheons had shrunk so as to leave cracks in the floor and doors from
one to two inches wide. At both the doors we had high, unsteady, and
sometimes icy steps, made by piling the logs cut out of the walls, for
the doors and the window, if it could be called a window, when perhaps
it was the largest spot in the top, bottom, or sides of the cabin where
the wind could not enter. It was made by sawing out a log, and placing
sticks across, and then by pasting an old newspaper over the hole,
and applying hog's lard, we had a kind of glazing which shed a most
beautiful and mellow light across the cabin when the sun shone on it.
All other light entered at the doors, cracks, and chimneys. Our cabin
was twenty-four by eighteen. The west end was occupied by two beds, the
center of each side by a door.... On the opposite side of the window,
made of clapboards, supported on pins driven into the walls, were our
shelves. On these shelves my sister displayed in simple order, a host of
pewter plates, and dishes and spoons, scoured and bright.... Our chimney
occupied most of the east end; with pots and kettles opposite the
window, under the shelves, a gun on hooks over the north door, four
split-bottomed chairs, three three-legged stools, and a small eight
by ten looking glass sloped from the wall over a large towel and comb
case.... We got a roof laid over head as soon as possible, but it was
laid of loose clapboards split from a red-oak, and a cat might have
shaken every board in our ceiling.... We made two kinds of furniture.
One kind was of hickory bark, with the outside shaved off. This we would
take off all around the tree, the size of which would determine the
caliber of our box. Into one end we would place a flat piece of bark or
puncheon, cut round to fit in the bark, which stood on end the same
as when on the tree.... A much finer article was made of slippery-elm
bark, shaved smooth, with the inside out, bent round and sewed together,
where the end of the hoop or main bark lapped over.... This was the
finest furniture in a lady's dressing room," and such a cabin and its
appointments were splendor and luxury beside those of the very earliest
pioneers, and many of the latest. The Williamses were Quakers, and the
mother was recently from England; they were of far gentler breeding and
finer tastes than most of their neighbors, who had been backwoodsmen for

When the first settlers broke the silence of the woods with the stroke
of their axes, and hewed out a space for their cabins and their fields,
they inclosed their homes with a high stockade of logs, for defense
against the Indians; or if they built their cabins outside the wooden
walls of their stronghold, they always expected to flee to it at the
first alarm, and to stand siege within it. The Indians had no cannon,
and the logs of the stockade were proof against their rifles; if a
breach was made, there was still the blockhouse left, the citadel of
every little fort. This was heavily built, and pierced with loopholes
for the riflemen within, whose wives ran bullets for them at its mighty
hearth, and who kept the savage foe from its sides by firing down upon
them through the projecting timbers of its upper story; but in many a
fearful siege the Indians set the roof ablaze with arrows wrapped in
burning tow, and then the fight became desperate indeed. After the
Indian War ended, the stockade was no longer needed, and the settlers
had only the wild beasts to contend with, and those constant enemies of
the poor in all ages and conditions,--hunger and cold.

Winter after winter, the Williamses heard the wolves howling round them
in the woods, and this music was familiar to the ears of all the Ohio
pioneers, who trusted their rifles for both the safety and support of
their families. They deadened the trees around them by girdling them
with the ax, and planted the spaces between the leafless trunks with
corn and beans and pumpkins. These were their necessaries, but they had
an occasional luxury in the wild honey from the hollow of a bee tree
when the bears had not got at it. In its season, there was an abundance
of wild fruit, plums and cherries, haws and grapes, berries, and nuts of
every kind, and the maples yielded all the sugar they chose to make from
them. But it was long before they had, at any time, the profusion which
our modern arts enable us to enjoy the whole year round, and in the hard
beginnings the orchard and the garden were forgotten for the fields.
Their harvests must pay for the acres bought of the government, or from
some speculator who had never seen the land; and the settler must be
prompt in paying, or else see his home pass from him after all his toil
into the hands of strangers. He worked hard and he fared hard, and if
he was safer when peace came, it is doubtful if he were otherwise more
fortunate. As the game grew scarcer, it was no longer so easy to provide
food for his family, the change from venison and wild turkey to the
pork, which early began to prevail in his diet, was hardly a wholesome
one. Besides, in cutting down the trees, he opened spaces to the sun
which had been harmless enough in the shadow of the woods, but which now
sent up their ague-breeding miasms. Ague was the scourge of the whole
region, and it was hard to know whether the pestilence was worse on the
rich levels beside the rivers, or on the stony hills where the settlers
sometimes built to escape it. Fevers of several kinds prevailed, and
consumption was common in the climates that ague spared. There was
little knowledge of the rules of health, and little medical skill for
those who lost it; most of the remedies for disease and accident were
such only as home nursing and home treatment could supply.

When once the settler was housed against the weather, he had the
conditions of a certain rude comfort indoors. If his cabin was not proof
against the wind and rain or snow, its vast fireplace formed the means
of heating, while the forest was an inexhaustible store of fuel. At
first he dressed in the skins and pelts of the deer and fox and wolf,
and his costume could have varied little from that of the red savage
about him, for we often read how' he mistook Indians for white men at
first sight, and how the Indians in their turn mistook white men for
their own people. The whole family went barefoot in the summer, but in
winter the pioneer wore moccasins of buckskin, and buckskin leggins or
trousers; his coat was a hunting shirt belted at the waist and fringed
where it fell to his knees. It was of homespun, a mixture of wool and
flax called linsey-woolsey, and out of this the dresses of his wife and
daughters were made; the wool was shorn from the sheep, which were
so scarce that they were never killed for their flesh, except by the
wolves, which were very fond of mutton, but had no use for wool. For a
wedding dress a cotton check was thought superb, and it really cost a
dollar a yard; silks, satins, laces, were unknown. A man never left his
house without his rifle; the gun was a part of his dress, and in his
belt he carried a hunting knife and a hatchet; on his head he wore a cap
of squirrel skin, often with the plumelike tail dangling from it.

The furniture of the cabins was, like the clothing of the pioneers,
homemade. A bedstead was contrived by stretching poles from forked
sticks driven into the ground, and laying clapboards across them; the
bedclothes were bearskins. Stools, benches, and tables were roughed out
with auger and broadax; the puncheon floor was left bare, and if the
earth formed the floor, no rug ever replaced the grass which was its
first carpet. The cabin had but one room where the whole of life went
on by day; the father and mother slept there at night, and the children
mounted to their chamber in the loft by means of a ladder.

The food was what has been already named. The meat was venison, bear,
raccoon, wild turkey, wild duck, and pheasant; the drink was water, or
rye coffee, or whisky which the little stills everywhere supplied only
too abundantly. Wheat bread was long unknown, and corn cakes of various
makings and bakings supplied its place. The most delicious morsel of all
was corn grated while still in the milk and fashioned into round cakes
eaten hot from the clapboard before the fire, or from the mysterious
depths of the Dutch oven, buried in coals and ashes on the hearth.
There was soon a great flow of milk from the kine that multiplied in the
pastures in the woods, and there was sweetening enough from the maple
tree and the bee tree, but salt was very scarce and very dear, and long
journeys were made through the perilous woods to and from the licks, or
salt springs, which the deer had discovered before the white man or the
red man knew them.

The bees which hived their honey in the hollow trees were tame bees
gone wild, and with the coming of the settlers, some of the wild things
increased so much that they became a pest. Such were the crows which
literally blackened the fields after the settlers plowed, and which the
whole family had to fight from the corn when it was planted. Such were
the rabbits, and such, above all, were the squirrels which overran the
farms, and devoured every green thing till the people combined in great
squirrel hunts and destroyed them by tens of thousands. The larger game
had meanwhile disappeared. The buffalo and the elk went first; the deer
followed, and the bear, and even the useless wolf. But long after these
the poisonous reptiles lingered, the rattlesnake, the moccasin, and
the yet deadlier copperhead; and it was only when the whole country was
cleared that they ceased to be a very common danger.

For a long time there were no mills to grind the corn, and it was
pounded into meal for bread with a heavy wooden pestle in a mortar made
by hollowing out some tough-grained log. The first mills were horse
power; then small water-power mills were put up on the streams, and in
the larger rivers boats were anchored, with mill wheels which the rapid
current turned. But the stills were plentier than the mills, and as much
corn was made into whisky as into bread. Men drank hard to soften their
hard life, to lighten its heaviness, to drown its cares, to heighten
its few pleasures. Drink was free and common not only at every shooting
match, where men met alone, but at every log rolling or cabin raising,
where the women met with them, to cook for them, and then to dance away
the night that followed the toilsome day.

There were no rich people then, but all were poor together, and there
were no classes. They were so helpless without one another that people
were kindlier and friendlier as well as freer then than now, and they
made the most of the corn huskings and quilting bees that brought old
and young together in harmless frolics. The greatest frolic of all was
a wedding; the guests gathered from twenty miles around, and the frolic
did not end with the dancing at night. Next day came the _infair_ at the
house of the bridegroom, and all set off together. When they were within
a mile or two, they raced for the bottle which was always waiting for
them at the house, and the guest whose horse was fleetest brought it
back, and made all drink from it, beginning with the bride and groom.

Religion soon tempered the ruder pleasures of the backwoods, but the
dancing ceased before the drinking. Camp meetings were frolics of a
soberer sort, where whole neighborhoods gathered and dwelt in tents for
days in the beautiful autumn weather, and spent the nights in prayer and
song. Little log churches were built at the crossroads, and these served
the purpose of schoolhouses on week days. But there was more religion
than learning in the backwoods, and the preacher came before the

He was often a very rude, unlearned man himself, and the teacher was
sometimes a rude man, harsh and severe, when he was learned. Often he
was a Scotch-Irishman, whose race gave schoolmasters to the West before
New England began to send her lettered legions to the frontier.

Such a teacher was Francis Glass, who was born in Dublin in 1790, and
came to Ohio in 1817, to teach the children of the backwoods. One of
these afterwards remembered a log-cabin schoolhouse where Glass taught,
in the twilight let through the windows of oiled paper. The seats were
of hewn blocks, so heavy that the boys could not upset them; in the
midst was a great stove; and against the wall stood the teacher's desk,
of un-planed plank. But as Glass used to say to his pupils, "The temple
of the Delphian god was originally a laurel hut, and the muses deign to
dwell accordingly in very rustic abodes." His labors in the school were
not suffered to keep him from higher aims: he wrote a life of Washington
in Latin, which was used for a time as a text-book in the Ohio schools.

In the early days all books were costly, and they were even fewer than
they were costly; but those who longed for them got them somehow, and
many a boy who studied them by the cabin fire became afterwards a great
statesman, a great lawyer, or a great preacher. In fact, almost every
distinguished Ohioan of the past generations seems to have begun life in
a log cabin, and to have found his way out of the dark of ignorance by
the light of its great hearth fire. Their stories are such as kindle the
fancy and touch the heart; but now they are tales that are told.

Among the stories of life in the backwoods, none are more affecting than
those of lost children. In the forests which hemmed in the homes and
fields of the settlers, the little ones often strayed away, or in their
bewilderment failed to find a path back to the cabin they had left among
the stumps of the clearing, or the leafless trunks of the deadening.
In 1804, two children, Lydia and Matilda Osborn, eleven and seven years
old, went to fetch the cows from their pasture a mile from their home in
Williamsburg, Clermont County. Lydia, the elder of the sisters, left
the younger in a certain spot while she tried to head off the wandering
cows. It is supposed that she failed, and came back to get Matilda. Then
it is supposed that, after searching for her, Lydia gave up in despair
and started homeward, but found that she no longer knew the way. In
the meantime the cows had left their pasture, and the younger girl had
followed the sound of their bells and got safely back to the village.
Night came, but no Lydia, and now the neighborhood turned out and helped
the hopeless father to search for the lost child. They carried torches,
and rang bells, and blew horns, and fired guns, so that she might see
and hear and come to them, and before them all, day and night, ran the
father calling, "Lydia, Lydia." Five hundred men, a thousand men at
last, joined in the quest, and on the fifteenth morning, they found
in the heart of the woods a tiny hut, such as a child might build, of
sticks and moss, with a bed of leaves inside; a path which led from it
to a blackberry patch near by was beaten hard by the little feet of the
wanderer. The rough backwoodsmen broke into tears when the father came
up and at sight of the poor shelter called out, "Oh, Lydia, Lydia, my
dear child, are you yet alive?"

[Illustration: Lost in the woods 172]

They never found her. A mile or two from the hut they found her bonnet,
and a few miles further on an Indian camp. They could only guess that
the Indians had carried her away, and go back to their homes without
her. The father never gave up, but as long as he lived he searched for
her among the Indians. It was thought afterwards that the very means,
the lights and the noises, used to attract the child, might have
frightened her from her rescuers; for a strange craze would come upon
lost people after a time, and they would hide from those who were
looking for them. Others became hopelessly bewildered, and it is told of
a pioneer, Samuel Davy, who was lost near Galion, that he wandered about
till he reached a log cabin in a clearing. There he asked of the woman
at the door if she knew where Samuel Davy lived. She laughed and bade
him come in and see. Then he knew that it was his own wife speaking to
him from his own threshold.

Whenever a lost child could not be found, the Indians were naturally
suspected of stealing it; and this was probably the fate of a little one
whom her mother lifted over the fence into the dooryard of her cabin,
near Galion, and then went back to her work of making sugar in the
woods. When she came home at nightfall, the child was not there, and
no search afterwards availed to find her, though the whole neighborhood
searched the woods for days and nights. It was known only that a party
of Indians had lately camped near, and that they might have taken the
child and brought it up as their own; but the mother never heard of her

Galion is rather famous for lost people, but at least one of them was
found again. This was a little girl of the name of Bashford, who was
sent to bring home the cows. In trying to return she became confused,
and she wisely decided to keep with the cattle. When they lay down for
the night, she sheltered herself against the warm back of a motherly
old cow, and then followed them about in the morning till the neighbors
found her.

She was none the worse for the night's adventure except for her
fright at the howling of the wolves, and from the pain of her slightly
frost-bitten feet. But the fate of a little boy who wandered from home
in Williams County was of a singular pathos. He was found dead after a
three-days search, when the poor little body, which was half clad, was
still warm. It was supposed that he had undressed each night when he lay
down to sleep, as he was used to do at home, and that the third night he
had been so chilled by the October cold that he could not put on all
his clothes again, and so strayed feebly about till he lay down and died
just before rescue came.

Encounters with wolves and bears were not so common as these animals
were, by any means; but now and then the settlers came in conflict with
them. In Crawford County so lately as 1826, a young man named Enoch
Baker, in coming home from rather a late call on a young lady, fought
a running fight with wolves, which left him only when he reached the
clearing where his father's cabin stood; then they fell back into the
woods. Daniel Cloe, a boy of the same neighborhood, was attacked by a
pack of eleven wolves one morning before daybreak, but was saved by his
bulldog, which seized the foremost wolf by the throat, and gave the boy
time to climb a tree.

A brother of this boy found his dogs one morning in ferocious clamor
about some animal which they seemed afraid to grapple with. He came up
and found that it was a bear. He had no gun, but he caught up a club,
and when he had contrived to catch the bear by one of his hind legs,
and to throw him over, he beat him about the head with his bludgeon and
killed him.

This was pretty well for a boy of sixteen, but the reader must not award
the palm to him without first knowing the adventure of John Gillett of
Williams County, who clambered down a hollow tree to get some bear cubs.
While he was securing them, the opening overhead was darkened by the
body of the mother bear. There was only one thing to do, and Gillett
drove his knife into the haunch of the bear, which scrambled out in
surprise and terror, and pulled him and the cubs out with her. She did
not stay to look after her family, and Gillett took the cubs to the
next town, and got five dollars apiece for them. As he told this story
himself, I suppose it must have been true.

There are some stories of wolves and bears in Ashtabula County which are
by no means bad. Not the worst of these is told of Elijah Thompson, who
was hunting in the woods near Geneva, when a pack of seven wolves fell
upon his dog. He clubbed his rifle and beat them off; then when the last
had slunk away, he gathered up his wounded dog under his arm, and walked
away with the barrel, which was all that was left of his rifle, on his

Bears were very common, and very fond of pork. One night two ladies who
were alone in their cabin, were alarmed by wild appeals from the pigpen,
and found it invaded by a bear. They tried to frighten the intruder away
with firebrands, but failed. Then they loaded the family rifle, which
they had heard the men folks say took two fingers of powder. They
therefore poured in the powder to the depth of six inches, and drove
home the bullet. One held a light while the other pulled the trigger.
Both were knocked down by the recoil of the gun, which flew into the
bushes. What became of the bear was never known; but it was probably
blown to atoms.

Other pioneer women were effective with firearms, and Mrs. Sarah Thorp
of Ashtabula County was one of these. The family fell short of food
in their first year in the backwoods, and in June, 1799, the husband
started to Pennsylvania, twenty miles away, to get supplies. Before he
could return, his wife and little girls had begun to live upon roots and
the few grains of wheat which she found in the straw of her bed. When
these were all gone, and she was in despair, a wild turkey one day
alighted near the cabin. She found that there was barely powder enough
left in the house for the lightest charge; but she loaded her husband's
rifle and crept on her hands and knees from bush to bush and log to log,
till she was close upon the bird, wallowing in the loose plowed earth.
Then she fired and killed it, and her children were saved.

Starvation was one of the horrors which often threatened the newcomers
in the wilderness, as it had often beset its improvident red children.
In the first year of the settlement at Conneaut, James Kingsbury was
forced to leave his family and go some distance into New York state.
He fell sick, and was unable to return before winter set in. Then he
hurried homeward as fast as he could with a sack of flour on horseback.
His horse became disabled, and then he carried the flour on his
shoulders. He reached home one day at nightfall, and found his older
children starving; his wife, wasted with famine, lay on the floor, and
near her the little one born in his absence, already dead for want of
the nourishment which the poor mother could not give it.


General Rufus Putnam, a brave officer of the Revolutionary war, was the
first to call the attention of the Eastern States to the rich territory
opened to settlement west of the Ohio by the peace with Great Britain,
and he was one of the earliest band of pioneers which landed on the
shores of the Muskingum. In 1787 Rev. Manasseh Cutler of Ipswich,
Massachusetts, published a description of the Ohio country, which left
little to the liveliest imagination. If anything was naturally lacking
for the wants of man in a land abounding in wild fruits, "herds of deer,
elk, buffalo, and bear," and flocks of "turkeys, geese, ducks, swans,
teal, pheasants, partridges, etc.,... in greater plenty than the tame
poultry are in any part of the old settlements of America," and in
rivers "stored with fish, especially catfish, the largest, and of a
delicious flavor," which "weighs from thirty to eighty pounds," it could
be easily supplied by art. "The advantages of every climate," Dr.
Cutler told his readers, "are here blended together," and the rich soil,
everywhere underlain with valuable minerals, and covered with timber
waiting to be built into ships and floated down the rivers to the
sea, would produce not only "wheat, rye, Indian corn, buckwheat, oats,
barley, flax, hemp, tobacco," but even "indigo, silk, wine, and cotton."

It is no wonder that the Ohio Company found the New Englanders eager
to come out and possess this goodly heritage, and that the first band
should have started from Dr. Cutler's own village. At dawn, on the
30th of December, 1787, they paraded before his church and parsonage,
twenty-two men with their families. After listening to a short speech
from him, they fired a salute, and set off, as the lettering on their
leading wagon made known, "For the Ohio Country." It was eight weeks
before they reached the headwaters of the Beautiful River, and began to
build boats to float down its current to the mouth of the Muskingum.
In the meantime, on the 1st of January, 1788, another company left
Hartford, Connecticut, and in four weeks joined the first. They could
not embark on their voyage together until April 2d, but in five days
they arrived at Fort Harmar, beside the Muskingum, and were at their
journey's end. They did not find the shores waving with indigo, silk,
and cotton, but they saw that the soil could produce almost any
crop, and the weather was so mild and lovely that they must have been
confirmed in their belief of all that Dr. Cutler had told them of the
climate. Captain Pipe, the Delaware chief who had brought Crawford to
his death of cruel torment a few years before, was encamped for trade
near the military post, and with seventy other Indians he welcomed the
newcomers to the Muskingum, where they wisely built a stockade as soon
as they could for defense against their red friends. They settled down
at once to hew their fields out of the forest, and the very next year
they had a school for their children. Bathsheba Rouse taught this first
Ohio school, and Ohio women may well be proud that she taught it a whole
year before a man taught the next Ohio school. The settlers called their
town Adelphia, but soon changed its name to Marietta, which they made up
from the name of the French queen Marie Antoinette, though Marietta was
a common enough name in Italian before their invention of it.

They built mills on the streams, and in the streams, where the current
turned their wheels, and after a first summer of rejoicing they quieted
down to the serious business of clearing farms, having ague, and saving
their scalps from the hospitable Delawares and their allies. The very
year after their arrival the wonderful climate behaved so ungratefully
that the corn crop was cut off by an early frost; and something like a
famine followed; but still the year of the settlement was one of high
hopes and sober jollity. The pioneers celebrated the Fourth of July,
1788, with a grand banquet of "venison barbecued, buffalo steaks, bear
meat, wild fowl, and a little _pork_, as the choicest luxury of all;"
and at least "one fish, a great pike, weighing one hundred pounds, and
over six feet long," which could easily be "the largest ever taken by
white men in the waters of the Muskingum." Several of the Indians, who
were always ready for eating and drinking, took part in the celebration,
and the settlers saw with pleasure that they did not like the sound of
the cannon. They all "kept it up till after twelve o'clock at night, and
then went home and slept till daylight."

The Marietta people knew how to enjoy themselves, but they had not
come to Ohio for pastime, and they were soon all hard at work improving
themselves as well as their lands. They not only had the first school
in Ohio, but the first Sunday school. They had a public library in 1796,
and preaching in the blockhouse from the beginning. It was ordered
that every one should keep the Sabbath by going to church, and all men
between eighteen and forty should do four days of military duty every
year, as well as "entertain emigrants, visit the sick, clothe the
naked, feed the hungry, attend funerals, cabin raisings, log rollings,
huskings; have their latchstrings always out." Perhaps the reader has
heard before this of having the latchstring out, but has not known just
what the phrase meant. The log cabin door in those days was fastened
with a wooden latch on the inside, which could be lifted on the outside
by a leathern string passed through a small hole in the door above it.
When the string was pulled in, the door was locked; but the free-hearted
man always left his latchstring out, so that every comer could enter and
share his fireside with him.

The good people of Marietta had soon occasion for all the kindness
enjoined by their laws in befriending a hapless colony of Frenchmen,
whom certain speculators known as the Scioto Company had lured from
their homes in the Old World, and then abandoned to their fate in the
heart of the Western wilderness, where they had been promised that they
were to find "a climate wholesome and delightful, frost even in winter
almost entirely unknown, a river called, by way of eminence, the
_beautiful_ and abounding in excellent fish of a vast size; noble
forests consisting of trees that spontaneously produce sugar, and a
plant that yields ready-made candles; venison in plenty, the pursuit of
which is uninterrupted by wolves, foxes, lions, or tigers; no taxes to
pay, no military services to be performed."

Some of the adventurers who came to Ohio on these flattering terms were
destitute people who agreed to work three years for the company and were
then, each to receive from it in reward for their labors fifty acres of
land, a house, and a cow. But others were people of means, who joyfully
sold their property in the French cities and came out to found new homes
in the Western woods, with money in their hands, but with no knowledge
of woodcraft, or farming, and able neither to hunt, chop, plow, sow, or
reap for themselves. They were often artisans, masters of trades
utterly useless in that wild country, for what were carvers and gilders,
cloak-makers, wigmakers and hairdressers to do on the banks of the Ohio
in 1790? Some ten or twelve peasants came with the rest, but they were
helpless too in the strange conditions, and if it had not been for the
settlers at Marietta, they would all have fared miserably indeed.

The Scioto Company had so far provided for them as to agree with
the Ohio Company for the erection of a little town or village where
Gallipolis now stands; and when the first boats arrived with the
strangely assorted company, they found a space cut out of the forest,
and in the clearing eighty log cabins standing upon four streets
fronting the river, with a square inclosed by a high stockade and
fortified with blockhouses, where they might take shelter from the
Indians. The cabins forming this square were of a better sort than those
on the streets, and there was one meant to serve for a council chamber,
where the newcomers promptly began to give balls. They arrived late
in October, and there was nothing for them to do but to wait for the
spring, even if they had known how to farm, and in the meanwhile they
had as good a time as they could. They did not yet know that the Scioto
Company, which failed to pay the Marietta people for building their
village, had no power to give them titles to their land, and they
hopefully spent their money in hiring American hunters to supply them
with game. They seem to have been rather a light-hearted crew, in
spite of their misfortunes and sufferings, and they not only amused
themselves, but they amused their neighbors by their gay unfitness for
the backwoods. If they went to fell a tree, half a dozen of them set
to work on it with their axes at once, and when they had chopped it all
round, they pulled it down with a rope, to the great danger of their
lives and limbs. When they began to make gardens in the spring they
followed the rules laid down in some books on gardening which they
had brought with them from France, and they planted the seeds of such
vegetables as they were used to at home. In a climate where "frost even
in winter was almost unknown," the Ohio River froze solidly over the
year after they came, and the hunters brought in little or none of the
promised venison, though certainly not molested in the chase "by tigers,
lions, or foxes." The colonists were in danger of starving, and many of
them were already sick of the fevers bred by the past summer's sun on
the swamp lands about them. It was one of their few advantages that
the Indians did not trouble them much, but after killing one of them
in mistake for an American, contented themselves with stealing the
Frenchmen's cattle.

When the colonists found that the Scioto Company could not give them
titles to the farms they had bought with their money or their toil, they
began to stray away from the settlement. Some went down the rivers to
New Orleans, others wandered off elsewhere, perhaps to St. Louis, or to
the French towns in Indiana and Illinois; and when Congress at last came
to their relief with a grant of twenty-four thousand acres, there were
left at Gallipolis only ninety-two persons, out of the original five
hundred colonists, to profit by the nation's generosity. In 1807 few or
none of them remained on the spot where they had fondly hoped to make
peaceful and happy homes for themselves and their children. It was a sad
ending to a romantic story, the most romantic of all the Ohio stories
that I know, but we must not blame those who deceived the colonists (not
quite wittingly, it seems) for all their woes and disasters. These were
partly owing to themselves. The New Englanders who settled at Marietta
did not find eighty comfortable cabins waiting for them, and they did
not hire hunters to provide their food, or begin by giving balls. The
able and educated men among the French colonists seem to have cowered
under their disasters like the rest; and some were incurable dreamers.
One of the best of them used afterwards to tell how he was descending
the Ohio with two philosophers who believed so firmly in the natural
innocence and goodness of men, that they invited some Indians aboard
their boat and were at once tomahawked. Their skeptical companion shot
two of the savages and then jumped into the river, where he swam for his
life, diving at the flash of their guns, till he got safe to the farther

The Frenchmen at Gallipolis were not the stuff that the founders of
great states are made of; but the New Englanders at Marietta were, and
so were the New Jerseymen at Cincinnati, who followed next after them
in time. These had even a harder struggle in their beginnings than the
people at Marietta, for there the emigrants made their settlement under
the guns of Fort Harmar, in a region loosely held by the milder Delaware
tribe of the Algonquin nation; but the lands between the Great Miami and
Little Miami were claimed and held by the fierce Miamis and Shawnees,
and they had been so long the battle ground of the Indians and the
Kentuckians that the region was called the Shawnee Slaughter House. The
great warpath of the tribes ran through it from the Ohio River to
Lake Erie, and the first white settlers had to build stations with
blockhouses and stockades before they could begin to till the ancient
fields, where from time to time immemorial the Indians had planted and
gathered their harvests of corn. The first settlers arrived from New
Jersey in December, 1788, some eight months after the settlement
at Marietta, and in a little more than a year a fort was built at
Cincinnati and garrisoned with United States troops; but in 1791 a band
of five hundred Indians, led by Simon Girty, attacked Dunlap's Station
at Colerain. They were beaten off only after a stubborn fight, though
the Americans were armed with the cannon which the savages so much
dreaded; and before they raised the siege they burned a white prisoner
near the station.

[Illustration: Marrieta, Ohio 186]

This was a surveyor, and one of those New Jersey men of education and
substance who were the earliest settlers in the Symmes Purchase, as the
tract between the two Miamis was called. John Cleves Symmes, a prominent
citizen of Trenton, had bought the land of the government, and he came
himself with his friends to make the place his home. The events of this
emigration were not so poetic as those of the New Englanders who settled
on the Muskingum, but they resulted in the foundation of our greatest
city; and if the first school in Ohio was at Marietta, the first church
was built at Cincinnati. The hamlet opposite the mouth of the Licking
was first known as Losantiville, a name made up of Greek and Latin words
describing its situation, but this was soon changed to Cincinnati. The
fort was built in 1790, and called Fort Washington; it was the strongest
fort in the Northwest Territory, and to its strength Cincinnati owed her
freedom from attacks by the Indians; it was of hewn timber, and was
eighty feet square. At Cincinnati, Harmar and St. Clair began their
march to defeat; here too the recruits for Wayne's army gathered and
encamped before they began their march to victory.

The past of the place is not so rich in legend as that of much humbler
localities, but there is at least one Indian story which will bear
telling over again. It concerns Jacob Wetzel, the brother of the famous
Lewis Wetzel, who was one day returning from a hunt well within the
bounds of the present city, and had sat down on a log to rest, when a
growl from his dog warned him of danger. He instantly _treed_, or jumped
behind a tree, and then saw an Indian treed behind a neighboring oak.
They both fired; the Indian missed, but Wetzel's bullet had broken the
savage's arm. They rushed at each other with their drawn hunting knives,
and fell in a fearful struggle. Wetzel unhurt was no match for the
wounded Indian, who sat astride of him with his knife lifted when
Wetzel's dog sprung at his throat. Wetzel now flung him off, and while
the dog held him helpless, easily dispatched him. Another story is of
the usual ghastliness relieved by a touch of the comic. Colonel Robert
Elliott was shot by the Indians near the northern line of Hamilton
County. One of them sprang upon him to scalp him, but at a touch the
poor man's wig came off in his hand. He lifted it and was heard to say
with an oath, "Lie!" while he stared at his trophy in bewilderment.

One of the later captives of the Indians was a boy of eleven named O.
M. Spencer, who was seized near Cincinnati in 1792, and carried to a
Shawnee village on the Maumee, where he was taken into a family. His
case is peculiarly interesting because Washington himself asked his
release through the British governor of Canada; and he was at last
returned to his friends by canoe to Detroit, by sailing vessel to
Erie, by land to Albany, by water to New York, and by land through
Pennsylvania to Cincinnati. He was two years in getting back to his
friends. .

The next settlement in Ohio, and the first within the Virginia Military
District, was at Massie's Station, now Manchester, where Colonel
Nathaniel Massie, with thirty families, arrived in 1790. They at once
made themselves safe in an inclosure of strong pickets, fortified with
blockhouses, and as the woods and rivers abounded in game and fish, they
began to lead a life of as much comfort as people could enjoy who were
surrounded by a wilderness, with the lurking danger of captivity and
death on every hand.

Six years later, Colonel Massie laid out the town of Chillicothe,
which became the first capital of Ohio, and in the same year, 1796,
the earliest settlers from Connecticut landed at Conneaut in Ashtabula
County. They were led by Moses Cleaveland, a lawyer of Canterbury,
Connecticut, a man of substance and ability, and they had come from
Buffalo, some by land and some by water, but they arrived within a few
hours of one another. It was the Fourth of July, and Cleaveland wrote
in his journal: "We gave three cheers and christened the place Fort
Independence; and, after many difficulties, perplexities, and hardships
were surmounted, and we were on the good and promised land, felt that a
just tribute of respect to the day ought to be paid. There were in all,
including women and children, fifty in number. The men, under Captain
Tinker, ranged themselves on the beach and fired a federal salute of
fifteen rounds, and then the sixteenth in honor of New Connecticut.
Drank several toasts.... Closed with three cheers. Drank several pails
of grog. Supped and retired in good order."

This was the order of the four lawful settlements in the Ohio country:
first that of the Massachusetts men at Marietta in July, 1788; next,
that of the New Jersey men at Cincinnati in December, 1788; then that of
the Virginia men at Manchester in 1790; and then that of the Connecticut
men at Conneaut in 1796.


We may now begin to speak of the State of Ohio, for with the opening of
the present century her borders were defined. The rest of the Northwest
Territory was called Indiana Territory, and by 1804, Ohio found herself
a state of the Union. There has never since been any doubt of her being
there, and if it had not been for the great Ohio generals there might
now be no Union for any of the states to be in. But it is nevertheless
true that Ohio was never admitted to the Union by act of Congress,
and her life as a state dates only from the adoption of her final
constitution, or from the meeting of her first legislature at
Chillicothe, on the 1st of March, 1803.

The most memorable fact concerning the adoption of this constitution was
the great danger there was that it might allow some form of slavery
in the new state. Slavery had been forbidden from the beginning in the
Northwest Territory, but many of the settlers of the Ohio country were
from the slave states of New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky,
and there was a strong feeling in favor of allowing women to be held as
slaves till they were thirty-five and men till they were twenty-eight
years old. But in the end, thanks to one of the Massachusetts men of
Marietta, Judge Ephraim Cutler, the friends of slavery were beaten, and
it was forbidden in Ohio in the same words which had forbidden it in the
Northwest Territory.

It had been a long fight and a narrow chance, and the clause that gave
the future to freedom was carried by one vote only. Edward Tiffin was
chosen governor, and the new state entered upon a career of peace and
comfort if not of great prosperity or rapid progress. The Indians if
not crushed were quelled, and the settlers at last lived without fear
of them, until Tecumseh began his intrigues. In the mean time there was
plenty to eat, and enough to wear for all; there was the shelter of the
log cabin, and the fire of its generous hearth. The towns grew, if
they did not grow very rapidly; new towns were founded, and the country
gradually filled up with settlers, or at least the land was claimed.
Immense crops were raised on the fertile soil, and these were mainly fed
to hogs and cattle, which more rapidly found a way to market than the
grain: they could be driven over the bad roads, and the grain had to be
carried. The very richness of the soil when turned to mud forbade good
roads in the new country; and the most thriving settlements were on the
rivers, which, as in the days of the Mound Builders, formed the natural
highways. Many streams were navigable then, which the clearing of the
woods from their banks has since turned to shallow pools in the time of
drouth and to raging torrents in the time of rain; and one of the most
hopeful industries was ship building. The trees turned to masts where
they grew, and many a stately vessel slid into the waters that had
washed its living fibers and glided down the Ohio into the Mississippi
to the sea.

The Ohio people toiled and waited for the inventions of the future to
open ways out into the world for them with the great riches to which
they were shut up in their own borders; but it must have been with a
growing uneasiness. Great Britain, as we know, had long held the forts
in the West which she had agreed to give up to the United States, and
after she surrendered them, her agents and subjects in Canada abetted
the Indians in their rising against the Americans under Tecumseh and
the Prophet. The trouble with the Indians would probably have ended at
Tippecanoe, if it had not been for the outbreak of war between the two
countries; yet this outbreak must have been a kind of relief to the Ohio
people. The English insisted upon the right of searching our vessels
on the high seas, and pressing into their navy any sailors whom they
decided to be British subjects, and though the Ohio people could not
feel the injury of this, as it was felt in the seaboard states whose
citizens were forced into the English service by thousands, they could
feel the insult. They were used to fighting, and they welcomed the war
which at least unmasked their enemies. Their ardor was chilled, however,
by one of its first events, which was the surrender of Detroit by
General Hull. This threw the state open to invasion by the British and
Indians, and the danger was felt in every part of it. The militia were
called out, troops poured in from Kentucky, and General Harrison marched
into the northwest to recapture Detroit. A detachment of his army was
beaten in the first action, which took place beyond the Ohio limits,
and after yielding to the British was butchered in cold blood by their
Indian allies. The next spring Harrison built Fort Meigs on the Maumee;
from this point he hoped to strike a severe blow at the enemy in Canada,
but he was himself attacked here by General Proctor, who marched down
from Maiden with a large force of British regulars, Canadian militia,
and Indians led by Tecumseh.

Proctor planted batteries on the shore of the river, and Tecumseh's
Indians climbed trees and poured down a galling fire on the besieged.
The British commander then summoned the fort to surrender, but Harrison
answered his messenger, "As General Proctor did not send me a summons on
his first arrival, I had supposed that he believed me determined to do
my duty," and he dismissed the envoy with the assurance that if the post
fell into Proctor's hands it would be in a manner to do him more honor
than any surrender could do. The fight then continued until the British
general found his fickle savage friends deserting him, and on the 12th
day raised the siege.

It is probable that the Indians were following their old custom of
leaving off fighting to enjoy a sense of victory when they had won it.
A large body of Kentucky horse had by Harrison's orders attacked one of
the British positions, and carried it. After spiking the enemy's guns
they pursued the flying British, and suddenly fell into an ambush of
Indians. Out of eight hundred only one hundred escaped, and the work
of murdering the prisoners at once began. It was on this occasion that
Tecumseh tried to save the lives of the helpless Americans, appealing
to the British general to support him, and even tomahawking with his own
hatchet a disobedient chief who would not give up the work of death.

The allies made a second attempt on Fort Meigs, but they were foiled in
this too, and then they turned their attention to Fort Sandusky, where
the town of Fremont now stands. General Harrison held a council of war,
and it was decided that Fort Sandusky could not resist an attack and
must be abandoned. But when the order to retire reached the gallant
young officer in command it was too late, for the Indians were already
in force around the post. Major Croghan therefore wrote a reply which he
thought might fall into the enemy's hands, and which he worded for their
eyes rather than his general's. "Sir, I have just received yours of
yesterday, 10 o'clock p.m., ordering me to destroy this place and
make good my retreat, which was received too late to be carried into
execution. _We have determined to maintain this place, and by heavens we

This answer got safely through to General Harrison, who promptly
resented what he thought its presumption and sent to remove Major
Croghan from his command. Croghan went to explain in person and was
allowed to return to his post. The British and Indians appeared in force
the next day, July 31st, and on the 2d of August made their first and
last assault. Colonel Short of the British regulars led a force of 350
men against the fort, and set them the example of leaping into the ditch
before it. When the ditch was full, Croghan opened upon them from a
masked porthole with a six pounder, and raked them from the distance
of thirty-feet. Colonel Short, who had ordered his men to give the
Americans no quarter, fell mortally wounded; he tied his handkerchief to
his sword and waved it in prayer for mercy, and not in vain. Croghan
did all in his power to relieve his disabled foes; he passed buckets of
water to them over the pickets, he opened a space under the pickets that
those who could might creep through into the fort out of their comrades'

That night the whole force of the enemy retreated in such haste that
they left many stores and munitions behind them. They were commanded by
General Proctor, who had already failed at Fort Meigs against Harrison,
and who now dreaded an attack from him. None was made, but Harrison
had the pleasure of writing in his report of the victory won by Major
Croghan at Fort Stephenson: "It will not be among the least of General
Proctor's mortifications that he has been baffled by a youth who had
just passed his twenty-first year."

A little more than a month after this repulse the British were defeated
in the battle of Lake Erie by Commodore Perry, at Put-in-Bay. The action
itself is by no means the most impressive part of the wonderful story
of that great victory. Perry had not only to cope with the British in
waters where they had been undisputed masters, but he had to create
the means of doing so. He brought ship builders, naval stores, guns and
ammunition, as well as sailors for his fleet, four hundred miles through
the wilderness of New York to the wilderness at Erie, Pennsylvania, and
there he hewed out of the forest the stuff which he wrought almost alive
into his ships. On the 1st of August he was ready to sail with two large
vessels of twenty guns each, and seven smaller craft carrying fourteen
guns in all. With these, he met the enemy's force of six vessels
carrying sixty-four guns, and on the beautiful sunny morning of the 10th
of September the famous fight took place. The Americans at first had
the worst of it; the British guns were of longer range, and Perry's
flag-ship, the _Lawrence_, was so badly disabled that he had to abandon
it for the _Niagara_, The _Lawrence_ was in fact an unmanageable wreck;
her decks were streaming with blood, but nothing broke the awful order
of the carnage. The men fell at their guns; if wounded, they were
carried below; if killed, they were left where they dropped, while
others took their places.

[Illustration: Admiral Perry on Lake Erie 196]

Perry hauled down his colors with his own hand, and with his flag under
his arm was rowed to the Niagara through a storm of musketry. Once on
board this vessel, he began to change defeat into victory, and after
a fight lasting more than three hours in all, he could send to General
Harrison his memorable dispatch, "We have met the enemy and they are

The next day the mournful sequel to this tragedy followed, when the
crews of both fleets, victors and vanquished, joined in burying their
dead on the shore of the bay. The sailors slain in the battle had been
already sunken in the lake, but now to the sound of the minute guns from
the ships, with the sad music of funeral marches, the measured dip of
oars, and the flutter of half-masted flags, the last sad rites were paid
to the fallen officers. Perhaps the Indians under Tecumseh who had seen
with stupid dismay the great battle of the rival squadrons, witnessed
this pathetic spectacle too, before they sullenly withdrew into Canada
after Proctor's army. There Harrison pursued them, and in his victory
on the banks of the Thames, their mighty chieftain fell, and their cause
perished with him.


"Who is Blennerhassett?" asked William Wirt, at the trial of Aaron Burr
for treason, and many a schoolboy since has echoed the question, as many
a schoolboy will hereafter, while impassioned oratory is music to the
ear and witchery to the breast. The eloquent lawyer went on to answer
himself, and painted in glowing colors a character which history sees
in a colder light. But though Blennerhassett was not the ideal that
Wirt imagined, he was the generous victim of a cold and selfish man's
ambition, and the ruin of his happy home and gentle hope is none the
less pathetic because his own folly was partly to blame for it.

We must go back of the events which we have been following to an
earlier date, if we wish to find Harman Blennerhassett dwelling with his
beautiful wife on their fairy island in the Ohio. Their earthly paradise
lay in the larger stream at the mouth of the Kanawha, not far from the
present town of Belpre, and there in the first year of the century,
Blennerhassett built a mansion which became the wonder of the West. The
West was not then very well able to judge of the magnificence which it
celebrated, but there seems no reason to doubt that Blennerhassett's
mansion was fine, and of a grandeur unexampled in that new country where
most men lived in log cabins, and where any framed house was a marvel.
He was of English birth, but of Irish parentage, and to the ardor of
his race he added the refinement of an educated taste. He was a Trinity
College man, and one of his classmates at Dublin was the Irish patriot,
Emmet, who afterwards suffered death for his country. But it does not
appear that Blennerhassett came to America for political reasons, and
he seems to have made his home in the West from the impulse of a poetic
nature, with the wealth and the leisure to realize the fancies of
his dream. "A shrubbery that Shenstone might have envied," says Wirt,
"blooms around him. Music that might have charmed Calypso and her
nymphs, is his. An extensive library spreads its treasures before him.
A philosophical apparatus offers him all the secrets and mysteries of
nature. Peace, tranquillity, and innocence shed their mingled delights
around him. And to crown the enchantment of the scene, a wife, who
is said to be lovely even beyond her sex, and graced with every
accomplishment that can render it irresistible, had blessed him with her

Whatever may be the facts concerning the home of the Blennerhassetts,
the memories of those who knew its mistress bear witness to the truth
of these glowing words. They testify that she was not only brilliant,
accomplished, exquisite in manner, but good to every one, kind to the
poor, and devoted to her husband and children. She was a faultless
housewife, as well as a fearless horsewoman, and she was strong in body
as she was active in mind. "She could leap a five-rail fence, walk ten
miles at a stretch, and ride with the boldest dragoon. Robed in scarlet
broadcloth, with a white beaver hat, on a spirited horse, she might be
seen dashing through the dark woods, reminding one of the flight and gay
plumage of a tropical bird."

To this home and its inmates came Aaron Burr, as bad, brave, and
brilliant a man as ever figured in our public life. He had been a
gallant officer in the Revolution, he had been Vice President of the
United States, he had come within a vote of being President. But he had
killed Alexander Hamilton in the duel which he forced upon him, and all
his knowledge of the world and men had taught him to worship power and
despise virtue. It has not yet been clearly shown what Burr meant or
hoped to do, and possibly he could not have very well said himself; but
it is certain that in a general way he was trying to separate the West
from the East, and to commit the warlike people of the backwoods to a
fine scheme for conquering Mexico from Spain, and setting up an imperial
throne there for him to sit upon. He was always willing to sell out his
fine scheme to France, to England, to any power that would buy, even
to Spain herself; and in the mean time he came and went in the West and
Southwest and built up a party in his favor, which fell to pieces at the
first touch of real adversity. General Wilkinson, of the United States
army, who had been plotting and scheming with Burr, arrested him; he was
tried for treason, and those who had cast their fortunes with him were
carried down in his fall. The most picturesque of the sufferers was
Blennerhassett, who was one of the most innocent. Burr had found other
Ohio people too plodding, as he said, but the Blennerhassetts took him
seriously, and when Burr in his repeated visits tempted the husband, and
flattered the wife, who was ambitious only for her husband, he easily
beguiled them into a belief in his glorious destiny.

[Illustration: Aarun Burr and Blennerhassett 200]

Blennerhassett put all his fortune into the venture. He ordered
fifteen large boats built for transporting five hundred men down the
Mississippi, he contracted for provisioning them, and pledged himself
for the payments of all kinds of debts. His friends tried to reason with
his folly in vain. Governor Tiffin called out a company of militia to
prevent his boats from leaving the Muskingum; Blennerhassett heard
that he was to be arrested, and fled; a troop of Virginians seized
his island, pillaged his house and ruined his grounds; and Mrs.
Blennerhassett with her children embarked amid the ice-floes of the Ohio
on a small flatboat and made her way to her husband in Louisiana. Here
he was taken, but discharged after a few weeks' imprisonment. They came
back to their island, but they never lived there again, and in 1811 the
house was burned. They wandered from place to place, and grew poorer
and poorer; in 1831 he died at the house of his sister in the island of
Guernsey, and seven years later his wife ended her days in a New York
tenement house.

[Illustration: Johnny Appleseed 202]

Another picturesque figure of our early times was one who never meant
and never imagined harm to any living creature, man or beast, but
gave his simple, humble life to doing good, with no thought of his own
advantage. Perhaps as the world grows more truly civilized the name of
Johnny Apple-seed will be honored above that of some heroes of the Ohio
country. Like so many of our distinguished men, he was not born in our
state, but he came here in his young manhood from his birthplace in
Massachusetts, and began at once to plant the apple seeds which gave him
his nickname.

Few knew that his real name was John Chapman, but it did not matter;
and Johnny Appleseed became his right name if men are rightly named from
their works. Wherever he went he carried a store of apple seeds with
him, and when he came to a good clear spot on the bank of a stream, he
planted his seeds, fenced the place in, and left them to sprout and grow
into trees for the orchards of the neighborhood. He soon had hundreds
of these little nurseries throughout Ohio, which he returned year after
year to watch and tend, and which no one molested. When the trees were
large enough he sold them to the farmers for a trifle, an old coat or an
old shirt, and when he needed nothing he gave them for nothing. He went
barefoot in the warm weather, and in winter he wore cast-off shoes; when
he could get none and the ways were very rough he protected his feet
with rude sandals of his own making. His hats were of his own making
too, and were usually of pasteboard with a broad brim in front to shield
his eyes from the sun; but otherwise he dressed in the second-hand
clothing of others, for he thought it wrong to spend upon the vanities
of dress. He dwelt close to the heart of nature, whose dumb children he
would not wound or kill, even poisonous snakes or noxious insects. The
Indians knew him and loved him for the goodness of his life, and they
honored him for the courage with which he bore the pain he never would
inflict. He could drive pins into his flesh without wincing; if he got
hurt he burned the place, and then treated it as a burn; he bore himself
in all things, to their thinking, far above other white men.

It was believed that he had come into the backwoods to forget a
disappointment in love, but there is no proof that he had ever suffered
this. What is certain is that he was a man of beautiful qualities of
heart and mind, who could at times be divinely eloquent about the work
he had chosen to do in this world. He was a believer in the philosophy
of Emanuel Swedenborg; he carried books of that doctrine in his bosom,
and constantly read them, or shared them with those who cared to know
it, even to tearing a volume in two. If his belief was true and we are
in this world surrounded by spirits, evil or good, which our evil or
good behavior invites to be of our company, then this harmless, loving,
uncouth, half-crazy man walked daily with the angels of God.

In those early days when the people were poor and ignorant, and had
little hope of bettering themselves in this world, their thoughts
turned much to the other world. The country was often swept by storms of
religious excitement; at the camp-meetings the devout fell in fits and
trances or were convulsed with strange throes called the jerks, and all
sorts of superstitions grew up easily among them. The wildest of these
perhaps was that of the Leatherwood God which flourished in Guernsey
County, about the year 1828. The name of this fanatic or impostor, who
was indeed both one and the other, was Joseph C. Dylks, and his title
was given him because of his claim to be the Supreme Being, and because
he first appeared to his worshipers on Leather-wood Creek at the town
of Salesville. The leatherwood tree which gave this creek its name had
a soft and pliable bark, which could be easily tied into knots, and was
used as cordage by the pioneers; and the dwellers on Leatherwood Creek
had a faith of much the same easy texture. Yet they were of rather more
than the average intelligence, and they were so far from bigoted or
intolerant that all sects among them worshiped in one sanctuary, a large
cabin which they had built in common, and which they called the Temple.
Here on a certain night, while they sat listening to one of their
preachers, they were thrilled by a loud cry of "Salvation!" followed by
a fierce snort, like that of a startled horse, and they discovered in
their midst a stranger of a grave and impressive aspect, who had come no
one knew whence or how. When he rose he stood nearly six feet high,
and showed himself of a perfect figure, with flashing black eyes, a low
broad forehead and a fine arched nose; his hair, black and thick, fell
in a mass behind his ears over his shoulders; he wore a suit of black
broadcloth, a white neckcloth, and a yellow beaver hat. His weird snort
and his striking presence seem to have been his sole equipment for
swaying the faith of the people; though some of the earliest believers
saw a heavenly radiance streaming from his countenance at times, and
when he rode, they beheld above his head a ring of light which hung
in the air over the saddle if he dismounted. But he soon began to make
converts, and he had quickly enough, of the best among those good men
and women, to gain the sole use of the Temple. At first he claimed
merely to be the Lord Jesus Christ, but he presently announced himself
God Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth; and his followers readily
believed him, though he failed in the simple miracle of making a
seamless garment out of a bolt of linsey-woolsey cloth, and kept none of
his promises to them. He probably found it sufficient to be the Deity,
and his worshipers, among whom were two ministers, were certainly
content; but the unbelievers felt the scandal to be too great. They had
Dylks arrested, and brought before two justices of the peace, who one
after the other decided that there was no law of Ohio which forbade a
man to declare himself the Almighty.

[Illustration: Proclaimed himself the Lord Jesus Christ 205]

The wretched creature was acquitted, but he was thoroughly frightened.
He made his escape from his guards, and took to the woods, where he was
some time in hiding. When he came back to the believers, he had bated
nothing of his claim to divinity, but he was no longer so bold. He now
told them that the New Jerusalem would not come down at Leatherwood
Creek, but in the city of Philadelphia, and he departed to the scene of
his glory. Three of the believers followed him over the rugged mountains
and through the pathless woods, finding food and shelter by hardly
less than a miracle; but they did not find the New Jerusalem at their
journey's end. Dylks had told them that where they should see the
heavenly light the brightest, there they should behold the beginning of
the New Jerusalem; but they nowhere saw this light, though they
walked the streets of the earthly city night and day. Two of them were
substantial farmers, and when they had lost all hope, and had lost even
Dylks himself (for he soon vanished), they pledged their tobacco crops
and so got money enough to come home, where they lived and died in the
full faith that Joseph C. Dylks was God Almighty, though he never did
anything to prove it but snort like a startled horse, wear long hair on
foot and a halo on horseback, and fail in everything else he attempted.
The third of this company of his followers, a young minister of the
United Brethren, did not return for some years; then he came, well
dressed and looking fat and sleek, and preached to the people on
Leatherwood Creek the faith in which he had not faltered. He accounted
for the disappearance of Dylks from the eyes of his other worshipers in
Philadelphia very simply: he had seen him taken up into heaven.

But the people had merely his word for the fact; Dylks never descended
to earth again as his apostle promised, and the belief in his divinity
died out with those who first accepted him.


In 1893 Jacob S. Coxey, a respectable citizen of Massillon, started a
movement in favor of good roads which took the form of a pilgrimage to
Washington to petition Congress for its object. Several armies, as they
were called, from different parts of the country, met in Massillon, and
under Mr. Coxey's leadership, set out on a long and toilsome march over
the Alleghanies to the capital, living by charity on the way. Many of
the soldiers of these armies might well have been idle and worthless
persons; there were doubtless others who were sincere and sane in their
hope that the representatives of the people might be persuaded to do
something for bettering the highways; but the affair was so managed as
to meet with nothing but ridicule, and in trying to force a hearing
from Congress Mr. Coxey and some of his followers were arrested for
trespassing on the Capitol grounds, and were sentenced to several weeks
in jail. This ended the latest crusade for good roads from Ohio; but
there is no Ohio idea more fixed than that we ought to have good roads,
and this was by no means the first time that Ohio men had asked the
nation to lend a hand in making them. The first time they succeeded as
signally as they failed the last time; but that was very long ago, and
it may surprise some of my readers to know that we have a National Road
crossing our whole state, which is still the best road in it.

Almost as soon as the Western people had broken into the backwoods it
became their necessity to break out again, to find and to make roads
between them and the civilization they had left. The ways of the
different emigrations in reaching Ohio were: for the New Engenders,
through New York state to Lake Erie, and westwardly along the shore
of that water; for the Pennsylvanians, through their own state to the
headwaters of the Ohio, and then down the river and inwardly from it;
for the Virginians, Marylanders, and Carolinians, the valley of the
Shenandoah and the mountain gaps to Kentucky, and so into Southwestern
Ohio. At first the white men came by the _streets_, as the pioneers
called the trails that the buffalo and deer had made; but they soon cut
traces through the woods, and later these traces became wagon roads. Of
course they used the rivers wherever they could and traveled by canoe,
by flatboat, by keelboat, and by ark; and there grew up on the rivers a
wild life which had its adventures and heroes like the Indian warfare.
The most famous of the boatmen was Mike Fink, who drank hard and fought
hard, and was a miraculous shot with his rifle. He was captain of a
keelboat, which was the craft mostly used in ascending the river. The
flatboats were broken up and sold as lumber when they had drifted down
to their points of destination on the lower rivers, but the keelboat
could make a return trip by dint of pushing with a long pole on the
shore side and rowing on the other; sometimes even sails were used, and
then the keelboat sped up stream at the rate of fifty miles instead of
twelve miles a day.

But these means of traffic and travel soon ceased to suffice. Then the
Ohio people felt the need of getting out with their increasing crops,
their multiplying flocks and herds, and they made their need known to
the nation, to which they were everywhere akin, and the nation answered
through Congress by beginning, in 1806, the National Road, which was
finished by 1838, from Baltimore as far as Indiana. This road first
opened the East to Ohio; then in 1811 a steamboat made its appearance on
the Beautiful River, and after that steam commanded all the Southern and
Southwestern waters for us, as well as those of the inland seas on the
North. Then, that all these waters might be united, the state began in
1825 to build a system of canals, from Cleveland to Portsmouth and
from Toledo to Cincinnati. When these canals were completed, with their
branches, they gave the people some nine hundred miles of navigable
waters within their own borders. The main lines were built, not by
companies for private profit as the railroads have since been built,
but by the people for the people, and it may be said that the great
prosperity of Ohio began with them. Wherever they ran they drained the
swamps and made the land not only habitable but beautiful. They were dug
by Ohio people, and the sixteen millions of dollars that they cost
came back into the hands of the men who gladly taxed themselves for the
outlay. The towns along their course grew, and new towns rose out of the
forests and prairies.

The Ohio people had the impulse to this great work from the New York
people, who had built the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo, and whose
governor, De Witt Clinton, had urged forward that work. Now, when our
whole state was ablaze with joy at the action of the legislature in
providing for the work, Governor Clinton was invited to come and first
strike the spade into the earth in digging the new canals. He arrived by
steamboat at Cleveland, where the people received him and his train of
distinguished New Yorkers with rejoicings worthy of the great event. He
took stage for Newark, and on the 4th of July, 1825, when our state
had just come of age, in the presence of all the Ohio magnates and
dignitaries, and a mighty throng of citizens, he lifted a spadeful from
the ground on the Licking Summit. Governor Morrow of Ohio lifted the
second spadeful, and then followed a struggle among the distinguished
men as to which should lift the third. New Yorkers and Ohioans vied in
filling a wheelbarrow with successive spadefuls, and a happy citizen
of Chillicothe had the honor of wheeling it away and dumping it over a
bank. He was the captain of a company of militia, and the crowd was so
great that a squadron of cavalry had to keep a space for the speakers
in the midst of their hollow square. Thomas Ewing delivered the oration,
and men all round him wept for joy.

[Illustration: Governor Clinton 211L]

There were like scenes when the canals were completed. Multitudes
gathered to see the water let into the channels which to their
impatience had been so long in digging, and they took hopefully the
disappointment of having it sink into the gravelly beds, before it could
slowly fill the banks, instead of rushing like a flood to their brims.
At Dayton, 1829, when the first fleet of three canal boats arrived from
Cincinnati, it was greeted with the firing of cannon and the shouts of
an immense crowd lining the canal banks. This was as it should be, and
will be wherever a great work is done for the common good; and it ought
never to be forgotten that the canals of Ohio were dug by Ohio men that
all Ohio men might freely prosper more and more, and not that a few rich
men might get richer.

After the National Road, which was our first way out, came the steam
navigation of the lake and the river, and after that came the railroad,
which will be our main reliance for getting back and forth over the
state and to and from it, till some of the many schemes of travel
through the air are realized. We cannot tell how far off the event may
be; but in the mean time it is curious, if not very flattering to our
Ohio pride, to learn that the first railroad enterprise within our
borders was fostered by Michigan. The legislature of that state granted
the charter of the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad, which opened in 1836.
The line ran from Toledo to Adrian, thirty-three miles, but when it was
projected the matter was so far from serious with the legislature which
authorized it, that it was granted because it was "merely a fanciful
scheme that could do no harm, and would greatly please" certain citizens
of Toledo; just as now a balloon line might be laughingly authorized. It
was entirely successful, however, as far as the running was concerned,
though the road was so hampered by the cost of fighting enemies and the
expenses of building that it was seized for debt seven years later.

This has been the history of many railroads since in Ohio, and if we
could read between the lines that now cobweb the map of the state, we
should come to know many tales of broken fortunes and of broken hopes.
The railroads are no different in this from other business enterprises,
but they are different from the canals. These, as we have seen, were
the work of the state for the advantage of the whole people, while the
railroads were from the beginning private schemes for making money. Each
kind of highway came in its time, and each in its way served the purpose
of Ohio. At the time the companies began to build their railroads,
the state system of canals was in its highest usefulness, and it is no
wonder that the people should have regarded the railroads as fanciful
schemes. No one could then have dreamed how rapidly they would increase
and multiply, and that in less than fifty years they should so far
surpass the canals in service to the public that some of these would
be abandoned by the state, and become grass-grown ditches hardly
distinguishable in their look of ancient ruin from the works of the
Mound Builders. At the most there were once nine hundred miles of
canals in Ohio, and now there are twelve or fourteen thousand miles of
railroads. Yet the canals were a greater achievement for Ohio in 1837
than the railroads are in 1897.

The children of this day can hardly imagine what rude and simple affairs
the earliest railroads were. Instead of the long smooth steel rails
which now carry the great trains, with their luxurious cars, in their
never-ceasing flight, day in and day out the whole year round, flat
bands of iron, spiked to wooden rails, formed the path of the
small carriages drawn by a locomotive of the size and shape of a
threshing-machine engine. These amazed by a speed of ten or twelve miles
an hour the gaping spectator whose grandchildren do not turn their heads
to look at the express as it makes its sixty miles in sixty minutes. In
the very beginning, indeed, the carriages were drawn by horses, and it
was several years before steam was used.

[Illustration: Early Railroad 214]

Little by little the railroads began to be built on the easy levels of
the state, and before a great while a line was projected from Cincinnati
to Columbus along the course of the Little Miami River. This was
completed piecemeal, from point to point, and at last carried through.
In the mean time other lines were laid out, and then all at once
the railroad era was at hand. It was a time of great excitement and
expectation, if not of that public rejoicing which had welcomed the

In a few years the magnificent fleets of the river began to feel
the fatal rivalry of the trains that swept along its borders. Travel
deserted them, and traffic sought the surer and swifter transportation
of the shore. The great packets that had carried swarms of passengers
to and from Pittsburg and Cincinnati and all the points between,
disappeared or were converted into freight-boats, and then these
began to fail for want of traffic, and the Beautiful River was almost
abandoned to the stern-wheeler pushing a flotilla of coal-barges. A
like change took place upon the lake; steamers which formed the means
of communication between the towns and cities from Cleveland to Buffalo,
and from Cleveland to Detroit, ceased to touch at the smaller ports,
and became the pleasure-craft of the summer tourists, or the carriers
of heavy freight, and the ports which did not become the feeders of the
railroads dwindled to insignificance. But the railroads could not affect
the navigation of the lake quite so disastrously as that of the river;
the lake in such a rivalry had some such advantage as that of the sea
from its mere vastness, and from the expanses where the railroads could
not follow the steamer in the mere nature of things. The iron horse had
his way with the canals, though, and these monuments of a former period
of enterprise grow more and more like its sepulcher, where he drank them
dry. or where he left their slow currents to stagnate unstirred by the
keels of the leisurely craft once so jubilantly welcomed to them.

Except for the occasional breaking of an embankment, the history of the
canals could hardly be marked by any incidents of exciting interest. It
was not so with steamboating and railroading, which has each its long
tale of disasters such as give times of peace almost as dark a record
as those of war. The most tragical of these events took place at the
opposite extremities of the state, in Cincinnati and in Ashtabula, and
they occurred at the beginning and the end of an interval of nearly
forty years.

The rise of steamboating on the Western rivers was perhaps all the more
rapid because of the daring and reckless spirit of the Western people,
who took almost any risk in order to carry a point in their rivalries
or to gain an end of their ambition. It is certain at any rate that the
builders and the crews of the popular boats joined in contriving and
urging them to a speed that should leave all competitors behind. There
was frequent racing between the packets on the Ohio and Mississippi, and
the frightful calamities from bursting boilers continued for a long time
before public opinion quelled the boyish love of victory which tempted
not only the steamboatmen but their passengers too. These joined with
the captain in forcing the boat to the top of its speed, at the risk
of a swift or agonizing death to all on board; and it was no doubt
with their full approval that the master of the beautiful new steamer
_Moselle_ took the chance that resulted in the loss of more than two
hundred lives on the 26th of April, 1838. She had just left her moorings
at Cincinnati for her trip to Louisville, and had run up to take on a
family from a raft a little way above the city. In order that she might
show her speed before the crowd on the landing, and pass a rival boat in
sight of all as she returned, the captain held to the full head of steam
with which he had started. Her wheels had scarcely turned, after she
parted from the raft, when her boilers burst with a roar like thunder.
The air was instantly filled with the flying fragments of the wreck,
and with the bodies and the heads and limbs of men, women, and children.
These fell, strewing the shore and dropping into the river, where what
was left of the Moselle sank within fifteen minutes. Cries of anguish,
groans and shrieks from the sufferers, followed the awful sound of the
explosion. Many of the victims whom the accident had spared were drowned
before boats could reach them. The mangled body of the captain was
hurled into the street; the pilot was thrown a hundred feet into the air
and fell back into the stream.

[Illustration: Steamboat Explosion 217]

In 1876, on the evening of December 29, an express train of the Lake
Shore Railroad, broke through the bridge at Ashtabula, and plunged
seventy-five feet down into the bed of the creek below. The train was
of eleven cars with a hundred and fifty-six passengers on board, and the
bridge was further strained by the weight of the two massive locomotives
which drew it. The night was extremely cold, and a blinding snow storm
was raging, while the freezing wind blew a gale. The wreck at once took
fire, and with the cries of the wounded were now mingled the agonized
prayers of those who saw themselves doomed to death in the blazing ruins
which imprisoned them. Nearly every one on the train was hurt more or
less severely; eighty persons perished in the fall or the fire, and five
died after they were rescued.

There were other paths which the Ohio people had to open before they
could reach a yet wider world than any that lay to the east of them, or
the south of them. Their course to civilization lay not only through
the woods and down the rivers and over the mountains, but it ran also
through the great realm of books, and every log schoolhouse was a
station or a junction on it; or rather, as they had things in these
days, a milestone or a finger-post.

The great glory and strength of the Ohio people, as I have hinted
before, came from their varied origin.

They have shown themselves among the first of the Americans, not because
they were born in Ohio, but because they were born of the Massachusetts
and Connecticut men, the New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians, the New
Jerseymen and Marylanders, the Virginians and Carolinians and
Kentuckians who made Ohio what it was to be by the mixture of their
characteristics and qualities here. It is of no use to pretend, however,
that it was their virtues alone which got into the Ohio people; their
foibles got in too, and their prejudices and their vices. A traveler
in our state, just after it had become a state, believed that we were
destined to be more like the people of the North and East than the
people of the South, whom he then found, in Kentucky at least, much
livelier in mind and manner than the Pennsylvanians, fond of public life
and society, very hospitable and courteous, but dissipated, restless,
and reckless. Our public spirit did not come from our Southern ancestry,
but from our New England ancestry. The South gave Ohio perhaps her
foremost place in war and politics, but her enlightenment in other
things was from the North. It was the aristocratic indifference of the
South to public schools that for twenty-four years after Ohio became
a state kept her from profiting by the magnificent provision of school
lands made for her by the whole nation through Congress. It was not
until almost a generation after Ohio became a state that she began to
have schools partly free, and it was still a generation later before
the men of New England blood framed the present school law, and got
it enacted by the legislature. This was in 1853, but in 1825 the first
great effort for public schools was made. There was then a party in
favor of canals in the legislature, and another party in favor of
schools, and these two parties fought each other a long time. At last
they united, and together gave the people canals and schools, the two
ways out of the wilderness.

Our canals are no longer the great avenues of commerce, because the
modern needs and means are different from those of former days, but our
schools are still the royal roads, the people's roads, to and from the
world of letters and arts. Ohio is now second to no other state in her
public school system: and well-nigh three-quarters of a century ago,
when General Lafayette visited Cincinnati in his tour of the Republic
which he had helped to found, nothing surprised and charmed him more
than the greeting which the children of her public schools gave him. It
spoke to him of a refined and graceful life, such as he could never have
imagined in the young city so lately carven out the forests; and such
proofs of the general culture must have done more than all the signs of
material prosperity, all the objects of industry so proudly shown him,
to make him regard Ohio (to use his own words) as the eighth wonder of
the world. Six hundred boys and girls from the public schools met him at
sunrise, on the morning of his arrival, and scattered flowers under his
feet and made the air ring with their shouts of "Welcome to Lafayette!"

As for the Indians, who fought so long and so hard here for the graves
of their fathers and the homes of their children, they had to find their
ways out too. But it would not be easy to say what became of them all,
for they went such various ways out of Ohio and out of the world. Some
remained in the country which they had lost, and in a few cases they
tried to take on the likeness of civilized men. But oftener they only
took on the vices of civilization; they were the drunkards and the
vagrants of their neighborhoods, living by a little work and by the
contemptuous charity of the settlers. In them the proud spirit of their
race was broken; they suffered insult and outrage from their conquerors
without resisting; a small white Titian might knock a stalwart Indian
down with his fist, and the Indian would not attempt to revenge himself.
For a while, the settlers feared the lingering red men, but they soon
learned to despise them, and it was seldom that they troubled the whites
by theft or violence.

A good many of the tribesmen followed the British into Canada, after the
War of 1812, where it must be owned to our shame as Americans that they
had wiser, kinder, and juster treatment than we gave those who remained
with us, and who followed westward from their old hunting grounds in
Ohio the buffalo, the elk, the beaver, and the deer. Several nations,
or parts of nations, were gathered on reservations in Seneca, Lucas,
and Wyandot counties, where they were given land and taught farming and
other trades. Missionaries came to dwell among them and try to make them
Christians, and many were converted. The Quakers seem to have done the
best work in this way, for the Indians always trusted and loved the men
of peace.

But although their friends could teach the Indians to plow and sow,
to build houses and barns, to make tools and mend them, to sing and to
pray, and to wear clothes and to lead decent and sober lives, they could
not uproot all their old customs and superstitions. The superstition
that seemed to last longest was the belief in witchcraft, which was
indeed very common among their white neighbors. Nearly all forms of
sickness were treated as the effect of witchcraft by the Indians, and
the afflicted were carried into the woods and left alone with none near
them except the medicine man whose business it was to expel the witch.

A suspected witch or wizard might be safely killed by any kinsman of
the sufferer; and it is said that Indians were known to walk all the
way from the Mississippi to the Ohio reservations in order to shoot down
persons accused of witchcraft, and then return unmolested. In 1828,
the Mingo chief Seneca John was put to death by two of his tribesmen as
ruthlessly as Leatherlips in 1812. He was accused of having bewitched
the chief Comstock, and though he protested, "I loved my brother
Comstock better than the green earth. I stand upon; I would shed my
blood, drop by drop, to bring him back to life," yet he was sentenced
to die, and Comstock's brothers, Coonstick and Steel, carried out the

In 1831 the Senecas ceded their lands, forty thousand acres on the
Sandusky, to the United States, and were removed to the southwest of the
Missouri. Each of the other reservations was given up in turn for lands
in the Far West, and in the early forties I myself, when a boy living in
Hamilton, saw the last of the Ohio Indians passing through the town on
the three canal boats which carried the small remnant of their nation
southward and westward out of the hind that was to know them no more

[Illustration: Indian evacuation by River 223L]

It was quite time. I cannot say how far they had been civilized, and for
all I know they may have been tame farmers and mechanics, but in their
moccasins and blankets, with their bows and arrows, they looked like
wild hunters; and Ohio was no longer a good hunting ground. All the
larger game had long been killed off or driven away, and the smaller
game was fast vanishing before the rifle and the shotgun. As if its
destruction by gunners singly was not rapid enough it was the custom in
somewhat earlier days for whole neighborhoods to meet together for the
wholesale slaughter of the sylvan creatures which still abounded. One of
these great hunts took place in Medina County, in 1818, when the region
was as yet very sparsely settled. The drive, as it was called, was fixed
for the 24th of December, and at sunrise, six hundred men and boys drew
up their far-spreading lines. They were armed with rifles, shotguns,
old muskets, pistols, knives, axes, hatchets, bayonets fastened to long
poles, and whatever other weapons they could lay hands on, to shoot,
strike, or stab with, and they began to draw their vast circle together
with a hideous uproar of horn, conchshells, and voices. The deer fled
inward from all sides; bear and wolf left their coverts in terror; foxes
and raccoons joined the panic rout, and the air was full of the flight
of wild turkeys. Then the slaughter began, and before it ended three
hundred deer, twenty-one bears, and seventeen wolves were killed; of the
turkeys and the smaller game no tale was kept.

Later these drives were common in the years whenever game was abundant
in any neighborhood. They were called squirrel-hunts, because the
squirrel was the unit, and larger or smaller game counted so many
squirrels, or went to make up the value of a squirrel. I knew of one
of these hunts during the late fifties in Northern Ohio, when the wild
pigeons were still in such multitude that their flight darkened the sky,
where now one of them is rarely seen.


Almost from the beginning Ohio was called the Yankee state by her
Southern neighbors. Burr had found her people too plodding for him, as
he said, and it would not have been strange if the older slave-holding
communities on her southern and eastern border had seen with distrust
and dislike the advance of the young free state, and had given her that
nickname partly out of envy and partly out of contempt. Their citizens
were high-spirited and generous, but they had not the public spirit
which New England had imparted to Ohio, for public spirit comes from
equality and from the feeling for others' rights, and the very supremacy
which the slaveholders enjoyed was fatal to this feeling. Virginia and
Kentucky were rich in independent character, but public spirit is
better than this, for it cares for the independence of all through the
self-sacrifice of each. That was the secret which Ohio early learned
from New England, and which kept her safe from slavery when it pressed
so hard upon her in the friendship as well as the enmity of her

We know that the Northwestern Territory was devoted to freedom by the
law that created it, but we have seen that slavery was kept out of Ohio
by one vote only when her first constitution was adopted; and for a
very long time there was a very large party favorable to slavery in our
state. It will seem strange to many of my readers that Ohio people of
color were once not only not allowed to vote, but were not allowed to
give testimony in the courts of law. They were treated in this like the
Southern slaves, and in fact there was really a sort of slaveholding
in Ohio, in spite of the law. In the river counties many farmers
hired slaves from their masters in Virginia and Kentucky; and when the
Southerners traveled through Ohio, they brought their slaves into the
state with them, and took them out again. But when the conscience of the
Northern people began to stir against slavery, the Ohio abolitionists
coaxed away the slaves of these Southern travelers and sojourners,
and this, with the constant escape of runaway slaves by their help,
infuriated the friends of slavery inside as well as outside of the
state. The abolitionists had what they called the Underground Railroad,
with stations at their houses in town and country, and they sped the
fugitives from one to another till they reached Canada. Their enemies
accused them of tempting slaves across the Ohio, in order to give them
their freedom, and in a little while the rage against them broke out in
mobs and riots.

It would not be easy to trace here the course of events which led to
these outbreaks. It is no doubt true that the abolitionists were often
rash, if not reckless, and that when they were maddened by the coldness
or the hostility of the people to the cause of human freedom they did
not stop at some acts which, though they were righteous enough, were
unlawful. It was unlawful to harbor runaway slaves, but they did it
gladly, and they appealed to the passions as well as the consciences of
men in their hate of the sum of all villainies, as John Wesley called
slavery. They not only met their foes half way, they carried the war
into the hearts and homes of the enemy. From time to time wicked and
sorrowful things happened to fret their fanaticism and keep it at a
white heat. Peaceable negroes were attacked in their homes by ruffianly
whites, their cattle killed, their fields wasted; and sometimes they
made a bloody resistance. They were not always harmless, and they were
not always pleasant neighbors. Slavery was a bad school, for the slaves
as well as the masters; and the negroes, when not vicious and dishonest,
were degraded and ignorant, for the public schools were shut against
them, and they could not read, any more than they could vote or bear
witness. So it is not strange that they should have been hunted and
harried everywhere in Southern Ohio.

In Pike County a whole neighborhood was invaded, and several lives were
lost before one of these foolish and wicked persecutions ended. This
incident, which was one of many more or less violent, occurred in 1830,
and two years later something still more tragical happened. A negro
calling himself Thomas Marshall, who had lived several years at Dayton,
was caught up in the streets of that town by some men who, when his
cries brought the citizens to his help, declared that he was a runaway
slave. They took him before a magistrate, and proved their charge; but
one of the slavecatchers held out the hope that his master would sell
him. The poor slave gave fifty dollars himself toward his freedom, and
his ransom was well made up when word came from his owner in Kentucky
that he would not part with him for any sum. His captors then took
Marshall to Cincinnati, where he was lodged for safe keeping over night
in the fourth story of a hotel. When his guards fell asleep, the slave
rose and threw himself out of the window to the ground fifty feet below.
He was taken up fatally hurt, and he died at dawn.

The anti-slavery meetings were often broken in upon by mobs and
sometimes broken up. One of these riots took place in 1834 at Granville,
in Licking County, where the Ohio Anti-slavery Convention held its
anniversary in a barn on the outskirts. The members were returning to
the village in a procession when the mob met them, and at sight of the
ladies among them shouted, "Egg the squaws!" and began to pelt them with
eggs and other missiles, while some ran and tried to trip them up.
Many of the men were beaten and egged, and the manes and tails of their
horses were shaved. This was a favorite argument with the friends of
slavery, and if shaving horses' manes and tails could have availed,
their party would easily have won.

Some of the anti-slavery speakers and lecturers came on missions from
the Eastern States, but several of the fiercest and bravest were
like the Rev. John Rankin, of Clermont County, who had emigrated
from Tennessee to Ohio, because he would not live in a slaveholding
community. He used to preach against slavery at frequent peril of his
life, and his son tells how a mob leader once mounted to his pulpit,
and threatened him with his club. "Stop speaking, or I will burst your
head," he shouted, but Rankin went quietly on as if nothing had been
said, and one of his friends dragged the ruffian from his side. Of
course, he was always coming home with his horse's mane and tail shaved,
and of course his house was a station on the underground railroad to

One of the boldest of the abolitionists was James G. Birney, who like
Rankin had come to Ohio from the South. He started a newspaper called
_The Philanthropist_ in Cincinnati, and for three months attacked
slavery unsparingly in it. Then, on the 23d of July, 1836, the mob rose,
broke into the printing office, threw the types into the street,
tore down the press, and cast the fragments into the river. Then they
assailed the black people living in one of the alleys, and shots were
exchanged but no lives were lost. A few years later, however, in 1841,
a general assault was made upon the negroes by the mob; several on
both sides were killed and many wounded, and the office of _The
Philanthropist_ was again destroyed. Of course these things did not stop
the fight against slavery, and it did not help slavery at all when
the authorities of Lane Theological Seminary at Cincinnati forbade the
students to write or to talk about it. That was foolish and useless; it
only hurt the seminary, and drove many students from it to the college
at Oberlin, then newly founded in the woods of Lorain County. There they
could not only discuss slavery, but they could learn about it at
first hand from the negro students. The founders of Oberlin were not
abolitionists, but it is related that when they took Christ for their
guide, they found that they could not shut out the friendless people
whom the law kept from the schools, the polls, and the courts.

These few scattered facts will give some notion of the bitter feeling
that prevailed during the first ten or twelve years of the fight against
slavery in Ohio. Afterwards it became less intense, as slavery became a
political question between the two great parties of that day, the Whigs
and the Democrats. Neither party expected to abolish slavery, but the
Whigs hoped to keep it out of the territories and all the new states.
Both parties split upon this question at last, and in 1856 the
anti-slavery Whigs and anti-slavery Democrats joined in forming the
Republican party, which in 1860 elected Abraham Lincoln upon its promise
to shut slavery up to the states where it already existed.

But it must not be supposed, because the first bitter feeling had passed
away, that the facts were changed or that the tragedies and outrages had
ceased. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, there was
a new hunt for runaways all over the state, and business on the
underground railroad was never so brisk. The hatred of slavery was
revived in all its intensity by such cases as that of Margaret Gorden
in 1856. This unhappy mother had escaped from Kentucky with her four
children to the house of a free colored man below Mill Creek in Hamilton
County, where they remained concealed with thirteen other fugitives. One
night the place was suddenly attacked by the slavehunters under the lead
of the United States officers. A fight followed, and several on both
sides were wounded, but at last the slaves were overpowered. While the
officers were dragging the others from the house, Margaret seized a
knife from the table, and killed her little daughter rather than see
it taken back to slavery, and then turned the bloody weapon against
herself, but failed in the attempt on her own life. She was taken to
Cincinnati and tried, not for murder, but for escaping from slavery,
together with the other fugitives, who said they would "go singing to
the gallows," if only they need not go back to the South. They were all
found guilty of seeking to be free, and were returned to their owners.
On her way down the river it is said that Margaret jumped from the
boat with one of her remaining little ones in her arms. The child was
drowned, but Margaret was saved for the fate which she dreaded, and
which she had twice risked her own and her children's life to shun. What
became of her at last was never known; it is only known that she was
carried back to her owner. She had two deep scars on her black face.
At her trial she was asked what made them, and she answered "White man
struck me."

In Champaign County, a fugitive slave named Ad White resisted the
attempt of the slavehunters to take him, in 1857, and fired upon one of
the United States marshals, whose life was saved by the negro's bullet
striking against the marshal's gunbarrel. The people and their officers
took the slave's side, and the case was fought in and out of court.
The sheriff of the county was brutally beaten with a slungshot by the
marshal who had so narrowly escaped death himself, and never take a
thousand dollars for him; the money was promptly raised and paid over,
and White lived on unmolested.

[Illustration: Slavery issue 232]

As late as the summer of 1860 a fugitive slave was arrested near Iberia,
in Morrow County. A party of young men caught one of the marshals
and shaved his head, while others beat his comrades. Rev. Mr. Gordon,
President of Ohio Central College, stood by trying to prevent the
punishment, but he alone was arrested. He was sentenced to prison,
where he lay till Lincoln pardoned him. The pardon did not recognize his
innocence, and he would not leave his cell until his friends forced him
to do so. By this time the damp jail air had infected him, and he died,
shortly after, of consumption.

One would think that such things as these would have cured the Ohio
people of all sentiment for slavery, for they had no real interest in
it. But even in the second year of the Civil War, which the love of
slavery had stirred up against the Union, the famous anti-slavery
orator, Wendell Phillips, was stoned and egged while trying to lecture
in Cincinnati. Before this time, however, events had gone so far that
there was no staying them. One of the earliest and chiefest of these
events was the attempt of John Brown to free the slaves in Virginia. He
had already fought slavery in Kansas, where it was trying to invade free
soil, and in 1859 he thought that the time had come to carry the war
into the enemy's country. He did this by placing himself with a small
force of daring young men, several of his own sons among the rest, in
the mountains near Harper's Ferry. He hoped that when he had seized
the United States Arsenal at that point, and given them arms the slaves
would join him, and help to fight their way to the free states under his
lead. But when they were attacked in the Arsenal, Brown and his men
were easily overpowered by a detachment of Marines sent from Washington;
several of his followers were killed; a few escaped; the rest suffered
death with their leader on the gallows at Charlestown.

Some think that Brown was mad, some that he was inspired, some that he
was right, some that he was wrong; but whatever men think of him, there
are none who doubt that he was a hero, ready to shed his blood for
the cause he held just. His name can never die, so long as the name of
America lives, and it is part of the fame of Ohio that he dwelt many
years in our state. For many years of his younger manhood Brown had
lived at Hudson, in Summit County; for months before his attempt in
Virginia he and his men were coming and going at different points in the
Western Reserve, and in Ashtabula County where one of his sons then had
a farm, he kept hidden the pikes with which he hoped to arm the slaves.
One of the young men who died with him on the scaffold at Charlestown
was the Quaker lad, Edwin Coppock, of Columbiana County, who wrote, two
days before he suffered, a touching letter of farewell to his friends.
"I had fondly hoped to live to see the principles of the Declaration
of Independence fully realized; I had hoped to see the dark stain of
slavery blotted from our land.... But two more short days remain to me
to fulfill my earthly destiny. At the expiration of those days I shall
stand upon the scaffold to take my last look of earthly scenes. But that
scaffold has but little dread for me, for I honestly believe that I am
innocent of any crime justifying such a punishment. But by the taking of
my life and the lives of my comrades, Virginia is but hastening on the
day when the slave will rejoice in his freedom."

[Illustration: John Brown making pikes for Slaves 234R]


Though the Ohio people were too plodding for Aaron Burr, and though they
were taunted almost from the first as the Yankee state of the West, they
seem to have had war in their blood, which may have been their heritage
from the long struggle with the Indians. But after the peace with Great
Britain in 1815 there was no war cloud in the Ohio sky until Morgan
swept across our horizon with his hard-riders, except at one time in
1835. There had then arisen between our state authorities and those
of Michigan a dispute concerning the border line between the two
commonwealths, and matters went so far that the governors of both States
called out their militia. The Michigan troops actually invaded Ohio,
and overran the watermelon patches near Toledo, ate the chickens of
the neighborhood, destroyed an ice house, and carried off one Ohioan
prisoner. But the mere terror of the Ohio name sufficed to send them
flying home again when they heard that our riflemen were waiting for
them in Toledo, and many deserters from their ranks took to the woods
on their way back. This vindicated the glory of our state; we cheerfully
submitted when the arbitrators chosen to settle the dispute decided it
mainly in favor of Michigan, and we have ever since lived at peace with
that commonwealth.

All this seems now like a huge joke, and so it has ever since been
regarded, but a war was coming which was serious enough. It might be
said that the great Civil War began with "John Brown's invasion of
Virginia," in 1859, but it might just as well be said that it began with
the fighting for and against freedom in Kansas in 1856. In fact it might
be said that it began with the mobbing of anti-slavery speakers and the
rescue of runaway slaves all over the North, from 1830 onwards. Yet this
would be fantastic, even if it were true, and we had better accept the
dates which history gives. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President
by the men opposed to the spread of slavery, and in 1861 the slave
states, feeling that their mastery of the Union was gone, left it one
after another, and the first fighting took place through the effort of
the United States government to hold its forts in the South.

In this war, Ohio played so great a part, that it is hard for Ohio
people to keep from claiming that she played the first part. Remembering
that General Grant, General Sherman, General Sheridan, the three
greatest soldiers of the war, were all Ohio men, we might be tempted to
claim that without these the war would not have been won for the Union,
but it is safer to claim nothing more than that Ohio gave the nation the
generals who won the war. Our three greatest soldiers were only chief
among many others under whose lead Ohio sent to the war some three
hundred and twenty thousand men, during the four years of fighting, a
force almost as great as that of whole nations in other times.

[Illustration: John Morgan invades Ohio in 1863 237]

Ohio men shed their blood on all the battlefields of the South, but
only once was the war which consumed her children by tens of thousands
brought home to her own hearths. This was when the state was invaded by
John Morgan and his hard-riders in 1863. Morgan was born at Huntsville
in Alabama, and was of the true Southern type, gallant, reckless,
independent. He was one of the bravest and luckiest chiefs of
Confederate cavalry, and when he was ordered to march northward from
Tennessee through Kentucky, and attempt the capture of Louisville, but
not to pass the Ohio, he trusted to his fortune, and crossed the river
into Indiana at the head of some twenty-three hundred horsemen. On
the 13th of July he entered the state of Ohio, a few miles north
of Cincinnati, and passed eastward unmolested by the Union general
Burnside, who preferred not to bring him to battle in the neighborhood
of the city, but to wait some chance of attacking him elsewhere. The
militia had been called out by the governor, and the whole country was
on the alert. But Morgan's men passed through Clermont, Brown, Adams,
Pike, Jackson, Vinton, Athens, and Gallia counties into Meigs with
comparatively little molestation, though the militia learned rapidly
to embarrass if not to imperil his course. His men suffered terribly in
their long ride. They had to live on the country as best they could,
and they were literally dropping with sleep as they pushed their jaded
horses along the roads, everywhere threatened by the Ohio sharpshooters.
They fell from their saddles and were left behind; they crawled off in
the darkness and threw themselves down in the woods and fields, glad
to awaken prisoners in the hands of their pursuers. At first the large
towns were alarmed by the fear of pillage, but Morgan had hardly
got into Ohio before it became his chief aim to get out again. His
hard-riders were confined in their depredations mainly to the plunder of
the country stores on their route. They stole what they could, but they
stole without method or reason, except in the matter of horses, which
they really needed and could use. They commonly left their worn-out
chargers in exchange, but they took the freshest and strongest horses
they could get, at any rate. In their horse stealing they were not
so very unlike the Kentucky pioneers, who used to cross into the Ohio
country for the ponies of the Indians, and they practiced it at much
the same risk; for the Ohio people were becoming every moment madder and
more mischievous. At first they only cut down trees to check Morgan's
march after he got by, but they soon began to obstruct the roads in
front of him; and though they burned one bridge over a river that
he could easily ford, it was not long before they learned to destroy
bridges where the streams were otherwise impassable.

By the time he reached Portland the militia were closing in around him,
and the next morning two detachments of United States cavalry struck
him, while the gunboats which had been watching for him on the river,
opened fire on him. In a few minutes the fight was over. Morgan left
seven hundred of his men prisoners behind him, and with twelve hundred
others fled north and east to seek a new way out of Ohio. The fight at
Buffington Island took place on the 18th, five days after Morgan crossed
the Ohio line into Hamilton County, and on the 26th he surrendered
with the constantly lessening remnant of his force seven miles from New
Lisbon in Columbiana County.

The prisoners were all sent for safe keeping to the penitentiary at
Columbus, but on the night of November 7th, Morgan and six of his
comrades made their escape, by digging into an air-space under the floor
of his cell with their table-knives, passing through this to the prison
walls, and letting themselves down with ropes made of their bed-clothes.
At the station where they were to take the train for Cincinnati, Morgan
was dismayed to realize that he had no money to buy a ticket; but one
of his officers had been supplied by a young lady who sent him some
bank notes concealed in a book. They rode all night in great fear and
anxiety, and just before the train drew into Cincinnati they put on the
brakes and slowed it enough to drop from it with safety. Then they lost
no time in making for the Ohio River, where they hired a boy to set them
over to Kentucky in his boat. Morgan had not found the Ohio people too
plodding for him, as Aaron Burr had, but he was quite as glad to leave
their state, which he never revisited, for he was killed the next year
in Tennessee. He left behind him in Ohio by no means a wholly evil
name, and some stories are told of him that more than hint at a generous
nature. A Union soldier whom his men had taken tried to break his musket
across a stone, and one of the Confederate officers drew his pistol to
shoot him. Morgan forbade it. "Never harm a man who has surrendered," he
said. "He was only doing what I should have done in his place."

We may be sure that such an enemy inflicted no wanton injury upon the
country, and there was something in Morgan's presence that corresponded
with this magnanimity of his character. He was a man of powerful frame,
large beyond the common, of great endurance, and able to outride any
of his men, without sleep or rest. He had a fresh complexion, with fair
hair and beard, and his face was rather mild. When he gave himself up at
last, it was with an apparently cheerful unconcern at the turn of luck
which in other raids had enabled him to break bridges, capture trains,
and destroy millions of value in military stores.

Ohio is herself built upon so grand a scale that even her enemies seem
to have been cast in a noble mold; and the jokes upon her own people
that form the life of most of the stories of Morgan's raid are as large
as he. At one point, forty miles from their line of march, a good lady
saved the family horse from the southern troopers by locking him into
the parlor, where his stamping on the hollow floor kept the neighborhood
awake the whole night through.

One of Morgan's men, who plundered wildly, but not very wickedly,
carried for two days a bird cage with three canaries in it; another, at
the looting of a country store, filled his pockets with bone-buttons;
they were only dangerous when they met reluctance in their frequent
horse trades. They called at the house of a gentleman in Hamilton County
at one o'clock in the morning, and asked for breakfast; when he objected
that there was no fire at that time, they suggested that they could
kindle one for him that it might be hard to put out; then he made one
himself and they got their breakfast.

In Carroll County Morgan himself called for dinner at the house of a
lady whose maiden name was Morgan, and at table they fell into such
kindly chat about their cousinship, that she ended by giving him a clean
shirt, which he needed badly, and gratefully wore away.

[Illustration: Hiding with the pigs 242R]

A farmer in Morgan County took refuge in his pigpen, where one of the
raiders found him trying to hide behind a fat mother of a family, who
was suckling her farrow. The raider grinned: "Hello! How did you get
here? Did you all come in the same litter?" A stuttering hero who had
been bragging of what he would do to the enemy if he got at them, was
surprised by Morgan's men with a demand for his surrender. He flung up
his hands instantly. "I s-s-surrendered f-f-f-five minutes ago!"

One of the greatest jokes of all was played upon a friend of the South
in Hamilton County. My younger readers may not suppose that there could
be any friends of the South in Ohio, at that time; but in truth there
were a great many, and far more than there were at the outbreak of the
war. Then most of us believed that it would be quickly fought to an end;
but after it had dragged on for two years, when its drain on the blood
and the money of the nation was severest, and the end seemed as far
off as at the beginning, those who had never loved the cause of freedom
could easily blow the smoldering fires of discontent into a wide and
far-raging flame. It must not be imagined that the Northern enemies of
the North were all bad men; they were sometimes men of conscience, and
sincerely opposed to the war against the South as unjust and hopeless.
But they were called copperheads, because for a long time they lurked
silently among the people, like that deadly snake which used to haunt
the grass of the backwoods, and bite without warning. They were still
called copperheads when they lifted their heads and struck boldly at
the Union cause, under the lead of a very able man, Clement L.
Vallandigham, whom we shall presently learn more of; and it was an
old copperhead who followed Morgan's rear guard with the best horse the
hard-riders had left him, and who tried to get speech with the officer
in command. He explained that he was a follower of Vallandigham and
against the war, and he pleaded that on this ground he ought to have his
horses back. The Morgan colonel said they could not stop to listen, but
they would hear him if he would drive along with them. He added that as
some of his soldiers were worn out, the copperhead had better give them
his wagon; and when the copperhead said that he could not ride, the
colonel answered that he should be allowed to walk. After walking
awhile, he complained that his boots hurt him, and the colonel ordered
them taken off. The copperhead was obliged to follow in his stockings
till the raiders camped. Then, to amuse their leisure, they taught him a
Morgan song, and obliged him to dance, fat and fagged as he was, to his
own music, while they applauded him with shouts of "Go it, old Yank!
Louder!" till their commanding officer ordered them to harness a
worn-out crow bait to his wagon, and bring him three wretched jades for
the horses he wanted to recover, and let him go.

[Illustration: A Copperhead walks with General Morgan 243L]

It is not known whether this behavior of his friends turned the
copperheads against them or not But in spite of the Morgan raid, and in
spite of all the reasons and victories of a North, the largest vote that
the Democratic party had ever polled, up to that time, was cast in favor
of a man who had been bitterest against the war, and who was then in
exile from his native country because of his treasonable words and
practices. Even three thousand soldiers in the field voted for him, and
this is far more surprising than that forty thousand voted against him.
As we look back through the perspective of history, our state seems to
have been solid for the Union and for freedom; but this is an appearance
only, and it is better that we should realize the truth. It will do no
harm even to realize that the man who embodied the copperhead feeling
was by no means a malignant man, however mistaken.

Clement Laird Vallandigham was born in 1820 at New Lisbon, of mixed
Huguenot and Scotch-Irish ancestry, a stock which has given us some of
our best and greatest men. His father was a Presbyterian minister,
who eked out his poor salary by teaching a classical school in his own
house. Clement was ready for college long before he was old enough to
be received; and when he was graduated from Jefferson College, at
Cannonsburg in Pennsylvania, he came back to New Lisbon and began to
practice law.

So far all the influences of his life should have been at least as good
for the generous side of politics as for the ungenerous; but from the
first he cast his lot with the oppressor. In 1845 he was sent to the
legislature, where he took a leading part in opposing the repeal of the
Black Laws, which kept the negro from voting at the polls or testifying
in the courts. Two years later he fixed his home in Dayton, where
he quickly came to the front as a States Rights Democrat in the full
Southern sense. He was given by a Democratic house the seat to which
Lewis D. Campbell was elected in 1856, and he remained in Congress till
defeated in 1862. Up to the last moment he never ceased to vote and to
speak against the war, because he believed it impossible to conquer the
South; and when he came back to Ohio he kept on saying what he believed.

This brought him under condemnation of General Order No. 38, issued
by General Burnside at Cincinnati, forbidding any person to express
sympathy for the enemy under pain of being sent out of the Union lines
into the lines of the Confederates. Vallandigham defied this order; he
was arrested by a company of the 115th Ohio, and taken to Cincinnati
from Dayton, where a mob of his friends broke out the next day, and
burned the office of the leading Republican newspaper. General Burnside
sent a force and quelled the mob, and promptly had Vallandigham tried by
a court-martial, which sentenced him to imprisonment in Fort Warren at
Boston during the war. President Lincoln changed this sentence to
transportation through our lines into the borders of the Southern
Confederacy, and Vallandigham was hurried by special train from
Cincinnati to Murfreesboro, in Tennessee, where General Rosecrans was in
command. In a long interview, General Rosecrans tried to convince him of
his wrongdoing, and asked if he did not know that but for his protection
the soldiers would tear him to pieces in an instant. Vallandigham
answered, "Draw your soldiers up in a hollow square to-morrow morning,
and announce to them that Vallandigham desires to vindicate himself, and
I will guarantee that when they have heard me through they will be more
willing to tear Lincoln and yourself to pieces than they will
Vallandigham." The general said he had too much regard for his
prisoner's life to try it; but the charm of the man had won upon him.
"He don't look a bit like a traitor, now, does he, Joe?" he remarked to
one of his staff, and he warmly shook hands with Vallandigham when they
parted at two o'clock on the morning of May 25.

Vallandigham mounted into the spring wagon provided for the rest of
his journey, and was driven rapidly out of the sleeping town toward the
Confederate lines. It was still in the forenoon when, in response to a
Federal flag of truce, Colonel Webb of the 51st Alabama sent word to
say that he was ready to receive him; two Federal officers crossed the
enemy's lines with him, where he was met by one private soldier, and
after some hours taken into the presence of the commander. General Bragg
received him very kindly at Shelbyville, and allowed him to report on
parole at Wilmington, North Carolina. There he took a blockade runner
for Nassau, where he found a steamer for Canada.

He arrived in the British province early in July, to find that the Ohio
Democrats had nominated him for governor, and that his party throughout
the country had expressed its sympathy with him. President Lincoln met
one of their committees, and agreed with them that Vallandigham's arrest
was unusual, but he quaintly added: He could not be persuaded that the
government should not take measures in time of war which must not be
taken in time of peace, any more than he could be persuaded that a sick
man must not take medicine which was not good food for a well one.

So thought the great majority of the Ohio people, who duly chose John
Brough, a War Democrat, for their governor in October. Vallandigham
remained in Canada until 1864, when he returned to Dayton, where he was
warmly received by his friends, and not molested by the authorities. But
he had never afterwards any political importance, in spite of his great
abilities and the peculiar charm of his manner for all kinds of people.
After the war was over, he accepted its conclusions with earnest good
faith, and three years later he met his death by a curious accident.
He was showing a friend, in behalf of a client in whom he was greatly
interested, how a pistol might go off in a pocket and cause a mortal
wound such as his client was accused of inflicting on another. The
pistol in his hand was really discharged; Vallandigham was fatally
wounded and died shortly afterwards.


First among these I count the great chief Pontiac, who led the
rebellion of the mid-western tribes against the English after the French
had abandoned them, and who was born in Auglaize County. I count
the renowned chief Tecumseh, too, that later and lesser Pontiac, who
attempted to do against the Americans what Pontiac tried to do against
the English.

It was some time before the great white men of Ohio began to be born
here, but in the meanwhile there were those born elsewhere who, like
General Harrison, became Ohioans, and so did what they could to repair
the defect of birth. There is no reason to think that such men were
shaped by Ohio influences, but it is the habit of our generous Ohio
state patriotism to claim as Ohioans not only those who were born here,
and those who came to live here, but those who were born here and then
went to live elsewhere.

Valiant and able generals came from the different parts of Ohio, and
from the different races which settled there. But the Scotch race,
descending through New England, has the highest place in our soldiers'
ancestry, and the county of Clermont has the deathless glory of being
the birthplace of Ulysses Simpson Grant, one of the greatest captains of
all time, one of the purest patriots, one of the best and gentlest men.
I need not speak of his career as a soldier, for that has become a part
of the nation's history. The beginnings of his life were rude and hard;
it was afterwards often clouded with failure; it brightened out into
such splendid success as few lives have ever known; it was again
darkened by trouble and disaster, and it closed in a long anguish of
suffering. But if ever a life was worth living it was his, and his
memory is safe forever in the love of his country and the honor of the

His parents removed soon after he was born to Brown County, where
Georgetown was his home until he was sent to West Point at seventeen.
His whole boyhood, therefore, was spent in Southwestern Ohio, where a
boy may live the happiest life on earth, and where Grant played, worked,
planned, and studied not only without a dream of the place he was to
take in history, but without special thought or liking for the calling
in which he was to stand with Caesar and with Napoleon.

When he was eight years old, he began to work in his father's tannery,
where he drove the horse that turned the bark mill, and broke the bark
into the hopper. He did not like the work, and he escaped from it when
he could, and did jobs of wagoning about the village. He loved his
horses and kept them sleek and fat; and it is told of him that when
he first traded horses he was so eager to get a certain colt that he
offered the man even more than he asked. He was fond of all boyish
sports, but he was never rough, or profane, or foul-mouthed, and he was
noted among his mates for his truth and honesty. The girls liked him for
his gentleness, the younger children for his kindness; he never teased
them, and he never tormented any living creature. There may have been
better boys, but I have never heard of them; and if Grant passed only
his first seventeen years in his native state, they were years of as
true a greatness relatively as any that followed. From the first he
was self-reliant, and taught himself to trust to his own powers and
resources. When seven years old, he got an unbroken colt from the stable
in his father's absence, hitched it to a sled which he loaded with wood
in the forest, and then drove home with a single line. He once wished
to ride his father's pacer on an errand he was sent upon; but his father
could not spare it and the boy took his colt. "I will break him to
pace," he said, and he came back with the colt pacing. At twelve he
hauled logs with a heavy draft team. Once the men who were to load for
him did not come, and Grant managed with the help of a fallen tree to
get the logs on the truck alone and drove home with them. After eleven
he had scarcely any schooling except that of hard work, until he was
appointed to West Point.

From Georgetown, another Ohioan famous in the great war was sent about
the same time to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. This was the boy Daniel
Am-men, who was destined to become Admiral Ammen. He had saved Grant's
life when they were bathing together in White Oak Creek, and Grant
remembered him with his high office and title when he became President.

But Ammen had won both by his services during the war, for the Ammens
were fighters. The admiral's brother Jacob had early distinguished
himself by gallantry that won him a generalship. Long before this
their father had begun the good fight by printing John Rankin's letters
against slavery in his newspaper at Ripley.

From Carroll County came that wonderful race of fighters, the McCooks.
Daniel McCook, Presbyterian elder and Sunday-school superintendent,
went into the war at sixty-three with his sons, and two years later was
killed in the engagement with Morgan at Buffington Island. Latimer A.
McCook died in 1869 of wounds received during his service as surgeon in
the battles of the war. General Robert Latimer McCook was murdered by
guerrillas as he lay sick and wounded near Salem, Alabama, in 1862.
General A. McDowell McCook was a West Pointer who won his major
generalship by his gallantry at Shiloh. General Daniel McCook, Jr., led
the assault at Kenesaw Mountain, where he was mortally wounded. Edwin
Stanton McCook was graduated at Annapolis, but preferred the land
service, and rose to the rank of brevet major general, through the
courage and ability he had shown at Fort Henry, at Fort Donelson, at
Chickamauga, and in Sherman's March to the Sea. Charles Morris McCook
was killed at the first Bull Run in 1861, while in his Freshman year at
Gam-bier. His father saw him overwhelmed by the enemy and called out to
him to surrender; but he answered "Father, I will never surrender to
a rebel," and was shot down by one of the Black Horse Cavalry. John
J. McCook served in the campaigns of the West and with Grant from the
battle of the Wilderness onward to the end. He was severely wounded at
Shady Grove, and left the army with the rank of colonel.

Dr. John McCook, another Sunday-school superintendent, was the father of
Edwin Moody McCook, who rendered brilliant service early in the war and
left the army at its close with the rank of major general. His greatest
exploit was breaking through the enemy's lines before Sherman began his
march to the sea, and effecting a diversion by the damage he did and the
prisoners he took. His brother Anson George McCook was at the first
Bull Run and in the great battles of the Southwest, and was brevetted
Brigadier General at the end of the war. Rev. Henry C. McCook enlisted
first as a private soldier and became chaplain of a regiment, but did
no actual fighting. He is well known as a naturalist and theologian,
and his youngest brother John James is distinguished as a linguist. His
brother left the army as colonel after seeing some of the first fighting
and became an Episcopal minister. Roderick Sheldon McCook left Annapolis
in 1859 and promptly shared in the capture of a slaver off the African
coast. From 1861 to 1865 he was engaged in all the naval movements at
Newbern, Wilmington, Charleston, Fort Fisher, and on the James, and
suffered lasting injury to his health on the monitors. He left the navy
with the rank of commodore. All these McCooks, except the Rev. J. J.
McCook, now professor in Trinity College, Hartford, remained of the
Presbyterian faith, which seems natural to their Scotch-Irish race.

[Illustration: Rutherford Hayes 253R]

Of all the Americans who have lived, none is securer of lasting
remembrance than Rutherford B. Hayes, who was born in Delaware, October
4, 1822. He was a great lawyer, a great soldier, a great statesman, a
great philanthropist, a man without taint or stain. He had to suffer the
doubt thrown by his enemies upon his right to the high office they
had themselves conceded to him, but he was never wounded in his own
conscience or in the love of the people. He was three times governor
of Ohio, and when he became President of the United States he devoted
himself to healing the hurts left by the war he had helped to fight. He
made the North and South friends in the love he had for both sections,
and then he gladly laid down his charge and went back to private life,
after giving the country peace with honor. His presidency was not only
one of the most distinguished and enlightened statesmanship, but it was
consecrated by the virtues of the woman who made the White House the
happiest home in the land. Lucy Webb Hayes, who had been like a mother
to the soldiers of her husband's command, gave the social side of his
administration the grace and charm of her surpassingly wise and lovely
character. He never knew in his youth the poverty and hard work which
narrowed the early life of Grant and Garfield. He was born to comfort
and lived in greater and greater affluence; he had only to profit by his
opportunities, while they had to make theirs; but he did profit by them.
From school to college, and from college to the study of law, he passed
easily successful in all that he tried to do, and he always tried to do
his duty. Like Grant, he was of farther Scotch and nearer New England
origin, but the next most distinguished native of Delaware County was of
Dutch stock, as his name witnesses. William Starke Rosecrans was born
in 1819, and entered West Point when only fifteen years old. He was in
civil life when the war broke out in 1861, but of course he at once took
part in it, and fought through a series of most brilliant campaigns,
without one defeat, until the battle of Chickamauga in 1863. Even this
he won, but the trust President Lincoln had felt in him and expressed up
to the last moment was shaken by Rosecrans's enemies, and he was removed
from his command. He left the army with the rank of major general, and
he held afterwards places of high honor, but he felt that the wrong done
him was never atoned for. Twenty-five years after his removal he told
a meeting of his old comrades the touching story of how the stroke fell
and how he bore it. "It was at night that I received the order, and I
sent for General Thomas," who was to replace him, "He came to the tent
and took his seat. I handed him the letter. He read it and as he did so
his breast began to swell and he turned pale. He did not want to accept
the command, but we agreed on consideration that he must do so, and I
told him that I could not bear to meet my troops afterwards. 'I want to
leave,' I said, 'before the announcement is made, and I will start early
in the morning.' I packed up that night, and early in the morning,
about seven o'clock, I rode away through the fog that then hung over the

[Illustration: William Tecumseh Sherman 255]

William Tecumseh Sherman, who was born at Lancaster, Fairfield County,
in 1820, was like his comrade and beloved friend Grant in the poverty he
was born to. But his family was of historical distinction, while Grant's
had always been obscure, and his father died a judge of the Supreme
Court of Ohio. As he died poor, his large family of children were left
to their mother, whose means were not equal to their maintenance and
education. Thomas Ewing, the great man of the place, had been the
father's friend, and he wished to adopt "the smartest of the children."
It is not known how his choice fell upon Sherman, who was playing with
some other boys on a sand bank near Ewing's house when it was made, and
had apparently nothing to do with it.

His father had called him Tecumseh because he admired the Indian chief's
noble character and his merciful treatment of prisoners, and because
he wished the boy to be a soldier. Ewing fulfilled the father's wish
by appointing the son to a West Point cadetship at sixteen. Sherman had
meantime fallen in love with Miss Ellen Ewing, and he married her in
1850. Then he left the army and tried banking and the law, but liked
neither, and he was President of the Louisiana state military academy
when the Civil War began. With his frank, bold, impetuous nature, he
forewarned the governor that he should side with the Union, and he asked
to be notified in time before the state seceded.

He received the surrender of the last great Confederate army, after a
series of the most splendid strokes of generalship. His March to the
Sea will be forever famous. The highest British military criticism
pronounced his attempt "the most brilliant or the most foolish thing
ever attempted by a military leader," and we all know how it turned
out. Grant called him "the best field officer the war had produced,"
and there has been nothing in history more sweet and beautiful than the
friendship between these two great men. They were unlike in everything
but their unselfishness and single-hearted patriotism, and they trusted
as wholly as they loved each other.

Irvin McDowell, born at Franklinton, Franklin County, in 1818, was the
brave and gifted officer who lost the first battle of Bull Run, where he
failed less ruinously than any other general of that moment of the war
would have done. His name and fame have outlived that disaster, though
the people did not then know enough to forgive him for his army's
defeat. He was again of that tough Scotch-Irish breed that so many
Ohioans are of; like our other great generals, he was a West Pointer,
and he was of the high and kindly personal character common to them.

[Illustration: General George A. Custer 258R]

George A. Custer put into his life of vivid action the splendor of
romance. His figure stands foremost in any picture of the war as that of
the most dashing and daring cavalier of his time; but if his bearing was
that of a young hero of fiction, his deeds were those of an accomplished
and disciplined modern soldier. He was born at New Rumley in Harrison
County, of a Hessian ancestor who had come over to fight for King
George against the country which Custer lived and died to serve, and
he inherited from him the blue German eyes, and the yellow German hair
which he loved to wear long, and flying about his neck in his gallant
charges. But otherwise he was of the simple matter-of-fact Ohio
character. He got himself sent to West Point by means of a letter which
he wrote to the congressman of his district. He frankly owned himself "a
Democrat boy," and though the congressman was a Republican his fancy was
taken with the honesty of the youth, whom he never saw till one day a
young officer "with long yellow hair, hanging like Absalom's," presented
himself at his house in Washington as Lieutenant Custer. "Mr. Bingham,
I've been in my first battle," he said, "and I've come to tell you I've
tried not to show the coward." After that, in numberless bold forays
and fierce battles, he displayed such dauntless bravery, such brilliant
prowess, that General Sheridan, in sending Mrs. Custer the table on
which Lee signed his surrender, could write, "I know of no person more
instrumental in bringing about this desirable event than your own most
gallant husband." All the world knows how this glorious hero fell in the
West, long after the war, before an overwhelming force of Indians.

[Illustration: James A. Garfield 259L]

If Custer was the romance of our history, James A. Garfield was its
tragedy, the sort of noble tragedy which exalts while it awes. Again we
have in his life the story, so often told in the Ohio annals, of early
struggles with poverty, and of triumph over unfriendly fate. The child
who was born in the rude farmhouse in Orange, Cuyahoga County, in 1831,
was of Puritan lineage on his father's side and Huguenot blood on
his mother's; and throughout his life he showed the qualities of both
strains. He was left the youngest of four children to the care of his
widowed mother, soon after his birth, and at the very beginning his
blithe and dauntless spirit felt the stress of want. But he began to
help himself and school himself, as the children of the poor must and
do, and he early showed a passion for literature and adventure; he
wanted to read; he wanted to go to sea; he actually tried to ship on
a schooner at Cleveland, but, failing this, he got a chance to drive
a canal-boat team. He fell sick and came home, and when he got well he
learned carpentering. With his earnings in that trade he helped himself
through the Academy at Chardon in Geauga County. From there he went
to Hiram College, in Portage County, and then to Williams College, in
Massachusetts. He studied law, and was elected to the Ohio Senate, which
he left to enter the army. He was a brave and able soldier, and rose
from lieutenant to be major general, before he left the service of his
country in the field, to serve her in Congress. After sixteen years
in the House, his state sent him to the Senate, and then his
fellow-citizens chose him their President. He had been only four months
in the White House, when the wretched Guiteau, a fool maddened by his
own vanity and the sight of others' malevolence toward the man who
never hated any one, shot him down; and he lingered amidst the fervent
sympathy of the whole world, till he died nine or ten weeks later. Of
all the great Ohioans he was the gentlest and kindest nature; he never
did harm to any man, and his heart was as high as his aspiring intellect
above anything base or low. His ambition was in all things for what was
fine and noble.

Quincy Adams Gilmore, who was born on a farm in Lorain County in 1825,
was graduated at the head of his class from West Point. He achieved
lasting fame in the siege of Fort Pulaski in Georgia, which other
engineers had said could never be taken. Gilmore reduced it in two days
by a feat in gunnery which changed forever the science and practice of
that branch of the military art. In the ooze of a trembling marsh, which
scarcely lifted its uncertain surface above the tides, he planted his
heavy rifled cannon at three times the distance that siege artillery was
believed effective, and battered down the walls of the fort with perfect
ease, and with the loss of only one life in his command.

The doubt as to the birthplace of Philip H. Sheridan, with a choice
between Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio, seems not to have been felt
by Sheridan himself. He decided that he was born in Somerset, Perry
County, Ohio, in March, 1831, and there is no good reason to suppose
that he did not know. While so many of our soldiers were of Scotch-Irish
origin, he was simply of Irish origin, and his father and mother were
poor Irish laboring people, Catholics in religion, and careful to rear
their son in their faith. Many stories are told of his boyhood, which
seems to have been like that of most other Ohio boys of his generation.
The most significant of these stories are those relating to his childish
love and knowledge of horses and horsemanship; for they seem the
prophecy of the greatest cavalry commander of modern times, who
invented that branch of the service anew, as Gilmore reinvented gunnery.
Sheridan's first famous ride was on a barebacked, bridleless horse which
he mounted in the pasture where it was feeding, and clung to with his
knees and elbows in its long flight down the highway. No poet has yet
put this legendary feat into verse, but all my readers know the poem
which celebrates Sheridan's ride from Winchester to Cedar Creek. This
ride not only saved the day, but it stamped with the fiery little
man's character the history of the whole campaign in the Valley of the
Shenandoah; and in it, as it were, he met Sherman halfway on his
March to the Sea, and completed the deadly circuit in which the great
rebellion died.

[Illustration: General Phillip H. Sheridan 262R]

Of all our commanders he was perhaps the best beloved by his men, for
he fought with his men. He tried to account for their liking him on no
other ground. He once said, "These men all know that where it is the
hottest there I am, and they like it, and that is the reason they like
me." He was in the hottest place because he thought it was his duty to
be there, and not because he was fearless. "The man who says he isn't
afraid under fire, is a liar. I am afraid," he frankly said, with a
touch of that profanity which Grant never used, "and if I followed my
own impulse I should turn and get out. It is all a question of the power
of mind over body."

As a boy he had some schooling at a Catholic school, under an eccentric
Irish master whom he used to play tricks upon, and who used to thrash
him impartially with the rest. When he left school, he became a clerk in
a hardware store in his native village, and then in a dry-goods store.
From the last place, he was appointed in 1848 to West Point and his
destiny was fixed. In his class was another Ohio boy, born not far from
Sheridan's birthplace, at the little town of Clyde, Sandusky County, in
the year 1828. This was James B. McPherson, Scotch-Irish by race as his
name shows, and, as his history was to show later, one of the worthiest
scions of that soldier-bearing stock. If Sheridan was the well-beloved
of his men, McPherson was singularly dear to those who were closest
to him and should have known him best. He was of a most affectionate
nature, tenderly attached to his home and kindred, as men are apt to
be if their homes are poor and their kindred have shared privation with
them; but McPherson kept through all his prosperity and success the
qualities which endear men to their fellows and comrades. The noble
friendship between Grant and Sherman is one of the most precious of
our national memories, but these great commanders seem to have loved
McPherson next after one another.

His father was a farmer who worked at the trade of blacksmithing when he
was not following the plow; and the boy helped him in the field and at
the forge. When James was thirteen, his father died, and then he got a
place in a village store, and did what he could to support his widowed
mother and orphan brothers and sisters. It is told that when he left
them on the farm he ran tear-blinded till he got out of sight, and
then sat down with his little bundle in the woods and cried with
homesickness. But he went to work, and he studied and read in his hours
of leisure, and when he got the promise of a nomination to West Point he
managed to spend two terms at the Norwalk Academy in preparing himself.
He was then so old that he was afraid he would not be admitted to West
Point; but once in the army he seemed to regain his youth. When he
took command of the Army of the Tennessee, under Sherman, he was only
thirty-two years old.

In one of the battles before Atlanta, in July, 1864, he was fired upon
by a Confederate skirmish line, while personally leading a movement of
his troops, and received a mortal wound. He rode a little way into the
woods to avoid capture, and then fell from his horse; and as he lay
there dying alone a private of an Iowa regiment found him, and cared for
him till he expired.

Sherman's grief for his loss was open and passionate. He wept over his
dead face, and in the report of his loss to headquarters he said, "Those
whom he commanded loved him even to idolatry; and I, his associate and
commander, fail in words adequate to express my opinion of his great
worth." Grant wrote to McPherson's aged grandmother: "The nation had
more to expect from him than from almost any one living." He wished to
express the grief of personal love for the departed, and he testified to
"his zeal, his great, almost unequaled ability, his amiability, and all
the manly virtues that can adorn a commander."

Such were the greatest of the great Ohio soldiers. To say that they
were, each in his different way, the first soldiers of the war, is to
keep well within the modest truth. They believed in one another, they
trusted one another, for they knew one another. The love between
them, impassioned in Sherman, frank and hearty in Sheridan, tender in
McPherson, deep and constant in Grant, is one of the most beautiful
facts of our history, or of any history, a feeling without one
ungenerous quality. It was indeed,

"A goodly fellowship of noble knights,"

such as has not been since that of King Arthur's Table Round.


The men who have given distinction to our state in politics could hardly
be more than named in a record like this; and I shall not try to speak
of them all or try to keep any order in my mention of them except the
alphabetical order of the counties where they were born, or where they

From Ashtabula County, the names that will come at once to the reader's
mind are those of Joshua R. Giddings and Benjamin F. Wade, both of a
national fame inseparable from the history of the struggle with slavery.
Giddings was first to cast his lot with the almost hopeless cause of
freedom, but the fiery nature of Wade served to keep it warm in the
hearts of its later adherents and to spread its light. Neither of
these great Ohioans were Ohioans by birth. Giddings was born in Athens,
Pennsylvania, in 1795, and came to Ashtabula County in 1806, where
he dwelt until within a few years of his death, which took place at
Montreal in 1864, while he was Consul General for Canada. He studied
law, and succeeded at the bar before he entered political life. He
was then twenty years in Congress as representative from the Ashtabula
district, which promptly returned him when he was expelled from the
House of Representatives for presenting a petition against slavery. His
courage was so unconscious that he seemed never to assert it in his
long career of defiance at Washington, but it never failed him in the
presence of the dangers that often beset him there. In early life his
people were desperately poor; he had scarcely a thought of school till
he was twenty-three, and it was not until he had conquered from the
wilderness a farm for his father and himself that he found time for
study. He always loved the simplicity of the new country, and when he
came home to the village of Jefferson from the sessions of Congress,
he liked to "turn himself out to grass," as he called it: to put on old
clothes and a straw hat, and walk barefoot through the streets which he
had known when they were forest trails.

Wade was born at Hills Parish, Massachusetts, in 1800, and he too was
born in utter poverty. He worked on a farm, and then worked with pick
and spade on the Erie Canal; but by the time he was twenty-one he
knew much science and philosophy through studies he had pursued in a
woodchopper's hut by the light of pine knots. In Jefferson he read law
and became Giddings's partner. He was sent to the United States Senate
in 1851 as an antislavery Whig, and he continued to stand four-square
for freedom there during nearly twenty years. He was frank, bluff, even
harsh in his speech and manner, but kind at heart, and it is told of him
that once when he discovered a wretched neighbor robbing his corn crib,
he moved out of sight that the man might not know he had been caught in
the misdeed to which want had driven him.

Thomas Ewing, at one time United States senator from Ohio, and at all
times a leading statesman and lawyer, was a citizen of Athens County,
where his father settled in 1798. There the boy led the backwoods life,
and struggled with all its adversities in his love of books, until he
was nineteen. He loved the woods, too, and his boyhood was not
unhappy, though his ambition was for the things of the mind. In his
reminiscences, he tells of his early privations and of his delight in
the first books which came to his hands: the "Vicar of Wakefield," which
he learned largely by heart, and the "Aeneid" of Virgil, which he used
to read aloud to the farm hands on Sundays, and at such other leisure
times as they all had amidst the work of clearing the land. At nineteen,
he went to earn some money at the Salines on the Kanawha, and then
lavished it upon the luxury of three months' study at Athens. After
several years' labor in the salt works, he entered college at Athens,
teaching school between terms, and going to Gallipolis to pick up French
among the survivors of the disastrous settlement there. Then he turned
to the law, and won his way to ease and honor. One of his daughters, as
we know, became the wife of General Sherman, whom he had adopted as his

Benjamin Lundy, the meek and dauntless Quaker who was called the
Father of Abolitionism, lived a long time in Belmont County, at St.
Clairsville, where he founded his Union Humane Society, in 1815, and
inspired the formation of like societies throughout the country. He
was born in New Jersey, and had settled in Wheeling, Virginia, but life
there became un endurable to him from the sight of slaves chained and
driven in gangs through the streets, on their way to be sold in the
Southern markets. In Belmont County, also, the first native Ohio
governor, Wilson Shannon, was born.

One of the Ohioans whom history will not forget was Robert Morris, of
Clermont County, our United States senator from 1813 till 1839. He was
one of the earliest American statesman to own the right of the slave
and to defend it. In his last speech he startled the Senate with the
prophetic words in which he recognized the danger hanging over the
Union, and he said, "That all may be safe, I conclude that the negro
will yet be free."

[Illustration: Benjamin Harrison 268R]

Benjamin Harrison, one of the five presidents whom Ohio has given the
country within thirty years, was born at North Bend in Hamilton County,
where his grandfather General William Henry Harrison lived until chosen
President in 1840. He remained in Ohio until he was twenty-one; then he
went to Indianapolis, and it was from Indiana that he went to the war,
where he achieved rank and distinction by his talent and courage.

He is a great lawyer, as well as a soldier and politician, and a speaker
of almost unsurpassed gifts.

[Illustration: Salmon P. Chase 269L]

Salmon P. Chase, governor of Ohio and United States senator, Lincoln's
first Secretary of the Treasury, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of the United States, was an Ohioan by grace of New Hampshire, where he
was born, and where he lived till he was a well-grown boy. In 1830, when
he was twenty-two years old, he began the practice of law in Cincinnati,
and prospered in spite of his bold sympathy with the slave and the
friends of the slave. The Kentuckians called him the attorney-general of
the negroes, and the negroes gave him a silver pitcher, in gratitude
for his "public services in behalf of the oppressed." He was first an
abolitionist, but later became a leader of the anti-slavery party,
and was one of the first and foremost Republicans. As Secretary of the
Treasury his mastery in finance was as essential to our success in the
war as the statesmanship of Lincoln or the generalship of Grant. He was
followed in the office of Chief Justice by another Ohioan of New England
birth, who, like Chase, had passed all the years of his public life in
our state. Morrison R. Waite, of Toledo, was perhaps even more Ohioan in
those traits of plainness and simplicity in greatness which we like to
claim for Ohio, only upon sober second thought to acknowledge that they
are the distinctive American traits.

An Ohio Secretary of the Treasury assured to the nation the means of
meeting the expenses of the Civil War, Ohio generals fought it to a
victorious close, and an Ohio Secretary of War knew how to deal best
with both the men and the money, so as to turn the struggle from its
doubtful course. Without Edwin M. Stanton neither Chase nor Grant, with
Sherman and Sheridan, could have availed. He was born at Steubenville
in 1814, of a family of North Carolina Quakers, and as a boy his tastes
were as peaceful as those of his ancestors. He had pets of all kinds,
and he made collections of birds and insects. He was pretty diligent
at school, but his studies there were not of the severer kind. He loved
poetry; he founded a circulating library; and both before and after he
went to Kenyon College, he was clerk in a bookstore. But deep within
this quiet outside was the hot nature which fused the forces of the
great war, and shaped them according to his relentless will. He became
a successful lawyer, and had been President Buchanan's Attorney-General
when Lincoln made him Secretary of War. He left that office worn out
with the duties to which he gave mind and body, and died soon after
Grant had appointed him, in 1869, to the bench of the Supreme Court No
man in office ever deserved more friends, or made more enemies. He was
tender and kindly with the friendless and hapless, but with the strong
and the fortunate, when they crossed his mood, he was rude to savagery.

[Illustration: John Sherman 270R]

The chief citizen of Richland County is John Sherman, who is also one
of the chief citizens of Ohio, and of the United States. He has been in
Congress ever since 1855, and ever since 1861 he has been in the Senate,
except for the four years when he was Secretary of the Treasury under
President Hayes. If any man in our public life during this long period
merits more than he the name of statesman, it would be hard to say who
he may be. But in his boyhood he gave promise of anything but the sort
of career which he has dignified. He had all the impulsiveness of his
famous brother, General Sherman, and something more than his turbulence.
He himself, with that charming frankness which seems peculiarly a
Sherman trait, tells in his autobiography what reckless things he did,
even to coming to blows with his teacher; but all this heat seems later
to have gone to temper a most manly and courageous character for a
career of the greatest public usefulness.

[Illustration: William McKinley 271L]

He was born at Lancaster in 1810, and the second President who has
called him from the Senate to a seat in his cabinet was born at Niles in
Trumbull County, in 1844. William McKinley entered the army as a private
in the famous 23d Ohio, when he was only seventeen, and fought through
the war. When it ended he had won the rank of brevet major, but he had
then his beginning to make in civil life. He studied law, and settled
in Canton, where he married, and began to be felt in politics. He was
thrice sent to Congress, and then defeated; but in 1896 he was elected
the fifth President of the United States from the state of Ohio.

It is a long step backward in time, in fact more than a hundred years,
before we reach the birthday, in 1794, of Thomas Corwin, one of the most
gifted Ohioans who has ever lived.

[Illustration: Thomas Corwin 272R]

He was born in Kentucky and was brought, a child of four years, by his
parents to Ohio, when they settled at Lebanon in Warren County. He grew
up in the backwoods, but felt the poetry as well as the poverty of the
pioneer days, and it is told that the great orator showed his passion
for eloquence at the first school he attended. He excelled in
recitations and dialogues; but he was not meant for a scholar by his
father and he was soon taken from school, and put to work on the farm.
In the War of 1812 he drove a wagon in the supply train for General
Harrison's army, and the people liked to call him the Wagoner Boy, when
he came forward in politics. A few years later he read law, and with
the training which he had given himself at school as well as in the
old-fashioned debating societies which flourished everywhere in that
day, he quickly gained standing at the bar as an advocate. He was
all-powerful with juries, and with the people he was always a favorite.
Such a man could not long be kept out of public life. He was called to
serve seven years in the state legislature, and ten in Congress; then
he was elected governor. He was so beloved that when he was nominated a
second time for the governorship it was taken for granted that he would
be elected, but so few of his friends were at the trouble to vote for
him that he was, to the profound astonishment of everybody, defeated.

It was a joke which no one could enjoy more than Corwin himself; for he
was not only an impassioned orator, but a delightful humorist. He could
put a principle or a reason in the form of a jest so that it would go
farther than even eloquence could carry it with the whimsical Western
people; and perhaps nothing more effective was said against the infamous
Black Laws which forbade the testimony of negroes in the courts than
Corwin put in the form of self-satire. He was of a very dark complexion,
so that he might have been taken for a light mulatto; and he used to say
that it was only when a man got to be of about his color that he could
be expected to tell the truth.

He was sent to the United States Senate soon after his defeat for the
governorship, and it was there that in 1847 he made his great speech
against the war with Mexico, as a war of conquest for the spread of
slavery. It may be that there are more eloquent passages in English than
some of the finest in this speech, where he warned the American people
against the doom of unjust ambition, but I do not know them. It was
the supreme effort of his life, but it was addressed to a time of
unwholesome patriotic frenzy, and Corwin's popularity suffered fatally
from it. He never disowned it; he defended and justified it before the
people; but he declined from the high stand he had taken as the champion
of freedom and justice, and the later years of his political life
were marked by rather an anxious conservatism. His final efforts were
unavailingly made to stay the course of secession by suggestions of
impossible compromise between the North and South. At the close of the
war he was stricken with paralysis while visiting as a private citizen
the Capitol at Washington, where he had triumphed as representative and
senator, and he died almost before the laughter had left the lips of the
delighted groups which hung about him. Of all our public men he was most
distinctively what is called, for want of some closer term, a man of
genius, and he shares with but three or four other Americans the fame of
qualities that made men love while they honored and revered him. In the
presence of this great soul, so simple, so sweet, so true, so winning,
so wise, I think the reader will scarcely care to be reminded that among
the notable Ohio men of our day are some of the richest, if not the very
richest, American millionaires.


Two names well-known in literature belong to Ashtabula County. Albion
W. Tourgee was born there in 1838, and made a wide reputation by his
novels, "A Fool's Errand" and "Bricks without Straw,"--impassioned and
vivid reports of life in the South during the period of reconstruction;
and Edith Thomas, who was born in Medina County, made Ashtabula her home
till she went to live near New York. While she was still in Ohio, the
poems which are full of the love of nature and the sense of immortal
things began to win her a fame in which she need envy no others of our

One of the earlier Ohioans of note was John Cleves Symmes, of Butler
County, who believed that the earth was penetrated at the poles by
openings into a habitable region within it. He petitioned Congress for
means to explore the Arctic seas and verify his theory; of course
he petitioned in vain, but he won world-wide attention and made some
converts. He had been a gallant officer of the United States Army, and
had fought well in the War of 1812, but he died poor and neglected. He
was of New Jersey birth, and of that stanch New Jersey stock which gave
character to the whole southwestern part of Ohio.

Another and still more famous theorist, who is not generally known to
have been an Ohioan, was Delia Bacon, who first maintained that the
plays and poems of Shakespeare were written, by Sir Francis Bacon. She
was born in Portage County at Tallmadge, where her father was settled as

A sculptor who, if not the greatest American sculptor, has yet achieved
in his art the most American things ever done in it, is J. Q. A. Ward,
the author of the "Indian Hunter," and many other noble if less native
works. He was born at Urbana, in Champaign County, of the old pioneer
stock; and in a region remote from artistic influences, he felt the
artistic impulse in his boyhood. His earliest attempt was a figure
modeled in the wax which one of his sisters used in making wax flowers,
and which he clandestinely borrowed. Then he made a bas-relief of the
first train of cars he ever saw, but this he did in clay at the village
potter's; and he also modeled in clay the head of a negro, well known in
the place, which all the neighbors recognized. A few years later he was
sent to school in Brooklyn, where he used every day to pass the studio
of the sculptor H. K. Browne, and long for some accident that would give
him entrance. The chance came at last; he told the sculptor the wish of
his heart, and Browne consented to let him try his hand under his eye.
From that time the boy's future was assured. The famous sculptor lives
absorbed in his work in New York, where his ripe years find him crowned
with the honor that will survive him as long as his bronzes and marbles

To Clinton County belongs the name of Addison P. Russell, whose charming
books of literary comment have so widely endeared him to book lovers;
but whose public services in his own state are scarcely known outside of
it among the readers of "Library Notes," or of "A Club of One."

The inventor of the first successful electric light, Charles Francis
Brush, was born on his father's farm in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, in
1840, and still pursues in Cleveland the studies which have literally
illumined the world. One of the earliest pioneers of science in geology
and archaeology, Charles Whittlesey is identified with Cleveland, where
the girlhood of the gifted novelist, Constance Fenimore Woolson, was
passed. There, too, Charles F. Browne began to make his pseudonym of
Artemus Ward known, and helped found the school of American humor. He
was born in Maine; but his fun tastes of the West rather than the East.

[Illustration: Thomas A. Edison 277L]

Thomas A. Edison, the electrician whose inventions are almost of the
quality of miracles, and have given him worldwide celebrity, was born in
Milan, Erie County, in 1847, of mixed American and Canadian parentage.
His early boyhood was passed in Ohio, but he went later to Michigan,
where he began his studies in a railroad telegraph office, after serving
as a train boy.

Another noted name in science is that of T. G. Wormley, long a citizen
of Columbus, though a native of Pennsylvania. He wrote his work on
poisons in our capital, where he had studied their effects on animal
life, in several thousand cats and dogs, while a professor in Starling
Medical College. His microscopical analysis was illustrated by drawings
of the poison crystals, made by his wife, who learned the art of steel
engraving for the purpose, when it was found that no one else could
give the exquisite delicacy and precision of the original designs. Her
achievement in this art was hardly less than her husband's in science,
and it is a pleasure to record that she was born in Columbus.

To Franklin County also belongs the honor of being the birthplace of
the botanist, William S. Sullivant. The American Academy of Arts and
Sciences recognized him as the most accomplished student of mosses whom
this country has produced.

I do not think it at all the least of her honors that Franklin County
should be the birthplace of the horse tamer John S. Rarey, for whose
celebrity the world was once not too large. He imagined a gentle art of
managing horses by study of their nature and character, and in Europe,
as well as America, he showed how he could subdue the fiercest of them
to his will, through his patient kindness. In England the ferocious
racing colt Cruiser yielded to Rarey, and everywhere the most vicious
animals felt his magic. He was the author of a "Treatise on Horse
Taming" which had a great vogue in various languages, and he achieved a
reputation which was by no means mere notoriety.

Coates Kinney of Xenia was not born in Greene County, or even in Ohio;
but he came to our state from New York when a boy, he has lived here
ever since, and has been shaped by its life. His poem of "Rain on the
Roof" is a household word, and it is the poem which will first come into
the reader's mind at the mention of his name. But his greatest poem is
"Optim and Pessim," which is one of the subtlest and strongest passages
of human thought concerning the mystery of the universe; and his next
greatest is his "Ode for the Ohio Centennial," delivered at Columbus
in 1888. It merits a place with the best that have celebrated, like
Lowell's "Commemoration Ode," the achievements of the people.

In Greene County began the long journalistic life of William D.
Gallagher, who was born in Philadelphia in 1808, but came while a child
to Southern Ohio, and grew up in the impassioned love of that beautiful
country. There was not much besides its beauty to endear it to him, for
his life was a long struggle there with adverse conditions. But he never
lost heart or hope; he failed cheerfully in one literary enterprise
after another, and turned from literature to politics until he found
the means and the chance to fail again in the field where his heart was
always. In Xenia, in Cincinnati, in Columbus, in Louisville, he lived,
now here, now there, as his hopes and enterprises called him, and ended
at last on a little farm in Kentucky. His poetic vein was genuine; it
was sometimes overworked, but at least one poem of entire loveliness was
minted from it; and there are few American poems which impart a truer
and tenderer feeling for nature than Gallaghers "August," beginning--

"Dust on thy summer mantle, dust."

[Illustration: Whitelaw Reid 280R]

The life of Whitelaw Reid, who was born near Xenia in 1837, is a
romance of success from the beginning, of the kind that seems peculiarly
American. His people were Scotch Covenanters, with the stern convictions
of that race. It is said that his grandfather first settled in Hamilton
County, but rather than run a ferry boat on Sunday, as the deed of his
land bound him to do, he sold it and removed to Greene County, where his
father was a farmer when the boy White-law was born. He sent his son
to school and to college, and then left him to make his own way in the
world, which he did by first becoming a country editor, and then going
to the war as a newspaper correspondent, and taking part in several
battles as an aid-de-camp. He learned to know the war at first hand,
and he was well fitted to make his history of "Ohio in the War" the most
important of all the state histories. He spent two years in writing this
work of truly Ohioan proportions and of unfailing interest, and then he
became Horace Greeley's assistant on the New York Tribune. It was in the
course of nature that after Greeley's death he should become its owner
and director, and should take a leading part in national politics. He
has been our minister to France, and has acquired great wealth as well
as honor; but he has remained affectionately true to the home of his
youth, as his care of the old farmstead at Cedarville evinces.

Among the most eminent and useful citizens of the state was Nicholas
Longworth, who came from New Jersey to Cincinnati, when just of age, in
1803. He was first to introduce the culture of grapes and the making
of wine into Ohio; he planted the Catawba vine on the uplands of
Cincinnati, where it flourished till the destruction of the forests
changed the climate. He became very rich by his investments in lands,
but he never outgrew his sympathy with the poor and struggling, and his
hand was open to every one who could intelligently profit by his help.
Many stories are told of his eccentricity. He was so simple in his dress
that he was once mistaken for one of his own workmen by a stranger whom
he had shown through his grounds, and who gave him a dime; Longworth
thanked him and put it in his pocket For a long time he received the
poor every Monday morning at his house, and gave whoever asked a loaf
of bread, or a peck of meal, or their worth in money. His charity was of
the divine order which does not seek desert in its objects. "I will help
the devil's poor," he said, "the miserable drunken dog, whom nobody else
will do anything for but despise and kick," and he left the deserving
poor to others, knowing that they were sure of friends.

Hiram Powers was the first American sculptor to give us rank in Europe.
Longworth, who loved the arts as well as the industries, helped him
to go to Florence from Cincinnati, where he had begun by modeling wax
figures for a local museum. James H. Beard came from Painesville to
Cincinnati, and won there his first success as a portrait painter. He
was later to reveal the peculiar satirical gift for expressing human
character in animals, for which his brother William H. Beard is perhaps
even more famed. Among later artists, either born or bred in Cincinnati,
Frank Dengler in sculpture, and Mr. Frank Duvaneck in painting, have
shown extraordinary qualities. Dengler died at twenty-four, but not
too soon to have given proof of his great talent; Mr. Duvaneck did such
things in painting as to attract wide notice in America and Europe,
where he headed a revolt of the young painters from the Munich School,
and may be said almost to have founded a school of his own. These two
young men were of the German stock which flourishes amid the Rhine-like
hills of the Ohio; but another gifted Ohioan, who began his art life
at Cincinnati, though he was born in Trumbull County, is of that pure
American lineage commonest in the Western Reserve. Kenyon Cox, now
president of the Art Student's League in New York, is the son of the
distinguished statesman and soldier, General J. D. Cox, who was one
of the first to enter the army from civil life, and with Garfield and
Hayes, to show military qualities second only to those of the West Point

Of this class of our generals was Ormsby M. Mitchell, the eminent
astronomer in charge of the observatory at Cincinnati, who was among
the first to go from that city to the war. He won rank and honor without
fighting a battle, by virtue of the same qualities which enabled him
to do more than any one else towards founding a public observatory at
Cincinnati before any city in the East had one.

He was of Kentucky birth, and came a child to Ohio; but William H.
Lytle, dear to lovers of poetry as the author of the fine lyric, "Antony
and Cleopatra," was born in Cincinnati, of the old Scotch-Irish
stock, in 1826. He had everything pleasant in life and he enjoyed
his prosperity, but when the war came he met its call halfway. At
Chickamauga he fell, pierced by three bullets, in the thick of the
fight. As he dropped from his horse into the arms of friends, he
smiled his gratitude, and spent his last breath in urging them to save
themselves, and leave him to his fate. The poem which begins with the
well-known words,

"I am dying, Egypt, dying,"

will keep the name of Lytle in remembrance perhaps longer than all the
poems of Phoebe and Alice Cary shall live, such are the caprices of
fame; but the verse of these sisters is a part of American literature,
as they themselves are a part of its history. They were true poets, and
in their work a sense of

"The broad horizons of the West"

first made itself felt. They left the farm where they were born near
College Hill and came to live in Cincinnati after they began to be known
in literature, and later they went to dwell among the noises of New
York, where they died; but the country, the sweet Miami country,
remained a source of their inspiration, and now and again the reader
tastes its charm in their verse.

[Illustration: Harriet Beecher Stowe 284R]

They were undeniably Ohioan, while Pennsylvania may dispute our right
to the fame of Thomas Buchanan Read, though his most famous poem,
"Sheridan's Ride," was written and first recited in Cincinnati. We must
not more than remind ourselves that Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe passed
part of her early life in that city, and is known to have gathered much
of the suggestion for "Uncle Tom's Cabin" among the Ohio scenes where
some of its most vivid events occur.

[Illustration: George Kennan 284L]

In the county of Huron a man of unquestionable claim to remembrance was
born. George Kennan, whose enviable privilege it was to let the light
in upon the misery of Siberian exile and to awaken the abhorrence of the
world for Russian tyranny, was a native of Norwalk, where he grew up a
telegraph operator. He worked at night and went to school by day, and
when only nineteen, while one of the chief operators in Cincinnati, he
applied for leave to join an expedition for laying a cable from Alaska
to Siberia by way of Bering Strait. He was asked if he could get ready
to start in two weeks, and he answered that he could get ready to start
in two hours. He was appointed, and in this way he came to know the
horrors which he afterwards studied more fully in a second visit to
Siberia. He traveled fifteen hundred miles through that wintry prison
of Russia, and saw and heard the sorrowful things which the despotism of
the Czar has done to men who dare to love freedom.

His report of these cruelties has at least put their authors to shame
before the civilized world, if it has not wrought so great an open
change as the work of another Ohio man in dealing with even greater
atrocities. It is interesting to note that Januarius A. Mac-Gahan
was born in the same county as Philip H. Sheridan, of the same Irish
parentage, to the same Catholic religion, and the same early poverty. He
saw the light in July, 1844, in a log cabin on his father's little farm
among the woods near New Lexington in Perry County. He studied hard at
school, and read constantly out of school, when a boy. When a little
older, he worked for the neighboring farmers; he hoped to get a school
to teach; but he could not get it in his own home, where he was thought
too young, and he had to go to Indiana for it. From there he went to
St Louis, where he became a newspaper reporter. In 1868 he sailed for
Europe to study French and German, hoping to come home and practice law
in that city. But his duty as correspondent took him to the scenes of
various European wars, and launched him at last amidst the barbaric
outrages of the Turks in Bulgaria. His exposure of their abominable
misdeeds in 1876 roused the whole world; the English government
officially examined his facts and found them indisputable. The war began
between Russia and Turkey, and MacGahan returned to Bulgaria with the
victorious Russian troops. There, wherever the people knew him, they
hailed him as their savior. He had made their miseries so widely known
to mankind as to render it impossible that they should continue. It
is not strange that they thronged upon him, and kissed his hands, his
boots, his saddle, his horse. In the peace that followed, a whole empire
was torn from the bloody hands of the Turks, and four Christian peoples
were saved from their savage rule. Bulgaria, Roumania, Roumelia, and
Servia now belong to themselves, and all this has come about from the
efforts of an unknown young Ohio man, who went abroad to study the
languages, and changed the map of Europe. It reads like wild romance,
but it is sober history.

Among all these Ohioans of celebrity we must not forget Johnnie Clem,
the Drummer Boy of Shiloh. He ran away from his home in Newark, his
native city, in 1861, when he was not yet ten years old, and joined the
24th Ohio as drummer; but he was afraid to be seen and sent home by
an uncle who was in that regiment, and he cast his lot with the 22d
Michigan. He was not only at Shiloh, but the battles of Perryville,
Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Nashville, and Kenesaw. He was
taken prisoner in Georgia, and when his captors stripped him of his
clothes he grieved for the loss of nothing except his cap, which had
three bullet holes in it. After his release, he came home to get well,
and then returned to the army, where General Thomas attached him to his
staff. Later he was sent to West Point, where he could not be regularly
entered because he was too small; but he made his studies, and Grant
commissioned him as lieutenant, and he rose to be captain of infantry.
He won the love and respect of all his generals, and while they lived
they wrote him letters of affectionate friendship. He was once wounded
by a shell, and once he lost his drum by the fragment of a bursting

J. J. Platt, who is first among Ohio poets, was born in Indiana; but
his boyhood was passed mostly in Ohio, where he grew up on his father's
farm, amidst the scenes which he has loved to depict in his verse, until
he became a printer's apprentice. Since then he has dwelt in cities,
both at home and abroad; but he is always happiest in dealing with the
traits and aspects of country life, especially in the earlier times.
He was for many years consul at different points in Ireland; and he
has found in England even greater recognition for the distinctively
mid-western quality of his poems than he has enjoyed among ourselves. So
far as he is of Ohio, he is of Logan County, which has been the seat of
his family from the settlement of the country; as his name suggests, he
is of French descent.

Of Toledo, and therefore of Lucas County, was David R. Locke, who was
born in New York state, but lived in Ohio from his fifth year onward. He
was a printer and an editor, and after the war, he suddenly won national
fame as the author of the Petroleum V. Naseby letters. These were
satires of the old proslavery spirit which retarded the reconstruction
of the South and harried the freedmen by mobs and lynchings. Their humor
gave Locke a place in our literature which no history of it can ignore.

Another literary man who must be taken account of in the summing up of
American literature was S. S. Cox, who made himself known early in the
fifties when Ohio was far less heard of than now, by his lively book of
travels, "A Buckeye Abroad." He was a journalist and a politician; he
was three times elected to Congress from Columbus, and when he went
to live in New York, he was three times sent to the House of
Representatives from that city, where he is commemorated by a statue. He
was a native of Muskingum County, and was born in 1824 at Zanesville.

The latest and most brilliant contribution of Ohio to the scholarship of
the East is Professor W. M. Sloane, now of Princeton University, but by
birth of Jefferson County. He must rank by his "Life of Napoleon" among
the American historians of the first class. He is of Scotch Calvinistic
ancestry, and the son of a Presbyterian minister.

In this list of Ohioans who have done honor to our state, Mr. James
Ford Rhodes happens to be last, though chance might well have placed him
among the first He is the author of "A History of the United States
from the Compromise of 1850," which has a peculiar value in the field
of American history, and which has given Mr. Rhodes prominent standing,
with a constantly growing reputation. He is of the New England race of
the Western Reserve; until within a few years his home was in Cleveland,
but he now lives in Boston.


Nearly all the Ohio stories since 1812 have been stories of business
enterprise and industrial adventure. I dare say that if these could be
fully told, we should have tales as exciting, as romantic and pathetic
as any I have set down concerning the Indian wars. But such stories are
usually forgotten in the material interest of the affairs, and it is
only when some tragedy or comedy arising from them finds chance record
that we realize how full of human interest they are. The decay of
steamboating and the rise of railroading is in itself a romance if it
could be rightly seen, and if the facts could be clearly set before us,
the story of commercial triumph by a great monopoly would not be less
fascinating than that of any war of conquest.

The greatest monopoly of ancient or modern times, the Standard Oil
Company, had its rise in Ohio, and there is no more impressive chapter
in the annals of our country than its history forms. In fact, everything
concerning the discovery of the great underground lakes of petroleum,
and subterranean spaces of natural gas, which suddenly enriched certain
sections of the state, and then with their exhaustion left them to lapse
into ruin, is picturesque and dramatic. Many tales are told of poor
farmers who struck oil on their lands, and sold them for sums greater
than they had ever dreamed of, and then went out into the world to waste
their wealth in a few years of wild riot, or sank down and led idle
and useless lives in sight of the fields they had once tilled. Similar
stories are told of the regions where natural gas has been found, and
some day, when the chronicles of Findlay, in Hancock County are fully
written we shall know all these romantic episodes in their grotesqueness
and their pathos. It had been known from the earliest settlement of the
country that the natural gas underlay the town, and fifty years ago two
small wells were sunk. But it was not until after the discovery of the
natural gas at Pittsburg that the people of Findlay began to think of
turning their treasure to account. Then, in the year 1884, the first
great well was bored, and sent into the startled air a shaft of flame
sixty feet high. Other wells were sunk, and the greatest of all, the
famous Karg well, shook its flag of fire against the sky with a roar
like that of Niagara, and made its voice heard fifteen miles away. It
was winter when it was first lighted, but it made summer for two hundred
yards around. The snow melted, the grass and wild flowers sprang up,
and the crickets came and trilled in the grateful warmth. By a sad irony
this source of future wealth became the refuge of homeless men, and
within its genial circuit many tramps slept sweetly, secure from the
winter beyond.

Findlay grew from five thousand to fifteen thousand inhabitants in a
year. The municipality wisely possessed itself of the most important
wells, and supplied the gas so cheaply and abundantly to the people that
no company could rival it. In June, 1887, it celebrated the anniversary
of the first use of the natural gas in the industrial arts, and for
three days the town was given over to rejoicing in its glory and
prosperity. The streets were arched with flame, the great wells flaunted
their banners night and day, and the gas flared from innumerable pipes
and jets through sun and rain in every part of the town.

No such festival has commemorated the introduction of the grape culture
in Ohio, though this is one of the most poetic facts of our history.
When the changes of climate along the Ohio River rendered it
unprofitable in the region of Cincinnati, where the imaginative genius
of Longworth had first invented the Catawba wine which the poetic genius
of Longfellow celebrated in graceful song, the vine found home and
welcome along the shores of Lake Erie. There thousands upon thousands
of acres now spread interminable vineyards, and the grapes of every
American variety purple in autumn to an almost unfailing harvest.

It was at first only a dream when Longworth transplanted the wild vine
from the woods, and it might well have been scoffed at as akin to
dreams of the past which never were realized. One of these was the silk
culture, which people believed was to be one of our greatest sources
of wealth sixty or seventy years ago, when they planted millions of
mulberry trees to nourish the silkworms which died rather than become
citizens of Ohio. Another was the culture of the Chinese sorghum cane,
which for many years tantalized our farmers with the hopes of native
sugar never fulfilled.

Still other kinds of dreams there have been native to our air or
naturalized to it. The Leatherwood God was by no means the only
religious impostor who has flourished among us. In 1831 Joseph Smith,
the first of the Mormon prophets and the founder of Mormon-ism, came
to Portage County, with one of his disciples, and began to preach. They
made so many converts that some shortsighted people of Hiram thought
to stop their work by tarring and feathering them. This only drove
them from the place; but the next year, they settled in Kirtland, Lake
County, where, in 1834, their followers built the first Mormon temple,
for the worship of God according to the Book of Mormon. It was this
sacred book, written on gold plates, which Smith, a native of Vermont,
pretended to find, in a hill near Palmyra, New York, where he was
leading an idle and useless life. His converts at Kirtland increased to
three thousand, but they founded a bank as well as a temple, and so got
into debt and trouble. Smith left the state to escape the sheriff, and
went to Missouri, where the great mass of the believers joined him,
seven hundred leaving Kirtland in one day. Before long the Missourians
foolishly began to persecute them, and then the Mormons settled at
Nauvoo, in Illinois, where they built their second temple, far more
magnificent than the first at Kirtland. But here again their unwise
neighbors began to molest them, and Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram
were thrown into jail. A mob attacked the jail, and the Smiths were
murdered. The Mormons then abandoned Nauvoo, and took their way through
the desert to Salt Lake, in Utah, where they laid the foundations of
a great commonwealth. They still own their first temple at Kirtland,
however, and it is said to be the hope of one sect among them yet to
return and dwell there.

Among the fanaticisms or enthusiasms which flourished among our people,
none was more striking than that which moved the Woman's Temperance
Crusade in Hillsborough, Highland County, in 1873. Under the influence
of a fervent speaker, who told how the women of his native village in
New England had joined in beseeching the liquor sellers of the place to
give up their traffic, a hundred and fifty ladies of Hillsborough banded
together and went about to the different saloons, entreating their
owners not to sell strong drink any more. By day and by night, in wet
and in cold, through menace and insult, they kept up their effort the
whole winter long. Where the dealer was very obstinate, they knelt down
at his door, and prayed and sang till he yielded. After the crusade
ended, the liquor selling began again, but though it seemed to have done
little good, yet it is said that there has been far less drunkenness
in the region than before, and public opinion was roused to enforce the
laws against liquor selling. Among the crusaders were some of the first
ladies of the neighborhood, and good women emulated their efforts in
several other places.

I am willing to leave the reader with the impression that the people of
Ohio are that sort of idealists who have the courage of their dreams. By
this courage they have made the best of them come true, and it is well
for them in their mainly matter-of-fact and practical character that
they show themselves at times enthusiasts and even fanatics. It is not
ill for them that they should now and then have been mistaken. This has
helped to keep them modest in the midst of their prosperity, and their
eminence in saving and governing the union of these states. Such as
they are, they seem to me, historically, the first of the Americans. The
whole country on the eastward characterized them, and they, more than
the people of any other state, have perpetuated and imparted their
character to the whole country on the westward.

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